E-mail letters, Feb. 23, 2010

‘Over the Top’ video was unhealthy for American minds

I regretfully report that Feb. 18 “Over the Top” video of cake as metaphor for climate science dished up nothing but a sugary, fat-laden helping of fluff and pablum.

An editorial page editor must critically assess news and events. Sadly, Bob Silbernagel abdicated his responsibility. His regurgitation of errors and misinformation nicely illustrates the danger of letting others think for you.

The “series of very troublesome errors” Mr. Silbernagel cites in the most recent United Nation’s scientific assessment are two errors in a 2,800-page, four volume report

And there has never been political consensus on climate change. Arizona and Utah may be breaking with the Western Climate Initiative; ConocoPhillips, BP and Caterpillar have quit the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. But that is simply the ebb and flow of politics. It certainly doesn’t mean scientific conclusions dating back to 1824 are melting away.

We can, however, draw one informative lesson from the Sentinel’s cake metaphor. The “iceberg-colored” cake, surely a product of a supermarket bakery, laden in hydrogenated oils and refined flour and sugars, is about as healthy for the American diet as Mr. Silbernagel’s discourse is for the American mind.

I would expect better fare out of one of Colorado’s finer editorial pages.

Douglas Fischer, Editor

DailyClimate.org

Boulder

GJHS theater students provide great entertainment

Fabulous! Our family attended the Grand Junction High School theater production of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” The set design and construction and technical

effects rivaled any professional production I have seen. The students and community volunteers really outdid themselves. The actors and musicians were enthusiastic and well prepared.

I am so pleased to see our education tax dollars produce something so educational, accomplishing literacy goals, public speaking, vocational skills and arts education, as well as recreation for our students. I know there were countless hours spent outside of the classroom preparing for this show.

What a privilege to have such quality family entertainment at a reasonable price in our community. Thank you all for an incredible afternoon and all your hard work.

Cherlyn Crawford

Grand Junction

Don’t turn over prisons to private companies

I have recently learned that the state enator who is supposed to represent me at the state Capitol, Josh Penry, has submitted a bill (House Bill 1219) that would authorize the executive director of the Department of Corrections to sell by competitive bid the correctional facilities owned by his department, regardless of the security level.

I do not understand why? Didn’t we, as a state, learn from the costly riots that

happened at the privately run Crowley County facility?

Why would a politician who is supposed to look after our rights want to turn over the rights of citizens who are incarcerated to a for-profit private company?

If this is such a grand idea, why not take it a step further? Privatize the state police, privatize the judges. Why not privatize the whole legal system?

In my opinion he is maybe taking the first steps to that very destination. My hope is he will change his fickle mind like he did on his run for governor.

Peggy Barron

Grand Junction

Why don’t U.S. Olympians represent their country?

It long has been my impression that Olympic athletes represented their countries and, for a large part of the world, that is true.

However, I notice that American athletes, according to a recent sports page, under Saturday’s Medalists, that our athletes represent not the United States but various cities:

Alpine Skiing, Women Super G, bronze, Lindsay Vonn, VAIL; Short Track Speed skating, Men 1000, bronze, Apolo Ohno, SEATTLE; Speed skating, Men 1500, silver, Shani Davis, CHICAGO. All other medal winners were noted by their country.

There is no one at the Olympics representing Grand Junction so I have no one to cheer on to victory. And since the athletes seem to be representing their hometowns, I suggest they forego the red, white and blue colors of the United States and dress themselves in the colors, flags and anthems of the city they represent.

How this has come about I don’t know, but I’ll bet my last dollar the athletes themselves had no say in this. The Olympics is way too much talk, way too many ads, too little action and, seemingly, little national pride.

T. Streff

Grand Junction

Politicians will never cut when funds are flush

In a letter to the editor published on Feb. 24, writer John Borgen advocates that it is important for the federal government to resort to deficit spending during a recession to make the economy healthy again. He further claims that once that is accomplished, then we can solve the deficit spending problem and resolve the debt.

I do not wish to argue whether the stimulus is working or not, but I do want to make a point of my own. When has the government, be it federal, state, county or local, ever reduced spending and budgets in good times? In fact, the politicians in good times spend more money with the excuse that “the time is now when we have the money.” It’s almost as if they feel it is a disease to end up with surplus so they just create more ways to spend. It is folly to think most elected officials can control themselves.

L.W. Hunley

Grand Junction

Parents must assume responsibility for teens

I agree with the headline for Gary Harmon’s Feb. 21, column. It is safe to say that “too few people take seriously the problem of underage drinking.” From that point on, though, I think he stopped short of saying a few things.

In my professional life, years ago I ran a government-funded alcohol and other drug prevention program targeting youth. It was the 1980s and the drug czar’s war on teenage drinking was en vogue.  After millions of taxpayer dollars were spent to prevent the problem, some success was had but not much.

It’s easy to get on board with the idea of tackling the problem with all sorts of community-based strategies, but changing the tide on the river Harmon calls, “Denial” has to start at home. Experience has taught me that you can raise awareness of the problem, toughen the laws, and strengthen enforcement but not much will change until parents actually assume the role of parenting their children.

This sounds like a clich&233;, but reality is that the problem begins at home in the dynamic of the family, where attitudes about alcohol consumption are shaped. Until parents understand that use of alcohol by someone underage is abuse and not simply a rite of passage teenage drinking will always be treated with a laissez faire attitude.

The list of reasons this is the prevailing mindset of parents is as varied as the family dynamics that make up every home. Sadly, the permissive attitude that exists in our culture today about the consumption of alcohol hurts children. As a society, we tolerate far too many things that undermine the healthy emotional growth and development of children and why? Is it ignorance or is it because to do something about it takes more energy than people want to invest.

It’s far easier to acquiesce as a parent than to assume responsibility for the development of children capable of saying no to anything especially things that are potentially very thrilling. Let’s face it, sneaking out with your friends, buying booze illegally, and then catching a buzz can be really fun. Nobody starts out playing with fire believing they will get burned. We all know, however, that you can ask anyone who has and they will be glad to show you their scars.

Make all the legal and societal consequences of teenage drinking as tough as you want, but until parents take a more meaningful role in the prevention of it nothing will change.  Everyone in the field of prevention knows this and I think most parents know it too.  Perhaps that’s why the “strange hush” Harmon describes in his commentary has fallen on the valley?  People don’t usually speak out about things they know they are ignoring.

Karen Ledebur

Grand Junction

Kudos to Grand Valley wrestling champions

Congratulations to Coach Rick Gallegos and his Team Grand Valley Wrestlers for their achievements at the state championships. All five qualifiers deserve special recognition.

David Witt’s terrific season often required wrestling more experienced, seasoned opponents. Qualifying for state his sophomore year provided experience from which he’ll derive future benefit.

Jerrod Busch was the “comeback kid.” After a late start following a football injury, he excelled at regional and finished sixth at state.

Tyler Miles can take pride in compiling a fantastic high school record. On this trip to state, he emerged with a “bronze” to go with his “gold medal.” Spirit and determination are trademarks of his wrestling career.

Jared Tonder had a great year, going 45-1, concluding with yet another “persistent pin” for the championship. His positive approach of “having fun,” especially in tough matches, was not only key to his success, but also put smiles on the faces of spectators.

Randy Gallegos finished his senior year undefeated, 41-0, with a well-earned championship after many meaningful years under Dad’s coaching. Their close association and mutual respect is apparent. Now they can rejoice in sharing Randy‘s triumph as the culmination of their “fantastic journey.”

Coach Gallegos has made an incredible contribution to wrestling at Grand Valley High School, after starting with a pee wee program in the early 1990s. Rick has not only been an inspiration to the many young men he has coached, but a positive asset to our community, as well.

While wrestling is considered an “individual” sport, there’s plenty of teamwork behind the scenes. So congratulations are extended to all who participated this year at GVHS. Thanks, Team Grand Valley for raising our spirits at a time when our community really needed a lift!

Richard Doran

Parachute

Evers’ knowledge of area will be sorely missed

It was with sadness that I saw of the passing of former Grand Junction Police Chief Bob Evers. Bob was a true public servant and as knowledgeable as any one on the facilities at the Police Department.

In 1984, I worked with Bob as the structural engineer on the new two-story, west-wing

addition that presently houses the investigative and administrative offices.

I am not sure Bob Evers was ever consulted on these existing facilities during the last grandiose design that came from Denver architects, but his acquaintance with the existing station certainly would have been prudent in programming for the new facility, even to the point of maybe suggesting the west wing of the present facility might be able to be blended into the new structure (it is designed for two more levels), thus adding some cost savings.

Bob’s local knowledge will be sorely missed.

Lee Lindauer

Grand Junction



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