Email letters, June 11, 2012
San Jac president lauds GJ, JUCO, apologizes for two players’ behavior
I love Grand Junction for its blue skies, dramatic vistas and wonderful people. Grand Junction represents the greatness of these United States -– a volunteer spirit, a code of service and a sense of community. Those who host the Junior College World Series are among the best I have encountered anywhere. Thank you to the friendly people I met in convenience stores, the staff at our hotels and restaurants, the Rotarians who hosted us and so many more.
As president of San Jacinto College North, I have traveled to Grand Junction three times, in 2009, 2010 and 2012. I come for the baseball and the sense of community that is such a part of JUCO week.
At the close of the World Series, two San Jac North baseball players behaved in a way that is inexcusable. Coach Arrington and I have sent apologies to JUCO and NJCAA officials, and I use this forum to apologize to the citizens of Grand Junction and JUCO fans.
The hasty actions of two players immediately following the final game reflected terribly on our team, our coaches and our college. Such behavior does not represent the character of our team or the values that define San Jacinto College.
At the end of each year, I ask our players what they learned from their coaches. This year answers included: “the importance of believing,” “to leave it all on the field,” “how to make good decisions,” “the value of hard work” and “to pursue in life, to grow as men and to enjoy the game.”
One player tweeted during the fireworks on Memorial Day, “Today was the best day of my life.” For the rest of their lives, our 26 young men will recall their 10 days in Grand Junction. Thank you for your hospitality.
DR. ALLATIA HARRIS
GOP votes for DoD labor agreements, against fair wages for women
This is a little out of character for me, but I find it necessary to give credit to a few Republicans. Last week Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., offered an amendment to a military construction bill to allow the Department of Defense to use project labor agreements on federal construction projects.
These agreements ensure that every employee has access to a fair wage, health care and pension benefits so that he or she can support a family.
A total of 32 Republicans voted for this amendment. Unfortunately, none of them were named Tipton or any other from Colorado.
Republican senators are still voting against women. This week they voted in block against the Paycheck Fairness Act, thereby stopping the bill from moving forward.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would deter wage discrimination, particularly against women, by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their own wages to coworkers. Without this bill, employers can penalize and even fire employees for talking about their salaries.
Homeless population deserves dignified treatment by community members
With reference to your editorial of June 8, “Coping with camps on the Colorado River,” I agree that the Grand Junction Police Department and city officials who are interested in solving the problem should be supported.
The Homeless Outreach Team has earned respect and a good reputation from both service providers and the homeless population of Grand Junction. It’s a shame that the GJPD has received “substantial” criticism for “establishing a task force” to work with this disadvantaged group.
It has been stated that “many citizens” of Grand Junction have made it “clear” that they want to get rid of the disenfranchised and marginalized people who have nowhere else to retreat and sleep but on the riverbank.
Why does this group of citizens have more clout than the people who have made it “clear” that the problem of homelessness needs to be addressed at a systemic and foundational level, that options need to be offered before a wholesale sweep occurs?
The reply is that we must enforce the law, of course. Why is such an ordinance made? Who makes that decision? Nobody provides a reason supported by justice.
There needs to be a dialogue regarding the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness that was recently developed. Cities and counties, if at all humane, must provide alternatives and must allow dignity. The problem will not disappear because we don’t want it.
Three days to clear out is ample time to do what?
Union workers enjoy better wages, benefits, working conditions than others
There you go again. Penry is whining again. The poor right-wingers.
Justman doesn’t look like a politician; he doesn’t look like a leader either. Ken Henry looks like a leader because he leads. He is doing the right thing by making it a priority to give county workers a much deserved pay raise; that’s leadership.
How the working-class Republicans can be so easily hoodwinked by the 1%ers never fails to amaze me. The reason government workers in Wisconsin have had the wages and benefits they’ve had is because they organized and collectively bargained for them.
Instead of siding with the 1% to drag those workers down to the level of the unorganized, you should be organizing and fighting to raise the wages, benefits and working conditions that are dictated by the 1%. Check the Department of Labor statistics and you will find that workers who are organized collectively bargain better wages, benefits and working conditions than the rest.
I don’t know what experience Penry has to reach his conclusions. All I see on his resume is that he graduated from high school and Mesa State and fed at the public trough for a while.
Most of Justman’s campaign contributions come from spouse
In Saturday’s paper the Sentinel reported John Justman’s contribution totals, to date, with none of the “source of contributions” context they seemingly felt compelled to include for Ken Henry and other candidates.
According to the report Justman filed with the Secretary of State, of the nearly $22,000 he has “raised” so far $13,400 has come from his own household (wife). Hmmm, that might be worth noting.
More to the point, since the county assembly held in late March, almost 80% of Justman’s contributions have come from the same source, his wife.
Don’t be fooled by this misleading headline—the fact that Justman has raised such a modest amount of money (from people other than his wife) tells us the real story, and it’s just a bit outrageous that the Sentinel chose not to tell it.
Barbara and Garry Brewer leading lights in community
For the last six years, I have had the privilege of working for Barbara Brewer in the Mesa County assessor’s office. In that time, I’ve come to know both Barb and her husband Garry. Both are generous, kind and compassionate individuals who, while not waving their faith like a flag, live it in a way that is both inspirational and motivating.
Barbara is the ideal boss — fair and firm, fiercely protective of her “people,” and equally protective of each individual within her organization. She is also the best assessor Mesa County could ask for: committed to accurate and equalized valuations; expecting the best from her people and doing all she can to facilitate that level of performance in any way possible.
Garry Brewer is cut from the same cloth: thoughtful, considerate and gentle as a lamb. Garry and I happen to share a love of history, which is to say he masters the field while I stumble along in awe of his skill and understanding and yet he makes me feel like a fellow traveler on history’s path rather than a straggler. He is a large man, but when you are in his presence, that is not the impression he leaves you with -— he makes you feel as if you are the most important person in the room at that moment.
That any member of our community could think ill of Barb or Garry or could use the horrid phrases Hunsinger used to describe Garry strikes me as incongruous to the character of the man I have come to know over the past few years. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Garry is friendly by nature; he offers a hand to anyone whom he comes across, drawing that individual into his “embrace.” Is it possible his gesture was misinterpreted as aggressive by an individual who obviously harbors an intense dislike of Garry Brewer and his leadership in local party politics?
Nonetheless, I want to firmly stand on the record saying that the Brewers are most certainly among the finest people in our community. We, the citizens of Mesa County, Republican, Democrat, Constitution Party, Greens, Libertarians, Unaffiliated are indeed blessed to have such wonderful individuals amongst us.
I know I am grateful.
Hold the sugar, calories in ‘free lunch’
We’ve all heard the phrase, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” (TANSSTAAFL). President Obama, however, wants to give all of us a “free lunch” without calories or sugar.