E-mail letters, Feb. 15, 2011

Tipton votes to re-authorize
suspension of 4th Amendment

Congressman Scott Tipton, I value my Constitutional rights. Judging by his vote to extend the misnamed, 4th Amendment-trampling “Patriot Act,” he is willing to compromise them.

By arbitrarily declaring someone a potential “terrorist,” the legislation Tipton voted for eliminates the 4th Amendment right to protection from unwarranted search. It’s worth noting that the label of suspected terrorist has been applied to peaceful political groups concerned with the constitutionality of our bloated federal government. Do we want to cede our right to warranted search and surveillance to people who already abused this power by labeling peaceful political activists as suspected terrorists?

I believe everyone should be concerned that since passed, and continually re-authorized, the Patriot Act has subjected all of us to arbitrarily applied “roving wiretaps” and un-warranted surveillance at the hands of federal bureaucrats. This isn’t the rule of law. This is the rule of bureaucracy.

Moreover, I’m extremely disturbed because Congress has been totally negligent in overseeing the Patriot Act. No one has established that any of the powers given to the FBI and other federal agencies have actually prevented acts of terrorism. They have failed to investigate the FBI and CIA, or hold them accountable, for thousands of potential abuses. See https://www.eff.org/pages/patterns-misconduct-fbi-intelligence-violations for further information.

I believe the Patriot Act has made us less safe. As an active Campaign for Liberty member, I know it has made me less safe. Instead of renewing provisions of the Patriot Act, Tipton should work to repeal all of it and return to the constitutional process that allows for of legitimate terrorist suspects to be watched and apprehended legally.

The Patriot Act is wide open to abuse and unravels the Constitution. After being excited to see former Congressman John Salazar replaced by someone who I thought was a constitutional patriot, I am sorely disappointed in Tipton’s position and I will be watching his future positions, preparing to hold his politically accountable for this and any other untenable position.
David L. Cox
Grand Junction

OHV grant could help
enforce rules on BLM land

Recreational users on BLM land have long whined about reckless use. If someone’s damages public land, they ruin the fun for everyone else. Monitoring and enforcement are sorely needed on its 1.5 million acres, but the BLM does not have adequate dedicated and commissioned law enforcement officer here.

But now there is an opportunity that will be cheered by both motorized and non-motorized users. The Grand Junction’s BLM Field Office has applied for a grant from the Colorado OHV Grant Program. This grant would fund four part-time BLM rangers, as well as equipment and safety items.

Education would be a top priority. If approved by the State Parks Board, the grant will include frequent presentations to regional community forums, educational institutions, and OHV groups. The rangers will be able to patrol areas inaccessible by full-size patrol units and install carsonite travel management signs on BLM routes.

This is a very positive approach to a problem that has frustrated motorized and non-motorized alike. Education, monitoring, and enforcement will provide a safer sport for everyone. And Colorado’s natural resources will be the big winner.
JoAnn Moon
Grand Junction

We need water solutions
for the 21st century

The Colorado River and its tributaries have always sustained our agricultural heritage and rural way of life here on the Western Slope. According to recent reports, such as that by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, however, these resources are increasingly being called upon by competing interests, such as to quench the thirst of rapidly growing cities.

If we are to preserve the family ranching and farming traditions in the West, we must move beyond traditional “buy and dry” practices of the 19th century.

According to the Department of Interior’s 2011 strategic plan, “A new approach and creative efforts are required to sustain the economy, environment and culture of the American West.”

Common-sense programs like the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand
Study are critical to sustaining the Colorado River as a resource that serves us all. Secretary of Interior Salazar’s inventory will, I hope, show us how we can balance precious water resources to meet the needs of agriculture, cities and wildlife.

We need water solutions for the 21st century and those solutions can’t come a day too soon.
Christy Belton
Steamboat Springs

People need to be more
aware seat belts save lives

I would like to bring a very important topic, which seems to be going unnoticed, to people’s attention.

Automobile accidents happen all the time. I feel we need to raise awareness on the safety of wearing your seat belt. Everyone knows it’s the law to wear their seat belt but I’m not sure if they are attentive to the importance of this matter.
Being a teenager, I am well aware of the excuses one might have to not wear their seat belt. Some say, they are in too big of a hurry to wear their seat belt, or they are too uncomfortable to wear for the short distance they’re traveling. The most common excuse I’ve heard is perhaps the most startling of them all; “There is no need to wear my seat belt, I have air bags.”

An air bag is deployed at around 200 mph; in less than 1/25th of a second. Your car’s seat belt was made to keep you in place so that your airbag can be effective in cushioning the impact of your collision, not to be used in replacement of a seat belt.

Every time I see an accident, I pray to God the people had their seat belts on when their collision occurred.

In 2010, seat belts were estimated to have saved over 9,500 lives. It’s a scary thought to
think about a family member or close friend not living because they were ejected through a windshield or killed by a frontal air bag.
With your help I’d like to spread consciousness to the people of Grand Junction. If this town really had the understanding of how vital and significant this matter is, maybe we could start saving more lives and begin to put more minds at ease knowing their loved ones have a higher possibility of being safe.

Although it is the law, in the end it is really the individual’s decision to choose to wear their seat belt or not. I hope with raising awareness of the risks of not wearing it, people will begin to become wiser with their decisions. If they don’t choose to become wiser for themselves, maybe they could educate their children or friends on the dangers of not wearing their seat belt.
Kalene Butler
Grand Junction


Parachute wresting coach
keeps young team on track

Under Coach Rick Gallegos, the success of Grand Valley High School’s wrestling program has become a tradition. But this year presented a real challenge, with few returning veterans and a lack of depth in the heavier weights.

Qualifications in last Saturday’s Western 3A Regional were to be the biggest challenge facing the team in a number of years. Coach Gallegos took nine wrestlers to compete and seven qualified for the State Finals at the Pepsi Center in Denver this weekend!

Why should we not be surprised? Well, because this man is a coaching wizard. Beyond phenomenal is the only way to describe the improvements his wrestlers have exhibited since their first matches back in early December last year. Team Grand Valley started the season with two “probables” for the state tournament and finished with seven qualifiers.

Congratulations to all these young men — Miguel Valles, George Stagg, Will Hinkle, Emilio Ruelas, and Michael Salazar — all of whom are making their first trip to the finals. Jerrod Busch and David Witt are the team’s “veterans,” making this a return trip.

Emilio Ruelas, a senior, capped off a really great “first year as a regular” by winning the Regional 145 pound title and heading to Denver with a 35-6 record.

Good luck, Team…...and a big high five to Coach Gallegos and his enthusiastic, able assistant Justin Busch.
Richard Doran

Gas industry must be
certain of fracking safety

The oil and gas industry uses this slang term for a drilling process by which their product may be freed from the ancient geological shale strata deep underground. The process of fracturing requires a lot of energy at the point of drilling because it took great prehistoric energy to form it there in the first place.
The Conservation Law of Physics reminds us that energy is neither created nor destroyed — it is only transformed. It remains true in the nuclear age as it always has before. So if we are to extract the product in that shale it will require energy to overcome its placement energy there in the geological past.

It is has been found, unsurprisingly, that several types of energy at the point of drilling and product extraction will be required. The first is the energy carried in high pressure hydraulic fluid (as in the brakes of your automobile). This pressure breaks up the shale to smaller particles and pathways thus forming more surface area for chemical action.

Fracking compounds include fine sand to prevent the smaller particles and pathways thus opened by hydraulic pressure from closing up. The incompressible carrier for the sand is water.

The target of these actions are the ancient hydrocarbons formed by decomposition of flora and fauna and stored in the shale strata. An example of such hydrocarbon carrying rock is kerogen (parent of kerosene).
The second source of energy to release the gas from the rock is chemical combustion to create even higher pressures and heat to fracture the shale. This is a case of using some energy to gain stored energy more completely.

What kind of chemical would be required to react with the natural hydrocarbons? First, it should not require an external ignition source. The technical term for this is “hypergolic” which simply means burning occurs on contact.

Secondly, the chemical should not chemically react with water so as to impair its transport function and/or its cooling effect.

So, what the third fracking compound aims to achieve is more complete fracturing and recovery of end product by burning some of the underground product for more complete recovery from that site—all in a carefully controlled manner. Again, it is a case of using some energy for more energy.

Given that the preceding is an approximate description of the function of the three fracking agents acting together, it is now a challenge to describe the characteristics of the chemical agent.

First, it is a liquid not miscible or reactive in water or sand. Secondly, it burns hypergolically with the ancient hydrocarbons. Third, it is a powerful oxidizer. Fourth, for ease of handling prior to use, it should be storable in metal tanks at ambient temperatures and pressures. Fifth, it would be wonderful if it were non-toxic.
This writer is a retired veteran and former rocket engineer. Except for the non-toxic requirement, which I suspect is not in the cards, the Titan II rocket oxidizer, namely nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4) would fit the bill nicely.

So, it was not surprising when I discovered Patent 3929192 “Treatment of Wells with Nitrogen Tetroxide” filed in 1974 by Getty Oil Company.

Unfortunately, this chemical is very toxic. So the gas and oil industry must be dead certain of safe use forever from wells so treated. Perchlorate is another candidate among several for careful scrutiny.
Larry Soderberg











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