Printed letters, March 19,2013

This is in regard to the headline, “State report: Toddler’s death shows need for training in Mesa County.” I think the training in Mesa County needs to happen at the Human Services Department, not with those who did report the broken leg on March 22, 2012.

It seems the mother chose to blame everyone else, but not herself for her son’s death. She wants to blame Community Hospital for not being clairvoyant regarding the abuse her son suffered at the hands of a child abuser, who first abused her son in front of her. She chose this abuser over the well-being of her son.

Where is the culpability of the mother in this situation? “I don’t blame myself ... I failed,” Amber Reak said in a recent interview with The Daily Sentinel.

Reak admitted to lying to a caseworker regarding who was watching Owen when he was hurt. The mother went against Human Services’ recommendations about who should watch Owen, even after she saw this man spank her son until there were bruises. How is this someone else’s fault?

Why wasn’t a social worker following up with this mother after the last phone call listed on March 26, 2012?  Poor Owen died because of his mother’s choices and lack of follow through by Human Services. Why was the social worker not capable of finding out about the boyfriend’s criminal record? Was it even checked?

Maybe the social workers could use some training regarding researching criminal histories and follow-up. Was Owen’s father or family ever interviewed? It seems as if there are many who are in need of training and many questions yet unanswered.


Grand Junction

The BLM closes trails
and puts up ugly signs

The BLM’s preferred alternative in its Draft Travel Management Plan, “Balanced Plan Alt. B,” would close 187,900 acres to motorized use and 158,500 acres to mechanized travel. It would limit 897,500 acres to “designated routes” for mechanized travel.

In addition to being far too restrictive, I am concerned about the visual effect these closures would have.

Before the BLM became overzealous in Rabbit Valley, one could pause on a knoll overlooking rolling hills covered with prairie grass interspersed with pinon and juniper trees — a peaceful scene unmarred by man, except for the occasional access dirt road.

Now nature’s beauty is polluted by a glut of excessive, ugly brown carsonite signs placed indiscriminately over the entire landscape. This is hardly an environmental improvement and is visually very distasteful.

I don’t see this as an example of good stewardship of our public lands and taxpayer dollars. I would hate to see this practice replicated in the future. I also think the BLM should go back to Rabbit Valley and clean up those unsightly sign slabs.


Grand Junction


New monument name would
hike revenue, create problems

With both interest and discomfort, I’ve been reading the discussions regarding a name change to the Colorado National Monument.

I believe the arguments can be summarized fairly easily. For business owners and any commercial enterprises that would profit from an increase in visitors to the Grand Valley, a name change is great.

For community members who live here because of the slower pace and who are not vested (or interested) in income derived from additional tourist dollars, a name change is a topic with which to be dispensed.

I understand how economics work. Businesses rely on an income stream, and additional people in our community eventually equate to more profit.

That generates increased tax revenue that can be spent on more big-ticket items. That’s good.

On the flip side, bigger doesn’t always mean better. Many are content with the size of the community.

These folks won’t stand to benefit from the tourist dollars, and they see a different picture: seas of tourists, increased traffic, longer waits, crowds, trash and crime.

Residents want it left alone. Businesses want it changed. Simple as that.


Grand Junction


TABOR vote indicated
citizens want control

Grand Junction’s Referred Measure B is exactly why the citizens of Colorado voted for the TABOR Amendment in the first place.

Measure B sounds like a great idea — no increase in taxes or debt for ambiguous capital projects, but it tries to bypass the exact amendment that was put in place to prevent this type of political grab.

Politicians have decided they know better than the people how to spend their money. Where do you think these over-collected revenues come from?

Somewhere along the line, the citizens paid for it. This is not free and should be refunded to the taxpayers.

If Measure B passes, the money may pay for sidewalk improvements, an interchange at Interstate 70 and 29 Road, as well as Horizon Drive improvements. It may!

Excess money left in politicians’ hands may or may not end up doing any of those things.

Think carefully who should have control over revenue — you or a politician. I’m voting “No” on Measure B.


Grand Junction


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