Printed letters, September 14, 2010

For 12 years, I have worked with the homeless as a Daycenter volunteer. I have been in their camps, given them jobs, taken them to coffee, held their hands as they were dying. They lead lonely, desperate, often violent lives and I know, but for the grace of God, I could be one of them.

The Daycenter offers showers, laundry, coffee, phones, a mailing address, medical help, etc. Yet, some complain when we do not have the right socks, razors, shampoo, etc. They leave the showers and toilets a mess for volunteers to clean up. They trash the river. Obeying the law is “police harassment.” Few ever say “thank you.”

They receive thousands of dollars of free medical care, including cancer surgery, prenatal care, treatment for broken bones and chronic illnesses, medication and counseling. They have access to the soup kitchen and food, free clothing, bedding, shelter, etc.

A few years ago, when “help wanted” signs abounded in the Grand Valley, we had 120 to 130 people per day. We currently average around 100. Some have come for years. The reason given for these homeless not working was that the jobs did not pay enough. Yet thousands of immigrants work these same jobs, support themselves and collectively are a leading source of revenue for Mexico.

Over the years, the number of people in their 20s and 30s has increased significantly. Physically, they seem healthy enough to work, but choose not to.

Jacob Richards says the homeless have a right to choose their lifestyle, but they are not owed anything. They are not hapless victims. Many are substance abusers and their lot will never improve unless they stop.

They and their advocates should thank the people of the Grand Valley who provide them with so much.


Grand Junction

It’s time to get moving with revamped ice arena

Three months have nearly passed since Glacier Ice Arena closed its doors. It is time for us to take a hard look at our options for getting ice back into the Grand Valley.

On June 29, a public meeting revealed that the necessary mechanical repairs to the rink would run an estimated $150,000. However, the bigger issue was the rink’s financial situation.

It would take anywhere from $450,000 to $800,000 for the rink to resume operations for one, or possibly two, years. It was suggested that the community find a way to cover these costs largely through donations.

It seemed like the community was being asked to save a for-profit business that had fallen on hard times. Unfortunately, many know how hard it is to have a business and then see it fail, but asking the community to fund a private company in order to provide a temporary fix for a more permanent problem is not a solution.

As we are into September, it is time to look at other options. Two have already been made public and are being explored: construction of a temporary rink within an existing facility or leasing the rink out for a year to an interested party, who would make the necessary repairs and run the skating programs for that year. Both options expedite the rink’s reopening and buy time to determine long-range solutions without seeking donations.

With the utmost respect and gratitude for the Koos family, we need to look at the big picture.

We must look at alterative, permanent solutions rather than seeking a temporary fix involving community funding, which is nothing more than a patch on the problem.


Grand Junction

Plenty of positive stories can be found at Central

I am a junior at Central High School. Students at my school just got the opportunity to listen to a great presentation, Rachel’s Challenge.

There is one thing that really hit me during this presentation. It was said if you look for the bad in someone, you will find it, so look for the good. Well, it is not very often that you read an article in The Daily Sentinel that has something positive to say about Central. This really bothers me because it makes our school look bad.

Central High School is not a bad school. We are a great school. It’s safe and I feel very welcome here. I wouldn’t go to any other school.

Just recently, there was a devastating thing that affected our community, but Central students in particular, the death of Troy Martinez. I did not personally know Troy, but I do know that he was a great kid.

When I walked the halls the day after he died, I could hear students’ comments on how much they missed him. When I asked someone who he was, she told me that was a very caring and compassionate kid.

It is a tragedy that he had to die, but it needs to be known that everyone misses him. Students who did not even know him, miss him.

So, I understand that it is easy to find the bad, but I want to encourage the Sentinel to look for the good in Central. I promise it won’t be hard to find.


Grand Junction


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