Printed letters, June 16, 2010

Three Grand Junction police officers have been fired. This has stirred up emotions in our community and seems to be drawing lines of support. Something that has been overtly absent is the officers’ account of this situation.

What is the harm in taking a step back and listening to these officers as they exercise their right to an appeal?  The right to appeal is something all Americans are entitled to, whether we are in a position of trust or are destitute and living on the streets.

The little that I do know of the other side of this story seems to indicate some questionable information and timetables.

Contrary to Stuart Cerise’s opinion in a letter to the editor, I think our community is better served by allowing all the details and information of this situation to be disclosed and discussed.  If we are to disallow or discourage an appeal, we find ourselves in a place no better than living in one of the various countries under dictatorial reign.

I have great respect for our police chief and can only appreciate the very difficult position he is in with this and many situations. I’d like to be assured that this punitive decision was not overly harsh and shouldn’t instead have been a strong disciplinary measure rather than a firing. After all, the three officers were serving in what is known as one of the toughest areas in Grand Junction and under pressure that few of us experience daily.

I’m sure significant money has been spent in the training and equipping of these officers. These men dedicated their lives to this profession and are supporting young families. We owe it to them and to ourselves to examine this situation as thoroughly as possible and to make sure that the correct action was taken.


Grand Junction

Reliance on foreign oil may be the biggest risk

The disaster in the Gulf is unprecedented. Engineering for deep-water drilling is comparable to engineering for space exploration. The oil industry thought it was operating safely. There had never been a disaster like this.

In all that we do every day we are exposed to potential accidents. Space shuttles crash and we go on. In industry,  risk analysis follows. What have we learned that can prevent this?

A more significant exposure to risk is our dependence on foreign oil. A bigger disaster would follow a serious slowdown in imported oil. There are risks from pollution and risks in exposing ourselves to the whims of unstable governments. Balancing those risks and thinking beyond the next election isn’t something politicians are good at.

Politicians know that if gas prices go to $6 a gallon and it costs twice as much to heat our homes, they will lose their jobs. I’m not worried about government stopping drilling in the Gulf.

Let’s hope that once this catastrophe is under control, oil industry officials feel they have learned enough from their mistakes to make it safe and cost effective to go back to drilling. Nothing is more important for jobs and the economy in the Gulf states.

Without any doubt, our nation needs that oil and much more. There is no magic green wand anyone can wave to plug the hole in our energy needs.



Thanks to the museum for wonderful program

This short letter is a great big thank you to the Museum of Western Colorado and all the volunteers who put on the “Night at the Museum” evening. They all did a fantastic job.

Our kids love the museum anyway and this really made it come to life. Well done!



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