Printed Letters: Aug. 8, 2014

Former coach says sports are woefully underfunded
Hopefully this letter will help those uninformed members of the public like Jeanette Wicks, who spread rumors through ignorance via printed letters to the editor. I will give her credit in acknowledging that coach’s salaries are a big expense in providing an avenue for students to participate in programs that help them learn lifelong skills in a variety of environments.

Athletics receives $20,190 for the four local high schools, which amounts to about $866 per sport, including sports for girls. The supply budget has been cut by 60 percent over the last five years and coaches, student/athletes, and parents must fundraise for supplies and to honor the current schedules for competition.

That $866 will buy about four helmets in football. You can see the challenges for schools that are offering up to 21 activities for students to participate in at their respective schools.

To believe that athletics is a waste of money and has little or no value to its participants really proves a lack of understanding. To perpetuate that lack of understanding in the form of disseminating false information shows a lack of character and goodwill, at the very least.

It is actually shameful for a school board to fund athletics at less than three-quarters of 1 percent of the total budget for District 51, knowing the value of athletics in the total scheme of educational value.

Grand Junction

Western Slope’s role in water planning can’t be overstated
Thank you to the Daily Sentinel for the timely discussion of water in Wednesday’s edition. During the next session, the legislature will be considering a state water plan. I’ve been attending sessions at CMU’s Water Center and some of the roundtable outreach sessions for the past four years.

We know that 80 percent of Colorado’s water falls on the Western Slope, but that 87 percent of Colorado’s population lives on the Front Range. Hydrologists are predicting that Colorado will experience substantial water shortages by 2050. As Jim Pokrandt, a Colorado River District spokesman, said, “The river district is not interested in West Slope agriculture being a sacrifice zone to solve the state’s water problems. As a participant, we’re going to make the point that all sectors have to share the pain.”

It is no surprise that Front Range communities are all looking to the Colorado River for additional water they need. The importance of this issue for the people of Mesa County cannot be overstated.

We need to make sure that water continues to flow down the Colorado in sufficient quantity and quality to keep our local farmers producing peaches and our wineries producing world-class wines.

Yet, to the amazement of many who were there, my opponent got up and walked out of a recent briefing by James Eklund, the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the man who is leading the development of the Colorado Water Plan.

The Western Slope needs a constructive and active presence in the development of the water plan. If he’s not willing to sit at the table, not willing to listen and build relationships with key players, it is hard to see how my opponent will be able to protect our interests.

Candidate for 
Colorado’s Senate, District 7
Grand Junction

Chip-and-seal method used
 by county is ruining roads
Why does Mesa County take otherwise good roads and apply this mess called chip and seal? I can’t find a good reason on their website that convinces me that chip and seal is even necessary.

The mess it creates just doesn’t seem to be worth it. There is loose gravel everywhere and Mesa County doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to clean it up. Also, I bike to work and have to ride over this chip and seal on the way and it’s not a very comfortable ride compared to the nice smooth surface of the previous road condition.

In addition, in many areas of Orchard Mesa where I live, the county doesn’t finish the job on certain streets by putting on the top layer of liquid asphalt that seals in the loose gravel that they previously laid. This creates even more loose gravel on those streets that get the additional top layer of the liquid asphalt. What’s up with that?

I just have to shake my head. Is chip and seal just created to give the Mesa County street workers something to do during the summer? I’m from Wisconsin where the winter road conditions are much worse than they are here and chip and seal is nowhere to be found. No more chip and seal in Mesa County, please.

Grand Junction


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Once again we see Ray Scott’s opponent using unfounded accusations as a means of distraction from her own lack of ideas and knowledge of the issues. If the Democrat opponent believes legislative input in the state water plan is important, she should applaud Ray Scott for defending that principle by walking out of a meeting along with other legislators because their roles as representatives of the people were being minimized by a bureaucratic process.
Ray Scott has a reputation as a fierce advocate and defender of natural resources and jobs on the Western Slope.  He sponsored HB 1223, which brought diversity to the representation of energy interests in Colorado by requiring the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission seat members from all regions of the state. During his second term, the Democrat Speaker of the House appointed Ray Scott to the Council of State Governments-WEST (CSG-West) Water and Environment Committee, citing his unique expertise in those areas.
Ray Scott’s opponent talks of “building relationships with key players” yet uses mud-slinging as her primary campaign tactic. Ray Scott not only builds alliances across the aisle in addressing Colorado jobs and natural resources, but he stands for principle and has a record that proves it.

Why isn’t Ms. Konola speaking about her own background and how she can help the Western Slope instead of putting her opponent down?  I see nothing in her letter that said how she would fight for the Western Slope only a “he’s doing it wrong” approach. 

If Ray Scott felt that walking out of a meeting was a way to make a statement, to get a point across, then by all means, he was right to do it.  Ray Scott gets things done and works hard for the Western Slope.  I’ve none only heard lots of noise from his opponent.

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