Email letters, Oct. 19, 2012

Just one Thunder Mountain crossing guard not enough

While I understand the desire for a crossing guard for Thunder Mountain, I have to speak up. In both incidents in the last year in which a child was hit by a car, the child was at fault. The child darted into traffic without looking or paying attention. In the incident this week the children were crossing the street to get to the warmer side. Were they even at a crosswalk?

While you can put a crossing guard at 31 and F roads, due to the district’s far-reaching walking boundaries, this could happen anywhere. For some of the District 51 schools, there is not infrastructure to support the walking distances. Minimal sidewalks are between 30 Road and 30 1/2 Road, as well. Say a kid gets somewhere in between there—are we going to then hire a second crossing guard to stand at that end of F 1/2 Road?

Thunder Mountain is a 30-year-old school, and it baffles me that there is no sidewalk or wide shoulder for kids to get to school safely. When it was built, F 1/2 Road was not the busy road it is today.

A crossing guard would be great, but kids sent off to walk to school on such a road need to be aware and very cautious, as well, especially as the mornings get darker earlier and earlier.

There is a two-mile walking radius, and these accidents could happen anywhere along those routes. That is a very scary possibility that one crossing guard won’t solve.

Grand Junction

Two Libyan attack victims responded out of own free will

From President Obama’s weekly address of Sept. 15: “Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens were all killed in an outrageous attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi. These four Americans represented the very best of our country. Glen and Tyrone had each served America as Navy SEALs for many years, before continuing their service providing security for our diplomats in Libya.”

Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were not part of Ambassador Stevens’ security team. They were in the area as part of another federal agency (CIA?) and responded to the attack on purely their own initiative. Talk about heroes!

More administration “confusion” as to what occurred in Libya?

Grand Junction

Latest presidential debate showed Romney’s disregard for environment

I hope anyone who has concerns about our environment and public lands watched the presidential debate last Tuesday. It was crystal clear where Romney stands.

Under a Romney administration there would be no regard to clean water, clean air or the protection of our public lands. He wants more drilling, a pipeline to Canada and extraction of as much coal as possible.

While I agree we need to work toward energy independence, it needs to be approached sensibly and carefully while keeping our lands and environment intact and safe. To reach energy independence in five years, as Romney proposes, would require we remove most regulations and rape, pillage and sell off much of our public lands with no regard to the environment.

We have gone 50+ years depending on foreign oil and gas, and we can go another several years while we determine the best approach to extract our natural resources appropriately while protecting our lands and environment for our kids, grandkids and future generations. We cannot afford to destroy and sell off our greatest resource – open, wild public lands.


Garrow a smart choice for CU regent

Please support Jessica Garrow for CU regent. Garrow, a native Coloradan, graduated summa cum laude from CU in 2004. She is smart, young, and enthusiastic, and she will fight to keep CU affordable.

We all need her guidance on the board of regents. Vote for Garrow. Go, Buffs!


National debt balloons during Obama administration

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” This quote is attributed to John Adams, the United States’ second president

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies.

“Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ’the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
Sen. Barack H. Obama, March 2006

America’s debt when Sen. Obama became president: $10.6 trillion.
America’s debt after almost four years of Obama’s presidency: $16 trillion.

Yes, America does deserve better. Vote!


Making pot legal would only increase moral decline

My mail-in vote ballot came today. The legalized pot issue is in there. Am I to understand we’re being asked to make that stuff legal for everybody?

If that happens, it’ll be just more “camel’s nose under the tent.” We’ve all heard the past studies claiming pot not to be addictive, it’s
safe and lots of people do it anyway, blah, blah, blah.

What bothers a lot of folks is the increasingly casual attitude about it and other bad stuff. First we get legal medical pot and now this. Why all of it now?

I guess objecting to making it legal is a generational thing, because many of my friends can’t condone anything about it much less making it legal. The “camel’s nose” part is how something that was thought to be bad only a few years ago becomes good.

If we approve this thing, marijuana could become respectable overnight. What’s next? Legalized child porn, child abuse and acceptable rape and incest?

No, thanks! Our morals and society have gone downhill enough. It’s time to put on the brakes.

Grand Junction

Ironies of modern-day life explain failure in math

How many of us have flown either on a commercial airline or a private plane? I would say perhaps most of us.

To start this story, we first have to go back to our younger years. When going to grade school in Arizona, I attended a one-room school, grades one through eight in the same room and one teacher, Miss Rankin. I will never forget her.

I had almost failed general math, mainly because adding 1 plus 1 or dividing 40 by 7 was boring. Upon graduating grade school, I was told by Rankin not to take any kind of math in high school, so what did I do? I took general math, algebra and trig. Again, I almost failed general math, but I passed with As and Bs in algebra and trig. 

You are asking what this has to do with flying in an airplane? Well, the other day my brother-in-law flew from Denver to North Carolina (we will call him Gary). Gary weighs in at 200 pounds, his check-in baggage weighs 150 pounds and his carry-on another 30 pounds.

All is well going there. Coming home, Gary still weighed 200 pounds and his carry-on was still 30 pounds, but he got some gardening books and placed them in his check-in baggage that then weighed 170 pounds.

He was told that he was over the weight limit of 20 pounds and that it would cost him an extra $91, but if he put the books in his carry-on, all would be OK.

What is wrong here? He is still 20 pounds overweight. Are we being ripped off or are we not?

Gas prices going up and down 1 cent—they are already up $1.50 and this one cent is supposed to make us happy? What about going to purchase a washer/dryer or a refrigerator, only to find out that next week they slash the price $100?

Or go to Sears, J.C. Penney or any clothing store and see the sales. If they could sell at the discount price and make a good living, then why not those prices all the time? I guess that is why I almost failed general math.


Veteran wants to get country back by not backing Obama

I will not be voting for President Obama because he does not believe in my America or the America of our Founding Fathers. He does not believe in “life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness.” He does not encourage hard work or applaud success; he degrades it.

He does not support limited government and personal freedom. He does not encourage or support fiscal responsibility in our government or our personal lives. As a veteran, I believe he does not honor our millions of veterans who have served and given their lives while he continues to diminish our security at home and abroad. He does not believe in religious freedom that is the foundation of our Constitution.

I want my country back! I do not want to someday be telling my children and grandchildren stories about this wonderful nation that was once called the United States of America.

Colorado Springs

Too many ignore obstructionism, plot to keep Obama to one term

Might I ask Josh Penry, who fashions himself as the guru of conservative spokespersons, if Presidents Wilson, Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan had senators and representatives of the opposite party who conspired to assure that they would not see a second term? Did they have members of their own party, i.e. the Blue Dog Democrats, who voted against their policies and proposals? 

It is a well-known fact that the Republican leaders of the Senate and the House, along with the Koch brothers and who knows what other corporate conspirators, met the night of President Obama’s inauguration and contrived a plot to make sure that he would not be re-elected in 2012. I can’t believe that fact doesn’t concern the conservative wing in this country. Ignoring the reality of such behavior reeks of being un-American and unpatriotic.

For a comprehensive discussion of the deficit and the responsibility for it, check out The entire amount cannot be charged to Obama. The facts speak for themselves.

Methinks there are too many people with their heads buried in the sand. I, for one, shudder to imagine our country under the thumbs of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.


Seven keys needed to save America

In no particular order, below are seven keys to save America. (Specifics can be provided upon request, given preparation time).

1. Consolidation of all health insurance programs and delivery health care systems under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administration of programs and service delivery through local, county and/or regional departments of human services.

2. Acceleration/conversion and implementation of current welfare programs to FDR-style WPA/CCC community-based urban training/retraining and community redevelopment construction programs.

3. Introduction, design, engineering, construction, maintenance and operation of solid waste energy combustion units similar to the type used by the municipal power plant of the City of Ames, Iowa.

4. Conversion of transportation vehicles (private and commercial) to compressed natural gas usage, with training to technical schools in conversion techniques, and engineering, design and construction of natural gas distribution networks and pump outlets at gas stations.

5. Initiation of the construction of electrical generation distribution and outlets for the next generation of electrically powered transportation vehicles.

6. Introduction of a nickel tax deficit reduction financial transaction tax.

7. Expiration of ALL Bush-era tax cuts and reversion of federal income tax rates to rates in place during the administration of President Bill Clinton effective Jan. 1, 2013.


Gallegos has earned trust, respect over long career

I am voting for Glen Gallegos for CU regent. I’ve known Gallegos for 25 years, and I am amazed at what an honest, hard-working and passionate man he is in helping others and serving his community.

He knows how to get things done, and I‘m not the only one that knows this. He was selected from the best leaders in Colorado for the Governor’s Education Leadership Board. He was appointed by the governor to serve as a board of trustees at Colorado Mesa University, asked to serve on the Grand Junction Visitors and Convention Bureau, District 51 Strategic Planning Committee, Mesa County Strategic Planning, Partners board, etc. The community and state leaders saw what I see in him, a leader who can make a difference.

Look at Colorado Mesa University during Gallegos’ tenure on the board of trustees and president. They doubled their student enrollment, raised $150 million for capital improvements, tripled the size of the campus, rewrote tenure, set up greater accountability, created a CU engineering program and made it a university.

Even with this growth, they balanced CMU’s budget, worked with legislators to change laws to enable them to be more efficient and kept CMU’s tuition the lowest of public colleges and universities in the state.

Just for that I would vote for Gallegos.

But there is more. He was a public educator for 26 years and assistant superintendent in District 51. Then as president of the Gallegos Corporation, he led its expansion into five states with 1,000 employees.

Many can talk the talk, but few can walk the walk and have proven track record like Gallegos. Who would you trust to run CU’s $2.9 billion budget?  Seems simple. Glen Gallegos for CU regent.


Grand Junction

Extreme drought conditions should be taken seriously

I am a senior in the environmental science department at Colorado Mesa University and have spent the last year learning about this incredible drought that the Colorado River Basin is experiencing. Crops are dry, there are high tensions revolving around water rights, and streams are dramatically low, if they have any water left at all. How come nature and so many people are suffering, yet I feel so little effects in my little bubble within the city limits of Grand Junction?

My landlord waters my yard on a regular basis, clean water still pours out of my faucets at fast rates, and I still take my dog to swim at Canyon View Park. I understand the luxury of living in the “city,” but I have not been encouraged whatsoever to reduce my water usage or to take into consideration the struggles around me involving water.

I was fortunate enough this past week to take part in Flight Across America 2012, a program through Eco-Flight (a pro-active non-profit based in Aspen) in which we explored conservation issues with water in the Upper Colorado River Basin in five states, and I was shocked at what I saw and learned.

We flew in small planes to gain an aerial perspective of the land, and the extremity of our current drought situation was more shocking than I had realized. I ask that everyone who may not feel the direct effects of this drought be a little more considerate of those around you and to use a little less water the next time you wash the dishes, rinse off the patio or take a shower.

Grand Junction is actually a high desert, and water use must be monitored to ensure a sustainable future.

Grand Junction



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The Sentinel has joined the pub pandering brigade;i.e. a front page ad for politcal promotion. This was complete with a lame explanation for breaking with policy. However, some papers have retained their integrity: The Salt Lake City Tribune, published by MediaNews Group, criticized Romney’s “servile courtship of the Tea Party” to win his party’s nomination and called him “shameless” in pandering to various constituencies, terming him the GOP’s “shape-shifting nominee.”

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