Email letters, Nov. 22, 2011

Funding for resource officers should be local

In a Nov. 22 editorial, The Daily Sentinel reports that the Sheriff’s Department did not get a federal grant to allow for placing three deputies in local schools as resource officers. The editorial makes a good case for the importance of resource officers in the schools. Here’s a novel idea: why not also make a case for local citizens paying for those officers?
In many various articles over the years, it has been acknowledged that one of the things that would attract businesses and industries to the valley to provide both jobs and diversification is a strong education system generating well educated potential employees. If resource officers add to a better atmosphere in our schools and add to the quality of local education, regardless of how small that contribution might be, then it would seem to be of benefit primarily to local citizens. Why look to the federal government and all of the citizens of the country to provide for something of proven benefit to our local education system?
In this land of self-reliance, personal responsibility, local control and pride in demanding minimal government, why are we going to the federal government for something so clearly benefitting local citizens and the improvement, potentially, of the attractiveness to potential new sources of jobs? How seriously committed are we to that concept? We turn down additional, critical funding for our school system and we can’t even provide resource officers in our schools to protect our kids and generate good feelings for law enforcement in our future employment seekers? Is a local university with a strong athletic emphasis going to be our educational magnet for new businesses moving in? Really? Maybe the local Chamber of Commerce who is always seeking new businesses in town can take up a collection from its members to pay for those resource officers.
JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Give friends and family a meaningful gift this year

This holiday season, the American Red Cross is urging residents of Colorado to give something that means something and help people in need through a donation to the Red Cross.

A recent Red Cross poll found that 79 percent of Americans agreed they would rather have a charitable donation in their honor than receive a gift they won’t use. 

If you don’t like the crowds of Black Friday or are shopping for a loved one who seems to have everything, consider shopping online at http://www.redcross.org/gifts. Visitors can select from more than 20 symbolic gifts to purchase in honor of a loved one. The gifts represent all Red Cross lines of service, and include items such as blankets for disaster victims, comfort kits for wounded warriors, vaccinations against measles for children overseas, and more.

Each donation made on someone’s behalf will help ensure the Red Cross is able to help people when they need it. And donations do benefit the local economy — by enabling the Red Cross to purchase disaster supplies locally, contribute to disaster survivors’ recovery and prepare our communities so that they are more resilient and more likely to recover fully following a disaster.

This has been a busy year for the Red Cross. Here in Colorado, Red Cross chapters responded to more than 400 disasters that affected nearly 800 families. More than 5,000 members of the military and their families were connected through emergency communications. Nearly 99,000 Colorado residents took Red Cross training in lifesaving skills like CPR, First Aid and lifeguarding.

The public’s support during this holiday season will allow the Red Cross to continue to help to those in need. Please give something that means something by giving to the American Red Cross.

ERIC MYERS
Executive Director
American Red Cross Western Colorado Chapter

Take back America from corporate greed

On Nov. 21, Americans had the ultimate super failure committee statement of who owns our country and our politicians. Until we take America back from Wall Street and greedy corporations we’ll (99 percent) all financially suffer and chaos will reign. As a starter, favored campaign contributions and secret incentives must stop and now.

TOM KELLEY
Grand Junction

Oust the incumbents

Having lived in my country nearly 90 years now, I’ve been privileged to witness such as our Occupiers before.  The similarity remains constant, great, headless, directionless, leaderless, mobs with a goal, intention, purpose, explanation for/from every one of them but nearly no clearly defined, common goal. Awesome potential with, usually, minimal lasting, overall effect.
On the other hand, the cause of the concern of these folks seems very real and undeniable serious to me. It is the obvious, general downward plunge into which our beloved country is heading and the lack of any real plan to attempt to control the situation.  I would suggest to you that this is not a situation that our founding fathers did not try to provide for when they wrote that wonderful instrument, our Constitution. 

I am very sure that, in their wisdom, they foresaw the potential for damage to their work from that real root-of-all-evil, human greed.  So they tried to protect against it with the simple device of vesting the final source of power/authority in the people through the vote, rather than granting it as a birthright or reward for ability to kill or manage killing-of-people/destruction-of-property, as was generally popular then, through kings and other tyrants.
I’m sure our wise forefathers were well aware of the temptations human greed would pose for, especially, our Congress folks, given the power, prestige and authority along with access to funding, talent and facilities necessary to the accomplishment of their vital assignment.  I would suppose those forefathers would be well aware that none of us would ever be able to know the on-the-job actions of our Congress folks but that we would be able to judge the job they did running our country’s affairs and, based on that, assign them performance appraisals through our votes.  But think.  For the last several decades, while our beloved country continued into the dumper, we have approved the job they do by returning over 90 percent of them back to Congress to continue to do more of the same. 
What might be the effect if the Occupiers started calling for the ousting of all incumbents, to continue until we see improvement? 
RAY LASHLEY
Grand Junction

Farm and ranch kids learn a lot about responsibility

Robert Tallarico’s letter published Nov. 22 regarding government control of children’s lives hits home for me.

The control isn’t of the children, it’s control of the parents by forcing parents (under penalty of law) to make sure they command their farm kids the government way.

Wow. I started driving a tractor on my family’s eastern Wyoming ranch/farm when I was nine. At nine, I worked half days all summer long, unsupervised (as far as I knew), driving full-sized John Deere tractors raking hay. I did it without wearing a helmet. I survived and so did (some of) the farm equipment. I had the afternoons off to do kid stuff around the ranch and appreciate my time to be a kid.

At age 11, I started working full-days driving tractors, a Caterpillar bulldozer, large trucks and specialized (1950s vintage) haying equipment. I was working in ensilage pits, on haystacks, in granaries, corrals and stalls with full grown (and sometimes not too friendly) horses, cows and bulls and stupid sheep. I learned to respect and appreciate a lot of things totally foreign to today’s pampered children — and evidently, government bureaucrats.

I learned that when I made my very own judgment calls during my working day, that if I didn’t think before I acted I might get hurt — or even worse, I might have to do the job over again (maybe even while still hurting.) But I survived and used those skills my entire life to become what many would call pretty successful.

And I am just one of millions of farm and ranch kids that lived through learning work ethic, problem solving skills and individual responsibility.

I’ll wager that if the truth be known, not a single farm or ranch kid with similar background is demonstrating on Wall Street.

TOM HOWE
Hotchkiss



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