November 17, 2011 Printed letters

Big-time college football
should fund higher ed

Apparently the world’s oldest profession is thriving at universities across the nation. The revelations in the Nov. 11 column by George Will angered me so much I can barely maintain civil language.

Will revealed the “accelerating preposterousness of big-time college football” by exposing the salaries of the head football coaches of LSU and Alabama at $3.75 million and $4.6 million, respectively.  Mind you, these are in two of our poorest states.

Also Texas signed a “20 year $300 million deal with ESPN” and ABC “will by next year spend more than $700 million” on college athletics. From my understanding, all this money goes into college athletics (and coaches).

This is not only ludicrous. It is absolutely shameful that, while these schools prostitute themselves to get on TV, taxpayers are being continually asked to pony up more to support higher education and tuition is increasing.

If a college coach is worth that much money, it’s time for him to go to the pros. Earning several times more than the college president just fails intellect and ethics.

If any school (even private ones) get this much money from TV contracts, that money should go into the state higher education system to help lower students’ cost of education (all, not just one school and not just athletes) and to move some of the tax money saved into general education funds.

I think of all the students and their heavy student loans and all of the teachers struggling to comply with a population that thinks they’re worthless. Then, to see higher education athletics turned into little more than a pimp grooming high-priced whores is simply sickening.

EILEEN O’TOOLE

Grand Junction

Child sexual abuse occurs in our own community

Child sexual abuse is a horrifying truth that exists, even in our own community. In response to the recent public disclosures in the news, we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that statistics repeatedly show one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before they turn 18.

The Western Slope Center for Children is one of 15 child advocacy centers in Colorado (725 nationwide) that serve children who have been harmed by someone in unimaginable ways.

This year, WSCC will serve more than 300 children who have been sexually or physically abused. It is overwhelming to think, based on the statistic that less than 10 percent of child victims will ever tell anyone what happened to them, there may be 3,000 child victims in our community who are too afraid to tell their stories.

Children are not responsible for their own protection. We must help make our community a safer place to be a child. Take time to learn the signs of abuse and help protect children. It takes courage to get involved, yet it is our responsibility.

It is not up to us to decide whether abuse has occurred. It is our duty to report any suspicion so that those trained to make that determination can do their job. If you suspect child abuse of any kind, please contact the anonymous Child Protection Hotline number 242-1211. If you witness child abuse, immediately call 911. Remember: It shouldn’t hurt to be a child.

SHARI ZEN, Executive Director

The Board of Directors and staff

Western Slope Center for Children

Grand Junction

Keep federal government out of nation’s barnyards

It is time for the federal government to get out our barnyards! The front-page article on Nov. 15 said it all. The culture of our farmers, the work ethic to which they subscribe and the economics by which they survive, have been under constant attack for dec-ades. The latest salvo, as reported in the article, is ridiculous.

At age 12, while living in Oregon, I, and hundreds of other kids my age, were doing the “work that Americans will not do.” I worked for a local farmer, being paid by to pick strawberries, raspberries and green beans.

In the early 1960s, we personally experienced the results of another wave of child labor laws. Because our hours in the fields were cut, our potential income was reduced, as we were paid by the pound. No one had to tell us what the end result in the government’s meddling would be to our incomes.

The new regulations being considered further erode the basic fabric of our culture that has produced the food, the work ethic, the innovations, the common sense and the drive for success that has made this country the greatest nation on Earth.

The regulatory machine in Washington, D.C., is crushing the life out of this nation, one stupid rule at a time. The rules and regulations no longer help, but only hurt our struggling economy. It is time that someone or some group stands up and says “enough.”

It may just be our farm neighbors and friends who will take the first steps. If they don’t, who will? Are you ready to support them when they do?

JIM PETERMEN

Grand Junction

St. Mary’s care was saintly for one patient

I recently had a medical emergency and had to spend roughly 24 hours at St. Mary’s Hospital.

I want to thank all of the staff involved with my care. I could not have been treated better, and when I left, I had most of my dignity intact.

As far as I am concerned they are all saints for what was involved in fixing me up. I pray God blesses them all.

PHILIP STARK

Grand Junction


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