Email letters, August 10, 2011

President should say he’s sorry

I guess when you have left-leaning media, a liberal President never has to say “I’m sorry,” although an occasional “oops” would be appreciated.

L.W. HUNLEY
Grand Junction

Airport fencing should not block businesses

Since 1971, I have enjoyed the privilege of holding a pilot’s license. I presently hold a commercial pilot’s license, with multi-engine and instrument ratings and often fly into Grand Junction Regional Airport for both business and pleasure purposes. I was at Walker Field last Aug. 7 and was shocked to view the large gates which are presently under construction just south of West Star Aviation.

This project, if allowed to proceed, will prevent licensed pilots and the public from accessing the Commemorative Air Force hangar, numerous airport businesses, the Civil Air Patrol facilities, the West Star Aviation employee parking lot, etc. Certainly, the forced separation of these private business and charitable organizations from their present and potential future customers/patrons/employees could well be their death knell.

I understand that this grand fencing project was initiated by the airport manager and staff, ostensibly for the purpose of preventing wildlife from interfering with aircraft movements on the runways, taxiways, commercial ramp, etc. While in some 35 years of enjoying air access to Grand Junction I have never seen any wildlife on the AOA (“Airport Operations Area”), I have no doubt that such has occasionally been the case, and mixing wildlife with aircraft is unquestionably a poor idea.

I am, however, disturbed to learn that, in its request for funding an “animal control fence,” the airport administration misrepresented this grand project to the FAA. More specifically, the administration somehow forgot to reveal that the “animal control fence” would at the same time have the effect of unnecessarily preventing airport access. It will certainly be interesting to observe from afar the ongoing federal investigations into the misrepresentations which are clearly part of this
project’s “paper trail.”

Inasmuch as access to the entire AOA has been and today remains completely secure, and is available only to pilots and to other persons who have applied for, been screened and fully vetted prior to the issuance of an airport security card, one must question the necessity of constructing yet another ring of fencing, barbed wire, magnetic card readers and gates. Without a doubt, this circumstance represents a solution in search of a problem and will, at the same time, damage individuals and business that the City and County surely would want to be successful.

Would not a reasonable compromise/solution be found in linking the new animal control fence to the already existing security fencing and gate system, thus affording the benefits of animal control while avoiding the damage which will be suffered by local businesses, charitable and search and rescue operations? Just a thought, but hopefully one worthy of consideration ...

STEPHEN M. MATHIS
Montrose

Roadless areas should remain protected

U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has proposed legislation that opens tens of millions of acres of pristine lands to corporate polluters. HR 1581, the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act, is really a “Great Outdoors Giveaway.” Supported by our own Rep. Scott Tipton, it gives corporate polluters and developers, who already have access to 76 percent of all national forests and Bureau of Land Management lands, access to even more of America’s vanishing wilderness.

This legislation would end protection for around than 60 million acres of public lands — an area the size of Wyoming. These lands are the filters for our air, the source of our drinking water, and the last refuges for the great wildlife that make America special.  They are also the roadless and wilderness-quality lands that attract tens of thousands of sportsmen to northwest Colorado every year to fish and hunt.

Losing protection of Diamond Breaks, hunting unit 10, would be just one significant loss for Northwest Colorado. This is a very special trophy elk area, harboring a healthy population of natural age-group elk, which roam between Utah and Colorado.

The Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act (HR 1581/S 1087) is radical legislation that would overturn decades of work and compromise between diverse stakeholders across the country. This legislation would take away balanced protections that have been in place for decades, including those for our most pristine backcountry.  America’s tradition of managing our lands on the multiple-use principle would be upended and these public lands would be given over to single-use corporations for private profit. Mining, logging and drilling are already allowed on more than half of our national forests and other public lands. This legislation proposes to open up most of the rest — putting drinking water for 60 million Americans at risk, compromising outdoor recreation and the billions of dollars in revenue it generates annually, and damaging fish and wildlife habitat.

Colorado’s roadless and wilderness-quality lands are what make this state so special. Unfortunately, a representative in California is proposing to end all that with this radical bill.  The most surprising part is that our elected representative supports doing so as well.  Please call Mr. Tipton and tell him that Colorado’s remaining wildlife and wildlife habitat is too important to turn over to private corporations for private profit and that the “Great Outdoors Giveaway” should be opposed.

ALLAN REISHUS
Craig

Don’t close Scenic Elementary

Just wanted to remind everyone we are still concerned and strongly believe that Scenic Elementary School needs to stay open, so please add our names to the list of “Don’t close our school.”
I would like to express what a shame and mistake it would be to close this school. My grandsons go to this school. I have first-hand watched this school’s teachers go above and beyond for these kids. Our oldest grandson has some learning problems and for two years these teachers worked to help and come up with a plan to help him. That is just the way they are.

We do believe it will have a bad influence on our grandson’s if they would have to change school and get adjusted all over again.

MR AND MRS. CHARLES CUTTS
Grand Junction

Facts seem to be fluid when discussion presidential economics

While Michael R. Marquardt chastises Hans Croeber for “having little use for history more recent than the 1930s” it appears that Marquardt has little use for history of any period.  His whole letter is a rant of twisted facts and copied comments from people such as Paul Krugman.  It would take a whole editorial page to correct Marquardt’s nonsense so I’ll just deal with a few items and suggest some educational materials for him.

First, his statement that “Reagan first exploded our deficit and debt” is intellectually lazy as any cursory glance at U.S. debt charts shows that deficits and debt were growing long before Reagan became president. While the debt did grow in Reagan’s eight years from $997 billion to $2.85 trillion Marquardt should compare that with Obama’s growth in the debt from $9.8 trillion to $14.3 trillion in just 2.5 years. 

While he’s at it, he could learn that Reagan reduced the unemployment numbers from 7.1percent to 5.5 percent whereas Obama has presided over an increase in unemployment from 7.4 percent to 9.1 percent.  It’s obvious that Reagan accomplished far more job creation than Obama and without increasing the debt nearly as much.  In addition, Obama’s befuddled economic policies have earned our first ever credit downgrade.
   
Next, Marquardt states “that neither jobs or wealth were created .... particularly for those of color” while he belittles Croeber for stating that the problem is “stifling liberal government economic policies”.  But Croeber has it right that businesses are increasingly finding it difficult to compete in a world market when we have such high rates of taxation and regulation. 

As for people of color, high regulation, taxes and minimum wage laws combine to hit blacks and Hispanics hardest.  Who writes those regulations, laws and taxes?  It’s mostly democrats.  To find out what is really hurting those groups Marquardt might want to read Thomas Sowell’s books “Black Rednecks and White Liberals,” “Economic Fallacies,” “A Personal Odyssey” and Walter Williams’ “Up From The Projects.”

Finally, Marquardt gives us the real measure of intellectual laziness when he writes that he has found Amity Shlaes referred to as revisionist and that the definitive study of economics in the ‘30s was done by E. Cary Brown. Implied in those statements is that he has some knowledge of economics but he is revealed as less than honest.  Those terms are found in Shlaes wikipedia biography and came from Paul Krugman and Matthew Dallek, a left-wing economist and a left-leaning historian respectively, hardly unbiased assessments of Shlaes work.  As the ‘30s economic policies are a complex topic and there are equally as many opinions as economic studies of what transpired it is shameful that Marquardt would stoop to such criticism with so little investigation.  It is however, entirely in keeping with his limited understanding of economics.  For a real eye opener of why the Great Depression took so long to recover from Marquardt might want to read “FDR’s Folly” by Jim Powell.  Sadly, that book outlines government policies during the ‘30s that are disturbingly similar to what Washington is doing today.

RICK L. COLEMAN
Grand Junction

Were homeless bussed into Grand Junction?

The recent letters to the editor regarding the homeless population and how Grand Junction seems to have a higher population than other surrounding towns on the Western Slope, along with the comment that maybe many were bussed in from other areas got me to thinking.

Does anybody else remember what appeared to be a sudden increase in the Grand Junction homeless population before the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, then again during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver? One could speculate neither venue wanted their respective homeless populations to be seen on an international stage, and possibly some were “relocated” to Grand Junction.

Certainly the answer is not out of sight out of mind — we shouldn’t be bussing homeless people all over a two state area — however if Grand Junction truly is the victim of this fallout, maybe the issue deserves further study.

TOM VAGELL
Grand Junction

Eliminate Federal Highway Administration

Recently attention has been focused on the federal gas tax and the necessity of having that tax.  The truth is that there no longer a need for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) whose current chief function is to pass tax money collected from the taxpayers back to the various state highway departments. 

The federal gas tax should be eliminated and leave it up to the states to increase state taxes enough to make up the difference.  This would reduce the federal budget by some $40 billion and reduce the size of one federal agency.  The feds would no longer be able to threaten the loss of highway dollars because of some non-highway violation such as too much dust somewhere.  FHWA would become a minor agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation overseeing some necessary small programs.

The FHWA provided a needed service in the early days of highway history developing standards, leading research, and coordinating activities of the various state highway departments, up to the completion of the interstate system.  Since then, it’s primary responsibility has been to pass money back to tax payers from whom it was collected.  State departments of transportation are professional, well staffed, and able to take care of their programs.  This waste of money needs to be stopped.
DICK PROSENCE
Meeker

Nix taxes on businesses

The government should stop taxing businesses. Everyone with a brain knows that in reality businesses pay no taxes. All businesses pass the cost they pay in taxes on to the consumer in the form of higher prices, and to employees in the form of lay-offs.

In fact some small business owners are actually double taxed. Most small business owners’ business income is their personal income, yet they are still required to pay personal income tax and business income tax, among other taxes. Businesses are not individuals and as such are represented by the government. Business owners are individuals and as citizens are represented by the government. Tax their personal income, but not the income of their business. Taxing businesses hurts consumers and hurts jobs, and hurts small business owners.

JEREMIAH HABECKER
Grand Junction

 



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