Printed Letters: October 8, 2017

Community has dire need for foster homes

While the news focuses on disasters around the world, Ariel would like to direct attention to the tragedies right in our community. The need for foster homes is more dire than it has ever been. That means a lot of kids are being sent to homes elsewhere, far away from their families and support systems.

The Western Slope is in a crisis. We are seeing far more requests for out-of-home placements and the truth is, there are not enough foster homes.

We don’t sugarcoat it: The process of becoming a certified foster home is lengthy. Foster parents need extensive training and thorough background checks and Ariel would support you through this process. We encourage our community members to step outside their comfort zone and help our children. It’s the least we can do for them.

If you have ever considered becoming foster parents — now is the time. Foster parents are reimbursed with monthly stipends and Ariel supports their families with hands-on case management, training, encouragement and access to resources.

Adoption Program Manager,
Ariel Clinical Services
Grand Junction

New facilities, better resources can impact teaching

The 2017 ballot issues 3A and 3B brings a focus to the question as to whether new school buildings will actually improve effectiveness of education. I have experience with the impact that a new facility can have on student engagement in the past year teaching in the new R-5 High School. After 20 years of teaching at R-5 housed in the 1925 vintage Lowell Elementary School at the corner of Seventh and Grand, I can say that the instruction we now offer prepares our graduates for the demands of the 21st century workplace, has increased enrollment, and has helped us increase the number of graduates.

The education system faces the challenging task of preparing graduates who are ready to compete in an increasingly dynamic world. Work demands flexible teaming, research, collaboration, and innovation. Effective teachers need to connect the disciplines to create meaningful and impactful lessons. In a facility that contains separate classrooms, teachers stay in their rooms and do not work together as effectively as when they are face to face. We do this now that we have a building that facilitates open communication which has increased our collaboration and an integrated lessons for our students.

Buildings that have lab spaces where students can investigate and create. Students who can use tools to build and test their ideas are performing the innovative tasks essential for our country to stay competitive in world markets. The classroom of the 1950s where rote learning dominated simply does not prepare the U.S. for the future. We must cultivate curious learners in spaces where they can hone these skills. As we face the future for our children, we must recognize how technology has deeply impacted our world.

The days of chalkboards and textbooks have been left behind by technological innovations. On the dark side, security is an issue. Parents must be assured that if a threat occurs, their school will be prepared to respond effectively. Buildings with multiple entries, blind spots, and vulnerable points are disasters waiting to happen. New buildings with electronic locks and other measures offer a higher degree of protection for vulnerable children. These security features are standard in public buildings today. We must bring our schools up to par.

I firmly believe that if Grand Junction wants to keep its preeminence as the economic center of the Western Slope, we must have a long-term plan to build new schools not only now but in the future. Sean Goodbody’s essay of Sept. 27 spoke volumes about our future. If talented professionals with children are not attracted to the Grand Valley because of the condition of schools, then our economy is doomed to stagnation. We must remain competitive and future focused with a dynamic community with a strong education system. 3A and 3B are but the first steps to keeping our economy healthy and our future bright. Please vote yes.

Grand Junction

Elected officials should allow profitable marijuana business

Some analysts ascribe Denver’s booming real estate market and economic growth partly to the legalization of marijuana. Our elected officials cry “Poor me” and, “Oh, woe is me…what can we do?” while stubbornly refusing to allow this legal, self-sustaining, growing and profitable business. And they want to raise our taxes?

Grand Junction

NFL players, put aside 
differences, act American

Where are the NFL players that I remember who, after 9/11, stood proud with police officers and firefighters holding American flags over their hearts, many with tears streaming down their faces when the national anthem was played?  I guess we have forgotten what it was like to put our differences aside and just be Americans. What a shame.



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Being “patriotic” does not consist only of waving a flag or singing some patriotic song.  It has to include doing what is best for the entire country, and caring about the welfare of both.  What the NFL players were doing just that, by protesting the social, economic injustices, as well as the violation of human rights, which some of our citizens and neighbors have suffered at the hands of others.  Waving the flag and/or mere displays of “patriotism” (Look how patriotic I am) and hiding behind a flag,  does nothing to solve those problems.  The American people and electorate will have to show some spine, face up to reality, and begin addressing those.  That is the only type of individual who has any right to call him/herself a patriot.

Ms. McCoy and her organization are attempting to alleviate the situation of many young people having no home of their own, and that is all to the good.  However, like many other such situations, whether it is homelessness, crime, poor educational institutions, or any other undesirable situation, those are only symptoms, and not the cause of the real problem.  The real problem is that as this country has, and for many decades, turned its focus from humanism and surrendered to materialism, selfishness and greed, the individual, as a human being, has lost any value (except for his/her economic value) at which point it becomes not only acceptable, but actually desirable, to discriminate against the needy, and to marginalize them.

Yes.  Such as Ms. McCoy and others should continue their efforts in attempting to help others (children in this case)but she, just like many others (as a responsible adult and a human being) should begin thinking about, and addressing, the basic causes while treating symptoms.  Otherwise, conditions will only worsen.

The NFL players are killing the goose that laid their golden eggs.

Perhaps, Mr. Meyers, they are not concerned only with their own “golden egg” which such as yourself appear to be.  They may also be concerned with what happens to others as well, and have the courage to try to do something about it, and are a reproach to those who either will not or cannot.

Ms. Scott probably attributes too much of the booming real estate market to the money coming from marijuana sales.  While it may have some impact, what is ever more important is that the people of large cities, are usually not restricted in their thinking as are those in small or medium communities, all too frequently under the control of entrenched interests, economic, social and religious.  It is not that the same ideas are not present but that, being exposed to more ideas, those play a less significant role, with the mind being able to expand, if it so chooses.

Tell us, Mr. Laitres, what are YOU doing for the “voiceless” you are so worried about?

Mr. Meyers, you are attempting to change the subject from the actions of the football players to the personal.  But, you asked me a direct question, so let me answer it.  In attempting to help the homeless and others, I do what I can, whenever I can, as I look it as not the responsibility of others, but mine.  And I begin, as we all should, by affording the dignity they deserve as fellow human beings.

Mr. Myers.  I might also mention that this helping of others in need is not a “whizzing contest”, as it has become for all too many.  Those who look at it in that way are actually looking for admiration or praise from others.  In other words, they are thinking only of how they appear in the eyes of others.

“Those who look at it in that way are actually looking for admiration or praise from others.  In other words, they are thinking only of how they appear in the eyes of others.”
Why yes, yes of course you are, Mr. Laitres.

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