Email letters, Oct. 21, 2011

Buy American to save jobs

You want a job you have to go overseas? U.S. companies are sending all there work over to these countries because it’s cheaper to build them over there. No government policies, no environmentalists and, of course, there’s NAFTA the free trade agreement. There is quality control and low wages.

The United States use to be the leader in textile manufacturing. Now we are dependent on foreign countries for this. We use to supply our own oil, now we are dependant on other countries. There is so little being built by Americans these days that I can understand why we don’t have any jobs here in the United States. We have let them all go to other countries. People, take pride in America. Buy American-made products. It may cost more, but it’s better quality and value and you’ll be saving a job and helping an American support his family. Bring back American jobs by buying American made products. There are not that many left.

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction

2B is about the dispensary industry

I wanted to write and thank Mike Wiggins for his article regarding Palisade Referred Measure 2B and to clarify a few items. Mr. Wiggins stated that only one of the town trustees he had contacted supported closing the dispensary. As I read the article, I felt this statement implied that everyone else he had talked to was in support of keeping the dispensary open. This may be a matter of semantics, but I did feel it was somewhat misleading.

My discussion with Mr. Wiggins eluded to the fact that I was very pleased that this issue was coming before the voters of Palisade. Back in November of 2000 the Colorado electorate did vote to approve legalization of marijuana for medical use. However, they did not vote to approve the use of dispensaries. As it should be, Palisade voters are going to be given the opportunity to decide whether or not a dispensary is appropriate for our town.

I do believe that Colorado Alternative Health Care has been a responsible neighbor. They have shown that a dispensary can be run in a respectful and safe manner. However, whether fair or unfair, they are attached and stereotyped to an industry that does not always hold to these same ideals. This measure is not about one dispensary, but rather about an industry, and at some point our community has to establish the boundaries by which we will be defined. We are obligated to consider the intrinsic messages we send as we essentially define what we are willing to accept as a society.

MICHAEL KRUEGER
Mayor-Pro-Tempore
Town of Palisade
Palisade

Energy development shouldn’t trump preserving habitat

We are writing in response to Diane Schwenke’s letter of Oct. 13 criticizing the Daily Sentinel’s Oct. 5 article regarding the Roan Plateau. The inaccurate, disparaging claim that Dave Buchanan’s balanced article is “only from the perspective of those who view [the Roan plateau] solely as quasi-wilderness” simply does not correspond to the reality of the resources involved and the actual details of the land management decisions at stake.
It is simply not accurate to suggest that federal law requires every portion of the surface of the Roan Plateau planning area be open to drilling, no matter the consequences for native cutthroat trout, mule deer, elk, and recreation. Moreover, although the BLM’s previous administration-era management plan touts an ostensible limit of “1 percent “disturbance,” the realities of the plan and accompanying mineral leases riddles that limitation with significant loopholes. As a result, under the plan currently being litigated, the BLM effectively gives up its legal right to prevent Bill Barrett Corporation and others from drilling 3000 wells in the planning area, and creating a web of pipelines, roads, and other infrastructure that would severely impact watersheds, migration corridors, big game winter range, and recreational opportunity.
We too have seen the BLM’s maps of areas allegedly off limits to drilling, but we’ve also read the lease terms that make those limits easy — far too easy — to waive down the line. The Roan Plateau area is an exceptional source of intact fish and wildlife habitat. Coverage of the debates on how to ensure that energy development doesn’t come at the expense of long-term habitat productivity should be based on facts, not just the BLM’s rhetoric, even when those facts are inconveniently complex.
MICHAEL SAUL
National Wildlife Federation
Boulder
SUZANNE O’NEILL
Colorado Wildlife Federation
Denver

2B is not about saving the children

The Palisade marijuana dispensary issue is stirring quite a debate. I went there to investigate. Palisade’s I-70 entrance, with its Wine Country Inn surrounded by vineyards, has several tasting rooms for one to imbibe and buy wine while children feast upon fudge. I then passed more tasting rooms while driving through the lovely neighborhoods. I noted many yard signs simply saying “No on 2B” and some boldly proclaiming that we must “Protect Kids Ban Pot Shops Yes On 2B.”

I observed many yards with a “Yes on 3B” sign, favoring the emergency tax increase for our children’s educations, that were next to a “No on 2B” sign, and began specifically looking for yards with both “Yes on 2B” and “Yes on 3B” signs, but saw only one.

Arriving downtown, there were so many establishments selling beer, wine and/or hard liquor. No tasting festivals were then occurring. The subject “pot shop” was far removed from all neon, and was as respectable as a country doctor’s.

Proceeding on G Road towards Palisade’s new high school, I passed the last two alcohol outlets, located only 1/10th of a mile from District 51’s property. Then, on the north side and facing the school’s main entrance, there was the largest and loudest of all the “Yes On 2B” signs, but without any accompanying “Yes on 3B” sign.

The Oct. 19 edition of The Daily Sentinel endorsed 2B, so as to outlaw this single lawful dispensary, and was accompanied by a letter to the editor wherein its author had a dilemma concerning the 2A and 2B issues, concluding that “its simply a matter of money over image in Palisade.”

I wonder how someone who professes to protect children fails to strenuously advocate in favor of 3B. Palisade’s image is already dependent upon alcohol, which should logically motivate these same people to seek its prohibition if they really want to protect kids! No, this 2B brouhaha isn’t really about kids. Rather, it’s about preventing a few folk from lawfully getting their chosen medical treatment, and about using fear to control our individual rights.

ROY K. FARBER
Grand Junction

It’s time for NIMBYs to stand down

It appears that the Thompson Creek Divide Coalition is trying to deny SG Interests their legal right to develop oil and gas leases they purchased from the BLM. This special interest group has been pushing for the denial of SG’s lease unitization request as a means to stop all development in the area.

Their not-in-my-back-yard approach is what causes America to be dependent on foreign energy and takes away jobs for hardworking Coloradans. While I will not call fault to their NIMBY attitude, I will show the inherent issue with their thought process: by denying the unitization request, they aren’t stopping development, quite the opposite; they are in effect requiring SG Interests to move quickly to develop all of their leases.

I’d rather have those leases developed in a way that makes sense, in a way that uses good judgment and implements best management practices. The members of the coalition and Pitkin County need to wake up: we need the gas, we need the jobs, and we need to use our public lands in a way that allows for multiple uses.

SG Interests legally purchased those leases and should rightfully be allowed to develop them. We should be applauding SG Interests for their voluntary submission of the unitization request because this allows for smarter development that’s actually sustainable. It’s time for the NIMBYs to stand down and allow for prudent oil and gas development.

REBECCA SINCLAIR
Grand Junction

Move forward with oil shale research

Thank you for the opportunity to read about the good things associated with oil shale. It seems every day I read about the negative elements about energy development. There’ve been many columns and guest editorials this month decrying oil shale research and exploration. The truth is we are on the verge of unlocking a resource that will have a profound effect on our energy future and energy security. Colorado, Utah and Wyoming have the largest concentration of oil shale development in the world.

Being able to responsibly and sustainably extract this resource would be a benefit for America, the region, the state and the many communities in northwest Colorado. Unfortunately, many of the plans to develop this resource are being stymied by the vast political insecurity and the misinformation disseminated by special interest groups.

It is important to see oil shale for what it is: it is a resource that will help to secure our energy independence as a high-quality transportation fuel. It will provide countless direct and indirect jobs, large revenues to the state and local economy via taxes, royalties, company spending and wages. It is also a resource that is not yet ready to be considered commercially viable. However, that does not mean we should not encourage and support this resource development.

I hope our elected officials will do the right thing and allow the companies to move forward with their RD&D leases so that we may finally release our large oil shale reserves.

PAULA SCANLON
Grand Junction

Vote for IBD Icons to help find a cure

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and Janssen Biotech, Inc. are sponsoring a national disease awareness campaign to increase awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. This campaign is called IBD Icons, because the national spokesperson is Casey Abrams who was a finalist in the 2010 American Idol and has ulcerative colitis himself.

Nine individuals with IBD were selected as finalists. Danielle (Dani) Gonzales of Parachute is one of the finalists. These nine individuals were selected from hundreds of applicants — they were selected because of their courage living with the disease and their contribution to others.

IBDs are embarrassing, painful and debilitating diseases with no cure. The most wonderful aspect of this campaign is that Janssen Biotech has pledged to donate $1 for every online vote — up to $20,000 to CCFA, who in turn sponsors research into treatments and a cure. Dani has missed the opportunity to benefit from a cure, because of the severe damage to her colon it was removed this spring. But Dani dreams of having a child of her own one day, which her doctors say is possible if her disease is held in check. She worries that since there is no cure for IBD, she risks passing it on to her child. Those with IBD never want to see their own children suffer as they have.

Go to http://www.IBDIcons.com and read Dani’s story and vote — vote many times — there is no limit. Vote by November 1. Please vote for a cure.

MARY MOORE (Dani’s mom)
Parachute



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