E-mail letters, Sept. 20, 2010

Bennet has little record, so he must attack opponent

Sen. Michael Bennet doesn’t hasn’t done anything in Congress that the majority of us approve of, so the only thing he can campaign on is attacking his opponent. I wish candidates would just state what they support and leave their opponent alone.

I always thought the primary elections were for the people to decide who the candidate would be, but thanks to the Republican Party, who thought they were smarter than all the rest of us, they’re left with egg on their faces, and we will probably end up with another Democrat for a governor. I hope they learned something.
Laurel Gallegos
Grand Junction

Sen. Bennet voted against
measure to aid seniors

Why does Sen. Bennet have such vile hatred for seniors, the disabled and veterans?  Why on March 3, did he vote against the measure by Sen. Bernie Sanders to provide an emergency benefit of $250 to seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities in 2010 to compensate for the lack of cost-of-living adjustment for such year?
This measure was in compliance with a similar measure passed in the House; and adhered to what the president stated about not turning our backs on our elderly and those with disabilities and not neglecting our veterans.
Tim Vronay

Bennet brings qualities
Colorado needs in Senate

The recent Club 20 debate confirmed Michael Bennet to be the best choice for U.S. senator from Colorado. He brings valuable experience as a successful businessman, pragmatic innovator and insightful problem solver to the Senate.

As a managing director at the Anschultz Investment Company here in Colorado, he helped restructure four distressed companies and lead them to profitability. His work allowed these companies to grow, add employees and become successful businesses.

As superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, Bennet met daily with principals and faculty. By listening, and using his business background, he implemented constructive ideas and suggestions, balanced the budget and improved both student achievement and graduation rates.

In the Senate, Bennet has continued his search for rational, common-sense solutions to the morass of problems and gridlock that have characterized Washington D.C. in recent years. His business experience and analysis skills have allowed him to quickly understand and evaluate the long-term problems posed by the previous administration’s lack of fiscal responsibility.
Bennet’s experience and success addressing difficult choices, both as a businessman, and in the public sector, are qualities Coloradans need in the U.S. Senate. It is obvious we need to make tough decisions to reduce deficit spending, create a business climate that grows small business and creates jobs in the 21st century. But we need careful, positive, consideration of all solutions to these problems.

Michael Bennet brings common sense, a businessman’s fiscal reality, and a demonstrated ability to find and implement successful solutions to the Senate. We need these qualities in Washington.
R. Jeff Smith
Grand Junction

Lack of access to pain
care costing us billions

Pain is a national health crisis with serious economic ramifications. A staggering 76.5 million Americans say they have had a problem with pain lasting longer than a day.

Access to pain care remains a barrier for many Americans, including insurance policies requiring a person with pain to “fail” on other therapies before receiving their prescribed medication.

Insurance companies must remove roadblocks preventing people with pain from receiving the appropriate and necessary pain management and treatment options they are prescribed.

Undertreated pain drives up the cost of healthcare: It extends lengths of stay in hospitals, increases emergency room visits and leads to unplanned clinic visits. Lost productive time from pain conditions costs an estimated $61.2 billion per year. When pain is treated properly, many people can resume their lives.

This September, Pain Awareness Month, I hope that people with pain, their families and caregivers, healthcare professionals and policy makers stand up to demand improved access to pain care. You have the power to advocate for yourself or your loved one’s pain-care rights at your doctor’s office, in your pharmacy and to state and federal health care policy decision makers.

Contact the American Pain Foundation at http://www.painfoundation.org to learn more about
pain-care advocacy. People in pain have a right to timely, appropriate and effective pain care. Americans in pain can receive the services they need in order to lead healthy, productive lives.
Holly Nickle
Grand Junction


Articles show need for
babies to have loving parents

What a compelling argument that babies should be born to loving parents who will cherish and care for them. Recently, The Daily Sentinel had the story of the parents of an adored 16-month-old giving him back to God after months of desperate attempts to save his life and the story of a “boyfriend” bringing a fatally injured baby to his mother’s workplace.

Babies are totally dependent on those around them. Normal people can’t imagine brutally treating a child in such a way.

Young parents, please, make certain your babies are only surrounded by people who love them. If you can’t care for them, place them with someone who wants to love and nurture them.
Anna Bilyeu
Grand Junction

Hickenlooper land swap
sounds similar to Koch’s

A recent AP article in The Daily Sentinel reported that gubernatorial candidate and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper exchanged approximately 600 acres of land with the U.S. Forest Service. It was valued at $1,400 an acre in 2000, when the swap was made.

Two years later, the same land that Hickenlooper received in the exchange was valued at $6,000 an acre and a portion of it was sold at $7,500 an acre — an appreciation of about 400 percent in two years. Pretty good business decision — if you weren’t a taxpayer on the losing side of this deal.

But wait, this kind of exchange seems to ring a bell. It seems that our congressman, John Salazar, is trying to broker a similar deal between the BLM and the owner of the Bear Ranch, Bill Koch.

Could it just be a coincidence that Koch is a significant campaign contributor to Salazar?
And why now? Could it be that the land swap must be completed just before an election that could remove Salazar from office? One has to wonder.
Richard Udd

Konola will represent
people rather than parties

If one would discard the labels — Democrat, Republican, tea party — one might listen and evaluate a candidate’s platform on its merits, not with a pre-determined bias. One candidate worth listening to is Claudette Konola, candidate for Colorado state Senate, District 7.

Although not well-known, she has plunged into the Senate race because she has something to offer in these stressful economic times. That “something” is 40 years of experience in the private sector of the banking and finance industry, plus working with small start-up businesses and community development efforts and helping create 40,000 jobs in the United States. More importantly, she is not an incumbent and brings no history of obligation to anyone but voters.

As an educated voter, listen, question her (on Facebook or her blog). Ask yourself which candidate for District 7 is more informed, with the best background to address the needs and implement solutions for us.

Claudette has chosen the color purple as a symbol to blend the red and the blue of Democrats and Republicans. It is a message that she will vote people, not party, as best represents the values and needs of her constituents.

Claudette is coming to the Colorado State Senate representing you and me. Think Purple. Vote Claudette Konola.

Paula Struckman
Grand Junction


Fair Tax would aid
taxpayers and government

Regarding Neil Riddle’s Sept. 14 letter to the editor: He had some very good comments supporting the Fair Tax (HR 25 or S 296). Sadly this bill has been in both the Senate and House without any action since January 2009.

Currently, our tax system is punishing anyone who is able to support himself and be successful. Under our current tax system, only law-abiding citizens pay taxes on their paycheck, their property, and thousands of other fees our legislators impose. Under the Fair Tax, any one who makes a purchase would pay a sales tax. The sales tax would be larger than what we currently pay, at 23 percent, but have you figured that today approximately 31 percent of your pay goes to taxes? This percentage is dependent on the
amount of pay you receive, but I believe it’s a common amount.

With paying only a sales tax, the individual has control over how much he or she pays in taxes by controlling how much he or she spends at the store. Some people say this would hurt the government economy when in actuality, because people would see more of their actual earnings, they are more likely to spend more. Also, as pointed out by Riddle, this system would collect taxes from more people, such as foreign tourists and those who manage to earn a living by illegal means.

The Fair Tax abolishes the IRS, but directs the Secretary of the Treasury to allocate sales tax revenues among: (1) the general revenue; (2) the old-age and survivors insurance trust fund; (3) the disability insurance trust fund; (4) the hospital insurance trust fund; and (5) the federal supplementary medical insurance trust fund.

I can’t understand why our money-grabbing legislators wouldn’t prefer the Fair Tax, as it would create more money for their coffers.
Kym Bevan
Grand Junction

More government is not
answer for these times

From the International Business Times: “The Los Angeles City Controller said on Thursday the city’s use of its share of the $800 billion federal stimulus fund has been disappointing.  The city received $111 million in stimulus under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) approved by the Congress more than year ago. ‘I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million,’ says Wendy Greuel, the city’s controller, while releasing an audit report.  ‘With our local unemployment rate over 12 percent, we need to do a better job cutting red tape and putting Angelenos back to work,’ she added.”

This debacle is just another example of Big Brother (see below) Government efficiency in looking out for us.

And John Borgen in his Sept. 16 letter to the editor, in using the phrase “I am my brother’s keeper,” seems to assume the “I” in there is the government, with all the entitlement programs. In his view, apparently, entitlements are what made this nation great, and he fears conservatives are going to “stop funding most of the things that have built the country to what it is.”

Unfortunately, this nation is facing insurmountable debt without some changes to many of these programs. Just increased taxes, which Borgen says he is willing to pay, are not the answer.  We may just become another Greece.
Creighton Bricker
Grand Junction

Where was the local support
for Iraq war veteran?

I had the great privilege recently of greeting and meeting Troy Yocum, the Iraq-war veteran who is hiking 7,000 miles across America, banging his drum to raise $5 million to help military families in need.

What I was not proud of was the fact the media in this town did not deem it important in their pathetic headlines to promote his arrival here.

I was appalled at the dismal turnout for him. The rodeo had more participants than he had. I’d like to know where the local government officials were? What was more important to them tonight than to show up and show support for this courageous young man?

Where were the Republicans, Democrats and tea party supporters? They should have all
been there. I’m ashamed of this community. You talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. If you care, please go to http://www.drumhike.com and contribute to this cause.
Sandy Gagne
Grand Junction

Multiple forces oppose
medical marijuana

What the devil is going in Grand Junction?
First the City Council, in its uniquely uninformed way, has seen fit to close down legitimate, well-regulated businesses for no sensible reason (medical marijuana dispensaries), thus increasing unemployment and casting many onto the welfare roles, and have refused to refund the two-thirds of those businesses license fees out of which the council is now cheating them.
This is bad enough, but now all of our local banks are refusing to do business with these legal businesses? Why? Who and what is behind all this latest outrageous, immoral action?
I’ve seen lots of shabby local business and political behavior in this valley during my 76 years on this Earth, but suddenly things are beginning to smell of rot and moral corruption. I think of behind-the-scenes manipulating of civic matters to be a corruption of the civic processes and a denial of all citizens’ rights to open and above-board civic behavior.
Collusion between banks and government can only lead to bad things for us all. No? Just review national headlines these past 10 years. Who but The Daily Sentinel is left to call for an accounting of these shameful behaviors? The city won’t, the county won’t, the banks certainly won’t, so who will? If I knew how, I would. If I could take my banking business elsewhere, I would, but my bank wouldn’t even notice the lose of those few bucks, and where else can I go? This valley has always been my home and I can’t afford to sell out and move elsewhere.
Who but The Daily Sentinel can focus public attention on these unsavory and potentially illegal matters? Save for our voting rights, we have no power and no influence and no one to voice our concerns in these matters. If the print media won’t be our champion and expose these shenanigans, who is left?
T. Streff
Grand Junction

Media should just report
and analyze the news

In his Sept. 14 “Platitudes and personality…” article, Denny Herzog sure got it right when he said, “Collectively they create the news on any given day, then spend a great deal of time reporting on themselves ...” referring to talk-show hosts who sensationalize the most banal utterances of politicians instead of giving the public factual information and ideas.

A number of years ago, I actually heard Wolf Blitzer comment that he doesn’t just report the news, he creates it!  When TV news reporters began interviewing other reporters, I knew it was time to turn off the TV.

News is what I seek, not entertainment. I cling to the one weekday news show that actually does something quaint — reports and analyzes the news. And, of course, The Daily Sentinel.
Rosemary Litz
Grand Junction



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