Email Letters: September 15, 2017

Account of courageous youth was heartbreaking

Ms. McIntyre’s compassionate accounting of the kindness of the educators in Orchard Mesa Middle School in honoring young Mark Barniville broke this old Marine’s combat hardened heart. My respect to them all. Young Mark’s courageous decision will live with me forever.

JOSEPH GIBBS
Montrose

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should stay closed to fossil fuel development

We are one of the over 100 Colorado companies that recently signed onto a letter to Sen. Cory Gardner requesting that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge remain closed to fossil fuel development.

Protection for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been supported by Democrats and Republicans alike for decades. President Trump’s call for drilling in the Arctic Refuge in his 2018 budget is a drastic departure from the bipartisan support for protection the refuge has enjoyed for decades.

Drilling in the Refuge will have a minimal impact on our national budget but will have devastating effects on the Gwich’in people living near the arctic, as well as our nations Porcupine Caribou Herd.

Sen. Gardner, please hear our business voice and do not allow fossil fuel development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

PAUL KNAYSI
Pablo’s Pizza
Grand Junction

City must use tax dollars to fund serious matters over fun

The city of Grand Junction and planning were able to get the streets improved (it takes time) – it’s great! Now folks want the city to pony up tax money to build and then staff a community center. However, a huge percentage of the people supporting this project do not live in the city – their taxes won’t pay for it. Those wanting a winter swimming pool can go to the large Orchard Mesa Community Center or Fruita and pay a small admission or buy a pass, just as they would have to if Grand Junction had such a facility.

Grand Junction has two serious matters: too few cops and dangerously low fire and emergency protection for our population. The police department for a city our size should have several more uniform cops from where it is and three to seven more investigators – so enforcement and case investigations suck. For those who gripe about red light runners or increased street crime, now you know why.

The national fire organization that sets standards for the entire U.S. wants a five-minute response time – we get it around town but not the north area. It’s way longer there. Speed is especially critical if a structure fire or heart attack is called in up there. They need a north end fire station, especially with the closest two stations nearly always busy. A life-saving response may have to come from downtown or the Redlands, and that may take too long.

The city should work on funding for more cops and to get a fire station built and operational soon on city property in that area. That fire station need not be fully staffed. Get a single engine and expand equipment and personnel needs later, but at least they would have initial fire and lifesaving paramedics in a few minutes. For the city, it really is a financial choice of citizen life and death or “fun.”

JIM SHULTS
Grand Junction

A few ways to deal with the traumas happening around us

Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Devastating fires and floods. Political strife. Racial division. Immigrants and refugees. War. School and workplace violence. The next global, regional or local tragedy – the world overwhelms these days.

Humans we are wired for empathy, and with the amount of traumatic experiences we are exposed to every day on television and social media, it seems like we are unable to take a break from heartbreak and anticipating the next disaster. So, how does one effectively navigate through the traumas?

Firstly, be kind, including to yourself. Trauma and fear grow in isolation so reach out to others; it will benefit both them and you. Making a thoughtful “caring contact” outreach every day to let someone know you are thinking of them will buoy spirits and strengths, and it can be as simple as a short text or phone call.

Protect yourself and your loved ones, especially children and adolescents, from the non-stop traumatizing images we see around-the-clock on television and social media. Immersing oneself in the 24/7 coverage has been shown to induce “secondary trauma” – stress resulting from empathizing with a traumatized or suffering person. Turn the screen off, you will feel much more peaceful.

Make a difference in your own backyard. You may not be able to support disaster recovery and relief efforts across the globe, but you can volunteer locally and ease some of the suffering happening right here to in the community.

These are just a few ways to deal with what is happening around us and create a mental health toolbox we can use to our benefit, but sometimes dealing with trauma does takes working with a mental health professional. When that is the case, please know that there are many resources in the community and at Mind Springs Health. We are here to help.

SHARON RAGGIO, LPC LMFT

President & CEO Mind Springs Health/West Springs Hospital

Diane Mitsch Bush an outstanding choice for U.S. representative

We in Eagle County know what a great state representative Diane Mitsch Bush is and know what an outstanding U.S. representative she would make.

Diane understands that western and southern Colorado suffer from outrageously high health insurance premiums, little or no broadband service, crumbling transportation infrastructure, and lack of economic and educational opportunities for everyone. In this time of polarization, she has worked successfully across the aisle for western Colorado, particularly on transportation and water issues.

Diane has done far more for western Colorado as a state representative than Scott Tipton has done as U.S. representative. She is not wealthy, as Rep. Tipton is. She is not beholden to large corporations. Please check into her site: http://www.dianeforcolorado.com. If you like what you see, she can use every little bit you can afford to send. We need a strong, intelligent, fighter to represent Colorado’s District 3 in Washington. We believe Diane Mitsch Bush is that person.

KATHERINE DELANOY, BARBARA HOLDEN, CATHY BLASER, LINDA CARR
Eagle County
THERESA LEPTHIEN
Conejos County

Editorial gave undue credence to lies that continue to ‘cloud’ local immigration debate

Rubin Navarrette’s Thursday column (“DACA lies cloud immigration debate”) provides a timely response to Wednesday’s equivocal Sentinel editorial (“DACA debacle could be a good thing, if…”), which – although generally supportive of DACA – gave undue credence to the very “lies” that continue to “cloud” the local “immigration debate.”

Perhaps as a sop to the “conservative” business community upon whom the Sentinel depends for its advertising revenue, its editors distorted facts and expressed opinions that are unsupported by any credible legal analysis.

First, the Sentinel quoted Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) out of context. In stating that DACA “is on shaky legal ground,” she was not questioning its legality or constitutionality but rather addressing the practical reality that “conservative” federal judges and our openly partisan Supreme Court (now with the vote of Neil Gorsuch) could decline to uphold it if our racist Attorney General Jeff Session’s Justice Department refused to defend it. “That’s why we need to pass a law and we should do it.” Some Republicans (Including Ryan and Trump?) now seem to agree.

Second, while the Sentinel cavalierly “agrees” that President “Obama abused executive powers,” Navarrette aptly notes that Republican legal experts conclude that DACA has been “lawful all along.” Indeed, the most daunting difference between DACA and how previous Republican Presidents’ exercised that same authority is the number of beneficiaries involved – which speaks to the sheer magnitude of the problem Obama was forced to address by Congressional inaction.

Third, Gardner’s “flip flop” on DACA – albeit welcome – betrays his cynical calculation that his previous and unprincipled anti-immigrant posture no longer plays as well with Colorado voters, especially when it comes to “Dreamers.”

Fourth, the Sentinel editorial also conveniently fails to recount that the DREAM Act first passed the House on December 8, 2010, but was then filibustered by Senate Republicans. On May 11, 2011, it was reintroduced in the Senate, but was filibustered again – this time with four Republican Senators (Cornyn, Kyle, McCain, and Graham) who had publicly supported the bill ignominiously witholding their votes. On June 27, 2013, the Senate passed S.744 (which included DACA) with broad bipartisan support, but the House never even took up the bill.

Thus, the Sentinel’s editors could do more to lift the “cloud” of local partisan bickering over DACA by expressing fewer half-truths and dubious legal opinions and instead calling Evil by its name.

BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction


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