E-mail letters, October 26, 2010

Colorado senators shouln’t
get orders from New York

A recent editorial in The Daily Sentinel, touting Michael Bennett, stated that one of the reasons to re-elect Bennet is that he has voted with the Republicans 50 times. That’s hardly a good reason.
An example of Bennet’s voting with the Republicans would be S. Amendment 1618. It was widely reported that both Sens. Bennett and Mark Udall voted with the Republicans after receiving “a wink and a nod” from Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrat from New York.

As reported, Schumer would take a vote count and the arrangement was that, if the bill would receive less than 60 votes with Bennett and Udall voting in favor, New York Chuck would let them know. Upon receiving the “wink and nod,” Bennet and Udall cast the 57th and 58th votes.
I emailed both Bennet and Udall and asked about several issues, this being one of them. Both senators answered each question except the one that asked if this story was correct.
Since when do our senators report to Chuck Schumer or represent the voters of New York?
I’m not a great fan of Ken Buck but I certainly don’t like New York Chuck.
I’ll be voting against Bennet and, if Udall doesn’t respond to this issue, I’ll not vote to re-elect him when his turn comes around. I prefer our senators represent the voters of Colorado.
Bill Thomas
Grand Junction


American views on abortion
show we live under tyranny

Cassandra Lopez, writing for The Daily Sentinel on Amendment 62, wrote a good piece indicative of the clear and present danger in America today.

If I take her stats as credible — and there is no good reason to not to do so — 80 of Americans oppose defining life as beginning at conception.

I suggest that is probably about the same number of persons in America who think the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are just nice words on paper, with no particular meaning unless some judge decides in court that, say, abortion is a constitutional right.

My problem with Lopez and her piece is not personal, but it is the fact that it advocates for the status quo — abortion on demand.

The arguments used in defense of Roe v.Wade, Doe v. Bolton and abortion-as-is are pretty much the same arguments used by the Taney Court and Southern politicians concerning African slaves. And, as Robert Bork wrote in “The Tempting of America” and in “Slouching Toward Gomorrah” regarding the the Roe decision, there was no constitutional argument made, and there has been no constitutional defense of Roe given since.

I can only conclude abortion is and remains a lucrative legal trashing of our Constitution
and fundamental law and that a vast majority of Americans today are too busy with their own pursuits to give a damn about the Constitution and laws our leaders swear to defend.

Once upon a time in America, we were a moral and religious people — a nation of laws applied equally to all. Now we are a people under tyranny — a tyranny of our own submission.
Robert Burkholder
Fruita


Budget-cutting amendments
will cripple city and state

I am writing regarding Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101. I urge people to really study these three measures before voting. They may seem appealing since they spout “lower taxes.” However, these measures will cripple our state and city.

No one wants to pay excessive taxes, but some taxes are necessary to provide services that make our communities good places to live. Our state and local governments are not “for profit” organizations. They need to collect taxes to pay for services we need and
enjoy such as police, fire, roads, parks, etc.

Our schools will be affected by the passing of these measures. Amendment 60 reduces property tax rates for schools with that revenue to be replaced by state aid. Yet, Proposition 101 drastically reduces state revenue. How then can the state pay for the
current services we enjoy plus pay for additional the money needed for schools?

Does it occur to anyone that state and local governments would have to increase fees
to offset a decrease in taxes? Will these measures increase our utilities to excessive amounts?

Please be informed before voting. We like living here, but nothing is for free. We want our elected officials to be good stewards over the money they receive from us. Then we need to elect responsible people and watch over them.

These are drastic measures that are not going to produce the results that are being suggested. Don’t be fooled. Vote “No” on these three.
Michele Thornton
Grand Junction


Keep Salazar’s farming
background in Washington

I am a lavender grower and member of Colorado’s fledgling lavender industry and am grateful to have John Salazar serve me as a member of Congress.

As a specialty agricultural crop producer, I am well aware of and have enjoyed the support for farmers that is currently in place in Colorado because of Salazar. I am worried about losing that voice in Washington, considering that he is the only active farmer and rancher serving inCongress.

As a resident of a Western Slope community, it is all too easy to take for granted the view that presents itself while traveling west on I-70 through De Beque Canyon. The canyon opens up into the Grand Valley with its drop-dead gorgeous vineyards and orchards and is a wonderful reminder of the lifestyle enjoyed here, whether farmers or not. Our abundant and bountiful harvest has given us access to the best produce and meats in the country, thanks to local farmers and ranchers.

John Salazar knows first-hand the difficulty of making ends meet on a farm and ranch. Because of the challenges faced by family farmers they have become an endangered species — especially in Washington, D.C. We need Salazar to continue to be there for us as he has been in the past.

Salazar has always had the courage and tenacity to protect our water. He knows Colorado farmers and ranchers cannot survive without it. Let’s send our fellow farmer back to Congress before we end up being evicted from the lifestyle and beloved community we know.
Claire McCullough
Grand Junction


Bible is consistent in treating
those in the womb as persons

I would like to comment on the letter from Janet Brazill, published in The Daily Sentinel Oct. 24, regarding the Bible’s treatment of personhood.

She stated that Exodus 21: 22-23 says that a miscarriage caused by an injury from another person is not penalized, demonstrating that the unborn life is not given rights to legal protection.

This scripture actually reads, ” If men fight and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But, if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life.” (New King James version).

Some Bible translators have handled it differently, but the original language is clearly live birth rather than a miscarriage. This demonstrates the penalty of law for harm to an child born prematurely due to an injury inflicted on the mother by another person. This is the same as an unborn child being harmed due to a drunk driver hitting an expectant mother’s car. What the text says is that if the child is born prematurely with no injury that penalties can be assessed as the judges determine. However, if the child is injured or dies, the full penalty of the law applies.
The Bible is very clear and consistent about the personhood of those in the womb. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” This is a clear definition of personhood and the message is consistent throughout the scripture and found in many places.

When a tragic situation develops, such as an tubal pregnancy, the child will lose his or her life no matter what. The loss of one to save the mother from harm or death is a sad necessity. The parents will grieve the loss of that child, showing again the truth that the child within was a person who will be missed.

Amendment 62 will not prevent common sense from determining what is necessary in situations such as these. It will only restore the proper rights and dignity to all human life.
Pastor Jim Hale
Palisade


Water remains big question
in energy development

Many of our politicians would like to blame conservation, hunting, fishing or outdoor recreation, with all our regulations, for the state of the economy. Conservation regulations make it too difficult for oil and gas companies to make a profit, some claim.

Natural gas is about $3.30 per thousand cubic feet; crude oil is about $81.00 a barrel. Conservation regulations have nothing to do with these low prices, but low prices certainly affect production in Colorado.

It takes more than a million gallons of water and a lot of hydraulic oil to produce the average well. That water and oil become drill-pad waste.

The question we are facing now is how much water does it take for the production of a hundred barrels of oil from how many tons of oil shale? And what will it do to our ecology?

Oil and gas companies say, “Oops,” when they have a spill, “we didn’t mean to do that.”

We still don’t know how much damage that spill created. Yes, they said it was an accident No big deal. We’ll take care of it. Those “oops” now number in the hundreds.

What is the damage? Who pays? Yes, it is you and me. And now one more question: From where does all water come?
David E. Trimm, President
Grand Valley Anglers
Grand Junction


Hickenlooper loses support
over Denver pit-bull ban

As Nov. 2 is just around the corner, some of us are still unsure of who we will vote for, and some of us are certain who we will select.

The race for governor is of great interest to some of us who love our family pets. Our
family has a sweet, well-behaved female American Staffordshire terrier. When
we travel outside of Grand Junction,we like to take her with us. However, we are not allowed to bring our dog with us if we chose to visit Denver.

All bully breeds are outlawed in the city of Denver. Any dog that resembles a pit bull is at risk for confiscation by Denver Animal Control.

Since 2005, close to 2,000 dogs have been euthanized because of what they looked like,
not because of anything they did. Most of those dogs were family pets.

One of the candidates for governor is Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. Mayor Hickenlooper has supported the breed ban in his city.

We have statistics that clearly show how ineffective, costly and discriminatory breed bans are. There are more effective ways to keep a community safe. Implementing dangerous-dog ordinances (not specific to breed) is one way. This makes the owner accountable, not the dog.

The cities of Lakewood and Englewood have this type of ordinance in place.

Our dog is a loved and cherished part of our family, and we will not support politicians and public servants who think its OK to slaughter innocent dogs and tear apart families.
Margaret Csikos
Grand Junction


Ballot measures will hurt
ability to protect our water

The Colorado Basin Roundtable opposes Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 on the Nov. 2 ballot as damaging to future efforts to provide Colorado with adequate water supplies.
The Colorado Basin Roundtable is an organization of water providers, agricultural, recreational and environmental interests formed by state legislation in 2005 to help foster statewide water supply solutions. Members representing these water interests come from counties flanking the Colorado River mainstem from the headwaters at the Continental Divide to the Utah border.
Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 would, upon full implementation, create a $4.2 billion deficit in state and local government. Water service districts would be included in the carnage.
Furthermore, they would severely limit the ability of government and water districts to borrow money or raise revenues to fund infrastructure repairs, improvements, environmental protection and recreation. If these measures pass, Colorado’s ability to protect our water resources and natural environment, while providing adequate drinking water to a population slated to double to 10 million people by 2050 will be severely curtailed.

The Colorado Basin Roundtable urges voters to say “No” to ballot measures 60, 61 and 101.
Jim Pokrandt, Chairman
Colorado Basin Roundtable
Glenwood Springs


Tresi Houpt deserves
to be re-elected commissioner

Tom Jankovsky says people should vote for him because he’s the pro-business candidate. Really? We all love Ski Sunlight, the local ski area he manages, but is that the business model we want for Garfield County?

It’s a lovely mountain, full of good skiing terrain and a great sense of community, but over the last decade, while Colorado’s ski industry thrived, Ski Sunlight declined. In the Aspen Daily News, Nov. 14, 2008, Sunlight board President Richard Schafstall described Sunlight “as fading family resort, running on aging lifts, limited snowmaking and facilities past their prime.” He goes on, “the ski area has lost $1 million in the past 11 years while other small resorts in the state have thrived.” This was on Jankovsky’s watch and is not the business leadership Garfield County needs.
A few years ago, portions of Ski Sunlight were leased for natural gas development. Imagine that, skiing with fracking trucks, flaring gas, toxic waste pits and the stench. It would have sealed Ski Sunlight’s fate. What did Jankovsky do about it? Nothing. He didn’t even know about it. It wasn’t until a local conservation group pointed out to the BLM that it is illegal to lease ski areas that the leases were withdrawn. Will Jankovsky neglect Garfield County like he neglected Ski Sunlight? We can’t risk it, not now.
I am voting for Tresi Houpt. She has the brains, the dedication, and the stewardship to keep Garfield County on the right track. As a commissioner, she’s managed huge growth in the county, successfully overseeing a $100 million budget, kept spending in line while meeting important social services needs and addressing gas boom impacts. Tresi knows that economic diversity is the key to a healthy economy and community. She supported the Garfield County Airport expansion, a key piece of infrastructure attracting strong business investment and tourism alike.
She, along with her fellow sitting Commissioners, listened to local voices and supported their self-determination. Case in point: The commissioners unanimously support the Thompson Divide Coalition’s efforts to protect local agriculture, recreation and hunting in the greater Thompson Creek watershed.

Her opponent, Jankovsky wants to see the Thompson Creek/Four Mile area turned into another industrial sacrifice zone.
Vote for Tresi Houpt. She’s the right balance for Garfield County.
Sloan Shoemaker
Carbondale



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