Email Letters: August 16, 2017

Commissioners do more harm than good for our economic growth

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that the county commissioners are trying to strong arm a valuable non-profit in our community. Having tried to negotiate with the current three commissioners only to have them write me off and refuse to discuss the costs of an eventual purchase and remodel, I then received a hand written letter from one of them thanking me for plugging their budget and hoping to work on more projects together – only to watch as they jetted off to Washington to give praise to a man whose only interest is his own. I feel for the recipients and volunteers of Gray Gourmet with their current landlords.

Do the commissioners not understand the ancillary benefits to the community that this service provides and the cost savings to social and medical services? Are their only thoughts based on plugging their budgetary miscalculations in the short term? Commissioner Scott McInnis, in his shiny cowboy boots and washed up Washington suits, is an embarrassment to this community, along with his colleagues on the commission who do more harm than good for our economic growth.

McInnis can stuff his secret ballot measure this fall, stop harassing non-profits who plug the holes of services the government fails to deliver on, and return the people’s National Conservation Area back to them (Colorado Canyons NOT McInnis Canyons). I’ll be voting for the schools to improve and hoping McInnis loses his job in the next election cycle.

AARON YOUNG
Grand Junction

Commissioners should rethink their decision on Gray Gourmet

Kudos to Jim Spehar for his excellent editorial on the dust-up between Mesa County and the Gray Gourmet program; he does an excellent job outlining the merits of the program, and the inequities of the decision by the County Commissioners to charge market-rate rents for the Gray Gourmet building, so I’d like to add a more personal perspective.

I’ve been a volunteer driver for Gray Gourmet for nearly two years. During that time, I’ve learned a great deal about the Gray Gourmet program and many seniors in our community who depend on daily meal delivery as their lifeline. Every Friday, I deliver meals to some two dozen seniors, more than a few of whom are well into their 90s. They are amazing people who have lived full lives, and I am blessed to be able to serve them in a small way. I have also been extremely impressed with the staff at Gray Gourmet; by their commitment to their service, and the responsible manner in which they carefully spend the program’s resources with a singular focus on their mission: promoting health and good nutrition for house-bound seniors.

The county’s “contribution” to Gray Gourmet, consisting of building maintenance and repairs, is a small fraction of the county’s overall annual budget of $160 million, but the impact on our community is large. The program is an essential service to Mesa County residents, and I strongly
encourage the commissioners to rethink their decision, and work with Gray Gourmet and St Mary’s to find a more beneficial approach.

I would invite any of the commissioners to ride along with me or any of the volunteer drivers and see for themselves how much good this program does, for a small investment on the county’s part. I leave the Gray Gourmet building every Friday at 10 a.m.; come join me and I guarantee that you’ll see why looking at this rent matter as a “business decision” is entirely the wrong approach.

BEN HERMAN

Grand Junction

Colorado is dark all the time regarding judicial discipline proceedings

What’s the big deal about the total eclipse? You don’t have to go to Wyoming to see it.

Colorado is dark all the time regarding judicial discipline proceedings. They’re confidential; not public. We’re like only 14 other states – the same number that the total solar eclipse will touch.

Not even the judicial performance commissions that advise you whether to retain a judge know whether a judge has been disciplined.

And because Colorado’s Commission on Judicial Discipline dismisses complaints against judges at a rate of 97 percent, it’s really a double total eclipse.

Make that a triple. Colorado’s Open Records Act doesn’t apply to judicial. Judges write their own rules regarding disclosure of all their records in Colorado.

Want to experience a total eclipse? Just visit a Colorado court. It’s dark 24/7, 365 days a year.

CHRIS FORSYTH

Wheat Ridge

Recent letters offers dubious justification for Confederate statuary in the South

Judith Chapin’s Wednesday letter (“Reminders of past atrocities keep us from repeating history”) offers one more dubious justification for the Confederate statuary in the South.

First, the very purpose and intended effect of the statuary was to “erase our [true] history” from the consciousness of unrepentant Southerners – the treasonous ancestors of whom were defeated in a bloody war to save the Union – and replace their seditious “States rights” and murderous pro-Slavery motives with a patina of “honor” and “tradition.”

Second, even if we need statuary as “reminders of past atrocities,” it does not follow that the perpetrators of those atrocities should be honored in the public square. Rather, their statues should be relegated to cemeteries, battlefields, and memorial sites – and replaced (if at all) with statues depicting lynching and honoring slain civil rights workers.

Third, Chapin herself needs a history lesson. Contrary to her implied revisionism, the statuary at issue was not erected immediately “after the Civil War” – but rather years later, after the end of Reconstruction when white Supremacists regained political control of the South. Indeed, the proliferation of Confederate statuary was deliberately intended to signal to locals that white’s power had been restored – leading to decades of lynching’s, Jim Crow laws, forced segregation, and now voter suppression efforts.

Fourth, while “the very thought of slavery” may today be “repugnant” to Chapin, it was not so “repugnant” to those honored by Confederate statuary – including Robert E. Lee (who was formally charged with treason but saved from public trial and possible hanging by the intercession of General U. S. Grant) and Nathan Bedford Forrest (whose troops massacred hundreds of black Union soldiers and white Union sympathizers at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, and who later founded the KKK).

Fifth, even so, Chapin’s illogic collapses on itself. Thus, just as we don’t need statues of Hitler in public places “as reminders of [his] atrocities,” neither do we need statues of Confederate war criminals to remind us of the depredations they inflicted on the nation. Rather, unblinkingly teaching our unvarnished history in every school should suffice.

Meanwhile, “an injustice is being done by not giving [many] Southern citizens enough credit” for actively supporting the removal of Confederate statuary – based on their more informed understanding of history and its main lesson: the failure to oppose evil is to condone it.

BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

VA Medical Center should display photo of President Trump

I find it concerning and a bit ironic that the Grand Junction VA Medical Center had a large picture of President Obama in the front entrance for eight long years, when he only grudgingly supported our veterans, but now that we have President Trump, who loves our vets, they chose to put up nice scenery pictures instead. Political correctness still reigns, I see!

DOUG BAUGH
Grand Junction

City of Grand Junction should annex unincorporated urban clusters

The Census Bureau defines an urban area thus, “An urban area will comprise a densely settled core of census tracts and/or census blocks that meet the minimum density requirements. To qualify as an urban area, the territory identified must encompass at least 2,500 people, at least 1,500 of which reside outside institutional group quarters (i.e. prisons and hospitals). The census Bureau identifies two types of urban areas. Urbanized Areas of 50,000 people or more and Urban Clusters of at least 2,500 people and less than 50,000 people”.

Per this definition, the Grand Valley has four unincorporated urban clusters outside of the three cities of Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade. Those clusters are Redlands, Orchard Mesa, Fruitvale and Clifton. Orchard Mesa is the smallest with 6,836 people and Clifton is the largest with 19,889 people. That’s right, Clifton has way more people than Fruita, and all four have more people than Palisade. Additionally, all four have their own centralized commercial cores.

In my opinion all four count as towns and in the case of Clifton, a small city. I know I’ll probably get flack and hate mail over this, but I think that is high time that Grand Junction annexes these areas. Annexation alone would nearly double the population of Grand Junction from 61,881 to nearly 105,000 people, but without having a bunch of new people move here because they are already here, they just aren’t counted. Not only would this add tax dollars to the city, it would make Denver sit up and take notice. Larger cities, even the small ones, are taken more seriously. We always complain that Denver doesn’t care about the West Slope. This would make them care.

JEREMIAH HABECKER
Clifton

It’s a travesty that bear lost life due to person’s neglect

To the lady on Glade Park: because of your neglect, an innocent bear lost his life the other day. I watched you on TV and you didn’t seem one bit disturbed that a bear was killed in your house. He didn’t do anything wrong except try to find something to eat. You, on the other hand, didn’t secure your house. This is the second story I have read about a bear losing its life due to people’s neglect. I think that this is a travesty.

STANLEY BIRCH
Grand Junction

One side in America is determined to rewrite history by erasing American history

Wow the national news media, The Daily Sentinel included, should have waited to see what the police said in Charlottesville. They said it was all mutual hate. That was followed quickly by the criminal acts in Durham – where criminals pulled down a memorial for the press. For a moment I thought I was watching our military pull down that statue of Hussein in Baghdad. But the victors in Carolina were common criminals – the Communist dupes seen in totalitarian states! Not anybody worth honoring America is in the midst of a spiritual war with one side determined to rewrite history by erasing American history. The other side clings to our God and the foundations
Benjamin Franklin built the political house upon.

ROBERT BURKHOLDER
Fruita


COMMENTS

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Doug:

The official picture of President Obama was removed from the foyer two plus tears ago and replaced with “scenery pictures” because his picture was being repeatedly defaced and spat upon by ignorant/racist veterans.  President Trump’s picture now hangs in the same place that President Obama’s did—albeit undeservedly so.  Today, the chiefs of all four military services reiterated that racism and extremism will not be tolerated in the ranks—thereby implying that Trump’s embrace of White Supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK is “conduct unbecoming” a commander-in-chief and thus grounds for his impeachment for being totally unfit to serve as our President.

Mr. Hugenberg, How is pointing out bad behavior on BOTH sides embracing White Supremacists, neo-Nazis and KKK?

Mr. Myers:

Reliance on bogus assertions of a “false equivalency” is a moral cop-out.

Answer the question, Mr. Hugenberg.

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