Printed letters, April 29, 2011

State Sen. Rollie Heath talks about competitive districts. Yet, he mostly ignores communities of interest. As the 3rd Congressional District representative on the State Board of Education, I’d like to point out another community of interest that the Democratic maps completely ignore, that of rural schools.

Around 80 percent of our school districts are rural schools and the largest part of those are in western Colorado. They already feel that their needs are frequently ignored by the districts that contain almost 80 percent of our students. But they rightly know that, in each of those communities, the schools are of vital interest.

Ask yourself:  Is that congressman or state board member from Boulder really going to concern himself or herself with the schools in Rangely or De Beque? Or Silverton and North Conejos in the new southern district?

I would make the point that communities of interest are vitally important to the schools in western Colorado. Let your legislators know.

MARCIA NEAL Colorado State Board of Education

Grand Junction

‘Real’ unemployment rate much higher than listed

After visiting with people at the Mesa County Workforce Center, I continue to worry about the “real” unemployment rate in Mesa County.

While the 11 percent unemployment number reports on those still looking for work, it does not include the number of workers who have given up. When those numbers are added, the real unemployment rate approaches 19 percent to 20 percent.

It is such a shame that a county or area such as this, rich in natural resources, has such a high unemployment rate. With this in mind, it is refreshing to see our freshman legislator, Rep. Ray Scott, leading the charge on legislation to return technical expertise to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

With extractive industries at the heart of our local economy, having more technical experts participating in the decision-making process is vitally important for our county and region. While the fate of Scott’s bill is uncertain, those of us still dealing with the state of our local economy appreciate his tenacity and leadership on this.

KEN HENRY, Mayor

Fruita

Huntsman may be best candidate for president

It is time to get serious about what is happening in this country. Since the 2008 election, the Obama administration has been determined to take us in the wrong direction with all of its socialistic policies. If President Obama is re-elected for another four years, it could very well be the end of our long-standing, free-market system and severely diminish our personal freedom.

The only way to stop this madness is to make Obama a one-term president. This will not be an easy task. There are some very good Republican candidates, but no one has really stood out at this date. There is someone, in my opinion, who has the potential to rise above the other candidates.

That person is Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., the former governor of Utah. Gov. Huntsman is a true American statesman with outstanding credentials. When he was governor, I heard him speak and I was instantly impressed. Evidently, President Obama must have been impressed also because later he appointed the governor to be ambassador to China. Perhaps another reason was he did not want to face him in the 2012 election.

Earlier this month, Jon Huntsman resigned his ambassadorship and thanked the president for the assignment. It has been reported that the governor will decide in the next week or two if he will run for president.

I truly believe that Gov. Huntsman could be the right person with the right stuff to be our next president. I also believe he would have the courage and moral leadership to turn this country around and make us proud once more.

RICHARD GRAHAM

Grand Junction


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