Printed letters, March 16, 2010

Herzog’s column was right about police officers

I am writing to thank you for publishing the column by Denny Herzog, who wrote the article “Policemen suffer from shooting, too,” that appeared in the March 9 edition of The Daily Sentinel.

My son is a police officer in another state, and I know all too well how often policemen put their lives on the line to protect the community and themselves. Far too often, police officers are lied about and not appreciated for what they do.

While they do sometimes make mistakes, the decisions they make must often literally be made in seconds, as the two officers mentioned in this article had to do. Otherwise they may well have been the ones who died.

So thank you for the fine column.

JAMES C. SPARKS

Grand Junction

Computer problems hurt local jobs and funding

Two articles in The Daily Sentinel March 8 —  “More people willing to cooperate with census”  and “Tribal leaders hope count equates to federal dollars”  —  afford a timely opportunity for insight into Census 2010’s local operations.

First, a complete and accurate Census count means more federal dollars, not just for Indian tribes, but for county and municipal governments all across the Western Slope

Second, hand-delivery of almost 250,000 census questionnaires has already begun in the more rural tracts in western Colorado, and questionnaires will be mailed to residents of municipal Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs and Montrose in late March. Thus, it behooves community leaders and citizens to encourage local folks to promptly complete and return their questionnaires. Funding of many local services depends on it.

Meanwhile, as widely reported by the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office and the press, the Census Bureau’s critical computer systems are so seriously flawed that the integrity of the entire decennial census is at risk.

While the unreliability of the Census Bureau’s “Information Technology Systems” has been well-documented in four high-level reports to Congress, little has been said about the effects of such problems on the ability of local census offices to do their jobs.

For example, in February, the Grand Junction census office sought to hire 950 census workers to hand-deliver questionnaires. But it selected only 656 because faulty computer software denied access to 1,000-plus residents of Grand Junction who were ready, willing and able to work

Thus, the defective Census Bureau computer systems deprived 300-plus Grand Junction constituents of immediate Census jobs (while local unemployment remains near record highs) which could ultimately result in a significant “undercount” in western Colorado.  Therefore, I have requested an investigation by the OIG, the GAO and our congressional delegation.

BILL HUGENBERG

Grand Junction

Start deer season sooner to prevent herd damage

Colorado’s 2010 deer seasons on average are 20 percent longer and extend seven days deeper into the rutting cycle than in 2009. The change was made because many Coloradans cannot get time off during the week, and therefore will have a second weekend to hunt.

That explains the increase in length. But why not open the seasons a weekend earlier instead of a weekend later than in ‘09? If that were done, the first season would close one day earlier and the second and third, two days later than they did. Herd sires will not be more vulnerable. There will be fewer chances in any one ecosystem for excessive harvests of them. More does will get bred during their first estrus cycles, and more fawns will survive.

Furthermore, according to Jack O’Connor, Ted Trueblood and Earnest Thompson Seaton, less meat will be wasted as its palatability will be greater.

T.J. ELSBURY

Grand Junction

Who pays for ads placed by gas firms?

I noticed a large ad by the oil and gas people asking “Guess who’ll pay for new energy taxes ...”

After pondering this head-scratcher for a while, another question came to me. Who is paying for these full-page ads? I’m thinking both questions have the same answer.

JIM THAYER

Grand Junction

Recent photo exhibit was beautiful, enjoyable

Recently I saw the local showing of photographer Mark Mabry’s traveling exhibit, “Reflections of Christ.”

I though the exhibit was beautiful and enjoyed it so very much.

I would like to thank the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and St. Mary’s Hospital for making it possible for the residents of Grand Junction to view this remarkable exhibit.

DOMINGA-MARIA FITZGERALD

Grand Junction



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