Printed letters, June 1, 2010

Wearing lights will only help cyclists

I am responding to Jack Byron’s letter printed on May 26th regarding bicyclists being required to wear lights in the tunnels on the Colorado National Monument. There are times when driving into the sun and then hitting the tunnel that it takes a few seconds to visually adjust.

I have been surprised a few times to find that I am on the heels of a bicycle. A bicyclist’s silhouette is not immediately noticed because they are usually against the far right edge and in the dark. The natural inclination when you enter the tunnel and there is an oncoming vehicle is not to hug the center line.

Also, there are curves where drivers emerge being blinded turning into the sun. All you can do is brake, put down the visor, look for the white lines and pray there’s not a bicyclist. The bicycles that have lights are more easily visible, and I see this as a safety issue that Ms. Anzelmo is attempting to address.

Mr. Byron may be dead right or dead wrong, but either way, he might be dead. Why be cavalier?

MARY DAVENPORT

Glade Park

There are ways to make cycling Monument safer

This letter is in response to the editorial in the May 23 edition of The Daily Sentinel titled “Rocky ride ahead”:

I have ridden my bike monthly over the National Monument for the past 15 years. I don’t like what is happening to the four-mile stretch between the east entrance and the Glade Park turnoff.

There are some cars seeing how close they can come to you and there are some bikers that ride more than two abreast just to aggravate the car drivers. Therefore, I have a couple of suggestions:

First, have a ranger riding a bike the four-mile stretch daily just to see what cars and bikes are experiencing.

Second, have a car counter at the east entrance and at the Glade Park entrance. Then publicize the peak times. Maybe we bikers can stay away from biking during the peak times.

GORDON CONKLIN

Grand Junction

Faculty, staff work to make each child special

I am a special education teacher at Redlands Middle School. One of the students I work with is autistic, but this does not define him. His spirit has never dimmed, and I had to ask myself, how did that happen? I’ll tell you how:

I have a principal who flaps his arms every time this child sees him because he has been ordained “The Eagle” and a vice principal who jokes with him like he was one of his seasoned athletes.

Our librarian had the wisdom to make him the official school videographer because he’s great at it. He has a math teacher who has taught him how to “stay put,” my co-teacher taught him how to banter, secretaries who watch over him like lionesses and our progress monitor who sings “Bad to the Bone” with him every chance she gets.

Finally, and most importantly, in the two years that he has been at our school and roamed the halls from class to class, year after year, I have never once heard another young person mock him, belittle him or make him feel “less-than” in any way.

As an educator, I have been given the greatest gift I could ever want: I am surrounded by an entire building of people who have open minds and open hearts and who can do the most amazing things — like travel into the life of an autistic boy and protect his heart, appreciate his gifts and give him a place where he knows he is loved — so we can all keep smiling.

This is only one of 100 stories I could tell you about the caliber of people I work with. So as another school year closes, I just want to let this valley know that I am the most blessed teacher in it.

ANNE SHOFFSTALL

Grand Junction

Current wars are unfortunately necessary

There are many people here in our valley who don’t feel we should be in war in Iraq and Afghanistan as seen in letters to the editor.

I am a Vietnam veteran. My unit was 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry in the 1st Cavalry division. I saw men such as Sgt. Beale lose their lives in front of me. I still feel the pain, I can imagine their families.

I thank all the families that have loved ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their sacrifice is very appreciated by this soldier.

We don’t like wars, but people must realize that radical Islamists will never stop sending or recruiting terrorists to kill us.

RAFAEL TRUJILLO

Grand Junction


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