Printed Letters: August 18, 2017
Support art teachers for our students
I was so pleased to read your article about the economic impact art has on our local financial well-being. That being said, isn’t it time for our citizens to support certified visual art teachers for our elementary students?
Most people I talk to are unaware that our students have no visual art access until middle school. We have an excellent volunteer Art Heritage program headed by Connie Brady and presented by parent volunteers, but many of our most underprivileged children have no such access because their parents are working so hard to just to put food on the table and a roof over their children’s heads and haven’t the time to volunteer.
If I were the CEO of a manufacturer that requires employees with fine motor skills, I would not locate here for the lack of potential employees. When I had the privilege of teaching art to a local school (because the PTO funded a teacher) I was appalled at the number of students who had no scissoring skills, had trouble controlling a long handled paint brush, could not understand how to translate a 3-dimensional object to a 2-dimensional surface or knew all of the primary, secondary and tertiary colors, much less how on earth to mix pigments to create all these colors.
Let us hope the new superintendent realizes visual art teaches history, math and science in a fun way and does something about this lack in our children’s education. Of course he can’t do much if our citizens don’t pony up the funds to support our schools. I hope people think about the loss of economic expansion because our elementary students are missing out on the training of a certified art teacher, which limits our pool of future skilled employees.
Trump, stop the rhetoric and state what America stands for
Our president, every word he speaks is analyzed and criticized. He speaks his mind like a New York street guy. Nothing he has said offends me, even though I might have liked it said differently. I agree with what I believe to be his core beliefs. I believe that his comments on the riots in Virginia were proper. Both sides deserve scrutiny because the entire event could have been planned by one entity to bring down his presidency.
On the other side, we have the mainstream media, including Fox News, with a deluge of words spoken by individuals with no proven record of accuracy and no accountability for what they say. In my day, I would say they fill empty air.
President Trump, stop the rhetoric. Just state, clearly, what America stands for and what Americans will support in the time of crisis. Any wrong to the freedom of anyone on this planet is against what we believe is right, and we will defend ourselves and those wronged with whatever is in our power.
Extremism is morphing into fascism here in the U.S.
My father and father-in-law both served in World War II to make us safe from fascism. Now extremism is morphing into fascism more than ever here in the U.S. Pillars of fascism include scapegoating and demeaning groups of people to make them seem sub-human. That’s what small men do to feel big: blaming their inadequacies on others. Today’s acts by the KKK and white nationalist groups mock the ultimate sacrifice of over 400,000 American service men and women who gave their lives to beat fascism and win WWII for democracy.
Germany has remembrances to learn from, not glorify, past
In Germany 2017 there are no monuments to historical figures associated with the real Nazi regime, the Aryan supremacists. No statues of Hitler, Goring, or Goebbels. No statues of Generals Rommel, Rundstedt, or Kesselring. Germans have remembrances in which they learn from the past and do not glorify it.
Regulation requiring methane capture is misplaced
The Aug. 6 guest column (“Coal mines, methane and our common future”) drew our attention for several reasons. First, we thank Mr. Danielson for acknowledging coal’s importance to the economies of several Western Slope communities and in supplying affordable electricity. Colorado coal continues to directly employ more than 1,100 miners, providing high-paying wages and benefits that enable those individuals to purchase homes, cars and other necessities, affording a comfortable standard of living. The mines also support thousands of additional jobs in associated retail and service businesses, and pay millions in taxes and royalties that go to public schools, and to state and local governments.
Colorado Mining Association believes that a regulation requiring methane capture from coal mines is misplaced. West Elk Mine and the other North Fork mines have encountered methane during mining; however, it is not pervasive throughout the other mines in the state. Further, Federal laws require that methane levels must be monitored and maintained at minimal concentrations for worker safety. This is accomplished primarily with large ventilation fans, and if needed, is aided by supplemental venting through boreholes that are typically open for several weeks to a few months. This short-term removal of gas though boreholes is insufficient to justify the infrastructure required to process and place the gas into the commercial market, nor will it benefit the taxpayer in the form of royalties.
The recent supplemental draft EIS considered the use of helicopters to avoid roads, as suggested by Mr. Danielson, and concluded that approach to be infeasible, stating, “it is impossible to drill MDWs using heli-portable rig systems.” The roads contemplated will be temporary and will be fully reclaimed when mining is completed, a process that was anticipated and authorized under the Colorado Roadless Rule. The “subsidized energy” criticism is a red herring. Government policies to encourage affordable commodities such as food and fuels have always included research money and tax incentives, and in some cases (such as renewable energy), even legally mandated purchases. It just depends on which commodity one currently seeks to encourage or discourage.
Commissioners should rethink decision on Gray Gourmet
Kudos to Jim Spehar for his excellent column on the dust-up between Mesa County and the Gray Gourmet program; he does an excellent job outlining the merits of the program, and the inequities of the decision by the county commissioners to charge market-rate rents for the Gray Gourmet building, so I’d like to add a more personal perspective.
I’ve been a volunteer driver for Gray Gourmet for nearly two years. During that time, I’ve learned a great deal about the Gray Gourmet program and many seniors in our community who depend on daily meal delivery as their lifeline. Every Friday, I deliver meals to some two dozen seniors, more than a few of whom are well into their 90s. They are amazing people who have lived full lives, and I am blessed to be able to serve them in a small way. I have also been extremely impressed with the staff at Gray Gourmet; by their commitment to their service, and the responsible manner in which they carefully spend the program’s resources with a singular focus on their mission: promoting health and good nutrition for house-bound seniors.
The county’s “contribution” to Gray Gourmet, consisting of building maintenance and repairs, is a small fraction of the county’s overall annual budget, but the impact on our community is large. The program is an essential service to Mesa County residents, and I strongly encourage the commissioners to rethink their decision, and work with Gray Gourmet and St Mary’s to find a more beneficial approach.
I would invite any of the commissioners to ride along with me or any of the volunteer drivers and see for themselves how much good this program does, for a small investment on the county’s part. I leave the Gray Gourmet building every Friday at 10 a.m.; come join me and I guarantee that you’ll see why looking at this rent matter as a “business decision” is entirely the wrong approach.
Would recent letter writer support statue of Hitler?
So, Judith Chapin, you would support at life-sized bronze statue of Adolf Hitler in the Fruita roundabout to “remind” us of what not to do? Really?
Councilors should make statement condemning hate
I attended the Black Lives Matter Grand Junction community meeting Wednesday night. I want to commend their moderator for doing such a great job of leading by example. Everyone had the opportunity to have their say as long as they were respectful. It was heartening to have a nice crowd show up to discuss current events.
One topic that came up was asking our city councilors to make a public and explicit statement that they condemn hate and white supremacy and to affirm it has no place in Grand Junction.
I call on our city councilors to do so. Now is the time to stand up and say: not here, not now.