E-mail letters, July 27, 2010

Sound work-visa system
is key to immigration reform

The focus of the immigration debate is misplaced on securing the border and what to do about undocumented people here already, while the root of the problem and the most effective step to be taken is to fix the broken work-visa system. This will satisfy both people looking to help immigrants and xenophobes wanting to control immigration.

The current system allows for around 65,000 work visas, while roughly 400,000 workers are needed to fill jobs that Americans don’t want. Creating an effective system that is affordable for workers to be a part of will accomplish many objectives.

First, it will greatly reduce the number of illegal border crossings, which will help Border Patrol to police the border. Also, if a worker has a reasonable expectation that he or she will be able to come here to work, go home, and then return again to work, that person will be much less likely to risk life crossing illegally, thus reducing deaths and exposure to abuse.

Second, an effective work-visa system will help the government to know who is here and where they are, satisfying complaints that illegal immigrants pose a security threat to our country, warranted or not.

Third, it will reduce the pressure to instantly grant citizenship to people who are here undocumented by allowing them be a part of the system while allowing them to return home.
This is fair to the people who wait years or decades to become residents or citizens, which is the primary argument against granting amnesty to undocumented people.

An effective work-visa system will have to include background checks, validation of eligibility by employers and enforcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement but, above all, it must be affordable and feasible with reasonable processing times for workers to be apart of it. Otherwise it will fall apart.
Derek Potter
Grand Junction

Illegal immigration is
invasion by foreigners

Isn’t it amazing how the attitudes of our elected officials change with the passage of time and the probabilities of being re-elected or not?

It hasn’t been quite 70 years since the Japanese Empire bombed Pearl Harbor and other Pacific Islands, which started our involvement in World War II.  Shortly thereafter, President Roosevelt ordered all people of Japanese descent rounded up and placed in internment camps for the duration of the war.

Most of these people were citizens of the U.S., but their property and businesses were confiscated and they were forcefully moved to the interior region of the country. It didn’t make any difference to the government whether they had proper papers or were citizens of the U.S. The 442 Regimental Combat Team made up of Japanese American citizens fought in Europe and was one of the most highly decorated units of WW II. They fought for this country while their families were confined to internment camps.
Now move ahead to the present. The United States is being invaded by citizens from a friendly country. But, we have elected officials in our nation’s capital who don’t want to violate the non-existent rights of illegal immigrants. These so-called constitutional experts claim that Arizona has no right to stop, question or detain anyone as they may not have their papers with them and they may be legal citizens who just forgot their driver’s licenses, etc. This is so stupidly ridiculous that it would be funny, if it weren’t so serious.

Is there anybody out there but me, who believes this is a planned takeover of the American government?  Import enough grateful people and they will vote for you indefinitely. It doesn’t make any difference if the quality of life deteriorates from the continued massive invasion, and we have no common language. The fat-cat politicians will always have plenty!

I, for one, offer an apology to all the Japanese-Americans of WW II. What the government of the U.S. did to you then was wrong, and what the government is not doing now with this illegal immigration has to be rubbing salt into your wounds. Being loaded on a train at the point of a bayonet with your citizenship papers in your hand is quite different than being asked for a driver’s license in Phoenix by a city policeman when you can’t speak a word of English.
Neal A. Ward

Tipton is best candidates
for Colorado’s energy needs

I urge every voter concerned about Colorado energy development to support Scott Tipton for the U.S. Congress. Mr. Tipton is sensitive to the social impacts associated with energy development. He has the proven skills to address the huge complexity of impacts upon the health and welfare of society. 

Mr. Tipton will stand by his basic principles, which have guided his actions with constituents and peers in the Legislature. His goals are result-oriented, tempered with common sense, and based upon his successful business experience.

We must not have a congressman who thinks he has all the answers or is unwilling to meet his constituents. Scott Tipton’s track record is that of a statesman who will effectively stand up to pressure from party leadership in Washington.

Colorado has some of the largest deposits in the United States of high-quality coal, oil, oil shale, natural gas, and uranium. We also have huge potential for solar and wind power generation. Our national interest demands the nation rapidly secure energy independence. That means Colorado will surely experience changes that can and should be done in an orderly manner to protect our water resources, commercial sectors and air quality with balanced laws and policies.

We need a principled, humble and experienced leader. Scott Tipton is the only candidate who fits that description.
Don Rapp


City officials overstated
impacts of ballot measures

Was anyone else bothered by Grand Junction city employees admitting during a work-day “retreat” they spent tax-paid time creating arguments against tax relief initiatives? Even worse, they exaggerated the fiscal impact to the city (which is always equal to the tax savings to the citizens). They didn’t itemize their alleged $10 million effect next year. Why? Because it’s a bogus number.

Amendment 61 requires voter approval for future local borrowing. That does not cut city revenue.

Amendment 60 covers property taxes starting in 2011, when they could ask us for increases, as they’re supposed to anyway.

Proposition 101 lowers vehicle, income and phone-cable charges. Income taxes are state revenue, not affecting the city. Those nuisance phone bill charges are mostly state-imposed. City sales taxes and fees on phone and cable are under 1 percent of total city revenue, which is why they don’t list this “huge” revenue.

City vehicle taxes (sales, lease, rental) and the city kickback on state ownership taxes collected through the county clerk are likewise a tiny part of their total budget. Both forms of tax relief are also phased down over four years. Why didn’t the city official mention that?

Finally, Proposition 101 lowers vehicle registration taxes to $10 per car per year for everyone. It reverses the massive state tax increase in 2009, when everyone’s registration cost doubled or tripled. Politicians called it a “fee” to deprive us of our constitutional right to vote on this huge tax increase. Some of that loot dribbles down to the city (for now). The Legislature diverts the money elsewhere, as it has done so often with other “dedicated” revenue.
Who are the advocates for the taxpayers in these initiatives? You and me. Go to COtaxreforms.com to get educated and volunteer.
Debbie Schum


First Amendment, not God,
controls freedom of press

I have searched in vain thru my Bible and several concordances, seeking the source of letter writers Daniel Davis’ amazing statement July 23 that “the free press (is) a right granted by God, not government.”

And all along most of us had thought it is the First Amendment that has been the guarantor of freedom of the press! So Davis’ revelation comes as a great shock. Were it by the remotest chance to be true, it would have consequences he may not have considered. For if God has granted this right he undoubtedly would wish to exercise some continuing supervision.

Would He then be responsible for the (occasional?) errors and lapses to be found in newspapers? And what of the wider press — TV, the web, blogs, etc.? Should God be monitoring and, if necessary, censoring them to ensure the “higher and more fair standards in covering …. news” that Davis demands?

A moment’s reflection will show that invoking God to play a lead role in the journalistic enterprise would introduce more problems than He could readily handle. With so many calls being made to Him for intercession in religious disputes, political matters, economic issues and a wide variety of private concerns, He might not find the time to be editor-in-chief of the world’s media.

Therefore, let’s leave the press, imperfect as it is, under human rather than supernatural control, trusting that the First Amendment will continue to do its job for another 230 years.
Earle Mullen, President
Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers
Grand Junction

McInnis has record and
experience for Colorado

Scott McInnis cares about the things most important to the citizens of Colorado, creating jobs. Scott has a strong record of fighting for lower taxes, limited government and fiscal discipline. Scott will rein in government spending and oppose the job-killing taxes and fees that are
making Colorado unaffordable for business and our families.

His dedication to public service is demonstrated not only by the elected offices he’s held, but by his service to his hometown as a police office and volunteer firefighter.

After serving five consecutive terms as a state representative and 12 years as a United States congressman, Scott’s dedication to public service has moved him to seek the highest office in the state.

His life experience uniquely qualifies him to compete for this office and the voters should look at his record of public service over more than 20 years.

Scott sees that the policies of the Democrats won’t help Colorado bring in the jobs and employers needed to help families all across the state.

My vote and support are with Scott McInnis.
Tom Roche

Medical marijuana
is an oxymoron

Regarding the Daily Sentinel’s July 26 story, “Foes:  Lawsuits likely if medical pot ban approved by voters”:
Medical marijuana is an oxymoron.  Smoking pot has less to do with medicine and more to do with getting high. The medicinal ingredient in marijuana is available in tablet form and should be dispensed by legitimate pharmaceutical outlets, not pot shops.
If, as implied by Mr. Vicente, the income and taxes from pot shops are more important during the present economic downturn than the societal collapse currently in progress from the free and abusive consumption of drugs and alcohol, especially by our young, then perhaps we should legalize the weed and be done with it.

This, after all, is where we are going, especially when those we have chosen to make wise decisions in this regard are more concerned about garnering taxes and avoiding being sued than doing what is right for the health and well-being of their constituents.

Please review. What have we elected you to do? What words did you mouth when you took the oath of office?
Robert A. Tallarico
Grand Junction

Ray Scott has experience
to represent Western Slope

If you review the credits for Ray Scott and Bob Hislop, running for House District 54, you cannot help but be impressed with both of them. So how do you make a choice with so much talent?
I was born and raised in Colorado. I lived half my life on the East Slope and the rest on the west side of the mountain. I am 65, and I care very much about my state.
One candidate has a history in a wide variety of fields working on the Western Slope, and the other does not. It angers me when people move into town and think they know how things should be done. Growing up in Boulder most likely will give an Eastern Slope edge to Hislop’s thinking.
The fact that both our sheriff and district attorney support Mr. Hislop makes me think they hope to gain from having someone with a law enforcement background in office. With his remarkable background, I see absolutely nothing that equips him with the knowledge and experience to be a representative.
I prefer to have someone who has earned his way locally to represent my interests and those of the Western Slope, rather than someone who has come here to retire, but thinks he, with his very limited experience (except in law enforcement), can go to Denver and represent anything I want, need, and require for my well being. We are all witness to the damage a politician can do when they have little or no experience
The choice is real easy. Vote for the one who has the experience to represent you.
David Shrum
Grand Junction

Hislop misunderstands
zero-based budgeting

Bob Hislop needs to know that what he described in Sunday’s edition of The Daily Sentinel is not
a zero-based budget.

Zero-based budgeting builds each line from zero, not last year’s budget or expenditures. Planned expenditures can be inserted only if they can be justified to fulfill the purposes of the institution.
Some lines could be larger than prior budgets and others, conceivably, could remain at zero. It is an intensive task, requires a strong hand, and seldom is done even, in institutions that claim it is used.

What he described is the status quo. It ensures that each department protects its own “turf” and we continue to fund programs that are no longer functional.

Let’s use zero-based budgets, but do it right!
Jonathon Wilson

Coverage of county fair
was a disappointment

What a disappointment to see such a great headline picture on the front page of The Daily Sentinel showing Allison Burenheide with her championship steer and a caption that directs readers to the website for additional photos.

What ever happened to reporting local news? Where is the story about Allison? These young people spend an enormous amount of time preparing their animals for the fair, and all they get is a picture in the news?

An article to go with the picture certainly would have been appropriate.

Congratulations to Allison, her dedication paid off.

Shame on The Daily Sentinel. Your coverage of the Mesa County Fair was disappointing.
Bonnie Huisjen
Grand Junction

Letter about Jane Norton
misstated the facts

I am always struck by Cheri Ofner’s willingness to misstate the truth on behalf of Jane Norton, as in her letter published on GJSentinel.com July 26.

Ofner forgets that Norton was a lobbyist for several years, including a stint with AARP. Medical Group Management Association confirmed to the Colorado Independent that Norton was their lobbyist. Norton later confirmed her AARP employment when Colorado Statesman discovered it.

Jane Norton is often called a conservative, but no conservative would join with well-known liberals to support the biggest tax increase in Colorado history. We cannot overlook that Norton continues her support of that tax increase.

Ms. Ofner alleges that she knows who funds various outside organizations. In fact, she “knows” nothing. She is referring to a claim filed by insider, Rick Grice. The Washington lawyer was paid by Norton’s campaign.

From the very beginning, Jane Norton has played the “sex card.” I’ve heard many times “I’m a girl.” “I don’t wear high heels.” “Vote for me because I’m a woman.”

Ken Buck’s quip, “I don’t wear high heels” was a humorous response to the constant sex-card drumbeat.

Ken Buck is an honorable man who, as a prosecutor, worked tirelessly to protect the little guy. When you hear about all the tax returns he “grabbed,” please know that he and the sheriff had a legal court order. Identity theft is a huge problem for all of us, and we depend on our system
for protection.

My last issue with Jane Norton is her support of amnesty. Listen to NPR Colorado’s audio from July 16 and you’ll hear Norton’s amnesty plan. I was shocked!

I have thoroughly investigated both Ken Buck and Jane Norton, and I encourage others to do the same. There is little, if any, truth in Norton’s negative ads. You will note that Ken Buck has never said a negative word about Jane Norton.
Valarie Murphy

More than two variables
make up climate science

In response to letter writer Richard Stover, who thinks climate change is based on only two
variables: Please read scientific information before becoming an “expert” yourself.

Much more than just melting ice and rising temperatures have gone into the overall picture of what is going on climatically on Earth.

Hmmm, let’s see, a list of data that is measured and used in this climate picture includes: carbon dioxide levels (and other greenhouse gases such as methane in the arctic regions due to melting permafrost) in the atmosphere, ocean acidity and ocean surface temperatures, sea-level rising due to melting glaciers.

Melting glaciers are not the major climate change data that Stover proclaims it to be. More important is the thinning of ice in the Arctic Ocean, the melting of this ice to the extent that there is truly a Northern Passage through the ocean during summer months, tropical and
subtropical diseases present in more northern/southern latitudes (which also is a factor of our more mobile society, so not all to blame on climate change).

There are so many more factors that go into this entire picture that I refer anyone to several sources of information: NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), UK Rivers Network, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), a multitude of scientific journals such as New Scientist, Science, and Nature, and even National Geographic.

Do your research before you oversimplify.
Bev Devore-Wedding




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