Printed letters, Dec. 1, 2010

I was returning from a pleasant Thanksgiving holiday in Montrose with the great-grandparents when I noticed something that tarnished the mood.

Just as I was leaving downtown Montrose, I noted that a city patrolman had some average-looking family man pulled over in the city’s infamous speed trap.

Further on in Delta, I noted that a Delta city policeman had someone of similar appearance pulled over in that city’s equally infamous speed trap just north of the river bridge.

Although I saw a Colorado state patrolman between Delta and Grand Junction, he was only looking for a violator.

As I neared Grand Junction, I was reminded of the speed trap near Harbert Lumber, where one of Grand Junction’s finest frequently sits behind the lumber company’s sign with his hand-held radar, eagerly waiting for someone to miss the change in speed limit. And let’s not forget the city’s latest, the new Riverside Parkway, signed well below the speed one normally sees on limited-access, four-lane roadways.

Speed traps are nearly as old as the oldest profession and, to me, just about as honorable.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer the image of our officers in full uniform before a group of grade-school kids, telling them about public safety. I prefer the image of officers as first responders helping victims of accidents. I prefer the image of officers protecting us from drug runners and violent offenders or solving crimes.

To me, the image of them running a speed trap conveys that of an indiscriminate predator.

The small amount of money that these officers bring into their respective city general funds through speed- trap citations cannot possibly offset the loss of prestige to the officer, their profession or to the specific city departments for which they work.

I hope these officers think of this the next time they have to man the phones to ask for donations and find a community less than enthusiastic.

JIM LANGFORD

Grand Junction

One woman’s story offers support for DREAM Act

I would like to share with you the story of Esperanza. She is one of the 65,000 undocumented high school students who came to the United States as children. Esperanza arrived in the United States when she was 12 with her mother and sister. Her father came 10 years earlier to the United States, wishing to give his family a better life.

Esperanza told me that her parents brought her here because she would have a more promising future in the United States, but they never told her how difficult that path was going to be.

She began school without knowing a word of English, but was able to get out of her comfort zone and overcame the language and cultural barriers.

During four years of high school, she earned many awards and an academic letter for having a 3.9 GPA. She was a member of various academic groups and an active leader in her community, knowing it was important to give back to the community in the same way that her community was teaching her how to be a successful “citizen.”

Unfortunately, Esperanza does not have the opportunity to attend college after graduating high school. She is a victim of the broken immigration system. She cannot apply for employment because she does not possess the proper legal documents.

However, the DREAM Act would allow her the opportunity to attend college and eventually become a legal resident. There are thousands of stories similar to Esperanza’s, stories about hard-working young people who love this country as much as they love their own, if not more.

Let’s give them a chance to continue working toward a higher education. These youth are the future leaders of our community and our country. Now is the time to pass the DREAM Act!

NELLY GARCIA

Grand Junction



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