E-mail letters, Oct. 5, 2010

Ballot amendments will
guarantee mediocrity

Someone once said, “You don’t always get what you pay for.” We ought to ask the question differently: “How often do we get something we don’t pay for?”

Take education for example. Suppose we cut in half the amount we spend on education. Instead of 30 children, assign 60 pupils per teacher. Individual attention will become a topic for the history lesson.

Well-qualified educators will seek employment elsewhere. Simply freeze their already-low wages while inflation nibbles away at their checks and watch them leave. Double their teaching load and watch them leave even faster. The ones left will possess neither intelligence nor initiative to provide even mediocre instruction.

Graduates of this system will pay all or nearly all their bills for higher education. In-state tuition will become a topic for the history paper. Our best and brightest will see opportunities at more prestigious private and out-of-state colleges and universities where the cost would be comparable to that of our public institutions. Upon graduating from these schools, they may choose to stay in their newly adopted location, where their children can get a quality education.

The answer is “Yes.” Don’t pay for a quality education. Don’t get one either. Take little comfort in the law requiring funding for K-12 schools to increase each year. Funding for our schools decreased during this past year.

The same concept applies to every program that our government provides. Fresh tap water, safe roads, prisoners behind bars, parks and wildlife, all these things are important and not free.

This fall we have a choice. Voting for Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101 guarantees mediocrity, at best. Don’t our kids, our grand kids and ourselves deserve better? Vote “No” on 60, 61 and 101.
Tom Orrell
Grand Junction

New York and California
contribute much to Bennet

Do you want to help California and New York add another senator to their total? If so, vote for Michael Bennet.

According to Campaignmoney.com, five of the six top contributors to his campaign came from California and New York. Of those contributing more than $2,400 to his campaign, 25 came from Boulder.

Notable politicians supporting Bennett include Barack Obama, John Kerry, Ralph Nader and Hillary Clinton. What have they done for you lately? Ubersocialist George Soros and Ken Lay, of Enron fame, also are listed as strong supporters.

Follow the money, vote for Ken Buck for Colorado’s U.S. senator.
Wes Burke
Glenwood Springs

Greyhound racing ended
because it is inhumane

I am writing in response to John D. Amen’s letter: “Bingo oversight works, don’t
try to fix it”, posted to GJSentinel.com on Oct. 1.

I believe the fate of bingo should not be confused with the fate of greyhound racing. The end of live greyhound racing in Colorado occurred as a result of the public’s lack of interest, together with increased opposition founded on humane issues.

Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane. Racing greyhounds endure lives of nearly endless confinement. While racing, they suffer and die from injuries such as broken limbs, broken necks, paralysis and cardiac arrest. The greyhounds are short-term investments, valued only as long as they generate a profit.

Dogs play an important role in our lives and deserve to be protected from industries that do them harm. I have personally adopted gentle, beloved greyhounds since 1997, and I am a board member of GREY2K USA, a national non-profit organization that works to end the cruelty of dog racing. For more information, including adoption referrals, please visit
Caryn Wood
Board of Directors
Gilbert, Ariz.

Not all green energy
produces cost savings

If you are considering having an “on the grid” solar system put on your house to lower your energy costs from your utility company, you may want to reconsider. The “on the grid” solar systems are nothing more than you, paying for a power generator to sell electricity to your utility company.

Yes, you are credited for the electricity you use in your home while the solar system is working. But, if the power goes off from your utility company, your solar system also goes off.

I wondered why the utility company, Xcel Energy, was willing to rebate almost half of the cost of my solar system.Now I know why.

I wanted to put as much distance between myself and the utility company as possible and that is why I wanted to invest — and it is a costly investment — in a solar system for my house. All I achieved by paying for and having an “on the grid” solar system was to tie myself even more to my utility company.

Beware. All green energy systems are not alike and can prove to be more expensive than cost effective.
Sybil Crane
Grand Junction

Work moving forward
to protect Thompson Divide

Last week Congressman John Salazar met with members of the Thompson Divide
Coalition to receive an update on activities of the coalition and to accept a proposal for the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act of 2010.

Salazar and his staff have worked closely with the directors of the coalition for the past two years, and the congressman’s commitment to public service led him to respond positively to the request of our board of directors, those who have signed the petitions, the organizations, and the jurisdictions that have supported the proposal.

Salazar has set a plan in motion to address the important next steps in the process of obtaining this important legislation. The goal is to retire oil and gas leases for exploration and development on federal lands in the Thompson Divide Area in a fair manner, while protecting the existing uses, including agricultural leases, identified recreational uses, natural values, water and air quality, wildlife habitat and needs,
scenic beauty and solitude.
The work of the coalition is, in many ways, just beginning. Much work lies ahead. People’s continued interest, commitment, and support are needed. We must remain unified for Thompson Divide. My heartfelt thanks to all who helped to make this happen.
Dorothea Farris, Vice Chair
Thompson Divide Coalition Board of Directors


Economic future lies
in the ballot box

John Hickenlooper will be elected governor. When Tom Tancredo entered the race with his weasel-in campaign, he siphoned just enough votes from Scott McInnis to allow Dan Maes to win the Republican nomination.

While McInnis had the best shot at winning the governor’s race, mismanagement of the PR about the plagiarism (and none of us have ever done that in school, college and business) done by a third party for McInnis, which he took responsibility for, hurt hugely with the “we will eat our own party” crowd and many tea party types. Even if Tancredo had it all on his own right now, he wouldn’t win.
Regardless of your political party or affiliation if you want more of what has been done to the Western Slope economy by our state Legislature and governor, then vote that way again. If you care to help prevent what Hickenlooper has in store for us, then the only real hope are our representatives and state senators. Only they may be able to block the new tax, restrict, and spend scenarios planned for the next few years.

This year, your personal economic future really is in the ballot box. Don’t trust your friends to do the right thing. Get out, get involved and vote!
Jim Shults
Grand Junction




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