Printed letters, July 11, 2012
I really appreciated the focus and front-page coverage on July 3. As a cyclist, I appreciate the camp cleanups along the river trail, as well as the preservation of private property for community sanitation and health reasons and river quality.
As an aside, I also wonder about animal pets in camps and their required immunizations for disease protection.
I believe the term “homeless” is a perfect word for those who wish a hand up, back into a lifestyle lost. “Homeless” implies a desire to have a home and be a part of community with commitment.
After years of volunteering with programs to help others, I have come to the understanding that some people lumped into this group are choosing to live off the grid in an alternate lifestyle. We already have words in our language for those choices. On private land they are “squatters,” on trains they are “hobos,” on roads they are “drifters,” and in cities they are “transit-ants.”
I recently visited Ireland, where such people are called and call themselves “travelers.” However, these people use trailers instead of tents.
In looking for a new term, I would ask these people what they call themselves and utilize words we already have in the language we speak.
SUSAN E. MCKEON
Gandelman’s column was a reminder of polarization
Joe Gandelman’s recent column on our political center was a reminder that we should recognize current political- party power has moved to the extreme hard right and the extreme hard left.
The result is conflict that begets a do-nothing political process. Chief Justice John Roberts has shown leadership in reminding us that the political center still lives and has credibility.
Over time, we have evolved into equal parts of Democrat, Republican and independent voters. Soon we will also have the voter influence brought into play by the addition of an increasing Latino voter populace.
We best not hesitate in recognizing that the existing political power centers should reshape their politics or they will be bypassed by an evolving voter constituency that could become a surprise to both the hard right and hard left.
Thank you, John Roberts and thank you, Joe Gandelman.
GEORGE G. GUSTAFSON
City deserves thanksfor work on Patterson Road
My thanks go out to the city of Grand Junction and its employees. They did a wonderful job in repairing, repaving and painting the lanes on Patterson Road. It looks great and is a smooth ride.
I’ve lived in a number of places in my 83 years of existence, but Grand Junction, I must say, is one of the best. Grand Junction, you do your best to make this city look pristine and a wonderful place to live. Again, thank you.
ROBERT G. SMITH
Locals should accept change, support national park status
Everyone who moved to Grand Junction after 1950, get out. I want North Avenue to be two lanes and gravel past the VA Hospital. I want Patterson Road to be shut down every year for two days to run the Soap Box Derby.
That’s no more practical than to say that you don’t want the Colorado National Monument to become a national park. Look at it as a business that will bring in people. They will leave their money and then go away. Anyone who is sick of the boom and bust of the petroleum industry should love having a park. Anyone with a business, motel, restaurant, anyone with business downtown should want a park.
I want to the mall to go away and only have Mom-and-Pop businesses downtown, but that isn’t how the world works. People who don’t want a park are selfish, pure and simple. People who say they don’t want big government to fund the monument lack knowledge as to how the monument is run. The same people who run the monument also run Yellowstone and every national park and monument in the United States.
Change comes. Embrace it or get out of the way. It’s about time.
Transplant notes locals’ limited water conservation
I want the reader to understand that I write as an observer. I am not a critic. We have an abundance of them.
My wife and I retired to this wonderful valley in the late 1990s from southern Wisconsin. She still has a farm there. Water is comparatively abundant, but we had periods of drought. Irrigation systems were few.
We knew we were moving to desert climes and we should heed the problems of drought, perhaps even severe ones.
Saturday afternoon, we were blessed by wonderful rain. Yes, we are among those who have a lawn that represents considerable investment in infrastructure and cost of water and energy to pump it, but we closely monitor what we use. Our system is now turned off for at least five days.
As we have driven from our home to the center of the city, we’ve seen our native neighbors not observing the same restrictions that we place on ourselves.