Email letters, February 12, 2014

Monument too small, too close to urban area for park status

We are again bombarded with pleas from the local economic development crowd to change the Colorado National Monument to park status. It seems economic development is the only argument to be made for the change. Calling a frog a puppy, just because more people like puppies, does not make it so.

A quick search of the 58 national parks shows only three smaller than the monument’s 20,000 acres. They are Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Hot Springs national parks.

The two former are limited by their island locations; the latter was probably declared for economic reasons. On a cross-country trip a few years ago, my family made a 100-mile detour to visit the great Hot Springs National Park. Never in our visits to dozens of Park Service areas (monuments and parks) have we been so disappointed.

The urbanized area of the Grand Valley is visible from all of the viewpoints along Rim Rock Drive. Only for a few miles in the interior canyons can one escape views of Rim Rock Drive or the urbanized valley. The Colorado National Monument is a great resource and well worth visiting, but it does not deserve park status.

A name change would also be required since “Colorado National Park” would be somewhat misleading, implying a broader inclusion of Colorado’s ecosystem types.

How about changing the name to “Colorado Canyons National Monument”? This would be more descriptive to potential visitors, clearing up confusion for those looking for a statue or concrete monument, while not overstating the experience.

Grand Junction

Country should not be run by executive fiat

It does not matter whether one supports or is against the current administration, we cannot allow anyone, including the president, to run this country by executive fiat.

When will anyone, liberal, conservative or libertarian, have enough guts to challenge these constant violations of the Constitution? Wake up, people!

Grand Junction

Justman wants to remain neutral in county race

Last Friday night County Commissioner John Justman and his wife, Frances, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I worked with the Justmans for several weeks coordinating their special event. The party was by “invitation only” for family and friends.

We made the difficult decision to omit all of the announced candidates for the open county commissioner seat from the guest list. Justman feels that it is important to remain neutral, especially prior to a primary.

That said, it was very upsetting when Scott McInnis arrived uninvited at the party. His presence made the Justmans uncomfortable. When he arrived, I approached him and explained why he hadn’t been invited and that I hoped he understood. He said he did. Rather than quietly exiting, however, he continued to “work the room” for another 45 minutes until I again appealed to his sense of good manners.

Obviously, McInnis was unwilling to let proper etiquette get in the way of a good campaign opportunity.

It is important that all Mesa County voters know that Justman remains neutral in the race for the county commissioner’s seat being vacated by Steve Acquafresca and that McInnis’ presence at the Justmans’ private anniversary celebration in no way signals favoritism toward or endorsement of McInnis.


Patrol’s confiscation of cash at car stop seems like highway robbery

Regarding the Feb. 11 article about the seizure of cash by Colorado State Patrol from travelers on Interstate 70, we should view this as a terribly frightening event.

The travelers were stripped of a large amount of money simply on suspicion of drug trafficking. No drugs were found in the vehicle, and the people were sent on their way with a warning.

The money will go to law enforcement to buy more equipment and hire more officers for more patrols and more car stops. This sort of law enforcement is a slippery slope and could become addictive.

If these travelers were guilty of drug running, why weren’t they arrested? Without evidence, why was their money confiscated? If the money were legally theirs, is there a mechanism for the travelers to get it back? Is it OK to take people’s money just because they have a lot of it?

Who’s next? You or me because we look suspicious? Would we be jailed if we refused to hand over our money? Where is due process — the rule of law?

This car stop appears a bit like highway robbery to me.

Grand Junction

Remember what American flag stands for and how to treat it properly

Flag etiquette is something I take to heart. My father, husband, son-in-law and soon my daughter, have or are serving in the military. I don’t think many people take the meaning and the respect of the United States flag seriously.

But I see this kind of disrespect of the United States flag throughout our town. This flag is at a church in Fruita. I have called and asked many time for church personnel to take it down. They did for a few days and then put it back up. Maybe we all need a reminder of what the flag stands for and the proper way to take care of it.

Federal law stipulates many aspects of flag etiquette. The section of law dealing with American flag etiquette is generally referred to as the Flag Code. Some general guidelines from the Flag Code answer many common questions:

• The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.

• The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.

• The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.

• The flag should not be used for any general decoration. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.

• The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.

• The flag should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use.

• The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniforms of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations.

• The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure or drawing of any kind placed on it or attached to it.

• The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything.

• When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. When the flag is stored, it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

• The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

• When a flag is so worn that it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.


Has Ferrandino created jobs like Enstrom Candies has?

Mark Ferrandino didn’t badmouth Enstrom Candies because of the toffee; his agenda is political. Rick Enstrom ran for the legislature on the opposite party ticket.

In a similar manner, if you don’t like pickles, you don’t trash a particular pickle company.

My question for Ferrandino is: How many jobs has he created in his community? Enstrom Candies has built a beautiful facility and provides locally made products in Grand Junction. It employs local people, full-time, part-time and seasonally. It is a good community neighbor that is involved in many areas of need in our area.

I am not personally connected to Enstrom Candies in any way. I just respect what it has done and continues to do in our community.

Grand Junction


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Linda Deaton’s comments about Scott McInnis tell us all we need to know about him. Thank you, Linda. Let’s hope he doesn’t become county commissioner.

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