Printed Letters: August 11, 2017

Protecting public lands not a partisan issue

On Sunday, Aug. 6, The Daily Sentinel ran an opinion piece by Robin Brown about the importance of the outdoor recreation industry learning from sportsmen. I’m an avid sportsmen and she hit the nail right on the head with this column. As Westerners we highly value our public lands.

Robin alluded to this when mentioning the crowd that gathered in downtown Grand Junction for Colorado Public Lands Day. The crowd consisted of “tree huggers and sportsmen” getting along great, cheering on Gov. John Hickenlooper as he highlighted the importance of our shared public lands. I’ve hunted, fished, hiked and camped all over this beautiful state and Utah, and I’ve made many lifelong friendships with sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts. We aren’t all that different.

Protecting our public lands and our national monuments is not a partisan issue. Although many of my friends vary along the ideological spectrum, they all agree we must protect our public lands. We’ve shown we can come together and make a difference as we see comments pouring in to protect our national monuments.

The ongoing national monument review lead by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and set into motion by President Trump’s executive order is an attack on our national monuments. I just recently took my family out to Bears Ears national monument and did some climbing in Indian Creek — this place is absolutely remarkable! Bears Ears is clearly worth protecting and it’s a shame that our leaders don’t agree. Could we imagine if our Colorado National Monument wasn’t protected?

I encourage everyone who cares about our national monuments to let Secretary Zinke know you care. And if you already submitted comments, thank you!

CARLOS PADILLA
Fruita

Make the effort to keep homes and yards presentable

Everywhere you look, you can see junk and weeds, weeds, and more weeds. There is no excuse for this, other than a complete lack of pride of ownership. I understand that the city has funding problems and has not hired a weed control officer this year. However, we should not need somebody — anybody — to convince us to make our homes and yards look at least presentable, if not great. Had we received a normal amount of rain this year, I’m afraid that we would now be buried in weeds. If you can’t physically or financially manage this, ask for help. I think that there are many groups or individuals willing to help their neighbors if asked, or who would arrange for someone or some group who can help.

I hate to hear visitors comment that Grand Junction looks so shabby, something they really didn’t expect. I have heard a few real estate agents say that they have had potential buyers of a home almost committed to buy and suddenly back out because the property next door looked so bad.

We cannot call ourselves the Western Slope leaders in almost every category and visually look so shabby. Keeping your yard visually attractive can be so easy if you’ll just dedicate yourself to daily, if not regular, attention.

If we have any pride in our homes, our yards, city, and county, we will get to work now and clean up. Do yourselves, your neighborhoods, and the city and county proud. Let’s try for a concerted effort on the part of all individuals, businesses, city, county, and state. We deserve to look better than we do right now.

ANTHONY “BUDDY” VALDEZ
Grand Junction

It’s a no-brainer to designate 
a University Boulevard

Am I the only one reading the paper shaking my head at the lunacy of arguments being made by a few people opposing a name change for North Avenue? A few short years ago, Grand Junction played host to a sleepy little state college no one really paid attention to. Now, we’ve got a growing university that hosts more than 10,000 students every year. It’s crazy for Grand Junction not to take advantage of this fact and claim its rightful place as this region’s university town.

A no-brainer way to claim this place would include designating a University Boulevard adjacent to campus — like virtually every other town that recognizes the importance of hosting a college or university has done.

And let’s not kid ourselves. Drive from one end of North Avenue to the other and you’ll see a once-bustling corridor rotting on the vine. To be sure, changing the name of the street is no silver bullet. However, looking the other way as more and more merchants close their doors along North is not an option.

City Council — change the name and find a way to invest in sprucing up this corridor. For once, let’s take a little pride in our community.

STEVE SHRINER
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Mr. Shriner represents something which is all too common, and throughout this country. Individual who are constantly in search of some “magic bullet” that will solve all problems.  So, while well intended, such individuals usually end up saying “do this” or “that” and everything will be taken care of.  Changing the name of a street is just one such proposal.

The argument he uses, that North Avenue appears “run down” and needs to be revitalized (at taxpayer expense)was not preceded by asking the question “Why is it run-down, and who is responsible for that condition?”  And, unless that is asked (and answered) such projects only provide temporary cosmetic changes, and it will “run down” again, and once again have to be re-vitalized in the future (again at taxpayer expense).  So, what we end up doing is the same thing, over and over again.

If a structure is “run down”, it is the owner that is responsible for allowing that to happen.  That is as true of business retail space as it is of any other rental property.  There are some renters or apartment building owners who take care of their property while others couldn’t care less just as long as they get their rent.  They look at that property as little else than a “cash cow”.  Thus, we have what are referred to as “slums”.  What happens to neighborhoods can (and does) happen to entire business districts as well.

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