Printed Letters: Aug. 3, 2014

Sheriff candidates need 
to address militarization
I have supported most Republican candidates over many decades and have served in a number of capacities including a term as a county chairman in Colorado. But that should not be deemed automatic support, particularly as it comes to sheriff.

An issue for whomever runs the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department is the troubling and increasing militarization of our police forces across the country. Citizens who wish to preserve their Fourth Amendment rights (unreasonable searches and seizures) and who support “the Castle Doctrine” (“my home is my castle”) must demand accountability and pushback. It should come from our elected sheriff.

I perused the sheriff’s website and came up with the following:

1) The SWAT team was using the BLM range on Monday July 1 for training. The accompanying picture shows camouflage-dressed men who looked like they were ready for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2) According to the web page, “In the last two years the SWAT Team has averaged 30 calls a year.” The department breaks these into “planned” and “unplanned.” To further quote the website, “‘planned’ SWAT events involve supporting or executing a search warrant.”

3) There is the “Unmanned Aerial System Team.” Again citing the website, “To date our program has flown more than 55 missions with a combined 225 (plus) flight hours. We are beginning to implement UAS into day to day operations.”

In a free society, we have always drawn sharp lines between the military and police officers. The use of force in executing search warrants by highly armed and non-uniformed cops is a bad thing. Multiply across the country the 30 or so SWAT incidents per year by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department and we are looking at an estimated 60,000-80,000 “deployments” per year, according to investigative journalist and author Radley Balko.

In sum, what started with about 300 SWAT team uses in the entire country in the 1970s has grown to where the use of SWAT teams is now the default option. SWAT was initially an acronym for “Special Weapons and Tactics.” The PR has changed, but the missions have involved far too many assaults.

All of our sheriff’s candidates need to clarify their views on these issues.

Grand Junction

Hobby Lobby case shows we’re in a fight for religious freedom
I am wondering why the media and others think that it is everyone’s business how a corporation runs its own company. Hobby Lobby is a responsible, community-friendly business. Employees have benefits, which, I am sure, were explained at the time of hiring.

I respect Hobby Lobby owners’ values and ideals of honoring their Sabbath. As far as I know, they don’t require their employees to join their church. They’re not brainwashing anybody. Since when is it wrong for companies or individuals to keep their integrity intact by adhering to their moral values?

I don’t believe that the government/court system should be involved in personal or moral issues. Birth control is a personal issue for responsible adults to work out and pay for on their own time and with their own money. This may be hard to believe, but in the very recent past, many of us actually took responsibility for our actions and ourselves. Why do so many people want the government’s hand in even very private matters?

We are once again in a fight for freedom of religion.

Grand Junction

Kids Voting welcomes 
new executive director
It is Kids Voting Mesa County’s pleasure to introduce our new executive director, Karen Houlihan.

Houlihan has several years experience in events coordination, marketing and bookkeeping. She also graduated from CMU this spring with a second degree in business management and was selected Senior of the Year by the business faculty.

As many of you know, Kids Voting Mesa County had a difficult 2013. But thanks to the generous support of the community, Kids Voting Mesa County will continue. While we aren’t completely out of the woods yet, we are stronger than before and ready to continue our mission of encouraging young people to become knowledgeable and engaged citizens.

Houlihan is ready to take on the challenge and will bring new energy to the position. We hope you will continue to support Kids Voting Mesa County either by donating, attending one of our events or volunteering your time either through board membership or committees. Please feel free to contact me or Karen Houlihan at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any questions or to contribute.

Thank you again to our supportive community and to Martha Graf, previous executive director, for keeping Kids Voting Mesa County alive. We wish Graf luck as she moves on to new adventures in the nonprofit world and we look forward to many more years of service to Mesa County.

President, Board of Directors
Kids Voting Mesa County


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I see several liberal organizations and the Democratic Party supporting “Kids voting Mesa County”? I sincerely hope this isn’t a group tasking themselves with inundating young minds with a “LIBERAL” agenda. I sincerely hope good Christian values and equal representation of moral values are represented. This seems too much like the sort of thing History has seen before in nations that eventually collapse due to skewed rhetoric and government intervention into private lives. Mr. Bright

Typical uninformed response or just plain ignorance more likely. Kids voting is about teaching the importance of voting and being involved!  Unlike some uneducated responses there really are some independent and liberal thinkers who believe in God, represent the highest of values, and care about others.

If some people got off that high horse of “It’s our way or no way” they might actually understand there are some great people out there with great ideas no matter what political persuasion one might be inclined to support!

Steve, I just went to the website and read the information and noted the political support list. don’t tell me I’m uneducated as your response echo’s. Teaching young children about voting at young ages is a historical practice of many groups, look it up. As for Liberals that believe in God, no doubt. Current political rhetoric is showing the liberal way of life to be having a negative affect on the country and it’s children however. Balanced education that might actually teach history as it happened, the truth of ALL opinions and actions may be more palatable to many. Unfortunately the Liberal agenda of current display is one of control and ignorance as shown by stalwart icons such as Reid, Pelosi, Frank, Kerry and others of like mind. The “our way or no way” frame of mind was executed in passing the ACA and using the IRS, NSA, DOJ, and other government entities as weapons against one side of coin by the other. The political climate should not be a part of the education system is my point and this org’s info does not read that way by definition or by support list. Mr.Bright

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