Printed Letters: July 28, 2017
Story about youth program was inspiring
I would like to thank you for writing the uplifting story “Stepping Up: Hiking trips encourage at-risk youths toward new heights” published in Lifestyle on July 16.
What a joy it was to read a positive and hopeful story about people who are taking steps toward really helping our at-risk youth by empowering them with education, responsibility, and a true sense of accomplishment.
For so many of these youth, their lives have been about failure, disappointment, lack of acknowledgment and punishment. The facts stand that punishing them more does not promote their future success.
The Grand Mesa Youth Services Center Adventure Club through the Colorado Department of Human Services should be applauded! Fantastic that they have developed a program for rewarding positive behaviors with a personal challenge that builds self-awareness, teamwork, and a sense of pride in reaching a goal.
In these times of ever invasive and pervasive bad news, it brought tears to my eyes to read something hopeful and inspiring and honest.
Perhaps your next story about this program can provide readers with a way to support the program through financial or equipment donations.
DR. ANNE B. JACOBS
Tell your government officials to stop spraying poisons
It just kills me when we all fail to put two plus two together and not get four. Or we fail to recognize the universal law of cause and effect.
We scratch our heads and wonder why one out of 20 small children suffers from diabetes, cancer, respiratory problems, or autism. One out of every four adults either has cancer or will soon get it. Meanwhile, as we sit in wonderment, we watch large spraying trucks filling our streets with clouds of toxic poison mixtures to kill mosquitoes, even though more people die by getting hit by lightning in Colorado than die by West Nile virus.
Our farms and roadsides are constantly under the barrage of poisons by entities from federal, state, county, and city programs, being sprayed at intervals for a few weeds that we are supposed to fear. Food crops are soaked with glyphosate poison to kill a few bugs. These poisons have eliminated all forms of animal life that naturally occur in open spaces. Remember pheasants? How about foxes and songbirds? Most are gone now from open fields in which nothing lives but poisoned crops. Yet we keep spraying incessantly because the nice man, who sells us poisons and toxins by the truckload, says it’s OK.
If you are a tax-paying citizen, then every government official and government employee works for you. You are their boss.
If you don’t like poison in your every day life, tell them so. Tell them to stop spreading it all around. At least fill out the paperwork to make your home and neighborhood exempt from the invisible toxic onslaught. Golly gee folks — figure it out!
Bike tax could improve cycling community, access, education
As a Libertarian I am primarily a low-tax kind of guy, but in the case of Sen. Ray Scott’s idea of bicycle taxation I come down more in support than against it. To be sure, this would affect me as I have six bikes in my garage, including three carbon fiber road bikes that would buy you a nice used car in value. I ride at least three times a week and take my bikes with me over the 10-state area I cover for work. I have seen great biking communities, decent ones, and others where I wouldn’t get my bike out. I’ve biked in Portland, Missoula, Idaho Falls, Boise, and Scottsdale, just to name a few, and trust me, biking does have an impact on infrastructure in any number of ways and are not limited to: bike-friendly sidewalks, and pathways, dedicated bike lanes, shared bike paths, reconfiguring curbs so bikes can transition across driveways and corners, etc.
1. Cyclists want greater access, more bike lanes, more paths and more acceptance. This impacts development in easements, set asides for greenbelts, wider sidewalks.
2. It impacts drivers who see lane reductions, shared lanes and may need a good education about sharing the road.
3. It requires education of both cyclists and drivers so they are not communicating via honking, yelling, and one-fingered salutes.
Bicyclists share the road and in many cases have the right of way, so there is a case for taxation to get representation and more access. We want our voices heard, so we should then pay our fair share for the use, just as we do for our vehicles that use the roads and occasionally carry our bikes. I will give Sen. Scott the benefit of the doubt and assume he is not trying to punish cyclists, so as long as the majority of the tax revenue for bike registrations is used to improve the cycling communities, access, and education, color me a supporter!