Printed Letters: October 30, 2016

St. Mary’s, reconsider closure of Life Center

St. Mary’s “Sisters of Charity” closing of the Life Center appears to be a “big business time” when money means more than people. Closing this great facility is a travesty to all of the 1,500 members who utilize this facility three to five times a week, not to mention the employees who join the ranks of the unemployed or are reduced to part time.

Many of the members began their Life Center experience having physical therapy; upon completing PT they moved on to utilizing the “staying healthy” related programs offered i.e. aerobics, swim exercise, sit ‘n fit, gym equipment, workouts, etc.

The picture of the pool in last week’s Daily Sentinel showing six to eight people in it was deceptive, to say the least, as to the number of folks who use it. Monday of this week, the 9:30 a.m. swim class had 34 members, along with two disabled children and their trainers, for a total of 38 people in a pool that has a maximum capacity of 40. This pool gets used all day long. The above was only one hour. The gym equipment is also used all day long. At times, you have to wait for the piece of equipment you need to use because of the number of members in the gym area.

Based on 1,500 members, why not increase the monthly dues by $10/month, generating another $180,000 per year or $90,000 if dues were increased by $5/month? Some of us – maybe most of us – live on low, fixed incomes but would be willing to pay more to keep The Life Center open. The newfound friends we see each time we attend a program have become “family” while at the same time we bask in the caring, loving, compassionate employees who are so willing to help us. They are family, too. All 1,500 of us are not just names on a piece of paper; we are living breathing people with families. Plus, we hurt for the employees who are being terminated.

Sisters of Charity, please reconsider the closure of the Life Center, which has benefited this community for so many years!

Grand Junction

Show support for restrictions on open burning

This past Monday The Daily Sentinel said, “One drop of ink can make the whole valley think.” I write this letter inspired by that statement encouraging the whole valley to think about the effects on our community of the age old practice of open burning. Before setting a match to our yard waste let’s:

Think about the caustic particulate and toxic chemicals that burning yard waste emit into the air. Think about the damage that burning causes to our respiratory and cardiac systems. Think about the fact that such burning despoils the five most beautiful months of the year in the valley. Think about the fact that we have a compost facility waiting to turn our yard waste into garden gold. Think about the fact that we could provide income to someone hired to haul off our yard waste. Think about using the annual city clean up program to haul off yard waste. Think about the impression foul air makes on visitors and employers contemplating moving here.

Let’s work together to make our community cleaner, healthier and more attractive. Show your support for restrictions on open burning by attending the city council meeting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 at City Hall. I hope to see you there!

Grand Junction

Discrimination based on party affiliation is unacceptable

I have worked as a Mesa County election judge since 2008, usually as a lead in the mail ballot room. This year I am not allowed to work the election because I am unaffiliated. Since the 2014 election, the Secretary of State has enforced citations that in summary read as follows:

“Both the Colorado Revised Statutes and the Colorado Secretary of State’s Election Rules require that each major political party submit a list of recommended election judges to the County Clerk. The Clerk is then required, by statute and rule, to only appoint election judges whose names appear on those lists. If those major party lists become exhausted during the appointment process and all of the election judge vacancies are not yet filled, the Clerk is then required to fill the remaining vacancies with individuals from lists that have been submitted by the minor political parties. And it is only when those minor political party lists have been exhausted, that the Clerk may then appoint unaffiliated voters who have offered to serve as election judges.”

When did employment based on party affiliation become an accepted part of the process? I am being discriminated against because I choose not to align myself with a major party, and am being blocked from working for the county because of my political persuasion. Could discrimination be any more blatant? Unaffiliated voters represent the largest portion of voters in the state, and are the second largest portion of voters here.

I was impressed by the efforts that were made to keep the election process unbiased. The only trouble was when the Republican or Democratic parties sent their representatives to work the election. They were disruptive and combative and were warned by election officials on more than one occasion. These same parties are now controlling the selection of all the election judges. Sure doesn’t make me feel more confident that the process is above reproach.  I am at a loss as to how and why such discriminatory policies have been instituted and why we allow them to continue.

Grand Junction

Please do your research and dispose of your refuse legally

To newcomers and long-time residents who may feel the side of a road is a dump, please note the following:

Waste Management at 1248 Winters Ave. has a drop-off location where you can deposit cardboard boxes, newspapers, plastic and aluminum at no charge. There are curbside recycling options in Grand Junction such as Curbside Recycling Indefinitely. They also offer a drop off location at 333 West Ave. in Grand Junction. As of July 1, 2013, electronic waste is banned from all Colorado landfills. A good earth-friendly and legal option for disposing of electronics is through Solid Waste Management. They are located at 3071 Highway 50 in Grand Junction. There is a cost associated with disposal. Please visit their website, and be responsible for your trash. Tires can be disposed of through several places for a small fee such as TDS Tire Distribution Systems, 410 North Ave., and Discount Tire, 2820 North Ave. Western Metals and Pacific Steel and Recycling will recycle appliances, junk metal and cars. Mesa County’s landfill is another good resource for waste disposal, 3071 US Highway 50, Grand Junction.

Please do your research and dispose of your refuse legally. Grand Junction has adequate recycling options. The side of the road or BLM land is not your personal dump. It costs taxpayer dollars to clean up after you, dollars that could be spent elsewhere. Dumpers can be fined anywhere from $250 to $1,000, and can also be held responsible for the cost of cleanup

Maybe it is time to enact a surcharge for new electronic purchases and tires that would offset the cost of recycling and allow for a more convenient process for those too lazy to pay for disposal later – much like the surcharge for buying house paint. It appears some incentive is necessary in the Grand Valley.

Grand Junction

Senate, delay implementation of overtime regulations

When federal bureaucrats create new rules and regulations, they often forget about small business owners. They think that every company has the resources to handle more paperwork, fees, and fines. But that’s just not reality. The Department of Labor’s latest move to implement its onerous overtime rule by Dec. 1 is a perfect example. Small businesses are scrambling to comply with the arbitrary deadline that the DOL has set.

The reality is that a small business owner usually has to handle all the compliance by himself or herself. The National Federation of Independent Business, on behalf of its members and all small business owners, has called on the DOL, the judicial system, and Congress to delay the rule to help ensure that we are in compliance and don’t face heavy penalties. The House of Representatives passed a bill to delay the rule, giving small businesses much-needed time to comply. Now the Senate must act.

Small businesses in Colorado are relying on Senator Bennet to protect us from potentially ruinous fines by voting to delay the implementation of the overtime regulations. This is a simple compromise that would be helpful to many thousands of small business owners in our state and across the country.


There’s a clear distinction between journalism and media

Let’s make a clear distinction. Media vs. journalism. Journalism exists. It is a shining white edifice composed of truth, fact, and pure information. The reason it is hard to see is that is submerged in the grey-brown opaque slop that is the media. Volumetrically, journalism is a tiny crystal awash in a bathtub of sludge, the media.

If you are obtaining your guiding information from real journalism, then my hat is off to you. For it means that you have sought truth, and amazingly, have found it – journalism. If you are obtaining your compass points from the media, then, by extension, you are the media, a crude blunt post of ignorance in the afore-mentioned vat of reeking twisted opinion – the media.

Grand Junction


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Mr. Jack Reeve is quite correct in his distinction between the “news”, those things have to do with hard factual information and the media, which is really nothing more than about money.

We do not have to go to large media outlets to not that.  All we have to do is look in local so-called “news” outlets, where we see many supposed news article reflective, not of the impartial addressing of happening and events, but all too many of them containing opinions rather than facts.  That needs to be critically examined, not only by the public, but by those who claim (and I emphasize claim)to be journalists.

When looking at what is “reported”, what some of us find is that, in far too many instances, many of these media outlets are far more interested and so concerned with their own interests (primarily financial)that they become part of local entrenched interests.  As such, that is what they will “report”, and actually end up censoring any opposing voices.  For those who are at all attentive, that should be rather evident, even without having it “spelled out” for them.

Most, while they may enter “journalism” school with the best of intentions, will all too frequently exit having learned nothing more than “how to write” or “how to talk”, never having learned (nor ever learning) anything about the subjects upon which they will then report.

What we can then say, and with some justification, is that those who do that have “betrayed” (and continue to betray) the public trust, and that special “right” they were given in our founding document (The Constitution)known as “freedom of the press”.

However, that is not only the fault of the “press” itself, but also a result of the intellectual laziness of the American population and electorate, who are not only “satisfied” but demanding that things be interpreted for them.

Ms. Susan Morton, as do many, very frequently use terms which they leave largely undefined.  Such is the term she uses to claim that political “independents” are being discriminated against.  Some of us would ask Ms. Morton, if perhaps by the term independent, they don’t only mean independent of party affiliation, but carry it forward to mean “independent of any type of responsibility but to themselves”.  What also must be considered is if they are referring only to physical independence, or intellectual independence.

As Ms. Sutton quite correctly points out, a great many in the electorate refer to themselves as “independent” but, is that merely because it is now the “fashionable” or “chic” thing to do, or more motivated by nothing more than an attempt to appear “sophisticated”.

When speaking to many, far too many, who refer to themselves as “independent”, or looking at the opinions they offer, some of us have found that most of them are not at all “independent”, but that they are far more opinionated than those who are affiliated with one political party or other, and believe themselves to be much more significant and important than they actually are, something which them leads them to use another term which we all too frequently see (and with which far too many are enamored), the word “sovereign”.

Do such individuals believe what it is they say?  Of that, I have no doubt.  However, and like too many, never having really studied language, most not even understanding its purpose, are left only with the mechanical aspects of it, words and structure.

Ms. Brenda Tungent does not like rules and regulations, and in this case, the new rules and regulations which will go into effect on December 1st.  None of us like “rules and regulations”, myself included.

However, on the other side of the question, some of us would ask the following question.  Who and what makes them necessary?  Most times, although their are some exceptions, those come about because of abuses perpetrated by those who have either used their absence to enrich themselves at he expense of others, the issue of “overtime” is one of those areas where corporations have abused workers, and now (to use a cliché) “The chickens have come home to roost”.

The lady herself may not have done so, but many in her field, business,(both large and small) have.  Therefore, while some of us understand her dismay, her anger and disgust should be directed at those who made those new “rules and regulations” necessary as they are the ones really at fault.

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