E-mail letters, Oct. 11, 2010

Tancredo unwilling to answer questions

On Oct. 9 in Grand Junction and again on Oct. 10 in Glenwood Springs, Tom Tancredo arrived just before his scheduled speaking time and tried to slip off after answering only one or two questions. He tried to duck out and avoid others who were waiting to talk to him. What is he avoiding? Is he afraid to answer the tough questions some of the voters might have?

How about, why he did not leave Congress after two terms, like he promised? Tancredo lied to us then, is he lying to us now? Or, which is he going to give up, his Congressional retirement benefits or the State salary and benefits? Or, is he planning on double dipping on the backs of the taxpayers?

Grand Junction

Participating in Boy Scouts is a life-long activity

I am going to tell you a little about Boy Scouts. I am in the Scouts, my troop is troop 303. We do fun things like go camping, bike riding and more. We sell Christmas trees that pay mostly for the scout camps we go to.

Scouts is important because they can teach you stuff and it is a good program for us kids all the way up until you are 18. When you are 18 years old, you can’t earn any more merit badges, but you can still participate as a troop leader for other boys. Scouting is really a life long activity.

Grand Junction

Bennet cares about veterans’ issues

I am writing this letter to all veterans in Colorado. I had the opportunity to visit with Sen. Michael Bennett concerning veterans’ issues on a couple of occasions. What I found was that the senator is very interested in veteran’s issues and problems. In his short time in office he has already done things for Colorado veterans.

Michael has gotten the long-stalled Fitzsimmons’ veterans hospital off the ground and into the building phase. He has opened a new Veterans National Cemetery in Grand Junction. As a senator, Michael Bennett voted for the largest expenditure in veterans health care ever and which was in dire need. These things were accomplished because Michael isn’t a career politician, but a person who will get things done and is committed to veterans’ causes.

Most important, Michael Bennett is willing to look to the future of the VA with its current participants and with our brave warriors coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many, many thousands of them are and will be affected by traumatic brain damage and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. These afflictions are not readily apparent nor are they Band-aid wounds, but by some estimates sufferers number in the hundreds of thousands. Funding for these afflictions is not close to adequate to take care of these warriors. Michael is committed to helping them and so should we by getting out and voting for him. So far, his opponent seems only committed to not spending any money, period.

Sen. Michael Bennett will insure that all our service men and women and all our veterans will have a voice in Washington. If you are a veteran or are concerned about our veterans, now and in the future, you need to see that Michael goes back to Washington.

US Navy Veteran

Council wrong on dispensaries

The City Council’s recent, ill-advised vote barring medical marijuana centers continues a disturbing trend with current members — a nanny state mentality whereby these wise nestors sit in chamber, taking public comment apparently only because it is required by the city charter before rendering their predetermined judgment on what is in their view best for us.

And the rationale is patently absurd. Councilman Greg Palmer, interviewed the morning after, claimed to be informed only by the law and that nowhere in the law were medical marijuana centers mentioned, forgetting that the Colorado state legislature passed the very law the Council used to ban these centers, establishing licensing requirements, fees, hours of operation, etc. and providing our civic leaders a starting point for further responsible regulation, taxation and other issues.

Both the Chief of Police and the Sheriff are vehemently opposed to these centers, but local police report that calls to at least some locations where a dispensary has opened have dramatically decreased. There are apocryphal reports that since the spate of new centers, some illegal drug dealers no longer sell marijuana.

Still, our baby sitters on the Council have determined that 80-100 direct jobs with perhaps hundreds of others in associated industries (security, indoor gardening supplies, etc.), tens of thousands of dollars in tax revenue, a drop in crime and safe, caring access to a Constitutionally guaranteed product is just not something they could morally accept.

I urge Council members to reconsider their decision. Ask yourself: If your grandmother could benefit from medical marijuana, would you rather she be able to purchase her medication in a clean, well-lighted, licensed, medical-marijuana dispensary or in some back alley.
Grand Junction

Tancredo would do better
without Maes in race

Every once in a while, a news story gets published that expresses fact so clearly it ought be commended. This is true with the story by Charles Ashby headlined, “Hick tops $3M in Gov’s race.”

There is a reason Dan Maes is pulling in only about $28,000 as compared to Tom Tancredo’s $149,000 — the same reason for the shortfall in funding for Maes is seen in the Rasmussen poll that shows Maes at only 16 support, with Tancredo pulling 35 percent.

It is far more credible to speculate that were it not for Maes,  Tancredo would be doing
better in funding and in polling than to accept the demented fantasy suggested by Maes.
There is no way I could vote for the Democrat. And I must vote for the best man in the race, so that leaves Maes out cold.
Robert Burkholder

Tipton’s statements show
a lack of sense, credibility

Scott Tipton has made statements concerning the government and his position that we should cut government spending by 50 percent. This is a tea party idea.

Where should we pull the money from? Veteran’s affairs? Education? Medicaid?

We have the No. 1 veteran’s hospital in the United States in Grand Junction. Could the reason be that we also have a congressman on the Veteran’s Affairs Committee doing the best job he can to help veterans in Colorado and the nation?

As a veteran I support a fellow veteran in this position. John Salazar has my vote.

For Tipton, it’s easy to make statements when he’ll be a junior representative from a
state where he’ll have no power. When he takes on a man who has served in Washington for six years, I question his credibility in making these kind of statements.

It’s easy to stand back and criticize, but to perform is a different story, and so far Tipton’s ability to perform shows me no sense.
Frank Leek

It is imperative to
elect conservatives

Democrats have given us the massive health care bill, which is designed to increase health insurance premiums to the point that you or your employer will drop your coverage and either pay a fine to the government for being uninsured or get on a government insurance program.
The bill will eliminate annual and lifetime maximums on health insurance plans. Plans will have to offer annual preventative services with no co-pay and without being subject to your deductible. Children up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ policies. This may sound wonderful, but insurance companies can only fund those huge additional expenses by raising premiums.
The Social Security and Medicare programs are rife with billions of dollars of fraud and abuse each year, politicians have continually used those supposedly-designated funds for other purposes, and both programs are virtually bankrupt. Why on earth would we want to turn our health care over to the same government that runs such inefficient, corrupt, and destitute programs?
We need elected officials who will reduce illegal immigration. We can no longer afford to provide jobs, health care, education, food stamps, welfare, housing subsidies, etc. to foreigners who are here illegally. If we simply denied such benefits to illegal aliens and fined employers who hired them, illegal immigration would decrease drastically.
We need officials who recognize that our abundant natural resources can be harvested and used in safe and environmentally-sound manners, and that refusing to use our coal and our wood is economic suicide which will reduce our standard of living to that of third-world countries who have few natural resources. 
Elections are less than a month away. It is imperative to elect conservatives who will stop this country’s slide toward socialism and return our government to Constitutional principals. Then we must make sure that those we elect keep their conservative promises. If you’re conservative, vote in November!
Angie Many

Nasty campaign ads
show Salazar in trouble

“He ignores Colorado voters, trashes the United States Constitution, and wants to destroy Social Security.” Wow! You know Democratic Congressman John Salazar is in deep trouble when his campaign ads go completely off the chart. The only thing he does not accuse Scott Tipton of is bashing motherhood, dissing apple pie and burning the American flag.
Salazar’s ads are the most dishonest, misleading and disrespectful of Colorado voters I have ever seen. That any honorable man can run these ads against a political opponent and show his face in public is a sad testament to how low the Democrats have fallen in this campaign.

Clearly, Colorado voters deserve better than John Salazar. We don’t need another liberal like John Salazar, who voted for Obamacare and spending billions of taxpayers’ dollars to protect union and government employee pension funds. Enough is enough.
William Weidner
Grand Junction

Reception for veterans
demonstrated ‘wow factor’

As a World War II veteran and a guest on the Western Slope Honor Flight this month, I was overwhelmed by the homecoming reception accorded we veterans on our return to Grand Junction. For me it was an experience of a lifetime and far beyond anything I could have imagined.

I would like for every Boy Scout, law enforcement officer, fireman, musician, military personnel, other veteran and each private citizen in attendance that evening to know how very much that greeting meant to me and how much it was appreciated. If ever the “wow factor” was appropriate, it was then.

Thank you, Grand Junction.
J. S. Palmer
Grand Junction

Donors make it possible
to assist cancer victims

Big thanks to The Daily Sentinel for its special pink edition at the beginning of this month.

Every year in Colorado, 3,000 men and women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and 1,000 women are diagnosed with reproductive cancers. Donations to the Breast and Women’s Reproductive Cancers Fund through our Colorado Income Tax Form have allowed the fund to provide life-saving education and diagnostic services, and life- enhancing survivorship support.

Many organizations apply for competitive grants all over the state. This year, two organizations in Grand Junction were awarded grants from the fund. Grand Mesa Medical Supply LLC received funding for garments for up to 15 women with lymphedema. St. Mary’s hospital received funding for scholarships for 16 patients for a progressive exercise program. Both grants will aide cancer survivors who are struggling financially.

All of us trying to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and survivors want to express our appreciation to donors in the Grand Valley.
Maria E. Cuthbert
Advisory Board Member
Breast and Women’s Reproductive Cancers Fund
Grand Junction

Anonymous author can’t
be questioned on ballot items

As an elected official I feel I have a responsibility to send up a cautionary flare about ballot measures 60, 61 and 101.

Although there are sponsors for these ballot issues, the actual author remains anonymous and is apparently unwilling to claim credit for his creation. In this election climate, many of us are skeptical of politicians, even when we know their name, much less when they hide behind anonymity.

As voters, we do not know who set the policy for 60, 61 and 101. Why is the Ownership Tax in Proposition 101 placed at $2 rather than $5, or $7.50?

The mill levy phase-out of Amendment 60 for non-college school districts for non-debt related revenues will mean revenue will be cut in half. Why 50 percent? Was there ever a
thought of cutting 30 percent or 20 percent?

Amendment 61 limits voter-approved borrowing to a maximum 10 years. Would it be better policy to set the maximum at 15 or 20 years?

When elected officials set policy, you know who they are and their justification. With 60, 61 and 101, the authorship and policy have been crafted by Mr. Anonymous.

My comments are personal and do not reflect the opinion of Montrose City
Montrose City Council

Nurse anesthetists work
well without supervision

Colorado statute has established that certified registered nurse anesthetists are allowed to provide anesthesia without a physicians supervision. We are considered licensed independent practitioners. This decision was supported by the Colorado Medical Board, the Colorado Board of Nursing, and the state attorney general’s office.

Gov. Bill Ritter’s recent decision to opt out of the federal rule for Medicare and Medicaid services to 29 Critical Access Hospitals in Colorado supports the statute, which was already in place. Ritter’s decision was supported and recommended by the Colorado Medical Board, the Colorado Board of Nursing, and the Nurse Physician Advisory Task Force for Colorado Health Care.
The opt-out decision means that these 29 hospitals, often located in rural areas on the Western Slope and Front Range, can be reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid for anesthesia services provided by CRNAs practicing alone.

“Patient safety is and must always be one of our highest priorities” Ritter said. “This decision upholds that core value while giving rural hospitals the flexibility they need to provide their rural patients with access to high quality healthcare.”

Recent studies have supported the quality and cost effectiveness of CRNAs practicing without physician supervision — the first, by Dr. Michael Pine, the second by the Research Insitute Triangle, and finally a study by the Lewin Group. The conclusions all showed there was no evidence of increased deaths or complications in patients being cared for by CRNAs alone or anesthesiologists alone.

There are two CRNAs currently working in Grand Junction. We have been providing safe and excellent anesthesia care, both in the private and government sectors, for many years without physician supervision.
Chris Mroz, CRNA
Grand Junction

Vote for candidates who
support the gas industry

As a Realtor, I see the pain in the children’s eyes as they watch their overly stressed parents go through the consequences and trauma of unemployment. I see the tension in the parents with the subsequent inability to keep a roof over their children’s heads and decent food on the table.

I see the doors to the master bedrooms with the holes and the missing strike plates-testifying to the tensions tearing apart families in this economy. I see the damage on the walls in the children’s rooms, showing the fear and uncertainty that makes up their world. These human beings, these families, these people are not just oil and gas field workers in Garfield County.
Garfield County has been dubbed “The worst county in the nation to have to drill in.”

I am all for “renewable energy,” but it is a vision, a goal. It’s expensive and not dependable at this time. Right now, natural gas is clean energy. It’s abundant, and it means jobs, commerce, sustainability. If the gas companies pulled out merely because of price, why is Pinedale, Wyo., experiencing the boom, we once had?
If you want a living-wage job in Garfield County, if you want to be able to pay your bills, to see your property values raise again: Vote for Tom Jankovsky, Tom Tancredo, Ken Buck, Randy Baumgardner, Luke Korkowski, Jim Yellico, Bob Rankin and Scott Tipton. Vote for folks who are willing to work on problems, not just kill jobs.
Juanita Williams

Houpt is best candidate
for GarCo commissioner

I am writing to express my support for Tresi Houpt to be re-elected Garfield County
Commissioner. Tresi brings experience, expertise and balance to the commission. She has worked tirelessly over the last eight years to improve the local economy and increase jobs while also protecting the environment from rampant energy development.

I find it curious that her Republican opponent believes that there should be no county oversight over the oil and gas industry, and instead that all decisions should be made at the state and federal level.

Be sure to act on the whole ballot, so your vote counts at the federal, state and local level. Local elections are often decided by just a few votes, so your vote really matters. Please join me in voting for Tresi Houpt.
Anne Goldberg



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