E-mail letters, May 4, 2011

Planning Commission betrayed
riverfront cleanup efforts

How much time do Grand Junciton Planning Commission put in on their “planning” or how seriously do Planning Commission members take their job?

On April 26, an article by Amy Hamilton, appeared in The Daily Sentinel, “Vehicle storage near trail OK’d.” It stated the Planning Commission unanimously voted to allow a towing company to continue to store wrecked vehicles, better known as derelict rusting oozing hulks, near the river walk and cycling trail.

The Grand Junction Planning Commission has latitude to interpret regulations as it sees fit. But why are we are faced with people on the Planning Commission intent on taking the Riverfront back to a refuse site?

How hard this community worked and how much it cost our community to clean up our beautiful riverfront. Remember Van Gundy’s? Brady Trucking is still being contested, and now we have Western Towing.

Despite the intentions of Mike Knowles, owner of Western Towing at 2381 ½ River Road, to finally comply with beautification of the property as part of a “conditional use” permit, the fact remains that Grand Junction had a vision for its Riverfront. That vision is being eroded by the short-term view of the Planning Commission. Planting trees to obstruct the view from the Riverfront walk does not stop chemicals from oozing into groundwater 10 feet below the site.

Western Towing may have 177 employees. Those employees don’t need to work in toxic soup, either. Be responsible to your employees, to your community, to the future and do it with honor and pride Western Towing.
Benita Phillips
Palisade


Racism was not behind
demand for birth certificate

Letter writer John Ijams claims that I am a birther because, as he puts it, I demanded to see Obama’s long-form birth certificate. Not once in my letter did I ever demand to see President Obama’s birth certificate. I was merely commenting on the president’s claim to be puzzled as to why the issue of his place of birth was such a big deal.

Ijams says it is racism that demanded Obama’s birth certificate. He gives examples of why Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barry Goldwater, both white, were never asked to release their long-form birth certificates because, as he says, they were not born in the United States and therefore weren’t natural born citizens. Herein lies the problem.

There was never a question regarding McCain’s and Goldwater’s births, because although McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone and Goldwater was born in Arizona before it was a state, both were born in U.S. territories. That counts as U.S. soil.

Birthers claimed that Obama was actually born in Kenya, a foreign country, to a father of non-American citizenship. This was exacerbated because no long-form Hawaii birth certificate was produced. The birthers never accepted the digital copy of his short form, released just before the election in 2008, for understandable reasons, mainly that any digital file can be faked and manipulated to show whatever you want.

While I did not hold this view, I do understand those who did. This doubt was only made deeper by Obama’s stubborn refusal to release the proof that they demanded.

Ijams says that Hawaii has a law that forbids leasing such information. Well, if that law could be overlooked now, then couldn’t it be overlooked three years ago? Why did it take so long?

Sen. McCain voluntarily released his long- form birth certificate in order to put to rest any possible doubts before they could be raised. Sen. McCain was forthcoming. He attempted to hide nothing. Obama’s actions, however, showed deception, intended or not.

That is what fueled the birthers, not racism. But people like Ijams only see race. People like Ijams believe that any white person, regardless of political party, who did not vote for Obama must be a racist. It can’t possibly be because they disagreed with his policies and agenda. It must be racism. Why else would white people vote against a black man?

So does that mean that any blacks who didn’t vote for McCain were also racist? Such a notion is so ridiculous that it barely deserves recognition.
Jeremiah Habecker
Grand Junction


Garco commissioners
should resign or be recalled

The decision made by the Garfield County Commissioners on May 2 to terminate the health impact assessment being conducted for Battlement Mesa before its completion is appalling.

This assessment was requested by hundreds of Battlement Mesa residents who are facing an
unprecedented level of oil and gas production within their community. This action by these commissioners demonstrates their disregard for the health and safety of their constituents, as well as their complicity with the oil and gas industry.

The citizens of Garfield County should demand the immediate resignation or recall the Board of County Commissioners. They deserve better.
Ron Galterio
Battlement Mesa


Interest on our debt costs
more than many agencies

I think most of us are aware that we have a huge national debt ($14 trillion and rising!), and hopefully we can get our elected officials to stop their careless spending sprees at the taxpayer’s expense.

A number that you don’t hear much about is $413 billion. What is that number, you may ask? If you borrow money from someone you have to pay interest on the outstanding balance. Our government is no different and $413 billion is what the U.S. government paid in interest in 2010 alone.

Unfortunately most of that is going to foreign countries such as China, Japan, Russia, etc. and the oil
cartels. That $413 billion spent purely on interest is more than was spent on the following departments combined: Health and Human Services, Transportation, Energy, Veteran’s Affairs, HUD, Justice, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Commerce,  the Small Business Administration and the Department of Labor.

Just think how all of our lives would change if we could keep that money in this country and not pay it out for interest on uncontrolled debt!
Brian Langfitt
Grand Junction


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