E-mail letters, Oct. 4, 2010

Ballot measures may
cause federal intrusion

As a local business person who has pondered Proposition 101, Amendments 60 and 61 with great intensity, I’d like to offer my own conclusions:

In it’s basic logic it’s sound. That is why the language is so appealing. However, the deeper effects of the legislation cause all forms of governments to become defunded, many to the point of extinction, in a very short period of time.

Especially troubling: the collapse starts from the bottom up, with the smallest civic services going first. While this might seem like the right medicine to shrink and control a government that we’ve come to mistrust, it crumbles the foundation of the very civic structure we, as the citizens, originally sought to establish for the very purpose of the common good. 

Governments must reduce their size, scope and cost dramatically. It is little reported,  however, that many are actually responding quickly and responsibly. Having worked with civic services on many levels, I believe our local city and county governments are generally well managed and responding reasonably.
The problem with Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 is that the prescription will likely kill the patient, and it will have leave financial consequences that will dramatically undermine our private sector at a time when it can least bear another strike.

Is it not too big a stretch as well, to envision a federal government anxious and willing to swoop in to our rescue? I’m much more confident about our prospects with continued local vigilance for balance and equity than about the prospects of dealing with Washington for local control
Teri Cavanagh, CEO
COBB Marketing & Communications
Grand Junction

Tancredo broke promise
on abiding by term limits

How can Tom Tancredo call others liars?  When Tancredo first ran for office in 1998 he solemnly pledged that he would serve no more than three terms as a congressman. He was a leader of the term limits movement and has pledged to stick to the three terms that Colorado voters tried to impose on congressional representatives in 1994. In 2001 Tancredo once again vowed to keep his promise,

“For me, the issue of giving one’s word and promising to do something like this is more important than the rest of it,” he said. “The overriding motivation for me today to adhere to the term limits pledge is that I made a pledge… I took the pledge. I will live up to the pledge. That’s it. That’s the overriding issue.”

Now we know that Tancredo went on to break his promises to his constituents to serve five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. So I have only one question for Tancredo: Is lying the same has breaking promises?

The answer is a resounding Yes.
Tim Vronay

Business should escrow
all sales tax receipts

A recent article in The Daily Sentinel reported the disturbing fact that a significant percentage of local businesses are delinquent in paying sales taxes. This is obviously not a good situation, especially during a time of fiscal crisis for the city.

A large part of the problem lies in the notion by many business people that it’s perfectly acceptable to treat sales tax receipts as normal cash flow to run their operations until such time as they must send those funds to the city.

The solution is for the City Council to stand up to the power of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and pass a regulation requiring all local businesses to deposit sales tax receipts into a separate escrow account at the end of each business day.

Businesses must learn that from the moment of collection, sales tax receipts belong to the people, not them.
E. Michael Ervin
Grand Junction

Salazar doesn’t represent
views of the 3rd District

John Salazar’s negative ads give farmers a bad image! How can his blatantly false ads help his campaign? Does he really think the voters in his district are all out touch like he is?

If Salazar thinks voting with Nancy Pelosi 97 percent of the time is representing “rural values” in the 3rd district, he’s wrong.

Salazar said at Club 20 that Obamacare is a deficit reduction bill. Washington’s math is different than math in the 3rd District!

I read somewhere that Salazar has his own plane and flies to sell seed potatoes. If that’s true, with his farm property and other assets, he’s not your average 3rd district farmer.

As a farmer myself, I know that if Salazar had managed his farming operation based on his voting record, he would have been broke and out of business a long time ago!

Our gap insurance is going up in part because of higher Medicare deductibles. Thanks for taking care of the people on Medicare, John Salazar! How many doctors are going to drop taking Medicare patients?

Salazar was sent to Washington to represent the people in the 3rd District, not to be Pelosi’s lap dog.
John Justman

Democrats misrepresent
Buck’s views on Fair Tax

I recently saw an ad by the Democratic Party accusing Ken Buck of promoting a 23 percent tax hike. The ad conveniently forgot to mention that he was referring to the
Fair Tax program that supports a 23 percent sales tax instead of our present income tax

The Fair Tax is a consumption tax and would bring in additional taxes from those who are presently avoiding taxation, such as non-citizens, those dealing in illegal businesses and others. The more a person spends the greater the taxation. An additional benefit would be a reduction in the size and cost of the IRS.
Robert Klein
Grand Junction

Don’t move Roce-Hurst
to old county dog pound

Ohhhh noooo!

That’s exactly what we said as we opened the front page to see Page 2 of The Daily Sentinel on Oct. 1.

For 32 years we’ve lived on Orchard Mesa at the cliff of the Colorado River. We enjoy the scenery and the atmosphere this location allows. We love to sit on our deck in the morning and drink coffee and read the paper. We have not enjoyed the “dog pound” or its noise.

We can tell you exactly when employees reach work, when the animals are fed or when
there’s a new dog brought into the facility. The barking, whining, crying, howling and frenzied noise was sometimes unbearable, forcing us inside. Needless to say we were thrilled when the county decided to build and moved to a new facility, out in the desert by the landfill with no neighbors to experience the noise.

We are dog people, have rescued many over the years and will continue to do so as long as we are able. There is a need for Roice-Hurst and we appreciate all that the organization does. The following direct quote from the article confirms our greatest fears.

“Although Roice-Hurst is situated on more land than the county’s parcel, it is surrounded by homes and the shelter has long fielded complaints from neighbors about barking dogs, Johnson said. Noise from barking dogs could better be controlled at the old county
shelter, an area that already had been accustomed to having a shelter in its backyard.”

The old county facility has many homes within hearing range. Roice-Hurst appears to be currently located in a more rural area. There are possibly more homes located around the old county location than the current Roice-Hurst facility. Just because we didn’t complain, doesn’t mean it’s pleasant or desirable to have this facility in our back yard.

We never were acclimated or grew accustomed to the barking. County employees were never able to contain the dog noise and now an organization that “has long fielded complaints from neighbors about barking dogs” thinks the facility itself will help them do this? The county determined that the old facility wasn’t adequate. How will this inadequate facility be the answer to Roice-Hurst problems, the be all, end all for controlling the noise? It can’t and it won’t.

If Roice-Hurst wants to trade land with the county, find a parcel located far, far away from any residential neighborhoods. It’s not a responsible action for either entity to think this land swap would be a viable solution. Do not put another animal impound group in this location!

Bill and Candi Clark
Grand Junction

Unions seek to level
playing field on votes

In response to Diane Schwenke’s letter against the Employee Free Choice Act:

Her example is of a company with 6,000 employees and of those 6,000 only 1,000 participate in the election, only 501 would need to vote “Yes” to get the union accepted.  What she fails to mention is that in Colorado, because of the Peace Act, a union must get 75 percent of the total of the 6,000 employees, which totals 4,500 employees.

Schwenke also fails to mention that if an employee doesn’t choose to vote, it counts as a “No” vote, favoring the company.

The unions are only looking for a level playing field. I know of no other election in this country where you must garner 75 percent of the total votes, not just 75 percent of those who do vote.
Tom Gahagan
Grand Junction

Salazar hurts himself
with negative attacks

A negative campaign ad sometimes tells you more about the candidate than it does about his political opponent.

John Salazar’s first ads showed him riding into the valley on his horse and then later climbing on his tractor to plow his field. He didn’t mention the word Democrat; just that he was a good old boy running for Congress to protect us rural folks.

I thought that not bringing up the disaster the Democrats created in Washington and distancing himself from Obama and his policies, was kind of creative.

Then all of a sudden he changes his character from farm-boy rancher to an expert in banking and finance. He is currently running an ad that is full of lies and deceptions about Scott Tipton’s banking relationships. It was so devious that the Sentinel came out with an editorial pointing out the distortions. As of Oct. 2, the ad was still running.

I think this tells a lot about Salazar’s integrity and the fact that his attitude has been shaped by the Obama administration.

I wasn’t going to vote for Salazar anyway, but I am saddened that he demeaned
himself with this ad.

Another issue is the Western Colorado land swap, which is filled with flaws. The Koch family has contributed $39,000 to Salazar’s campaign and Sen. Mark Udall is on board to present the bill to the Senate.

Both men have already voted for bills that were against the will of the majority of the American people, so any resistance from the people of Colorado regarding a state land swap is no big deal to them.

William F. McKnight
Grand Junction

Salazar, Bennet have worked
to protect school systems

I am a Grand Junction native currently residing in Fruita. I attended and am a graduate of School District 51 along with four other family siblings. Presently, I am raising two grandchildren also attending District 51 schools.

I will support and vote for Congressman John Salazar and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett because they helped to stabilize District 51 schools and protect teachers’ jobs on our Western Slope by voting to implement the economic stimulus package.

District 51 has a viable school system that plays an integral part in the success of
educating our children. Anyone who would eliminate the present U.S. Education
Department by implementing a state and local government system to run our schools, will never get my vote!
Barbara Anderson

Residents, media ignored
civil rights group meeting

All seven members of the Colorado State Civil Rights Commission were in Grand Junction Sept. 30 to offer a public meeting and forum for the public.

Neither the TV stations, nor The Daily Sentinel were visible for coverage of this newsworthy event. The turnout was small and disappointing, considering that the bipartisan commission formulates policies and rules and advises the governor and Legislature regarding policies and legislation that address illegal discrimination concerning employment, housing and public accommodation.

The commissioners welcomed discourse, and despite the small number of attendees, the exchange was lively and interesting. In the audience, both Police Chief John Camper and Sheriff Stan Hilkey participated, which I think is a commendable expression of their interest in the community.
Patricia Amadeo
Grand Junction

Voters must do research
before casting ballots

Election Day is almost upon us. I implore all voters to do their due diligence before they perform that wonderful right we have as U.S. citizens — the right to vote.

As children, we were led to believe by those who loved us that there were a Santa Claus and a Tooth Fairy. When we reached the age of reasoning and using a little detective work, we realized the Tooth Fairy was in reality a parent who lovingly crept into our rooms while we slept and placed a small monetary gift under our pillow while taking our tooth we had placed there.

As children, we also became aware that the real Santa Claus was Mom and Dad, who had stayed up into the wee hours of the morning putting together that train set and doll house while we slept and “sugar plums danced in our heads.”

Now as adults, it’s time to use that same detective work and reasoning as when a child, to look for the truth of what the politicians, our state and federal government and organizations with particular agendas are trying to persuade us to vote for.

There is a website; http://www.whitehouse.gov  that has been created on the federal level that will give you the correct information about everything from how the government and all its branches work, what bills are before Congress and bills that have been passed; what they actually do for our country and a complete description of the new health plan, as well as links to go to for more detailed information for each state.

On the state level the Blue Book or “2010 State Ballot Information Booklet,” mailed to all registered voters, contains analysis of issues that will be on the November ballot, as well as a “cheat sheet’ for you to take with you when voting to help you recall the many issues you are voting on.

Again, as adults, you owe it to yourselves and to your country to be an informed voter and not be a ‘believer in fairy tales and myths’ as when you were a child.  Do the right thing and vote for the truth.
Judith Chapin

King should support
measures 60, 61 and 101

State Rep. Steve King wrote a confession to The Daily Sentinel recently.
Having attacked tax relief issues 60, 61, and 101 weeks ago, he repudiated many reasons his side gives to oppose it. He admits that credit restrictions were “a result of the current recession, not a cause of it.” Yet he opposed Amendment 61, which limits easy government credit, lest it deepen the recession.
He wrote, “One major cause of the financial crisis was easy access to credit ... made possible by ... a variety of government schemes.” He noted loans were made, and “many of these defaulted, triggering the economic downturn.” That’s the problem Amendment 61 tries to prevent.
Why? “Government should not be risking taxpayers’ money ... a more efficient way to incentivize investment is to allow businesses and individuals to keep more of their
earnings, enabling them to invest in their businesses as they see fit.”
Of course, letting people keep more of their earnings is what Proposition 101 and Amendment 60 are about.
Proposition 101 repeals the FASTER bill, which doubled car registration fees last year. Opponents allege it is new money used for roads and bridges. King said in his letter, “FASTER did not provide a dedicated funding stream for roads and bridges. FASTER actually replaced an existing source of dedicated funding, and made the money collected from increased vehicle registrations available for non-transportation spending. FASTER took money away from roads and bridges and diverted it to pet projects. This is in exchange for higher costs on Colorado families during a recession, and the creation of several new expensive state bureaucracies.”
Stopping such diversion of funds from their stated purpose is one goal of all three ballot issues. Rejecting tax increases in a recession is another. Reducing government waste is a third.
King concluded by saying people should review “Colorado economics 101 and the policy issues facing our state.” Maybe Rep. King should take his own advice, publicly change his mind, and support The Terrific Three —60, 61, and 101.
Debbie Schum


Commit yourself
to civil discourse

This election year I find myself newly dedicated to civil discourse: listening and speaking respectfully with those whose opinions and beliefs differ from my own.

I realized after attending Club 20 last month that something is different in this county. Politics used to feel so polarized that saying anything felt dangerous to relationships. Yet at Club 20 I listened carefully to the six evening debaters. Despite their thoughts on how to get things done each of them, from the tea partiers to the brew meister, said the exact same things:

1. We are in a horrid economic state that both sides got us into.
2. We need reform around special interests, lobbying, campaign contributions and earmarks. These are ruining our country and our leaders’ ability to govern by allowing a handful of folks to profit mightily while the rest of us suffer mightily.

3. We need to get this struggling economy to strongly recover so we can lower taxes and pay our debt as quickly as possible.
4. We must get energy independent from foreign oil at almost any cost.

Unanimity of issues at Club 20, amazing!

The person who surprised me the most in her ability to appreciate civil discourse was me. Somehow in the last few years I’ve gone from one-who-cannot discourse civilly to one-who-can. I come from a family who taught me to demonize those that disagree with me. I was taught to hate good civil servants simply because they were from another political party. But something is changing in this country. I believe because of the fanatical far left and right the rest of us, the most of us, those-that-can
are joining in the middle.

And there, in such close proximity to one another, we experience the truth about the other; we are significantly more alike than different.

We wish we could exhale about the economy. We hate rules, but love order. We want to pay fewer taxes, but want our services too

So et’s listen. Let’s talk. Let’s remember our shared values. Let’s not try to change minds or votes, let’s just try and speak our truths with the goal of creating a strong and respectful community, knowing that great ideas come from listening and exploring a multitude of opinions.

We all think we’re right. Maybe we are. If we can, let’s discourse, civilly.
Elizabeth Clark
Grand Junction











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