Printed letters, August 15, 2010

Regional Center provided for needs of those moved

As someone who has worked for the Grand Junction Regional Center for almost 10 years, I was appalled at the recent article in The Daily Sentinel that seemed to go out of its way to portray the Regional Center in a negative light. Over the years, I have known every person who moved into Mesa Developmental Services’ new homes and can say without hesitation that they received excellent care when they lived with us.

There was a fierce dedication on the part of the staff to ensure that all of the needs of the people we served were met — physical, social, recreational, emotional and spiritual. The staff who chose to work with these particular people on a full-time basis are among some of my most devoted co-workers.

I recently read an MDS newsletter that was unfortunately similar to this article. In it, they were unable to tout their new homes without first disparaging the Regional Center.

I have no issue with MDS promoting these houses and the living experience they hope to provide. Like my fellow staff, I want to see all of them continue to lead rich, full lives. However, MDS needs to learn fast that comparisons to their residents’ former homes aren’t going to be enough. They will have to prove to them and their families that they can meet these needs on their own merits. This will take time, work and a lot of dedication.

The Grand Junction Regional Center provided a true home for this wonderful group of people. I’m very proud to have worked with every one of them, and I hope that they continue to grow and thrive.

PHIL WOLFE

Grand Junction

Justices must be booted for undermining TABOR

Since its passage, Colorado taxpayers believed the Taxpayers Bill Of Rights Amendment guaranteed the constitutional right to vote on tax increases before they were enacted.

Once TABOR became part of the state Constitution, Coloradans believed the vote-before-taxation issue was settled and expected the state Supreme Court to protect their TABOR rights from challenges.

For years, the system worked as designed and TABOR held back the runaway tax-and-spend policies that pushed other states closer and closer to the bankruptcy abyss.

Recently, Coloradans have been hit with a series of massive tax increases on their homes, vehicles and a host of other items. Under the artful names of “mill levy tax freeze,” “vehicle registration fees” and “exemption elimination” the Legislature rammed through these “revenue enhancements” without the required TABOR vote.

When taxpayers turned to the Supreme Court for protection, a majority of justices ruled that freezes, fees and rollbacks weren’t really tax increases and, essentially, the taxpayers were out of luck.

In November, three of these justices come up for retention, which means voters can now hold them accountable for failing to protect our TABOR rights. A majority of “No” votes for Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez and Nancy Rice will mean they each lose their seat on the state Supreme Court and, I hope, be replaced with justices who will uphold TABOR rights under the Colorado Constitution. State Supreme Court Justices are accountable to the people and need our approval to stay in office.

Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez and Nancy Rice can’t be trusted to protect our constitutional rights and have earned our “No” vote for retention.

MARTIN CHAZEN

Grand Junction

Taxpayers shouldn’t fund trip for Muslim imam

I truly resent any of my tax dollars going to fund the trip a Muslim imam is taking to Saudi Arabia to seek funds to build a Mosque near the Twin Towers.  It’s a poke in the eye to everyone who lost loved ones on 9/11. Therefore, I question his motives.

Furthermore, why is this administration giving so much attention and consideration to Muslims? If Obama insists on constantly catering to them, why doesn’t he seek the help of his radical, anti-American friends, such as George Soros, Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright and the like?

He wants us to be tolerant toward all Muslims, but where is their tolerance for us? Don’t drag the American people into the fray and use taxpayer money at the same time. It’s insulting.

When was the last time taxpayer money was used to fund trips for American priests, rabbis, Methodists preachers, etc.?

This administration is taking us down a road we’re never going to recover from and our children and grandchildren are going to be left to try and reverse the mess. We should all be paying close attention. Listen to what they’re saying, but watch what they’re actually doing.

MARJORIE OUELLETTE

Loma

Column offered alternate view of medical marijuana

I would like to both thank and congratulate Penny Stine for her thoughtful and courageous column on the dangers of unchecked proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries.

Penny made some excellent points, backed by both personal experience and scientific research, about why society at large and, more importantly, our elected city and county officials need to seriously regulate and restrict access to medical marijuana.

Penny is not advocating for blanket removal of all dispensaries. She is rightfully advocating that if medical marijuana is truly deserving of the name, it should be subject to the same requirements that all other potent “painkillers” are subject to, not the least of which is acquiring it through a legitimate prescription from a legitimate doctor through a legitimate pharmacy.

I hope that any parents who think their child has already or may have the potential to experiment with marijuana (and let’s face it, that’s pretty much every child out there) will clip her column and give it to their child to read. That’s what I did. And I ask our City Council and county commissioners to listen to people like Penny. She has another side of the story to tell.

LYNN LICKERS

Grand Junction

Postal Service competitive in most aspects of business

What was the point of the imaginary scenario in The Daily Sentinel’s Aug. 6 editorial about the Postal Service? It said: “Imagine a private business owner who said: ‘My competition is offering a service that is better than mine in many ways, is certainly faster, and customers seem to prefer it. I’m losing business, so I’ll raise my rates. That should fix everything.’ “

The facts are that the Postal Service provides services in the competitive markets with double-digit growth because its service is faster, reliable, secure and in many cases less expensive. Don’t confuse the services we support. Our losses are in supporting universal service in letters. Our competitive markets are with UPS, Fed Ex and — surprise!— newspapers.

Your poetic freedom as an editor is valid, but you have a societal obligation to write responsibly. That scenario has no value but to incite the illusion of inept management of the Postal Service. As a newspaper operator and a competitor of the Postal Service for advertising revenue, it would be respectful as private business owner to play fair, recuse yourself and not use your medium as a bully pulpit.

RANDY ROOT

Sterling, Va.

Abolish the income tax and create sales tax

For our great nation to prosper, we must abolish the federal income tax and replace it with a national sales tax of 23 percent.

This is only 1 percent more than the current basic tax of 22 percent and will allow every citizen to take home every dollar they earn with no deductions while saving Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid — all of the entitlements.

Most people will be surprised to find that the Fair Tax Plan (HR 23 and SB 25) has been before Congress since 1999 with no action taken. It will take a constitutional amendment to enact this legislation into law.

It is a priority to adopt this measure as quickly as possible to get our economy working once again.

J.A. JORGENSEN

Grand Junction



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