Printed letters, January 9, 2011

I have to say that the folks running Colorado National Monument have me a bit confused these days. I attended the New Year’s Eve fireworks display and I can’t see how a thousand people stomping around the visitor’s center and the setting off of bright explosions is consistent with the Park Service’s mandate to preserve and protect the monument.

It is especially ironic that this event occurred just days after the superintendent of the monument announced that a return of the Tour of the Moon stage of a major bicycle race would not be permitted, since such an event would adversely affect the monument.

First, I don’t see how a bicycle race would be any more disruptive to the monument than the typical summer tourist traffic. Second, how could a bike race be anywhere near as harmful to the ecology of the monument as the setting off of loud explosions and showering Monument Canyon with bits of flaming cardboard debris the middle of winter? So much for anything trying to hibernate.

One thing a major bicycle race would provide is a short- and long-term (and much-needed) boost to our local economy.

Unlike the Coors Classic of two decades ago, this race would be televised nationally and internationally. Potential tourists from all over the country and in Europe would have a chance to see the spectacular sights in and around our city, and perhaps decide to come out to see them up close.

The monument’s fireworks display, on the other hand, provided nothing in the way of an economic boost, unless you count the money the monument wasted on bus rentals.

JOHN HODGE

Grand Junction

There’s more to be done on pay equity for women

The American Association of University Women, Grand Junction Branch, would like to commend The Daily Sentinel on its recent series of articles on women in the community and pay equity. It must be noted that there is still work to be done on the issue of pay equity.

In 2009, women with college educations in Colorado earned 79.3 percent of what men earned. In 10 years, the pay gap for women widens even more and, over a lifetime, women earn $1.2 million dollars less than men, on average. Women who do not have a college education and women of color will earn even less.

To address the pay gap, AAUW has partnered with the WAGE Project to present $tart $mart workshops on college campuses around the country. These workshops empower young women starting their careers to avoid the gender wage gap and teach them to benchmark and negotiate for fair and equitable salaries upon graduation.

AAUW also supports passage of the Pay Equity Act in Congress to work toward closing the pay gap.

AAUW continues to conduct research in areas that affect girls and women, with the most recent research being: “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” This research presents evidence that social and environmental factors contribute to the underrepresentation of females in these fields.

To learn more about these issues and other research AAUW has conducted go to http://www.aauw.org.

Locally, AAUW offers scholarships for women returning to complete their education at Mesa State College and for women in non-traditional fields at Western Colorado Community College.

MARILYN ZIMMERMAN,

President

AAUW, Grand Junction Branch

Grand Junction

Reporter Sauer used strong language well

Rachel Sauer has been a breath of fresh air at The Daily Sentinel. She is one of few writers who is able to capture the depth and actual essence of a topic.

Letter writer Kimberly Cannedy certainly missed that talent as she objected to Sauer’s article on the recovering drug addict in the Jan. 2 issue.

Sauer simply and effectively grabbed attention to the awful hackles drugs lock on the lives of their users. She really used no objectionable language in doing so. She simply described the horror of addiction in street language without being graphic or gross, as she used those words painting a true picture of that condition.

Cannedy’s youngsters, as they grow older, unless she maintains an iron grasp on their every thought and move, will be exposed to the good and the bad experiences in life. Over-protection is as harmful as no protection in many cases.

Kudos to Publisher Jay Seaton for daring to allow truth in such writing. Now, would he please do the same by finding others to write columns in place of Josh Penry, who simply bashes Democrats — nothing new there — and Rick Wagner, who pontificates on matters he really doesn’t research well?

There are plenty of other conservative writers who do believe in careful research and truth, regardless of party affiliation.

VERA MULDER

Fruita

Republican majority shows its true colors

Just when I thought I had seen the depths of hypocrisy to which supposedly principled politicians may stoop, I am stunned to see the new GOP majority in the House — who have already backpedaled on their campaign promise to slash $100 billion in spending during this fiscal year — attempt to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. This, after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that such action would increase the deficit by up to quarter-trillion dollars (not to mention leaving millions of citizens uninsured).

I have heard House SpeakerJohn Boehner and his ilk trumpet the statistic that 54 percent of the country is opposed to the act, but they conveniently neglect to mention that number includes 17 percent of the population who consider the act “not liberal enough.”

This means that the GOP has set as its first legislative aim the repeal of a bill that a majority of Americans either like or would prefer to be even more robust.

Shame on the Republicans for cowering in the pockets of the insurance companies. It is time Republicans put the needs of real Americans ahead of the corporations that would refuse health care to a sick child in service of their profits.

ARN MCCONNELL

Grand Junction


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