Printed letters, July 30, 2013

Many people in town know me as a wildlife artist. I paint a lot of desert sheep, moose and, yes, mountain lions. I am not alone in thinking these are magnificent creatures that live throughout the state.

Apparently, humans are far more dangerous animals than the cougars, as we have now brought out the guns to eliminate a mom and her cubs that killed somebody’s sheep near Colorado National Monument.

Is it just me, or does this seem to be an exaggerated reaction to close park trails and hunt the mountain lions down for the crime of just doing what cougars do naturally?

Ty Smith was quoted as saying there is no indication that the cat poses an immediate threat to humans. According to my research, only one cougar attack has resulted in death in Colorado history. Cougars are obviously a very low threat to humans and want nothing to do with people.

Posting warning signs or relocating the cats seem to be much more reasonable and humane responses to resolve the concern that we have a few cats in town.


Grand Junction

Commissioners’ willingness 
to revisit pool issue refreshing

Mesa County, like most other counties in Colorado, has a role to play in parks and recreation. It’s refreshing to read in The Daily Sentinel that the Mesa County commissioners are keeping an open mind toward funding the Orchard Mesa pool.

Historically Mesa County has operated the fairgrounds, which is a park that contains playgrounds, picnic areas, Little League fields, open lawn area and the rodeo ground and grandstands, as well as the out buildings that provide space for the county fair and other equestrian activities.

Mesa County purchased the Long property, and Long Park is operated jointly by the city and the county next to Central High School. Mesa County has required developers to set aside parks and trails in new subdivisions.

Mesa County has been a strong supporter of the Colorado Riverfront trail system. The county has expanded the system out to Fruita and has plans to expand it to Palisade.

Rather than shy away from their role in county parks, the Mesa County commissioners should proudly accept their role as a partner, along with School District 51 and the city of Grand Junction, in providing parks and recreation for their citizens and resume their support for the Orchard Mesa pool.

The pool was funded by the county sales tax that was passed in 1982, and it operates under a joint agreement among the county, city and school district. It has provided the only public, Olympic-sized swimming pool in the county that is open year-round.

When I lived on the Redlands, I would often take my young children to the Orchard Mesa pool in the winter for the Sunday “swim and gym program.” The pool provided the only affordable recreation center-type of amenity for my family.

It is important for our children to learn how to swim. There are too many incidents of drowning in the Colorado River and elsewhere, many of which are due to people’s inability to swim.

The Orchard Mesa pool should be kept open under the original funding agreement.


City Council District C

Grand Junction


FDA should help cancer 
patients avoid hair loss

The article in the July 23 edition of The Daily Sentinel, titled “Cold caps tested to prevent hair loss during chemo,” was excellent.

Dr. Susan Melin of the North Carolina Medical Center, reported that one of the first questions she gets asked when she recommends chemo therapy to a cancer patient is this: “Will I lose my hair?

Anyone who has endured chemo knows hair loss is a frequent result, but it does not need to be.

When my son was diagnosed with acute leukemia more than 30 years ago, I had read about using cold compresses to ward off hair loss caused by chemo. As a result, when he began treatments, I applied ice bags to his head and wrapped it in a towel. When he died, he had a full head of hair. No one else I know has kept all of his or her hair following chemo.

Using “cap cooling” to reduce blood flow to the scalp makes it harder for the chemicals used in chemo therapy to reach and harm hair follicles.

Because this process has been used for some time in Canada and Europe, one might expect the Federal Drug Administration would have approved it for use in the U.S. by now.

There is now a British product called Penquin Cold Caps that U.S. patients are renting to ward off chemo-induced hair loss. The product is used in many hospitals with friends and family members, not medical staff, handling the treatment.

There is hope that cancer patients can avoid the added indignity of losing all their hair from chemo, though it has taken more than 30 years.

The FDA needs to get moving.


Grand Junction


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