November 16, email letters

Don’t let ‘authorities’
control children’s lives

The Daily Sentinel’s front-page story, “More than plows, sows and cows” in the Tuesday edition shows us how our lives are increasingly controlled by government authorities.  It is done in a subliminally deceptive way.  The things we ask of our leadership when we say, “Why don’t they?” even our smallest demands, end up becoming law without regard for their all-encompassing effects.  Admittedly what they do is mostly our own fault for abandoning what normally is our parental responsibility.
Kids today wearing helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and special clothing when riding a tricycle or bicycle, all for their safety. Fences around ponds, and ditches off limits.  Kids not allowed to walk to school because we are fearful of the remote and unlikely danger of a criminally inclined individual while ignoring the pervasive health risks inherent in their obesity.
Now we want to restrict kids from normal work on a farm. Why is it wrong for them to see animals which are sexually mature or nursing their young (something people also do)?  Why is it better to have them get such knowledge in a fictitious way from TV programming and commercials?
My father, an immigrant without an education, unable to read or write, would have been incarcerated had he raised us in this current goody-two shoes age. The same with my wife, a farm girl, who at age six worked in her parents cotton fields chopping and picking cotton. Through hard work on their part and the part of their children, their generation successfully raised and educated the following generation to become successful responsible adults, many of whom went on to establish businesses that, in turn, provided the jobs necessary for others to do the same.
All the things kids do on farms or other businesses teach them how to be self-reliant, confident in their abilities, and able to lead. It builds character. Please let’s stop trying to control their real life learning experiences with touchy feely restrictions legislated by supposedly well-meaning “authorities.”
Robert A. Tallarico
Grand Junction

Community must cooperate
to combat child abuse

The recent child abuse scandal at Penn State is another negative reflection that our priorities as a society have deteriorated. A football program that brings in over $52 million a year is more important to some than protecting our children from abuse and violence.

Child abuse hurts a child for the rest of his or her life. When one grows up as a hurt person, he or she feels shame, guilt, confusion, fear and anger. Such people are out of balance with themselves, their family, their school, and community. Let’s be positive, caring adults to our children. Let’s show them compassion, support and love and let’s break the cycle of cover ups and destruction of young lives.

I hope as a society we take this opportunity to redirect our energies to making youth a true priority. I encourage moral and positive citizens to become volunteers for organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, 4H, Partners Mentoring Program, Western Slope Center for Children, Foster Grandparents, RSVP and Court Appointed Special Advocates. Become foster parents. Get involved in supporting our schools. Donate to School District 51’s Foundation. Join” How are the Children’s” efforts to protect our youth from Child Abuse.

Report child abuse when you suspect it.  If you are already involved in support the youth of our community, tell and recruit others. If you are not yet involved, then get involved or invest your financial support in organizations that are making a positive impact. Let’s recommit ourselves to our children.
Joe Higgins
Grand Junction

Drilling is not long-term
solution for our schools

In response to Marcia Neal’s Nov. 15t letter, I disagree that “only responsible energy development,” is the solution to funding Colorado public schools. Although drilling in the Vermillion Basin may provide short-term funding, it is not a long-term solution to funding our public schools.

In order to “grow Colorado’s economy” to increase school funding, Grand Junction, in particular, needs to diversify beyond oil and gas otherwise this city will never overcome the boom and bust cycle of the oil and gas industries. Moreover, with oil and gas development, our employment rates and economic development are essentially at the mercy of out-of-state oil and gas executives.

Small businesses in the Grand Valley are experiencing budget problems due to the unemployment rate, which is directly tied to the current bust of the oil and gas industries. Grand Junction should consider: (1) development of its river front, (2) pushing for national park status of the Monument, (3) working with Powderhorn Mountain Resort to attract tourist to Grand Junction, (4) partner with Colorado Mesa University to foster development and growth of the University, and (4) providing tax incentives to attract businesses to relocate to Grand Junction.

Neal noted that New Mexico “pays almost all of its education funding from its trust land funds …”  Yet, the high school graduation rate of New Mexico Public Schools in 2010 was a mere 67 percent. New Mexico’s public school system is not a model to follow in Mesa County. Neal’s contention that drilling, and thereby degradation of our environment and natural resources, is necessary to adequately fund our public schools only serves to foster the cyclical boom and bust pattern of oil and gas production.

Economic diversification and increased property taxes are the solutions to providing consistent funding for our public schools.
Paul Smith
Grand Junction


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