Email Letters: January 9, 2017

Mesa County should commit to having an advocate for every child

As we head into a new year, I am dedicating Mesa County to a very simple goal: by the end of 2017 we will help change the world for every abused or neglected child. I invite you to join me in this effort.

This is no pie-in-the-sky idea. It is a goal we can reach. There is no need to invent a new technology because we already know what works; put a qualified, compassionate adult (CASA Volunteer) into the life of an abused child to fight for and protect the child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in a loving family. As a member of the Board of Directors, I know this is a model that works.

I believe – and I hope you agree – that all children in foster care should have a caring adult advocating on their behalf. Every child should have someone whose full attention is focused on that child’s needs and who can help the system provide the right kind of support. Many compassionate and caring professionals – judges, lawyers, and social workers – work within Mesa County child protection systems. However they have many balls in the air, many interests to balance, and often other considerations, which prohibit them from being able to spend time with each child or observe the child in their own environment. A CASA is the eyes and ears for the court.

I am very proud of the fact that in 2016 CASA volunteers served as the voice of these children in court, helping 275 children. But here’s the thing: not every victim of child abuse has a CASA advocate. We have 45 kids on a wait list, and we can do better.

Please join me in making a commitment to all those young people. Through your volunteer time or financial support, you can be one of the compassionate, caring voices lifting these children up. Together, we will change the world for every abused and neglected child in Mesa County. And we will change the future for their children and generations to come.

May your New Year’s resolution be to make a difference. To learn more, attend the next CASA Volunteer Information Night, Thursday, January 26th at 5:30 pm. To register, or to donate to CASA of Mesa County, go to Start making a difference today!

District Attorney
Twenty-first Judicial District

Penal system seems to think the guilty have more rights than taxpayers

Aren’t we stretching this thing of violating a person’s rights just a bit when we have to call the man who did the shooting in Florida the “alleged” shooter? Those whom he shot are not allegedly dead or wounded. They were definitely shot by him, and the video and eyewitnesses vouch for that. He is also not the suspect. He is the shooter, and the media should be able to address him as such. He surrendered his rights when he started pulling the trigger.

By the way, the people of California got taken to the cleaners when they paid for the convicted killer to get a sex change while in prison. It is evident that our penal system feels that the guilty have more rights than those who pay taxes.


Grand Junction

If RNC had been hacked and Hillary won, Trump wouldn’t let it go

Hmmm….now if “someone” had hacked the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, and Kellyanne Conway and then Hillary had “happened” to win, what would Trump be saying? “No big deal, just let it go, let’s move on?” I don’t think so.

Putting the shoe on the other foot can clarify things.

Grand Junction

The truth about climate change has been undermined and obscured

In the words of Lily Tomlin, “Lady, I do not make up things. That is lies. Lies are not true. But the truth could be made up if you know how. And that’s the truth.” The science about fossil fuel use and its relationship to climate change has been with us since the 1950s and was clearly evidenced by 1985. Our chamber of commerce lives with the past values of energy and reflects the blind values of disaster capitalists who appear determined to undermine our agriculture, our water and our children’s health, prosperity and safety. No matter how safe the process is to extract fossil fuels, we are over budget with our use, and in the perfect position to invest otherwise. We just have too many other examples of communities who have gone green and demonstrate the benefits of doing so. We may soon recognize that local affordable food is our most valued resource.

There are many ways to undermine and obscure the truth about climate change. Consider the recent passage of the House rules by Congress that will revive the Holman rule. This effectively will allow any lawmaker the power to eliminate a government salary of any federal employee who appears to differ with their truth. Your Republican representatives voted for this, much like they voted to have no ethics oversight. This makes it much easier to make up the truth and discipline those who don’t buy the company line.

Grand Junction

Republican legislation is flying fast and furiously now

Republican legislation is flying fast and furiously now. I feel compelled to tell a story I learned from the Colorado Transportation Commission in 2008 on an information junket to Grand Junction. In 2004, the Republican trifecta in Washington had been hoping to privatize Social Security but were stopped by Democrats. Casting about for another big pot of money to sack, they came upon the 1950 Federal Transportation Trust Fund that had built the interstate system and was paying out $500 million to each state yearly for maintenance. They quickly changed the rules for how it could be invested and spent. They privatized it. By 2008 the fund was insolvent. CDOT was struggling to fund their snow plowing of the heavy snows. We pressed through faster the $35 per license plate fee to make up half of the revenue and Obama’s $800 billion ARRA stimulus helped balance the loss.


Those who ventured out to recent GJSO pops performance were well rewarded

You know the saying “not fit for man or beast?” Despite the weather, the hundreds who ventured out last Saturday evening were well rewarded with an enjoyable night of music at the Avalon Theatre’s sold-out performance by the Grand Junction Pops Orchestra honoring composer John William’s: Maestro of the Movies.

GJSO’s amazing new conductor, Charles Latshaw took us down memory lane with soundtracks by John Williams from Superman, The Cowboys and E.T. We shed tears listening to the violin’s soulful sound to Schindler’s List, and were spirited off to adventure with the night’s finale, a rousing offering of the Star Wars Suite. And that was just a sampling of the evening’s performances.

Real live Clone Troopers stood at attention keeping a keen eye on the audience. During intermission, the audience participated in voting for the “Best Costumed Character” as members of the orchestra were dressed not in ties or tails but as Superman, Princess Leia, Indiana Jones, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and, taking first place, a Jawas.

For those who’ve never attended a GJSO performance or any symphony performance you’re missing out on one of life’s pleasures. Grand Junction is very fortunate to have some of the most talented musicians this side of the Mississippi. Forget the daunting drive to Denver or Salt Lake City for culture, you have it right here in the Grand Valley with our amazing Symphony Orchestra.

Charles Latshaw, GJSO’s new Maestro and Music Director has brought to our valley energy to burn, he conducts with so much gusto it’s difficult for him to contain himself on the podium; then can become overwhelmed with emotions beautiful music brings to the soul.

Forget stuffy, uptight, overdressed, boring, or “it’s not my style.” Everyone can enjoy GJSO’s music because it brings out all styles. There is no dress code; you’ll see jeans and tennis shoes to high heels and ties.

If you attend just one performance of GJSO playing the classics or pops, you’ll be hooked for life.


It’s disappointing that Tipton supports public lands exchange

I am a lifelong hunter, angler, Veteran, 40-year resident of Colorado and a lifetime member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. I would like to express my disappointment at Rep. Scott Tipton assisting and approving the passage of the legislative measure brought forth by Utah Congressman Bishop to ease the transfer of America’s and Colorado’s public lands to state control. We, the citizens of Colorado cannot afford this financial burden, and in the words of Colorado Governor Hickenlooper, “Shifting the burden of maintaining and protecting those lands to the state would be expensive and irresponsible.”

I have hunted and fished near Craig, Salida, Burlington, Grand Junction and Aspen, Colorado, helping fund Colorado’s $17.4 billion outdoor economy. I have met and been checked by CPW/BLM employees, once. In preparing to hunt these areas, an individual must look over/scout these areas many times. I have never encountered a road grader or crew repairing these roads. Somehow the state of Colorado will now have funds to employ more people to manage the lands better?

I read this morning on Tipton’s Facebook page 47 comments concerning the public lands exchange. I did not see a single one thank you for representing the interests of the residents of Colorado. Idaho has sold over 13,900 acres every year since statehood, to make some professional politician look good, not to represent his/her constituents.

Unfortunately, with Tipton’s help we are heading down that path.


Unless we’re investing in climate solutions, we’re investing in the portfolio of the past

“Oil and gas chief hopes for review by new president” (Jan. 4) underscores the fact that extractive industries want us to go “Back to the Future” and return to dependence on the fossil fuels that are dangerously warming the planet.

As your reporting notes, the head of the American Petroleum Institute said, “he’s hoping that during President-elect Trump’s first 100 days in office his administration will rethink unneeded regulations of the oil and gas industry and make decisions to approve pipelines and other infrastructure.”

States, cities and individual investors that continue to sink money into the polluting fossil fuel industry are simply pouring money into last century’s power plan. Smart investors know that unless you’re investing in climate solutions, you’re investing in the portfolio of the past. Lobbying for deregulation of an already heavily subsidized industry runs contrary to “tak(ing) a market-based approach that benefits energy consumers.”

Right now, far too many Colorado families are living with the consequences that the failure to take action on climate change has created. The good news, though, is that clean, affordable renewables have the potential to bring people from all economic backgrounds much-needed, high-paying clean energy jobs, while protecting the state from the increasing human health and financial costs of climate change and extreme weather.

With all due respect to Mr. Gerard and oil patch workers everywhere, the market is speaking loud and clear. The number of U.S. jobs in solar energy overtook those in oil and natural gas extraction in 2015, helping drive a global surge in employment in the clean-energy business as fossil-fuel companies faltered.

Employment in the U.S. solar business grew 12 times faster than overall job creation.

It’s time to switch horses.

Newton, Mass.

Recent letter writer condescended to pass on knowledge to those who apparently know nothing

Bill Hugenberg, in a letter printed on Jan. 6 (Millennials will be getting what they deserve) has passed on some of his vast “knowledge” to those of us who don’t know (in his mind, anyway) what is going on.

I think his thrust was decrying the intrusion of religion in politics. This “intrusion” appears to be the use of the word God. Such as “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, the U.S. motto “In God we trust,” and so on.

He goes on to rail about Ayn Rand’s economic policies, and mentions Gov. John Kasich’s reference to the New Testament.

The word God will be around longer than Hugenberg will be. He makes me recall the quote, “People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”


Grand Junction


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Well, Mr. Bricker. Neither of those examples existed until the 1950’s. Seems like the country got along pretty well before that.

In fact, conservatives often bemoan how our society has declined since the 1950’s. Could it be that putting “God” in there had the opposite effect of what you believe?

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