E-mail letters, January 10, 2011

Salazar’s wild ruling
good news for Colorado

Like many of us, I spent my childhood hunting and fishing in the backcountry of the Western Slope. It was a family tradition handed down to me and one that I would like to pass on to future generations. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar’s decision to reinstate the ability of the BLM to identify and manage lands with wilderness values will help make that happen.

Salazar’s Secretarial Order restores balance between development and the protection of wildlife and habitat. While we continue to work toward rebuilding a robust economy in Colorado, we must be cognizant of the revenue generated by sportsmen, which supports our local economies.

Hunting and angling are the life-blood of many small businesses along the Western Slope, and the second-largest tourism sector in our state. In effect, if we protect wildlife habitat on our public lands, wildlife recreation can remain a renewable resource well, from which our small communities may infinitely draw from.

Salazar’s decision to protect wild lands is a step in the right direction, ensuring that Colorado will continue to be the sportsman’s paradise that it is today.
Gaspar Perricone, Co-director
Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance

Republicans should give up
their congressional health care

The following is a petition to the tea party Republicans that I signed and which will be given to Rep. Eric Cantor. I believe anybody who supports the new health care law should sign this. The tea partiers want to stop the Washington hypocrisy? They can start by practicing what you preach. Here is the petition:

“I am calling on you and your fellow Republicans in Congress to practice what you preach, and to give up your government-sponsored health care.

For two years, you opposed any effort at reasonable reform, and derided attempts to help tens of millions of uninsured Americans as ‘socialist.’ And yet, you seem to have no problem at all accepting government-sponsored health care for yourselves.

Practice what you preach, and stop being hypocrites. You want to repeal health care reform? Fine — start by ‘repealing’ your own! “
Wayne Flick

Council folded for
to apartment developer

The recent article covering the Jan. 5 City Council meeting focused on the hot-button issue of atheists giving the invocation, something that seems quite trivial in the larger scheme of things.

Meanwhile, there were a mere four sentences on a far more important event in the poker game of local civic life. Five members on the council voted to give away $106,140 in taxpayer chips to the big-stacked professional player, Davidson Homes, subsidizing
the construction of a 60-unit apartment complex.

This is a project that is arguably unnecessary in the current market (“Now Leasing” signs remain plentiful in the city) and certainly unwanted by the neighborhoods adjacent to the building site where the density per acre is about half what these apartments will be. But apparently tax relief is called for here in the hope that the virtues of infill development, construction jobs, and more residential bicycling and walking will produce an ace on the river and a monster pot for all.

Alas! It’s obvious they’re drawing dead and this is an absurd waste of public funds. I suspect many others would feel the same if they weren’t distracted by those damned heathens.

Hey, where were they when our city fathers and mothers were bestowing the “Little Sisters of the Poor” treatment on a successful commercial company? I guess they’d folded their cards and slipped out the back, having had their desired moment in the public eye. Besides, given the pious ineptitude, slow dealers, and dead money that passes for a City Council meeting in this card room, who can blame them?
Paul Rolland
Grand Junction

Penry should explain
support for anti-coal bill

Please ask Josh Penry to explain why he sold out the coal miners on the Western Slope with his sponsorship of the Clean Air, Clean Fuels act. I’m sure they
would like to know.
Terry Ray

Ask Congress to eliminate
Department of Education

Recently,  I wrote to our two U.S. senators and the representative for our district and asked them to support phasing out the U.S. Department of Education over the next five years.

Please don’t assume that I am against the best education for our young people, since the opposite is true. What I am against is intrusion by the feds into areas best managed by local and state authorities. School boards, monitored by a state agency, can best handle what is basically a local problem.

Billions of dollars have been spent by the feds since the Education Department was created, with little or no improvement to our educational system. It is time to acknowledge that idea is a failure and should be abandoned.
Anyone agreeing with this proposition should contact our representatives in Congress.  Making this happen will require a long hard fight, since once a federal agency is created, eliminating it is very difficult. Reducing the size of the federal government should have the support of all U.S. citizens.
Dick Prosence

‘Fair chase’ doesn’t mean
shooting animals in dens

The phrase “fair chase” has a very specific meaning in the hunting world.  The Boone and Crockett Club defines it as “the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild, native North American big-game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals.”
Last November, a Colorado “hunter” tracked a black bear to its den, where it was likely preparing to hibernate for the winter, then shot it in the den. Such an act, although not currently illegal, is an unfortunate example of excessively poor judgment and a complete lack of fair chase ethics, and Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers fully supports the state Wildlife Commission’s plans to draft a rule banning the hunting of bears in dens.
The Boone and Crockett Club was founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and his hunting buddies. Fifteen years later (when Roosevelt was president), after an unproductive outing for black bear in Mississippi, one of the guides ran down a bear with dogs, then dragged the creature into camp for Roosevelt to shoot. He declined in disgust, explaining the principles of fair chase.
Roosevelt understood that an ethical hunter is a person that knows and respects the animals hunted, follows the law, and behaves in a way that will satisfy what society expects of him or her as a hunter. That was clearly not the case in this unfortunate bear-killing incident.  As Scott Limmer, a regional director for the Colorado Outfitters Association said, “We don’t go out and hunt bears in dens. It’s just not done.”
David Lien, Co-chairman
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Colorado Springs

Grand Junction needs
more seafood eateries

I have lived in Grand Junction since 1956 and have seen a lot of changes occur — some good, some bad.

One thing I don’t understand is this: How can a city of this size not have more than one fish restaurant? We have enough Asian and Mexican places. Let’s get at least one or two more fish establishments in this town!
Sally Painter
Grand Junction

Green project are not
really so cost-effective

When I read in the Jan. 9 edition of The Daily Sentinel the headline, “Energy efficient projects good for the bottom line and the environment,” I immediately wondered how thoroughly that encouraging headline would be supported in the body of the article. Not very well, I am afraid!

Palisade Pharmacy’s solar-powered installation cost $70,000, and the article states it will pay for itself in four years. However, two-thirds of the cost was subsidized by government. Without that, actually, it would take 12 years for the operation to become cost-effective.

Will the cost of maintenance, repair and replacement over 12 years still make it, truly, cost effective? What was the cost to the environment of the rare-earth elements used in construction, mostly mined in the most polluted country on earth, China? What is the morality of a farmer in Topeka and a shopkeeper in Tallahassee paying to reduce the cost of electricity to a pharmacy in Palisade?

One has to believe in the unlikely theory that an increase in our atmosphere of a few parts per million of carbon dioxide has a significant impact on our climate to even think in these terms.

I have absolutely no objection to people surrounding themselves with green technology, some that actually may be cost effective, but please, don’t make the rest of us pay for your fantasy that you are saving the planet.
Hans Croeber


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