E-mail letters, April 21, 2011

Palmer’s comment raises
the hackles of one reader

While I agree that dogs should not be allowed to run wild at the Downtown Farmers Market, I question the time spent by City Council and staff on such a trivial matter. I especially question a quote by councilmember Gregg Palmer as reported in the Sentinel.

Palmer is quoted as saying “What it’s gotten to be is pit bulls and muscle shirts.” Would Palmer like to
expound upon his thoughts or should we draw our own conclusions as to what he meant? Perhaps Mr. Palmer believes that people who wear muscle shirts and own pit bulls are far too unsophisticated to attend such a prestigious event.

Maybe Palmer meant no ill will with his stereotyping, but I cannot think of a situation where his statement could be construed as a positive thing. I am growing weary of politicians opening their mouth’s without thinking of what words are coming out.

By the way, I don’t wear muscle shirts, nor do I currently own a pit bull and yet I was offended by the stupidity of such a statement.
Mark Painter
Grand Junction

Grant less than civil
with comments on King

I agree that the debate on immigration policy must be civil.  Our national policy is hurting many people, citizens of the United States as well as illegals.

Here is my question to Daily Sentinel columnist Bill Grant:  If it is witless, insulting and
dehumanizing for Rep. Steve King to use a simile that compares illegals to “stray cats,” why is it OK for grant to use the same type of language regarding Rep. King?

I am referring to Grant’s concluding paragraph, where he wrote, “Putting a muzzle on King ...”  I may be mistaken, but isn’t that a reference to a dog? Let’s just be consistent.
Jim Welch

‘Cuisinart Americans’ seek
middle ground on the debt

Kudos to The Daily Sentinel editorial staff for coming out in favor of the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan.

As hard-liners on both the left and right continue to dig in their heels, it becomes more and more likely that our government’s credit rating will eventually be lowered, as Standard and Poor’s has warned. A Simpson-Bowles compromise is what we need.

Like the tea partiers, perhaps those of us in the middle need a catchy phrase to promote our position.  We could call ourselves “Cuisinart (Cut Spending and Raise Taxes) Americans.”

For too long, our political dialogue has been dominated by the likes of Keith Olbermann and Rush Limbaugh. Cuisinart Americans, speak out and support the Simpson-Bowles plan!
Bill Hurd
Grand Junction

County offers help to
prevent teen pregnancy

The Mesa County Health Department monitors health trends, brings awareness to the community, and offers solutions to community problems. In honor of May being National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, I want to take this opportunity to inform our community about teen pregnancy in Mesa County.

Historically, Mesa County’s teen birth rate for 15-19 year olds has been higher than the state’s rate.  Teen pregnancy is a complicated issue that requires a community solution. Parents, educators, public health and medical professionals, and community organizations all have a role to play in reducing teen pregnancy.  As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, preventing teen pregnancy is a priority because of its huge economic, social and health costs on teen parents, their families and our community.

Mesa County Health Department’s goal is to decrease unintended teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections through comprehensive science-based sexuality education, parental involvement and family planning services. This letter reconfirms our commitment to reaching this goal.

We have dedicated, knowledgeable staff available to provide education, training and workshops. For more information please visit our website at http://www.health.mesacounty.us. Please join me in helping prevent teen pregnancy in our community.
Jeff Kuhr, Director
Mesa County Health Department
Grand Junction

Private insurance companies
aren’t answer for Medicare

Incredibly, right-wing politicians are advocating shuffling Medicare recipients to the for-profit health insurance industry. Do they really think that a system that leaves 50 million individuals unprotected now and is twice as expensive as other industrialized nations is some kind of a cost-saving measure?

Insurance corporations add on CEO bonuses, sales commissions, attorneys, public-relations agents, private jets, lobbyists, differing paperwork bureaucracies, private investigators, and stock dividends that increase health care costs 25 percent more than Medicare’s.

The solutions to Medicare insolvency, states’ Medicaid woes and individuals’ and employers’ burdens is to completely remove the for-profit insurance companies from basic health care, not create more customers for them.

Medicare for aAll, paid by all, contracting with local non-profit HMOs where possible, is our only salvation. he role of government is to protect and advance the welfare of citizens, not to reduce its role by dumping lousy parasitic, reimbursement entities on the poor, sick and elderly.
Joel Prudhomme
Grand Junction

Death penalty and abortion
are far from equal

I read with interest Alan Metcalfe’s call for consistency in the argument for the dignity of human life and I agree with most of what he said.

I am opposed to capital punishment, abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia because I do embrace the concept of the sanctity of human life, from its beginning at conception through to its natural end.
However, as much as I abhor capital punishment, I can see that there is a distinction between capital punishment and abortion. An adult who is facing execution has had his or her day in court. If he or she were unable to afford a lawyer, one was appointed. That person was able to face his accusers and the State had to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he or she was, in fact, guilty of a capital crime. A jury and judge heard the voice of the accused.

There is no such process for the unborn child.  An unborn child faces execution silent, innocent and helpless in the face of an implacable law.
Helen Hawkins

Democrats’ redistricting maps
amount to same old gerrymandering

The Democrats should be ashamed of their leaders in the Colorado General Assembly, as the re-districting proposals are simply outrageous! A fundamental tenet of law is that it should be known and written as to be understandable by the people. Legal modifications in congressional districts
should respect the principle of continuity as to allow constituents to know their district and those who represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The proposed congressional re-districting plan drawn by state Sens. Gail Schwartz, D-Aspen, and Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, fractures the Western Slope and Eastern Plains, lumps Colorado Springs and Highlands Ranch into the same district, and throws Delta and Mesa Counties into the same congressional district as liberal Boulder County. These major changes divide analogous geographic regions, rural communities and regional cultures and economies, along with completely redrawing the congressional district map in order to manipulate the boundaries of the electoral constituencies so as to favor one political party. This tactic is known as Gerrymandering.

Nearly 200 years ago, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry and his party drew a new voting district to favor their political party. On a map, the shape appeared to resemble a salamander, complete with claws and fangs.

The Democrat’s proposed map is so heavily redrawn that all seven districts have “legs” extending towards Denver. The reality is that if the Democratic leaders or worse, the Colorado Supreme Court, is allowed to draw such one-sided manipulated boundaries, then all of Colorado’s congressional delegation could come from within an hour of Denver International Airport. Not very representative of a state with diverse regions, made up of rural and urban communities — each with opposing values, morals and norms.

I urge my fellow Coloradans to call, write or email your state legislator to advocate keeping gerrymandering out of Colorado and to support the doctrine of continuity and principle of keeping similar communities, cultures, and geographic areas within the same congressional district. The
last thing we need are legislators from liberal Aspen and Boulder sticking their claws and fangs into the future of Colorado!
Matt Soper
Edinburg, Scotland






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