You Said It Column September 14, 2008

• I would like to thank all of the local drivers, and some not so local, for attending the benefit track day for Russ DeCosta. Russ has been battling kidney cancer for several years, and every penny we raised on Saturday went to help his family with the medical costs. I know we all had a great time on the race track and had an even better time knowing we were out there for a good cause.

• I have always heard that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, this village, Grand Junction, is growing, which means more children. We do not have enough buildings or teachers for that matter to do the job, or do the job properly. How will this be done? Put a jar outside of Wal-Mart? We all bare this responsibility, even if we do not have children at home. Some of these children will become the leaders of this very community. What kind of message do we want to send the current children we have in our school system? Tough luck, we are too cheap and self-centered?

• John McCain wants to renegotiate the Colorado River Water Compact and have our Colorado farmers and ranchers give up our resources. I guess he thinks our Colorado farmers need to start dryland farming so his home state of Arizona can build more golf courses.

• Part of the problem in the education system is the parenting skills of today. Within the first week of school, I had five fourth-graders inform me that they had a Red Bull for breakfast. By 10 a.m. these students were off the sugar rush and ready for bed. Yet, it is my job to raise their test scores, but parents can’t provide them with breakfast?

• You know the Republicans are scared of Obama when he is all they can talk about, instead of themselves.

• Quality of life is strongly related to community services, including an educated populace with or without your own children, whether you are retired now or later. Taxes pay for the benefits we all can enjoy as well as those we need. Would you live in a city that did not have these schools or the other related services?

• Stop demanding those without children support those with children? I’m sure you and your parents didn’t feel that way when you were a child. You were someone’s tax burden at one point too. Keep that in mind and get over it.

• I am old enough that I am now paying taxes used to keep my great-grandchildren and their peers in public schools. I consider that an honor and privilege. Where do you think our next leaders come from?  And if you didn’t have children yourself, someone still paid for you to be able to attend public schools Pay it forward, pay it back, anyway you look at it, investment in public schools is essential for the betterment of our society. 

• Year-round school should not be a threat. It should be a promise of better use of taxpayers’ money, building use, and time of teachers and students.  When District 51 went year round in some schools to combat surges in enrollment during the oil shale boom, two of my children were involved. They got the best grades they ever got in elementary school, due to less “down” time between sessions. We are at nearly year-round now. School does not get out until June, and starts in the middle of August. We need to get past the old agrarian orientation of the school year and realize that it’s a new century.

• I have lived in GJ for the last 10 years and I am a professional single female trying to make a living. And yes, I do have a good job. Are the landlords trying to force us out of our rentals so they can rent to the oil and gas guys and double or, even maybe, triple the rent each year? My rent has increased $150 a month in the past couple of years, and no, they are not using the increase for improvements that I can see. And yes, the taxes have gone up but not to that degree. Are the landlords trying to cash in before the big bust? 

• With Russia on the attack again, we need a strong military leader to keep us safe. Someone who finished in the bottom of a class of 900, destroyed four planes learning to fly, and was shot down from 30,000 feet. Now which candidate is that again?

• The answer to Gary Harmon’s question about the Democrats being concerned about what happens politically in Mesa County is: no. Why would we be interested in the concerns of a right-wing, authoritarian place such as Grand Junction? After all, a region that embraces the likes of Dick Cheney is a “Red Zone” to we visionaries.

• John McCain owns so many houses that he has lost count and thinks the definition of a wealthy person is one that makes $5 million a year. His wife, Cindy, has monthly credit card bills over a half a million dollars. He has stated that the economy has done well during the Bush administration. Well, maybe for his friends making over $5 million.


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