E-mail letters, May 6, 2010

Hislop is best choice for House District 55

Only 223 years ago, this great nation’s founding fathers, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, drafted the U.S. Constitution as a blueprint for a new nation. After fighting against the tyranny of England’s King George, our founding fathers sought to ensure a system of checks and balances against potential abuses from a remote, powerful, outside force.

Today, the federal government continues to get bigger, more complicated, and routinely oversteps its reach into more and more areas of our lives. Our constitutional civil liberties and right to self govern, locally and at the state level, are under attack.

Colorado needs strong leadership. Colorado needs legislators who are experienced and fearless in protection of her citizen’s freedoms. This is why I enthusiastically support Bob Hislop for Colorado’s State House of Representatives District 54.

As a U.S. Secret Service Agent for 20 years, Bob Hislop guarded five U.S. presidents. Only the most intelligent, quick, and trustworthy are selected to such a trusted position. Spending so much time side by side in the trenches with our nation’s leaders has given him invaluable insight into the subtle workings of government. At his next position, as vice president of Paul Mitchell Systems, Bob was instrumental in increasing the company’s sales by over $700 million a year.

In my experience, Bob has been very easy to reach and quick to answer my questions. His positive energy, enthusiasm, and exuberance will help him push through the stagnation that often fills Legislature.

Unlike his Republican competitors, Bob is retired and will dedicate himself 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the position of Colorado state representative. Bob Hislop’s decades of experience in government and in business, his spotless character, his philosophy and his sharp, charismatic personality make him the clear choice for the Colorado’s future.
Jeff McCloskey
Grand Junction

Reject Bob Hislop because of his out-of-area funding

What was the one of the biggest negatives in the House District 55 race in 2008? It was the influence of the Denver special interests and contributions from outside of the district going to Democratic state Rep. Bernie Buescher.

Now Campaign 2010 is here and we have another candidate who wants to represent the Western Slope, but whose money comes from outside of the district.

According to campaign finance records, only 30 percent of candidate Bob Hislop’s money comes from District 54. The rest comes from Denver and other environs. Will the voters of District 54 send someone to Denver who will be beholden to special interests from outside of the district?

We can only guess as to the party affiliations of the persons and organizations of the 70 percent majority of Hislop’s donors, since it is not required to reveal party affiliations on donations to campaigns.

If we did not want the Denver special interests deciding the District 55 race two years ago, how can we, in good conscience, support a Republican candidate with the same pedigree of donors?

I call on all House District 54 delegates to send a strong message to the special interests in Denver. Support Ray Scott, the local conservative with local support at the District 54 Assembly on Saturday.
Kevin McCarney

Killing of fetuses takes place every day

I’m not sure Judge Tom Deister understood what he said when he sentenced Jared Ahlstrom to five years in prison for giving drugs to his girlfriend to induce a
miscarriage. Upon sentencing, Judge Diester said, “if there are people ... that think they have the opportunity to take the matter into their own hands and kill a HUMAN (emphasis added) fetus, I don’t know what our society would become.”

Exactly the point, Your Honor. What has our society become as thousands of human fetuses are killed each day across this nation in the name of “legal” abortion. Where is the logic here?

If I were this man’s defense lawyer, I would appeal this case on the grounds that our
Constitution makes it a “right” to kill a fetus in the womb. Every day women and their husbands or boyfriends take matters into their own hands and decide to kill this child, only they use Planned Parenthood to do the killing.
The judge has it correct. Too bad he doesn’t realize it!
Patti Brown
Grand Junction

We should tolerate others, even those without clothes

I found the reader’s poll relating to your recent article dealing with nude gardening. The poll seemed to be seeking a response concerning whether or not one would approve of others clothing choices.

Many times I am appalled by the ripped jeans worn by young ladies. Perhaps it is a thong appearing several inches above slacks, confusing underwear with outterwear. High heels
with bib overalls must have been a fashion statement when I wasn’t paying attention.

Certainly I could continue. However, I am powerless to impose my wishes upon the entire planet. Mature adults must accept others as they may be. After what I have seen, a nudist should be commended for not wearing offensive clothing.

Is it difficult not to stare at that which may be offensive to you? Politics, religions and clothing choices come in a myriad of mutations. Can we each tolerate others who do not think exactly as we do? Are we too perfect to accept anyone else?
David L. Avery

More study needed about tamarisk and water use

On May 5 and the previous week, The Daily Sentinel ran stories on the recent report by the U.S. Geologic Survey and Bureau of Reclamation on the impacts of tamarisk (also known as saltcedar) and Russian olive. This report complements a study that the Tamarisk Coalition completed this past December for the seven states that cover the Colorado River Basin.

Findings from both studies are nearly identical: Tamarisk and Russian olive use about the same amount of water as native phreatophytes cottonwood and willow. This is not new information — scientists have known this for decades. The bigger issue, identified in both reports, was that deep-rooted tamarisk and Russian olive, when growing in the higher terraces of a floodplain, will use more water than dryland species (grasses and native shrubs).

Cottonwoods and willows do not grow in these areas because the groundwater is deeper and is not accessible to their shallow root systems. Thus, the greatest opportunity for
meaningful water savings will occur on upper terraces within the floodplain where more xeric vegetation is appropriate as replacement vegetation. The photo USGS used on its cover and provided in the Sentinel article is an excellent example of this exact situation.

What is not known is whether any of this saved water can be recovered. The Tamarisk Coalition is in absolute agreement with USGS that large-scale demonstrations coupled with detailed research are critical to answering this question.

In 2006 Congress passed legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support that authorized funding to help answer these types of questions. The Tamarisk Coalition therefore encourages states to pursue carefully designed demonstration projects that can be coordinated with USGS and other scientists.

Both the Tamarisk Coalition and USGS also found similar impacts to wildlife from tamarisk and Russian olive. Effects on wildlife are diverse and depend on the species considered, but again both reports identify that native vegetation provides superior habitat and affords greater biodiversity than do dense stands of tamarisk and Russian olive.

The Tamarisk Coalition supports this research as it can be considered along with other research and site-specific information for restoration and land management decisions.

Tim Carlson
Research and Policy Director
Tamarisk Coalition
Grand Junction

Rocky Mountain Health Plans rejects people based on weight

I am chagrinned in regards to the large grant afforded Rocky Mountain Health Plans.

We are baby boomers and will not be age 65 for three years. We have been very, very healthy and have never used alcohol or tobacco. We have had a high deductible Health Savings Account plan for the last four years and have never needed enough health care to meet the deductible.

Both my husband and I are mildly obese. We were frankly denied health coverage through RMHP because we did not meet the weight criteria.

If this is the plan that our country is working toward, then 60 percent of Americans will not qualify simply because they are heavy — regardless of the status of their health. I feel this is very wrong and designed to discriminate to the point of calling mild obesity a
pre-existing condition.
Pam Spencer
Grand Junction

New light bulbs have dangerous mercury

Mercury has been shown to be an environmental pollutant by the EPA. The city of Grand Junction was involved in a mercury scare in February, due to detection of methyl mercury in fish species in Juniata Reservoir. The municipal reservoir was closed to fishing for several days following an investigation and judgment by the city manager. City, state and Colorado Division of Wildlife officials resolved the matter and fishing resumed.

However, people should consider if other sources of mercury contamination exist in their homes, besides fish on a dinner plate. A broken light bulb shouldn’t be an environmental issue.

Today’s new compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, and a more toxic version of mercury at that. Fluorescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury vapor. Ultraviolet light is emitted when an electric current is passed through mercury vapor. The ultraviolet rays excite the phosphorous coating on the inside of the light bulb. Light bulbs in tanning beds work similarly, sans phosphorous coating.

Fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs use 75 percent less electricity compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. The amount of mercury in CFLs is very small, about 99 percent less than the amount of mercury in a thermometer.

CFLs and all fluorescent bulbs should be handled with care to avoid breaking the glass and releasing mercury vapor. You might as well be sniffing a line of mercury while lying
in a tanning bed.
Not only should caution be taken in handling, but disposal of CFLs becomes another
issue. If CFLs are disposed in the Mesa County Landfill, doubtless the mercury will reform into methyl mercury and end up in fish anyway.

In short, I will be using incandescent bulbs until 2014, when Congress pries the last
bulb out of my cold, dead hands.
Andrew West

Friedman off-target with claim about guns

Thomas Friedman’s May 4 column, he stated that Mexican, “Narcos have bigger guns than the Mexican Army-most smuggled in from U.S. gun stores.”

This would not require, but would certainly imply the following: U.S. gun stores have access to better weapons than the Mexican Army does, nobody in Mexico can figure out how to solve that problem and find a better source (for example, buy their own guns from U.S. gun stores), and I can walk into a sporting goods store in the U.S. and walk out better armed than a combat solder in the Mexican Army.

Since it is extremely unlikely that any of these could be true, one would expect a competent journalist to research that point very carefully before putting it into print. Unfortunately for Mr. Friedman’s credibility, only a few minutes of research are needed to show that the statement is false.

You cannot buy better weapons in U.S. gun stores than the Mexican Army has, and most guns used by Mexican narcos are not smuggled in from U.S. gun stores.

But he writes for The New York Times, where the general rule is, “If it fits our story line, who cares if it’s true?”
Paul Kelly

Where were interviews with the WW II veterans?

Wednesday night, the World War II Veterans came home from their trip to Washington, DC to see the World War II Memorial.  It was a very emotional time for the people that went to welcome them home, as well as for the veterans.

I spoke to a lady in a wheelchair waiting for her husband to come off the flight.  She said they have been married 71 years.

I saw in the paper Thursday where two fire truck were saluting the veterans by spraying water over the plane.  Thank you to the fire department for doing this.

My question is, why was not one veteran interviewed? I am sure they all had their stories to tell. I am sorry there was not more in the paper about them.

We have big write-ups about nudists and other things that most people do not care about.  However, I am sure we all care about our veterans.

God bless all of you, welcome home, and thank you with all of my heart.
Carolyn Bryant
Grand Junction

City should show it cares about Main Street business

I had lunch in Grand Junction on Wednesday. I ate with a good friend at one of the locally owned restaurants that are severely affected by the reconstruction of Main Street. The proprietor made several interesting points, but there are a few that really stick out.

Prior to the beginning of the reconstruction, many downtown businesses were already in financial trouble, because of the local bust which (surprise) began with the virtually instantaneous cessation of the oil and gas fiasco in 2009. As this proprietor painted it, that “put us in a financial hole about 3 feet deep.”

Then, the reconstruction began, and the hole became deeper. “Now, because of limited access to our business, our financial hole is 12 feet deep.”

The conversation went on, the proprietor became passionate, and the concern for personal future was palpable. There are several unconscionable aspects I heard, that could have been, and should immediately be, remediated for the remainder of this construction, since we have at least three more blocks of Main Street businesses that could also become bankrupt.

Be sure that never is any Main Street business left in a situation where patrons cannot get to the business by the normal front door, from both directions. Having to have your clients go down the alley (very dark at night), and come in through the back door should not be acceptable, should not even be a consideration. Suggestion: For those pieces of the project that require working up close to the front of the building, begin work at
11 p.m., and restore the access to normal each morning prior to normal business hours.

Fix the mess in the downtown parking garage. Have you tried to purchase parking in that neat facility? First, the machines are too low. Second, the bill acceptor (for dollar bills) is so touchy that I literally ironed dollar bills before I went downtown recently, in hopes that the machine would accept them. It took one of three I had with me. Third, it is virtually impossible to read the cheap, dark, small LED screen with all the hieroglyphic instructions. Fourth, more lighting is necessary within the parking garage, and the alleyway that leads to Main Street.

As currently configured, many people won’t use the garage late in the day, for personal
security reasons. With the current parking situation in downtown, if individuals for one or two reasons, won’t park in the garage, they may well go to a non-Main Street restaurant or business, because of downtown inconvenience.

Suggestion: If the city of Grand Junction really cares, replace the meter machines with more modern, more easily utilized machines. My guess is that additional use of the parking garage would pay for the machines quickly, and there would be the added benefit of sales tax revenue from downtown, and, from a humanitarian standpoint, less small business owners on Main Street loosing their life savings, their homes, and all faith
in Grand Junction.

These problems do not require rocket science to remediate. The requirement is a care, a humanity, on the part of the city administration. If they care, they will do something about it.

Joe Wharton
Grand Junction


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