Convert Regional Center to campus for homeless services

Here’s a suggestion to repurpose the Grand Junction Regional Center. Create a city/county/charitable consortium to develop a campus for the benefit of the homeless.

  • Potential services and amenities such a campus could provide:
  • Indoor overnight housing for homeless men, women and families
  • Day room for shelter from hot/cold/inclement weather
  • Campground and tiny houses with central restroom/shower facilities for those who
  • prefer to sleep outdoors or who keep pets
  • Farm to grow fresh food for on-campus food services and the food bank
  • Classes for GED, job training and apprenticeship for maintenance
  • and repair of the facility (perhaps Habitat for Humanity could help with this)
  • Volunteer maintenance of veterans cemetery
  • AA and al anon
  • Mail, Internet, phone service
  • Laundry
  • Free lending library
  • Small commissary run on volunteer credits/tokens
  • Move Catholic Outreach soup kitchen and thrift store
  • Move Homeward Bound
  • Move food bank into existing warehouse on campus
  • Move animal shelter here. Volunteers could care for, socialize and exercise shelter animals.
  • Host “Stand Down” and other occasional veterans services
  • Open a bus route downtown for social/medical service providers in the morning and return in the afternoon, partially funded by reducing downtown police patrols.
  • Advantages:
  • Increased efficiency of social services through consolidation
  • Meaningful work and job training for homeless population
  • Safe, healthy environment
  • Remote location would encourage homeless away from downtown, thereby improving shopping, business and entertainment

This proposal would create an enormous amount of work and coordination among city and county agencies, charitable organizations and the religious community. I’m sure others in the social welfare field can think of many more possible uses for this facility. But I think a converted Regional Center would offer a fantastic opportunity for our community to consolidate, coordinate and improve the care we provide for our homeless population.

I can hear the “yeah, buts” already, and I know this would require imaginative, creative organization and added funds. It would upset many settled groups and systems. But I hate to see the Grand Junction Regional Center sold off to some developer and razed for yet another subdivision or big box store.

CHERYL CONROD

Grand Junction


We can have better emergency response AND a rec center

We moved our four children to Grand Junction in 1981 and proceeded to enjoy the wonderful experience of raising our tribe here. As a health-care provider I also enjoyed being part of the “can do” spirit in this community. Throughout these years I have worked with the elderly, brain injured, mentally ill and cognitively impaired. We have a disproportionately large population of these folks here as our rich health-care continuum is a magnet for them and their families.

For most of these 38 years I have also worked to bring a recreation center here. I believe strongly that a healthy community has many options for its citizens to connect, exercise, socialize and bond. ( Selfishly I also want a warm water pool!) For me it’s not an “either/or” proposition but a “both/and.” I plan to support the ballot measures for our first responders and the rec center. I hope you will too. We can do this!

SALLY SCHAEFER

Grand Junction


Taxation without representation?

Supporters of the community center seem to be all in Grand Junction. They forget that those of us who live in the county will pay the increased taxes too. Every shop,store, restaurant, and bar in the city limits will now have a sales tax that flirts with 10% on every bill, and we get no say in it. Sounds like taxation without representation to me, and didn't we already hash that out a couple hundred years ago?

JAN WEEKS

Grand Junction


Trump wants a 'Get out of jail free" card

Thursday’s column from Marc Thiessen (“GOP must choose where loyalty lies”) falsely pretends that Republicans have not already chosen where “their loyalty lies.” Like them, Thiessen remains loyal to lies.

By positing that “President Trump has made the wrong decision at every turn,” Thiessen impliedly admits that he was “stupid” to believe Trump’s cynical campaign promises about his “Wall” – just as Ann Coulter has sheepishly confessed (https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/01/ann-coulter-says-she-is-stupid-for-believing-trumps-wall-promise.html).

Revealingly, however, Thiessen couches his admission in the subjunctive – “[i]f the goal is to build a border wall” – suggesting an element of residual doubt about Trump's true intentions.

Indeed, cursory review of Thiessen’s litany of Trump’s “wrong decisions” prompts the conclusion that Trump and — especially — his xenophobic “White nationalist” advisers are more determined to preserve immigration as a divisive issue to demagogue in his 2020 re-election campaign. After all, he could have gotten $25 billion for his “Wall” in exchange for permanently resolving DACA.

Likewise, Trump’s decision to proclaim a bogus “National Emergency” was not another “wrong move” (per Thiessen) — nor proves that “our President is an idiot” (per Coulter) (https://www.salon.com/2019/02/15/ann-coulter-scorches-donald-trump-the-only-national-emergency-is-that-our-president-is-an-idiot/) — but rather almost guarantees that the matter will be in the courts (and thus in the news) in mid-campaign. Meanwhile, Trump can continue to “scam the stupidest people in his base for two more years.”

Anticipating at least embarrassing revelations from the Mueller investigation and House committees, perhaps Trump’s best chance for keeping himself and his family out of jail in 2021 is to hope that his two appointees on the Supreme Court (and possibly a third by then) will hand him an “October surprise” that will abet his re-election by convincing his “stupidest supporters” that “he’s been fighting” a good fight all along.

Nevertheless, Thiessen shows his true partisan colors by injecting a false equivalency between Trump’s abuse of the National Emergencies Act and “Democrats’ decision to eliminate the filibuster on lifetime judicial appointments below the Supreme Court” — even knowing what the “tit for tat” consequences might be.

Not only is it hypocritical for purportedly “limited government” Republicans to succumb to Trump’s unconstitutional “power grab”, but it is intellectually dishonest to equate an unprecedented expansion of executive power to the diminution of the “filibuster” – found nowhere in the Constitution.

Because Congress’s constitutional control of the “purse strings” is vastly more consequential than any Senate rule, local “Trumpublicans” should look to George Will and Larry Hogan for sounder advice (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-trashing-the-constitution-larry-hogan-shows-how-republicans-should-respond/2019/02/20/4ec466b0-346b-11e9-a400-e481bf264fdc_story.html?utm_term=.fc38f1301843).

BILL HUGENBERG

Grand Junction


Tribalism, hatred will be our undoing

What in the Sam Hill is happening to our country? People at each other's throats over petty differences of opinion. It's gone so far beyond simple name calling. We have crossed over into pure unadulterated insanity! We've taken to actually denigrating our opponents and calling them less than human, scum, dirt, worthless, even wishing death and devastation on the "other side" simply for having a differing opinion or worldview. And it's not just a one-sided affair. Both sides are doing it equally.

Take a look all throughout history. This is how civil wars start, people! This is how we get holocausts and genocides and other horrible atrocities. When we cease seeing the other side as fellow humans and and instead begin viewing them as enemies, as inferior, as diseases to be eradicated — that's when the killing starts.

We used to be able to disagree and debate and even argue in a calm, rational and civil manner. But not anymore. Now we have devolved into playing the blame game. "But they started it." "No, they started it." "Well they're stupid." "No you're stupid." What are we, children? Grow up, America! It doesn't matter who started it. What ever happened to the Golden Rule? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Love your enemies. You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. I get along with everybody, even those with whom I disagree and whose views I am staunchly opposed to, because at the end of the day I realize that we are all still human beings with value. We are all flawed and imperfect. And I for one am not going to attack someone and beat them down and possibly kill them simply because they don't see things my way.

JEREMIAH HABECKER

Clifton


Facing the climate issue could be Sen. Gardner’s political salvation

Sen. Cory Gardner faces a tough re-election in Colorado in 2020. Republicans in vulnerable seats could face backlash from millennials, the largest group of eligible voters in the US in the 2020 election and the group most to be affected by climate change.

Recently, when asked about the New Green Deal, Sen. Gardner echoed rehearsed talking points about socialism and income redistribution rather than discussing viable solutions to addressing climate change. Coloradans need an answer from their Republican politicians to the question, “What policy or solution do you propose to address climate change’s threat to Colorado’s agriculture, forests, tourism, and energy?” At present, Gardner and other Republicans stand only for criticism of the Green New Deal and offer no alternatives. As climate change continues to wreak havoc, and climate change discussions continue to escalate, voters, particularly millennial voters are likely to remember Gardner’s lack of action when casting their ballot.

Climate change cannot be solved without Republicans at the table. A challenge of this magnitude must be bipartisan, action requiring decades of sustained legislation. We need all hands on deck to hammer out an acceptable solution that reduces greenhouse gasses 50 percent by 2030, as advised by the latest Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. Refusal by conservatives to engage in solutions would leave only liberals to legislate, and most likely be undone by changing administrations. We need the wisdom of both conservatives and liberals incorporated into the end plan.

Wen Lee, from the conservative organization RepublicEN reports, “Every day I work with folks on the right who are passionate about solving climate change, who want conservatives to lead and put forward free-market solutions. The EcoRight is growing and becoming more vocal. More and more Republican lawmakers around the country are standing up for climate action. Momentum is building, and cracks in the dam are showing. You can’t see all this and not be hopeful.”

We know Senator Gardner can be a great leader, as recently demonstrated by the Senate approving a major public lands bill that would revive a popular conservation program. We know any plan from the right must adhere to conservative values: limited government, regulation-free, no new taxation, promote free market economic prosperity – a tall order to be sure.

Gardner could make himself indispensable to millennials, Democrats, unaffiliated/independent voters, and his base by impressing on us the importance of climate action.

We are weary of political partisan theatrics from our government. Gardner’s bold leadership could fill the void of silence from the right. Climate catastrophes like heat waves, droughts, the Big Freeze, and wildfires do not discriminate, but rather inflict damage to citizens of both parties. We all pay the price of inaction. We need a leader like Sen. Gardner to step forward on climate solutions.

SUSAN ATKINSON

Durango


Earth's history is replete with temperature swings

Currently the “climate campaigners” have set the Earth’s atmosphere as having 400 ppm (parts per million) of CO2. If someone takes a vat and puts 400 golden pennies in it and then adds enough copper pennies to make a total of a million pennies; it would mean that Elizabeth Warren has more Native American blood in her than your chances of blindly picking one of the golden pennies out of the vat.

CO2 is a building block for life on this planet, without it the Earth would be lifeless. There is a threshold for CO2 of 150 PPM below which plants first start to starve, then stop growing, and then just die. This eventually would bring about the extinction of most, if not all, terrestrial species from the lack of food. Yet today our children and the public at large are taught that CO2 is a toxic pollutant that will destroy life and bring civilization to its knees.

There is no definitive scientific proof, through real world observation, that CO2 is responsible for any of the slight warming of the climate that has occurred during the last 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age. If there was such proof through testing and replication it would have been written down for all to see.

Has even one of these CO2 gloom and doom climate “scientists” said what the ideal amount of CO2 is needed in our atmosphere? Or what the ideal temperature should be? The amount of CO2 in our atmosphere has continuously changed throughout the history of the earth. The weather on this planet continuously changes and always has. The Earth has been warmer, warm enough for the arctic and Antarctic to be ice free and covered with forests. It was cold enough 20,000 years ago that there was a sheet of ice almost 2 miles thick on top of what is today Montreal and as far south as Chicago there was a half mile thick sheet of ice. Is it possible that instead of CO2 causing a temperature rise it is the temperature rise that is causing the increase of CO2?

It has been reported that the temperature on Mars is higher by about the same amount as the Earth's. Is it possible the sun is just hotter or is the cow flatulence on Mars driving the temperature increase?

MICHAEL HIGGINS

Grand Junction


Anonymous response to letter not appreciated

In regards to my letter to the editor, on the parade, I received a letter from a disgruntled liberal Sentinel reader who didn't even have the courtesy to sign or leave an address for their response. With what has been going on against our president the past two years, Mueller's report will be a real disappointment to the Democrats for sure.

Those surrounding him were convicted of everything other than what your so-called Democratic Party accused the president of — collusion with Russia. This came from a fake dossier paid for by your secretary of state and her party, but like so may other tries this backfired on you too — and currently wasted $25 million in taxpayer money.

I believe it was your secretary of state and president that slept while four of our American bothers were asking for help, but received none so they lost their lives in Benghazi. They sold uranium to the Russians, they continued to reduce our military might, put some 49,000 on food stamps, the President created the racism against our police and set same back 50 years. He put almost $10 trillion in debt during his eight years. This was eight years that our country went backward and each election you continued to re-elect those that continue to do the same.

That is why the rest of the country was tired of the good ol' politician ways and elected our president, who in two years accomplished more than your president did in eight years. He has done what other presidents have not been able to do, with talks with North Korea, China, working new trade deals in favor of the United States, reduced our unemployment, reduced those on food stamps because of jobs reduced your taxes just to list a few.

In closing, yes, I am old, but I have learned not to follow those that want to lead you over a cliff. We appreciated your response, but next time have the courage to sign and leave an address.

ARTHUR EDWARDS

Grand Junction

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