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
Grand Junction

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!

TIM MENGER
Whitewater

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!

STEPHEN FULLERTON
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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It is only after telling us about how many bicycles he has, and how valuable they are, that he then turns to address the bicycle tax.  First, that has absolutely nothing to do with it and second, one must raise the issue as to whether Mr. Fullerton would be in favor of such a tax if he were not a cyclist.  I would suspect that he would not be.  So, the only thing we can possibly conclude (which is true of most individuals - in particular those referring to themselves as Libertarian - is that if it benefits me, I use it, or can get my “piece of the action”, I am for it.  Otherwise, it is a blanket ‘I am “agin” it.’.  It is exactly to that type of individual which Senator Scott is appealing, people who can only be characterized as self-absorbed.

When some of us are driving along and see a cyclist, be it a adolescent or an adult, we give them a wide berth instead of honking our horn (a device some of us seldom use) or allowing ourselves to get upset and demanding “Get out of the way as I am coming through”.  That is not a matter of “right” but one of simple courtesy and, if the cyclist(s) is/are failing in that regard, that does not excuse my failure.

One of the things I noted on my recent trip to New York City, was the number of bicycles on the streets of Manhattan.  Yet, there appeared to be no real conflict.  If vehicles encountered a cyclist, they exercised caution and gave that cyclist the “right of way”, even if that cyclist (shall we say) stretched the limits of his/her rights.  There was no “honking” or “single finger salutes”.  Many around here need to display that same common sense and courtesy, even if the other fails.

Ms. Anne Jacobs is impressed with the acts of kindness which “some” people exhibit, as we all should.  However, some of us would ask the following question.  Why is it that so many are in need of that kindness”  That question seemingly never gets asked yet it should come to mind to any individual at all serious about actually solving problems, look for the fundamental cause(s) and not look and treat only the symptoms.

Most of this country is no longer about humanism but materialism.  So, while someone goes hungry (many children do) those in charge all too frequently don’t really care as they don’t see a human being yet, when comes the opportunity to appear “virtuous” they are always “first in line” extolling their accomplishments and how much they care, very frequently taking bows for the efforts of others.

Any individual who does something for someone else then expects a thank you or any type of special recognition (or award) for it, is doing it for the wrong reason;  i.e.  “Look what I did.  Now thank me, admire me,and praise me for it.”  That is something which is done for purely egotistical purposes.

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