E-mail letters, March 8, 2011

Jacob Richards offers
hope and change

When Obama was making his run for presidency two words were used repeatedly — hope and change. However, I do not think he was using them only in regards to himself. He was not the man to come and change the way our nation is governed.

What he wanted to do was to inspire Americans to be the change — to take action themselves to better their communities.

That’s what I see in Jacob Richards. As a long-time friend and fellow activist, I’ve seen Jacob in action. I can attest to his desire to see the system work for the good of all, not just a few.

Running for office is the next step for Jacob to help make the change he has been working for so diligently over the last eight years.

I did not vote for Obama, because during that election, I had decided never to vote for anyone who did not represent my views. However, I will be voting for Jacob for Grand Junction City Council. He represents those of us whose voices have gone unheard and will make a true and lasting change for all of us in this community. If you want to support
change in the government, start locally and vote for Jacob Richards.
Connie Murillo
Grand Junction

Police not too accommodating
of area’s homeless

So, the police are too accommodating to the valley’s homeless, according to columnist Rick Wagner. Interesting, especially since School District 51 reports that it has 500 homeless students. I suppose the police could start smacking them around until they leave. They are, after all, homeless.

Maybe it’s the veterans who have offended Wagner’s sensibility. Could be, since at least half of all homeless are vets. Probably a good idea to have the police give them the bum’s rush.

There’s a war on wrong in process, and poor people are their greatest nemesis. Last summer, some rogue police officers rampaged criminally in a homeless camp, committing vandalism and criminal mischief with their knives, nightsticks and pepper spray.

Newly appointed Police Chief John Camper ordered a departmental investigation. It found that three officers had unabashedly broken the law. The offenders were fired. Is firing crooked cops too accommodating?

As for the specially trained “Hot Cops” who replaced them, give them a chance. Just because Wagner doesn’t comprehend modern law enforcement doesn’t mean it won’t work. Expecting honest well-trained officers is not too accommodating.
Eric L. Niederkruger
Grand Junction

Adding money hasn’t
solved education crisis

The cry for the last 30 years has been for smaller school classes and more money to fix our deteriorating educational system. If one gives common-sense thought to this non- producing solution, he will quickly see that all smaller classes have accomplished is to require more teachers, thus raising the cost of education.

Heaven forbid mentioning it, but most of us over 50 did fine with classes of 28 to 35 students. In those days, it helped when unruly disrupters could be sent to the principal’s office for a good, old-fashion paddling. One learned fairly quickly to behave. And in those days, if you failed, you actually failed.

As long as unions and bleeding hearts hamper change, our educational system will continue to deteriorate, even if we continue to heed their cry for more money.
R.M. Sherman
Grand Junction

CDA dinner was a
heartwarming affair

We attended the CDA (Colorado DiscoverAbility) dinner on March 3.  It was one of the more heartwarming affairs we have encountered here in Grand Junction. The organization was superb, the dinner was great and seeing the outpouring of support for CDA was overwhelming.
The volunteers in the CDA were so thankful and appreciative of all the donations made that evening — some being close to “thank you tears.”  And, they had a wonderful auctioneer who did a superb job and made that aspect most enjoyable. We don’t know all the participating chefs, but certainly each should be congratulated. One chef who was always involved was the late Kenny Gross, of Shamrock Foods, who received a standing ovation when he was remembered.
Just by chance, our table was joined by three people representing Shamrock; Mike Anderson, his lovely wife, Susan, and Stephen Peterson. In conversation, it came out that Shamrock had donated all the food for the CDA dinner. This is a huge show of support for this wonderful organization. We are not given to recognizing individual companies for support of activities here, but this is over the top. It is a more considerable effort on Shamrock’s part and we cannot thank them enough.
Creighton and Gloria Bricker
Grand Junction

Obama shows true colors
on Defense of Marriage Act

For anyone who has any lingering illusions about what our esteemed president is all about, his decision to order the Justice Department to no longer defend the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) should be proof positive of his true agenda.
To instruct the very department of the U.S. government tasked with enforcing the laws of the land to NOT do so shows the utter disrespect and contempt Obama has for our way of life, our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

He thinks DOMA is “unconstitutional,” even though no judge or court has so ruled. That is quite enough evidence for this president to once again diss the American people and all we stand for.
The only good news I can offer is that the final year of Obama’s first and last term in the White House is just around the corner. I pray our nation can endure his excesses just a while longer.
Remember the Democratic mantra before the last election, “change”?  That is one campaign promise he has certainly followed through on, sad to say.
Richard Puter
Grand Junction

Alternate nuclear technology
is safer and more cost effective

A superior nuclear technology exists that hardly anyone has ever heard of, was partially developed 40 years ago at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Funding for thorium nuclear technology development was dropped at the height of the Cold War because it did not produce the plutonium that the U.S. wanted to build a large nuclear weapons arsenal. Those who have studied thorium technology believe it could produce electricity at a cost on par with that produced by burning coal, without the greenhouse gases.

In addition, thorium-fueled reactors would be far safer, cheaper and easier to operate than uranium-fueled reactors. Thorium reactors don’t melt down and do not produce materials that can be built into atomic bombs. Thorium reactors produce less waste and the waste that is produced is much less radioactively dangerous than that produced by uranium-fueled reactors. Thorium is more abundant than uranium and much easier to mine and process into reactor fuel.

China has just announced a large program to develop and commercialize thorium technology. If the U.S. doesn’t further develop the thorium technology that was invented in the here, we will be paying higher prices for electricity generated by thorium reactors in the future, because China will own the legal rights to sell or license the technology to the U.S. for a hefty profit.

We would love to see the U.S. invest in an all-out program to develop and commercialize thorium technology for its own use as well as sale to other countries. We believe thorium power generation is the only technology that can provide us with enough abundant and cheap power quickly enough to save our economy from being crippled by very expensive fossil-fuels energy.
Susan and Paul Deininger
Grand Junction

Bobby’s Birthday Bash
will be hard on community

Why did Bobby Willis go through the negotiation process with Country Jam and then back out at the last minute? Country Jam is an established, 20-year-old venue in Mack that people all across the valley look forward to each year. It has designated areas for parking cars, RVs, etc., food vendors and plenty of security. Willis could have saved himself a lot of headaches if he had gone through with and closed the deal, since he claims to have the resources to do so.

It’s confusing and upsetting to Loma residents (who value their peace and quiet) that he wants to set up a similar business in their area, an area where there is no designated parking site for cars, let alone RVs, not to mention the lack of available security.

He is also trying to purchase the 82 acres surrounded by established neighborhoods who don’t take kindly to what will become a disaster of traffic, trash, noise and an increase in crime.

He isn’t just talking about one concert but continued venues throughout the summer months and making it a permanent site.

Let’s face it, Willis is no Donald Trump or he would have followed through with his original plans with Country Jam.

Same-sex marriage threatens
structure of our society

It appears that, once again, the “Powerful Minority’s Propaganda Machine” will be successful in damaging yet another keystone in the foundation of our society. This time it’s the same-sex-marriage theme they have so carefully been promoting the last several years. And, as usual, they have distorted the precious concept of personal freedom to support their cause.
Folks, this is not, basically, a matter of personal freedom. I maintain that it is a matter of structure — the structure, as represented by the combination of the laws, customs and mores that form the very base of our aociety. This structure is sure to inconvenience some minority portion of our aociety — killers, robbers, thieves, liars, con-men, etc. —but, on the whole, must be recognized as essential to the continued health and stability of a society such as ours

I believe that marriage was never for legalizing and making respectable human lust.  Rather, the purpose of marriage between a woman and a man, including especially, recognizable acceptability and such legalized incentives as tax breaks, was intended to provide a stabilized condition and atmosphere for the development and rearing of the offspring. Thus, the propagation of the species, was hoped to result from the union.

I also believe that these marriage perks, tax breaks, especially, are the real reason, as opposed to excuse, for the expenditure of all the time and money being used on this campaign to load this burden onto the taxpayer.
Ray Lashley
Grand Junction

Admistration reacts poorly
to unrest in the Middle East

The administration moved quickly in response to rising gasoline prices and the
unrest in the Middle East. They quickly approved one new permit for deepwater
drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and threatened to use our strategic oil reserves, which were established for supply disruption and not rising oil prices. Quick thinking!

We also learned this week that, as part of the new wild lands policy, they are discouraging horizontal drilling, which would reduce plentiful reserves. Horizontal drilling helps preserve the surface terrain and is an attempt by big oil to reduce environmental concerns.

While rising oil prices are a risk to the economy and a threat to our national security, our government is reacting to the crises like it is a local hurricane.

What amazes me is that the administration just doesn’t get it. Its members are in
denial that increasing debt will eventually make America step down as the leading world economy. They are under the illusion that the Middle East problems will resolve themselves. We all need to pray that they will not get us involved in the war in Libya or any more wars in the Middle East.

New drilling techniques and improved technology have increased our country’s oil and gas reserves dramatically. Over time, we could be energy independent. This is just wishful thinking, however, if we are restricted from developing our existing natural resources.

My opinion is that the Middle East unrest is just beginning, with Iran stirring the pot.
Iran can seriously damage America with oil supply disruptions. It really doesn’t need nuclear weapons.

The administration reaction to recent events supports the old saying: “You can’t fix stupid.”

William F. McKnight
Grand Junction

How to deal with
homeless camps

Millions have been spent on providing the trails along the river so that it and the environment can be enjoyed by the public. So far this has been accomplished, for most of it. But there is a problem.

Start at the botanical gardens and head west on the trail. After passing under the railroad bridge, follow the river dike to where it reconnects with the trail. Then ask, what is the lasting image you are left with. Most likely it will be the hobo camps, trash, and abandoned shopping carts, not the river or the riparian environment.

How do we address this problem? We have to accept that we will always have those who choose to live along the river. So how do we respond in a practical and responsible manner?

First, the county (or whomever is the responsible authority) should designate a number of locations along the river for these camps that are out of sight to the hiking — biking public and require that these be used. Second, to address the obvious sanitary issues, porta-jons need to be provided. And finally, in exchange for the accommodation, the county authorities should gather up an appropriate number of these people on a monthly basis and have them gather up all the trash (regardless of the source) left along the trails.
I believe this would only be the reasonable and responsible thing to do if we are to maintain the trails as an enjoyable part of our community benefit.
Ed Foy
Grand Junction

EPA report highlights
concerns with fracking

In regards to concerns over health and environmental impacts from gas and oil development, anyone wishing to get factual information regarding governmental
concerns and actions should investigate this report: The EPA “Draft Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources,” which clearly and objectively addresses legitimate concerns.

Until further adequate studies and monitoring are put into motion, sadly most of the health and environmental problems are ignored, and many suffer quietly.
Tara Meixsell
Grand Junction

The oil war to
end all oil wars

1956, 1973, 1979, 1990, 2003: The years of the oil wars. This list doesn’t include the resource battles over North Africa and the Middle East during the Second World War. How many more wars are we prepared to fight to secure our primary energy source and to prop up the bottom line of our richest corporations?

One. And we should fight it right here at home. We should wage war against the unpredictable politics and dictators of the oil-producing world by scrapping our tanks, grounding our bombers, and trading our missiles in for technology that we can rely on.

Let’s bring home our citizen soldiers and put them to work on the home front, building and developing new ways to support our freedom and lifestyle.

It’s crazy. A friend challenged me to list the strategies we’ve adopted since 1973 to curb our dependence on the whims and moods of octogenarian princes who happen to control our economic life-blood. His was short — three more weeks of daylight savings time.

We’ve had 47 years to put together an energy plan that sets us free, yet we have pissed it away. We’re content on sending our children out every 10 years or so to die for oil. Let’s finally start the oil war to end all oil wars right here at home.

It will take sacrifice, determination, compromise and political will. Isn’t this the same ticket price we were told was required for our last war movies? It’s time to take care of ourselves, here at home.
R. Mason
Grand Junction

Doody offers good ideas
for future of the city

I have attended several City Council forums and debates recently, and have been dismayed at the lack of coverage in The Daily Sentinel. The paper has missed one
candidate who is actually putting forth solid ideas for the community’s future.

Former two-term mayor Jim Doody has advocated a change in the finance department whereby the chief financial officer works for the City Council directly, and not as part of the administration staff. It would give council unfiltered access to information, a concept worth discussing.

He has also pledged to pass a local ordinance to prevent any protests during military burials, allowing a dignified service for our fallen warriors. This is in response to a horrible ruling recently by the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is refreshing to see ideas being put forth, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Jim
served us very well before, and he deserves an opportunity to do so again.
Gregg Palmer
Grand Junction



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