Printed letters, October 22, 2013

On behalf of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, I would like to thank Sheriff Jim Matthews of Kershaw County, South Carolina, for taking the time to write to the Grand Junction Sentinel and express his thoughts about the recent poaching case involving four men from his home state.

His strong refutation of the slanderous statement made by one of the individuals that, “back in South Carolina, everybody hunts with poison arrows,” should serve as an effective reminder to avoid painting with a broad brush and not let the actions of these four individuals tarnish the reputations of true sportsmen and sportswomen, whether from South Carolina or elsewhere.

Our officers contact thousands of hunters during the course of Colorado’s hunting seasons. It is safe to say that the vast majority of those hunters are law-abiding and ethical and they recognize the importance of projecting a positive image to the public and other hunters, especially our youth.

On the other hand, there are the poachers. They are nothing more than criminals who intentionally take wildlife with blatant disregard for the law, often showing little or no remorse for their actions.

We encourage the public to recognize the distinction, keeping in mind that anyone can make a serious mistake but ethical people make the right decisions after the fact.

Like many cases our agency has investigated, it was a tip from a concerned and conscientious hunter that led to the arrest of the individuals from South Carolina. This type of goodwill and collective regard for the wildlife resource is how many poachers are eventually brought to justice. For that, we are grateful.

As a wildlife officer, I sincerely appreciate the support from Sheriff Jim Matthews and all ethical hunters that help us protect, preserve and enhance Colorado’s wildlife resource, for the benefit of all.

DEAN RIGGS

Deputy Regional Manager, NW

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Grand Junction

Judge Easton’s character

by his decades of caring

I don’t condone the hitting of anyone to solve a problem, least of all a child. Having said that, I also believe one act carried out because of frustration should not define the character of a man or his career.

I met Harry Easton almost 40 years ago when I attended Fruita Junior High. He was a great basketball coach, and our team was fortunate to have him follow us as an assistant coach throughout high school. As all junior and senior high school students, my teammates and I would goof off a lot, and all of our coaches, including Easton, dealt with us with great respect.

I know we learned many lessons we thought were strictly used while playing sports, but later learned were in fact lessons of how we should live our lives.

After I chose education as a profession, I came in contact with Easton again. In fact, it was my pleasure to do my student teaching in his second-grade classroom. He taught me many skills that I carry into my own classroom today. One of those skills is how to treat each child as an individual.

For 15 years I taught at Broadway Elementary with Easton as my principal. Although we didn’t always see eye to eye, I never had any reason to question his discipline of students. I would bet there wasn’t a child who went through Broadway that wouldn’t call Easton his or her friend.

He worked hard to bring out everyone’s talents so they could excel. I’m sure many adults today remember being in the yearly plays he put on at our school, believing everyone should have a chance to shine. I’ll always remember him leading our school and staff in “Don’t Laugh At Me,” a song about bullying, and “The Greatest,” a song about finding one’s true potential, and also taking us on his famous bear hunts.

Easton dedicated his life to education. He has positively touched hundreds of lives in this valley. Reading about this incident saddened me to know his career was ending on this note.

Judging his character by this incident would be wrong. Instead, judging his character should be evidenced by his years of guiding students and teachers.

KEVIN HARDY

Grand Junction

Government is now of the few, for the few and by the few

 I thought that this country had a Constitution that said we had a government of the people, for the people and by the people.

Now I have become aware that what we really have is a government of the few, for the few and by the few. Recent events sound like an attempt by those few to overthrow our government.

 All voters, regardless of what party they believe in, should keep this in mind when elections come up any time in the future. Remember to vote, while you still have the opportunity to make your opinion heard.

HERB STEDMAN

Grand Junction

Send checks to retirees, vets
before paying those on welfare

Why were Social Security and veterans’ checks threatened during the shutdown, but not welfare checks? Let the welfare checks run out first.

Our political can kickers should only be paying themselves minimum wage.

JACKI THOMAS

Montrose



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