Printed letters, Dec. 21, 2010

Please take some time to review and comment on the 2035 transportation plan at http://www.2035rtp.com/site/.

I have enjoyed cycling in the Grand Valley almost 30 years, have commuted to work and cycled in most major U.S. cities and many countries. We taught our children to use cycles as vehicles. Teaching them to safely ride in traffic is an essential skill, just as we taught them to brush their teeth, handle firearms safely, respect the law, honor our heritage, etc. This skill has made them competent, respectful drivers.

As a physician, I have covered many hospital emergency rooms and have seen the trauma of bicycle-car interactions. As a physician health plan executive, I have watched the growing health risks of inactivity (e.g. obesity, diabetes, etc.) affect our population, especially our country’s children.

I know that funds for non-motorized transportation infrastructure are often seen as less important. But when looking at the larger picture, infrastructure for walking and cycling has significant, health, economic and tourism benefits. More communities here and abroad are now carefully investing in pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure and education. We have seen this expansion firsthand.

We must build and educate so that cycling is easy, available and safe for our population. We need to invest our limited resources in basics so that our citizens can easily ride to work or to the store and our children can safely ride to school — basic corridors that cross our community.  Many may not be aware that multi-use paths are certainly no more safe and often less safe, than correctly riding on regular streets. I want to thank the 2035 RTP Committee for their hard work and listening to our input.

G. MANNING

Grand Junction

Long-range hunt ethical, but not close encounters?

It’s ethical for a hunter to use his sporting scope to find a bear that is far, far away, use his range finder to get the distance to the bear and then use his rifle with a scope that tells him exactly where to aim in order to kill that bear.

It is unethical for a hunter to climb into a cave with a bear that just might eat his butt and shoot the bear.

Hmm. Interesting concept of ethics on the part of the Division of Wildlife.

D.D. LEWIS

Clifton

Anti-war protester has learned to pick her battles

As one who stood against the Iraq war and took part in various protests, including the annual white cross commemorations, Creighton Bricker’s Dec. 16 letter to the editor caught my attention. Bricker is right about one thing: Any combat loss is tragic. That includes those who are losing their lives now in Afghanistan. I don’t believe our presence there constitutes a “right war.” So why aren’t I still standing on the corner with anti-war slogans?

It’s a challenging question. As an American who was asked by our leaders to go shopping, I have never known the horrors of war. My only sacrifice during the Iraq bombardment was publicly spending an hour a week with a sign in my hand in the heat, rain, snow etc., sometimes the target of road-raging warriors with foul mouths, or the too-clever taunts of Gary Harmon.

My actions were a token to show that I cared about what was happening to the children, women and men who were victims of the battlefield, no matter which side of the gun barrel they were on. I got off easy, and still I grew weary, especially since I had my doubts whether our protests were doing much good. As Bricker said, we are still at war — same fight, different country.

To borrow the language of war, perhaps I have learned to pick my battles, choosing those that I feel offer some hope of winning. Regarding America’s military approach to the complex challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan, is it asking too much for us to consider peaceful resolutions abroad until we can at least find peace among ourselves here at home? The prospect still holds promise, but the time has yet to come.

KAREN SJOBERG Grand Junction



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