Email letters, October 14, 2013
Lazy shotgun fails to shoot anyone
Last Tuesday I set my Remington Magnum Wingmaster Model 870 shotgun out in front of my garage. I put in four shells and left it alone and went about my business.
While I was in the house, two neighbors walked by, the trash man picked up the trash, the mail lady delivered the mail, people went by walking their dogs, and people drove past. Three hours later I checked the shotgun. It was still sitting right where I left it. It had not killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had been presented to do so. In fact, it hadn’t even fully loaded itself.
Well, you can imagine my surprise with all the media hype about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people. Either the media are wrong, and it is the misuse of guns by criminals or I have one of the laziest shotguns ever made. I must hurry off now and check my slow cooker. I hear they are making people fat.
Preserve the future by making wise decisions on tapping energy today
I would like to offer a different perspective on the reasons for the recent closing of the Shell Oil oil shale project than the one provided by Dennis White in the letters to editor section of The Daily Sentinel Oct. 4.
White claimed that governmental policy and opposition by radical environmentalists caused Shell Oil to make the decision to close their oil shale research project in Piceance Basin northeast of Grand Junction. In my opinion, technical problems with efficiently extracting kerogen from oil shale were just as likely or a more likely cause for the closing of the research project.
I would like to paraphrase the late Randy Udall, energy expert from Carbondale. He once stated in a news conference that government regulations or the energy policy of the current administration aren’t the problem causing delays in oil shale development. The problem is in the rock.
The issue that Udall was trying to illustrate is well known by geologists and energy developers. While estimates of the vast amounts of potential petroleum reserves in oil shale are very attractive and appear to be a solution to America’s energy problems, the fact is, oil shale doesn’t easily give up its energy. Oil shale must be mined and retorted above ground or in situ to recover kerogen. The retorting process requires that the shale be heated to 900º F to extract kerogen. In addition, the kerogen then has to be hydrogenated to turn it into a stable hydrocarbon that can be refined into fuels or lubricants for automobiles or aircraft.
All of these processes require energy, large amounts of energy. Energy production in this part of the world is expensive and requires water to cool power plants that would have produced the energy for Shell’s freeze wall technology. Water is in short supply in our part of the country with water rights for the Colorado River and its tributaries already over-adjudicated. Ground water contamination and other substantial environmental issues make oil shale seem a less likely candidate for our nation’s energy demands.
Shell Oil Company is the most recent in a long line of companies that has tried to crack the oil shale problem and failed. Remember back to May 2, 1982, black Sunday, the date Exxon Oil decided to shut down the Colony Oil Shale project. Also remember, among others, Tracts C-a and C-b operated by Gulf Oil, Standard Oil, Ashland Oil and Occidental Oil in the 1970s. These tracts are all abandoned now, a stark reminder that the problem is in the rock.
White claims that oil shale technology is proven and economical. While there is one commercial oil shale project currently planned in eastern Utah, near Vernal (Enefit American Oil), the project isn’t currently producing oil from oil shale and the project isn’t without significant environmental concerns. If oil shale technology is so well proven and economical, why aren’t the oil companies preceding with development on their thousands of acres of private land on the Roan Plateau that hold significant oil shale reserves? They could proceed with development without governmental oversight instead of having to submit to the onerous restrictions and regulations on public lands in Piceance Basin.
I’m not a radical environmentalist. I heat my house with natural gas and operate my vehicles with gas or diesel fuel. I am a retired wildlife biologist that hopes to see fish and wildlife habitat given consideration during planning and development of energy projects instead of as an after thought, especially on public lands. Colorado’s fish, wildlife and scenic resources are important economic factors that are sustainable and can be enjoyed for many years in the future if we make wise decisions for their management today.
JOHN H. ELLENBERGER
Colorado Division of Wildlife (retired)
Study districts that are improving to help District 51 also get better
A response to Rick Wagner’s article, “Conservatives have ample reasons to look to Douglass County schools.”
As a parent trying to gather information and make informed decisions, I find myself befuddled by the reasons Wagner provides for looking to Douglas County RE1 as an example. First, in his article, Wagner reported that “the Cato Institute found that nationally, federal government spending per pupil on education has increased 375 percent from 1970 to 2012.” (The Daily Sentinel, Oct. 10).
I would like to challenge the presentation and value of this information. What does this statement really
mean? First $1 in 1970 has the same purchasing power as about $6 in 2012, a difference of around 600 percent, so I’d say the spending on education hasn’t kept up very well with inflation.
Second, while I appreciate the information on federal funding, I think it’s equally important to look at Colorado’s funding compared to the rest of the country. Colorado’s per pupil spending has steadily decreased. In 1998/99, Colorado was $587 below the national average, in 2007/08, Colorado was $1,442 below the national average, and as of 2013 Colorado ranked 42nd of 51 spending $2,518 less per pupil than the national average.
Hopefully, if any of the children Wagner referred to in his article decide they want to move to the imaginary Avatar planet, they’ll be able to make it because, while we spend less than four times more on education than we did 42 years ago, we spend 10 times more on gas.
Wagner also pointed out that a survey showed Douglas RE1 teachers were more satisfied than they were in 2011. The Colorado TELL survey (Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning), did reveal that, with about 72 percent of teachers responding, approximately 85 percent of teachers in Douglas RE1 felt, “Overall, my school is a good place to work and learn,” up from about 84 percent in 2011. That’s less than 1 percent, and it’s only 2 percent over the 83 percent response for the whole state.
More importantly, however, looking at our own district here in Grand Junction. In 2011, 88 percent of teachers felt, overall, their schools were “a good place to work and learn.” With 84 percent of teachers responding, this dropped to 82 percent in 2013.
2011 just happened to be the year District 51 had two new school board members voted onto the school board, and they happen to be the very same members that appear to view
Douglas RE1 as a school district we should look to for guidance.
Next, I’m glad that in the last two years Douglas RE1 was able to increase its on-time graduation rate by about 4 percent, and I’m also glad Mesa County Valley School District 51 was also able to increase tits on time graduation rate by about 4 percent. These issues are relevant and interesting, but perhaps there are other more significant things to focus on and review when trying to find examples of districts we want to learn from.
I see that our district is not where it needs to be in many areas, but one very important area to pay attention to when discussing education is growth.
Are we improving and getting better or are we getting worse? One good place to find information on a district as a whole is from its District Performance Framework Report.
Let’s start with Douglas County RE1. Comparing 2010 to 2012, Douglas County RE1’s academic growth increased less than half a percent and their academic achievement grew around 2 percent; however, their postsecondary and work-force readiness dropped by 20 percent and their academic growth gap dropped 2 percent, resulting in an overall point drop of about 7 percent.
Now let’s look at our own District 51. Our academic achievement stayed the same, but our academic growth score increased a little over 6 percent, our academic growth gap score increased nearly 8 percent, and our postsecondary and workforce readiness increased by over 6 percent for an overall score increase of 5.5 percent. We are growing and improving, and, while we might not be where we want to be, at least we are going in the right direction.
Furthermore, if we are going to look to other districts as examples, I’d prefer we look to the ones who are improving. Douglas RE1 has always been a great school district.
The question is, are the changes they’re making really improving their district?
Colorado senators incommunicado as shutdown continues
In a representative government, a citizen must be allowed to communicate with his or her elected representatives. A citizen must be able to call them, write them a letter and access their website so that they can hear what citizens’ thoughts and ideas are. As of late Thursday afternoon, this communication was not possible, locally, statewide, and certainly not in Washington, D. C.
This situation is ridiculous and completely unacceptable. In any other time in our nation’s history, this behavior on the part of Sens. Bennet and Udall would result in their removal from office. Their arrogance is spiteful and vindictive, and it is no wonder that neither senator will show his face in the Grand Valley so that we (their employers) can talk to him.
How much longer can we put up with this childishness? Not long, I would hope. In Friday’s Sentinel in a front-page article about the government shutdown and its effects on national parks, Udall spokesman Mike Sacconne said, “Sen. Udall believes it is unfair to ask cash-strapped states to pay for the tea party’s government shutdown.”
This is a boldface lie, but we won’t have an opportunity ever for him to tell it to our faces. Nor can we tell him (or Bennet) using their websites or by phone. Where are they and what are they doing?
FRANK ROGER LITTLE
Obamacare only good enough for lowly citizens, not the elite
When reading letter writer John Borgen’s non-fact based rant, alleging that the editor of The Daily Sentinel is guilty of spreading misinformation, one can only be amused and to wonder from what shallow pool of facts that Borgen himself has based his credibility lacking statements on. Likewise, it is quite interesting that he also assails the GOP, employing the same type of uncivil, unconscionable, and factually false labels that his idols Harry Reed and Barrack Obama have used lately in labeling the GOP. He views the GOP as “extortionist” simply because they are actually conducting themselves in a manner consistent with both the law and the Constitution.
If I may share some light and actual facts regarding the current partial government shutdown, the House alone has the responsibility to appropriate funds or not, period. The House has passed four straight bills providing 100 percent of the necessary funding for the federal government, except Obamacare in order to avert the shutdown. Both Harry Reid in the Senate and Obama have flatly stated, “we will not negotiate with the GOP.”
How’s that for compromise and willingness to do what’s right for the American people? Partisan politics trumps doing the right thing. It is also a fact that 65 percent of all Americans do not support Obamacare, which is the reason the Republicans are working so hard to avert this coming extreme disaster.
I wonder if Borgen is comfortable with a president who is more concerned about implementing his signature legislation, than he is about the actual outcome and impact on all Americans? Especially when this same president is equally adamant about not imposing his own legislation upon his family, or the families of Congress, and thousands of hand-selected partisan cronies around the country to whom he has provided special exemptions from this law. Apparently Obamacare is good enough for the average lowly American family, but definitely not good enough for the self-ascribed royalty in D.C. or Obama’s allies.
Palmer’s ‘blatant hypocrisy’ makes him bad choice for public office
On Friday morning during a chat with citizens, Mesa County commissioner candidate Gregg Palmer was asked his opinion of Amendment 64, which legalized recreational use of marijuana in Colorado. He replied that he opposes the law in part because marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Palmer was reminded that on Aug. 29, the U.S. Department of Justice updated its marijuana policy in consideration of the newly liberalized marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington, and that the Department of Justice said it now expects these states to adopt strict regulations to prevent black market activity and protect children.
Palmer insisted that despite passage of Amendment 64 and DOJ’s suspension of enforcement of marijuana laws in Colorado, he stills considers marijuana to be illegal, saying we “shouldn’t pick and choose which federal laws we will obey.”
Oh, really? History shows Palmer has no problem at all violating federal law when it suits his own agenda. When he was on City Council in 2008, members of our group pointed out that City Council was regularly violating the U.S. Constitution by hosting sectarian prayers at taxpayer-funded council meetings. City Attorney Dan Shaver agreed with us, and under Mayor Palmer, Council addressed the problem by adopting a weak invocation policy under which they have continued hosting sectarian prayers at Council
meetings and knowingly violating U.S. law.
One day during the time the City was dealing with this issue, Mayor Palmer was staffing a City of Grand Junction booth at the downtown Farmers Market. I approached the booth and asked Palmer if he thought the new invocation policy was going to change anything. I had my hat and sunglasses on and evidently he didn’t recognize me, because he laughed and laughed and assured me that nothing was really going to change at Council meetings under the new policy, making it clear he believed Council had successfully circumvented the citizens who had asked them to comply with the Constitution.
Now, five years later, it is clear that Gregg Palmer dealt with citizens in bad faith and never intended to bring the city into compliance with the Constitution. This experience
reveals that not only does Gregg Palmer deal disingenuously with citizens, but his blatant hypocrisy about picking and choosing which federal laws to obey make him a bad choice for any public office.
Sentinel, chamber should drive efforts to reopen monument
Some states have now committed to financially underwrite reopening some of the country’s most spectacular national parks. Locally we’ve heard a lot of whining that closure of the Colorado National Monument has created economic hardship for lots of people, particularly local merchants.
Our local Chamber of Commerce has chosen to insert themselves into the political process in the wish to be in control of all aspects of our lives, the latest being endorsements for candidates in the local school district board elections.
The Daily Sentinel has also decried the closure of the monument on the basis that favorite programs are threatened. Why don’t the Sentinel and the chamber get together to quickly gather financial support from local merchants to underwrite reopening the monument? Both merchants and the Sentinel have made a big issue of the monument’s importance in the local economy. Surely they can handle the expenses in our relatively tiny park for a short period of time. It has been represented as crucial to our local economy and the merchants’ livelihood.
Or is it a lot of noise over a situation they feel is not important enough to require action to bolster up their livelihoods? Somebody else’s problem?
The chamber has become an extension of the Republican Party, the very people responsible for the closure. So, do they really want to be a crucial mover and shaker in the local economy, or is it only when expenditures are made on their particular financial interests but not when they may have to finance something that might have a spillover benefit for a wider portion of the public?
The standard answer from Republicans is that they only want to finance things for their own interests but not for the other slackers and “takers”?
Will we see some action to “save” the local economy?
Every child has right to receive education
I attended the D51 School Board forum hosted by Freedom! Colorado on October 10th. In answering one of the questions from the audience, Mike Lowenstein remarked that servicing English Language Learners and Special Education are a few of the mandates that our district has to do, but shouldn’t. My question to Lowenstein, and those in the audience that agreed with him, is this: How can you profess to want to grow our economy through superior education and at the same time ignore a sizable part of the population?
These kids are LEGAL citizens of our country, just the same as Lowenstein’s children and grandchildren. If we are successful, they, too, will be going on to higher education or into the job force after high school and become assets to our local community and the greater nation. Isn’t it the school board’s duty to make sure that EVERY student is well educated, not just those above average Anglo children who speak English?
If Lowenstein had a child in special education, I imagine he might not be so eager to deny them the extra attention they require to be successful. If we want our educational system to be the crucible of economic recovery, we must recognize that not only is it morally right to educate everyone, but it’s also in our self-interest.
Lowenstein and I might disagree on many issues surrounding public education, but I thought it was a universal value that every child has the right to an education.
Aiding Egypt while cutting vets’ benefits shows backward thinking
I have read in the Sentinel that the Veterans Benefits for our brave members of the armed forces are in danger of being cut off due to not having the funds to continue them, also the national parks are closed due to the same reason.
Farther back in the same edition I read that Egypt’s annual aid was “cut back” to $1.5 billion dollars (that’s billion with a “b”). Who exactly signs the list of what we as a country can and cannot afford?
Seems as if our priorities are definitely backward when our citizens cannot be cared for, but foreigners will get at least most of their allocations.
President plays power politics to decimate Republican Party
So many Obama administration scandals have piled up that Congress and the people can’t keep up with them. They are difficult to resolve because the president of the United State appears to have more knowledge than he is willing to admit. The phrase, “What do you know and when did you know it?” should be changed to, “What do you know and why are you lying about it?”
What is scary is that the president may intentionally not be negotiating the debt limit. Harry Reid is acting like a Mac truck driver who has had to put on chains in the middle of a snowstorm on Eisenhower Pass.
Obama is attempting to decimate the Republican Party and there is no holds barred. Look at the lies they told about the consequences of the sequester and then denied they had anything to do with the legislation.
I think Obama’s plan is to push the debt ceiling negotiations close enough to the deadline so that it will temporarily tank the stock market.
Politically, he thinks he has nothing to lose. Wound the Republicans with one more negative tactic. Stir the tea party pot. Make them all humble. Blame the market scare on the other party, and Obama will come to the rescue.
With the budget mess and the looming Obamacare disaster, he is going to have to get lucky.
WILLIAM F. MCKNIGHT
With monument closure, feds get paid for jobs left undone
Realizing that congress people aren’t the brightest people. I would point out that federal employees are going to be paid for their “vacation.” We have rangers in place keeping people out of the people’s park. We know a citizen is unable to appreciate the monument unless a park ranger is there to collect fees.
Fire the rangers, put a lock on the visitor center and campground and have the Highway Patrol drive across occasionally. Why pay the government twice for the job it isn’t doing (and is going to pay the people for, anyway). Scott Tipton has the right idea in taking the monument back from the government and running it from Colorado!
Grand Valley Progress deserves credit for screening of ‘The Reformers’
It kind of ticks me off that Marjorie Haun handed my event (The Reformers screening) off to the Mesa County Democrats.
I put that sucker on myself with the help of three friends and the generosity of Brian Malone, as I said at the start of the documentary. The Mesa County Democrats didn’t give me a dime. We built that event, and its attendance shows there is a lot of interest in hearing the people’s side of the story around here.
Regarding the Douglas County issue, a couple things that didn’t come up in the showing are pretty important for Mesa County:
1) Family incomes are a pretty good bellwether for student achievement regardless of the school district. The median household income in Douglas County is @ $99,198—in Mesa County it’s $52,067, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.
If the smarty-pants conservatives could figure out how to raise family incomes around here instead of trying to keep the local working class poor, I’d vote for them myself. With better incomes families wouldn’t have to work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet and could spend more time with their kids AND our tests scores might go up 15 points like Douglas County is claiming. I love Haun’s push for more cost cutting in schools—let’s dump all transportation, book costs, sports, arts and music costs directly on the already stretched families. We’re already the 6th lowest funded school district in the 43rd lowest education funded state—let’s go for the bottom!! We’ve been electing conservatives for years here and this is what we have to show for it—some of the weakest jobs and wages in the state, high unemployment, schools running on fumes and whiney leadership that blames everything on someone else.
2) The school facilities in the Douglas County are, well, Taj Majals compared to our aging schools with little technology. As a soft guess, I would say we might have to buck up around $300 million or so to upgrade schools and build new ones to catch up to Douglas County facilities. I kind of like that idea, but I don’t think taxpayers are with me. Parents, are your kids sick a lot? Maybe these musty old schools are to blame.
Needless to say, I would hitch our educational future to the wagons of Tom Parrish, John Williams and Greg Mikolai right now. I believe they will do what is best for Mesa County children and parents with a common-sense and caring
approach for years to come. Plus, they will work with what our people need right here — not follow whatever some self-interested political foundation (with no ties to Mesa County) tells them to do.
Our new group is called Grand Valley Progress. GVP sponsored The Reformers, and we will be suggesting more ways to look at better things for the people in our valley in the future. We built that event and we’re going to build more.
Reverse problematic policies to stop local economy’s decline
The Mesa County budget was the front-page article in the Daily Sentinel on Sunday, Oct. 13, where both District Attorney Pete Hautzinger and Sheriff Stan Hilkey expressed deep concerns about the feasibility of properly conducting the business of public safety with the continued cuts to the budget. The lack of funding of which these gentlemen spoke is a genuine problem; however, this is a classic example of cause and effect.
When societal economics begin to collapse because the state legislature in its infinite wisdom passes laws that ultimately drive away the economic engine in the county, the first programs to be cut will be the societal programs. What choice do the county commissioners have? When environmentalist groups funded by foreign interests move heaven and earth to stop any development of our natural resources, what exactly do the citizens of Mesa County expect?
Brace yourselves. The local economy will continue to decline unless the policies that created these problems are reversed. The financial pie can be enlarged, however, not without viable production entities.
This may come as a shock to those on the left, but bicycle races and tourists to the monument are not going to fund the programs needed in this county.
Educated Hispanics will continue to advance in American society
People of reason remain dubious that Republicans will come out with a positive immigration law because they are by and large working on a personal agenda that has been for the most part to destroy or diminish President Obama’s agenda. Instead, Republicans seem intent on diminishing their own political futures.
Consider that for hundreds of years Hispanics have been insulted, demeaned and deprecated with Republicans and many Anglos in general thinking that Hispanic would never be equal to them. While Hispanics carry these negative baggage, newer or newly arrived do not, thus the playing field has changed with newcomers being more venturesome as is seen in more business startups and more of their children excelling in college.
This will become more apparent as educated Hispanics join professional fields, educational, government and private enterprise in ever-increasing numbers. In spite of Republican and extreme conservatives, Hispanics will continue to advance (porque si se puede.) Here in Grand Junction the time has passed when a local banker could say that “there would never be a Mexican of substance in Mesa County.”
Republicans give little thought to the future need for more workers necessary to support the increasing and larger numbers of “Baby Boomer” retirees. To put it simply, a larger retiree pool cannot be supported by a greatly decreasing labor force.. Perhaps robotics, nano technologies and other sciences will bring about the innovation to create a nation of leisure but it is also possible that it won’t. Will we, not I. those that are around in 10 to 15 years be destroying the Iron curtain in the southern border. will we be tearing down the plastic curtain in the north? Will concerned people be yelling to a Republican president, “tear down those walls” as Reagan did to the Russians.”
Another important thought is that if our GNP goes into a downward spiral because of stupid decisions being made and propounded by Republicans we can rest assured that the Chinese will control us — the quickest way to more debt is less income. If we don’t want to be controlled from the East we have to further develop the West (meaning the Western Hemisphere).
International (global) business requires cooperation among governments. It requires control of business corporations that go about doing business as if they were sovereign countries. It requires assisting neighbor countries, and it requires assisting friendly countries to new development, whereby they are able to provide employment to their own people. Under this best scenario immigration problems take care of themselves or at least are lessened.
We have created a brain drain for other countries for centuries by recruiting their best. Now we want to return the favor to Mexico, specifically by sending back young educated student that can’t function due to inability to speak Spanish and whose arrival in this country was beyond their control. Dreamers fortunately have gotten a break even though many Americans still want to deport them back to the countries of origin.
In this nation of laws, we create more laws that create more criminals as if harboring more prisoners was a profitable venture. Interesting numbers I’ve seen indicate that we spent $40,000 to $48.000 per year to incarcerate each prisoner and only $ 8,000 per year to educate a child. The justice system seems to benefit mightily from remuneration and recompense created from all these old, obsolete and newly created adverse and destructive laws .
Republicans should consider the self-created historically low quotas that created the problem of too many illegals in this nation of laws. Agriculture needed more workers and through word of mouth and other means of recruiting, more workers than were allowed were recruited. This was the result of Congress not willing to deal with problems of the day. “Bring forth your huddled masses” became “Come here to work but as soon as you are done go back to where ever you come from.” It certainly was poor way of handling worker shortages with very little thought placed on the consequences of these negative actions.
Much has been said of the USA being a nation of laws and therefore illegal aliens become criminals for their intransigence. Little thought is given to the Mexican American War of 1848, a war started by President Zacchary Taylor to force Mexico to sell the southwestern portion of what is now the United States. Mexico two years earlier had ended its war of independence against France.
Taylor took advantage of Mexico’s weakness in order to force Mexico to sell. Forcing a sale or stealing land does not make a nation of laws. Some would say “all is fair in love and war.” If so, why not say “all is fair in war, love and hunger”?
JOSE U. LUCERO
Boy Scout looks forward to hunting with his family
I’m a Boy Scout, working on my communication badge, so I’m writing to you. So, I am writing to you about hunting.
I currently hunt small game and turkey. As I am 11, I cannot hunt big game. Yet. Thankfully, I was born in June, so I have only about a half year! Anyway, at the time of this writing, my family and I are going hunting next week.
The first animal I’ve ever killed was a female Dusky grouse with a .410 shotgun, around the neck, and it was bacon-wrapped grouse. It was awesome!
Media aid Obama in blaming Bush
I am always amazed at people of either party who claim a mantle of invincibility for their own party, such as Holly von Helms does. All of my life a good Republican, my Democratic friends used to chuckle over the old joke, courtesy of Will Rogers, “I don’t belong to any organized party, I’m a Democrat!” Of late I’ve taken to telling them I think the Republicans have taken over that stance!
When I was teaching U.S. history I always talked to students about the importance of respecting the office of the president of the United States. We might disagree and work to defeat him but he is the American president and deserves our respect.
For eight years, beginning in the year 2000, the Democratic Party alternated between demonizing or ridiculing President George Bush. He couldn’t identify some obscure country, he couldn’t pronounce nuclear, the list of objections for him and his vice president went on and on.
Now that we have a president who thinks there are 57 states and truly can’t pronounce corpsman, we hear not a word. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, because members of the free press are the “guardians of liberty.”
We now have a press that is comfortable in helping the president obscure unwelcome news from the Middle East and actively participates in the presidents “blame George Bush” campaign.
Friendships have been lost, and race and class warfare has been reestablished. I see us turning back to the turbulent ‘60s, all in the name of politics. I’m willing to share some of the blame; I’m just surprised at those who are willing to share none.
Colorado State Board of Education
3rd Congressional district
Suicide series helpful to community counselor
Recent stories in The Daily Sentinel about suicide deaths have struck me in a place deep in my heart. The story of the 36-year-old woman who was an Air Force veteran, particularly struck me hard. She was not only a veteran of four deployments, but also a daughter and granddaughter of veterans. Our service men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country deserve our deepest respect and best efforts for to assist their transition back home to us once again.
Suicides are always a tragedy for everyone involved. In addition to family and friends, the community has lost a great deal. The famous words from “For Whom the Bell Tolls” comes to mind—“It tolls for thee.” We are all left with a great loss.
I have been a professional counselor and psychologist for over 35 years. Much of my career has involved assisting people in crisis and trouble. Many complex issues are often involved, but finding ways for people in need to have access to care is a critical part of the problem.
I am reminded of my childhood, growing up in a rural part of Colorado. We would have an emergency, and we could hear the sirens of the ambulance or county sheriff going up and down the back dirt roads looking for us. We were desperate for help, and they were desperately searching for us. They did not have detailed maps of our rural area, and there were no signs or street names posted. We now live in a time where we have many resources and need to find ways of solving access problems for help to those in need. This is especially true for our veterans.
I currently teach and direct a master’s level training program for professional counselors at Colorado Christian University. The Masters of Arts in Counseling program at CCU has been training professional counselors to help supply the need for high quality mental health care in our turbulent world and culture. We are interested and have intentions to provide training to people in areas who have identified needs. We want to help resource communities, and be a part of improving opportunities for access to care.
We have been engaged in planning ways to bring a high quality counselor training program to Grand Junction for over a year. We are looking for students to enroll in our counseling program to begin in 2014.
Experience has taught us that one cannot import competent professionals into areas of need as successfully as training qualified people who already reside in the areas of need. Recent stories in The Daily Sentinel have reinforced my passions and efforts to help train counselors and promote greater access to quality care for communities on the Western Slope of Colorado.
DALE A. PIPER, Psy.D.
Secretary of State deserves praise from mainstream media
I wonder whether the mainstream media will ever give Secretary of State John Kerry credit for accomplishing in a very short time more than Hillary accomplished in four years.
Don’t count on it!