Printed Letters: May 16, 2014
Community supports park status for monument
I read in The Daily Sentinel that Rep. Scott Tipton is concerned that if the Colorado National Monument becomes a national park, new air quality standards would be imposed here in the Grand Valley. The article also mentioned that if the Colorado River becomes navigable, the EPA would step in and impose strict air quality standards.
The Colorado River is already navigable in much of the Grand Valley. (Check the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers records.) There is no basis for this statement. As a retired superintendent of the monument, Joan Anzelmo stated in her recent op-ed piece that air quality standards are the same for both national parks and national monuments.
John Otto wrote in 1907, “I came here last year and found these canyons, and they feel like the heart of the world to me. I’m going to stay and build trails and promote this place, because it should be a national park.” What Otto said then is truer than ever today.
The local community supports the monument becoming a national park. Endorsements have come from The Daily Sentinel, the city of Grand Junction, the city of Fruita, and the town of Palisade.
Support has come from local chambers of commerce and the Grand Junction Downtown Development Authority. Strong support has also come from our vineyard/wine/fruit growers and hotel, ski, recreation, trails and tourism industries along with retired national park service employees, the Museum of Western Colorado and the governor’s office.
As a member of the Grand Junction City Council, as a retired urban planner who has worked for our local governments in the valley, and as a former member of the Colorado National Monument Association, I urge Tipton and Sen. Mark Udall to move ahead with the needed legislation as soon as possible.
Officer Dalley’s death doesn’t deserve heroic status
The caption under the photo on page 2A in Friday’s paper states: “The other officer killed in the line of duty was Fruita Police Department acting-chief Dan Dalley, who died in a 2001 motorcycle crash.”
Those of us who remember the accident know it was not in the line of duty, nor at all police-related. Dalley had received a call of his son being in an accident and taken to the hospital. Jumping on his personal motorcycle, he raced off and was killed in an accident after he violated the right of way of the oncoming car driven by an elderly lady.
A few years prior to Dalley’s death, as a Fruita patrol officer, he shot to death an unarmed drunk driver (all captured on his dash cam), later claiming he was in fear of his life from the fat, staggering drunk standing 20 feet in front of him. The district attorney at the time, Frank Daniels, ruled it a justifiable shooting.
As a retired police officer, I resent every police officer and firefighter claiming hero status. Doing a job for which one volunteers while understanding the hazards involved is not heroic.
Claiming an “in the line of duty” death for Dalley is an insult to all those thousands of officers killed while serving and protecting the public.
Knitting adorning downtown sculptures insults artisans
After reading an article in the Sentinel Wednesday, I must say that putting knitting on sculptures downtown was disrespectful to the art. As an artisan, I would be offended if someone added unnecessary logo patches to a garment or quilt that I made to promote his business.
Our outdoor Art on the Corner is a walking museum, which has to be curated and which is intended for the public to learn about and enjoy art. Because of the open nature, it takes more restraint on the part of the community to preserve the art. Would a person presume to paint a hat on the Mona Lisa in order to promote hat wearing? Would The Thinker be the same with a beanie on its head? Giant scarves on Lincoln’s Memorial?
To add to the Art on the Corner is to disrespect the choices made by artists that have contributed to our lovely downtown.
We may not like some art, or we may think that it is inappropriate, or that we are doing something cute, but the moment we let our actions alter the presentation of sculpture, we are saying that others’ viewpoints and modes of expression are less important than our own.