Printed letters, June 15, 2011

Grand Junction needs new traffic-light programmers. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve waited up to five minutes, sometimes longer, at a crosswalk or traffic light, even when there’s no oncoming traffic. It is completely inexcusable and ridiculous.

Also, there are no signal lights at the 12th Street pedestrian crossing at Stocker Stadium. And the signals near Mesa State have no lights to tell pedestrians it’s safe to cross.

The traffic people need to get their act together or be replaced.

JEREMIAH HABECKER

Grand Junction

Schools must adopt protections for gays

On May 13, I watched Gov. John Hickenlooper sign House Bill 1254, a law to reduce bullying in schools.

This new law clearly defines bullying, requires school districts to enact anti-bullying policies and explicitly protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people.

A bipartisan group of legislators stood up for LGBT young people and passed this bill because they heard heart-breaking stories from students across the state who have experienced name-calling, isolation, vandalism, harassment and violence.

These legislators knew they could no longer sit back while LGBT youth were tormented. We can’t either. It’s our responsibility to improve the safety of our schools by effectively implementing HB 1254 throughout the state.

As the new law requires each school district to enact its own anti-bullying policy, I urge schools in Grand Junction and across the state to pass policies to explicitly protect these students.

Studies have shown that students attending schools with an anti-bullying policy that includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity felt safer than students at schools with a general policy or no policy. In schools with specific protections for them, LGBT students heard fewer homophobic remarks, experienced lower levels of victimization and were more likely to report staff intervened when they witnessed bullying.

I call on school board members to stand up for LGBT students as our legislators have done. I call on them to fulfill our responsibility as adults — to make schools safe for every child.

JESSICA COOK WOODRUM

Communications Manager ONE Colorado

Denver

Denialists disregard scientific consensus

The history of the American West could be written from the perspective of rivers, aquifers and wells, for water shortages have triggered innumerable social upheavals and economic disruptions over the centuries. To willfully ignore scientific warnings about climate change’s impact on the Colorado River is to face grave dangers unprepared.

And yet many members of our political and media systems are doing just that. By embracing spurious conspiracy theories (light-bulb police) while rejecting the carefully prepared evidence of experts, climate denialists set the stage for global disasters of terrifying proportions.

Climatologists’ predictions have been coming true with alarming regularity over recent decades. Their principal errors are underestimating the magnitude of the problem. Denialists’ disregard of the overwhelming scientific consensus is as irresponsible as a drunk fratboy’s attempt to run Class Six rapids in an inner tube.

WARREN SENDERS

Medford, Mass.

Article unfairly attacked a solid local resident

I am a good friend of Jay Valentine’s and have been for 30 years. I have seen his life progress in a very positive way, along with many of his business associates and wonderful friends and family. He has been a great father and spends all the time he can get with his children and always has.

Paul Shockley’s article in the paper portrayed him in a very unfavorable way. We all make mistakes and Jay, like myself, has made many.

Jay always helps others. My grandson, Ryan was on the Fruita Monument track squad last year and Jay helped him with his skills.

Jay’s mom and dad are devastated with this outrageous article and they should be. Jay is an avid runner and has promoted running and health for years. He doesn’t deserve this.

DICK KEELER

Grand Junction


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