Printed letters, August 2, 2011

I am a resident of downtown Grand Junction and a young mother of a kindergartner. Over the past several years, our city’s problem with transients and vagrants has become out of control.

While police and social workers seem to be very attentive to the needs of this population, my life and the lives of many family and friends have been significantly changed — for the worse.

My daughter is no longer allowed to play in the front yard due to the transient traffic past my house. We have several parks within walking distance, but we are forced to drive miles away to avoid intoxicated transients sleeping next to playground equipment.

This same population spills over into our public library, filling the chairs as we first walk in.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve read about all that the city is doing to “help” these transients and provide more and more services. How is that helping ordinary moms like me?

Enough is enough. It’s time the city started looking at this problem through the lens of concerned mothers like me, who no longer feel safe in our own neighborhood.

STEPHANIE REECE

Grand Junction

Intervention is needed to keep city parks safe

I am mother in the Grand Junction area, writing in support of my friend, Amy Lentz, and her effort to bring back the cleanliness, and most importantly, the safety of our local parks and trails.

In the past, I have avoided certain parks due to the uncomfortable feeling we get from some of the transients. I have experienced this at Hawthorne Park and at Rocket Park on Orchard Avenue. My children and I have also been approached by a homeless man asking us for water on the Riverfront Trail in the Redlands.

I try not to revert to stereotyping, but regardless, I worry about our comfort and safety in these instances. I hope Amy can get the publicity and support she needs to make this change for our community.

I run a website here for local mothers called Grand Valley Moms for Moms, and one of the things the moms almost always mention in their profiles is what a beautiful and safe place this is to raise a family. I believe it can stay that way, we might just need a little intervention.

LINDSAY ELLIS

Fruita

Parks remain safe despite the homeless

I’m a mom, and Hawthorne Park remains one of my favorite places to go with my kids. A few homeless people hanging out in the shelters, minding their own business, is not going to change that.

The front-page, July 31 article in The Daily Sentinel, about families worried about transients in our parks, vastly overstates the problem.

I frequently visit Hawthorne and Sherwood Parks with my kids and use the Riverfront Trail. None of these places are overrun by homeless people. They are safe, family-friendly places and will remain that way as long as families keep using them.

HANNAH HOLM

Grand Junction

Schools need more funds but wallets are empty

School District 51 now receives over half (58 percent) of my property tax. My fixed income (Social Security) has not increased in three years, even though basic living expenses have increased. The district needs additional funds, but the wallet is empty.

BARBARA MCCALLUM

Grand Junction

More administrative cuts needed at school district

I would like to voice my opinion regarding a possible School District 51 mill-levy override.

I worked with the school district for almost 10 years. I found a real job in the private sector and am glad to be rid of the bureaucratic nightmare that governments have become.

I will not support any further fundraising by this school district until it demonstrates some realistic trimming of its own very-bloated and top-heavy administration.

What people need to remind themselves is that government employees work for us. We are their boss. Anyone can get a list of salaried administrative employees of our school district. I have reviewed the list and know that at least 30 highly paid bureaucrats can be trimmed from the district without any adverse effects on education.

School District 51 has cut from the bottom on up to teachers, just like it always does.

Until the district administration cuts at least $3 million in useless administrative salaries, I will never give them any permission to raise more tax money from me.

I would like to convince others to draw the line with me.

TIM MENGER

Whitewater



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