Printed Letters: August 15, 2017

Monument deserves 
a name change

In the wake of Trump’s review of the Department of the Interior, the idea of a change in status or just a change in name for the Colorado National Monument has once again reared its head. And just like the last time, “Red Rocks” and “Rim Rocks” are the two most popular suggestions.

But the problem with “Red Rocks,” even though it is an apt description, is that there are already several very well known locales with that name, including one right here in Colorado. It just wouldn’t be unique enough to be a draw. And as for “Rim Rocks,” well, it’s just flat out a dumb name. There, I said it.

I agree that the park needs at the very least a change in moniker, even if it doesn’t get a change in status. Personally, I like “Colorado Canyons National Monument/Park.” It is descriptive of the area’s unique landscapes, which are unlike anything found elsewhere in the state. Plus, the location is right in the name. And to alleviate the confusion that people have regarding the famous monolith found inside the park — “How can there be a monument in the monument?” — just rename it to something like “Independence Tower,” “Sentinel Tower,” or some other such name. We should be proud of our unique little park and shouldn’t saddle it with a bland unimpressive name.


County leadership’s treatment of Gray Gourmet is wrong

I’m pretty disappointed in Mesa County’s leadership right now. While constructive discourse isn’t happening in the halls of Congress, the least we can expect is that local government and business leaders comport themselves with politesse. I’m referring to the dismissive way the county has treated the local meals on wheels program, an award winning and well-respected program that has provided life-enhancing service to Mesa County for over 40 years. I had the privilege of directing the Gray Gourmet Senior Nutrition Program for several years and have witnessed firsthand its remarkable efficiency and stewardship.

Gray Gourmet utilizes hundreds of volunteers and relies on numerous community partnerships to prepare and deliver 400-500 meals to group dining sites and homebound elderly each day. Gray Gourmet’s meal production starts at 6 a.m. and commences with meal deliveries to over 20 carefully choreographed sites and routes throughout the Grand Valley. This arduous logistical feat is vital to those served. Gray Gourmet’s tasty, hearty meals nourish elderly who meet strict criteria for demonstrated need. Annually, Gray Gourmet serves over 1,400 elderly persons with compassion, dignity and laudable efficiency. Nearly all meal recipients insist on contributing toward the cost of their meals despite limited income.

While some meals on wheels programs nationwide receive allocated financial support from their county governments, this has not been the case in Mesa County. In lieu of that, the county’s discounted building rent over the past two decades has helped keep the Gray Gourmet program viable. Over time a genuinely cordial relationship and mutual appreciation prospered between Mesa County officials, Gray Gourmet, and St. Mary’s Hospital. Opportunities and problems were easily addressed face to face or with a quick phone call, not with a formal “eleventh hour” letter potentially derailing contract renewal.

The building that the county helped build for Gray Gourmet’s use long ago reflects a vision for civic leadership that is now lacking as the county opts to exponentially increase rent, with the added possibility of the premises being turned over to new tenants.

When representatives from city, county and nonprofit organizations work in harmony, it’s the citizens of the community who benefit. When this public trust falters, it is the citizens who might lose out; in this case, the most vulnerable elderly citizens who can no longer advocate for themselves. I urge the Mesa County Board of Commissioners to rethink its approach to the local nonprofit community and to act as a partner, not an adversary.

Grand Junction

Removing reminders of our country’s history is senseless

It seems crazy to me to spend all this time and money to remove statues and other historical monuments all over the country. It is history, not that it was right or wrong, but these are reminders of our past. Removing historical sites, statues, plaques, etc. to supposedly satisfy 13 percent of the country’s population is stupid. Do we tear down all items that represent the generals that quashed the Indians or tear down anything that mentions or represents President Roosevelt because he sent the Japanese to camps wrongly? Should we destroy all firearms in museums because some might have killed someone? Why not get rid of any cowboy statues because they were hard on horses? Lee was offered the command of the North’s army but refused, as he could not fight against his home state — not that he was for slavery. He was a great person and should be remembered.

Grand Junction


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While we have seen fascists and other white supremacists march in the streets of a major American city, Mr. Sherman appears more concerned with physical monuments, and even presents a percentage of those who want them removed.  One must ask what are Mr. Sherman’s real priorities.

Were Mr. Sherman more attuned to reality, he would have long recognized that far too many are much too concerned with erecting monuments to themselves and having things named after them than they are with humanity and humanism.  Were the gentleman more realistic in his outlook, he would have long ago noted that the earth is strewn with all types of “monuments”, some erected to themselves while others erected to others, but always to some supposed “greatness” which nobody (unless one is a serious historian) even knows were all about, or even cares.  And most of them, are little else than something to satisfy one’s ego or live vicariously through the efforts and accomplishments of others, which is what most individuals actually do.

No, Mr. Sherman, the issue is not monuments, but the rise of fascism and white supremacy movements in this country, and that is what you, and every single responsible human being and citizen should be concerned about instead of attempting to “excuse” it by pointing to the existence of some “physical monument”.

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