E-mail letters, May 10, 2010

Honor Flight provided
memories of a lifetime

Recently, I had the extreme privilege to travel to Washington DC with the Honor Flight of World War II veterans.  To be able to accompany these great Americans on the journey to see the memorial dedicated to their sacrifices was an honor that humbled me. These men and women are the last of the Greatest Generation.  Their appreciation and gratitude for this trip cannot be measured in mere words.
The reception in Baltimore and the deference paid by total strangers to this group was heartwarming and very reassuring that there is hope for the nation.
To the people of Grand Junction, your homecoming reception for this group makes me proud. You were a group to behold and brought a tear to the eye of many of us.
To all involved in the organization and successful completion of this flight, my hat is off to you.  You are awesome!
To the veterans, you are the greatest and I was extremely fortunate to be in your company.
Thank you for memories of a lifetime.
D. L Smith
Grand Junction

Seeking a better life doesn’t
justify breaking the law

In reply to Jose Talavera’s letter about immigration and amnesty, he is now a citizen of the United States and I did not suggest that he or any other citizen should leave the country. I am glad that he runs a successful business and speaks English. This is the American dream and his performance is highly commendable. I welcome him as a citizen of our country.
There is a problem however, and that is that uncontrolled, illegal immigration can and will transform the United States into a country similar to Mexico, where there is little opportunity for the average person to better themselves.

We are a large country, but we cannot continue to allow millions of illegal immigrants to come here as they are doing now. We can and should simplify and increase the number of green cards for Mexican citizens to come here to work, and allow them easy access to and from both countries. This would be beneficial to both the U. S. and Mexico. The present system cannot continue.
But, we are a nation of laws and to come here illegally, violates the law. The end simply does not justify the means. Citizens of the United States cannot pick and choose which laws they will obey and which ones they will violate.

There seems to be a general opinion shared by those coming here illegally and that is, “all we have to do is cross the border into the U.S. and we can probably stay indefinitely, as it isn’t a serious offense.” People wanting to come here for a better life certainly have my sympathy, but we simply cannot absorb all of them.
Neal A. Ward

City should be stricter
on panhandling hobos

Regarding the May 8 story, “Cops probed in damage complaint,”  there are two questions that we need to answer: Did the officers in fact damage transient’s property? Does anybody care?

Recall Public Information Officer Kate Porras’s quote about Chief Camper’s policy that “all citizens … regardless of … socioeconomic status will be treated with courtesy and respect.“ No reasonable person would argue with that philosophy.

I suggest that the transients and their camps are illegal. If I built a tarp hut at any public place around town, how long I would be allowed to remain? Why then, do we tolerate trespassing hobo camps. Yes, let’s call them what they are. Why do we enable these hobos with handouts that are used for liquor, cigarettes and drugs? Why do we put up with the
theft, dirty camps, the feces and urine along the river bottom? Why do we tolerate our residents being afraid to use the Riverfront Trail, fearing for their safety from these hobo “citizens”? Why do we continue to pump tax dollars and direct services into supporting a lifestyle choice that is deleterious to both the hobos and the community at large?

I am tired, tired of the hobos and their problems. I propose that the city pass and enforce strict anti hobo ordinances, making it illegal to panhandle and to give to panhandlers. Hobos charged with any violations should be jailed, their possessions confiscated and investigated as stolen property and any money they have should be held to pay fines.

I strongly urge all property owners to check their lands for hobo camps and demand that the police arrest the hobos for trespass and the land owner burn the camps and haul off the remaining trash. If the citizens demand it, we can control this problem.
Randy Engle
Grand Junction

Flag should not be
worn as apparel

A recent e-mail letter writer to your paper complained about a story of students being sent home for wearing shirts depicting the U.S. flag. His patriotic stance and rant are laudable on the surface and I’m as patriotic, if not more so than he. However, his anger is misplaced, probably due to ignorance.

The U.S. Flag code, Section 8d, states that, out of respect, the flag should never be worn as apparel. If fact, the entire code can be educational for most citizens.

So, those school villians were probably right for very wrong reasons. Someone, perhaps even Mr. Claussen, should look into this more closely.
Al Carley
Grand Junction

Bill keeps energy future
controlled by Coloradans

Senate Bill 1365 was signed into law on April 19. This bipartisan law was only necessary due to the fact that Colorado’s Front Range is out of compliance with federal air quality standards.

This was a difficult bill, and reasonable people have disagreed on the best course of action. I voted for the 10th Amendment and for states rights. I voted against a 3-judge EPA panel in Washington D.C. deciding on what Colorado’s air quality standards should be. I voted to take action ourselves here in Colorado.

Front Range air quality will improve as a result of this legislation. But as far as Colorado’s coal industry is concerned, there is a lot this bill does not do.  It does not mandate a wholesale shift from coal-fired electricity to gas, nor does it preclude the construction of new coal plants going forward. Additionally, it does not bar the cost-effective retrofitting of existing coal units. In fact, the repowering or retrofit provisions
of this bill will apply to a few of the oldest and least-efficient coal plants in the areas that are not meeting air quality standards. Newer style coal plants (such as Comanche 3, which is set to come online in the near future) will still provide affordable electricity
produced with Rocky Mountain coal. And that’s important to us.

I believe Colorado’s coal industry is a critical component of a stronger economy, and a more balanced energy portfolio. That’s why I’ve continually opposed overzealous regulation of Colorado mining, and why I’ve fought against a one-size-fits-all federal roadless policy that would hamper the growth of the coal mining industry in the

To further support the Colorado coal industry, I have worked with the Colorado School of Mines over the past 18 months to encourage them to partner on coal gasification projects to further support the coal industry.

But perhaps the most important reason I supported HB 1365 is that it keeps control of our energy future right here in Colorado, where it belongs.  It’s a balanced approach that’s good for our economy and good for our environment.  And that is good news for everyone.

Steve King
State Representative
House District 54

Top listing for Grand Mesa
may make solitude less likely

Regarding The Daily Sentinel’s May 7 editorial, “Wondrous Grand Mesa,” I have one question:  Should our Grand Mesa succeed in being listed as the country’s No. 1 Natural Wonder, do you think it would still be as easy to find “places where you are as likely to see a moose or a black bear as another human”?

I know I’m not the only one whose first reaction to the poll was to ask that question.
Diane Grudt


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