Email letters, March, 2, 2012

Where is the Sentinel story on the airport?

As an involved airport tenant since the early 1980s, I am aware that The Daily Sentinel has been given a significant amount of information of public interest regarding the management of the airport. I have had the impression that an article on these topics was to be published in The Daily Sentinel for the last six weeks but keeps getting pushed back. During the same time, the airport has run many, many expensive ads and these airport press releases are printed nearly word for word, as news.
I may be adding one and one and getting three, but it certainly creates the unfortunate impression that advertising revenue and the Sentinel’s unwillingness to report unfavorable information about the airport management might be linked. Even the most remote implication of such is damaging to the Sentinel’s credibility. If this is apparent to me, it is certainly apparent to may others also.
Grand Junction

Slowing down while driving will help reduce energy consumption

Numbers don’t lie, they just make us face reality.

As the debates go on, and the candidates spend more and more time bashing each other, they do seem to agree that we need to wean our country of dependence on foreign oil. That as long as we have this need, leverage can and is applied at the gas pump, and we all start to gripe about how our political leaders need to do something about it. Perhaps it is time that we as citizens of this country step up and do our share.

When we had to address this problem in the past, congress required all states to post max speed limits on the nations highways at 55 mph. We didn’t like it, but if our state was to continue getting federal support for our roads, we had to comply, or we would have to live with all the potholes that showed up every spring. Crunching some readily available numbers, show some amazing results if we pull together as nation:

1. There are, as of February 2011, 250,851,833 personal-use vehicles were registered in the United States. For the sake of argument, we will only consider these numbers. The end results would be much higher if we included all the commercial vehicles.

2. The average vehicle wastes somewhere between 5–30 percent in gas mileage at speeds over 60 mph. (According to the U.S. energy department studies.)

3. The average vehicle gas mileage is just shy of 20 mpg, (a much higher number than I would have guessed.)

4. A barrel of crude oil yields approximately 20 gallons of refined gasoline.

5. The latest report I found from the Energy Commission states that the U.S. imports 10 million barrels of oil per day, or 4.92 billion barrels a year(Energy Department numbers for 2007).

Looking at these numbers, what can one individual do to have an impact? We have to start out thinking bigger than just what “I” can do, 250,851,833 times bigger. What if we assume that about one half of our driving is at highway speeds, and that the numbers the Department of Energy and the motor vehicle department are fairly accurate. As a nation of drivers (over 47 percent of the U.S. population owns a car.) we can, collectively have an astonishing impact.

If we use the 20 mpg average, and for example let’s say we can gain 20 percent better gas mileage at lower speeds, and that about half our driving is on the highway, we get; 20 mpg X 20 percent = 4 mpg gained total, divided in half equals 2 mpg. That would mean that for every gallon of gas we gained about 10 percent better efficiency. Now here is where the numbers get crazy. If this were applied to the total number of personal vehicles from above, it would be 2 mpg X 250,851,833 = 501,703,666 mpg gain on every gallon of gas used.

Since these numbers represent a 10 percent savings on gas, it then can be assumed that the imports would shrink accordingly. So the 10 million barrels of oil we are importing could drop by a million barrels a day, and 490 million barrels a year, (10 percent of 4.92 billion). The total U.S. strategic oil reserve supply is only 727 million barrels of crude oil, so we can save 67 percent of our total reserve every year just on our personal driving habits, not counting commercial vehicle usage which includes most of the vehicles on the road that get the worst gas mileage.

It is time that we stop just milling along with the herd, and do something as a nation that can have an impact on all of us. We complain when the price goes up at the pumps, and we all know it is not in line with the price of crude, it is in line with what the market will bear. We are all under the thumb of OPEC in one way or another. We all can’t afford to go out and buy an electric car (nor do many of us want one of the limited choices out there.), but we all can slow down, spend a little less at the gas pumps and watch the seeds each and every one of us can sow grow into a stronger American economy.

Let your congressmen know that you want to participate, and let them know that their jobs may depend on it. And if you are wondering why it has not been suggested as a solution in the debates — it is not a vote getter.

Grand Junction

CDA gives thanks to many

Colorado Discover Ability (CDA) provided outdoor therapeutic recreation to nearly 400 participants last year. We could not have done it without the tremendous support of our grantors. We share with the community our sincere gratitude to the following foundations and grantors for their generous support of CDA and people with disabilities in 2011: The Armed Forces Bank, Anschutz Family Foundation, Daniels Fund, Disabled Sports USA, Home Loan Investment Community Betterment Foundation, the Junior Service League of Grand Junction, the Kiwanis Club, The Rotary Club of Grand Junction, Special Olympics of Colorado, Special People in Need, United Way of Mesa County, US Bank, and the Wells Fargo Community Assistance Fund. Because of this support people with disabilities experienced therapeutic recreation in the greater outdoors of Colorado and Utah.

Colorado Discover Ability

Gays are born, not made

Brandon Siegfried’s Feb. 24 letter to the editor took Sen. Alan Simpson to task for calling Rick Santorum a homophobe. Siegfried cited Corinthians, Romans, Timothy and Leviticus, all anti-homosexual references.

I wonder if he believes Leviticus 24:44, wherein it is OK to possess slaves. Would he sell a daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7? When burning a bull on the altar as a sacrifice ,it allegedly provides a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). Do the neighbors complain? Should all those who work on the Sabbath be put to death (Exodus 35:2)? Leviticus 11:10 says eating shellfish is an “abomination.” Are some abominations OK or not? How do we tell? Leviticus 21:20 says I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to wear glasses. Am I doomed?  Touching the skin of a dead pig (Leviticus 11:6-8) makes one “unclean.” Are football players OK if they wear gloves? 

Gays are born, not made: It is not a life choice. As I have written here before, I had two gay brothers.  Both have inherited “the kingdom of God.” The God I know of does not make a distinction of gay or straight.

Grand Junction

There are more important issues than driving while stoned

Regarding your article on Sen. Steve King’s authoring a bill to make marijuana use while driving a possible DUI offense: I find it hard to believe that in this tumultuous political climate that the best Sen. King can do is attempt to pass this ludicrous bill.

It is time we as a society wake up and acknowledge that marijuana does not have the same effect on people as alcohol. Is there even a test to even determine how much THC is in someone’s bloodstream? If there is does that amount effect a 200-pound. male the same way as a 125-pound female?

This proposal has too many loopholes and is a waste of time and energy. The danger of smoking marijuana before you get behind the wheel could be you take your eye off the road as you bend down to pick up your fallen Twinkie. This is just another example of a politician trying to make a name for himself.

Drop this one Sen. King and get on to more relevant issues.

Grand Junction


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