Printed Letters: January 11, 2017

County should address suicide collectively

“A permanent solution to a temporary problem.” A letter by Kathryn Bennett and Katie Langford’s article, “Group takes on problem,” hammer home the fact that Mesa County, with its higher than normal suicide rate, needs to address this issue as a collective.

Identify the root of this nemesis. For the young: bullying, peer-pressure and boredom. For the not-so young: finances, relationships, job related issues. For the more mature: health, loss of a loved one, or no retirement and stress for all. These are only the tip of the iceberg, complicated by a less-than-healthy economy. State of mind and mental health are also factors. Life is stressful and complex now more than ever.

I was about 10 when I accompanied my father (a physician) to the hospital. I was planted in the waiting room while he rushed into the ER. Half an hour later he emerged and, sensing his frustration and disappointment, I found it best to keep quiet. The silent ride home was broken as he said, “Suicide cannot be reversed — a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” It was a raw and poignant lesson.

I relate this story, as it was education (real and early on). It made an impression that has been with me to this day. Not planed, but an opportunity in the formative and impressionable years of youth. Was it suicide prevention? (I’m still here.)

Suicide: It’s one of society’s many serious maladies. Addressing this issue with early education, support from family and friends, guidance from teachers, mental health professionals and attention to warning signs keeping lines of communication open is a good start to a complex problem. Do we ask for funding from stretched city and county coffers? How about digging in and getting the job done? It is the responsibility of us all.

Phase one of a thousand: Education, early and often. Talk with your family and friends. It costs nothing and you can start today.

Grand Junction

Congress should investigate Trump’s connections to Putin

The definition of treason is aiding and abetting the enemy. Donald Trump by his actions is guilty of treason in his response to Putin’s hacking and meddling in our elections.

No one in the government, whether Democrat or Republican, views Putin and Russia as friends, unless their name is Donald Trump. Whether through willful ignorance or active support, Donald Trump has allied himself with our archenemy Putin.

Putin is a man to be admired. After all, he has only been responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians in Syria, Crimea and elsewhere. In his country, he has killed or jailed opponents, suppressed the press and subverted elections. Perhaps he serves as an example of the type of leader Donald Trump wants to be.

Whether you disagree with Obama or not, you should not blind yourself to Trump’s actions. Express your support for American democracy and ask for Congress to investigate Trump’s connections to Putin and Russia.


Grand Valley vehicles should be subject to emissions testing

Anyone enjoying the great air in the valley these days? Not only is it ugly, it kills. The more of this we breathe, the shorter will be our life spans. Bad air is a major health issue. The brown stuff in our air is a soup of carbon waste products that are all toxic to the human body. Two of the biggest producers of this junk are cars and trucks.

But what can we do? We need transportation. In a perfect world, all the cars and trucks running in the cities would be fueled by electricity or natural gas. At the point of use, both have essentially zero toxic emissions. Clean air for all to breathe! The brown cloud in the Grand Valley would be worse, except for a proactive decision by the city of Grand Junction to use vehicles fueled by natural gas, instead of diesel.

Natural gas is the simplest of the carbon-based fuels. It emits only water and carbon dioxide when burned. Gasoline and diesel both emit all manner of toxic chemical waste products, including breathable soot/tar, like the tar in cigarettes.

Natural gas cars and trucks don’t emit soot. But natural gas is not perfect. The production of natural gas can be very damaging to the communities near where it is produced. Our precious water is also at risk from natural gas production. Kudos once again to the city of Grand Junction for capturing the natural gas produced cleanly at the Persigo sewage treatment plant. All sewage treatment plants should be so equipped.

The best long-term solution is electric cars and trucks. Companies like Tesla, Nikola Trucks and GM are leading the way. The future of transportation is electric. Until then, all cars and trucks in the Grand Valley should be subject to emissions testing.


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