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Dear Editor,Since most of the recent letters to you blame or commend our leaders because our country is now “between Iraq and a hard place”, it seems a different perspective might be refreshing:-Our federal government, with all its apparent flaws, paid tens of millions of dollars last summer to protect us and our water supplies from the Coal Seam Fire. -The Colorado Department of Transportation not only created an engineering masterpiece by re-constructing the highway through Glenwood Canyon, they built for us a one-of-a-kind recreation path, they assist those who want to use it for charitable and athletic purposes, and have started a soft-surface path in the canyon for those of us on foot.-The Colorado River Water Conservation District, Xcel Energy and the Denver Water Board have carefully considered and chosen wisely to manage the Colorado River flows for the benefit of all concerned, including non-human life.-The city of Glenwood Springs has acquired for public use several parcels of land on the east side of the Roaring Fork River and built a secondary water intake on the Roaring Fork, thereby allowing the city water if there are problems with the Grizzly Creek diversion (like the Grizzly Creek fire of 2001). -I defy anyone to find higher-quality medical care in a community of this size than at Valley View Hospital. Without exception, I have been impressed by the dedication and good nature of the professionals in the Emergency Room, Family Birthplace, Radiology, Internal Medicine, and Cardiac & Physical Rehabilitation.If these aren’t enough reasons to be thankful you live here, just look outside.Sincerely,Tom LacyNo NamePS: If I weren’t limited to 250 words, I would also point out how lucky we are to have the GSPI (does that count as a word?) and the chance to express our opinions in it.

Dear Editor,To all my fellow Americans:I constantly see and hear everybody arguing their pro-war and anti-war antics with each other. That’s wonderful; it’s what makes us American. But, with these claims, there has to come a sense of pride. Whether or not you agree with this war, and whether or not you agree with our governmental policies, you must understand that we would not be allowed to voice our disagreements if America wasn’t what it’s grown to be today.That growth has come through many national and worldwide conflicts over the years, in which our soldiers have fought to keep our freedoms, beliefs, and democracy safe from outside dictators and their corruption. You don’t have to take sides to take pride. We are all very different, but in one way the same, we are all American. You don’t have to support the war to support our troops; let’s just show our pride in being American. Hang your flags back up, tie up yellow ribbons, or wear them.Your beliefs come from your hearts;, pride comes in the flag. You’re not ashamed of what you believe in, don’t be ashamed of where you come from. Black or white, Jewish or Muslim, liberal or conservative, we all believe in and will fight for the same three things – life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.Proud to be American,Chris HoganRifle

Dear Editor,The reports included in some of the area media in regards to the investigation surrounding the death of Nicholas Jones appear to be a reach for dramatization at best. As the grandmother of Nicholas, I would like to express my feelings towards his loss.Our family has received an outpouring of love and support from all areas of our community. As we struggle each day to give meaning and understanding to this event that has changed our lives so greatly, one thing has become abundantly clear to me – our beautiful Nicholas will never return to us. Does this mean that we must destroy the life of another child to justify the system that has so miserably failed all of us? I would like everyone to know that I am adamantly opposed to any charges that might be filed against the boy who accidentally discharged the weapon that took our Nicholas away. I believe that he too is a victim of the irresponsible attitude associated with guns by many adults and even more so by our legislators.The same outpouring of love and forgiveness that has been shown my family is the only thing that will help this young boy and his family return to some sort of normalcy in their lives. Hate and blame will not help anyone; compassion and love, however, will help all involved to heal and move on to perhaps change some things in this angry world that will make it a better place for everyone.To use this child as an example is a terrible mistake, no different than the mistake that took the life of my Nicholas. Let us instead join together to change the circumstances under which such terrible tragedies occur. Stated in a recent news article was a reference to the fact that the gun and ammunition were stored separately and in this way should have prevented this tragedy. Is this the logic upon which we are willing to stake our children’s lives? If the glass is in the cupboard and the milk is in the refrigerator, does this mean that a 12-year-old boy will not get a drink? If these are the laws placed forth by our legislators and these are the standards that we as adults choose to live by, then may God have mercy on us all.I ask that the overwhelming support given by family, friends and the local communities continue, not just as support for my family’s grief and mine, but also as a concerted effort to resolve the problems that create such terrible things. Let us not blame another innocent child for things he does not understand in order to cover up our own shortcomings. It is this grandmother’s hope that the loss of my grandson serves to bring awareness to everyone and in this way will prevent others from suffering. Let Nicholas speak loud and clear for the reason he was given life and the reason he gave his life. Please don’t tarnish the memory of my grandson by prosecuting this boy; Nicholas wouldn’t have wanted another child to suffer. Pam LeDonneRifle

Dear Editor,Are you aware that when you shop at the Wal-Mart store on North Avenue in Grand Junction you are being deceived by their ads listed in the entrance area for their food store products?They show the ads for the three major food chains in Grand Junction, with a caption on top stating that they honor the prices of those stores, except for cents off or buy one, get one free. Nowhere on that three-way sign does it state that you must inform the checker of those ad prices! It does not say anyplace around those signs that you must inform the checkers.When I got home, I happened to look at my receipt and noticed that I did not receive any of those sales as listed in the other ads. You can’t see what is rung up because those price visuals face the checker.So I called the store manager, Sharon Meints (her name is on the store receipt, along with the phone number). She informed me that I’m supposed to do the informing!Don BellBattlement Mesa

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