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Your Letters

I recently read two articles about Jose Mendoza Turbin, in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and in the Aspen Daily News. Although I have never written a letter to the editor before, I need you to know I am writing from the point of view of someone who has not been out of high school all that long.

I am law-abiding citizen, and I resent it when people get away with breaking the law. But if I had a choice of breaking the law or living in constant danger, or even dying, I think I’d break the law and plead my case later.

I remember the pain of peer pressure and bullying in high school. I’m sure it was nothing compared to what Jose had to face every day. He had to be really strong to decide not to follow his friends into gangs. The pressure must have been terrible, bad enough he left his family and traveled from El Salvador to the U.S. alone. I can’t imagine what that must have been like.

One article said he had about a fifth-grade education when he started high school, yet at graduation he got a standing ovation. And now he wants to be a nurse. You know this guy has guts!

This brings me to my main point. Jose would be a great mentor. Our valley is full of U.S. born Latino teens, especially males, who desperately need good role models. They need to follow someone who has his act together. Even though he is only one person, I think he has what it takes to make a real difference in many lives.

One person put me back on the right path when I started to go in the wrong direction (thank you, Annie). I know she kept many other students from making bad choices. One person can be the mentor who changes your life. I wonder how many lives Jose will change if he is allowed to stay.

We have a lot to gain by keeping him here. What will we gain by sending him back?

Amy Collier


John Martin, although elected to many terms as a Garfield County Commissioner, has always represented narrow and limited vision. His true colors show with an opinion that his tyranny of a majority of two commissioners must be joined by the dissenting minority opinion.

John should have been thrown out years ago because of his intimidating and bullying manner. They did it in Illinois.

William Hanks


The Colorado State Senate just passed a resolution in support of Israel, even though it threatens American security. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, America was attacked partly because of U.S. support of Israel, and after Israel’s massacre of civilians in Gaza, the U.S. has again been targeted.

Many Americans, including our elected representatives, don’t understand Israel is the central front in the war on terror, and supporting their persecution of Muslims puts American lives at risk. That’s because there are Jewish organizations in America that actively work to prevent the U.S. media from reporting on Israel’s violations of human rights and international law by challenging anyone who presents a critical analysis of the Middle East conflict.

For example, the recent 60 Minutes segment on the threat illegal Israeli settlements pose to the creation of a Palestinian state, resulted in irate and threatening phone calls to the network from the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), an organization dedicated to preventing Americans from learning the truth about Israel.

This story has local implications. One of CAMERA’s agents owns a second home here, and he and his accomplices in the Aspen area have been attempting to censor local newspapers, Internet sites, radio and television. A recent case is found in an article titled “Con Games: Is Aspen Post Anti-Semitic?,” which details the pressure to remove criticism of Israel from the local blog run by KNFO radio host Michael Conniff.

Fortunately, the editors and station managers chose to protect our First Amendment rights and resist the pressure to censor information. But doesn’t it make you wonder ” if Israel is our “staunchest ally” and is doing nothing wrong, why are they trying to prevent us from learning the facts? What kind of friend is that?

Since more of our tax money goes to support Israel than any other nation, and since U.S. support of Israel has been linked to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, shouldn’t every American have a right to know the truth?

Bruce Gray


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