Printed letters, Oct. 25, 2011

I wanted to thank Mike Wiggins for his article regarding Palisade Referred Measure 2B and to clarify a few items.

Wiggins stated that only one of the town trustees he had contacted supported closing the dispensary. As I read the article, I felt this statement implied that everyone else he had talked to was in support of keeping the dispensary open. This may be a matter of semantics, but I did feel it was somewhat misleading.

My discussion with Wiggins alluded to the fact that I was very pleased that this issue was coming before the voters of Palisade.

Back in November of 2000, the Colorado electorate did vote to approve legalization of marijuana for medical use. However, they did not vote to approve the use of dispensaries. As it should be, Palisade voters are going to be given the opportunity to decide whether or not a dispensary is appropriate for our town.

I do believe that Colorado Alternative Health Care has been a responsible neighbor. The owners have shown that a dispensary can be run in a respectful and safe manner. However, whether fair or unfair, they are attached and stereotyped to an industry that does not always hold to these same ideals.

This measure is not about one dispensary, but rather about an industry, and at some point our community has to establish the boundaries by which we will be defined. We are obligated to consider the intrinsic messages we send as we essentially define what we are willing to accept as a society.



Town of Palisade


Palisade measure is not about saving the children

The Palisade marijuana dispensary issue is stirring quite a debate. I went there to investigate.

Palisade’s I-70 entrance, with its Wine Country Inn surrounded by vineyards, has several tasting rooms for one to imbibe and buy wine. I passed more tasting rooms while driving through lovely neighborhoods. I noted many yard signs simply saying “No on 2B” and some boldly proclaiming that we must “Protect Kids Ban Pot Shops Yes On 2B.”

I observed many yards with a “Yes on 3B” sign, favoring the emergency tax increase for our children’s educations, that were next to a “No on 2B” sign, and began specifically looking for yards with both “Yes on 2B” and “Yes on 3B” signs, but saw only one.

Arriving downtown, there were so many establishments selling beer, wine and/or hard liquor. No tasting festivals were then occurring. The subject “pot shop” was far removed from all neon, and was as respectable as a country doctor’s.

Proceeding on G Road toward Palisade High School, I passed the last two alcohol outlets, located only 1/10th of a mile from District 51’s property. Then, on the north side and facing the school’s main entrance, there was the largest and loudest of all the “Yes On 2B” signs, but without any accompanying “Yes on 3B” sign.

The Oct. 19 edition of The Daily Sentinel endorsed 2B, so as to outlaw this single lawful dispensary, and was accompanied by a letter to the editor wherein its author had a dilemma concerning the 2A and 2B issues, concluding that “its simply a matter of money over image in Palisade.”

I wonder how someone who professes to protect children fails to strenuously advocate in favor of 3B. Palisade’s image is already dependent upon alcohol, which should logically motivate these same people to seek its prohibition if they really want to protect kids.

This 2B brouhaha isn’t really about kids. Rather, it’s about preventing a few folk from lawfully getting their chosen medical treatment, and about using fear to control our individual rights.


Grand Junction

Ignorance more expensive than quality education

I am a retired homeowner living in Mesa County and I am voting “Yes” on Referred Measure 3B.

To balance the 2011–2012 budget, District 51 reduced over 70 administrative and support positions (reading and teacher aides) and cut 80 teaching positions.

Improving District 51 students’ competitiveness in the global marketplace depends on the ability of closing the academic achievement gap, including District 51’s increasingly diverse student population. For many students, English is a second language and many live in single-parent households, below poverty standards or in homeless conditions.

Ensuring a stable and cohesive group of effective educators who provide instructional support and assistance to those children who otherwise would fail to achieve reading comprehension and math skills is in the best interest of our community and our children.

District 51 School Board candidate Ann Tisue stated in the Oct 11 edition of The Daily Sentinel that “it’s important to retain and reward our excellent teachers.” I agree, but I go one step further to emphasize that pay incentives alone have not been found, as in every other professional workplace, to increase motivation and ensure long-term retention.

Increasing class size to 30 and upwards to 35 students, in a ninth-grade core English class housed in a 1950s schoolroom designed for 26 students is not conducive to instructional quality or classroom morale. Scientific studies confirm overcrowding of classrooms has a negative effect on the ability to provide thoughtful, instructional feedback in a timely manner, something recognized as best practices among those “excellent teachers’’ that Tisue claims to support.

District 51’s spends less on indirect spending than all but two major Colorado school districts. Most of the revenue received by District 51 goes directly to instructional support for our students. We must come together and address the looming shortfall if we are to maintain the viability of public education in Mesa County. If you think education is expensive try ignorance.


Grand Junction

School district needs more common sense

After much thought about Proposition 103 and Referred Measure 3B, I voted against the measures. I have a great concern if 103 and 3B pass, School District 51 will flounder on its newfound cash cow.

It seems to me the fair way would be a sales tax in each school district. That way, all pay their fair share. There are far too many people in this valley holding on to their houses by a thread and it wouldn’t take much more than the proposed increase to push them over the edge, not to mention the seniors who are fighting the same battle with nowhere to go for relief.

Many dollars could be saved if the school district would just build school buildings that fell into the three Fs — form, fit and function —instead of the style they now build. Whatever happened to common sense? Where has is the pride in getting it done yourself, instead of the present day, “You owe me,” with hands outstretched.

I urge voters to vote against the present measures and look for a more fair and balanced way to help the school district.



Buy American products if you want to save jobs

Do you want a job that you have to go overseas?

U.S. companies are sending all their work over to these countries because it’s cheaper to build things over there. No government policies, no environmentalists and, of course, there’s NAFTA, the free trade agreement.

There is quality control and low wages in these countries.

The United States used to be the leader in textile manufacturing. Now we are dependent on foreign countries for this.

We used to supply our own oil. Now we are dependent on other countries.

There is so little being built by Americans these days that I can understand why we don’t have any jobs here in the United States. We have let them all go to other countries.

People, take pride in America. Buy American-made products. It may cost more, but they’re better quality and value and you’ll be saving a job and helping an American support his or her family.

Bring back American jobs by buying American made products. There are not that many left.


Grand Junction


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