E-mail letters, June 9, 2010

Elder-Watch campaign
seeks to reduce scams

The article by Amy Hamilton on scammers preying on the elderly was very informative, with useful tips on how to avoid being scammed.

One of the most important things we can do as a community is raise awareness of scams and prevent seniors from becoming victims.  That is why the Colorado Attorney General’s office has joined with AARP ElderWatch and partners across the state to conduct a mail-fraud sweep this month.

Between June 1 and June 25, people in Mesa Country are encouraged to drop off fraudulent or suspicious mailings in a marked box at their library branches. The Grand Junction, Orchard Mesa, Clifton, Fruita, and Palisade library branches are participating in this effort. All submitted mails will be destroyed at the end of the campaign.

This effort will not only raise awareness, but will hopefully prevent future victims from sending checks to fake charities and organizations.

Terri Potente
AARP Executive Council Member

It’s time for real effort
not kicking some ass

Had President Bush spent the time on vacations and parties and “dates” that Obama has, during the Katrina emergency, he would have been tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail by the “press.” Now Obama is really engaged, so he “knows whose ass to kick.” Wonderful.
How about getting off his, and doing everything within our power to help stem this mess, whatever that may be. Plugging and relieving the blowout is not within our capabilities, but a heck of a lot of other things are: more booms, more absorbent materials, finding more ships to suck up the mess and so on. 
Worrying about whom is to blame and prosecute now does nothing to help. There are plenty of months ahead to accomplish that. Of course, this could (or will ) be blamed on the evil President Bush.
Creighton Bricker
Grand Junction

Lawmakers should reinstate
senior property tax exemption

The suspension of this year’s senior property exemption by the state Legislature illustrates the extra burdens being laid on the senior community, many of whom are living on a fixed income like Social Security.

We paid $377 in property tax on our house for 2008, and $1,029 on that same house and property for 2009. That’s almost triple the amount in one year!

This was described as the “double whammy” by the appeals assessor I talked with. First, the assessments of our properties were taken during the peak-inflated values of the housing bubble. Then, when the bubble burst, it triggered our current super recession. This spurred the Legislature to enact Draconian cost reductions by passing them directly on to its citizens,
especially seniors, who are the least able to pay.

We are retired and living on a fixed income and to us this just doesn’t seem fair. Garfield County Assessor John Gorman summed up the situation this way: “So for seniors, especially on a fixed income, this has been hugely difficult.” The Garfield County Commissioners intervened by deciding to distribute small but meaningful checks of $163 apiece to seniors who qualified.
Now our Legislature is in the process of blasting us with a triple whammy by attempting to suspend the senior exemption for two more years. This is projected to squeeze out more than $900 million a year, while driving the senior population into desperation.

Is it fair and honorable to bestow this burden upon our “Greatest Generation,” many of whom are surviving solely on Social Security”? They have given their last full measure of their productive working lives to build a better society.

Let‘s reverse this trend by asking our representatives to pass these costs on to some of the wealthy corporate managers and others in the financial industries that benefit from these
kinds of greedy cycles. We appeal to our legislators to reconsider.
Lance Oswald
Grand Junction

Israel has a right
to secure its borders

Just because we do not secure our borders does not mean we can be critical of Israel for trying to secure her borders.
Lavonne Wilson
Grand Junction

Flooding rivers are not
protected from pollution

I am writing in response to The Daily Sentinel article, “Weather events adding to surprisingly high flows,” by Dennis Web.

As I read the news about rising river levels across the state, like the Eagle and Colorado Rivers, I am reminded of the dangers they could bring not only in terms of flooding, but high amounts of toxic pollution. Two-thirds of all Colorado’s streams are not protected under the current Clean Water Act.

These rivers which provide our drinking water and so much recreational enjoyment during the summer depend on these thousands of miles of unprotected streams. Simply because a stream may be intermittent (not flowing all year), it is not protected from pollution.

With Colorado as a headwaters state, we are risking a lot by allowing polluters like mining
companies to dump toxic waste into spring and summer streams that flow into larger waters like the Arkansas River, which is ranked 14th in the nation for total toxic chemical discharges! In 2007 alone, industrial facilities dumped 3.35 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Colorado waterways.

I, personally, am not excited about swimming in and drinking lead, mercury, and dioxin. I strongly urge Congressmen Salazar to restore protection to all of Colorado’s waterways.
Joanna Harter

Good Samaritan saves
woman from burning car

On June 7th I was driving with my seven year old daughter from Grand Junction to Gunnison, where we live. My car lost power near Blue Mesa Summit, so I pulled over, made a call to my husband and prepared to sit in the heat until my husband arrived.

Seconds later, a man named Matthew stopped his truck, ran to my car and told me to get out of the car saying, “It’s on fire.” Matthew then proceeded to get us to safety behind his truck and took complete control of the situation until the authorities arrived some time later.

Matthew, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping to help us that day and literally saving us from our burning car. I appreciate it and all my friends and family are thankful you were willing to help. You are truly an exceptional human being.
Stacie Murray



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