Email Letters: September 29, 2017

Local realtors stand in support of 3A and 3B

We as realtors stand with the Grand Junction Chamber, GJEP, and other business leaders in this community in support of 3A and 3B. We firmly believe that in order to scale our economy, we must invest in the foundation of our community: our public education system.

It is easy to see why so many in our industry support the measure. We are the largest industry in the region, and on a daily basis, we are questioned about the quality of our schools. Whether buyers are moving across town or businesses are relocating from across the nation, schools are an important factor in determining where they will buy their next home or locate their business. Home buyers and business owners desire schools with the curriculum, teacher training, technology, safety, and school calendar that are necessary to remain competitive with other districts. Each of us has had at least one client who chose another place over Mesa County given our funding per pupil ranking 16th among the 20 comparably sized districts.

Studies show that home values increase in communities with good schools. Imagine what could happen to property values around a new Orchard Mesa Middle School or the 45 other D51 facilities scheduled for maintenance or upgrades. Every homeowner in the district could benefit from increased home values, as the measures will improve all schools in the district.

In regards to the cost of residential property taxes relative to home values in D51, the facts speak for themselves. Despite a quadrupling of the median home price between 1986 and 2016 the median annual residential property tax paid to D51 has decreased by 18.5 percent from $702 per year in 1986 to $592 per year in 2016. That is correct! Home values have quadrupled since 1986 and residential property taxes have decreased during that same time frame primarily due to the Gallagher Amendment.

It is time that Grand Junction residents provide a much-needed boost to our under-funded public schools. The graduating class of 2018 has not seen one increase in school funding since they started kindergarten, but in fact has had to deal with the results of massive budget cuts. Let’s show them, and the potential residents that are considering moving to the Grand Valley, that we value our kids and their education. Please vote YES on 3A and 3B.

CHRISTI REECE, Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties
MIKE FOSTER, Coldwell Banker Commercial Prime Properties
KEVIN BRAY, Bray Real Estate
JOHN DUFFY, Bray Real Estate
JOANNA LITTLE, Re/Max 4000
JOE TRIPOLI, Re/Max 4000
Grand Junction

Orchard Mesa Middle School needs your support

I’m Carlos Martinez, president of student council at Orchard Mesa Middle School. I believe my fellow students deserve a new school. The students and I believe it’s hard to learn when you can smell mold when the air conditioning or heater is on. The tiles are falling from the gymnasium ceiling, which could cause serious injuries.

If you really think students should smell mold or risk injury, then don’t help. Stand up for what you think is right. Our school is getting older by the day, the hour, the minute, and even the second. So please help me on this, and help our community make the world a better place.

That should be an easy choice to make. The Orchard Mesa Middle School students deserve a new school. Don’t you think? Thank you for your time.

CARLOS MARTINEZ
Grand Junction

Dishonest professors and anti-intellectual preachers have besieged us

We, future generations that is, are $20 trillion in debt. So, all sound economics aside, we must not lack money for anything. Law enforcement and education are critical pillars of society, but one is preserving our nation, the other is trashing it. The two nastiest “American” swamps needing to be drained immediately are academia and the heretical faction of the “Christian” church. We have been besieged by intellectually dishonest professors and phony, anti-intellectual preachers who must have Satan kicking back on his recliner enjoying a cold beer.

A portion of Cidney Fisk’s lawsuit against a Delta School District claims they violated her right to “free exercise of religion.” That’s right! Neutrality is a myth! Just because Fisk dismisses the God of America’s founders, doesn’t mean we escape having to endure the consequences of her godless ideology. If atheists were consistent, they would insist their religious ideology also be separated from the state. Robert Fisk recently rewrote verifiable American history and law with the omniscient certainty of a God! But I don’t want him or anyone else attacked, silenced or shouted down. Give atheists every opportunity to proclaim and defend their worldview to us, as comprehensively as possible minus the regressive attacks on theism.

The Daily Sentinel is mainstream media that could inspire positive change. I encourage readers to ask that this forum be thoroughly revised. Maybe devote an entire page and call it “Win the Argument.” Insist that evidence rather than personal attack rules. If space is a concern, delete not only “Letters to the Editor” but also “You Said it” and columnists a la George Will and EJ Dionne. Seriously, why do we need over-articulate fools in Washington misleading us any further?

MARTY DHABOLT
Grand Junction

Story of youth’s indomitable spirit was deeply moving

I was deeply moved by Erin McIntyre’s heartwarming story of Mark’s indomitable spirit during his short life here. Thank you Orchard Mesa Middle School staff, Orchard Mesa Lion’s Club, and all who were involved with the memorial to honor this “gentle soul” and keep his legacy of courage, resilience, and love of learning alive. There are angels among us.

KATY THORPE
Grand Junction

Recent letter regarding nation of immigrants enrages native-born citizen

I was enraged and very much offended when I read the letter by Shari Vandervelde insinuating that only people who are immigrants are part of this nation by her statement that “We are a nation of immigrants.”

My parents were immigrants but I was born here and consider myself to be a part of this nation just as they were and I am proud to be a native born citizen. I would like to inform Ms. Vandervelde that, according to the last census, approximately 90 percent of American citizens were born here. So, her statement is patently false.

This is a typical example of how the people who do not respect this nation or its citizens are attempting to divide and tribalize our once great nation by spreading divisive propaganda like this.

GARRY EVENSON

Parachute

Let us all vote to give educators and school district our support

I ask everyone to support the Mill Levy 3A and 3B for School District 51. The information made available by Citizens for School District 51 (https://www.citizensforsd51.com/faq/) is amazing and overwhelming. The data provided helps one to be informed as to the needs, but also to learn about the community impact directly to our economy. Investing in our community really does make it thrive and attract others, and it is surprising how consistently the voters of Grand Junction elect not to help take our community to a higher standard – be it for safety, library, or even for our emergency response.

It is well established that when people or businesses seek to move, they consider the public schools – not just performance, but actual facilities and ability to keep up with the modern times. Considering the average age of the buildings to be 44 years and then some; that exceeds the standard for efficiency in a facility by a good nine years. The school district facilities have hard use due to the high numbers of individuals coming and going throughout much of the year and as capital projects become more severe and numerous, then there must be concern for the safety of all.

Education as a whole runs with expenses that are well shy of other industries and professions. Cries to find more efficiencies and reductions are severe for an employer that already has people working from the heart. Let us all join in and give educators and our district support. An infusion of compassion to help our community learn and grow can be done by voting “yes” for 3A and 3B.

CHRISTIAN MUELLER
Grand Junction

NFL players may have right to protest flag, but are wrong to do so

Concerning the NFL protests: do these players have the right to protest and disrespect our flag? Of course they do. But just because they have the right to do so doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. That flag is the most expensive item in our national budget. It has borne the costs in hundreds of thousands of lives lost in its defense. The blood that has been shed. The crippled and maimed soldiers.

I served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. My father and my stepfather served in the Army during World War II. These protests are insulting to me. I think these players picked the wrong symbol to protest. Do they just protest on Sunday and then go home to their multi-million dollar homes and party? Have any of them gone to the places where those incidents have occurred? Have they walked out in the streets and locked arms with ordinary people and marched to the mayor’s house, or the governor’s house, or Congress, or to the White House?

In August of 1972 I was at the airport in Taipei, Taiwan waiting for a military transport to take my back to the states. On one of the chairs I saw a tablet with a poem written on it. I copied it down because it represents some of my feelings about our flag. To me it is moving and powerful. Maybe other veterans will feel the same way. I don’t know who wrote it; probably someone who served in Vietnam. The first thing I thought about when I read this poem was the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima and what it must have meant to the Marines down below.

There in the distance
A flag I can see
Torn and unraveled
But who’s carried me
Its tattered wave
Salutes with pride
Our brothers out there
Who have died.

ROBERT BREAZEALE
Grand Junction

Dirty business of plutocracy of more importance than football

While we are preoccupied with football, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a Trump nominee to lead the Dept. of Justice Criminal Division with dubious ties to Russia. Brian Benczkowski was picked by one of Russia’s largest banks, Alfa Bank, to defend them against charges they had colluded in the presidential election, oh, and did I mention that he also was the staff director for former Sen. Jeff Sessions in the transition team? So, no questions about his loyalty to the American flag, because he did promise to recuse himself for a couple of years if anything came up in his department about this whole Russian thing.

In the meantime, Tom Price, the architect for the mean health care reform bill that even Republicans found repulsive, spent over a million dollars of taxpayer money on private and military charters to various properties, European destinations, and family lunches in far flung places when the norm for government public servants is public transportation. But the GOP and their constituents are special I guess. They are white and they are men, and Mr. Price did say he would reimburse the taxpayer close to $50,000 dollars. Let’s do that math.

How dare athletes remind us of social injustice! We can no longer count on them to distract us from the dirty business of plutocracy. Does anyone have a good TV drama series to recommend? I am so done with football.

TANYA TRAVIS
Grand Junction

Trump’s tax plan benefiting the wealthy will only add more to our federal deficit

Trump’s tax plan, that will mostly benefit the wealthy, is going add a projected $2 trillion to the federal deficit over a 10-year period. That is an extra $200 billion per year on top of the current $693 billion yearly deficit. Curiously, the conservative deficit hawks are strangely silent. “Oh the outrage” I would have thought hearing by now.

It just amazes me about the hypocrisy coming from the political right. They are so eager to have the wealthy pay less in taxes that they are willing to ignore any interest they have in eliminating the deficit and balancing the budget. If this Trump tax plan becomes law, we will never have a balanced budget and we will continue down this road of not properly funding worthwhile government programs and running up our debt.

JIM DENTON
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Mr. Evenson, why are you writing a letter telling us that you are enraged by the idea we are all immigrants? Any sentient being understood what she meant. Unless you are native American - Indian - all of our roots are elsewhere. Our ancestors came here for many reasons, the earliest were largely to get away from bigotry of one sort or another. What is your point? You wrote, “This is a typical example of how the people who do not respect this nation or its citizens are attempting to divide and tribalize our once great nation by spreading divisive propaganda like this”. Divisive? Who are those people you seem to hate who celebrate getting rid of division rather than the exact opposite? Modern bigotry?

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