Printed Letters: July 4, 2014

Can parks staff find a way to keep splash pad going?
As one of the members of the Grand Junction Lions Club who worked closely with the City Parks Department to build the Lions Club splash pad, I am delighted to learn that it is now free for all children to enjoy. That was our intent.

As a member of the Grand Junction City Council that voted to install the fountain during the Main Street Shopping Park renovations, I must say we did not anticipate its interactive popularity. Yet as a downtown merchant, I love hearing the squealing laughter of toddlers making lifelong summertime memories playing in their downtown. I understand the concerns brought by dirty diapers and dogs that have led to issues at this popular feature.

Yet, downtown is a park, just as Lincoln Park is. Could we not improve supervision from our wonderful parks staff and offer both options to our young children to enjoy during the summer? I love hearing their laughter and enjoyment, and I would rather have it supervised effectively, than to banish our children from building great childhood memories in our beautiful downtown.

Grand Junction

Reader thanks anonymous donor for gift of dance lessons
I wish you could have seen their excitement as we collected their leotards, tights and shoes, then their nervousness as their first dance lesson approached. I wish you could have seen their thrill at getting to wear make-up for their first performance, and their agony as I attempted to apply the mascara. Were you at the recitals? They were beautiful children with the glow of accomplishment on their faces after their performances. Two of those children were mine. As the year progressed, so did their skill. I wish you could have seen our living room transformed into our own rehearsal studio and the private performances for family. Most of all, I wish you could have seen the look in their daddy’s eyes as he admired his two dancing princesses.

It has been such a blessing this past year to see Katherine and Jane grow in confidence, grace and poise as a result of their ballet lessons. Not only has the experience enhanced their lives; it has increased our entire family’s appreciation for the beauty and skill of dance.

And for all of that, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to you, the anonymous donor, for giving to our community in such a way that shared your passion for dance, benefited a local business, fulfilled the wishes of two little girls and enhanced an entire family’s appreciation of art.

Even if this letter does not reach you, I hope your example serves as inspiration to others to invest as generously and wisely in our wonderful local arts community.

Grand Junction

Retired ranger concerned over monument redesignation
I am a retired Utah park ranger, manager and student of park management and design for over three decades. There are many reasons not to alter the current designation of Colorado National Monument, and I will mention a few.

I have visited the monument weekly, year-round since 2001. With relatively small increases in visitor use during that time, I have observed full parking lots at all times of year, as well as resource damage due to traffic overflow and congestion. Other damage has occurred from the creation of many social trails, vandalism and graffiti.

The monument is a very limited and finite resource. If money were invested, facilities could be improved and manpower increased, but there is little that can be done to mitigate the damage to the resource and the user experience, by flooding the area with more vehicles and footprints. Expansion of parking areas will only exacerbate crowding. Significant road improvement would destroy the resource we are attempting to preserve. Increases in global population and the subsequent travelers that come with it are more than enough for managers to contend with. You can help preserve John Otto’s legacy by not renaming the monument. It has been a monument for over 100 years.

While a very few people may benefit financially from a name change and the exposure it presents, the local population, visitors and the monument itself, as a natural resource that we have sworn to preserve, will be on the losing side.

Economic growth should not be a factor in deciding the designation of a national park. The purpose of designating an area as a national park or monument is to protect the area and its natural inhabitants for generations to come and for all Americans to share in its ownership and stewardship. This beautiful piece of canyon country is already protected and preserved with its monument designation. Any change in name or status would be redundant.

Grand Junction

Immigration reform should also focus on illegal aliens
I frequently read comments about the “need for immigration reform” and our “broken immigration system.”  But in our quest to fix it, no one ever defines what is broken or what to reform.  The only thing I know that is broken is our ability to guard the borders and to remove those who are illegally in this country.  Allowing someone here illegally to remain is no different from allowing a bank robber to keep the stolen loot.  And keep in mind that all 9/11 hijackers were here illegally. 

Immigration is a wonderful concept when done in a controlled manner.  It allows those from other nations to come here, adopt our culture, language and values and become Americans. But rewarding millions of law-breakers with eventual citizenship will invariably lead to more. And that will trigger this stark reality — all it takes to convert a First World nation to a Third World nation is enough Third World people voting their ideology. 

Grand Junction


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Bill Marvel’s timely letter – “Immigration reform should also focus on illegal aliens” – inadvertently answers his own questions about “the need for immigration reform” and helps define “what is broken or what to reform” by revealing that Marvel (like most Americans) doesn’t understand our current immigration laws and policies.

Thus, even without regard to our lengthy coastlines and Canadian and Alaskan borders, the U.S. land border with Mexico is 2000 miles long and has always been porous – reflecting the de facto policy judgment that the cost of “closing” or fencing (ala Israel’s “separation barrier”)our southern border far exceeds the anticipated benefits.

Nevertheless, President Obama has indeed “focused on illegal aliens”, has deported more illegal entrants than any previous president, and is currently asking Congress to repeal the Bush-era law that prohibits prompt deportation of unaccompanied non-Mexican minors.

However, contrary to Marvel’s assertion, “allowing someone here illegally to remain is [NOT] no different from allowing a bank robber to keep the stolen loot”.

Bank robbery is a felony – and a crime with identifiable victims.  8 U.S.C. § 1325 makes “improper entry into the U.S.” a mere misdemeanor and civil offense – because illegal entry is usually a “victimless crime” (and – as Republican Jeb Bush opined – often “an act of love”).  Immigration “marriage fraud” and human smuggling are felonies.

On June 27, 2013, S.744 (the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act”) passed the Senate with 14 Republican votes – but the “Tea Party”- controlled House refuses to even vote on it (because it would pass!).

The CBO estimates that S.744 would save $1 trillion over the next twenty years – even after spending $46 billion on enhanced border security.

Therefore, “all it takes to convert” the U.S. “to a Third World nation” is enough fearful and uninformed Republican Tea Partiers “voting their ideology”.

buffaloed bill, please move to Mexico where you will agree with everything they say and do. Those amongst us that are LEGAL aliens are offended that your liberal ideals make their sacrifice and hard work moot. On this the Day of Independence of this great nation it would do us all a great service if you could leave and let some one else pay for your incessant drivel. as for ideology, yours closely resembles communist nations or socialist beliefs. I’m sure you would be a lot happier elsewhere. I have lived and worked along both the northern and the southern borders, you don’t have any idea what you are talking about.  Mr. Bright

Mr./Virginia Not-So-Bright brainlessly farts again!!!!

you really are THAT stupid aren’t you Buffaloed, Yawn. All you can do it attack and try to defend the problems you and your party have created. pay for it yourself,Da Svendanya. Mr. smart enough to piss you off every morning Bright

and Again!!!!!

again, communist rhetoric from the infantile mind of Buffaloed Bill, despondent for the GJ Sentinel. Thanks for playing moron

By S. Price I think illegal entry should be made a felony. Their entry into this country is not without victims. The citizens of this country are the victims with job losses, taxes to support welfare, education, medical, etc. for these illegals. Monies that should be used to secure our borders. Now the president wants to end deportation of illegals and eventually allow citizenship in an effort to increase his parties constituent base.

To S.Price, that is what the communist bonehead of socialism Buffaloed Bill Hugenburg is unable to understand. I have first hand seen the stress on social systems, schools, medical facilities, and families illegal immigration puts on the country and the people. Right now in AZ and TX 60 thousand new illegals think they can run across the border and be free. Go back to where you came from and fix your own country and take buffaloed bill with you, he apparently has all the answers. They won’t take him however
Mr. Bright

Dear John D. and/or “S.” Price:

Thanks for joining the discussion on reforming our immigration policy.

In contrast to Mr./Virginia “Not-So-Bright’s” brainless farts, you at least offer a cogent policy alternative to the present regime.

However, making “illegal entry” a felony (even for a third offense) is not without costs.
Thus, while current immigration law allows for an expedited deportation process (even with “due process”), prosecution for felony illegal entry would require broad expansion of the federal public defender program in at least California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and would overwhelm the federal district courts in those states with immigration cases (in which the standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt” – unless special immigration courts were adequately staffed and statutorily empowered to mete out felony-length prison sentences.

Then, there is also the cost of those incarcerations.  From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people.  Today, the U.S. has 5% of the World population and 25% of the world’s prisoners.  If you combine the number of people in prison or jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control.

Under President Obama, some 2 million illegal entrants have been deported and/or removed – which would have nearly doubled the U.S. prison population had they all been convicted of “felony illegal entry”.  Therefore, the policy question is whether we should invest billions in more prisons (and/or fences) – even we could afford to – or whether we should spend that money on ameliorating the real (but not universal) negative impacts of illegal immigration on local communities – particularly in the border states.

In fact, S.744 would spend up to $43 billion completing 700 more miles of fencing along the Mexican border (while creating thousands of construction jobs) – surveilled by drones and back-up by a further doubling of the Border Patrol.  In effect, we would militarize the southern border – even though only 60% of illegal immigrants enter that way.  Most others enter legally at airports and simply overstay their student or tourist visas.

Nevertheless, as every objective study confirms, the cost of enhanced border enforcement and/or providing adequate “due process” in advance of felony illegal entry convictions would be more than paid for by granting legal residency status to not-otherwise-criminal but still “undocumented immigrants” already here.

By legally requiring employers to “E-Verify” the immigration status of their employees,  S.744 would bring millions of “under the table” workers out of the shadows, subject their paychecks to tax withholding, and extend the actuarial viability of Social Security.

As Price notes,illegal immigration is “not without victims” – most often, the immigrant him/herself.  No one disputes that.  However, contrary to his assertion, the legal citizens of this country are the net beneficiaries – not victims—of cheap labor that does jobs Americans won’t, of people who are legally ineligible for most “welfare” programs, but who we still attempt to educate and keep healthy (for our own protection).

Finally, the “pathway to citizenship” (and thus voting) anticipated by S.744 would take at least 13 years – which can’t even start until the U.S. Border Commission (and the border states) certify that enforcement is at least 90% effective. 

So, stop breathing Mr./Mrs. Not-So-Bright’s ignorant farts, and keep thinking for yourself.

Dear Buffaloed bill I’m waiting at Starbucks, you haven’t shown. Farts are much better than Kool-Aid from Obama land. You are such a clever infantile little man. Lawyers usually are, social parasites such are yourself usually don’t heal like the scab on the ass of humanity that you are. So breathe the air of freedom that I an many others provided for you. Just don’t get too big for your diapers, and thanks for insulting my wife again, like the lesser man you really are. Still in Mazatlan? Mr. Bright

and again!!!!

Dear Dear Buffaloed stupid Bill, again and again and again until you go away. you are much older than I am and I am a very patient Marine. I will not let your liberal stupidity bring this nation to it’s knees. Lawyers like yourself tend to think themselves higher in social status than the rest of us. All the while showing their ass in the public forum for all to see. Thank you for educating the public to just how the liberal mind works and what you are trying to achieve. It let’s the rest of us see just how ridiculous your thought process is. You will never change me, and as I have said you will never change. YOu continue to be infantile, ignorant, and represent the Imbecile party at every turn. And Again! Thanks Bill, your coffee is getting cold. Mr. Bright

You’re fact-free farts just prove you’re looking in a mirror.  Thanks for your service.

my mission is to piss you off, glad to be of service, that smell you smell is your own lies sticking in your nose. Thank Gawd for Buffaloed Bill the fact skewed moron of the Sentinel. Keep them coming, glad you are up early, hope your blood pressure rises when you read the paper you so dearly love. Do you have a life? other than to try and run others for them? liberals are that way you know. Stay stupid and thanks for playing, enjoy the coffee[ Mr. Bright

Illegal immigrants benefit the U.S. economy

By H. A. Goodman

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There are few subjects that evoke as much emotion as immigration reform, especially since future laws could result in a path to citizenship for over 11 million illegal immigrants.

When analyzed from the vantage point of information derived from reputable, nonpartisan sources (the Pew Research Center, USDA, United States Department of Labor, and leading economists and researchers) then one can obtain a clearer view of this muddled discussion. The truth of the matter is that illegal immigrants are important to the U.S. economy, as well as vital to certain industries like agriculture.

According to the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, there were 8.4 million unauthorized immigrants employed in the U.S.; representing 5.2 percent of the U.S. labor force (an increase from 3.8 percent in 2000). Their importance was highlighted in a report by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs that stated, “Without the undocumented population, Texas’ work force would decrease by 6.3 percent” and Texas’ gross state product would decrease by 2.1 percent.  Furthermore, certain segments of the U.S. economy, like agriculture, are entirely dependent upon illegal immigrants.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that, “about half of the hired workers employed in U.S. crop agriculture were unauthorized, with the overwhelming majority of these workers coming from Mexico.” The USDA has also warned that, “any potential immigration reform could have significant impacts on the U.S. fruit and vegetable industry.” From the perspective of National Milk Producers Federation in 2009, retail milk prices would increase by 61 percent if its immigrant labor force were to be eliminated.

Echoing the Department of Labor, the USDA, and the National Milk Producers Federation, agricultural labor economist James S. Holt made the following statement to Congress in 2007: “The reality, however, is that if we deported a substantial number of undocumented farm workers, there would be a tremendous labor shortage.”

But what about the immense strain on social services and money spent on welfare for these law breakers? The Congressional Budget Office in 2007 answered this question in the following manner: “Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.”  According to the New York Times, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration claims that undocumented workers have contributed close to 10% ($300 billion) of the Social Security Trust Fund.


If Sentinel readers were to give any credence to the malevolent fact-free aspersions hurled by rabid opponents of comprehensive immigration reform in on-line comments, they might conclude that supporters of any such reforms are all “liberal communists” – which necessarily includes the 14 Republican Senators who supported S.477 last year.

Such critics often suffer from the conceit that they alone are knowledgeable of the many negative impacts of illegal immigration – particularly on border communities – but offer no solutions other than mass deportation (of 11+ million undocumented residents, or about 3.5% of our population), and seem entirely oblivious to the fact it is precisely those genuine problems which far more informed observers agree actually necessitate reforms.

Moreover, to sustain their opposition to immigration reform, willfully blinkered nativists facilely ignore the repeatedly proven fact that illegal immigrants contribute a net positive benefit to the U.S. economy.

Thus, reportedly, scofflaw U.S. employers are routinely defying current immigration law by employing 8.4 million “unauthorized immigrants” (over 5% of our total labor force) – many of whom are doing jobs that even long-term unemployed U.S. citizens won’t do.

Of particular interest locally is that from 53% to 70% of the 2.5 million farm workers in the U.S. are undocumented, such that their unavailability would cause grocery prices to rise dramatically—especially for fruit, vegetables, and even milk (by 61%).

As for their purported “drain” on social services, the tax revenues (e.g., sales, gas, etc.) immigrants generate exceed the costs of the services they use (and illegal immigrants are explicitly excluded from health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act).

As 500 economists advised President Bush in 2006, “while a small percentage of native-born Americans may be harmed by immigration, vastly more Americans benefit from the contributions that immigrants make to our economy, including lower consumer prices”.

PUT AMERICANS TO WORK FIRST!!! bet you never worked with the Brazeros did you Buffaloed Bill? Bet you never dug ditch a day in your life for an income. If you like illegal Aliens so much, by all means please GO BE ONE IN MEXICO, thank you and have a good day. BTW Starbucks is running a two for one on Kool-Aid. And as for natives, I am one, American Indian by birth. If you feel so passionate about this there is a fund you can donate all your lawyer earned money to that goes directly to Mexican relief. Feel free to pay more taxes, and by all means feel free to respond when I pull your chain, I keep hoping it flushes your mind of all the crap you have in it. Keeping the coffee hot and Kool-Aid cool for ya. Illegal is still Illegal lawyer boy. Mr. Bright

Sentinel subscribers who explore the fact-free rants of local nativists virulently opposing any immigration reform will quickly realize that they are “ugly Americans” voicing only fear-based ignorance and anti-Hispanic racism.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, uninformed nativists shout “PUT AMERICANS TO WORK FIRST” – fearing loss of American jobs to illegal immigrants, but not realizing that U.S. employers hire undocumented workers because they accept lower wages to perform jobs that even chronically unemployed American citizens won’t.

Just as American consumers drive the demand for drug-smuggling. and just as Arizona’s gun shops are the primary suppliers of weapons to Mexican drug cartels, scofflaw U.S. employers create the demand for undocumented workers.

Ignorant nativists expose their underlying racism by disparaging undocumented workers as shiftless “Braceros” – who, by definition, are Mexican laborers admitted legally into the U.S. to perform (usually) seasonal agricultural labor.  S.744 would expand the ability of compliant U.S. employers to legally hire the additional workers they need.

Meanwhile, roughly 60% of illegal immigrants come from Mexico—and many end up in the produce fields of California or Texas.  A 2006 study by Texas’s Comptroller found that “without the undocumented population, Texas’s workforce would drop by 6.3%” and its economy would shrink by 2.1%.

Moreover, the Iowa Policy Project reported just last week that undocumented immigrants contribute some $64 million annually to Iowa’s tax revenues.

One local “bubble head” even cites his own Native American heritage to justify his anti-Mexican xenophobia, apparently not realizing that California and Texas once belonged to Mexico and – like other Native American lands – were seized by force.

Therefore, Sentinel subscribers should open-mindedly read the Immigration Policy Center’s analysis of S.744 – the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” – which passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support, but remains dormant in the “Tea Party”-controlled House.

Dear dear buffaloed bill take your eurotrash lawyer liberal bigoted roots and stuff them. If anybody is bigoted it is you and your power hungry party of Socialist hell bent on telling the rest of the world how to live. American Jobs for Americans. Starbucks still serving Kool-Aid till noon. Please feel free to give back anything YOUR people took from mine and move as soon as possible to a Socialist country with whom I think you will agree with and be quite happy. Still defending our American rights Mr. Bright

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