Printed letters, November 19, 2013

Two years ago, I tried to convince the Colorado Education Association and several members of the Legislature that an education lottery would be the way to go on K-12 school funding.

Some of them told me that a second constitutional amendment would not fly at that time. They wanted to keep pushing for a tax through the Legislature.

I knew Amendment 66 would fail this year, due to the slow economy and taxing on top of other taxes. Amending the current Colorado Lottery to fund K-12 schools would be a more fair approach.

Even though I like funding parks and recreation through the current lottery, it is time for the state to get creative and progressive on K-12 funding. The Colorado Legislature and Colorado voters could amend the current constitutional lottery amendment to fund our schools.

The Legislature needs to consider this concept in its next session. It is simple, smart and fair. Most of all, it is not a tax. Buying an education lottery ticket would be for a great cause.


New Castle

Fruita Veterans Day event 
worthy of greater coverage

What a disappointment that the day after Veterans Day, The Daily Sentinel printed a short article on Page 2 about the observance at the Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Park in Fruita.

A front-page article featured the plight of dog adoptions in a lengthy story. Our family has always loved dogs. A dog story would be welcome any time. Veterans Day is once a year.

The public is not aware of what a God-and-country-honoring observance it was. The program began with a helicopter flyover provided by an individual, since military flyovers are no longer allowed. Thank you for the pictures of Mathias Mulumba singing our national anthem and six-year-old Hudson Himes leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

The address presented by the honored speaker was very encouraging. Unfortunately, there was no mention of the inspirational invocation and benediction by the Fruita minister; the 15-year old from Fruita Monument who sang “God Bless America,”  “America the Beautiful” and “Amazing Grace” ; the pipers and drummers; the release of white doves; the lady who sang “The Lord’s Prayer”; or the military salute.

Those who have preserved our freedom should be recognized as heroes. Veterans Day is such a time.


Grand Junction


Professor Limerick’s essay 
on fracking worth reading

The University of Colorado and the Center for the American West are engaged in a program that should be of interest to people on the Western Slope.

According to the Center for the American West website, “In October of 2012, the National Science Foundation Sustainability Research Network awarded a five-year, twelve-million-dollar grant to a consortium of scientists and engineers from nine different institutions, including and led by a team from the University of Colorado. The goal of the grant is to provide the material for a more productive, more evidence-based consideration of natural gas development, maximizing the benefits of this resource while minimizing the negative impacts — on human and natural communities — of its production. The Center of the American West holds the role of outreach and public communication in this collaboration.”

Dr. Patty Limerick is director of the center and won a MacArthur Fellowship in 1995 (the so-called genius awards). She brings a moderate voice to the discussion and attempts to clearly define what is known and what needs to be known and to clarify the many misconceptions that are present in the current dialog on fracking. Regardless of your point of view, if you care about this technology, you should visit the website and read Limerick’s essay in progress (including the, um, limerick).


Grand Junction


Panel discussion on the impact 
of seasonal workers is airing

With immigration an ongoing topic in Congress, readers may be interested in the local impact of seasonal workers in Mesa County. A recent panel discussion, organized by the League of Women Voters of Mesa County and the Colorado Mesa University sociology club, is available on Channel 12 and covers a variety of issues related to seasonal workers.

Panelists include Abigail Richardson, PhD, CMU assistant professor of sociology and faculty sponsor of the sociology club; Bruce Talbott, owner and operator of Talbott Farms; Molly Greenlee, Migrant Education program coordinator; Nicole Bernal Ruiz, Hispanic Affairs program director; Tom Acker, CMU professor and Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition board member; Julie Mamo, executive director of Grand Valley Peace and Justice; and Jerry Otero, regional director, office of U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.

Cable Channel 12 is our local public access television, utilized to educate ourselves on issues in the Grand Valley. The panel discussion on seasonal workers will be broadcast at 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily through November.

Watch and enjoy. Then speak up locally for changes that keep our community fair, vibrant and strong.


League of Women Voters

of Mesa County

Grand Junction


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
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Kudos to Charlotte Miller for her letter – “Fruita’s Veterans Day event worthy of greater coverage”.  Indeed, the tenth annual Veterans’ Day ceremonies at the Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Park witnessed a subtle but unreported change from prior years.

Gone were the snide, Clint Eastwood-like anti-Obama ramblings of an old warrior.  In their welcome stead were uplifting anthems sung by local talent—and recognition of our   tradition as a beacon of hope to immigrants, regardless of race, religion, and/or country-of-origin.  The noticeably heavier religious emphasis was consistent with that mood.

Former Grand Junction mayor and presently city councilman Jim Doody was deservedly honored by the Sons of the American Revolution for his many valued contributions to our community – including founding the Memorial and organizing annual ceremonies there.

Despite the perfect weather, the crowd – perhaps a bit smaller (and older) than last year—was more somber than usual, perhaps in recognition that our Nation faces problems that should transcend partisanship, but which unfortunately do not.

Some attendees may even have come to accept the fact that President Barack Obama is our legitimate Commander-in-Chief (not some foreign-born imposter), who – although he never “served”—has done more for America’s military veterans than his predecessor.

Others may also realize that President Obama – once a “community organizer” akin to Jim Doody – is endeavoring to extend to all Americans some semblance of the access to affordable health care that veterans earned and routinely enjoy, and is just as patriotic as those who wear period costumes and tri-cornered hats to “Tea Party” rallies.

Indeed, the generation that coined the acronyms “FUBAR” and “SNAFU” to describe the flaws of the military machine in which they served should be particularly sympathetic regarding the daunting challenges of accomplishing such a worthwhile mission despite stubborn opposition.

Welcome Home!

Old Hugenburg. As usual dont waste anything good w/o espousing some pro Obama backing. Jeez Bill have you heard about manipulation of jobless numbers being manipulated? Add that to Benghazi, fast and furious, hussein care, lying about any and all? NSA? You just couldnt resist throwing that democrap out there. What about when the democraps were doing it to each and all? As a veteran I agree with hillary/limp willy-remember hill screaming about what we as Americans can do? Remember? I personally take umbrage that you want to turn it into your pro democrap venom. You just couldnt leave it alone.

Old Sanders remains a prisoner of FoxNoise—but at least he’s abandoned the false “black panther” voter intimidation b.s.—but still clings to “fast and furious” and “Benghazi”.  Given Darrell Issa’s proven dishonesty, it will be interesting to see what come out of the latest fake scandal.  See below:

Census Bureau: No systematic manipulation of jobs data

Paul Davidson, USA TODAY 11:50 p.m. EST November 19, 2013

The Census Bureau said it has referred a NY Post column alleging jobs data manipulation to its inspector general. The columnist said manipulation could have lowered the jobless rate in September 2012.

The U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday it has asked its inspector general to look into a New York Post report that national employment data ahead of the 2012 election were manipulated.

The bureau says it does not believe any improper conduct was widespread or had any impact on the reported unemployment rate.

Such incidents, it says, occur in fewer than 1% of all cases and would not affect the jobless rate, noting that about 7,000 Census workers in six regions conduct the interviews that contribute to the survey.

In a statement, the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General said: “We are aware of the media reports and our office is evaluating what action may be warranted.”

Separately, in a letter to Census Bureau Director John Thompson, the leadership of the House oversight committee calls the allegations “shocking.”

Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial, says, “If the data are being manipulated, that’s a big concern” because economists rely on it to provide a portrait of the labor market and the economy.

But he says the household survey reports have been consistent with other data —such as jobless claims reports — that point to a slowly improving employment market.

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