Email letters, August 5, 2013

Police officers merit praise for effective detective work

This letter is to thank and praise the Grand Junction Police Department and Officer Cal Atkinson and his fellow officers for a job well done. They were able to track down and return to us, in fewer than five days, stolen items.

These men were extremely efficient and effective in their detective work as a team, day and night, to catch the thieves and bring them to justice.

Grand Junction is very lucky to have these guys on our side.

STEVE CLINE
Grand Junction


Common Core assessment ignores pupils’ individual needs

I attended a meeting July 31 in which representatives of the Colorado Department of Education presented Common Core to the Delta County school board. Common Core is a top-down (fed to state to local school board) bureaucratic structure that eliminates teacher recommendations and experience with each individual child and replaces that with a top-down CC assessment process.

School board member Kathy Svenson pointed out that in today’s world of computers and the Internet that education should and can be tailored to each individual student. Common Core “bucks” the future.
School board member Pete Blair lamented that parents are not involved in the education process. As a registered volunteer and part of a host family for an exchange student from Poland, I pointed out after the meeting that parents are not empowered and even discouraged from participation, starting with the prohibition of any comment from the public at school board meetings.

I contrasted a public school with a church-sponsored school in which members are actually sought out to participate with building funding and maintenance, food preparation and individual tutoring for students who might be falling behind.

Every student is not the same. Kathy Svenson pointed out that some students will go on to college and some will enter the workforce right out of high school and that the education process needs to be diverse enough to support both academic and trade outcomes.

To be fair, the CDE presenters stated that Common Core was a floor not a ceiling, but there can be no doubt that it is a top-down structure.

MIT now has most of its undergraduate and graduate courses available free on-line (http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/ ). The future is moving to individualized instruction tailored to each student. I hope Delta County can move in that direction. I want to thank board member Kathy Svenson for her leadership in that direction.

MIKE MASON
Cedaredge

Radical environmentalists’ natural habitat is courtroom

Despite winning a clear victory in their ongoing war to prevent the American people from producing one drop of petroleum from our own lands, the radical environmentalists are back where they feel most comfortably at home – not in the woods, or the mountains, or camped beside a river,
but in the courtroom.

Earlier this year, the enviro-lobby’s pet Interior Secretary at the time, Ken Salazar, effectively gutted America’s oil shale industry by rubber stamping his master’s demands as spelled out in a vindictive lawsuit assailing the reasonable Bush-era oil shale plan. Salazar signed off on the lobby’s demands to reduce the acreage available for oil shale leasing to a few scattered pockets, and to impose onerous requirements, of a kind that no other industry is subject to.

This was in spite of (or more likely because of) the remarkable progress that was being made toward long-awaited commercial development of one of our most valuable national resources. Having succeeded in yet again stalling economic progress, you’d think they would be happy.

Not so. The “courthouse conservationists” are back at it again, with another lawsuit to try to kill what little is left of America’s energy future. You see, a few companies apparently did not get the message and stubbornly continued to work at finding the most efficient and responsible ways to access this domestic petroleum source that happens to dwarf the entire reserves of the Middle East. So it’s back to their natural habitat – the courtroom – to sue again, just to make sure that the people of northwest Colorado know their place.

This is a game to these people, a game to see just how far they get to stopping all development. Unfortunately, it’s a game that is going to bring devastating consequences to both rural Colorado and our great nation. Not only do they spend an inordinate amount of time in the courtroom, they get reimbursed by their opponents, you and me. That’s right, they get paid to sue us by the Equal Access to Justice Act.

It is time we put these extremist environmentalists in their place and made them pay for their own suits. They are getting rich off their suits against us.

DON PETTYGROVE
Grand Junction

Some gun owners may scoff at need to act responsibly

From my “never gonna happen” file, I strangely find myself agreeing with almost everything Rick Wagner said in his Aug. 1 column. Considering human nature, though, his plea toward “responsibility” with firearms won’t travel beyond the plea. With the exception of a few people standing for sentencing before a judge, I’ve never heard anyone admit to being irresponsible even when the world tells them they are.

There are reports that the shooting range near the Bookcliffs is life-threatening for responsible shooters. So, has anyone out there suggested to the culprits they behave more responsibly?  Of course not. Not while the irresponsible person is standing right there with gun in hand.

I’m all for lots of training for people who want guns, just as Wagner suggested, but I have been around far too many who think they don’t need it. Back in 1965 I had a “talk big” boyfriend who liked to “tease” me by pointing his rifle at me.

That relationship ended but when he returned from Vietnam with a desire to go back because he “liked hand to hand combat,” he said the military turned him down citing his need for mental rehabilitation. I have no idea how much of what he told was true but the last I heard, he is still a gun owner, still lacks a sense of responsibility, and still talks big. Pleas and everything else go unheeded.

I guess Wagner thinks his public pleas carry more weight than laws. He didn’t offer what regulations he would pass to meet his pleas. But the plea in itself is a suggestion that people with firearms need to be regulated. Human
nature won’t comply otherwise.

EILEEN O’TOOLE
Grand Junction

Washington rancor in full force

Does anybody else feel threatened? Congressmen calling white people “crackers.” Don’t know if he’s calling us slave foremen or cowboys?  Jesse Jackson, Charlie Rangel, and others shouting “Trayvon Martin” in protest. “Antonio West” right back at ya there, Jesse.

And since when did it become Washington’s job to create jobs? As if anybody they hire does anything but bitch about things and screw things up? Eliminate the EPA and the IRS, and stay out of local private matters, and the country will thrive.

Take Obamacare. That’s the program that is so bad nobody took the time to read it, (I did — all 2,500 and some pages — as I was laid off at the time). When they did finally read parts of it even its author cried, “train wreck.”  It seems the more government tries to do the more screwed up things become.

“One of the most productive times in this nation’s history is when Congress is in recess.” Or as Will Rogers put it, “A Cannibal is a good deal like a Democrat, they are forced to live off each other.”

I chose to work at a job I didn’t particularly care for, that didn’t challenge me, but had good medical, retirement and reasonable pay. Now that I’m retired all I have to worry about is which congressman, which president, or which nut cup in general is going to screw up what I spent my
life trying to acquire.

If Republicans don’t like it, they leave it alone and hope it goes away. If Democrats don’t like something, they have to “legislate” that nobody can have it and triple the cost of ignoring it.

So, if we give President Obama and the Congress Obamacare and the same retirement as everybody else and limit their access to my funds, does anybody feel better now?

RICHARD BRIGHT
Grand Junction

Does lying about scandals create another scandal?

If the president and his spokespeople continue to lie about the phony scandals, is that in itself another scandal? Just wondering.

L.W. HUNLEY
Grand Junction

 

 



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