E-mail letters, March 9, 2011

Mesa County planning
department hinders growth

So the county building department has to lay off more people. Imagine that!

Let’s see, after my wife and I came to the Planning and Zoning department to see if we could split a 5-acre parcel off of a 20-acre purchase so that we could use that money to help build our home, we were told “No problem. Yes you can” (sound familiar?). Then we decided to come down to do the real deal.

Once we made our appointment we were told there were several guidelines that had to be met to be able to divide your property. Now mind, there are parcels that have been divided exactly the way we were told we could. Now, with the new point system, we would never be able to achieve our goal unless we gave the county a portion of the land (50 percent) in the future.

Imagine the government, in this case the county, needing land for free so that you can achieve your goal now. This was just my wife and I, for our own place. Spin this now to a large business, or a developer.

If the county would be less greedy in its acquisition of land, it might just stimulate an economy that would allow building in the valley, as well as give the building department a job in inspecting. There would be tradesmen working again and they might just be able to spend money on trivial things like food and fuel, make their house payments, you know…live! As well as all of the businesses that supply that industry would actually sell materials, again making money for their families.

I have watched the city fathers stipulate businesses right out of the valley and it is time for the people who are supposed to represent the people to allow growth in this valley so that we have adequate taxes to keep our teachers and schools in good standing. Keep our police and firemen in a job.

We have seen what happens with the restrictions in the oil and gas industry have crippled things on the Western Slope and how Gregg Palmer’s claims nationally have been just hot air that the city’s investment in government jobs was a more secure way to keep growth. Keep selling shoes. Not to bash Palmer, but if he read history, he would understand government never can sustain itself.

Our nation’s debt is a perfect example. If our entire system would get out of the way of itself, we would see that capitalism can flourish and allow us to get back to the “black” in our budget. Every citizen is struggling to do this now and if we don’t start locally, it will never happen.

Bring business to this valley that pays the equivalent of the cost of living in this valley. The $10 dollar an hour jobs have been here since the early ‘90s, but the cost of everything else has more than doubled. It is time to evolve this economy and move forward.
Mike Parker

‘Captain Condom’ story
didn’t belong in ‘Portrait’

The Daily Sentinel’s March 6 issue contained a section called “Portrait: Leaving a Legacy.” The stories highlighted individuals and their accomplishments.

The term legacy implies something of lasting or immense value. The story headlined “Captain Condom” does not fit this category. Since this story was a “feature” and not “news,” more consideration should have been given to community norms and common sense.

The Sentinel should not have printed the story. It sends the wrong message to younger readers. It undermines the efforts of parents who are trying to instill in their children a true sense of right and wrong. The sense of natural law and that actions have consequences.
I hope the Sentinel will apologize to its readers and use better judgment in the future.
Jim Vidmar
Grand Junction

People shouldn’t have to fear
being shot by police

From all reports, it sounds like State Trooper Lawyer approached this house in an agitated state and, when there was no answer to the door, got somewhat out of control.

The bottom line here is an unarmed home owner answering his door to police was shot and killed in the doorway of his home. If for no other reason the troopers should go to trial to show that justice is for everyone.

From what I read in The Daily Sentinel it sounds like the charges brought against Trooper Lawyer are somewhat light. I would think second degree murder might be more reasonable in light of the current facts.

I urge Judge Gurley to take this case to trial. Otherwise, how can any decent citizen in this county feel safe?  t is bad enough that in most cases we have to protect ourselves from the drug users and other criminals who roam the streets. Do we now as homeowners have to protect ourselves from the police too?

While no police officer should fear for his life when going up to the door of a house, the homeowner should not have to fear being shot in his doorway by the police.
Richard Gerhardt

City should follow county
and reject medical marijuana

Other than the election of new City Council representatives at the Grand Junction Municipal Election coming April 5, there will be another very important ballot issue, which is to ban the dispensing of marijuana within the city limits of Grand Junction in any form.
The marijuana dispensing issue was declined by the Grand Junction City Council, but enough signatures were garnered to get the issue placed on the April municipal election.
The marijuana dispensing issue was denied by Mesa County voters. Now it is up to the citizens of Grand Junction to likewise decline the dispensing of marijuana in any form within the city limits.
Hardly a day goes by that a marijuana influenced crime does not appear in the media.  States that have approved the sale of marijuana are now considering repealing the authorized sale. Colorado should follow suit. It’s still a federal crime.
Marijuana doesn’t cure anything. It only makes one high so as to not feel pain. Physician- prescribed medication is available.
Please vote to ban the sale of marijuana in any form within the city limits of Grand Junction.
Bill Pitts
Grand Junction

Social Security doesn’t
affect current budget problems

Let’s hope Congress is serious about cutting out waste, duplication and ineffective programs in their search for cutting the deficit, as The Daily Sentinel’s March 9 editorial urges. But the editorial carries mixed messages.
At the top of the things mentioned is Social Security. Social Security has to be revised, minimally, in the future but it has nothing to do with our current budgetary woes. That is, unless your objective is to damage the biggest single benefit to the American public that has been enacted in the last hundred years.
It is true that Social Security revenue doesn’t, for the first time, cover current payments. But what about all the money that has been put in over the years and has been put into a trust fund comprised of government securities? Like all other government securities, the money realized has been spent on current operational expenses, to be paid back over the years.
Does the editorial imply that those securities be defaulted now, instead of being paid back, so that a part of our national debt be “corrected” with the burden being shouldered by all those who have been paying into the system? Is the implication that Social Security be modified so that current and future recipients be shortchanged on their expectations that the money paid in will be forthcoming? Is it more important to repay securities held by Chinese and American financial interests than those held on behalf of working Americans as a financial safety net?
Maybe the mention of Social Security was just a reiteration of what has become common rhetoric, but all that is necessary is a small increase in contribution levels and an increase in the level of income requiring a contribution, neither of which has an impact on the current deficit. Unless robbed, Social Security is solvent for another 20 plus years, minimum.
John Borgen
Grand Junction


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