Printed letters, March 2, 2011

Many who love monument support bike-race decision

In his Feb. 20 column, Denny Herzog said it was unfortunate for everyone who loved Colorado National Monument that it is so disengaged with our community. He based this disengagement on Superintendent Joan Anzelmo’s decision to deny a request for a bike race.

I’d like Herzog to know, there are a lot of people who love the monument, support the decision and see no disengagement.

The undertone of his column was typical in this age of “If I can’t convince you I’m right, I’ll scare you into believing it.” His idea that because of this decision, local support for National Park status would diminish is nonsense. The number of visitors increase with National Park designation. If Herzog’s so-called movers and shakers can’t see the community benefits of this, they are more hypocritical than one can imagine.

Herzog ended his article by saying John Otto would have embraced this bike race.

I believe if it had a road in 1911, Otto might not only have invited, but would probably have paid each of the riders. John Otto purchased a herd of buffalo and hung a service banner across one of his canyons to get people to come see the beauty of this land, but that doesn’t mean it was the best thing for the land.

I agree John Otto wasn’t afraid to step out of the box, so I’m certain if he were alive today, Herzog would be railing against him also.

In caring for America’s legacy, the mission of our National Park Service is “to promote and regulate the use of the ... national parks ... in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

When my sons were small, while on a drive through Rifle Gap, I had to explain the huge concrete remnants of Christo’s Valley Curtain, which still butt up against the cliff walls. Why should my sons have to take their children for a drive over the monument and explain anything?

Accept the decision, go to a higher authority if need be, but don’t group all of us that love the monument into one category. Don’t try to make us afraid. And don’t use a local hero to further your agenda.


Grand Junction

Otto would have wanted national park status

I was one of the 300-some-odd, concerned Mesa County citizens who attended the public listening session at Mesa State College on Feb. 23 with U.S. Sen. Mark Udall. The issue was whether Colorado National Monument should become a national park.

People voiced their opinions. It was a great conglomerate of ideas. As I sat in the back of the room, I thought, “What if John Otto were here? What would he think? What would he say?” Chances are Otto would not have been the smartest person in the room, but I’ll bet his would have been one of the wisest.

Undoubtedly, he would have stood up and spoke his mind. My feeling is Otto would have said: Make it a national park and make it the best national park in the world.

It’s been written that Otto once said, “Do your best for the west. The best for the world. The new day, get it going.” Well, a 100 years have passed and the time is ours. Let’s get it going. Let’s do good things for the Grand Valley and for western Colorado. Sure, there will be problems that we will have to address in regards to the inevitable added impact to the park and adjacent areas. I think Otto would have assessed the problems and determined that the pros outweighed the cons.


Grand Junction

City should vote to ban dispensaries

The city of Grand Junction will soon be voting on an important ordinance — to ban or not to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits.

Because of the negative impact marijuana has on people’s lives and the general health of the community, I hope Grand Junction residents will vote “Yes” to banning these stores. This ban will not keep those who feel they need that drug for medicinal purposes from getting it from their caregivers.

I’m wondering if the residents of Grand Junction realize the real dangers marijuana poses and why we must limit its use in our community. Mental illness and hallucinations affecting the brain, an increase in school expulsions, opening the gates to stronger drug use, more crime, loss of motivation, breakdown of the immune system are just a few of the dangers of this drug. Our youth should be able to grow up here without its destructive influence.

In 2000, the citizens of Colorado voted to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. I still support this. I do not support the creation of dispensaries to sell it to the public as this was not part of the bill. The dispensaries provide widespread use of that drug, mainly for recreational use. This must be stopped by the citizens voting to ban these dispensaries.


Grand Junction


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