Printed Letters: October 11, 2017
3A and 3B will impact future of education
Everywhere I drive I see signs for 3A and 3B. It is on the minds of many of us, but what do the two numbers and two letters mean? Who does this impact?
Voting for 3A and 3B means that voters understand that students at Orchard Mesa Middle School are going to school in a building that is crumbling away. Very few of us would like to work in an office with plants growing out of the walls and students feel the same way. Voting yes means that students at OMMS will have a facility to grow and thrive in.
Voting for 3A and 3B means that students at Dual Immersion Academy will be able to have P.E. in a safe and controlled environment like all the other students in the valley. I venture a guess that every family at DIA would tell you how important this is for students. Voting yes means students will have access to the same healthy and safe P.E. opportunities as all the other schools in D51.
Voting for 3A and 3B means improved security at our schools. Every teacher, principal, secretary, etc. worries about the safety of our students. We need additional security and voting yes will provide this.
Voting for 3A and 3B means that students go to school more. When budgets required it, days were cut from the calendar. This directly impacts student achievement and the days should be added back in. Voting yes gives students more learning opportunities and practice on important skills.
Voting for 3A and 3B means much more than this letter can describe. Find out for yourself at http://www.citizensforsd51.com/plan/. Your yes vote for 3A and 3B positively impacts students now and for many years to come. Vote yes.
Volkswagen settlement is an opportunity for Western Slope
Colorado received $68 million from Volkswagen as a settlement when the automaker was caught falsifying its emissions. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recently released a draft plan for what to do with this money that dedicated $10 million to electric vehicle infrastructure. With this money, we have the unique opportunity to better our air quality, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and save ourselves some cash by making driving electric vehicles (EVs) a reality for people across the state.
In fact, for me, it already is a reality. As an owner of an electric car, I have experienced both the economic and environmental benefits of EV ownership. In addition to the tax credits on my 2017 Colorado and federal income tax; in the month of September I saved around 21 gallons of fuel and prevented 414 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere by driving my EV. In short, I have been very happy with my experience as an EV owner.
I want others to be able to experience this, too. Therefore, our community should strongly support allocating money for electric vehicle charging stations, especially on the Western Slope, where they are still scarce. This settlement money can make EV travel throughout the state a reality and brings people out to our communities, where they contribute to our local economies.
Colorado is the cheapest state to buy an electric vehicle. However, rural parts of the state like Mesa County still are lacking in the infrastructure to reap these kinds of benefits.
There’s a simple solution to North Avenue name debate
Area residents have figured out the difference between F Road to Patterson Road back to F Road in Grand Junction for years. Name it University Avenue from First Street to 24th Street. Name the rest of it North Avenue from 24th Street to the east to I-70B. A small fraction of North Avenue business owners would have to bear the expense of the name change and CMU gets to market itself as a university internationally with the name “University Avenue.” Locals are going to continue to call it North Avenue for years, anyway.
The fantastic job that Colorado Mesa University has done on campus expansion is the future of Mesa County. Compromising with the community on a common-sense solution would be a good step forward by CMU in the present.
Better schools could lead to a stronger medical community
I am writing to encourage all to vote for 3A and 3B on the upcoming ballot, and to urge you to vote for Dr. Amy Davis for school board.
Better schools in the Grand Valley could lead to a stronger medical community. In the last 30 years, wonderful family physicians have set up practice here in town. Many have stayed after training here at St. Mary’s Family Medicine residency. The residency has worked hard to attract and retain family physicians for the Western Slope. Despite this, our community still suffers from a severe shortage of primary care physicians. Many readers can attest to the difficulty of finding a new doctor here in town. One of the key questions prospective candidates for medical residency ask concerns the quality of the local schools. The residency frequently gets questions about the schools’ funding, facilities, and community support. A recent residency graduate stated that when he and his wife were considering where to settle, the state of the Grand Valley schools fell in the “against” Grand Junction column.
A community that values its youth by assuring proper maintenance of public education facilities, materials, and programs attracts not only better teachers to the valley, but also more doctors, and other skilled workers.
The valley needs hard-working innovative problem-solving leaders within the school board. My friend and colleague, Dr. Amy Davis is running to be on the school board. District 51 would be more than lucky to have her serve in this capacity. Amy loves to solve hard problems, listen to all sides, and build consensus. She is fair, open-minded and solution-focused. Parents could not ask for a better advocate for their children.
A vote for the District 51 bond and mill levy, 3A and 3B, represents a long overdue “cost-of-living ” increase so that our schools can compete for better teachers, and also become a “draw’ for other professions and companies that enrich our economy.
A vote for Amy Davis for D51 school board will be a vote for commitment to excellence in education; she will keep the needs of the children and parents of the Grand Valley as her highest priority.
BETSY LONGENECKER, M.D.
People need to quit referring to public land as federal land
On the front page of Monday’s newspaper there was an article about protecting a wild mustard plant. The first paragraph says, “two rare mustard plants on federal land in Rio Blanco county.”
The fact is this is not “federal land.” It’s public land that is managed by the federal government. We the people, as well as The Daily Sentinel, need to quit referring to public land as federal land or BLM land or Forest Service land.
The fact is it is our land and we need to start referring to it like it is ours. The more people keep reinforcing this misconception by using the wrong nomenclature, the more the BLM, Forest Service, etc. think they can regulate us off our land. If you start using the correct wording, maybe others will start and we can begin to get back control of our public lands.
Seniors, unite to vote yes for kids and for police protection
I consider myself a mature senior who is getting ready to celebrate my 90th birthday. We grew up during the Depression and experienced World War II. In response to those who consider us whiners, crybabies and takers because of Medicare (earned, not entitlement), we seniors would like to show who we truly are. I ask seniors to unite. We want the best education available to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We want super great facilities for them. We want the best teachers for them.
Come on seniors, unite! Get your cane, walker or wheel chair and follow me to vote YES for our kids. If all of us ate mush for dinner for one week we could pay for the best education in Colorado for our kids. Seniors unite — follow me! Another item to consider is police protection. Yes, help keep us safe. Eat more mush if needed and vote YES. Seniors, show everyone we are still alive and kicking and really care.
PATTA LEIGH REED
3A and 3B will help move our public schools forward
Momentum counts! In sports. In business. And in community building.
After a long dry spell, we have momentum in Mesa County. Sales taxes are up. Building permits are up. Unemployment is down. Businesses are moving in and expanding.
Part of momentum is a thriving educational atmosphere. We have that in higher education. We can create it in our K-12 schools. Ballot issues 3A and 3B will help move our public schools forward in a big way. I urge your support of 3A and 3B.
State Representative, House District 55