Printed letters, September 25, 2012

As the son of a World War II Atlantic theater veteran, I realize that a swastika can be upsetting to some.

However, John Otto’s strange 1915 “Rock of Ages,” on display at the Museum of the West, had nothing to do with Hitler or World War II. The swastikas were either decorative or good-luck symbols once used around the world. The Otto swastikas, like many others, do not have the tilt that Hitler purposely gave the infamous Nazi symbol.

If the vandals who struck Otto’s rock want to rid the Earth of swastikas, maybe they should start with Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. Stone swastikas were added to the floors and walls during construction hundreds of years ago as decorative good-luck symbols. I’m sure the peaceful monks won’t mind if some idiot wants to pry out the stones.

Southwest American museums and galleries on occasion display Navajo rugs of the 1800s that had swastikas added to the colorful and intricate weave. Should we burn them all?

Also, 1870s-era streetlight bases that still stand in front of San Francisco’s historic mint have cast iron swastika designs. Cover them with spray paint?

During the 1890s, one Colorado saddle and holster maker would, if requested, adorned holsters with brass tacks in the shape of a swastika. Now very collectible. I guess you could yank out the tacks with pliers once the holster was taken out of a safe.

Swastika-shaped,  metal “Good Luck – Coca Cola” pocketwatch fobs were handed out free by the soft drink company during the 1920s. Just melt ‘em all?

There are literally thousands of similar “good luck” swastika stories. Unfortunately, the criminals who vandalized Otto’s rock won’t know all this. I assume they are also illiterate. How else can you explain how they missed the real meaning of Otto’s swastika that is spelled out on a plaque just a few feet away from the rock?

Once the vandals are caught and convicted, maybe some kind-hearted second- or third-grade student can read the facts to them.


Grand Junction





Vandals, Edwards chastised 
over Otto’s rock defacement

Shame on those who vandalized the historical rock at the Museum of Western Colorado! It shows how ignorant they are. I am also surprised at David Edwards’ remarks. I won’t vote for him due to his ignorance. Will he try to censor anything he does not understand?

That rock is a part of Western Colorado and has nothing to do with Nazis. Do a search on Google, and you will see that it has been used in other countries for centuries, and not for intolerance.

The vandals showed true intolerance in their actions. I hope someone will call Crime Stoppers and turn them in.


Grand Junction


Social Security recipients 
part of Romney’s 47 percent

Many folks locally are, like me, paying no income taxes and depending on Social Security for basic needs.

Technically, I suppose we’re in that 47 percent Romney spoke of and the Democratic Party is so excited about. I contend that the 47 percent figure is bogus. I am not in the Obama camp and don’t consider myself part of his entitlement dream. Even though I draw a Social Security check, I remind readers I worked and my employers paid into that system for more than 42 years.

Just because the money was mismanaged doesn’t make it an entitlement.


Grand Junction


BLM schedules meetings 
on Piceance development

On behalf of the Bureau of Land Management, I’d like to invite readers to one of several public meetings about managing oil and natural gas development over the next 20 years on a large part of the Piceance Basin, a place rich in both energy and wildlife resources.

The BLM’s White River Field Office in Meeker recently released a draft plan outlining multiple alternatives for managing the expected increase in oil and gas development on 1.7 million acres of federal mineral resources in Rio Blanco County, southern Moffat County and a small part of northern Garfield County.

The White River Resource Management Plan Oil and Gas Development Amendment looks at the potential impacts of this anticipated development and proposes various options for mitigating those impacts. With most of the area already leased, BLM’s task is to find innovative ways for managing this increasing development while minimizing impacts to wildlife and other sensitive resources.

The plan and supporting documents are available online at People can learn more and have their questions answered at one of the open-house meetings we will hold throughout the region.

Stop by anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Colorado Northwestern Community College Weiss Building in Rangely, Sept. 26 at the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office in Silt, or Sept. 27 at the Clarion Inn in Grand Junction.

We’ll have brief presentations at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. each night and a wide variety of specialists available to tell you more about the draft plan. We’ll take written comment at the meetings, or you can take the information with you and provide comments later. The public comment period closes Dec. 14.


Field Manager

BLM White River Field Office



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