Printed letters, May 4, 2011

Front Range can meet its own water needs

Water is an integral part of life in the West, and meeting our future water needs is one of the biggest issues facing all of Colorado. So it’s refreshing to see that a report released this month, “Filling the Gap,” shows that the Front Range doesn’t need to look to the West Slope to solve its water problems. It has solutions available in its own basin.

I was happy to see that this report demonstrates there is plenty of water to be found in reuse, conservation methods, agricultural water “loans” and some water projects based in the South Platte Basin to supplement their own rising demand.

What’s important to all of us is that the report shows that big pipeline projects, such as the proposed 560-mile pipeline to deliver water from the Green River in southern Wyoming to the Front Range of Colorado, are not necessary to meet their future water needs. In addition, the report shows that it is not necessary to dry up our agricultural land in order to provide water to the Front Range.

When water runs out on the Front Range, they frequently look to western Colorado for water. We know the water in Colorado’s rivers sustains our economies and way of life. It is very definitely the ticket to our future prosperity. Every time water is diverted from the West Slope to the Front Range, it results in lost economic opportunities for Colorado communities.

Finding common-sense methods to save and reuse water for the benefit of all the state is essential to Colorado’s economy. This report is a good start. Working together, we can collaborate to protect and sustain our rivers, for all of us.

PETER VAN DE CARR KENT VERTREES

Steamboat Springs

Mesa State College needed a name change

I support the name change for Mesa State College because of the economic benefits that are associated with the name change. Mesa State is one of the top regional employers in western Colorado. With more than 1,500 employees and a payroll exceeding $31 million, this school is, to say the least, an important asset to western Colorado. Mesa State added more than $317 million to the regional economy during the last school year. In 2009, it grew by 23 percent and was considered one of the fastest-growing Colorado schools. Last year it was listed in Forbes’ Top 600 Colleges in America.

Our fine institution stands on the brink: In order to continue this growth, we need to change the name in order to attract more students from more areas. Right now, the majority of students at Mesa (88 percent) come from Colorado and, while these numbers should continue, we need to get more out-of-state students to come here as well. We need to be competitive and how can we be when people assume “Mesa” is in reference to Mesa, Ariz.?

I want to continue seeing Mesa grow and a name change will help us accomplish this task. As a proud alumnus of Mesa Junior College, I would like to continue to see this school grow and I believe these changes will allow the college to achieve that growth.

ROBERT BRAY

Grand Junction

New name reflects changing institution

I graduated from Mesa State College in 2005 and recently I was pleased to see that the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt Colorado Mesa University as the new name for the school.

I think Colorado Mesa University is a very fitting name for this school and reflects the values and tradition of this institution while better describing and encapsulating the many services and resources the school now offers.

It is critically important to change the name of the school for two overarching reasons:

First, the majority of similar-sized institutions with a similar mix of programs and undergraduate/graduate ratios have adopted “university” in their titles. The perception in the United States is that a degree from a university carries with it more prestige and translates into a better advantage in the workforce. Changing the title to Colorado Mesa University puts Mesa State on an equal playing field in the higher education arena.

Second, Colorado Mesa University better reflects the geographical and physical location of Mesa State College. While the majority of Western Slope residents understand the many mesas in the area, many potential students outside Colorado assume “Mesa” is in reference to Mesa, Ariz., or Mesa, Calif.

The change in name will acknowledge the history of this institution and preserve our great legacy while giving us a better fighting chance in the national higher-education arena.

RICHARD A. HERN

Denver



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