Printed letters, April 26, 2013

The editorial on April 21 about the recent city expenditure regarding lead contamination at a firing range gave the inaccurate impression that lead is harmless unless ingested by children. This is false.

The adverse effects on small mammals and birds are widely supported by the technical literature, which has shown mortality to these animals may result from the ingestion of a single lead shotgun pellet.

Of 157 doves fed two to 24 lead-shot pellets, 104 died prior to the conclusion of the study while all 22 control doves survived.

(Note: Doves commonly ingest grit because it is necessary for digestion of their diet.)

The above information is documented in two peer-reviewed scientific reports I have co-authored and published. The research was performed with funding from the U.S. Army and accomplished in collaboration with researchers from the Army, as well as Columbia University.

All efforts should be made to eliminate lead from the aquatic and terrestrial environment. 

Responsible sportsmen should never use lead ammunition. Indeed, the U.S. military has led the effort to develop lead-free ammunition experimenting with tungsten, nylon and other components.


Grand Junction

Recent events demonstrate
importance of volunteering

Over the past week, readers may have become familiar with a quote that has resurfaced from the “Mister Rogers Parenting Book”: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

During this week, which is National Volunteer Week, I can’t think of a better quote to capture the hope, help and inspiration that volunteers provide during the toughest moments in our lives.

The American Red Cross relies on the hard work of tens of thousands of volunteers across the United States, including about 2,000 volunteers here in Colorado.

During our responses to the Boston bombing, the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, and flooding throughout the Midwest this week, it has been volunteers who have provided comfort, aid, health services and hugs.

And, even as those volunteers are working long days responding, dozens of other volunteers are giving their time right here in local communities such as ours to help people prepare for and prevent future disasters and emergencies.

They’re teaching CPR and first aid, training groups and businesses in preparedness and readying themselves to respond to the next disaster, whether it be a single-family house fire, a flood or a wildfire.

We would like to thank every person who volunteers or has volunteered for the Red Cross. If you see a volunteer this week, thank him or her. And if you are a volunteer yourself, thank you.


Executive Director

Western Colorado Chapter

American Red Cross

Grand Junction


Assist in Stamp Out Hunger 
food drive to aid food banks

Saturday, May 11, marks the 21st anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving — the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

Each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect from our customers non-perishable food donations. These donations go directly to our local food pantries to provide food to people in need, and there are so many in Mesa County who need our help.

Those local food agencies include Agape Food Basket in Fruita, Child and Migrant Services in Palisade, Clifton Christian Church Food Program, the Community Food Bank, Outreach Soup Kitchen, the Rescue Mission and Salvation Army.

Last year, more than 70 million pounds of food were collected in America, feeding an estimated 30 million people.

Over the course of its 20-year history, the drive has collected more than a billion pounds of food.

In Mesa County, 102,000 pounds of food were delivered by letter carriers to local food banks last year.

The need for food donations is great. Currently, 50 million Americans — one in six — are unsure where their next meal is coming from.

Children in these households feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school.

Nearly 3 million seniors over age 65 must deal with hunger as well, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.

Our food drive’s timing is pivotal, as well. Local food banks often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available.

Participating in this year’s Letter Carrier National Food Drive is simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 11, and your letter carrier will pick it up.

I invite you to join in America’s great day of giving and help stamp out hunger.

LINDA GAINES                                           

Grand Junction


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