Email letters, Sept. 6, 2011

Nursing moms should be more modest

So the law says moms can bare their breasts in public when feeding their babes? So be it. There is just one word missing in this scenario, modesty. I guess that is too old-fashioned for young mothers today.

Being legal does not excuse them from considering others around them and that is what I see lacking in the attitudes of many young women today. I do not fault the people at the pool, but the arrogance of a mom who feels no concern about others around her and her excuse for not using a cover, was absolutely ridiculous.


Let’s keep the Monument as it is

This is a response to Bret Mixon’s letter on Sept. 1 concerning his big whine about not having the Pro Cycling Challenge going through the Colorado National Monument. In his letter, Bret whines about the over 800 visitors who came to celebrate the anniversary of the Monument and arguing that “their feet treading over pristine areas, their vehicles spewing carbon monoxide, the human traffic stressing flora and fauna, the noise adding to the mayhem” would all be much worse than the trace left by a bunch of cyclists. 

Well, if the Monument hosted the Pro Cycling Challenge, there would have way more than 800 people as spectators and in his own words, they would leave a really bad trace. Sure, the cyclists themselves would not leave a trace, but the huge crowds that they would draw certainly would. The letter writer is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. 
Let’s keep the big cycling events out of the Monument and forget about the National Park status.  Most of us like the monument the way it is.
Grand Junction

Oil and gas has given a lot back to West Slope

For West Slope residents, last week brought excitement and anticipation building up to a well-earned holiday weekend. The holiday brought excitement for the West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association too, but for a different reason. 

As reported by The Daily Sentinel, last week local governments and schools received checks for over $54 million dollars from the energy sector. In fact, Mesa County and its municipalities alone inked over $5.5 million dollars. Not a bad way to wind down the summer season. As a result, county roads will be smoother, city parks will be greener and schools more effective in creating the next generation of job creators for our communities.

Throughout the year, our organization’s mission is to highlight the jobs we create, emphasize the clean energy we produce and spotlight the billions of dollars invested locally each year by our member companies. But seldom are we more proud than when local governments receive direct cash resulting from energy activity.

For most of us, numbers in the billions are hard to conceptualize. But it is true the natural gas and oil industry provides over $24 billion to Colorado’s economy each year. The monies received before Labor Day were just a small fraction of that total economic contribution. As local governments and schools deposited these dollars into their bank accounts, the 6,000 local employees represented by our organization enjoyed the holiday weekend that much more knowing the work they do in the energy business benefits and supports the local communities who support them too.

Executive Director
The West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association

Decision to not seek bicycle race was make by the city

I am writing in response to Bret Mixon’s Sept. 1 letter in which he asserts that the Colorado National Monument missed the opportunity to host a leg of the 2011 Pro Cycling Challenge and rails against park management for celebrating the Monument’s centennial while not allowing this race.

Mr. Mixon’s letter is full of errors. Here are some facts:

In a Sept. 12, 2010 Daily Sentinel article, Allen Gemaehlich reported that Grand Junction made the decision not to apply to host a leg of the (then) 2011 Quiznos Pro Cycling Challenge, citing that the city “lacked resources” including enough law enforcement, public works, and funds, as well as concerns about insufficient lodging.” Monument officials had nothing to do with this decision — it was made by the city.

For the 2012 proposed race, the above problems were apparently solved and a local organizing committee (LOC) established. The LOC requested that a stage be raced over the Monument. Based on NPS management policies and regulations prohibiting professional sporting events in national parks and monuments, the decision not to issue a permit was made and affirmed up to the director of the National Park Service and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

The 2011 Pro Cycling Challenge was successful despite having no stages run through Colorado’s national parks and monuments. As of now, the LOC has not submitted a bid for 2012, but is considering other worthy local race venues that would bring anticipated economic value to Grand Junction.

As for the Monument’s May 21 centennial celebration, the event was held on paved asphalt and shuttle buses were provided to reduce traffic. Clearly, these decisions were specifically made to ensure minimal impacts to the resources by the 650 people who came to celebrate this treasure in our backyard. This is the kind of park stewardship we should be grateful for. Continuing to write and publish letters filled with misinformation on this subject does a disservice to our community.

Grand Junction

Respect is needed for the spoken word, too

The letter to the editor regarding the value of the written word and how it is appreciated, leads me to ask “What about the spoken word?” Our local TV reporters and anchors don’t seem to get it. The phrase “I’m jist gunna git ya ta go fer it agin” includes the most abused words and I cringe every time I hear them, which is every night. The guys at the desk (and in the field) should have a little pride in their work, “you guys at the desk.”

Grand Junction

NLRB should not be stopping businesses

I agree with Fred and Sandra Zimmat’s letter about the NLRB and the Obama’s administration travesty of stopping Boeing from being able to use their plant in South Carolina to build airplanes. However, I do wonder where they have been as I have been aware of this since the spring. Denny Herzog is coming to the table a little late on this issue.

Grand Junction

Republicans only want to defeat Obama

I think it’s time we halt the charade that Republicans in Congress care about the people in this country. Congressional Republicans care only about defeating President Obama in 2012. That’s it.

They have no ideology — only an agenda. The reason not a single Congressional Republican has introduced even one jobs bill is because they don’t want to put people to work. Higher unemployment makes the job of defeating President Obama easier.

There is a reason Scott Tipton forms committees of seniors for comments on Medicare. Retired people are not likely to question his lack of commitment on jobs. Scott Tipton didn’t run for office as the Medicare guy. He ran as the jobs guy. Yet here we are with a Republican majority in congress and unemployment getting worse.

I’ve got a solution for keeping Social Security and Medicare solvent for years to come. It’s called “payroll deductions.” The more working people, the more Social Security and Medicare contributions are made. Makes sense until you factor in the “defeat Obama at all cost” agenda. Then nothing makes sense.

Grand Junction

Spanish is not a necessary language

I read and agree with the majority of Ruben Navarrette’s colums. However; “Knowing
Spanish can be a great employment asset,” is not one of the latter. English is the language of commerce; there is no need to learn Spanish at all unless you work with illegal Mexican aliens.

English is spoken everywhere and taught in grade schools the world over, not Spanish. Every airport control tower on this planet — I spent 32 years talking to them — must communicate in English. If Navarrette doesn’t know that, perhaps he might want to attend some remedial classes on contemporary reality. Why, even Harvard may offer something along those lines.

I am of German/Swedish descent. My grandparents came here from the old country in the last quarter of the 19th-century. They brought what little they had with them — severing all ties to the homeland — including all my aunts, uncles and cousins, because they faced starvation in northern Europe. None spoke a word of English.

Unlike generations of Mexicans in this country, my relatives came to be Americans, leaving their countries and cultures behind. They worked hard to blend in and learn their new language and the customs of their new country. In that regard, they were so successful that nobody today, myself included, speaks either German or Swedish.

It was never necessary for the PC folks to learn German/Swedish because all of the immigrants from northern Europe were smart enough and focused enough to learn English. Not so for the Mexicans. I know a woman in San Antonio, whose mother, a third-generation American, lives in Roma, Texas. Her mother speaks no English. And yes, I know Roma is on the Mexican border, so what?

My entire education has been in parochial institutions, with predominately Mexican people, in Texas and Colorado, so I have been educated with them and I have lived my life with them. I like and respect them for the most part, but as a people many are linguistically lazy, preferring to speak Spanish in the home or barrio instead of our native language, English.

We won’t go into Cinco de Mayo and other such crap. Suffice to say there has been little effort among many Mexicans, especially the millions here illegally — no they aren’t immigrants — to assimilate into OUR culture.

So, Navarrette should continue to write his good articles, butstop stirring the pot. Pandering to people who expect we the people to speak their language, post bi-lingual signs and print ballots in Spanish for their convenience, etc., is ludicrous. Instead, he should encourage them with his writing to assimilate fully into our culture. Why hang onto Mexican culture anyway? If it was so great they would not have come here in the first place, right?

Grand Junction

Tipton uninformed on Medicare

Rep. Sccott Tipton’s column in Sept. 4 edition of The Daily Sentinel was very long on opinion and equally short on fact. For instance, Social Security retirement is not going to be “bankrupt.” According to the independent OMB, it will be “… solvent until 2037 with no changes”. The difficulty this fiscal year is that, due to high unemployment, less money is coming in from payroll taxes than went out but the Social Security trust fund remains decidedly in the black.

The real damage to seniors and their health care and benefits will be the Republican plan for “vouchers” and privatization. Under their proposal, a typical 65-year-old who becomes eligible for Medicare would pay an extra $6,400 for health care.

Guaranteed Medicare benefits would be eliminated. Big health insurance companies would decide which benefits and insurance plans are available and could limit seniors’ choice of doctor. Please reference the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Magazine’s wonderfully factual analysis in their last issue.

Rep. Tipton seems equally uninformed regarding the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Let’s take a look at the actual language of the enabling legislation:

“Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Dec 24 2009: …shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums…increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.

LIMITATION ON CHANGES TO THIS SUBSECTION – It shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.

WAIVER – This paragraph may be waived or suspended in the senate only by the affirmative votes of three-fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn.”

Tipton need not worry about restricting access or making “life-and-death (sic) decisions” since clearly that is not the function of the board. He also needn’t worry about the IPAB’s supposed “unilateral authority.”

Clearly Congress can override any proposals. The board is not “arbitrarily” chosen, again, from the act: “IPAB is composed of 15 members appointed by the President, subject to Senate confirmation. The Secretary of HHS, the Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration serve ex officio as nonvoting members. In making the appointments, the President consults with the Majority Leader of the Senate concerning the appointment of three members; the Speaker of the House of Representatives concerning the appointment of three members, the Minority Leader of the Senate concerning the appointment of three members, and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives concerning the appointment of three members.” In other words the IPAB is a bi-partisan board with the Republican leaders in the House and Senate making six of the appointments.

“The first members appointed to the board will be divided into three staggered classes in order to ensure that their terms do not expire simultaneously. Five will be appointed for a term of 1 year, five will be appointed for a term of three years, and five will be appointed for a term of six years. All subsequent appointments will be made for six years. A member may not serve more than two full consecutive terms.” This is the one thing Tipton got right; their terms are longer than Congress (2 years) or the president (4 years).

The other thing that Tipton got right is the “six figure salary”: “Members will be paid at a rate described in Level III of the Executive Schedule that determines pay for senior executive branch officials. As of 2010 this is $165,300 per year.” However, they will be “feeling the pain” since President Obama’s three appointees are Nobel laureates who make considerably more. The Congressional Budget Office concluded in its analysis of the ACA that the IPAB would reduce Medicare spending by $28 billion over the period from 2010 to 2019, with significant savings continuing beyond 2019. And I’ll just bet those guys know more about providing quality services and cost containment than Tipton.

The editors of the Sentinel do not do their readers a service by failing to fact check editorials submitted by clearly partisan parties. Tipton’s fear mongering does not do social security and Medicare recipients in his district any service, either. The simple fact of the matter is that ensuring a basic social safety net for its citizens is what civilized countries do.

Protecting citizens is what government does. Tipton should reexamine his politics and begin serving and protecting the residents of the 3rd Congressional District.


Penry’s columns continues to be imprecise

Via his weekly sinecure at The Daily Sentinel, Josh Penry’s fear and loathing of two Congressladies, Nancy Pelosi and Diane DeGette is palpable as he passes gaseous invective in his column covering their recent Denver meeting.
Part of his premise requires readers to imagine a gigantic, indeterminate number arrived at by multiplying hydraulic fracturing, the “root of all evil,” by “the square root of all things unsafe.”  This number presumably would show us how awful the ladies are.
Weak and forlorn, this premise begs for some Brobdignagian nourishment, a number squared, cubed, risen to the nth power. Indeed, any kind of multiple.  Instead, Penry feeds it minimally, with a square root. Squaring 100 gives 10,000.  The square root of 100 is 10.
In another column, Penry suggested that Earth is “resilient,” suggesting that she is akin to some punch-drunk pugilist capable of getting up off the canvas and reinvigorating herself after taking a few body blows, like polluted air, water, desertification, species extinction and so on.
Taking advantage of freedom of the press has enabled Josh to supply readers with more insight into when it became time for him to narrow down career choices, choices that obviously didn’t lie in the realms of mathematics and science.
In politics one need know nothing about a subject and still write about it. For example, a person who knows nothing about water can be paid a hefty sum to write about it, pay a pittance to another to ghostwrite the treatise, then put his own name on the product.
For Josh Penry choosing a career in politics was a no-brainer.  Literally.
Grand Junction

Breasts are great for marketing

Good grief! You would think that after being great with child for nine months and laboriously birthing it, that a woman would have more of an understanding of why god gave her two breasts. Shamelessly nursing her baby?  Disgusting. 

We all know that breasts are made so that the brewers of fine beers, peddlers of software and others can use them as marketing tools to sell more of their products to a discriminating and sensitive public.

Grand Junction

Herzog should leave the theory behind

A recent article Mr. Denny Herzog, used the phrase “right to work.”  Like all too many, the gentleman does not recognize that the mantra has absolutely nothing to do with the worker. Rather, it is used as a code word to say that employers have the “right” to foist upon employees (or potential employees) any pay or working conditions they choose.

That arises from the belief some in business hold, that they are doing their employees (or potential employees), and their customers, a “favor” by being in business.  They are not.  While such business owners may spout a belief in “free enterprise,” they really do not.  Otherwise, they would recognize and accept the fact that if they were not in “business” themselves, and if there was a demand, someone or something else would take fill it.

In a recent television program, the host made the statement that all too many so-called “business people” are much too selfish to be in their occupation.  That is seen in the poor customer service and shoddy products for which many commercial enterprises are well renowned, even at the local level.

Effective management is never achieved by those sitting behind a desk or counter.  What some of us find, is that most so-called managers and executives, while they may have learned all the theories in “business school”, that is really all they know.  That being the case, they are left with nothing more than “It has to work”.

Mr. Herzog should, as should many others, leave the theory behind. He should concentrate on reality as it is, and not as to how he believes it should be.  That might help him from repeating what is little else than “mindless mantra” in any of his future opinion pieces.


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