Printed Letters: May 8, 2014
Western Slope native behind exhibit words
I wrote the title “Water Comes from the Western Slope (With a Grudge)” pictured in the May 4 issue with the story “Regional officials see fresh volley in war over water.”
This title is on a text panel that is part of an educational water-diversion interactive in Living West, an exhibit at the History Colorado Center that explores the relationship between Coloradans and their environment.
One of Living West’s themes is water — where it comes from, how Coloradans use it, and how we can better manage it for Colorado’s future. Called “Water through the Mountains,” the interactive is designed to show visitors how water diversions affect the Western Slope and the entire Colorado River basin. Visitors divert water from west to east using a simplified model of a water-diversion project. What they discover is that people in the east can only get water at the expense of the west. Our educators report that this interactive helps visitors and school children understand equity issues involved in water distribution. The interactive also points out, through maps and text, that the Colorado River supplies water to people downstream of Colorado.
I am a fourth-generation native of the Western Slope, from Grand Junction. I understand how important water is. I used the term “grudge” in the title not to trivialize the issue, but rather to acknowledge how intensely western Coloradans feel about water diversions.
As visitors learn that, once diverted, water cannot go back from the east to the west, they have an opportunity to leave comments about water issues on a nearby bulletin board. The questions posed in The Daily Sentinel’s recent editorial provide us with excellent content for this bulletin board.
Denver Water sponsored Living West, along with the Gates Family Foundation. However, neither organization had input on the exhibit’s content. We did consult with scientists and historians from around the state on the exhibit’s content.
B. Erin Cole
Assistant State Historian
Extensive health services are readily available in valley
On April 29 The Daily Sentinel reported representatives from Community Hospital stated there were many health-care services – high-risk obstetrics, neonatology, cancer care, advanced cardiovascular care, neuroscience and trauma – frequently unavailable in communities such as Grand Junction.
This may be true elsewhere, but it is not true in Grand Junction, and the implication does a disservice to our community and the dedicated individuals who deliver exceptional care every day. The reality is that these services have been available in Grand Junction, some for decades.
St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Center has provided oncology care since the early 1940s. By investing in cancer-care physicians and staff, we have reduced the need to go to Denver or an out-of-state cancer center at a time when patients value their family’s and friends’ support. Without leaving Grand Junction, St. Mary’s patients may also be candidates for national clinical trials testing cancer treatments, which are promising treatments not yet available at other cancer centers.
St. Mary’s has a comprehensive heart and vascular program with three cardiovascular surgeons. St. Mary’s cardiac cath labs, opened in 1986, are still the only ones in Mesa County. We can provide our patients both minimally invasive and open-heart surgery.
St. Mary’s neonatal intensive care unit works with our pediatric specialty clinic to care for babies born early or with complex medical needs. The NICU has been caring for our smallest, most vulnerable patients for more than 20 years. St. Mary’s maternal-fetal medicine clinic, opened in 2008, cares for moms and babies in complicated and high-risk pregnancies.
Our stroke-trained and fellowship-trained movement disorder neurologists complement the brain and spine services provided by our staff neurosurgeons. And we are the only certified primary stroke center in the region. As the only Level II trauma center between Denver and Salt Lake City, St. Mary’s has trauma and specialty surgeons available around the clock to provide the region’s highest level of care for trauma victims.
The best health care is received in collaboration — the patient, primary caregiver and specialist working together. It is provided locally, close to support of family and friends.
We congratulate Community Hospital in its new venture; however, St. Mary’s philosophy has been to serve the needs of the region by investing in the personnel and technology that keep health care local and personal.
CHRISTOPHER J. STEEN, M.B.A
Vice President, St. Mary’s Medical Group
Democrats in nation’s history responsible for acts of racism
Bill Hugenberg must be working from his own sense of guilt when it comes to racism. Conservatives and Republicans have long been the champions of freedom.
Hugenberg needs a quick review of history.
Democrats led the South out of the union over the election of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. Democrats manned the trenches and fought with the Confederacy to keep African-Americans slaves. After the war, Democrats in the South formed the Ku Klux Klan. Democrats in the South created the Jim Crow Laws and took away the freedom that thousands of dead Union soldiers had won for Southern slaves. Republicans were not elected in the South for 100 years.
Then there were Democrats like George Wallace and Robert Byrd, who fought the Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s. President Johnson would have never succeeded without Republican support to pass landmark civil rights legislation.
Fast forward to today. Donald Sterling is not just a racist. He is a died-in-the-wool Democrat who gave millions of dollars to the Pelosi and Obama campaigns. He was in line to win his second award from the NAACP for his service to the African-American community, when the reality came to light.
The local tea party members are racists? Did the Sentinel editorial board not read the article by Duffy Hayes? Last weekend’s tea party rally at Lincoln Park featured Derrick Wilburn, head of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives and American Conservatives of Color. Rallies in past years have featured Ryan Frazier, a prominent Denver-area conservative (also African-American) and Niger Innes, a prominent African-American who works with Herman Cain and is a Fox News contributor.
Hugenberg and Democrats can no longer defend the lies being perpetuated by the current administration and so turn to the tried-and-true tactic of obfuscation by spouting more lies. Shame on Hugenberg for writing a letter packed with untruths; shame on the Sentinel editorial board for giving it unwarranted publicity.