Email letters, Feb. 6, 2012

Move bus station across the street

There’s so much talk about relocating the bus terminal. Why not look across the street? Doesn’t the city already own that park? There’s plenty of room there to build a nice depot that could accommodate Greyhound and Grand Valley Transit.

I’d be willing to bet someone would open a nice restaurant and/or a burger or hotdog stand for the waiting passengers. I rather doubt when that park was established umpteen years ago that it was intended for its current usage. Seems to me that nice, new buildings and businesses would be preferable to how its being used now. Just might solve more than one. Think about it.

DOLORIS ESSMAN
Grand Junction

Get rid of downtown parking meters

I agree with Rick Wagner’s assessment of parking meters downtown. Why should shoppers feed the meters downtown while shopping, dining or simply wandering about, paying the same sales taxes they pay at the Mesa Mall or other shopping areas where parking is free. Eliminate the meters.

The increased convenience of shopping downtown would lead to greater revenue from sales taxes if patrons found the same free parking there as they do everywhere else and the city would reduce payroll, vehicle and maintenance expenses. The city wisely makes parking free during the Christmas holidays — that should be all year.

WES SUTTERLIN
Grand Junction

Community Corrections furlough program is unfair

Interesting that one of the goals and services listed on the website for Community Corrections are rehabilitation services, along with opportunity for family support. The Board of Community Corrections may want to think about those words and make certain they are being applied to the individuals in their programs.

In response to their original statement, that their facility does not grant furloughs, but sometimes special circumstances would allow a furlough to be granted. I am of the opinion that the loss of one’s father or mother would be considered a special circumstance, but that’s not how the Board of Community Corrections felt.

Judge Deister, obviously, did feel that this was appropriate in this case. Consequently, the response from Community Corrections is to defy that order, by rejecting the client back into their program. Rehabilitation with family support doesn’t seem to be the theme running through their program. This individual, Benjamin Christ, who took the appropriate steps to petition the court with his request, has been treated with disrespect from this agency.

Now Community Corrections will re-screen Christ, to see if he is appropriate for their program. Why would he be rejected two weeks ago and now be approved? Seems like a lot of time and money wasted on everyone involved. The DA, Mr. Waite, stated that if sentencing would have been done on Feb. 1 that his office would have recommended a Department of Corrections sentence. Really seems unfair, and much more costly, that this individual could be sent to prison for this situation. And they call this rehabilitation?

Someone that went through the proper channels to be granted a request, and now is left without a job, more financial burden and no placement to finish his sentence. Doesn’t seem like a reward to most, as Mr. Waite had suggested in court on Feb. 1. And they call this rehabilitation? Time to look at how this program is run and what we, as Mesa County taxpayers,are really paying for.

CJ THOMAS
Grand Junction

ASSET bill would waste children’s resources

I wanted to respond to the Jan. 29 editorial, calling on Colorado State legislators to support the ASSET bill, which would grant reduced tuition for the children of illegal aliens. The editorial suggests a disconnect between the economic benefits to our nation from immigration, and opposition to the ASSET bill, SB15. It then goes on to say that in order to qualify for the bill’s tuition break, applicants must, among other things, sign an affidavit saying they are seeking legal status.

One of the problems with this and similar measures is that in order to attain that legal status, these individuals, under current law, must first return to their home countries to begin the process. Furthermore, since their presence in the United States was unlawful, most will be barred reentry for up to 10 years. If they choose not to follow through on their commitment to legalize their immigration status, they still will not be utilizing their education here, as they will not be lawfully allowed to work — unless they illegally obtain a social security number.

As to the contention that there is little evidence that such a program will encourage other illegal immigrants to move to Colorado, the “evidence” that the editorial submits to try and refute that claim does just the opposite., The numbers cited accurately reflect that illegal immigration drops when incentives — such as job availability — are reduced. So why would we wish to introduce a new incentive?

This bill will afford children of illegal aliens opportunities not afforded to other Colorado kids — children of recently posted military families for instance—– paid for in part, despite what the editorial mistakenly claimed, by the Colorado taxpayer.

The son (or daughter) should not be held accountable for the sins of the father (or mother); but neither should they unfairly benefit from them. I am solidly against wasting our children’s assets with SB15. The bill is at best dysfunctional; at worst it is unconstitutional, and as illegal as the initial act it rewards.

SEN. STEVE KING
Denver

Oil shale development is decades away

Change can be scary, but commonsense tells us that it is inevitable. If we are to have a future with an environment that is sustainable, then changes must occur. Keep in mind, oil shale is not shale oil, so their extractive processes are not the same, nor do they produce the same product. With oil shale, both the extravagant overuse of water (4-5 Barrels of water to every barrel of product) and energy (production of 100,000 barrels would require enough electricity to power 1.2 million homes for a year) to extract this fuel type is wasteful beyond compression.

The General Accountability Office released a report in Oct. 2010 concluding that oil shale could have significant impacts on water quantity and groundwater quality in the West and with 30 million people depending on water from the Colorado River Basin, can we chance losing that much water to a theoretical proposition? Another concern to the Bureau of Reclamation from the production of oil shale is salt-loading and other contaminants leaching into the Colorado and Green rivers.

Both Shell and the American Shale Oil Association have admitted publicly that it will be at least a decade before they know if production is even viable, and production, if it happens, won’t occur until 2050 plus. Does this look good? Job production can come in other forms for alternative energies such as wind, geo-thermal and solar, and with experienced gas and oil personnel who are already in the field, opportunities of retraining for new technologies is a given.

PENNI PALTHE
Grand Junction

Editorial about Bradford was way off base

The Daily Sentinel was way off base with its editorial on Feb. 2 regarding Laura Bradford. There is a much bigger picture here and it was missed by the editor.

She was stopped by a Denver police officer because she appeared to have been drinking. She admitted she had three glasses of wine — end of story. What did or didn’t happen after that point is irrelevant. 

She got behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol and drove There is a law against that and we count on our police officers, trained professionals to enforce that law regardless of who is breaking it.

The officer who stopped Bradford that night was in a no-win situation and the representative put him there. I believe she is willing to admit that but others have since jumped on the band wagon looking to place blame elsewhere. There should have never been a question whether the Denver Police Department handled the situation in a professional manner so shame on the editor of the Sentinel for suggesting that it wasn’t. 

In an attempt to take the heat off Bradford, the attention has been placed on law enforcement regarding the weapon Bradford had in her possession. At this point, it should not be an issue. There was a weapon that night. It was a car that bore the license plate of the state of Colorado and being driven by an elected representative of that state She has been entrusted to make and keep the laws for the safety and well-being of those living in Colorado.

Placing blame on someone else is cowardly. I offer my sincere “thank you” to the officer who was doing his job and pulled her over before she or someone else was injured or killed.

LINDA SAUNDERS-MARTINEZ
Grand Junction

Republicans are wrong about Bradford

When will Republicans stop cannibalizing their own? Laura Bradford made a mistake. She apologized. The Denver Police stated that she did not ask for any legislative privilege. Yet there are those in the Republican party who demand that she resign.

Did she commit a heinous crime? Did she steal, vandalize, cheat, murder, etc? No. Did she, as an imperfect human, make a stupid mistake? Yes. Has any of us, who are human, never made a stupid mistake? Of course not. As a human who has made stupid mistakes in the past, I say, “Hang in there Laura. Don’t let the apparently perfect moralists destroy your career.”

MICHAEL LOWENSTEIN
Grand Junction

Byproduct of natural gas in carbon dioxide

The governors of Oklahoma, Colorado, and seven other states want to make the switch from gasoline to natural gas in all government vehicles. They tout a number of benefits of natural gas over other fossil fuels, i.e., gas, oil, and coal (that’s right, natural gas is a fossil fuel) and I agree with most 100 percent.

But one claim that they make is founded in lies and scare tactics. The governors claim that burning natural gas in place of other fossil fuels will create less emissions. Now, for years I have heard the environmentalists say that burning fossil fuels is bad for the environment because the burning for said fuels produces the Earth killing, global warming causing greenhouse gas known as Carbon Dioxide, CO2. For years they have proposed a switch to natural gas as an alternative in automobiles, buses and even power plants because it burns cleaner than gas and coal.

Now it is true that burning fossil fuels creates soot, smog, and deadly Carbon Monoxide, while burning natural gas does not. Those elements, however, are never the pollutants that environmentalists rail against. It is always only Carbon Dioxide. Well, guess what? The one and only element produced by the burning of natural gas is, wait for it: carbon dioxide.

That’s right burning natural gas creates just as much of the Earth-killing, global-warming-causing greenhouse gases that environmentalists hate as fossil fuels do. So while the air will be cleaner and we can all breathe without choking to death, and can see the mountains, we will still be killing the Earth just as fast. Plus the mining of natural gas is just as bad for the environment as oil and coal. Drilling for oil can cause spills. Mining for coal destroys mountaintops in West Virginia.

Fracking, the method of extracting natural gas, pollutes the ground water sources. Yes, natural gas has many benefits over other fossil fuels, such as no longer relying on foreign fuel source, and creating jobs here in America. That is why I support a switch to natural gas. But in terms of being more environmental friendly, as well stopping or even just slowing global warming, switching to natural gas will make no difference.

So stop lying to people and scaring them into making the switch. Just state the facts. Be honest. And most importantly let the people decide. Stop railing against Big Oil, because it a few years, when the energy companies have completely switched to natural gas, or solar, or whatever, they are going to hate Big Natural Gas, or Big Solar, or Big Whatever, because that it where the money is.

Those who are actually behind the hatred of energy companies, and capitalism, and who push the the global warming scam really just hate private enterprise and freedom. They are Marxists and communists who want the government to control everything. Well, as we have seen from the failure of the U.S. Postal Service, the government is incapable of running a successful enterprise without the aid of tax dollars to prop it up. Besides, we can’t save the Earth. Every religion and the world’s best scientists all agree that the Earth is winding down and will some day end. In the meantime let’s just try and keep it as clean as possible for future generations. It’s what God commanded of us in His Word, to be good stewards of His creation.

JEREMIAH HABECKER
Grand Junction

Senators are charged with upholding constitutional laws

Sens. Bennet, Udall and other Democrats may have forgotten that we are a nation of laws. So, let me remind them that the supreme law of this land is the Constitution and in that body of law is a primary mandate for the freedom of religion.

Should they want to change or amend this Constitution there are procedures for doing so and in order to change these laws they must follow the proper procedures as laid out in that Constitution. It may never be amended by presidential fiat.
Another of their duties as a senator is to see to it that the other bodies of government follow the Constitutional Laws. They have been remiss in carrying out their duty. I site one timely and egregious example; The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, at the behest of this administration, has made unconstitutional changes of rules regarding services to be included in all health care policies they write. Some of these changes include sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception, all of which are an anathema to my religion. I cannot and will not comply with these unjust regulations. Further I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor to defeat any and all that would enact these injustices. So help me god.

MICHAEL JOHN MCINANEY
Grand Junction

Wolves will not be reintroduced to San Luis Valley

There has been some recent speculation that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service intends to reintroduce wolves in the San Luis Valley to help manage elk and other species. It is important to set the record straight, the service in fact has no plans and no intent to reintroduce wolves in the valley.

The confusion about the service’s intent arose from a draft plan to manage overabundant elk populations affecting vital wildlife habitat on the San Luis Valley’s National Wildlife Refuges. The draft plan references a suggestion by some members of the public that the service consider wolves as a potential management tool.

By law, the service is required to analyze the comments and suggestions we receive. We do not, however, believe that wolf reintroduction is the appropriate management strategy for this area. We have instead put forward three other options including public hunting, which we believe will help ensure that the wildlife refuges in the San Luis Valley continue to provide high quality habitat for elk and other species — as well as recreational and economic benefits for local communities.

We encourage members of the public and our partners to review and comment on this important draft plan as we work to finalize it over the next two years. We’re committed to ensuring that the San Luis Valley’s land, water, and wildlife remain the pride of Colorado and the nation for years to come.

STEVE GUERTIN
Regional Director, Mountain-Prairie Region
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Denver



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