E-mail letters, July 12, 2011

TSA didn’t mandate this
airport security plan

The Grand Junction Airport Authority claims the TSA is requiring a new security fence at
the airport that will severely impact business on the airport. How is that possible when the same is not required at other airports, such as Montrose?

Federal agencies with regulatory and enforcement authority, such as the TSA, specify minimum requirements for security plans. The regulated entity, such as the Airport Authority, writes the security plan. The regulator reviews the proposed security plan and if the minimum requirements are met, the plan
is approved.

The regulator views the approved plan as a contract, and it does not care if the plan exceeds requirements. The regulator requires adherence to the plan, and may impose fines for non-compliance. This is why
the rules can vary so much. I spoke with a TSA official at Grand Junction and this is the case with the security plan at our airport.

A wise, regulated entity writes the security plan to just meet the regulator’s requirements. Why? To minimize the impact on productivity and/or business, and for latitude in addressing unforeseen situations.

Why would a security plan exceed requirements? Many reasons. Here are a few: To impress the regulator, address a perceived inadequacy in the requirements, address local concerns or an alternate agenda.

The regulated entity sometimes hides behind the regulator by blaming their own burdensome regulations, rules or actions on the regulator. This is a deception, and at some level a case can be made that it is technically not a lie, but it is not the whole truth.

The truth is that the TSA is requiring adherence to the security plan that the Airport Authority itself wrote. The deception is that the TSA specified all the rules that we are required to obey, including the new fence.
Randy Bremmer

Mesa State should have
expanded up, not out

I just read the letter to the editor from T.L. Caruthers regarding the expansion of Mesa State College and I could not agree more.

I, too, live in the area by Mesa State. When I purchased my home in 2008, Tim Foster had stated that the college had no plans to move west. He made the same statement again in 2009 and 2010 at neighborhood meetings held at the college.

In the spring of this year, there was another meeting and the new plans to move west were made public. Statements were made that the college would offer a fair price for the homes in the area and would be working with the people living in the area.

I had some conversations with Derek Wagner, director of Strategic Development at the college and he told me that as houses were purchased they would be used for rentals until enough properties were acquired to build on. This has proved to be false. The house next door to me was one of the first purchased by the college. It is located in the middle of the block and it has been torn down and will be used for parking.

The college did make an offer on my home, but it was $40,000 less than I paid for it three years ago. Fair price? I really don’t think so.

City Council members state they want to continue the good relationship they have with Mesa State, but what about the people who live and work in Grand Junction? The college is not likely to close shop and relocate if they don’t get the zoning they want, but if enough people are forced from their homes, they may indeed have to relocate. I have a neighbor who is looking at moving to Arizona due to the housing issue.

There are several retirees in the area and these people have worked hard and own their homes. How fair is it to them to have the expansion disrupt their lives or worse, have to worry about where they will go if they are forced to move.

The students park on the street instead of paying for a parking pass. Both sides of the side streets are full so a two-lane street is a narrow, one-lane street.

It’s too bad the college didn’t decide to build up instead of out. It would have made for a much happier, safer neihborhood.
Kelly Wells
Grand Junction

Penry displays his opinions
rather than any insight

When reading opinion pieces from the local “golden boy” Josh Penry, some of us will at times hesitate to criticize, viewing doing as approaching “child abuse.” However, given that he keeps returning with his infantile adulation of characters, myth and ideology, whatever criticism he receives is earned.

In his most recent piece where he criticizes “those others” of idolizing President Obama and his ideology, his own lack of clear thinking is evidenced when, at the end of his piece he presents the reader with his own idols, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, and thereby their ideologies.  So, his entire opinion and all of his words did nothing but indicate that he views his own idols as better than what he believes are the idols of others.

Perhaps Penry is in need of idols and thereby assumes that others are as well.  Some of us have long moved passed that stage and any childish emotional need for Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the bogey man, or some type of messiah.  We replace them with even bigger ones.  What we did was dispose of them altogether, choosing reality instead.  That is part of maturing, both intellectually and emotionally.

Penry might want to do that as well prior to afflicting the public with another of his opinions based upon what some of us are sure he considers his “expertise” on all matters of public policy and assuming that because he does not do his own homework or thinking, nobody else does.

If the gentleman wishes to be taken seriously, he needs to do away with the sports fan mentality he all too often displays in his opinions.
Robert I. Laitres

Newcomers must respect
traditions of the valley

Once again I read the “You Said It” column with both amusement and a little anger.

Where do all these people who want to change everything in this valley come from? It would seem the minute they get their furniture moved in they want to start changing this community to suit themselves by way of local government creating new laws.

If life was so ideal where you came from why not consider going back there?

This valley is a wonderful place to live and the people who were born and raised here are some of the best.  So who are all these folks who complain about the smoke from field burns and having dogs at the farmers market or their neighbors celebrating Independence Day? All these things are what this valley is all about and who are they to say the rest of us should change? I have lived here 14 years and I would not change one thing.

One remedy to these people’s problem, besides moving back to the Utopia they came from, is to find themselves a nice condo in a high rise building in a large city. They should get on the condo board and then they can control your life and surroundings to suit themselves. No smoke, no pets and no fireworks.

If they choose to stay in this beautiful place to live, they should try picking up on how the natives live and be neighborly. A few days of fireworks once a year are not going to turn their world upside down. And if they choose to stay, they should be good neighbors and shut up.
Richard Gerhardt

Water court ruling is
wake-up call near Meeker

The recent ruling of the District Court, Water Division 6, concerning the applications of Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District, should be a wake-up call.

The judge’s ruling substantiates the need for revisions in management practices. We cannot afford to manage our taxes or water recklessly. We need a Water Conservancy District that has all our interest in mind and can operate in a transparent and legal forum.

The court’s ruling was based on the lack of a legal quorum of directors, when four of the nine directors were either not present or were still sitting on the board after their term had expired. We are sure that is the definition of “taxation without Representation.” Without the current public involvement by a few
individuals this would have never been identified.
If we continue to do nothing about our water, we will loose it. We are not big enough to fight Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Francisco’s water needs. The second law of water in the west is “water
flows uphill to money” and we cannot afford to spend ours recklessly.

We urge everybody who pays the taxes that support the Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District to get to know the district’s board of directors. We urge people to do a little research on water in the West through
http://www.westernwaterlaw.com or read “Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers” by P. Andrew Jones.

We urge people to get involved in helping the Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District to preserve our water rights and manage them with due diligence. We urge people to do a little research on the representation they are receiving from your local governments and start demanding representation for the taxes they have paid.
Scott & Veronica Fandrich

Where are the protests
over our current conditions?

With 14 million people out of work, with millions being evicted from foreclosed homes and millions more coping with “underwater” mortgages, with the income disparity between rich and poor at its highest level in over a century and with the country poised on the precipice of fiscal default, why aren’t we experiencing any significant social turmoil?

If we were truly civilized, like say the French, we would long ago have gathered by the millions at the National Mall, marched on Congress, and then moved to surround the White House. In other words, 
we would have taken firm steps to demand our elected representatives end the gridlock that has paralyzed our government and the nation.

If “we the people” would galvanize into action as we did during the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War days of the 1960s, the spirit of Thomas Jefferson would undoubtedly be with us. Unlike other leaders of the republic, Jefferson felt the people had a right to do more than express their grievances against the government. In a 1787 letter to James Madison, Jefferson wrote: “I hold that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical ... It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.”

I would hope any Jefferson-style “rebellion” would be led by progressives, but I’m afraid that’s just not in the cards. Unfortunately, it’s the far-right that currently has the “fire in the belly,” while the best we liberals can muster is sitting around a drum circle smoking legal medicinal marijuana and trying to remember the
lyrics to “Kumbaya” and “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”
E. Michael Ervin
Grand Junction

Republicans raised debt
without cutting spending

As an independent voter, I am outraged at the debates over the deficit. Both parties have contributed to it, but the biggest contributor has been the Republican Party and it amazes me that the voters have forgotten how we got here.
My disappointment with the Democratic Party is its unwillingness to make some cuts to entitlement programs. We really do need Medicare, health care reform and Social Security. But they always go a bit too far. There are some cuts that can be made, like cuts on spending for people who are not citizens.

My biggest gripe is with the Republican Party. When President Jimmy Carter left office, we had a federal debt of $998 billion (an increase of $299 billion during his four years). When President Reagan left, it was $2.86 trillion. For President George H.W. Bush it was $4.4 Trillion; for President Clinton, $5.8 Trillion; for President George W. Bush, $11.9 trillion.

Do the math. The Democratic presidents raised the debt $1.7 trillion, the Republicans, $9.5 trillion. They implemented tax cuts that benefited corporations and the rich, then did not cut back on spending.

Then, with their deregulation, they allowed banks to gamble with our money, causing the economic crisis. That is what created the high unemployment. Now they want to continue to allow these “entitlements” to continue for the richest Americans by not removing loopholes while cutting things like Medicare that older and financially strapped Americans like my parents depend on.

Closing these loopholes will not cost jobs. Allowing the government to default will, and not just a measly 1 or 2 percent.

President Obama is doing a very good job trying to compromise. He inherited this mess and the tax cuts that are still piling on the debt.

Come on Republicans, quit being such hypocrites and let’s work together.
David Copely
Grand Junction

Holder and Obama should be
impeached over gun plan

A recent headline reads, “ATF keeping tabs on who buys high-powered rifles along border.” It refers to an AP wire story, or part of it.

My daddy taught us that it’s a whole lot harder to earn trust again once that sacred trust had been broken.

It is good that there seems to have been some policy change. But the headline I long to see is, “Eric Holder is greeted by Sheriff Joe Apaio for fitting of pink prison wear after being impeached.” A companion headline could read, “Obama impeached for his role in DOJ /ATF scheme to allow guns to run into Mexico to the drug cartels.”

Now those headline would suggest change I could believe in.

If American citizens are now feeling the need to keep and bear arms because our own president and
his Justice Department have been behind the arming of the Mexican drug cartels since 2009, I can understand why the level of distrust is there.

Our own government has worked very hard to earn a reputation as anti-American. Maybe these Mexican
drug cartels are the private army Obama spoke of. They seem unfettered by our Constitution as much as Obama himself seems to be.
Robert Burkholder


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