Email letters, July 23, 2013

Victim continues to feel victimized

OK, splain it to me, Lucy!

Can someone please tell me why a group of domestic violence avengers would continue to publicize the events of the victim’s abuse on a website claiming to be fighting for the greater good for all victims and why those same people would use the physical results of that event (i.e. black eye and duct tape) to somehow minimize or mock the victim to make a political statement?

As one of the victims of that event, I find it offensive and disheartening that they would continue to victimize my children and me by using the events of our lives to gain some footing politically. Why not instead of providing videos of their five minutes of fame standing before the podium at city council bullying the bully and posting the all-too-public police affidavit, they provide domestic violence links for victims and abusers and statistics on domestic violence in Mesa County which include how many of those abusers are school teachers, police officers, ministers, etc., so that we can make an example out of those folks, as well.

How about we go after everyone who has ever been somehow taken to the edge and fallen off and protest against them. Let’s take their job and their right to attempt to have some sense of normalcy amidst trying to rebuild their lives while discovering and coping with the fact that they crossed a line.

Let’s put them in jail and let them admit their guilt in a court of law and pay the legal piper. Then let us repeatedly tell them what horrible members of society they are and how they are worthless members of our societal structure.

Let us take everything away from them, and then let’s see what else we can take from them, no matter who we have to use and exploit to do it. Let us throw those we started out defending under the bus, so that we can gain some political notoriety and fame as domestic violence victims standing up for what is right.

Let us pick out one couple, neither perfect, neither who have it all right but human nevertheless, imperfect as you, and rake them over the coals, undermining the efforts they are putting fort to move forward with their lives in positive ways.

Has anyone of you ever made a mistake, big or small, and made sure that you took the steps to never make that mistake again? Ever had someone take the deepest darkest part of you and plaster it on a website for political gain?

Why hasn’t anyone asked, “Hey, how is counseling going?  What did you learn from completing community service? What have you learned about yourself and your relationship that could somehow benefit our community which is has such high domestic violence cases?”

Wouldn’t it be a great world to live in where we just tie the abusers to the stake and burn them like witches? Welcome to Salem, folks! Or wouldn’t it be better to attempt to rehabilitate and educate the abusers that live in Mesa County (i.e. mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, etc).

This world is full of people from very diverse backgrounds, with different skill sets and different life experiences that predispose each of us to react in situations uniquely from one another.

Two people were in that bedroom that night when everything fell apart. Those same two people with the help of counseling and the support of their families and friends are trying to put their lives back together with new understanding, skill sets and resources to get it right.

I have seen so many positive things that have resulted from that night, both within me and within Rick despite those who have continually stood by with their stones in hand.

In closing, I would just like to say for those of you throwing stones, remember John 7. Then ask yourselves the question.


Chamber must value ideas of its entire membership

For the past year I have seen letters to the editor and heard “over the fence” conversations about our chamber, so I appreciated Sunday’s article pointing out concerns many citizens of Grand Junction have with our local chamber of commerce.

Throughout the article Diane Schwenke reiterated that the chamber’s political interests are focused solely on what is best for business. If this is the truth, either I missed the circus-animal caricatures with faces of members from the Republican Party or didn’t understand the innuendos about the direction our nation was taking at their last annual banquet.

As your article pointed out, it is important for any chamber of commerce to value ideas and opinions of their entire membership. This is blatantly not being practiced by our local chamber.

As a result, the chamber is losing established members, developing a backlash that has formed a boycott of current members and now has a new chamber group picking up business members on which they have turned their back. Like the child who is scolded when he or she is caught sneaking cookies and is only upset because of being caught, Schwenke says her only wish was that they could have started their efforts sooner.

Just as the chamber’s actions don’t reflect their members’ interests, in justifying her lobbying for the video lottery casino, Schwenke basically said she didn’t care what the citizens of Grand Junction thought either.

It’s too bad our local chamber never approached Rock Cesario to join. I enjoy his articles and appreciate his belief that as a business owner one has to stay neutral when behind the counter.

Our chamber is not doing this, and, as your article pointed out, its actions are no longer centered on creating a healthy business climate, but one at odds with many within our community.


Grand Junction

Sen. Bennet’s office no longer accepts faxed correspondence

On the morning of July 22 I wrote a letter to each of my senators, Sen. Mark Udall and Sen. Michael Bennet. I elected to fax the letter to both senators.  My fax to Udall went through immediately. When I attempted to fax Bennet, my fax machine received a recording that the fax number I have used the whole time Bennet has been in office had been either disconnected or was out of service. I unsuccessfully tried to send the fax several more times throughout the morning.

I called Bennet’s Washington D.C. office to tell them their fax number was not working properly. I was told that Bennet’s office does not use fax – if I wanted to correspond I was limited to mail, e-mail or telephone.

Just a few of the reasons I elect to fax to Bennet and other members of Congress are:

• The U.S. Postal Service delays for inspection U.S. mail to federal elected officials. Timely correspondence via U.S. mail is impossible.

• Electronic mail is restricted in that no supporting documentation can be attached.

• Electronic mail (to Bennet’s office) is required to be tagged with one of 30 predefined “issue” categories, none of which ever describe the issue of note – see closing below.

• Phone contact is troubling in that it is difficult, if not impossible, to convey any organized presentation of facts and/or questions of any detail in depth with any hope of having the detailed communication go beyond an initial telephone contact. There is no record or audit trail of a phone call without recording the complete call – which requires adequate equipment to do so – much less probably is illegal according to some unknown government regulation.

I called Bennet’s office to tell them their fax line was not working. I was told they don’t have a fax. I have faxed many, many letters to Bennet – the last sent July 15, just one week ago.

I asked how we constituents are expected to communicate in a very timely fashion while providing supporting documentation and maintaining an audit trail for future reference – the way concerned groups communicate about issues of importance.

When I asked who made the decision to do away with fax communications, I was told it was an “office decision.” That makes it easy to place a complaint to those that render decisions around Bennet’s office.

I find the fact that one of my senators closes off the most timely, comprehensive method of constituents corresponding with them very troubling.

At least Udall still has a working fax – as does my representative, Scott Tipton.

If you think being able to correspond with your senator may be important, write, email or call Bennet’s office and tell its staff members so. But don’t try to fax them.

And if you e-mail, have fun picking an issue category.  “Telecommunications”? “Science/Technology”? “Civil Rights”?


Zimmerman must try to amend immature bravado in the future

Remember when John Wayne scorned anyone who shot first and asked questions later? I wonder when that aspect of human ideal changed. No one has mentioned that Trayvon Martin was standing his ground and defending himself, without a gun, when he was killed.  George Zimmerman, of course, is no John Wayne. Who is? But then hero worship grows from fiction.

It’s a tragic story about young fearful men.  I keep thinking that General Russel Honore of Katrina fame, had he been the neighborhood watchman, would’ve simply walked up to Martin, introduced himself, explained that Martin was unfamiliar and then shook hands and sent the boy on his way.

But we no longer assume friendliness.  Even a wannabe cop would not approach anyone walking there on a dark night. But, hey, he had a gun, and he didn’t have to follow professional police advice and stay in the car.  Zimmerman, the poster boy for not-smart-enough-to-handle-a-gun, holstered his manhood in his pocket and proceeded to stalk and finally antagonize innocence.

Young men, whose brains don’t mature until close to 30 years old, tend to react rather than think and both of them did. 

It’s a pretty safe bet that if Zimmerman hadn’t had the gun, he would’ve never stepped out of his car. Hopefully, he has enough conscience to forever remember his mistake and at least try to amend his immature bravado in the future.

Grand Junction

Rowland unclear on history of OM pool, double taxation

I’ve been a friend and supporter of Janet Rowland for many years, but I must disagree with her opinion piece defending Mesa County for abandoning its obligations to the Orchard Mesa pool.

Rowland is dead wrong for two reasons. She doesn’t know the history of the pool, and she’s unfamiliar with double taxation.

First, the history. When Mesa County asked voters to increase the sales tax in 1981, one of its campaign promises was to build a recreation facility on Orchard Mesa. But after Black Sunday in 1982, when sales tax revenue dropped dramatically, Mesa County asked (pleaded with) the city to build its new indoor pool on Orchard Mesa.

The county wanted to partner with the project, because they reasoned that half of a pool would “fulfill” their obligation to Orchard Mesa. The city agreed to the partnership.

Obviously, had the city chosen the location of the new pool, it would have been more centrally located. And it certainly would have been built inside the city limits, rather than well outside the city’s boundaries.

Blaming the county staff from 30 years ago, as Janet does, is disingenuous. The commissioners, with full and clear intent, made the decision.

Second, double taxation. It’s a concept people don’t talk about these days, but something I brought up frequently when I served on the City Council.

Sometimes people, particularly those in Mesa County government, view the city as a separate universe. But as I had to explain repeatedly years ago, city residents are also county residents. They pay all the same county taxes everyone else does, plus city taxes.

So, when someone suggests the cost of something be split between the city and the county, city residents pay twice   first with their city taxes and second with their county taxes. Hence, double taxation.

Rowland’s example of the transit system is perfect. The city pays tax revenue to the county for the service, but gets nothing in return. Is the service Grand Valley Transit provides city residents any different than that provided everyone else? Not a bit. Same fare, same schedule, same everything.

Why should any city (including Fruita or Palisade) pay extra for a service that non-city residents get from the county already? It’s double taxation, and it’s wrong.

Mesa County has already badly damaged its credibility from its TABOR illegalities and other creative bookkeeping. But after the county has thumbed its nose at an entire neighborhood (Orchard Mesa) and a clear contractual obligation with the city, what entity (city, state, federal or even private business) will ever trust Mesa County’s signature on a future contract?

Mesa County is just wrong on this issue, and it should be embarrassed.


Former Mayor
Grand Junction

Brainard right to resign, wrong in his recall remarks

I thank Rick Brainard for resigning. Contrary to his feelings, it was the right thing.

However, while reading his remarks concerning the people who supported his recall, this comment leapt off the page: “Regarding citizens who wanted to recall him: “You are welcome. But be perfectly clear…”

It brought to mind another politician who also left in disgrace: “Let me make this perfectly clear, I am not a crook.” Good riddance to the both of them.

Grand Junction



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Nice try Cindy, but too late.  Mr. Brainard can’t hide behind you anymore.

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