Email letters, October 7, 2013
Community needs to consider suicide rates for LGB youth
Missing from otherwise thorough reporting on suicide were studies linking this tragic choice to the despair felt by gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. LGB youth are five times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.
I bring this to our community’s attention because there are LGB youth in our community who suffer alone in silence, bullied not only by peers, but also by the rhetoric of adults, including some who speak from the pulpit.
Homosexuality is not a choice. Our children are aware of their differences at a young age. They need unconditional love and acceptance to safely navigate through society’s prejudices and fears.
A study published in the journal, Pediatrics (April 18, 2011) notes: “When communities support their gay young people, and schools adopt anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies that [ITAL] specifically [ITAL] protect LGB youth, the risk of attempted suicide by all young people drops, especially for LGB youth” (Mark Hatzenbuehler, Columbia University).
JO LYNN PHILLIPS
South Carolina sheriff thanked for his comments
On behalf of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, I would like to thank Sheriff Jim Matthews of Kershaw County, South Carolina, for taking the time to write to the Grand Junction Sentinel and express his thoughts about the recent poaching case involving four men from his home state.
His strong refutation of the slanderous statement made by one of the individuals that, “back in South Carolina, everybody hunts with poison arrows,” should serve as an effective reminder to avoid painting with broad brush and not let the actions of these four individuals tarnish the reputations of true sportsmen and sportswomen, whether from South Carolina or elsewhere.
Our officers contact thousands of hunters during the course of Colorado’s hunting seasons. It is safe to say that the vast majority of those hunters are law-abiding and ethical and they recognize the importance of projecting a positive image to the public and other hunters, especially our youth.
On the other hand, there are the poachers. They are nothing more than criminals who intentionally take wildlife with blatant disregard for the law, often showing little or no remorse for their actions. We encourage the public to recognize the distinction, keeping in mind that anyone can make a serious mistake but ethical people make the right decisions after the fact.
Like many cases our agency has investigated, it was a tip from a concerned and conscientious hunter that led to the arrest of the individuals from South Carolina. This type of goodwill and collective regard for the wildlife resource is how many poachers are eventually brought to justice. For that, we are grateful.
As a wildlife officer, I sincerely appreciate the support from Sheriff Jim Matthews and all ethical hunters that help us protect, preserve and enhance Colorado’s wildlife resource, for the benefit of all.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Deputy Regional Manager, NW
Bullying of teen referees, umps should not be tolerated
What if you knew that someone was being verbally assaulted? Most people would not tolerate it. If it were a child, they would intervene.
What if there was an employee who was subject to relentless ridicule on the job and his or her every decision was put through a panel of judges and verdicts rendered ceaselessly? That, too, would not be considered acceptable; however, for some reason the same people who would wave the victim’s banner are culprits of the same behavior.
I am writing in regard to the teenagers who are umpires and referees who are heckled from the panel of parents on the sidelines. These same parents would never tolerate this behavior if it were from the schoolyard bully.
I have given great thought to this and have finally come to the conclusion that this behavior is no different except for the fact that it is adults doing the bullying - and there is a tolerance for it.
What is interesting is how these adults compartmentalize this behavior. I have heard the excuse that “well, they are being paid.” Really?
These kids have to take classes and pass tests to be certified. I am sure they want to do the best they can but who can think when they know they are one call away from being heckled? It takes experience and maturity to develop a thick skin, and unfortunately most never get the time to do so. They quit because it just isn’t worth it.
Everyone agrees that bullying is a serious problem. Anyone ridiculing, mocking or verbally assaulting a person is engaging in bully behavior. I think it is clear that parents need to rethink their behavior in these terms. The parents who sit silently beside them are just as guilty. Stand up for what is right. These adults need to grow up.
America has lost ability to produce essential commodities
It seems as if a conspiracy or a plot is going on by environmental groups and the government to sell the state of Colorado off to the foreign oil-producing countries, along with everything else America produced in the past.
We used to produce our own steel for everything made from steel. We built our own appliances, tires, farm equipment, Levis, cars and the list goes on. Yet, most Americans could afford to buy these things. And we would sell to other countries.
The governor along with Ken Salazar and the rest of the politicians are wealthy enough to live their lives without caring for what’s good for the country. So, it seems they are doing everything they can to bring us down, to be at the mercy of our enemies.
Liberal curricula in schools reflects liberal U.S society
First of all, I want to offer my apologies for upsetting Christina Hobbs so much. Apparently, I struck a nerve with my recent letter. If one rereads the letter, one will find that it was critical of the curricula our teachers are being required to teach, with a few jabs at my old friend Bill Grant. I really did not write the letter to offend teachers.
After saying that, has anyone noticed that when the liberals are challenged they immediately go into personal attack mode? I also want to acknowledge Hobbs for her apparent need to personally attack me to justify her feeling of supremacy over my position on the current curricula being presented in our schools. I can only hope her description of the math curriculum she teaches is satire, although I have seen numerous “story problems” with some bias imbedded in the wording.
The history of public education is founded on the need for American business and government to mold the minds of our children into little consumers dedicated to the needs of our society and culture. The first public schools taught the basics with social programs to acculturate our youth to be loyal Americans and citizens.
As our society became more and more liberal, the curricula became more and more liberal. Today, our government has taken control of the curricula and is moving our country far to the left, too far for some people.
Look, I am not trying to sensationalize our education woes. I spent more than 30 years in the business myself. I am trying to get the discussion going strong before our next election. I don’t want Hobbs to be upset, but you can’t make change without making some folks upset. If the shoe fits, Hobbs should wear it.
Obama has undermined Obamacare with several changes
When is a law the law, or not? That is the question?
I, Barack Obama, signed into law the bipartisan Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, in which not a single Republican voted for, only Democrats.
Some of my wealthy special-interest supporters claimed their present health insurance was better and cheaper than Obamacare. Therefore, I changed the law by exempting them.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court, in an overwhelming decision of five to four, determined that the law was constitutional. It is not known at this time whether the Supreme Court was referring to the law as originally signed by me, or the law changed by me.
Later, I changed the law again, by delaying implementation for special interest supporters.
Now, the horrible Republicans want to withhold funding to Obamacare, as changed by me, thereby closing public access to memorials and roadside views. Those anarchist Republicans are holding a gun to my head, demanding that Obamacare treat everyone the same, as described in the law I signed.
That is not the purpose of Obamacare, as changed by me. The purpose of the law is to reward my supporters and punish the self-reliant and those who want to choose their own health insurance.
My sycophants and the news media are saying, “That’s the law!” Some people might be confused as to what is the law. They shouldn’t be, because the law is what I say it is on any given day.
RALPH G. NASH
Tisue, Leany, Schultz praised for visiting other districts
The article by Emily Shockley headlined, “Fellow board member assails Tisue, Leany,” was rather revealing. One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
Kiesler was quoted as having “never been so embarrassed as I have by the two of you.” The actual embarrassment might be that in the past 10 years while she was on the school board, the academic performance by students in District 51 has continued to decline. This brings to mind the above definition of insanity.
The fact that Ann Tisue and Jeff Leany, along with Superintendent Steve Schultz, have been searching for success stories in other districts that have shown the opposite results that may be emulated in District 51 should be lauded, not denigrated.
Pat Kanda, Mike Lowenstein and John Sluder are three board candidates who believe changes are needed for different results.
B. GENE HUGHES
Killing innocent civilians has become a sad routine
I’d like to comment on Hans Croeber’s letter from Oct. 3. I wholeheartedly agree with his opinion that we should not get involved in any more military actions in the Middle East.
However, I take issue with some of his reasoning. He says we shouldn’t get involved because it requires guerilla warfare that we can’t win because our Christian values don’t allow us to kill innocent civilians. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that killing civilians has become routine for us.
The estimates for Vietnam are 195,000-430,000 civilians killed and at least 100,000 in Iraq. Both of these conflicts were civil wars in which we justified our involvement by lying. There’s no other way to state it.
The so-called “Gulf of Tonkin incident” has long been discredited, so much so that today know one knows who even made the original claim that our ship was attacked.
And, no, Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. But Dubya had to try to outdo his daddy, so off we went.
Teen driver dangerously distracted by rude driver behind her
I almost lost my 17-year-old daughter Friday. Returning home from a CMU class around noon that day, she was hit on Highway 50, turning from the eastbound lane north into our driveway, spinning her car 270 degrees. Miraculously, neither she nor the family traveling west in the Jeep Patriot that collided with her Honda Accord sustained serious injuries.
Unquestionably, my daughter was at fault, but the female driver of the black truck tailgating her shares responsibility. That driver’s impatience, made evident not only by driving dangerously close but also by gestures indicating her frustration, caused my daughter to become flustered and distracted, desperately trying to get out of her way, thus turning in front of oncoming traffic.
My daughter was doing as she has been taught, being aware of traffic behind her, so much so that it almost cost her her life. It did cost her four points from her license, a $180 fine, a $3,000 vehicle for which she spent years saving and an emotional toll that cannot be measured.
Since moving into our home off Highway 50 four years ago, I have personally experienced numerous honks, hand gestures, and tailgaters. Countless people feel their time is being infringed upon for having to slow down in a 55 mph zone. What amount of time is lost braking behind a turning vehicle – mere seconds?
This woman didn’t even have the civility to stop to see if the accident in which she played a role caused any injuries. She traveled on her merry way, no doubt irritated at the extra five seconds she had been put out.
My daughter has learned a costly yet invaluable lesson in ignoring the impetuousness of others while focusing on safe driving – priceless! Is there an object lesson in this experience for intolerant drivers to be applied as well?
Don’t denigrate Republicans who balk at cost of Obamacare
Remember the political ads on television several years ago of then-candidate Barack Obama, declaring how disgraceful out-of-control government spending had become? He compared it to someone who kept maxing out credit cards and opening more accounts with the “Bank of China” to keep spending more money that couldn’t possibly be paid back. Someone else could worry about paying that debt later.
But that was then and this is now. Now anyone who wants to put the brakes on government spending is branded as a crazy, right-wing extremist.
Even though President Obama won the election last year, so did a large number of conservatives in the House of Representatives who opposed the Affordable Care Act and plunging the country more deeply into debt. The bottom line is we don’t have the money to pay for it.
Since the U.S. Constitution says all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, they have the “power of the purse.” They are elected every two years to represent the most current wishes of the citizens and to maintain the balance of power. This helps to keep any group or individual from becoming excessively powerful at the expense of our rights and liberties.
Obama needs to consider this before making chilling statements such as “I will not let Congress stand in my way.”
The public has become disgusted with the arbitrary way this “law of the land” is being administered. Twelve thousand waivers have been issued to big corporate businesses, big labor unions, Congress and the president — one law for them and a different law for us. If Obamacare is good, they should be willing to abide by it themselves.
Those who shop online for Obamacare may run risk of being hacked
If you want your personal information hacked and your identity stolen, be sure to sign up for Obamacare. Even checking the website, I got three attacks. Name one thing the feds ever took over, ran more smoothly and made a profit at?
Greed drives decisions of major U.S. corporations
We live in the age of greed in which most corporations and a handful of individuals compete for the title of the greediest, richest sociopath “in the valley.” An age where corporations have captured many parts of government and will do anything to increase their profits, even if they know serious damage is being done to society.
These corporations have a pack of protectors similar to Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guards the gates of hell, who are willing to do anything to keep government from benefiting anybody but the rich. They say that government is bad and believe that corporation will take good care of them. They forget that corporations only serve themselves and when push comes to shove, if you are causing more harm than good, as might be happening now, you will be discarded. Many, if not most, corporations are, after all, greedy, bloodthirsty, selfish animals by design with no loyalty to anyone or any country.
Since these servants of the corporations are still a minority with control of only one house of one branch of government, the only way for them to get their way is to push the self-destruct button. This makes them the financial equivalent of suicide bombers. They practice extortion and financial terrorism.
It’s a case of “you do it my way, even though we are a minority, or we all go down together.” Is this democracy or something else? Something dark that we have seen before? Whatever it is, we must not give in to it.
This is the picture that is emerging in the minds of many. It may be time for the corporations to find another less destructive champion. Let’s hope so.
Miraculously, no one was hurt in Tour of the Moon
I live near the top of Little Park Road. I drive it daily and bike on it often. Regarding Saturday’s Tour of the Moon bike ride, what I witnessed was a disaster waiting to happen.
As I was cautiously driving down Little Park Road Saturday, well aware there was a ride taking place, bike riders were taking up the entire lane, crossing the double yellow lines and zigzagging across both lanes in order to make it up the steep hills. Riders were stopped in the middle of the lane, standing in the road. One rider even waved for me to slow down.
I was traveling as slow downhill as the bike riders were riding uphill. On a blind hill a SAG wagon was stopped in the wrong lane while a rider fixed a flat tire, instead of moving the riders to a safe pullout 100 yards up the road.
Vehicles traveling the road had to maneuver around bikes stopped on both sides, creating hazardous situations for miles. There appeared to be no course monitors present to enforce rider rules. It’s a miracle a bike rider wasn’t hurt or there wasn’t a vehicle collision.
Freidman off-base in criticism of shutdown, recall of senators
Thomas Friedman appears to have his brains, head or both where there is no sunshine. He deplores the government shutdown, because of the Obamacare issue with Republicans. He sees this as deplorable “...because the future of how we govern ourselves is at stake.”
Well I, for one, hark back to the passage of a multi-thousand-page bill (strictly on a party-line vote) that was read by nobody, because the Democrats could force it that way. Even what’s-her-name implored passage so we could then find our what was in it. That was endangering the future of governing our country. All that is happening now is fallout from this occurrence.
Later in the column, Friedman excoriates those who voted for the recall of two Colorado state senators, just because they voted their “conscience on a narrow issue.” Well, they voted against, apparently, the wishes of their constituents. Friedman says they “...lost their seats in a recall election engineered by gun extremists and reportedly financed with some $400,000 from the National Rifle Association.” This donation was actually more on the order of $360,000.
Dear Tom, if I may, please note what was published in the Denver Post on Sept. 9 this year: “Proponents of the recall have raised about $540,000, while opponents have collected nearly $3 million. Much of the cash has come from out of state — a sign of the national significance these recalls have.” I have a list of the major donors, if you would like to know who they are. Just one of them dwarfs the amount the NRA donated.
Board members, superintendent should be lauded for research
The article by Emily Shockley headlined, “Fellow Board Member Assails Tisue, Leany,” was rather revealing. One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
Kiesler was quoted as having “never been so embarrassed as I have by the two of you.” The actual embarrassment might be that in the past 10 years while she was on the school board, the academic performance by students in District 51 has continued to decline. This brings to mind the above definition of insanity
The fact that Ann Tisue and Jeff Leany, along with Superintendent Steve Schultz, have been searching for success stories in other districts which have shown the opposite results that may be emulated in District 51 should be lauded, not denigrated.
Pat Kanda, Mike Lowenstein and John Sluder are three board candidates who believe changes are needed for different results.
B. GENE HUGHES
Owner of chicken ranch ignored advice of judge
In your Oct. 6 article about the Edwin Hostetler’s 15,000 chicken operation on Powell Mesa, outside of Hotchkiss, the reporter omitted some salient points.
Perhaps the most important at this juncture is that Judge Patrick warned Hostetler that he would build and populate the chicken barn at his own risk, that if the judgment went against him (Hostetler), it would be his loss for his own poor decision. Ignoring the judge’s advice, Hostetler began building immediately.
In addition, the reporter did not mention that not just one, but two planning committees turned the chicken operation down, previous to the commissioners Ok’ing it. He did not report that, in the several meetings before the county commissioners, a large amount of documentation regarding the negative impacts on health, the environment and land values were introduced, orally and in writing.
Nor did he write that the county commissioners ignored the county’s own directives in the master plan about operations that would adversely affect established neighborhoods. Supporters of the Hostetlers insist that the “right to farm” law applies to his operation.
No! Common sense demands that no development that arrives after a farm or ranch operation is in place can then shut that agricultural operation down. But Hostetler’s operation is the opposite of that. He moved his polluting operation into an established neighborhood. (Both the commissioners and the judge agreed early on that this was not a “right to farm” issue.) If the same chicken operation is allowed on Redlands Mesa, the same negative impacts will occur.
In both places, Powell and Redlands Mesas, there is a mix of agriculture and residential. No one should have the right to move in and destroy the health and well being of those who have lived and or farmed in established neighborhoods for many years.
One last point: It has been rumored that the opponents to the Hostetlers are wealthy types who recently moved to the area and are against agriculture. In nearly every case, the opponents of the chicken operations are natives of Delta County; none of them is rich; and many come from ag backgrounds, as we do.
MARY and CHUCK FARMER
Chihauhau waiting for her family
On Sept. 30, I was traveling west on Orchard Avenue between 28 3/4 Road & 28 Road when I saw a little Chihuahua running in the middle of the road toward oncoming traffic. Putting on my hazard lights, I stopped my truck and got her before she was hit and killed.
This little girl has no collar or tags and is the sweetest little thing. I’m sure that she has family out there that loves her and would like to have her home safe and sound, so I have her with me at my home. I am waiting for your call at (970) 260-0195 so I can reunite her with you.
RUE M. KUBICK
Those contemplating suicide must reach out, ask for help
I would like to apologize to your readers for the article featuring my work printed on the front page of your paper on Sept. 25. Not only did the reporter embellish my story and report inaccurately, she also did not follow safe reporting guidelines, edited out the important pieces of what I said about prevention, and did not use any resources I supplied for her regarding statistics.
My son read it and said, “You sound like an angry, ill person. This was written horribly and is not even the truth.” Friends who have known me for years were absolutely disgusted by what was printed. I can only imagine the reaction from people who don’t know me personally.
The most important thing I would like your readers to know is: 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a TREATABLE mental illness. For every person who dies by suicide an estimated 25 to 200 people attempt to end their life.
Because of that, I said to your reporter, “It is much easier for people to ask for help before attempting. After they attempt, they have SO many more problems. They have to look their loved ones in the eye, answer countless questions, rebuild trust, face the fact that they may not be able to get health, life, or car insurance and, if they can, their rates are raised. They also have to face the medical bills, lack of work if they missed work because of the attempt etc. Their life becomes much more difficult after a suicide attempt and what most people do not realize is how often people attempt to end their life. People in this position want the horrible pain to end, however, if they attempt the pain is amplified and spread all over everyone they know.”
I want to reach people before an attempt with this message: There is hope and your mental illness or problems are treatable, no matter how hopeless it may seem. Ask for help. Every life matters.
The message Attempted Suicide Help.com, acronym ASH, is Acceptance Strength Healing. After a suicide attempt, loved ones feel isolated, anger, rage, fear, guilt etc. The resources I have researched, compiled and published help these people through this complicated grieving process and gives them hope that life will not be the same as it was before but it can be different and it can be better. To do that it takes commitment, honesty, work and a desire to make your relationships and your life healthy.
ASH also has resources for friends of loved ones, attempters, professionals, a blog, links to other helpful websites, and a storefront.