E-mail letters, Feb. 28, 2011

Our culture lacks public decency

After perusing the latest Out and About, I am so excited to have my weekend planned.

First, it’s off to the mall to purchase the latest X-Box game, Bulletstorm.
The reviewer notes the “excessive violence, endless and predictable profanity, the blasé attitude toward death and dismemberment.” He admits that “it sounds irresponsible and sadistic,” and “the profanity does get wearying… .” Now I’m really sold!

After this purchase, it’s off to the movies. The combination of “Hall Pass” and “Drive Angry” is too good to be true! Why would anyone want to miss these masterful Hollywood gems whose ratings include “crude and sexual humor, graphic nudity and drug use, strong brutal violence, grisly images, and pervasive language”? Ah! We are what we eat, and what better entertainment than this as food for the soul?


But to cap off my weekend of high culture, it’s off to see the punk band Guttermouth. This band has been,  well, banned, in Canada for a few years because of some public indecency incident. Pooh! I thought Canada was progressive.

At least we’ve progressed to where what prudes and do-gooders call “public indecency” is now mainstream entertainment for families, and, more importantly, for our youth who need to get a jump-start on exposure to the finer things of life. Isn’t it just wonderful, this liberty for which George Washington, John Adams, and ol’ Patrick Henry shed blood and tears to achieve for our great nation?
After all, what is freedom for, if not to be free to sink as low in the moral cesspool as we like? 


BILL FORBES
Whitewater

Schwenke should be looking to hire local

Perhaps Diane Schwenke would like to join the Blue Bandwagon and support local companies. After reading the recent story, “Bid out service for ambulance, chamber says” it is evident that Ms. Schwenke would rather promote bringing in outside companies than supporting locally based jobs and current Chamber members.

Ms. Schwenke might want to explore the logic of her statements and get all of the information before deciding to make such an absurd conclusion about the need to outsource non-emergent ambulance services. Not only is she actively promoting the loss of more than $600,000 in revenue from a tight city budget, but she is also willingly eliminating 14 highly qualified positions.

I thought both — money and jobs — were the focus of the Blue Bandwagon. According to their website, staying local can “generate tax dollars for streets, police and fire protection.” I guess I missed the fine print on
that statement.

No, no Ms. Schwenke doesn’t want local. She would rather bring in a corporation located elsewhere, who’s number one priority is making money   not providing exceptional service like the Grand Junction Fire Department does now.

It’s nice to see the transparency of Ms. Schwenke and her organization that does not practice what they preach. The city is right to keep the ambulance service where it belongs — with the Fire Department. The only thing the city should reconsider is their Chamber membership.

CAROL GROSS
Grand Junction

Krey deserved Oil & Gas Assoc. award

The West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association was right to award this year’s Pioneer of the Piceance Award to Max Krey. At 90, Krey represents what today’s natural gas should strive to be.

Philanthropic and community-minded, Max Krey has been working in the oil and gas industry since 1949 — as was learned during the award’s presentation. Today’s oil and gas entrepreneurs could learn a thing or two from his local legacy and example.

RANDY WHITEMAN
Rifle

City should vote to ban dispensaries

The city of Grand Junction will soon be voting on a very important ordinance — to ban or not to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within the city limits.

Because of the negative impact marijuana has on people’s lives and the general health of the community, I hope Grand Junction residents will vote “Yes” to banning these stores. This ban will not keep those who feel they need that drug for medicinal purposes from getting it from their caregivers, as they have been doing.

I’m wondering if the residents of Grand Junction fully realize the real dangers marijuana poses and why we must limit its use in our community. Mental illness and hallucinations affecting the brain, an increase in school expulsions, opening the gates to stronger drug use, more crime, loss of motivation, breakdown of the immune system are just a few of the dangers of this drug. Our youth should be able to grow up here without its destructive influence.

In 2000, the citizens of Colorado voted to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. I still support this. I do not support the creation of dispensaries to sell it to the public as this was not part of the bill. The dispensaries provide wide spread use of that drug, mainly for recreational use. This must be stopped by the citizens voting to ban these dispensaries.

SUE BENJAMIN
Grand Junction

Unions help keep families out of poverty

Are workers dumb as posts? I say no. Many of the materials that go into a business are like fence posts. They are produced by a number of manufactures and using the cheapest least expensive post makes a business more competitive. But it is a failure of humanity to put the workers of a business in that category.

A good worker can be worth their weight in gold if they keep customers coming back or attract new customers with their positive attitude towards the business and customer. This message is preached by varieties of businesses. An under compensated worker can cost a business far more that any profit the business would hope to make.

What does this have to do with union busting? Simply this. If we want no unions in private or public sectors, we need to pay a livable wage to all employees. A statement you might hear is “My business pays better than minimum wage.” Good to know you are not paying illegal wages. The real measure of how good a business is, is how much above minimum wage does the average worker make. If that is below $8.90/hr for the average family of three in Mesa County that is at the poverty line of $18,310.00.

That is not saving for college, retirement (other than Social Security), health insurance (other than
Medicare/Medicaid) or investing in Wall Street. Employers would say to provide all these benefits would be very expensive. It would be, and your business would be at a disadvantage unless all businesses operated on the idea that there is a minimum amount of compensation 40 hours a week of a person’s life deserves.

Government legislating it offends some business owners and politicians. Unions bargaining for it offends some employers and politicians. Who are the outspoken employers and politicians who agree a person should be able to live in America after working 40 hours a week for a business. Do they have union problems? I would bet not.

KARL CASTLETON
Co-Chair Mesa County Democrats
Grand Junction

Act-of-kindness recipient promises to pay it forward

I am the recipient of another act of generosity by an unknown Grand Junction/Mesa County benefactor.

On Feb. 27, I ate dinner at the Clifton Dos Hombres Restaurant after visiting my wife at the Colorado Veterans Cemetery. When it came tome for me to pay for my dinner, the waitress told me that someone had already pain for my dinner.

I do not know who that was, and I do not know why that person chose me for their kindness, unless they saw me arrive in my car with a disabled veterans tag, or because they saw a single, old, white-haired codger eating alone. In any case, I did appreciate this act of kindness toward someone they did not know. And, I promise to pay this act forward.
BOYD M. HOLT
Grand Junction

Constitutional Carry will make Colorado safer

A big congratulations to our legislators here in Colorado. Nice work. Constitutional Carry, or bill number HB1205, passed out of its committee and moved to the House floor.

State Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Parker, did a fantastic job of presenting the bill and framing the debate before the House Judiciary Committee. Rep. Holbert told the committee that open carry in public areas is legal in Colorado and requires no permit, no fees, no training and no lists, but the second you cover the handgun with a coat or sweater you are required to obtain a permit.

In essence, he said, it’s a coat tax. Put your coat on, and you have to pay the tax. This bill would make that a voluntary tax, since there would be no need to pay the tax (acquire a permit) if HB1205 becomes law. Many people will still get a permit because it is a way to network with local law enforcement so they know that we are carrying. And they can count on our help in case of deadly violence.

There is a movement of states allowing permitless carry, and the many more which are considering passing just such a law. Reducing crime depends on each of us having the ability to protect ourself and this is something we should encourage. The belief that the current conceal carry course is sufficient to guarantee competent use and decision making is silly. People must practice with their firearm regularly if they expect to protect themselves with it and shooting a couple boxes of shells is just not enough. Recognizing that people’s decisions are up to them is just about as basic as it gets and we are recognizing this as a state by taking action.

The idea resonates with members of the committee, and the bill passed with the votes of every Republican and two Democrats. Now it’s headed for the House floor, where we really have to turn up the heat. If you and I want Constitutional Carry in Colorado, we must thank our local politicians, Laura Bradford, Steve King and Ray Scott for taking action on this by cosponsoring. We should thank them and encourage them to keep up the good work and continue to support this important bill.

You can get their contact information at:  http://www.colorado.gov/apps/maps/neighborhood.map#helpCat_50687. You can also get the contact info for any other state representative and encourage them to support this legislation too. So what should you do? Call your representative. The phone number for all state representatives is 303-866-2904 or toll free at 1-800-811-7647. Here’s to a safer Colorado.

DAVID COX
Grand Junction

Unions are no different than taxpayers

Should unions and their members have the same accountability as the average taxpayer? Should an illegal alien be “illegal”? Thank you Wisconsin and Arizona for taking that first giant step.

KENT OLDHAM
Grand Junction

Richards will be a breath of fresh air on City Council

I am writing this letter to express my support for Jacob Richards in the upcoming City Council election. I have worked with Mr. Richards in the peace movement, local and international uranium issues and homelessness in the valley. I have found him to be a trustworthy partner, one with a lot of positive energy to get things done.

Mr. Richards will receive my vote for City Council for several reasons. He has a strong moral conviction for standing up for the little guy. I have seen him take on some pretty intimidating people, and he will not back down from intimidation. This comes in handy, because council has to regularly deal with heavy hitters.

I think his relatively young age is a breath of fresh air in a town that has been run by an unofficial good ol’ boys club. As far as his past and his felony conviction, I have had many deep conversations with him about it. As I see it, people make mistakes, and he made some doozies.

He also paid his debt back to society. Somewhere along the line we have to allow for redemption. I simply repeat, I would trust Mr. Richards explicitly in a City Council position. We can spend the election talking about his past, or we can talk about the future of Grand Junction. It’s time to move on. I encourage people to ask him the tough questions about the Council, because there are many issues we face and he has many good ideas.

ERIC LEE NIEDERKRUGER
Grand Junction


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