E-mail letters, Feb. 8, 2011

Despite story, Main Street is quite healthy

As an owner of a business on Main Street, I was really disappointed to see the front-page article in The Daily Sentinel on Feb 5. It’s unfortunate that Vintage West Boutique is not surviving, but I believe that Julie Groll was not “telling it like it is.”

Despite the construction, Main Street is thriving.  My business, Tangle, has been a smashing success and our January sales were up 27 percent from the year before.

It seems unfair that Ms. Groll would try to speak for all of Main Street. It paints an unrealistic picture of our collective health and sends a message to our customers that we are failing. Main Street is anything but failing!

I also believe it’s unfair to blame the success or failure of a business on the street being torn up. There are many factors involved in running a successful business, the first being having a product people want to buy. A business needs to be inviting, it needs to be properly marketed. 31 businesses are participating in a weekly give-away to provide incentive to customers to shop downtown during the construction.

It’s also untrue that Main Street business owners were not informed about what was going to happen with the construction. There have been multiple meetings and weekly e-mails. The Downtown Association has done an excellent job of keeping us informed and getting the word out to our customers. Ms. Groll can be positive or negative, but the fact remains that no shop owner can stick their head in the sand and blame their business failing on anyone (or anything) but themselves.

Grand Junction

Servers to not always deserve a 20 percent tip

In regards to waiters and waitresses deserving to get fair tips: A tip, is just that a tip. It is not guaranteed or required by patrons. If you do not like your hourly wages, take them up with your employer.

I will tip if the service is great — not good — great. I refuse to tip when I have a party of five or more and the gratuity is included in the bill. That is my money and the truth be told, one could consider that extortion. I am there to eat not give away my hard earned cash. Where do wait staff come off assuming we will not tip automatically with such large parties?

In her letter, Catie Wezensky states that most servers make around $4.26 an hour. Using her math facts and tipping 20 percent per bill, let’s do some calculations. My bill for four is $50 and including the tip of 20 percent, the total is now $60. If Ms Wezensky makes $4.26 an hour, she just made $14.26 off of my table. Figuring that she should have more than one table and it is a good restaurant, well you do the math.

Many hard working people would like to be able to make $14.26 an hour, but they can’t in the valley. Ms. Wezensky, telling people should not to go out and eat because they do not have the ability or desire to tip you and others of your chosen profession 20 percent is shameful and pathetic. Please tell us where you work so we know which restaurant to avoid.

Grand Junction

Wake celebrated Pinon Grill as faithful neighbor

I attended a wake recently. It was to mourn the demise of a faithful neighborhood friend as well as celebrate the impact this friend has had on our Redlands community for the past 15 years.

It was hosted by Steve Hoefer and John Wieser, owner and manager of The Pinon Grill at Tiara Rado Golf Course. The event was well attended and about 50 percent of the attendees were full-time golfers.

We all voiced the same sentiment: What a shame it is that this local gathering place will be gone from our small community, a community that has absolutely no other local gathering place.

The Pinon Grill succumbed as a result of “manslaughter” by the city of Grand Junction. This death was caused by a city manager and a Parks and Recreation director who had their own agenda and would not listen to the people who frequented Pinon Grill — the public was never given a voice. City
Council abetted in the “death” by not having the courage to stand behind their original decision that Two Rivers Convention Center was not to operate the food and beverage concession at Tiara Rado Golf Course.

Survivors include the many groups and organization who will have to find other venues for their activities, local residents who have nowhere to gather for coffee or a quick meal or a visit with friends (the city has annexed and collects taxes on a good portion of the area, but provides no services).

The new RFP by the city for a concessionaire at Tiara Rado places such restrictive oversight by the city (i.e., city approval for any special events, pricing, menu, etc.) that only a fool would enter into such a contract.

As the mourners left the wake, apparitions of the city manager and the director of Parks and Recreation were at the door with large grins on their countenance.

Let’s see if they are smiling a year from now, when their plan has failed.

Grand Junction

Tipton has proven he will fight for his agenda

Danny Herzog’s January 30 column failed to make a clear critique of Congressman Scott Tipton’s vote to repeal last year’s health care bill. How can Scott Tipton be guilty of pandering to the tea-party right when he made a campaign promise to vote to repeal health care?

Mr. Herzog is merely attacking a straw man. However, Herzog is correct in saying that Rep. Tipton is a “bright, likeable guy” who “has defensible positions.” And, I think his vote to repeal health care proves his “intestinal fortitude.” We can be proud of our congressman for doing what we sent him to Washington to do.

Grand Junction

Zoo proponents seeking support

As active members and volunteers within the Western Slope community, Grand Valley Zoological Quest eagerly shares our vision to those who ask about the budding idea of an educational zoological facility within the Grand Valley.

GVZQ’s vision is to create a certified expanding educational zoological park which includes enriched environments for all species exhibited. Our mission is the same as all certified zoological parks: education, conservation and research of flora and fauna within our facility.

While monetary support is greatly needed, our only request to the city of Grand Junction is the ability to lease the land on which we hope to build this educational zoological park. Such agreements are standard practice between city parks and zoos for example: Denver Zoo; Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City; Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Currently, the city of Grand Junction’s Parks and Recreational Department supports a variety of public nonprofits including The Art Center, Botanical Gardens and Museum of Western Colorado via the city of Grand Junction’s Commission on Arts and

There are over 365 undeveloped park acres held by the city of Grand Junction including: Las Colonias, Matchett and Burkey, all of which the city estimates will cost approximately $150,000 per acre to develop. As a nonprofit organization, GVZQ seeks to secure the funding for the educational zoological park through state and national foundation grants.

As an asset to our community, we provide educational classes in the field of zoology to local schools free of charge. Our classes are created by licensed teachers and professional s. GVZQ’s zoology classes include state, national and STEM standards for biological sciences.

We readily look forward to discussing the further potential of GVZQ within our community. Please direct your questions, concerns, and support to the GVZQ’S website: http://www.gvzooquest.org.

Executive Director GVZQ
Grand Junction

Contact Republicans to make deep cuts

The GOP is proposing $34 billion in spending cuts. Already the vested interest, those who benefit from increased government spending are gearing up to fight these cuts. They’ll point out that cutting a light-rail project will cost thousands of jobs, or that defunding the Department of Education will cost thousands of jobs.

This is all smoke and mirrors or daytime melodrama. The deficit, not the debt, but what we add to the debt is now $1,539 billion per year. After the Republicans cut $34 billion, the deficit will be $1,505 billion. Tokenism at its finest.

Sen. Rand Paul has proposed and detailed a $500 billion cut in spending. But the newbie Republican congressmen are scared to death of it.  And Rand Paul’s proposal is still only 1/3 of the deficit.

The good times have hit the wall. There are rather dire consequences including a drastic reduction in the standard of living for every American if this out of control federal government isn’t reigned in.  Austerity isn’t fun, but the collapse of the dollar, the theft of trillions in retirement funds by runaway inflation and the economic collapse that follows are worse.

Please e-mail or call Congressman Tipton: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 241-2499 and encourage him to be braver, to insist or real spending cuts.

Contact our senators and ask them to support Sen. Rand Paul’s $500 billion spending cut proposal.

Sen. Mark Udall’s contact information: 877-768-3255 or 245-9553. Sen. Michael Bennet’s contact information is 866-455-9866.

Energy subsidies are still needed

The worst of the assaults on logic, scholarship and composition to appear in letters make the section difficult to stomach at times — and I have a nephew named Rick Coleman — but the letter from Rick Coleman recently was particularly offensive.

Historically, subsidies have been an attempt to encourage competition, especially where an established industry has a distinct advantage over a potentially more efficient one. Fossil fuels have been subsidized for at least 70 years since the build-up for World War II and possibly longer. The multi-billion dollar oil and gas industry of today has no need of subsidies anymore to level the playing field with any other competitor. In this case, subsidies only increase the obscene profits squeezed out of dependent consumers with very few alternatives for transportation and heating. Thus Mr. Coleman’s idea of dropping all subsidies to level the playing field is a preposterous joke.

The only way to actually begin to level the playing field would be to drop subsidies for fossil fuels, tax them to approximate their true cost in terms of environmental damage, and subsidize renewables for 70 years. That won’t happen in my lifetime, but it would provide some fair competition, something
I thought we prized in this country. Of course, a fledgling industry can scarcely compete immediately with a subsidized behemoth. Who would even argue that? I daresay, however, that the general public is hardly unanimously convinced that renewable energy is folly.

Finally, I’m still scratching my head with the slavery comparison. The real issue is what’s best for our country and giving new ideas and processes a fair shot more than it is rights or wrongs. There are more than a few of us out there who understand what sustainability is all about.




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