Printed Letters: October 4, 2017

Air Show provided great entertainment

Kudos to all who planned, arranged, staged and executed the fabulous Grand Junction Air Show this past weekend. Everyone in attendance was totally cared for, from the initial parking guidance to the gate, to the venue itself.

Grand Junction police, parking attendants, security personnel, vendors, and, of course, the professional fabulous Air Force Thunderbirds were all responsible for a great day of entertainment for the entire family. The way the crowd was handled the moment that severe weather was entering the area during Saturday’s show was very well done, and how gracious and considerate of them to allow Saturday’s tickets to be honored for the show on Sunday.

Having attended many air shows with the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels in Arizona, Michigan and Colorado locations, I send congratulations to all who were involved in this magical, fun event. Thank you to all.

Grand Junction

What do standardized tests really measure?

A great deal of importance has been placed on test scores over the years. It is a topic that comes up as a concern when we are talking about many of our schools in Mesa County. Standardized tests do not measure a child’s capability or ability to learn; they measure their performance on a single test developed in Denver.

When I first started working with District 51 in 1996 at a local elementary school, we had some of the lowest CSAP test scores in the district. Our school’s Accelerated Reading teachers noticed how the standardized tests did not reflect the format for most of the teaching and testing that was currently happening in the classroom. Standardized tests are largely multiple-choice questions. Over the years, teachers have moved away from using multiple choice testing formats to using more open-ended questions, so we could more fully understand what our students have learned and how they are thinking. Multiple choice testing does not tell you how a child thinks.

That year at school, we implemented practice tests to prepare students for the CSAP. The children were taught how to approach the format of the test and given time to be comfortable with the process. When the CSAP results were published in The Daily Sentinel that year, our school’s test scores were reported near the top of the district’s schools.

Did those children really improve their reading scores, or had they just become better test takers? It is not about a score, it is about each child and their individual style of learning. Our students are not numbers; they are individuals.

Early Childhood Special Educator, MCVSD 51
Grand Junction

Oppose proposals to reduce COLAs for federal retirees

As a federal retiree who has served our country for years, first as a U.S. Army officer and Vietnam veteran and then as a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent and supervisory special agent for over 22 years, following that as a member of a company of retired agents who continued to conduct federal background investigations for another 11 years, I am deeply concerned with a provision in the president’s budget which would eliminate cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for current and future federal retirees. I ask that my representative and senators oppose any proposals that would reduce COLAs for federal retirees.

The annual COLA provides protections against inflation, but even the current calculation is inadequate because it understates the impact of health care spending, yielding lower annual COLAs. Reducing or eliminating my COLA further threatens my health and financial security.

This proposal would diminish the value of my hard-earned annuity by allowing inflation to erode the benefit over the course of my retirement. With the cost of goods and medical care on the rise, I will not sit back and allow this attack to gain a foothold.

I have also survived three open-heart surgeries and the implantation of two consecutive heart pace makers/defibrillators. Obviously, medical issues are paramount in my future planning and concerns.

Grand Junction

NFL players should say silent prayer before national anthem

Instead of protesting The United States of America — which is the best thing the NFL and the players have going for them — how about saying a silent prayer before the national anthem, in memory of the thousands killed each year by black-on-black violence? And ask God to help put an end to illegal drug use, drug dealers, gangs and domestic violence.

This is something the whole country would support and get behind. And it might help restore some respect and credibility to the NFL and the players.

Grand Junction


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One must ask Jackie James what this country means to her, and what she believes it is all about?  She (as well as many others) should do that before doing or suggesting anything else.  She should (instead of asking some “god” to take care of things)recognize that what we see happening is not the fault of some “god” or some “devil” but the fault of human beings.

Some of us were raised one way.  When we could stand, we were told to stand, and not wait to be “held up”.  When we could walk, we were expected to walk on our own, and not wait to be carried.  If we fell or failed, it was our fault, and not that of someone else or that of some “god” or “devil”.  It was then our obligation, as a human being, to pick ourselves and/or correct ourselves.

Such as Jackie James apparently believes that all obligations fall to some “god”.  It does not.  It falls to the human being to address human obligations and needs.  Only after that, should one seek the “help” of some “god”, and not go to some god(s) (which may or may not exist) to handle everything. 

Some of us have known religious people who, while they may have worshiped some “god(s)”, when another human being was in trouble or needed help, did not ask anything but “Does that individual need help, and only because he/she is a fellow human being;  i.e. a human being in need.”

Is the human being in need of saving?  Yes, it is. But what it needs saving, not from some devil, but from itself and its insufferable arrogance, and in its constant attempts to be (or be considered) more than it is.

Mr. Hammett has to be an intelligent person, so he should be able to understand and seriously consider the following.

Mr. Hammett has reason to be concerned with what is happening to him.  However, has he asked himself if the very same thing (or something similar) were happening to others but not to him if he would be expressing the same concern?

If the answer is “no” (which it would be for most), then he does not understand what is the real problem.

It is true that a great many “problems” or situations come to our attention because they affect us.  However, the thoughtful individual will seek to expand his understanding beyond that.  Otherwise, one is concerned only with oneself, which makes one nothing if not self-centered (always the “me” and very little (if any) “we”, or the “we” totally sacrificed to the “me”.

Perhaps NFL players might spend a moment before games being thankful for the good fortunes the game has afforded them.

Perhaps, Mr. Meyers, these players demonstrate because (unlike far too many) they realize it is not only about them, but about others as well.  Has Mr. Meyers even considered that, or does he totally dismiss it because it is uncomfortable for him to consider it.

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