Printed letters, June 14, 2012
With reference to the editorial of June 8, “Coping with camps on the Colorado River,” I agree that the Grand Junction Police Department and city officials who are interested in solving the problem should be supported.
The Homeless Outreach Team has earned respect and a good reputation from both service providers and the homeless population of Grand Junction. It’s a shame that the GJPD has received “substantial” criticism for “establishing a task force” to work with this disadvantaged group.
It has been stated that “many citizens” of Grand Junction have made it “clear” that they want to get rid of the disenfranchised and marginalized people who have nowhere else to retreat and sleep but on the riverbank.
Why does this group of citizens have more clout than the people who have made it “clear” that the problem of homelessness needs to be addressed at a systemic and foundational level, that options need to be offered before a wholesale sweep occurs?
The reply is that we must enforce the law. Why is such an ordinance made? Who makes that decision? Nobody provides a reason supported by justice.
There needs to be a dialogue regarding the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness that was recently developed. Cities and counties, if at all humane, must provide alternatives and must allow dignity. The problem will not disappear because we don’t want it.
Three days to clear out is ample time to do what?
City needs safe, clean camping area for homeless
I disagree with The Daily Sentinel’s assessment of the challenge of dealing with riverside homeless camps. I believe the editorial was mistaken when it stated that homeless advocates would prefer that illegal campers not be forced to move at all but the city create a make-work program.
However, the acknowledgement of the “real problems facing the homeless and a limited number of services available” is on target. I, for one, would support an effort to create a safe, clean, temporary camping area so that when campers are told to evacuate, they have somewhere to go besides on down the river.
Although local social service agencies and others have worked tirelessly to provide housing and other services for homeless families, children and teens, not as many opportunities exist for chronically homeless men and women coping with mental and/or physical disabilities and living in fear (Catholic Outreach’s St. Benedict and St. Martin Place being notable exceptions).
City park could symbolize the spirit of White Hall
In response to Rick Wagner’s recent rant about the city buying White Hall, I would like to commend the city for this action. Not all transactions are for the purpose of economic reward. This purchase is for the common community good to take care of a large historic but now dangerous and unsightly structure.
I would like to see the city make it into a small city park, utilizing the existing mature trees, preserving some of the historic architecture such as the beautiful arches on the west side and possibly recycling the old bricks for paths. This has been dedicated and sacred space for many years, and a park could symbolize that spirit and memorialize its community service.
Additionally, how was Home Loan able to offer a mortgage without fire insurance? We homeowners are not exempt from this responsibility. If Home Loan dropped the ball in providing insurance, shouldn’t it be held financially liable to pay for the cleanup rather than the taxpayers? Surely a loan and insurance company has insurance to cover these catastrophes.
MARTHA BARRETT SCOTT
Pugliese is qualified to be Mesa County commissioner
The ballots have been mailed out for the primary election. If you are a Republican, there is one name on the ballot for Mesa County Commissioner District 3. That is Rose Pugliese.
She is not an establishment Republican. She was overwhelmingly selected at the Republican convention held in March. There were 377 delegates at the convention who had all been selected from the 57 precincts that caucused in February. Pugliese received 57 percent of the vote at the convention.
Neither one of her two opposing candidates received the required 30 percent to get on the ballot. One of the opposing candidates did receive more than the required 10 percent to petition onto the ballot but apparently felt it would be more productive to be a write-in candidate rather than expend the effort to get the required signatures to petition onto the ballot.
Pugliese is the legitimate candidate. It is not a matter of giving voters a choice. All registered Republican voters have the opportunity to attend the caucus for their precinct location. Please be sure to fill in the bubble by Pugliese’s name on your mail-in ballot. Otherwise, it will be considered an “under vote” for the candidate.
Pugliese is young, energetic and well-qualified to be our county commissioner for District 3.