Printed letters, June 6, 2013
Many thanks to The Daily Sentinel for the editorial on May 26, addressing myths abut the Colorado National Monument. Many inaccuracies about the potential damage in designation of the monument to a national park are floating around the community, and we appreciate the paper setting the record straight.
If people have questions about the changes, they are welcome to attend the Colorado National Monument Association’s annual meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Lincoln Park hospitality suite. We’d like to meet you and answer your questions.
JACK CONNOLLY, Treasurer
While helping teens, House also seeks to be good neighbor
I commend the board of directors of Karis, Inc. on starting The House. The problem of homeless teens in Mesa County has been well known and documented for many years. Karis is meeting this problem by creating a place for homeless teens to stay and also developing a program to walk beside these young people, giving them guidance to become productive members of society. I also would like to apologize to the neighbors if our church created any of the concerns in the neighborhood about traffic congestion and cars parked on the street.
During ShareFest 2013, April 13 and 14, we had a large team of people building a back deck for The House. During that weekend we had quite a few cars parked in the street. Had we been aware of the concern about traffic, we gladly would have parked elsewhere. I would also like to offer that if John Henry determined the sprinkler head he has replaced was damaged during that weekend, we would be more than willing to reimburse him for that because we could have been the ones who broke it.
On the concern of smoking in places that are not on the premises of The House, we built a separate brick area in the backyard of The House for people to smoke. We absolutely don’t condone smoking by youth, but there are youth who smoke living at The House and to keep them from going out front or elsewhere, we provided a place within the confines of the fenced backyard.
I hope that The House and the neighbors in that area can build a positive relationship that will both help our homeless teens and let the neighbors feel comfortable in their homes.
Director of Outreach Ministries
First Presbyterian Church
House leaders are committed to kids, neighborhood safety
I am a long-time citizen of this community and a one-year volunteer for The House. I understand how having teenagers move in next door could upset the balance of a sleepy cul-de-sac, but unless you plan to move every time you have problems with the neighbors, adjustments must be made to create and nurture the strained relationship. Administrators and volunteers of The House are dedicated to making those adjustments.
I would also like to address the statement made by a neighbor that her daughter doesn’t feel safe since the teens moved in.
There is more reason for concern at school, movie theaters, malls or behind the wheel of a car than near her home. These kids are not menaces to society. They are homeless.
No one is mandated to “do time.” They have more supervision than most households with teens. Volunteers who give their time are moms, dads, grandparents, college students, business owners — all with one goal in mind: help these kids now while their chances for success are high.
The value of making the teens feel like a part of a functional home environment — curfew, chores, homework and more ensures their “home” runs smoothly and is an important key to success.
I spend a lot of time with these kids. I do exactly what I would do with my family. At no time, have I ever been fearful. The safety of that neighborhood has not been compromised. We are committed to keeping it that way.
We are working hard to see that all needs are addressed. I’d rather give time making this work than have kids on the street fending for themselves. Keeping these kids safe is just the right thing to do.
Since helmets have drawbacks, motorcycle riders need choice
This is in response to the person who thinks that because seat belts are mandatory, motorcycle helmets should be.
Thirty states allow motorcyclists to make their own decisions about wearing helmets. Since 1978, the states that allow riders to choose have had statistically lower fatality rates than the states that require the use of helmets. The two states with the lowest fatality rates per registered motorcycles are Colorado and Iowa.
Helmets can be dangerous. They can snag things, limit hearing and peripheral vision and are a heavy weight on the head. Helmets can be very hot to wear, and people have passed out from the heat inside of a helmet.
Helmets can be compared to airbags; they can either save a life or kill someone. Since a helmet is a potentially lethal device, adult riders should be allowed to choose to wear one or not.