Printed letters, January 19, 2014

It was great to read that Grand Junction is 19th best on the Kaufmann Association list of “Hotbeds of Tech Startup.” That is good news for our town.

Surely lists like this one and “Best Places to Retire” are good for the economic welfare of our part of the world. People moving in, creating businesses and spending retirement money here are all good things.

Maybe we shouldn’t celebrate too much, though. While we may have tech businesses starting up, we aren’t that desirable a place when it comes to companies moving here if they have employees with children.

Colorado (according to recent results for school year 2010-2011 published by Education Weekly) has the unfortunate distinction of funding K-12 education at $2,704 less per student than the national average for that year.

As a state, Colorado’s funding for the education of the children who will become the workers for these tech companies and other businesses went from 37th of 51 jurisdictions in 2010 to 43rd of 51 in 2011.

When I was a kid, average got you a C and below average got you a D or an F. So, spending 23 percent less than the national average — well, you decide the grade.

Though an informed supporter of District 51 and an admirer of its performance under terrible funding conditions, I wouldn’t bring a business or a family with children here. Would you?

MARGE FOX

Grand Junction

‘Student of the Week’ usually 
comes from traditional family

I was pleased to read Kathleen Parker’s column on Thursday, “Encouraging marriage is a key tool in fighting the War on Poverty.” How courageous of her to go against the politically correct ideas of our time with regard to the traditional norms that have been so effective in the past, contributing in a major way to the backbone and strength of our country.

Also, I always look forward to reading “The Student of the Week” article in The Daily Sentinel, and I have noticed that the student and parents almost always, if not always, have the same last name. This tells me that the student is the product of the traditional nuclear family that shares the love, concern and ideals necessary to raise children in spite of the sacrifices, selflessness and commitment a marriage requires.

Kids today need to be impressed with the knowledge that before dropping their pants, marriage should come before sex, and it is followed by children and the adult obligations that raising them requires.

It would be a valuable service to the community if the Sentinel would mine the “Student of the Week” data and publish it in lieu of the incessant fixation on dope and how dope increases the wealth of the lice of society, which prospers from its sale while effecting the dumbing-down of America.

ROBERT A. TALLARICO

Grand Junction

 

Governor’s emphasis on water 
conservation heartens farmers

In Gov. John Hickenlooper’s State of the State address Jan. 9, he took time to mention the importance of water, and he more than placed an emphasis on water conservation. The need to seriously consider conservation does not only apply to cities, but is one way to prevent buy-and-dry of our agricultural lands, which the governor pointed to as a priority.

This year, Colorado will complete a draft of its state water plan that will lay out the water management policies to guide our future. At the National Young Farmers Coalition, we want to be sure the plan supports — rather than hinders — the next generation of farmers.

Our organization works to ensure the success of young and beginning farmers at home and across the nation. How we manage our water will be one of the most pressing issues defining the success of young farmers. But without healthy sources of water keeping our agricultural communities alive, the tests of the future may prove too big for us to bear.

For that reason, we are especially heartened by the governor’s additional words in Grand Junction the next day about prioritizing water conservation, specifically on the Front Range, and for Mesa County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca’s firm stand on disallowing additional transmountain diversions.

To be leaders in our own water future, we need to do as much as we can with innovative technologies, smart management and incentivized efficiency and conservation measures to ensure enough water for our farms and the river systems on which they depend. When the governor says, “No matter where we live, we cannot afford to let our farm and ranch land dry up,” we trust that he understands this, as well.

KATE GREENBERG

Western Organizer

National Young Farmers Coalition

Durango

 

It’s time for some answers 
on New Year’s Day shooting

Why don’t we have more information on the shooting that took place on New Year’s Day? There’s much speculation as to what happened, but no straightforward answers.

If this was a “Make My Day” case, can’t they tell us that — and if so, on what grounds? We all would greatly appreciate some communication.

MARLA HANNA

Fruita



COMMENTS

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While I applaud Mr. Tallarico’s ideals, Government aid programs need to be seriously revised to help people get off the system, and not penalize people for getting married.

Many times the combined minimum wage incomes of two people with children getting married disqualifies them from assistance they may be currently receiving. 

If you combine families with several children each, this becomes a disaster. If each person comes into a marriage with 2 children each, that becomes a family of 6 in a marriage and a dual minimum wage income cannot possibly support that large of a family, even with other aid like food stamps.

I suggest a get off public aid program. A family should be granted a 2 year period where they can collect their public assistance and work without having their benefits penalized at all.

They would be monitored by a caseworker and required to attend classes in budgeting and money management. They would be required to save a percentage of their income for an emergency fund, and get job coaching or training to find better jobs.

After the allowed period of time, their public assistance would be terminated, and they would not be allowed to get back on the system for 5 years as an incentive not to turn the program into a revolving door type operation.

This is just a rough idea for a program. Yes we will still have welfare addicts that just want handouts, but those who have a work ethic and just need a boost up and off the system should be given one.

The same last names implies all that?

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