Printed Letters: August 6, 2017

Name change a step in valley’s transformation

I am writing to thank The Daily Sentinel for the editorial advocating for the name change on North Avenue to University Boulevard. I own properties on and directly adjacent to North Avenue that contain more than 25 businesses, and I heartily support the name change.

CMU is a visibly thriving entity that supports many of the businesses I lease to. Coupled with our city’s continued work to upgrade the infrastructure and landscaping, I think this is the spark needed to begin true urban renewal of an area that has long suffered from blight.

I also agree with the Sentinel that the community will gain much more than CMU in this effort. Having an institution of higher learning in a community is one of the things that expanding and relocating companies seek. We should shout the presence of a university from the rooftops as other college towns do. Having a University Boulevard is a way to do that, and in doing so the impact is felt not just in a single economic area, but also throughout the entire valley.

The proposed City Council resolution provides many months for businesses to deplete their stock of business cards and letterhead. Mail will still be delivered to the “old” addresses for quite some time. The local chamber has committed to helping businesses that are extraordinarily impacted and has already begun to address some of the issues (i.e. helping with printing costs, liquor licenses, government contracts, logos, name changes for businesses that contain “North Avenue,” managing their online presence, organizing volunteers to assist with address change paperwork, etc.) Truly, this is a resolution that has been vetted and concerns have been addressed accordingly.

I look forward to the day when a renamed North Avenue is once again a thriving business community. This will be the true tribute to its historic importance, not hanging onto a name that — beyond being a misnomer — is coupled with decline and decay for an entire generation of citizens in our community that have only seen its struggles these past 30 years.

Renaming North Avenue University Boulevard is an important step in that transformation, and it is one that also carries economic potential for the entire community. I urge the City Council to act positively on this request.

Grand Junction

Cattlemen respond to 
portrayal of their industry

Penelope Blair’s inaccurate portrayal of the cattle industry cannot go unchallenged. As the president of the Mesa County Cattlemen’s Association, I say the “cowboy is not dead.” Cowboys continue the daily work of feeding your families, local communities, and the entire world.

The USA produces 20 percent of the world’s beef with only 7 percent of the world’s cattle. Of the top 15 cattle-producing states, nine are in the High Plains and the West, including 10th-ranked Colorado. Cattle sales account for 60 percent of Colorado’s receipts from all agricultural sales. Beef products are the first or second most valuable product of any kind exported from Colorado, Colorado ranks fourth in the USA in the value of its beef exports, and beef is the most valuable agricultural product produced in Mesa County.

Contrary to Ms. Blair’s unfounded claim that grazing is damaging the landscape, an estimated 587 million acres of pasture is used primarily for livestock grazing in the USA, and most is not suitable for growing other food products. Grazing this land more than doubles the USA’s food productive land area. For generations, the productivity of grazing land has continued to increase, which is most assuredly NOT a quality of a “damaged landscape.” Wildlife management by ranchers and state governments has improved wildlife survival throughout the USA, including improving the prospects of several endangered species.

Cowboys might be your neighbor bottle feeding calves at 2 a.m., or irrigating hay in the heat of the summer sun. They work hard, often in harsh conditions, to create thriving, environmentally sustainable economies. They ensure that healthy food is on the plates of an ever increasing population. Cowboys are your friends, and they most decidedly are not dead!


A cyclist tax could address issues of safety, convenience

This letter comes from a cyclist who tours, commutes, and shops from the seat of a recumbent bicycle.

There has been talk of taxing cyclists to have them “pay their fair share.” I personally am not against fees and registration of bicycles, tricycles, quads, and Velomobile, but it should be a well thought-out plan that addresses issues of safety and convenience.

I would like to see the laws that are on the books enforced and fines levied to cyclists who commit traffic law infractions. This action would help remove the ill will many motorists have towards cyclists and would make the world safer for cyclists.

I caution all involved in this decision to be cognizant of the fact that cyclists do not do near the damage to the environment nor the roadways that motorized traffic does. Fee amounts should reflect that. I would also remind all involved of two more factors: bicycles are the most efficient way to transport human beings on the planet, and bicycles are sometimes the sole form of transportation available to some of the working poor.

Personally, I would jump at a chance to pay a federal registration fee, would be willing to submit to a safety inspection, and would welcome a requirement that there needs to be certain safety equipment on every road-using cyclist. I would welcome these things if it enabled me to use the interstate roadway system.  I would welcome a certain level of local fees if the fees in part went to the maintenance and development of multiuser pathways.

Grand Junction

Christianity rife with logical problems and inconsistencies

Belief in magical invisible characters who live in the sky must inevitably cause many logical problems that lead to awkward and embarrassing conclusions. For example, Christians believe that God (if this character actually exists) created everything. If this is so then He must have created Satan.

Furthermore, if one believes that God is all powerful (as most Christians do), then He allows Satan to exist, in spite of His power to eliminate this evil character from the world. The first chapter of Job, where God and Satan have their little chat up in Heaven (over several drinks, perhaps?), makes it clear that Satan may only operate under the permission and strict supervision of God.

Using a terrestrial example, if a parent knew that an older child was molesting a younger one, and failed to do anything to stop it, doesn’t this make the parent an accomplice to the evil? Same situation with God and Satan. According to Holy Scripture, God watched and did nothing as Satan carried out his evil acts against Job. Doesn’t this likewise make God an accomplice to evil?

Of course, Christian apologists have been scribbling for 2,000 years to “explain” all these very awkward problems that arise from the antics of their beloved invisible characters, so I’m sure a veritable army of preachers is ready to “solve” this theological dilemma with more elaborate Bible babble.

My question is this: if the preachers can’t even resolve some of their most basic theological contradictions and logical inconsistencies, then why should we rely on them to provide any “wisdom” to the City Council?


Christians, too, think freely and examine evidence

I bowed my mind and heart to Christ when I was a freshman in college. I thought freely, examined the evidence, and turned from my agnosticism to Christianity. Others have done the same.

Augustine was disabused of his Manichaeism and embraced Christianity at tremendous personal cost. C.S. Lewis turned from his atheism to Christianity and was dragged “kicking and screaming” into the kingdom. Why? He examined the evidence.

It was during the Enlightenment period that faith was philosophically divorced from reason. But prior to that, Aquinas wrote his Summa Theologica believing with all his heart that reason leads to faith. Faith and reason, in fact, are two sides of the same coin.

The “creed” read on Aug. 2 at the City Council meeting called for honesty, justice, respect for worldviews, and freedom to shine the light of truth. I agree.

Paul exhorted all Christians to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). The ancient prophets hammered away at justice and mercy (Micah 6:8). Paul showed respect for Stoicism and Epicureanism when he spoke to the Areopagus (Acts 17:16-33). Jesus told His followers to “let your light shine” (Matthew 5:16).

Perhaps it was just wrong-headed and not arrogant to assume that only atheists and freethinkers examine the evidence. But, I assure them; I have thought freely, deeply, and sincerely and have made my decision for Jesus.

Grand Junction

Sentinel should have covered group praying at invocation

Regarding the prayerful protest to the satanic invocation. I appreciate the coverage in The Daily Sentinel of the people praying in the circle.

I was disappointed that no mention was made of the group three times that size that prayed a short time earlier. The other group was covered by television media.

Grand Junction


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Thank you William Cline for the well thought out letter regarding a bicycle tax with one minor exception: The idea of it being federally based. A whole lot of that fund will never make it back to Colorado for the intended and best use here. I understand the goal of using the interstates for non-motorized vehicles and in many areas they are allowed in low density or rural areas but not major metro ones which stands to reason. I’m sure there is some middle ground to be had. Be prepared for the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth by others though.

Ms. Engard must ask herself what her real motivation was in writing this letter.  For, us see nothing in it that would lead us to believe that she could not “pray” or do whatever she wanted. What some of us see is an individual that wants to “be seen” praying and appearing virtuous to others.  Her ire is therefore little else than self-pity about not getting the publicity she and member of those groups believed they were entitled to receive.  So, dear reader, that is purely a matter of ego and appearance.

Mr. Charles Bonnet, while undoubtedly sincere in this beliefs, makes several errors in his arguments.  Specifically, those are that he has his own definition of what constitutes “free thinking”, what the period of the Enlightenment was really all about (he should study the period), and the importance of two characters in the history of Christianity, Augustine and Aquinas as he gives them far too much credibility and significance.

There is the possibility of “free thinking”, much as one is free to move around within a pre-defined and confined space which can be considered “freedom to move around” or, one can look at it in the sense of freedom to move around with no such restrictions.  The gentleman, having first restricted himself, has accepted the former.

The Enlightenment was not, as the gentleman believes, the separation of reason and faith and neither are they even close to being the same thing, or two sides of the same coin. Some of us can have “faith” (confidence or absolute belief) that if we walk out to start our vehicle in the morning, that it will start.  But, that does not mean that any car does exist, “having faith” that one does, will neither create a car nor put one in place.

The gentleman may wish to remember the warning that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.  He might wish to recall the words of Immanuel Kant that the human being can create almost anything in its mind, and not only absolutely believe that it does exist, but actually begin serving and obeying it.  Thus the arrogance of the human being.

As to “invocations” at public events, some of us are of the practice that if something we do offends someone (even some habit), we stop doing it.  We don’t “double down” and just keep doing it, and just because we want to.

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