Printed letters, April 12, 2013

I am a licensed social worker and marriage and family therapist, and I have run a counseling center in Grand Junction for 35 years. As part of my business, I regularly work with court-ordered domestic violence offenders, so I have been watching the Rick Brainard saga with much interest.

According to the police report, Brainard said that he had to slap his girlfriend because she needed to “shut her mouth.” This statement is particularly offensive and makes my job more difficult, because I tell my clients they should never treat women, or anyone, like Brainard apparently did his girlfriend.

My clients are accountable for their actions, accept responsibility for them and face the consequences. If the courts go any easier on Brainard for his crime than they have for my clients and their crimes, it will set a bad example that favoritism and advantage are afforded higher profile people in this community than “regular citizens” who commit the same crimes.

I also want to say that, given the amount of information already made public about Brainard’s alleged assault, it would be a thoughtful gesture if Brainard graciously relinquished his seat on council.

It would be better for all of us if we could have local elected officials who gain notoriety for more positive characteristics such as good ethics, patience and respect toward others, particularly in situations involving duress.


Grand Junction


City Council members should
request that Brainard resign

You would think there would be a public uproar that we had some competent candidates not get elected to the City Council, one of them by as few as 63 votes, and yet in a few weeks we will have a new councilor sworn in who admitted to hitting his live-in girlfriend after first lying about it to police.

If members of the City Council would use some common sense, they would all sign a letter and ask Rick Brainard to resign before he besmirches the reputation of the city, so they could appoint someone else.

If Brainard had any personal integrity or shame, he would do so without being asked. However, it is unlikely that someone who apparently can’t control his temper and tries to justify hitting a woman will do so.


Grand Junction

Brainard should step down
after admitting attack

I wholeheartedly agree with The Daily Sentinel editorial Wednesday recommending that Rick Brainard step down from his City Council position.

I also can hardly believe that Brainard’s claim of “many calls and emails of support” that he allegedly “received the past few days.” Is there something in the air, water or food around here that affects people’s minds?

How can anyone read Paul Shockley’s reporting and then have the least bit of respect for this man? Have we elected another council member with the “my way or the highway” frame of mind?

Brainard says he examines all sides of an issue and takes a big-picture approach to a decision — unless, apparently, someone takes serious issue with him. As the Sentinel editorial mentions, “But there will always be questions about how he may respond to constituents, city staff members or fellow councilors when he becomes angry.” This was also my reaction to the unfolding events.

Any man who thinks physically assaulting a woman is within his rights, for whatever reason, has some very serious issues. And, while not yet convicted, the facts are clear from the released police reports.


Grand Junction

Nazis murdered 5 million
non-Jews during Holocaust

I observed yet another poorly stated and perhaps poorly researched item in The Daily Sentinel editorial column.

The “Never Again” editorial stated, “Some six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of others were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust.”

While 6 million Jews (approximately two-thirds of the Jews living in Europe at that time) were indeed murdered, including 1.1 million children, there were more than 5 million (close to 6 million) other people murdered, as well.

Among them were Polish people, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, Jehovah’s Witnesses, black people and anyone else the Nazi government didn’t like, including some Germans. These facts are easy to find online.

I think everyone should know all the facts about evil run wild. If not, it will come again.




Many local citizens deserve
thanks for riverfront vision

Thanks to Jim Spehar for mentioning my name in his April 9 column that, in part, mentioned two early contributors to the Riverfront Trail. While I did make a contribution, many others also made important contributions, some more than mine.

Chairmen Jim Robb (it seemed to me it became Jim’s “next career”) and Bill Ela ably led us, but it was a happy, very collaborative commission effort with others, which yielded amazing results.

The earlier accomplishments have been continued and expanded by many other folks who have made and are making wonderful things happen. The best chronicle of the earlier commission years I’ve seen is the “People, Parks and Trails,” authored by Robb, Ela and Bob Silbernagel and Dave Buchanan of The Daily Sentinel.


Grand Junction


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