Printed letters, November 8, 2013

Thanks to Amy Hamilton for her article regarding the Museum of Western Colorado (“Museum of woes,” Nov. 3). As she indicated, the museum faces a significant number of challenges, but we have numerous opportunities, as well. As such, I would like to offer an alternative headline: “Museum of wows.”

The museum’s mission is to inspire people to experience and value our region through the collections and preservation of historical and fossil resources. We engage our audience through exhibitions, educational programming, research and publications.

To fulfill our mission, the museum has three main facilities: Cross Orchards, Dinosaur Journey and Museum of the West. However, we also have the Lloyd Files Research Library, Whitman Educational Center and Riggs Hill and we co-manage Dinosaur Hill.

Nearly 60,000 people annually visit at least one of our museums, including almost 7,000 students. We care for more than 28,000 historic photographs, 3,000 oral interviews, 24,000 historical and anthropological artifacts, more than 10,000 paleontological specimens, 150 cubic feet of manuscripts and a research library with 3,000 books and periodicals.

So, what is the value of all this? The museum contributes to the community in many ways, but I would like to highlight four in particular:

✓ It improves our quality of life.

✓ It is an educational asset.

✓ It contributes to the economy via tourism (more than half of summer visitors are from outside Mesa County).

✓ It helps the community preserve and share its heritage.

Truly, we believe the Museum of Western Colorado is an incredible benefit to our community and should be called the “Museum of Wow.”

PETER BOOTH

Executive Director

Museum of Western Colorado

Grand Junction

Colorado River supports 
sizable slice of economy

Recently, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell gave her first major speech on conservation. She spoke out about the Colorado River, affirming that we must make sure that every drop counts, that we use water more sustainably and that there is more that can be done to use water more efficiently. These comments come as the Colorado River faces a grim future.

Jewell’s own agency along with the seven Colorado River Basin States recently completed a study that predicts that demand for the river’s water will soon outweigh supply.

The same study also demonstrated that water conservation and re-use alone can yield at least 3 million acre feet of water in the basin, and they are the most cost-effective and easily implementable way to bring water supply and demand on the Colorado River back into balance.

In Colorado the river supports nearly 80 jobs and pumps $6.4 billion into the state’s economy each year from people spending money on river-related recreation and tourism.

These comments should amount to a wake-up call for stakeholders to continue to work toward the conservation and efficiency measures that will ensure that all of the river’s users have the water we need to sustain the economies of the West.

ZEKE HERSH, Owner

Blue River Anglers

and Tunes on the Fly

Frisco

Elite class ignores needs 
and rights of working class

Get ready, working-class folks, especially if you are one of those who spent more than 40 years doing hard physical labor, from which you will never really recover. Those who still have power in Congress, who didn’t want you to have medical care, will be after your Social Security next. One thing they want is to raise the age to begin collecting Social Security to 67.

That sounds reasonable to them, many of whom have never done a real day’s work in their lives and have spent most of their careers sitting in college classrooms and offices.

They say a good reason for raising the retirement age is that people live longer. While that might be true, that just means you have more years to go before you get a rest.

So, you won’t be just living longer, you will be more exhausted, and probably so will your retirement funds — if you have any. If you get sick or injured, too bad, if they can do away with or diminish any good medical treatment you might have received.

It’s always interesting how the haves can relegate the have-nots to a permanent underclass, telling themselves the have-nots deserve it because they didn’t try hard enough. But we all know cases where that’s far from true.

So, carry on as best you can and hope that somewhere among the tea party types who seem to rule the world right now is one who has compassion in his heart. Perhaps, when he sees those who are less fortunate, he can say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I” and really mean it.

When that happens, maybe we can achieve the goodness those folks say they want, and America can be the kind of place we all wanted it to be, and thought it was.

M.E. JOHNSON

Eckert



COMMENTS

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Kudos Mr. Johnson. I am a conservative, however where I split with their ideals is with Social Security. I’m 53, had some bad financial breaks (investing in Enron, etc.) and will most likely need my S.S. as my primary retirement.

What Chaps my rear-end is how they throw around the word “Entitlement” as a demonizing word regarding Social Security.
They make it sound like some kind of welfare gift for old people that we really should put an end to.

I started my work career as a paperboy when I was 14. I’ve been paying into it for 39 years. It’s not just an “Entitlement”...It’s as close to a financial right as one can get!

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