Email letters, April 12, 2012

Wagner is wrong about Secretary of State

Rick Wagner’s April 5 column shows confusion while attempting to lionize the Secretary of State’s office as a lone outpost with loner Secretary Scott Gessler saddling up and riding the same trail, same direction, every day. There’s a simple reason it’s a lonely battle he wages. He’s obviously on the wrong trail.

There’s no connection with Gessler’s attempts to influence elections by preventing voter turnout and Washington D.C. mailing 17,000 invalid voter registration cards unless it’s to support Wagner’s next disconnected statement of how sad it is when we send out voter registration cards. We can’t let Wagner misrepresent Gessler’s attempts to restrict voting as a free-for-all voter registration drive, that’s way out of line.

Apparently Wagner is confused between the purpose of ballots and registration cards and the idea of removing voters who didn’t vote in an off presidential election year can’t justify attempts to influence the next election as is happening across our nation.

Gessler’s fraud argument came apart when the Colorado elections director under him, cross-examined under oath by the Denver DA, replied there was no evidence of fraud. Gessler’s audacious insistence of massive fraud is only surpassed by his implied insults and disrespect concerning the honesty and integrity of Coloradoans, us as voters, precinct and election workers.

I wondered when Wagner contacted the Secretary’s office and got a link to an uptown magazine and then stated, “That’s how bad it has become,” if Wagner suspects Gessler is selling magazines, as he tried to take a second job after elected to supplement his income. Fort Apache is a fine dramatic movie, but as a loner with explosive dramas, disruptions, chaos, damages, destruction, and money wasted, Timothy McVeigh strikes me as a more accurate analogy.


Commissioner candidates shared views on environment conservation

At a recent event hosted by the Mesa County Conservation Forum, the candidates running for Mesa County commissioner answered questions posed by an audience concerned about the future of trail development, the Colorado River, energy development, public lands and other conservation issues.

Mesa County continues to confront difficult issues as we face economic challenges, demands on our public lands, reduced budgets that preserve our public lands and wildlife, claims to western Colorado’s water, and growing use of our recreational resources.

Candidates all seemed to support the fact that, as Jana Gerow stated, we need to support all our natural resources to preserve our quality of life. That support, however, can take on many different manifestations.

Ken Henry came out in strong support of trails and recreation as a significant economic driver for Mesa County and another option to preserve the quality of life we have here in the Grand Valley through enjoyment of the great outdoors and conservation of our natural landscapes. He also acknowledged the opportunities for working with energy companies to allow for development that also protects wildlife and our natural resources.

Rose Pugliese stated her platform as one of economic development, supporting industries including agriculture and natural resource and energy development. While the environment is important, she noted, efforts to protect the environment can not stop energy development. Rose did note the importance of the Mesa County/Mesa Land Trust separator program and supported Mesa Land Trust’s efforts to raise private monies to purchase Three Sisters for public use.

The Candidates elected to District 1 and District 3 seats will join Steve Acquafresca in sorting out critical issues that affect the quality of life that defines Mesa County today and for years to come.

LIBBY COLLINS, Coordinator
Mesa County Conservation Forum
Grand Junction

Republican politicians should take a pay cut

The desperately needed government jobs bill was approved by the state Senate, with not one Republican vote. They justified their no votes with long-drawn out attacks on government spending, conveniently omitting the fact that they also get paid by the government, not just big salaries, but transportation, staff salaries, private offices, perks and all other expenses other government employees don’t get.

If Republicans want their anti-government war to be taken seriously, they should at least take voluntary cuts themselves to show they all mean it, that it’s not just another political trick.

Grand Junction

City and county should continue partnership with CMU

In reading The Daily Sentinel editorial “A partnership about prosperity, knowledge,”, I realized my head was nodding in agreement. Having been involved in a number of economic development projects over the years, I can say that our community is blessed to have such a vibrant and growing economic engine in the form of Colorado Mesa University in the heart of Grand Junction.
It is worth noting that all of the recent growth at CMU would not have been possible without the strong support of the city of Grand Junction and Mesa County. Our elected leaders in the Grand Valley rightfully deserve a bunch of credit for their vision and willingness to invest in CMU. Without city and county support in recent years, we likely would have a sleepy commuter college at 12th and North instead of a robust, growing university.
As funding from the state of Colorado continues to dry up for higher education, it is incumbent upon all of us to think creatively about how to keep CMU thriving in challenging times. It is my hope that the city of Grand Junction and its partners at the county will seriously consider “doubling down” on their investments in our economy and our kids by helping CMU build a new classroom building. It really is about economic development for our community.

Grand Junction

ER doctor did sign serious-bodily-injury form

It was with disappointment that I and my colleagues in the St. Mary’s Emergency Department (ED) read the article from March 24 regarding a physician not signing an SBI (serious bodily injury) form. Reality is quite different than that which was portrayed in the article, as we work very cooperatively with law enforcement and our judicial colleagues.

in summary, a Grand Junction Police Department officer asked someone who was not the treating physician for an assault victim to sign the SBI form. That physician appropriately declined to sign the form, as it would be inappropriate, and perhaps even a violation of federal privacy law (HIPPA), for a non-treating physician to sign this legal form. We, in the St. Mary’s ED, always sign these forms when we determine that an injury qualifies as “serious bodily injury.” These forms are signed by the treating emergency department physician either on-shift, or in the days following an assault case. Indeed, the treating physician did sign the SBI form in the days following the patient visit. And we’re frequently subpoenaed to provide our professional opinion about such cases for the District Attorney and other entities.

As physicians in the ED, we evaluate and treat every person who comes, or is brought, to us, regardless of any factor, including the ability, or not, to pay. We see every illness or traumatic event that can happen to the human body, and too frequently we see the victims of various kinds of assault, as well as the perpetrators of those assaults. We do this 24/7, every day, all year.

We greatly appreciate the support of St. Mary’s Hospital and our specialist and primary care consultants, and the security staff who keep us, staff, and patients safe. We work very closely with local EMS, Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, State Patrol and Colorado West Detox and Psychiatric facilities, among many other entities. And we nearly always enjoy the greatest professional respect and cooperation from our colleagues in these fields.

We have been, and will continue to be, a resource to our law enforcement and legal colleagues. We respectfully ask that an unjust and incorrect picture not be painted of our group that does so much to serve our community.

Colorado West Emergency Physicians
Grand Junction

Where’s the concern over the secrecy involved with Obamacare?

It strikes me as amazing how columnist Bill Grant can ferret out the secretive practices of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and bring it to our attention with unbounded criticism when the same secretive practices that brought us Obamacare elicit only praise from Mr. Grant.

Why the lack of concern for passage, in secret (it had to be passed to find out what was in it), of a bill that essentially gives the government control over one seventh of the U.S. economy? Why no complaint about the “undermining of the democratic process” when a bill passes with only Democrat votes? 

If the United States is not to be government of the government, for the government, and by the government, then voters of both parties need to cast their votes for candidates who promise smaller government.

Grand Junction

No more cuts to music programs

During the 2010-2011 school year, for instance, Colorado public schools suffered a 6.35percent budget cut per district — a total cut of $260 million and a 5 percen decrease in budget from the previous year (Johnson, Oliff, & Williams, 2009). The result? As more music programs are cut, more children are losing the valuable developmental boost that music education provides for young minds and bodies.

It is reported that children who started general music training before the age of seven had 12 percent thicker nerve fibers in their corpus callosum by the time they were fully developed compared to adults who had never played an instrument (Schlaug, Hancke, & Huang, 1995). The corpus callosum is the area that connects the two hemispheres of the brain and facilitates inter-hemispheric connections.

Young developing minds and bodies have so much to gain from being introduced to music in their childhood at school. If you believe that music is an irreplaceable teacher for young children, make a positive impact and advocate music education at your child’s school. It is possible to stop music education cuts in Colorado’s schools, and children will be able to gain from the essential benefits that it brings.

Fort Collins

Oil companies own ‘our’ oil and sell it for a profit

Baseball season has arrived. I couldn’t help but think of baseball when reading Dick Prosence’s letter about gas prices. His three reasons for high prices reminded me of a batter taking three mighty swings and never coming close.

Oil is a global commodity. It trades on world markets. These markets are driven by supply, demand, risk, reward and all the speculation that goes along with those factors.

The problem is not “culprits” or lack of “strong intestinal fortitude.”

Consider this: Whenever we discuss countries like Iraq or Libya and their newfound freedom from tyranny, we say that country’s oil reserves belong to Iraq’s people or Libya’s people. We all nod our heads and agree on that. But in the United States we don’t own our reserves. The oil companies do and they extract the oil and trade it on the world market. Americans don’t get a discount on domestic oil products. The idea that if the oil is produced within our borders or is pipelined into our country makes it “ours” or cheaper is false.

Here’s the thing. If you can sell a product for $4 a gallon all day long, why would you sell it for $3 a gallon? Oil companies are not in business to bring Americans cheap gasoline. They are in business for one reason and only one reason. Take a swing at that one. See if you can guess the reason.

Grand Junction


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