E-mail letters, June 3, 2010

Edmiston’s legacy should be
his county accomplishments

In his tenure with Mesa County, Bob Edmiston transformed the landfill from a 19th century “dump” into a model 21st century facility.  It is a fine example of what intelligence, energy, and technology can accomplish.  The hazardous waste processing facility and the composting facility are examples.

And let us not forget that it was due to Bob’s efficient organization and record keeping that the body of Jennifer Blagg was found.

I feel for Bob and his family and for all others affected by his alleged actions, which I in no way condone.  But I most sincerely hope that his legacy will be what he has
accomplished for the county, rather than these current events.

The county needs to replace him with someone who can carry on his vision of a modern landfill.  They could do far worse than to consider his protege, Cameron Garcia.
Susan Rose
Grand Junction


‘Free thinkers’ should consider
good works of the churches

Concerning the self-proclaimed “free thinkers” who stroll the streets of the city, welcoming people to join their ranks:

First, I invite them to consider the reality that there are no such persons as “free thinkers.” Every one of us is influenced and molded to a significant degree by our
upbringing, environment, and experiences as we age. One proof that they are
neither “free,” nor original, thinkers is their predictable criticism of the “organized church.” It’s clear that if one desires to be a free thinker, one is not “free” to think otherwise about the “organized church.”

Second, I invite them to consider that, while individuals of all persuasions may contribute to the betterment of society in various ways, there are other significant contributions that require the cooperation and complexity of organization. Of course, there are criticisms of the organized church that no honest or informed person can deny. Imperfect as it is, the “organized” church through the ages has been instrumental in the creation and continuing support of thousands of hospitals, colleges, and humanitarian
services.

Should the organized church become, well…, disorganized, and collapse, perhaps the free thinkers of this generation, after a toast to victory, will be willing to underwrite the continuation of compassionate services to humanity that would otherwise no longer exist. After all, making a redeeming difference in this world doesn’t come “free,” but at a cost.
Bill Forbes
Whitewater


Dependence on foreign oil
could be greater disaster

The disaster in the Gulf is unprecedented. Engineering for deep-water drilling is comparable to the engineering needed for space exploration. The oil industry thought they were operating safely. There had never been a disaster like this.

In all that we do every day we are exposed to potential accidents.  Space shuttles crash and we go on.  In industry, no-nonsense risk analysis follows. What have we learned that can prevent this?

A more significant exposure to risk is our dependence on foreign oil. A bigger disaster would follow a serious slow down in imported oil. There are risks from pollution and risks in exposing ourselves to the whims of unstable governments. Balancing those risks and thinking beyond the next election is not something any government is very good at.   

Politicians know that if gas prices go to $6 a gallon and it costs twice as much to heat our homes, they will lose their jobs. Therefore, I’m not worried about government stopping drilling in the Gulf.

Let’s hope that once this catastrophe is under control the oil industry officials feel that they have learned enough from their mistakes to make it safe and cost effective to go back to drilling. Nothing is more important for jobs and the economy in the Gulf States.

Without any doubt, our nation needs that oil and much more. There is no magic green wand the government can wave to plug the hole in our energy needs.
Dave Kearsley
Mesa


Edmonds will be missed
by all who knew him

Chan Edmonds was the most dedicated hard-working person I have ever known.  He knew every aspect of newspapering and worked tirelessly behind the main stage to make whatever publication(s) he was involved in the best they could be.  He was a quiet compassionate man with a huge heart.
“Chedmonds,” you will be missed by all of us who ever worked with you. In the words of Edward Abbey, “May your rivers flow without end.”
Bob Schumacher
Denver

Seems Rose Pugliese
has struck a nerve!

I was one of the citizens attending the District 51 board meeting where Rose Pugliese
gave her presentation voicing parents’ concerns (backed up by signed petitions) in regard to the one-sided teaching of global warming and their feelings that some teachers are introducing their own political philosophies in the classroom.

To my amazement, columnists Denny Herzog and Bill Grant, as well as others, are passionately trying to make more out of the situation than what happened and are voicing the same tired old liberal rhetoric in their attempt to tear her apart.

Rose did not “attack” anyone that evening, as has been alleged. She simply stood up and gave her talk and presented her petitions as part of the public comments part of the School Board agenda. Several other citizens followed, either supporting her position or not supporting it. Everyone was polite and respectable, both those who spoke and the board. What has followed in the papers and elsewhere seems to prove that some narrow- minded people think Rose and her supporters did not have the right to do this.

I think it is time that District 51 and the teachers’ union wake up. There is great parental concern that students are not being taught that there is more than one side to important issues of the day, such as global warming. Also, parents don’t want their children influenced by teachers introducing their own political philosophies while teaching.

These are both rational concerns and should not be belittled by the press and politicians. Rose should be thanked for bringing these issues into the light of day.
Sue Benjamin
Grand Junction


Maes should drop out
of gubernatorial race

Dan Maes’ victory over Scott McInnis recently at the Republican State Assembly does not make him a legitimate contender for governor.

Even if Maes barely beat McInnis at the Republican State Assembly, he has no money. How does he expect to win a primary in August and then challenge John Hickenlooper in November when his most recent fundraising report shows a balance of around $21,000?

His primary opponent, Scott McInnis has a balance of over $582,000 and Mayor Hickenlooper’s total shows $130,000. Dan Maes cannot compete with them. Maes is not going to be able to raise the money to make any impact on a statewide election. He should just step aside and let the two serious candidates run this race.
The longer and harder this primary election is, the harder it will be for either Republican candidate to defeat John Hickenlooper. And that should be the party’s ultimate goal.

A businessman with no political experience who cannot raise money is not the right choice to run against Hickenlooper. In the best interest of Colorado and the Republican Party, Dan Maes should get out of this race, even with his recent State Assembly victory.
Natalie Jones
Grand Junction


Uranium industry offers
death, disease, not good jobs

Sheep Mountain Alliance and a growing coalition of concerned organizations and individuals are working to stop the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill in southwest Colorado.

We are concerned with the mill’s impacts on the surrounding population, regional air, water and wildlife habitat. We are concerned with the impacts on the regional economy. We are opposed to renewed uranium extraction and processing in this region before we have cleaned up the massive toxic mess remaining from past uranium booms. We are concerned with the legacy we will leave for the next generations.
The toxic trail of uranium production has littered the Uravan Mineral Belt that follows the Dolores River from Dolores County to Mesa County, with over 1,500 unreclaimed uranium mines, the Uravan and Slickrock Superfund sites and several other highly contaminated brownfield sites.

Uranium claims in this region cover over 320,000 acres most of it public land. The industry has left a legacy of death, cancer, birth defects and autoimmune dysfunction. It has cost taxpayers close to $1 billion in cleanup efforts in Colorado alone.

A 27-year-old mineworker was just killed last week in the La Sal uranium mine. 25 mine workers were killed in West Virginia in April. 11 workers were killed in the explosion in the Gulf and we now have an environmental catastrophe that will most likely impact the Gulf region for decades. 72 percent of uranium workers in New Mexico reported uranium-related medical conditions in a recent survey.

We recognize that the rural communities adjacent to this proposed mill have been impacted by the unsustainable boom and bust economy of the mining industry. We appreciate their desire for jobs they understand. As we continue to address the negative impacts from the mill proposal, we will also work with the EPA, the state of Colorado and state and federal lawmakers to bring remediation jobs to the region.

A 5-year remediation program just established in New Mexico will bring millions of dollars and jobs into the Grants Mineral Belt. Jobs that will help clean up the polluted legacy of uranium and long-term jobs from renewable energy development on brownfields.

The growing demand and ultimately the need for regionally grown food could provide long-term sustainable jobs for the surrounding communities. Mining operations controlled by foreign companies supplying uranium to foreign markets have not and most likely will not.
Hilary White, Director
Sheep Mountain Alliance
Telluride



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