Printed letters, March 2, 2014

Settle for mediocrity or seize opportunity

I have watched people’s reactions to changing the status of Colorado National Monument to a national park. It’s like an Old West gunfight, but the shots are words, hurtful things lacking respect.

I moved here from a place many would label as progressive. Progressive does not mean liberal. You may not see the blended community. It lacks ragged razor-sharp edges. People have chosen to collaborate and figure it out for the common good.

The base word in progressive is progress, to move forward. Moving forward can be very difficult for people. We like our comfort zones. When we become comfortable and complacent, it often leads to mediocrity.

The Grand Valley has an opportunity before us. When we live in our past and settle for mediocrity, we lose sight of what the future can look like. The research shows us that changing the status to a park can increase economic growth and livability. This is not about them and us, or liberals and conservatives. It’s time to lay down the labels. It’s time to work together to create a stronger and more livable valley.

I used to never stop in Grand Junction when I drove by on I-70. Now I live here. When company comes, I look forward to not having to explain what a monument is. A monument is what we get when we settle for mediocrity.

What will we get when the monument reaches national park status? It’s the difference between medaling and standing on the podium at an Olympics and placing fourth.

It’s time to write a new chapter through collaboration. There will be growing pains, but in the long run, it will be worth it. It’s time to go for the gold.

DIANE HOWER
Grand Junction


Changing name may not 
offer panacea

According to Terri Chappell in her letter published Feb. 23, changing the name of Colorado National Monument is not about “T-shirts and fast food.” In other words, the economy.

It seems, after three years of “exhaustive study,” it is about heritage, the future and quality of life — none of which, I suggest, will be affected by a different name.

It would be better if we admitted the driving force for change is money. Our concern must therefore be the effects it would have on this beautiful treasure of geology, fauna and flora. It is to be hoped the draft legislation thoroughly addresses the threat.

If changing the name to a national park is expected to be the savior of the economy, then we should expect to deal with some disappointment.

DAVID COOK
Grand Junction

Paying contractor’s bill 
would be right thing to do

In the Feb. 23 edition The Daily Sentinel, you printed a letter from William Voss concerning a matter recently before the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority. By this letter I respond to Voss and respectfully request that you correct the record regarding my vote as an Airport Authority member to pay Jviation $92,094.

The item came before the board at its Feb. 18 meeting with a recommendation from airport staff to approve payment for completed work. The work was not a “mystery,” and the results of the work have been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration for review.

Because the contractor relied on the prior authorization and completed the work, I voted to pay the invoice. While it is not preferred to sign a contract upon completion of this or any work, I could not in good conscience penalize the engineering firm. If you have questions, please see the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority agenda report.

SAM SUSURAS
GJRAA Board Member
Grand Junction City Council
Grand Junction


Locals, not BLM, must decide 
how to best use public lands

It appears as though our liberal-leftist friend, Bill Grant, has joined the discussion over BLM lands in his latest column. After reading numerous columns by Grant, I have to say I am not shocked at his big-government resolution to our public-lands management. However, he has totally missed the target again.

The RS 2477 issue is based on the premise that the states that have public lands maintain their right to decide what roads will be closed to access and those that won’t be closed. We have numerous recreational groups in our state that have interests on how our public lands will be used. The BLM has been able to manipulate these groups against each other to accomplish its main goal of closing 67 percent of the land access in this latest plan, and thereby circumventing the state’s legal rights.

There are thousands and thousands of acres of public lands within Colorado. If we can’t unite to take control of our public lands as local residents, then we will be subjected to fanatical extremists taking actions on both sides. It is time for the commissioners in all Western Slope counties to unite and send the message to the BLM that we will make the decisions on our public land use, not the politically influenced federal government.

If we have to use RS 2477 to do that, then so be it.

JAMES O’MALLEY
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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National Monuments are wonderful places and hardly mediocre.  Get out and visit some, Dinosaur and Craters of the Moon are both highly recommended.  Here’s how I explain them: National Monuments, like National Parks, are units of the National Park Service.

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