Email letters, November 5,  2013

Colorado should gear up car culture on Sundays

Isn’t it about time for Colorado to grow up and allow dealers to sell cars on Sunday and citizens to make appointments at the Department of Motor Vehicles?

SHIRLEY GREEN
Grand Junction

Outsiders’ perception of valley is not all peaches and cream
 
What might come to mind when you mention Grand Junction to a big city dweller? Peaches. Recreation. Good wine. So-so public schools. Unbreathable air in the winter. Hotbed of tea party conservatives. That is the image of our valley in the eyes of many outsiders.

You have to admit that some of the attitudes here are a bit isolationist. Many want our town to stay small. If it got too big, too many ‘foreigners’ would move in with new-fangled attitudes and that would just ruin everything. Our local politics would shift to the left. The established
power structure would change, and those who are now “in” would be “out.” That’s a big threat to some in our valley.

Poor (so-so) public schools reflect the view that “we don’t need no educating.” Learning just makes you question authority and start believing in things like evolution, global warming and alternative energy. The Taliban don’t like education either.

Poor air quality lets everybody know we don’t like regulations that might force us to burn wood cleanly, or quit burning our fields or even have our vehicles inspected. It reflects a no-regulation attitude of “I have a God-given right to burn whatever I want, when I want to, and as inefficiently as I want, regardless of what harm it does to you.” Maybe that is not the best basis for a large, thriving, robust and attractive community.

So, put it out there: “Come to Grand Junction, home of some really conservative, small-government, no-regulation values, with some of the worst air you’ll see this side of Beijing in the winter, with mediocre schools, but we got some really good wine, food and recreation.”

Not a good idea? Well, maybe we should change a few things around here.

THOMAS PHILLIPS
Palisade

Elite class ignores needs, rights of working class

Get ready, working-class folks, especially if you are one of those who spent more than 40 years doing hard physical labor from which you will never really recover. Those who still have power in Congress who didn’t want you to have medical care will be after your Social Security next. One thing they want is to raise the age to begin collecting to 67.

That sounds reasonable to them, many of whom have never done a real day’s work in their lives and have spent most of their careers sitting in college classrooms and offices.

They say a good reason for raising the retirement age is that people live longer. While that might be true, that just means you have more years to go before you get a rest. So, you won’t be just living longer, you will be more exhausted, and probably so will your retirement funds — if you have any. If you get sick or injured, too bad, if they can do away with or diminish any good medical treatment you might have received.

It’s always interesting how the haves can relegate the have-nots to a permanent underclass, telling themselves the have-nots deserve it because they didn’t try hard enough. But we all know cases where that’s far from true.

So, carry on as best you can and hope that somewhere among the tea party types who seem to rule the world right now is one who has compassion in his heart. When he sees those who are less fortunate, he can say, “There but for the grace of God go I” and really mean it.

When that happens, maybe we can achieve the goodness those folks say they want, and America can be the kind of place we all wanted it to be, and thought it was.

M.E. JOHNSON
Eckert

Kiesler, District 51 lauded for making schools better

Thank you to Leslie Kiesler for her many years of service on the school board and her efforts to make our schools better places for all. She deserves thanks, too, for writing a positive column about our education system in the Grand Valley. My wife and I are always amazed at the number of negative articles, letters and editorials written about education. Kiesler’s positive thoughts were a pleasure to read.

My wife and I have lived in the Grand Valley for 35 years. Our daughters were educated in District 51 schools, graduated from college, earned master’s degrees and are well employed. Over the course of the last years we have come in contact with many well-educated graduates of District 51 schools.

The list of graduates we’ve had dealings with includes: doctors and dentists, nurses and hygienists, policemen and firemen, physical therapists and trainers, large- and small-business people, mechanics and technicians, teachers and coaches, salesman and clerks, waitresses and cooks, plumbers and electricians, secretaries and office managers, bankers and financial advisors, military personnel, lawyers, judges, politicians and the list goes on. Many are parents of students in District 51; all are taxpayers.

My wife and I believe it is time to start extolling the virtues of the good education that has been and is being provided by the staffs of District 51 schools. We believe positive attitudes breed positive outcomes. There have been and continue to be many shining examples of well-educated students produced by the teachers and staff of District 51.

The graduates and the hard work that help them become successful do not need to be constantly told they were part of a failed system, because they were not. They should be congratulated for their achievements and successes.

Once again, our thanks to Kiesler for her work in education and to the others who work so hard at educating our children.

RAY AND SHARON GATES
Clifton



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