Printed Letters: October 1, 2017

Give educators and school district support

I ask everyone to support measures 3A and 3B for School District 51. The information made available by Citizens for School District 51 is amazing and overwhelming. The data provided helps one to be informed as to the needs, but also to learn about the community impact directly to our economy.

Investing in our community really does make it thrive and attract others, and it is surprising how consistently the voters of Grand Junction elect not to help take our community to a higher standard — be it for safety, library, or even for our emergency response.

It is well established that when people or businesses seek to move, they consider the public schools — not just performance, but actual facilities and ability to keep up with the modern times. Considering the average age of the buildings to be 44 years and then some — that exceeds the standard for efficiency in a facility by a good nine years. The school district facilities have hard use due to the high numbers of individuals coming and going throughout much of the year and as capital projects become more severe and numerous, then there must be concern for the safety of all.

Education as a whole runs with expenses that are well shy of other industries and professions. Cries to find more efficiencies and reductions are severe for an employer that already has people working from the heart. Let us all join in and give educators and our district support. An infusion of compassion to help our community learn and grow can be done by voting “yes” for 3A and 3B.

CHRISTIAN MUELLER
Grand Junction

Orchard Mesa Middle School needs your support

I’m Carlos Martinez, president of student council at Orchard Mesa Middle School. I believe my fellow students deserve a new school. The students and I believe it’s hard to learn when you can smell mold when the air conditioning or heater is on. The tiles are falling from the gymnasium ceiling, which could cause serious injuries.

If you really think students should smell mold or risk injury, then don’t help. Stand up for what you think is right. Our school is getting older by the day, the hour, the minute, and even the second. So please help me on this, and help our community make the world a better place. That should be an easy choice to make. The Orchard Mesa Middle School students deserve a new school. Don’t you think?

CARLOS MARTINEZ
Grand Junction

Local Realtors stand 
in support of 3A and 3B

We as Realtors stand with the Grand Junction Chamber, GJEP, and other business leaders in this community in support of 3A and 3B. We firmly believe that in order to scale our economy, we must invest in the foundation of our community: our public education system.

It is easy to see why so many in our industry support the measure. We are the largest industry in the region, and on a daily basis, we are questioned about the quality of our schools. Whether buyers are moving across town or businesses are relocating from across the nation, schools are an important factor in determining where they will buy their next home or locate their business. Home buyers and business owners desire schools with the curriculum, teacher training, technology, safety, and school calendar that are necessary to remain competitive with other districts. Each of us has had at least one client who chose another place over Mesa County given our funding per pupil ranking 16th among the 20 comparably sized districts.

Studies show that home values increase in communities with good schools. Imagine what could happen to property values around a new Orchard Mesa Middle School or the 45 other D51 facilities scheduled for maintenance or upgrades. Every homeowner in the district could benefit from increased home values, as the measures will improve all schools in the district.

In regards to the cost of residential property taxes relative to home values in D51, the facts speak for themselves. Despite a quadrupling of the median home price between 1986 and 2016 the median annual residential property tax paid to D51 has decreased by 18.5 percent from $702 per year in 1986 to $592 per year in 2016. That is correct! Home values have quadrupled since 1986 and residential property taxes have decreased during that same time frame primarily due to the Gallagher Amendment.

It is time that Grand Junction residents provide a much-needed boost to our under-funded public schools. The graduating class of 2018 has not seen one increase in school funding since they started kindergarten, but in fact has had to deal with the results of massive budget cuts. Let’s show them, and the potential residents that are considering moving to the Grand Valley, that we value our kids and their education. Please vote YES on 3A and 3B.

CHRISTI REECE, Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties
MIKE FOSTER, Coldwell Banker Commercial Prime Properties
KEVIN BRAY, Bray Real Estate
JOHN DUFFY, Bray Real Estate
JOANNA LITTLE, Re/Max 4000
JOE TRIPOLI, Re/Max 4000
Grand Junction

Recent letter on immigrants enrages native-born citizen

I was enraged and very much offended when I read the letter by Shari Vandervelde insinuating that only people who are immigrants are part of this nation by her statement that “We are a nation of immigrants.”

My parents were immigrants but I was born here and consider myself to be a part of this nation just as they were and I am proud to be a native-born citizen. I would like to inform Ms. Vandervelde that, according to the last census, approximately 90 percent of American citizens were born here. So, her statement is patently false.

This is a typical example of how the people who do not respect this nation or its citizens are attempting to divide and tribalize our once great nation by spreading divisive propaganda like this.

GARRY EVENSON
Parachute

Local mainstream media could 
inspire positive change

We, future generations that is, are $20 trillion in debt. So, all sound economics aside, we must not lack money for anything. Law enforcement and education are critical pillars of society, but one is preserving our nation, the other is trashing it. The two nastiest “American” swamps needing to be drained immediately are academia and the heretical faction of the “Christian” church. We have been besieged by intellectually dishonest professors and phony, anti-intellectual preachers who must have Satan kicking back on his recliner enjoying a cold beer.

A portion of Cidney Fisk’s lawsuit against a Delta School District claims they violated her right to “free exercise of religion.” That’s right! Neutrality is a myth! Just because Fisk dismisses the God of America’s founders, doesn’t mean we escape having to endure the consequences of her godless ideology. If atheists were consistent, they would insist their religious ideology also be separated from the state. Robert Fisk recently rewrote verifiable American history and law with the omniscient certainty of a God! But I don’t want him or anyone else attacked, silenced or shouted down. Give atheists every opportunity to proclaim and defend their world-view to us, as comprehensively as possible minus the regressive attacks on theism.

The Daily Sentinel is mainstream media that could inspire positive change. I encourage readers to ask that this forum be thoroughly revised. Maybe devote an entire page and call it “Win the Argument.” Insist that evidence rather than personal attack rules. If space is a concern, delete not only “Letters to the Editor” but also “You Said it” and columnists a la George Will and EJ Dionne. Seriously, why do we need over-articulate fools in Washington misleading us any further?

MARTY DHABOLT
Grand Junction

Story of youth’s indomitable spirit was deeply moving

I was deeply moved by Erin McIntyre’s heartwarming story of Mark’s indomitable spirit during his short life here. Thank you Orchard Mesa Middle School staff, Orchard Mesa Lion’s Club, and all who were involved with the memorial to honor this “gentle soul” and keep his legacy of courage, resilience, and love of learning alive. There are angels among us.

KATY THORPE
Grand Junction

Community serves as example of what health care can be

When I read Katie Langford’s article on how much School District 51’s partnership with Community Hospital has benefited district employees, (“Health costs drop for school district employees,” Sept. 20) I was struck by how lucky we are to have a health care organization like Community Hospital here.

Most of the headlines around the entire country concerning health care are about how premiums are skyrocketing, and how people everywhere are paying more and more for health care. The political atmosphere in Washington D.C. makes it seem less and less likely that the two parties will ever come together to find a way to fix our health care system and make it affordable.

And yet, here in our little corner of Colorado, we have Community Hospital, which has managed to provide insurance to a major employer, cut the costs of deductibles and premiums, and forge a partnership with a big-city hospital to provide a full suite of services at a discount. That they managed to do all this in the shadow of a larger competitor just adds to their credibility.

Community Hospital serves as an example of what the health care industry can and should be, and gives us hope that we won’t need to rely on Washington for health care solutions.

ANGELA WETZEL
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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To make sense of Marty Dhabolt’s Sunday screed (“Local mainstream media could inspire positive change”), Sentinel readers should know that he is affiliated with the American Constitution Party – a minor right-wing political party which asserts that the U.S. is a “Christian nation” founded on the Bible, that American jurisprudence should be restored to its “Biblical foundations”, and that its policy positions are based on the Constitution.

That’s why Dhabolt first puts “sound economics aside” and rails against both academia (whose fact-based rationality threatens his world view) and the unidentified “heretical faction of the ‘Christian’ church” (which presumably rejects his Bible-based bullshit).

Moreover, by Dhabolt’s demented definition, secularism is equivalent to atheism – even though “America’s founders” subordinated their own personal sectarian religious beliefs to secularism by making no mention of any God in the Constitution that Marty reveres.

Thus, contrary to Marty’s assertion, “neutrality” (albeit demonstrably difficult to achieve in practice) is not “a myth”, but rather an aspirational goal reinforced by both the First Amendment’s Establishment and Free Exercise clauses (which protect religion from government and vice versa), and by the 14th Amendment (which promises “the equal protection of the laws” regardless of religious beliefs and/or affiliation—or lack thereof).

Indeed, and contrary to Dhabolt’s illogic, atheists have always consistently called for a “wall” of separation between Church and State – a concept that was originally endorsed by minority Christian denominations fearing that the intolerant religious majority of the times would exploit their political power to “establish” a national religion imposing “heretical” beliefs on them.  Consequently, both “god-fearing” secularists and godless atheists share the conviction that theology has no place in governance or jurisprudence.

These are the issues properly and timely raised by Cidney Fisk’s lawsuit against the Delta School District (an arm of “government” subject to the First Amendment) and by Robert Fisk’s cogent letter (“The U.S. is a secular country, not a theocracy”, Sep. 27, 2017).

Remarkably, Dhabolt’s concluding recommendation is to subvert the First Amendment by converting the Sentinel’s “free speech” pages into a “Win the Debate” forum devoted to arguing about theism.  “Seriously”, paraphrasing his own words, “why do we need” pseudo-articulate fools – like Marty in Grand Junction – “misleading us any further?”

Mr. Evenson, why are you writing a letter telling us that you are enraged by the idea we are all immigrants? Any sentient being understood what she meant. Unless you are native American - Indian - all of our roots are elsewhere. Our ancestors came here for many reasons, the earliest were largely to get away from bigotry of one sort or another. What is your point? You wrote, “This is a typical example of how the people who do not respect this nation or its citizens are attempting to divide and tribalize our once great nation by spreading divisive propaganda like this”. Divisive? Who are those people you seem to hate who celebrate getting rid of division rather than the exact opposite? Modern bigotry?

Mr. Evenson apparently thinks far too much of himself if he cannot see what the term “nation of immigrants” has always meant when used.  It includes his parents, and some of my ancestors as well.  He is like all too many.  If he is not specifically mentioned he becomes offended.  He, like all too many, really needs to grow up and stop seeking attention.

Some of us, when asked what we are, will seek to reply “I am still just a human being. What about you?”  That seems to offend some of our more virtuous and noble ones such as Mr. Dhabolt.  Or perhaps they believe themselves more than that and consider their very existence a favor to us all.  But, that is how many such individuals as Mr. Dhabolt were taught (and nearly from birth) that they were “something special” and whatever they believed, had to be true and consequently anyone who did not believe exactly as they did, HAD TO BE wrong.

Such individual, it is abundantly clear (at least to some of us) that they think far too much of themselves and of their significance.  They are individuals who know little or next to nothing about history in general and religious history in particular.  In fact, I would submit that they don’t even know what religion is, except something they should believe in.

This country was once referred to as “The Child of the Englightenment” (the European Enlightenment) a large part of it was the effort to disentangle the tentacles of religion from government and finally allow the individual to breathe on his own and face up to his obligations and responsibilities as a human being.

It is rather obvious that such as Mr. Dhabolt, and because the lack the courage to do otherwise, want to take us backwards, not only to that period but even prior to that, moving backwards, even past that period referred to as the Renaissance, and into a period (at times referred to as the Dark Ages) where religion and civil government were one and the same, in fact “religion” ran everything.  That is where such as Mr. Dhabolt are attempting to do, and under the false banner of morality, a morality totally devoid of any humanity.

“The two nastiest “American” swamps needing to be drained immediately are academia and the heretical faction of the “Christian” church”

Mr.  Dhabolt would have been a great asset to the NAZI regime (or any would-be totalitarian regime as a matter of fact).  Wonder what he wants to purge out of academia, and which part of the “Christian” church he considers heretical.  Of course, we would then have to ask him what standards he would use to determine either or both of them.

Mr. Hugenberg, Since you linked the Krugman article the other day attacking the President for the gov. response to damage to Puerto Rico, perhaps you might be interested in another point of view:
Jorge Rodriguez, 49, is the Harvard-educated CEO of PACIV, an international engineering firm based in Puerto Rico that works with the medical and pharmaceutical sectors. The Puerto Rican-born engineer says he has dispatched 50 engineers to help FEMA rehabilitate the devastated island — a commonwealth of the United States — after Hurricane Maria. He refuses to work with the local government, which he called inept and riddled with corruption.

http://nypost.com/2017/09/30/inept-puerto-rican-government-riddled-with-corruption-ceo/

Krugman knows so much about Puerto Rico that the other day he tweeted about a, “cholera outbreak” and later had to correct that to an outbreak of conjunctivitis—i.e. Pink Eye.

Mr. Hugenberg:  So a Porto Rican citizen writing an op-ed about what he sees on the ground and what he saw before the hurricane hit is, “blaming the victim”.  Do you REALLY think the government officials he, “outed” are the victims? 
The actual vicims—-the people who are suffering—that MSN wrote about are not the corruptocrats.
As usual I guess we see this entirely differently.  I think the victims are the people.  I could care less about the local government officials who are not helping the people and blaming someone else for everything.
You might get a message to the mayor of San Juan that her claims she’s getting no help would “fly” better if she wasn’t standing in front of pallet after pallet after pallet of water sitting behind her.  Since she’s a strong union person ask her if that story about the local Teamster Union truckers is true——I hope not!
This is a crisis situation that is going to get worse if people on both sides of the argument don’t put away their differences, try to work together, and quit running to the nearest TV camera or Twitter account.
The mainland reporters down there are looking for stories that will get them headlines and views, and clicks.  I could care less what their latest “breathless find” is. 
I’ll take my information from ordinary citizens who are stuck there including the man who wrote this article.  Actually, I hope he is put in charge of the relief operation because the current government appears to be unable to handle it.

Bloomberg article on Porto Rico:
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-30/no-trump-didn-t-botch-the-puerto-rico-crisis

Maybe I’m duped, Mr. Hugenberg, maybe you are.  We shall see.
No matter what the truth is you have your Katrina and that’ll be the narrative from now on. 
If we send a ton of money without adequate oversight it’ll be another Haiti except this time eventually we will have to pay actually fix the place.
I still think the CEO of an engineering firm that does water/wastewater and power and energy has a better idea about what needs to be done than a CNN reporter.  http://www.paciv.com/
I’m not sure whether the general quoted is saying the, “worst disaster he’s ever seen” or if he’s saying, “the worst response”.  Either way it’s time to get with the program.
As for the FEMA director.  What does he need?
As for the “spin”.....round and round it goes.  It doesn’t make any difference what the WH says…...you of the Left have your Katrina.
I want the place fixed and the political squabbling is not going to help the situation.

You were looking for Trump’s Katrina with Florida and with Houston.
Thank GOD you didn’t get it.

How about this, BA.  From HuffPuff no less:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/us-military-on-puerto-rico-the-problem-is-distribution_us_59ce5906e4b0f3c468060dee

Correction”  to BH:

Quote from article
“...As a Puerto Rican, I can tell you that the problem has nothing to do with the U.S. military, FEMA, or the DoD.”

Greetings! Sorry I’m so late to the party. Thanks to Bill Hugenberg and Robert Laitres for responding to my letter. It is hilarious that my attempt to encourage more civility in our dialogue and debates garnered more personal attack than ever before. It doesn’t bother me but you both are in violation of the guidelines set forth by The Daily Sentinel and therefore must be punished severely. Finally, a reason to keep GITMO open. “GJSentinel.com encourages comments that add to the civil discourse regarding community issues. However, name calling, threats, coarse language and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Comments will be removed at the editor’s discretion.”
Mr. Hugenberg is truly a linguistic artist. He cleverly weaves more invective into fewer words than anyone. He should be writing for Bill Maher. Not kidding. And thanks Bill, for informing readers of my political party affiliation—The American Constitution Party. May it rise from obscurity and prevail. As there is no neutrality, asprirational or otherwise, neither is there any privacy (unless you’re Hillary Clinton). The rest of us are but mere peasants in her village of deplorables.
The one irritating attack is this assertion that as a result of being brain washed as a child…I now believe I am superior to other humans. That one must have anyone who knows me in stitches. Sure there may have been attempts by teachers, coaches etc., but it didn’t take. And if I’m on any kind of moral soap box or pedestal, it’s about an inch tall and shoddy, crumbling mess.
By the way, few understand the obligations post conversion to Theism. Once God is acknowledged and revered as ultimate, the opinions of the converted, and here is the important part, on the ESSENTIAL issues of life, no longer matter. In fact they often amount to idolatry. Now Atheists seize on that for the obvious reasons, but invariably, they do so without any humility or knowledge of their actual status in the universe whether God exists, or for sake of argument, does not.
Bill, reading between the lines…I believe you understand far more about America’s founding then you’re telling readers. What, precisely, would you accept as sufficient evidence that America, and The Constitution in specific, began theistic and would therefore have you leaving your secular/atheistic/liberal/progressive…view behind? Maybe I can provide that evidence. Maybe, I can’t! And in the event you can “WIN THE ARGUMENT” as I encourage everyone to do, you just might take me to school. Who knows, you might even find me joining the ranks of the Godless! That is, if you’ll have me. I’ll buy the beer! Or Gluten free whiskey and cigars! Then again, what would there be to celebrate? I would just be one more among the billions of Godless human denominations hell bent on autonomy and the avoidance of moral accountability.

Hello again, this is Marty not Eugenia…a little glich to be resolved…
Bill, you referred to academia: “whose fact-based rationality threatens his (my) world view.” Ultimately, not a single fact or any amount of rationality threatens me in the least. Well, at least, that’s my aspirational goal but as you know, we are all hypocrites and no one lives up to their professed standards. So, please enlighten, what exactly is the theory of fact / knowledge aka epistemology, throughout academia?
Robert, thanks for all the free psychoanalysis! For myself and as you said Robert, all those “such as” myself. If you ever want me to return the favor, I’ll be relying on God’s word exclusively, as my personal assessment of your psychological profile ain’t worth spit. Wonder why Christians rarely if ever rely on our Creator’s revelation as evidence for God’s existence. The Bible delineates the many facets of human nature with miraculous accuracy and detail. Since you asked, the bible is my standard(s) and my epistemology, philosophical foundation and transcendental referent in every case of significant inquiry. And, I don’t have my own bible, in other words, my views are never a result of my “bible based BS” as Bill stated. My views, and only as far as they correspond to reality, are to be blamed on our Creator. Do you, Robert, appeal to any standards beyond arbitrary, human opinion and preference?     
It was wondered who I was describing in this statement: “phony, anti-intellectual preachers.” Didn’t think I would ever have to elaborate further but Bill stated: “the unidentified “heretical faction of the ‘Christian’ church.” And Robert asked: “and which part of the “Christian” church he considers heretical…” No doubt you both consider the entire Christian population “heretical” on matters of truth, nevertheless, point taken. To clarify: TBN, similar networks and any church or leader of a ministry teaching self-serving, materialistic, escapist (rapture) theology, along with other obvious, blasphemous nonsense…

Robert, am I supposed to respond, seriously, to your associating me with Nazis? Now Bill seized on the low hanging fruit I provided, calling me a “pseudo intellectual” when applying, to me, my suggestion that we stop relying on intellectual fools from Washington. Maybe I am a pseudo intellectual and desperate for enlightenment. But an asset to the evil of Nazi-ism? Both attacks are beneath your intellects and the gravity of this discussion. Sure, if I implied it hadn’t occurred to me, to also label local intellectuals, including the both of you, as over-articulate fools…I would be lying. But I’m trying to turn over a new leaf of civility here, and let me tell you, it ain’t easy! The path of least intellectual offense is a tough row to hoe! After all, everyone one of us purely possesses and proclaims nothing but the truth, right? It’s always the other guy that’s the idiot, right? But more to the point, notice, how much time and energy we all just wasted on this regressive ad-hominem nonsense rather than solutions. At what point, or number of personal attacks, does one lose all integrity in their claim to be compassionate and a genuine seeker of solution to our problems?

Having said that, at the risk of immediately refuting myself, Robert, unless you can provide evidence that The Black Book of Communism, as one example (there are many other similar works) is in error in its exhaustive reporting of history and religion, listing specifically, who was in charge and what ideology inspired the largest scale atrocities ever committed, could you please refer me to a single Christian despot in any of its 800 pages?

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