Email Letters: August 7, 2017

Palisade High in need of additional gym space

Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of the maintenance staff, the main gymnasium at Palisade High School is still in very good condition. The floor has been refurbished, handrails were installed on the bleachers for safety, heating and ventilation systems repaired when needed, and the scoreboards were replaced when they were no longer operational. This has all been done without asking the public for money. The staff at Palisade High School takes exceptional care of the gym, sweeping the floor multiple times a day and ensuring the proper footwear is worn to protect the floor. The school has been very good stewards of what they have.

An auxiliary gym is on the list of items covered in the upcoming bond. Six years after the original school building was constructed 25 years ago, the west academic building was added in 1998, due to the steady increase in student population. With the funds left over an “auxiliary gym” was also built. These funds afforded a gym with the usable space having dimensions of just 48 feet wide by 53 feet long. This makes it far too small for any sport to play or practice there except table tennis. So to be a good steward of the space they were given, they turned it into a weight room. Even still, the first hour weights class of 75 kids must partially practice outside because there is not enough room for the equipment in the building.

I can tell you as a parent it was very difficult for me to watch our boys leave our home at 5 a.m. so they could make it to 5:30 a.m. practice – and when they had a game, not get home until
7 or 8 at night. These kids are incredibly dedicated to improving themselves, but this type of schedule hurts their education and their future. Please, take some time and read the dozens of reasons why we need this additional gym space, in addition to the other repairs our school desperately needs at http://www.citizensforsd51.com/palisade-high.

DONALD METZLER

Outgoing Palisade High School Community Advisory Council President
Palisade

Laws should be passed to hold people responsible for animals

While I don’t condone Mr. Haynes’s solution to his cat problem, I do sympathize with him. He was probably raised in an era when farmers would often take a gunnysack full of kittens down to the river to solve their cat problems. Certainly not humane, but it definitely solved their problem.

As far as I’m concerned, the first citation should have gone to Lisa De-Shazer for allowing her animal to run wild. We have the same problem in my neighborhood: cats pooping in yards, killing birds, and leaving paw prints all over vehicles. They’re not pets; they’re pests. These
people should be held to the same standards as dog owners and laws should be passed to hold them responsible for their animals. If you treat an animal like its disposable, don’t be shocked and indignant when they disappear.

ROY BAILEY
Fruita

Pet owners need to keep their animals under control

What happened to a person’s right to protect their home and property? Maybe in Mr. Haynes’ neighborhood firearms are not allowed to be discharged, so drowning a varmint would be a logical choice.

If Lisa De-Shazer loved her cats so much, she should have kept them on her own property and not destroying the neighbor’s yards. She should be ordered to pay for the damages to Mr. Haynes’ yard and lawn. The animal shelters are already full of irresponsible people’s pets.

Pets are like grandkids. You may love them and think they’re cute, but nobody else does. So keep them under control and know what they are up to.

ERIC CARLSON
Whitewater

When it comes to politics, common sense doesn’t apply

After having read Paul Muldowney’s letter on Aug. 2, I could not resist from trying to get him to understand the rules in the valley here. Paul, your idea of converting the Orchard Mesa Middle School to a recreation center is, and should be, a valid idea. But the problem is that it makes common sense and is logical. Neither the school board nor Grand Junction City Council will buy into it, since it would not only solve the idea of all those Grand Junction residents wanting a recreation center but also the school district having to pay to have it torn down. And it would defeat the idea of both of them justifying going back to the citizens and wanting more money to do whatever they are always wanting more money for from everybody.

It is too bad that common sense and logic do not prevail when it comes to some governmental agencies wanting and needing more money. When it comes to politics, common sense and logic do not apply.

JIM OWEN
Fruita

Support the upcoming school bond and mill levy override election

The first school I attended was so poor that many of the children came to school barefoot (OK, maybe some preferred to come without shoes). In spite of this, the community found money for the public schools.

Throughout my years in public schools, the community found the money to support them. Many of these folks and business owners had no family members in the schools.

My 12 years of public schools well prepared me for subsequent higher education. This story was repeated for my two children.

I was taught that a good gauge of a person’s character was how they took care of their obligations. Others helped pay to educate me and mine. I feel obliged to do the same.

Our current school board and administration are not perfect. However, I cannot see how their minor imperfections would relieve us from our obligations to support the upcoming school bond and mill levy override election.

Please join me in repaying part of our intergenerational debts.

DAVID AUSTIN
Grand Junction

There is no universality in this country regarding religious beliefs

I salute the editors of the Sentinel for including the article by Councilwoman Smith in the Sunday paper. I think most of us could agree that that is one of the most important rights we have as citizens of the United States. We can have opinions and they can be freely expressed publicly.

Having said that, I’m disappointed in her opinions regarding an opening prayer at council meetings. She seems to start from the proposition that there is universality in beliefs of a Creator and a God by the people of the country.

That is precisely the point of the inclusion in our Constitution that there will be no establishment whatsoever of a nationally sanctioned religion nor allowance for government to let religion impinge in any way on the activities of government. There is no universality in this country regarding anything with religious beliefs. There isn’t. The founders realized that at the time that the Constitution was drafted and endorsed and the nature of beliefs in our country today is even more divided. We are probably now the most diverse country on the face of the planet and keeping any religious ”beliefs” out of government activities of any kind is more important here than any place else.

This is a time in the history of our country that some say we are more divided than we have ever been. That may or may not be true. Religion exists for many reasons but politics and religion address many of the same things – how we should treat others, how we should behave, what has merit and should be rewarded, and on and on.

Consideration for the beliefs of others that do not harm in any way those of others should be the primary focus of both politics and religion.

Is it? Ms. Smith starts the conversation seemingly with some ground rules. Are they necessary?

JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Riverfront Trail should be made a safe corridor for bicyclists

With great interest I have been reading in this newspaper numerous proposals and developments regarding bicycle transportation in the Grand Valley. As a long-time cyclist and resident of the Grand Valley, I, too am very glad that we are developing the Colorado Riverfront into a recreation zone and are planning for better urban trails. However, I must note that the Colorado Riverfront Trail presents safety hazards to users and that the users and government agencies involved seem relatively uninterested in making this a real corridor for bicycles.

I understand that this is a multiuse trail, but if a bicyclist hits a pedestrian or dog everyone is going to get hurt. Having been working on this for several years and trying to get the attention of the Colorado Riverfront Commission and the city, I have come to the conclusion that the government agencies involved just don’t get it, especially in Las Colonias Park. Long gone are the days when it was safe to ride your bicycle down Patterson Road to the mall. Long gone are the days when it was safe to go from Fruitvale to the Colorado National Monument on the I-70 business loop. And nobody in their right mind is really going to ride the Riverside Parkway on a bicycle, whether it’s marked as a bicycle route or not.

Rude and thoughtless pedestrians, bicyclists riding two or three abreast, sometimes on the wrong side of the road, dogs running around without a leash: these are all things that I have frequently witnessed since I moved back to the Grand Valley three years ago. As we are talking about building new urban trails and about increasing traffic on them, I hope all users, the Colorado Riverfront Commission, and the City of Grand Junction will start to take safety on these trails a little more seriously.

Imagine you are driving your car down North Avenue and a pedestrian just jumps out in the road right in front of you and you have to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting them. You could call the police and they might get a ticket for jaywalking. But if somebody does that to a bicyclist riding to work on the trail, the police don’t really care. That’s a double standard that I believe needs to end. A commuter or recreationalist on one of these urban trails should also have the right of relatively unimpeded travel. I and other cyclists in this area are firmly committed to this vision, and we hope that all will see that it’s the way of the future.

JACK BYROM

Grand Junction

Instead of North name change, consider a University Boulevard starting at the airport

I applaud letter writer Darren Cook’s recent impassioned endorsement of promoting CMU by all available means, including the establishment of a new street named University Boulevard. I disagree, however, that North Avenue should be the object of the name change.

There is nothing to be gained in that approach. The North Avenue problem is the North Avenue problem, and will remain so regardless of a street name. Tying its solution even tangentially to CMU will, if anything, simply be a drag on the school.

Instead, consider a University Boulevard starting at the airport, replacing Horizon Drive through the lower single traffic circle, and then continuing to Main Street by replacing the related portion of Twelfth Street.

What does that yield? Plenty. It broadcasts an immediate, lasting announcement of a higher education facility in town, with the message positioned strategically on a major travel route into the city. Everyone exiting the airport will use – yes – University Boulevard. Everyone exiting I-70 at Horizon Drive will instead exit at University Boulevard, and any out-of-towners from either of those points wanting to find CMU need only stay on, you guessed it, University Boulevard.

It could also indirectly associate the school with two budding centers of high tech entrepreneurship, one at the Shaw Building near the airport and the other downtown at 750 Main, as covered in the Sentinel’s Aug. 6 front page article. It would also be a small but symbolically notable step in Grand Junction’s effort to say, “smart city” here we come.

BUD MARKOS
Grand Junction

We live in a country where we can decide what we want to take as truth

I for one believe that there is a God and His Son Jesus and I have had this faith for many years. Once a person asked my why my faith in this matter was so strong. It was then that I said I need to believe because I would rather believe there is a God and heaven then to not believe and find there is a God and heaven. So loving and being loved back by my God and His Son Jesus is my way of life. You have no God or faith and we live in a country where you and I can decide what we want to take as truth or not true. I would suggest that you read many of the books by C.S. Lewis. He has written several that I am sure you will find at you local library. He also did not believe in a God.

BILLIE JANSKY
Rifle

The believers do not question the rights of those who do not believe

Dear non-believers,

We, the believers do not question your right to not believe.

Now it is up to you to tell us that we are not allowed to believe.

We are not allowed to force you to believe, and you have no power to deny others to worship as they desire.

As far as the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law” specifically denies the federal congress from mandating a national religion.

The states were free to create an official state religion, and many did, but allowed all religions to worship as they pleased.

The Constitution is not hard to read, nor is it difficult to understand

DREW DICKEY
Cumming, Ga.

Grand Junction should advertise tranquil downtown as contrast to Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs downtown has got to be a miserable place to be with the 24-hour a day noise, dust, and construction going on there. The existing Colorado River bridge demolition and reconstruction will take four months to complete. It would seem that this would be an opportune time for downtown Grand Junction to advertise in Glenwood Springs about the beautiful, quiet, peaceful downtown shopping experience we have here.

And even after their bridge is completed, the noise from having all of that heavy truck traffic, and Aspen bound traffic funneled into their downtown shopping district will be awful. Let’s let our tranquil downtown be the envy of those escaping the noisiness of Glenwood Springs.

JEFFERY FLEMING

Grand Junction

Recent letter writer doesn’t belong in sheep and cattle country

For the life of me I can’t understand why Penelope Blair would move to Fruita from New Mexico since she hates livestock so much. Western Colorado has lots of cattle and sheep. She maintains that cattle don’t belong on the North American continent. I’m sure God would disagree with her and people who like to eat meat and wear leather etc. would also disagree highly.

She came up here and decides Colorado needs wolves but she won’t find many people that do. I have my doubts that she has ever seen a wolf. New Mexico found out they needed to control the numbers of the packs as well as Idaho, Montana and Wyoming for the simple reason they were over killing the elk and deer herds. We already have too many bears and lions as it is.

I would hope Miss Blaire doesn’t eat beef or wear leather. She can have her ideas as much as anyone but she is so wrong on so many fronts and doesn’t belong in sheep and cattle country.

JOHN A. HOTCHKISS
Hotchkiss

Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof say nothing at all about invocations

The atheists and free thinkers do not reflect, nor do they possess, the U.S. Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof. The Constitution says nothing at all about the display of the foundation of our law and society (The Ten Commandments) or any other Christian symbol on display. The Constitution and laws made in pursuance thereof say nothing at all about invocations. The precedent for a Christian praying/inviting God’s favor predates the Declaration of Independence by two years. And note: Benjamin Franklin, whom many today think was as hostile toward Christianity as they are, cited the authority of the “Sacred Writings” a half dozen times when he called for prayer. Our public schools no longer teach American history and militate against our foundation as a Christian nation, so it’s no wonder so many no longer understand our Constitution.

“America was born a Christian nation…” Woodrow Wilson, Denver 1911.

I can never agree with those who claim the name, but reject our history.

ROBERT BURKHOLDER

Fruita


COMMENTS

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Mr. Dickey seems unaware that the 14th Amendment extended the restrictions placed on the Federal Government to lower levels of government as well. Thus, the states are not “free to create an official state religion”, at least not after 1868. So the First Amendment applies equally to Congress, state governments, county commissioners and city councils. The Constitution is not hard to understand. Just don’t forget to read all of it.

Mr. Burkholder,

How many of the Ten Commandments are encoded in our legal system?

Answer: Two. The prohibitions against stealing and killing, which are hardly unique to Christianity. Half credit for lying, which is illegal when under oath, but not in general. Three of them, (no other gods, no graven images, and the Sabbath) are specifically against the First Amendment. The others are good ideas, but not codified in our laws.

So more of the Ten Commandments are against our laws than are in accordance with them, and nearly half of them are not codified at all (in fairness, laws against adultery did exist but are largely ignored today). How does that equate to the Ten Commandments being foundational in any way?

Ms. Jansky, you are right as far as you go. Unfortunately there are others who claim that theirs is the only true religion and everything should take that into consideration, including matters of government.  There is absolutely nothing in the constitution that says that we should be tolerant while others speak to a religion not of one’s own in a local council meeting. That’s why religion has to be totally absent in anything having to do with government.

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