Printed letters, March 9, 2010

Thanks to The Daily Sentinel’s editorial board for choosing to opine further on the recent acquittal of former Grand Junction police officer Courtney Crooks on harassment charges that led to his resignation from the department last year. The following passage stood out the most for me:

“We hold police officers to higher standards than most people because they must enforce the laws, as well as abide by them. But like all others accused of crimes in the United States, they must be presumed innocent until proved guilty. Courtney Crooks was found not guilty by a jury of his peers, and that is the only judgment that should matter in this country.”

If those managing the Sentinel truly believe in the above statements, then I am tempted to ask how this opinion affects the Sentinel’s “Blotter” feature, in which the paper prints the names of adult citizens who are arrested or cited for criminal offenses in our area, and are thus presumed innocent until they get their day in court.

It’s true that Mr. Crooks received a good deal more media attention than the average person accused of the same offense. However, if “all others accused … must be presumed innocent until proven guilty” and “that is the only judgment that should matter in this country,” then perhaps everyone whose name appears in the “Blotter” should have the disposition of the charges against them published when that disposition occurs.

At the very least, some form of the Sentinel’s own words above should appear in each future edition of the “Blotter” as a disclaimer.

JOHN L. LINKO

Grand Junction

Don’t turn over prisons to private companies

I have recently learned that the state senator who is supposed to represent me at the state Capitol, Josh Penry, has submitted a bill (House Bill 1219) that would authorize the executive director of the Department of Corrections to sell by competitive bid the correctional facilities owned by his department, regardless of the security level.

I do not understand why? Didn’t we, as a state, learn from the costly riots that happened at the privately run Crowley County facility?

Why would a politician who is supposed to look after our rights want to turn over the rights of citizens who are incarcerated to a for-profit private company?

If this is such a grand idea, why not take it a step further? Privatize the state police, privatize the judges. Why not privatize the whole legal system?

In my opinion this is maybe taking the first steps to that very destination. My hope is he will change his mind.

PEGGY BARRON

Grand Junction

Battlement Mesa group aims to assist residents

What does the future hold for Battlement Mesa? Do you care? The Battlement Concerned Citizens care.

The BCC is a grassroots group of people working hard on behalf of all residents of Battlement Mesa to address the many adverse impacts that oil and gas development in our community may pose for our lives.

Presently, we are focused on the proposed Antero drilling plan for 200 natural gas wells in Battlement Mesa, and how to mitigate the impacts to the community if it goes forward.

We have made significant progress regarding health and safety issues, with Garfield County agreeing to perform a health impact assessment and subsequent health study in cooperation with the Colorado School of Public Health, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Grand River Hospital District. The HIA will be a valuable tool for use by all regulatory agencies involved in the permitting process of oil and gas development in residential areas.

The natural gas industry is hazardous, and our community deserves additional levels of protection if multiple wells are to be developed here. The BCC is taking a leadership role in protecting the health, safety, welfare and property values of the residents of Battlement Mesa. We are involved, on an ongoing basis, with various local, state and federal government agencies, to promote responsible development of oil and gas in our area and to hold the industry accountable to the people of Battlement Mesa.

If you share our concerns please get involved, stay informed. Don’t sit idly by, thinking there is nothing you can do.  Join with the Battlement Concerned Citizens, and together we can be effective in keeping Battlement Mesa a desirable place to live.

RON GALTERIO, Co-Chair

Battlement Concerned Citizens

Battlement Mesa

Why would police officers strip and move a corpse?

Regarding the police shooting of Brent Ingram at the Timbers Motel on Feb. 28: It’s difficult to believe it is standard police procedure to move and strip the corpse of a dead person before an investigation has been started.

Something stinks in the Grand Junction Police Department.

GLEN MOLLICK

Fruita

Recreation center needed in this city

When will the city stop wasting our tax money and put it to good use?

We will soon be into another summer with no place for our children and grandchildren to spend time. We need a recreation center here for the families, or a YMCA.

I have counted at least eight roundabouts that probably cost us enough money to have built a rec center. None of those roundabouts is necessary. A four-way stop sign would have been just as good, if not better, for the cost of the signs and labor to put them in.

What do we have to do to get our money spent on our real needs and not what the city wants? We should have had a recreation center years ago.

Maybe if all School District 51 students would write a letter and send it to our representatives, we would get the rec center. I doubt if anything short of that will get it.

LINDA PINKERTON

Grand Junction



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