Printed Letters: March 30, 2104

Religious puppet show foisted on kids at dinosaur museum

I have held a family museum membership for several years. This past fall I was upset by an incident at the Dinosaur Days exhibit in the Fruita museum, but was initially reluctant to speak out. The recent attention to church advertisement in a District 51 school compels me to write this letter now.  I hope the lateness of this statement does not minimize this important issue.

The schedule of events included a puppet show, which obviously I assumed would be related in some way to dinosaurs. The announcer introduced the puppet troupe as hailing from a local church. This was not mentioned on the schedule but did not initially concern me. However, it became immediately apparent that the show consisted solely of religious themes. Every song performed was a Christian song. There was zero content regarding dinosaurs, aside from a dinosaur on the puppets’ shirts. The show both began and ended with an invite for children to attend the church. Children stood at both doorways, offering flyers for the church as attendees left the room.

I was incensed to have a religious presentation foisted on my children in disguise as a learning experience about dinosaurs. This was proselytizing at its most blatant. The fact that the show was not advertised as being Christian in nature is most concerning because it seems designed to trick families with children into attending. 

It is highly inappropriate for any type of religious indoctrination in an environment in which families come to learn about science and enjoy a museum. At the very least, the show should have been described on the schedules as containing religious themes, so parents could make the informed decision on whether to attend, based on their choices about how to present religious information to their children. 

KARA TAYLOR
Grand Junction


Efforts by Udall and Gardner 
to hasten LNG exports lauded

We commend Sen. Mark Udall and Rep. Cory Gardner for promoting faster approvals of liquified natural gas export terminals. Their leadership will create markets that are more free and a world that is more stable. While detractors can reasonably argue the merits of energy exports, one point can’t be denied: LNG exports are critical to the Western Slope economy.

Vast new reserves of natural gas have been discovered locally in the Mancos Shale. Our community, as a result, now has more natural gas than we could have ever contemplated, even five years ago. This extraordinary development has only one downside: New markets are needed for newfound local energy products. The new national abundance of natural gas is a boon to the nation but major headwind to our regional economy. Experts show that LNG exports may displace just enough natural gas to get local rigs drilling again without significantly raising energy prices on consumers and manufacturers.

The  potential for such a balance is clearly understood by Gardner and Udall. We hope others in the U.S. Congress follow their lead. As Western Colorado awaits a report from the Grand Junction Economic Partnership and Colorado Mesa University on what LNG exports might mean for our own economic development potential, our organizations will continue supporting elected officials who show leadership on this issue.

The Mancos Shale has potential to shape and boost our regional economy for generations while also helping insulate European allies abroad from military and political aggressions. For this reason members of Western Colorado’s business community are doing all we can to help Gardner and Udall in their efforts.

BONNIE PETERSEN
Executive Director, Club 20

DAVID LUDLAM
Executive Director, West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association

FRANK LADD
President and CEO, Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce

DIANE SCHWENKE
President and CEO, Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce

LINDA SMITH
Executive Director, Western Colorado Contactors Association


Make Caprock controversy dialogue, not screaming match

Why are people angry at Caprock for having rules? We need rules. A driver going 25 miles per hour over the speed limit will be ticketed. There may have been a reason for the excess speed, but that is settled in the courts. Caprock’s school board has addressed the concern and settled it.

Anger and accusation will not help promote a good learning environment or experience for either the staff or the students. It is sad to know people have “threatened violence against the school.” How is this helping a learning atmosphere?

Please step back and breathe before doing or saying something regrettable. Rules are there for a reason. Let’s make this a dialogue — not a screaming match.

JESSICA BERTRAND
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Caprock was wrong. If you dont like the content of the museum——-easy solution——leave. If you were that worried about it why not YOU do the checking before going to the museum.

Kara Taylor’s response to Jerry Sanders: “My letter is an abbreviated version due to the 300 word restriction and neither the museum nor the church disclosed on the printed schedule of events that there was ANY religious content, much less solely religious content to the puppet show, so there was certainly no “research” that could have been done to avoid being duped into a museum-sponsored church ad. Regardless, I did get a response from the museum director, who essentially stated that the church had definitely misrepresented what kind of show they would be doing, and he agreed it was not appropriate and the church was not to be invited back.”

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