Printed letters, Jan. 3, 2011

Graffiti perpetrators are vandals, not artists

When you spray paint a surface that you neither own nor have the permission of the owner to paint, it is not art. It is vandalism. The police will confirm this for anyone who has any doubt.

Graffiti diminishes property values and is a visual blight on any city where it appears. The city of Grand Junction has worked hard to clean up graffiti vandalism, but this work was undermined by Amy Hamilton’s leading story in the local news section of the Dec. 29 edition of The Daily Sentinel.

Hamilton’s story with the bold headline, “Graffiti artist helps chamber stay on message,” cast this vandalism in a favorable light. Her decision to focus on the “message,” and breeze by the fact that it is vandalism, was a wrongheaded decision by Hamilton and the editors.

I have two requests. First, in the future, please do not refer to these perpetrators as “taggers” or “artists.” They are vandals. Do not refer to it as graffiti art. It is graffiti vandalism.

Second, please consider whether Hamilton’s sympathetic portrayal of this event is consistent with the Sentinel’s mission and with its duty to our community.


Grand Junction

Fix Senate rules to end the gridlock

Washington is broken and outdated Senate rules such as the filibuster are being used to obstruct Senate business. Now, more than ever, we need to create good jobs, rebuild the middle class and work to create a clean-energy economy.

Unfortunately, the unprecedented obstructionism in the Senate has blocked Congress from taking real action to protect working families and put our economy on the road to recovery.

The fight for American jobs and a clean-energy economy shows exactly how closely abuse of the filibuster is tied to special interests, corporate money and big polluters.

When one senator can indefinitely stall critical legislation aimed to protect our health, safety, and prosperity, we must say, “Enough.”

The U.S. Senate has been paralyzed by gridlock. With a new Congress starting in the New Year, we can fix it. We need to eliminate these abuses.

I hope Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, as my senators, will vote on their first day back Washington in 2011 to fix the Senate and to get America working again.



Congress, administration are most corrupt

It has become commonplace for the bills in Congress to be long-worded and filled with legal jargon difficult for the average citizen or congressman to comprehend. I believe that is on purpose.

The bills are unread and not understood by the representatives voting on them.

That kind of logic is ridiculous, and the audacity or stupidity to even say it is worse. Some say that the earmarks (pork) in the bills doesn’t amount to anything in the big scheme of things. I disagree. The pork-laden bills that have been introduced in the past, this Congress and previously is nothing more than a form of corruption to gain one’s vote. The Cornhusker Kickback comes to mind, and there are plenty of other examples. This practice has got to end.

In the most recent 911 Responder Health Care bill, there were a billion-plus dollars budgeted in for trial lawyers. That was the main reason Sen. Tom Coburn and many others were against the passage.

I hope that the new Congress will sincerely conduct an open and honest dialogue with the American people, unlike the current administration promised but failed to deliver.

This administration and Congress, led by President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Pelosi, have without a doubt been the most secretive, back door and absolutely corrupt in American history.

We have a president who appointed czars for purposes yet to be explained. People are holding public office with tax-evasion situations — some charged and some not — that would put the average American in prison. Yet nothing is done to these people.



Decision on bike race was very disappointing

I’m a bit confused about the rationale posited by the National Park Service in its refusal to host a stage of the Quiznos Pro Classic bicycle race in our Colorado National Monument. Monument Superintendent Joan Anzelmo says a bike race would lead to “crowds (sic) likely be stacked up to view the racers and inadvertently trample native vegetation and fragile biological soil crust ... and litter the route and adjacent canyon terrain with paper, plastic, food, and beverage debris.”

But of course this didn’t happen during the Dec. 31 fireworks show that commemorated the monument’s anniversary, right? It appears that crowd management, parking, noise abatement (or noise allowance) can be selectively implemented.

As a long-time resident of western Colorado I am very disappointed in her position.




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