Printed letters, November 20, 2013

Logic is notably absent in Josh Penry’s diatribes. His fact-challenged views of reality and his simplistic conclusions seem to be based solely on an insatiable desire to pander to tea party cranks such as Ted Cruz, whom Penry recently defended in writing.

In his column of Nov. 15, Penry’s solutions to education reform in District 51 (remove teachers; cut back on in-service days, vacations and holidays; and close schools) are misguided. No mention is made of the fact that teachers are responsible for child development tasks that should and must also be performed by parents.

There appears to be a lack of interest in and an overt animosity toward the value of public education by some in the valley.

Penry asserts that a group of new, competent, trained and dedicated teachers and leaders is immediately available to wave magic wands and, ergo, problem solved! What makes Penry think that the best would rush to an environment in which they are disrespected and vilified?

His hypocritical stance of simultaneously attacking public education while pretending to care is transparently obvious. His brand of reform is not bold; it is counterproductive.

DALE C. STAPLETON

Grand Junction

Driving incidents suggest 
city is not ‘senior-friendly’

Grand Junction likes to tout itself as a senior-friendly, good sort of place to retire. Well, I’m old, and let me tell you, I would not recommend that any of my equally old friends move to Grand Junction.

I was recently leaving a Walmart parking area when a group of … um … young people in an old car attempted to engineer an accident. Luckily, my reflexes were just a bit better than they had expected from an old lady, and I escaped without damage to my car or personal injury.

And just this week, a friend was involved in a pseudo-accident in a grocery store parking lot. Cops were called and insurance claims filed for an accident that never even happened.

Old people own property and buy a bunch of stuff. Perhaps Grand Junction would be better served by redirecting some of its resources toward keeping its seniors safe. Driving to the grocery store surely doesn’t have to be a frightening and unpleasant exercise.

KAREN VANCE

Grand Junction

 

Alter airport board structure 
to create public accountability

I’m unclear to whom the rallying cry in The Daily Sentinel editorial of Nov. 15 was directed. Initially, I supposed it was toward the Grand Junction City Council, the Mesa County Board of Commissioners and the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority Board, but upon reflection, that didn’t seem to add up, as those leaders and/or their predecessors were, at least, culpable in creating the consequences that we may now be facing.

They didn’t act before; what makes you believe they will act now?

I believe that the current problems have resulted from the structure and the lack of direct accountability of the airport board. Currently the board has seven members, three appointed by the county commissioners, three appointed by the City Council and one appointed by the board itself. When the board largely ignored complaints about the “wildlife” fence, these complaints were taken to the commissioners and the council. They responded that they only appoint some members and that the board was largely autonomous in operation.

The result was a fence that morphed into a TSA-approved security fence that has forced some businesses at the airport to close and others to move away and has created a reputation that drives many transient aircraft pilots and their dollars to other airports. The good news was it wasn’t “our” money that built the fence because most of it came from the feds.

Enter the FBI and the specter of criminal activity, loss and/or repayment of federal funds, downgraded bond ratings, the possibility that West Star may choose to build its paint hangar with the associated jobs at another airport, and suddenly it’s a big deal.

Was one or all of these august bodies asleep at the switch? Did any or all of them fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to their constituents? You’ve offered the perfect solution: Spend taxpayer money to cover their tracks.

Why not fix the problem rather than patch it? I believe that unless there are changes in the structure of the board to have accountability to the electorate and to direct airport management as opposed to the opposite, it will remain Walker Field regardless of the wannabe name.

DREW ARMSTRONG

Palisade

 

Sentinel’s expanded coverage 
is welcomed by subscriber

The Daily Sentinel’s new format and expanded news coverage were just in time.

I had almost convinced myself that I no longer needed to spend the money for an annual subscription to a newspaper that wasn’t providing what I believed to be a decent balance of actual news and local interest.

The new format, with expanded news coverage, that was introduced this past Thursday has me convinced to stick around for a while.

Good thinking, good timing, good job. Thanks.

TOM HOWE

Hotchkiss



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