November 2011
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A crime goes unpunished in Montezuma County

By Galen Larson

A horrendous crime has been committed in Montezuma County. Right under the noses of law enforcement, county commissioners and those that had the most to lose, the businesses. A crime so huge, it may take years to overcome it.

Yet it could have been prevented by just a few pennies.

It was committed through ignorance and small, selfish people. How can they hold their heads up and be so proud of their foul deed? For just two cents a day, they could have accomplished something this community and they could have been proud of.

I’m speaking, of course, of the defeat of the bond question for our open charter school, Southwest Open School.

It seems pride is sorely lacking in this community. After all, local citizens have to be badgered to support their local businesses. Most of our leaders still leave town to shop south of the border in Farmington, or they patronize a Communist supporting corporation noted for sucking the lifeblood out of communities.

The aftermath of this crime will be felt for years. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, after all, and the cure will be expensive. As I was proudly putting up signs and handing out brochures in the too-few businesses that were happy to display them (thank you!), one person told me that those students that didn’t want to conform and go to the regular high school, Montezuma-Cortez, could just remain ignorant and if they committed a crime they could go to jail.

And so he displayed his own vast ignorance. Doesn’t he realize it would cost far less to educate a person than support him or her later in a penal institution? Fifty dollars and a new suit and shoes will never take the place of a high-school diploma.

In the process of attracting new business to the area, we need to have an educated work force. The only alternative is for people to work at the giant big-box stores that pay wages so low, with no benefits, that their employees are a drain on social services.

Well, I’ve seen the light. Maybe I’d better change my thinking and go along with the “no taxes!” people. I will retrain my mind so my main goal is keeping all my money myself.

Under that mentality, I see no need for increased law-enforcement patrols. I don’t need protection – I have enough armament (all legal, by the way).

No need for an assessor’s office and staff, certainly not for the three county commissioners’ extremely generous salaries. No road department – the bumpy roads will slow everyone down and make us safer.

We can do away with the hospital; a bottle of whiskey and a sharp knife took care of bullet wounds and snake bites in the past. If there is a chronic illness, we can always put together pancake breakfasts or, for the really serious cases, a chili cookoff, to pay for a doctor.

In fact, that gives me a new idea. This might be the time for those that voted against our youth to show their worth, by sponsoring many chili suppers and pancake breakfasts to garner some funds to repay the teachers who have to dig into their purses and wallets to pay for improvements to Southwest Open School. Hell, just give up a dinner at Shiloh’s or a bottle of good Scotch. All those contributions would not be needed, of course, if we had just voted to pay the two cents a day for the bond issue.

I would like to challenge Mark Rodgers, owner of Shiloh’s and a staunch conservative, to match my monthly monetary contributions to Southwest Open. All he has to do is to call or go to Southwest Open and inquire as to my contributions. Maybe he can find a way to take it off his taxes, though I don’t.

That would also be a nice gesture for anyone in the community to do. If you don’t believe in taxes for education, then help the private sector pay for it.

Galen Larson writes from Montezuma County, Colo.


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