Email letters, January 21, 2013

U.S. citizens enjoy more freedom than ever before

I am writing in response to Robert Burkholder’s letter in which he writes “When we were governed by God, we had no need for threat of force or for ever-increasing government regulation and threat of the bayonet.”

And just when would that have been? Before Earth was created? Or when dinosaurs were eating dinosaurs? Maybe when men were being crucified for stealing or during the Inquisition when men were tortured for not being Christian enough. Perhaps it was in the early days of our country when Puritans put men into stocks for spitting and burned women at the stake for being witches. Or even in this century when men of faith put on white sheets and lynched men whose skin was a different color.

God is. Now. In everyone and everything forever.

We have never as a people and as a country enjoyed more freedom than we do now. We can live wherever we want to, our education is paid for, we can practice or not practice any religion we choose, we can work if we have the skill and education at whatever we choose, we can vote for the people who govern us, we are free to gather together and disagree, we can drink, dance and in this state even smoke a joint. Yes, we are free even to buy a submachine gun.

And finally, we as a people deserve both our liberty and security.

MARTHA BARRETT SCOTT
Grand Junction

Solving Delta’s County’s homeless problem will take major effort

We are halfway through our third season of sheltering and feeding those in need in Delta County at The Abraham Connection/Delta County Homeless Shelter. Partly because we are becoming better known and partly because people continue to struggle to make ends meet, we find ourselves poised to surpass last season’s numbers. Last season, we served 91 people, provided 679 bed nights, and served more than 1,117 meals. Months away from our closing date of April 30, we have provided nearly 450 bed nights already. The need is very much prevalent for a permanent homeless shelter and day treatment center, where we can tackle the issues causing homelessness to begin with and help people get back onto their feet.

Many in the community have donated, and donated very generously, to our organization to assist us in purchasing our own building. In October, we launched a massive fundraising campaign for a new building. We sought private donations and wrote several grants. We are happy to report that we have a little more than $70,000 in the bank. Our goal is to raise another $30,000 and seek $100,000 in grants to purchase our own building. At this time, we have no specific location in mind. We simply continue to fundraise and know that when the time is right for us to have a “home of our own,” the pieces will fall into place.

To each and every one of you who gave to our building campaign, and to those who continue to give financially or with your time to the operations of the shelter, thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. We are grateful for those in our community who recognize the need and who are willing to step up and help address the issue of homeless and hungry Delta County residents.

Lastly, we would like to say that “solving” the problem of homelessness in Delta County will take a major, countywide effort. It will take educators to teach our guests job skills. It will take employers to step up and hire our guests. It will take massive mental health services. It will take health and human services personnel helping our guests to get into public housing, apply for Social Security or apply for public benefits. We provide the immediate needs of a warm meal and a warm, safe bed for the night, but our guests need so much more to become self-sufficient once again. We have been blessed to have a supportive core group behind us that offers these services as it can, but it will take all of us working together to create lasting results in the lives of our guests.

If at anytime you have questions, comments or concerns about our operation, would like more information, or want to know how you can get involved, don’t hesitate to call us at 773-8290.

CHERYL OELTJENBRUNS
KAMI COLLINS
ED OELTJENBRUNS
AARON CLAY
FATHER TOM SEIBERT
PASTOR KENNY PETTIS
RAY SMITH
DARLA VOLGAMORE
KATHI BLEDSOE
DICK KIRKPATRICK

Board of Directors, The Abraham Connection/Delta County Homeless Shelter
Delta

Brady Trucking deserves to retain its orderly, responsible operation

Last summer the battle of Brady Trucking versus the City of Grand Junction came to a brief head, and it was decided to leave the whole matter to a springtime ballot issue.

When the hoopla died down, and I was foolishly involving myself with local issues instead of politically posturing, I had a nice visit with a V.P. of Brady in his office. Here is what I learned.

The company’s truck yard was neat, orderly and quiet. I was shown the old rendering plant that Brady cleaned up. Brady also offered to help build a kayak boat launch on its own land with an adjoining parking lot for recreationalists. Brady offered to landscape the area and maintain it also.

The city, under the veil of Agenda 21, wants to push Brady away by rezoning and stealing Brady’s land for a gazebo off Riverside Parkway, less than a half mile from the Butterfly Museum that has open space and a existing pavilion. The city needs to promote that space for outdoor use.

What I can see is a prosperous and responsible business expanding on its own land and doing a clean job of it. Riverside renovation is a good idea AND Brady Trucking should be allowed to use its own land for what it wants.

TIM MENGER
Whitewater



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