E-mail letters, Sept. 9, 2010

Many helped make
Robb’s dream reality

Recent coverage of the Riverfront Trail has been gratifying, with details on the dedication of the new section, planning for the next section and Bill Haggerty’s column.

We can never praise Jim Robb enough for his leadership and great dream for the Riverfront. However, much praise should also go to that first riverfront commission that bought into his dream and put heart and soul into getting it off the ground and starting it into a reality.

The following people were on that commission which played such an important part, along with backing from the city of Grand Junction and Mesa County: Helen Traylor, Jane Quimby, Bill Graham, Harold Elam, Rebecca Frank, Pat Gormley, Ward Scott, Chris Jouflas and Brian Mahoney, along with co-chairmen Jim Robb and me.

It’s an awesome thing to see how dedicated people have never ceased working to keep the dream alive. In these days of pessimism and discouragement, it’s a hopeful note to see what local, dedicated citizens can do to enrich their community and add to everyone’s quality of life.
Bill Ela

People shouldn’t suffer
for convenience of farmers

Burning fields is a “necessary” tool for local agriculture?  Letter writer Waters recent letter was interesting in that it makes several unsubstantiated claims related to agricultural burning. I am far from an expert on this subject, but a little research would appear to dispel the claims by Waters.

First, I am unable to find evidence that burning adds nitrogen to the soil. Burning actually creates nitrogen oxides that are released into the atmosphere along with other known pollutants. Further, burning destroys the potash and potassium that remains in the plant material that would actually be added back, if plowed into the soil.

The other claims of benefit cited, such as weed control, ease of seeding and reduced chemicals all seem to be related to cost-effectiveness for the farmer.

Scientific studies have shown that smoke is harmful to the lungs because of the toxic fine particles, gases and other products released by agricultural burning. Exposure to these pollutants has been linked to several respiratory ailments, putting the elderly and children particularly at risk.

These agricultural “practices” that are in place in our area are used by a very small percentage of farmers within the United States. For the most part, the farmers that produce the food we eat are not burning their fields. Most of the burning is done by farmers producing grass and other seeds.

Other western states and the EPA have struggled with this same problem, by weighing the health and safety of citizens against the benefit of field burning. Where burning has not been banned outright, they have adopted very strict regulations to manage the burning. Generally, farmers must demonstrate the burning is for other than ease of procedure or cost effectiveness. The benefit to the farmer is weighed against the detriment to the populace. Because of the health risks, field burning has been greatly reduced in several other states within the last decade.

I understand Waters desire to burn his field uninterrupted, but he should also understand that the Grand Valley is not just an agricultural area. The percentage of the local economy supported by and population involved in farming is not to be discounted, but is not at the top of the list of the businesses supporting the quality of life in this valley. Most of the people living and working here are not farmers and should not have to find somewhere else to live, just because a few farmers want to burn their fields.
Mike Joseph

‘Reefer madness’ is ignoring
impacts of medical pot

Regarding the column, “Did Reefer Madness afflict Grand Junction City Council?”: This question could more appropriately be asked of Bill Grant, the author of the article.
The selling of reefers under the fiction of medical marijuana, using tax income,  job and business preservation as justification, is the height of madness. 
The type of businesses, jobs and taxes generated by getting people high is not sustainable and does nothing but contribute to the downward spiral of our competitive edge, not only in Colorado and the nation, but also in the world economy. We can’t operate in a foggy haze at 80 percent of our mental, creative and productive abilities and expect to be competitive in a world market.
Reefer madness is what Bill Grant is promoting to benefit the greed of those in the pot business, and the inability of politicians who lack the courage and creative ideas to solve current economic problems.
I respect and admire the vision of the Grand Junction City Council to be able to look into the future of the city and see the long-term negative effects of Bill Grant’s and his ilk’s reefer madness.
Robert A. Tallarico
Grand Junction

Jobs rally is about
frightening people

As an avid hunter and fisherman, I was disgusted to see that someone from the Colorado Mule Deer Association is supporting and speaking at the American Petroleum Institute’s rally in Grand Junction. How does an organization that claims to “increase mule deer populations” and restore “the biological balance among predators and mule deer” support an American Petroleum Institute rally for increased mining and drilling?

The biggest threat to our fishing and hunting heritage in the West is not the hippies in Boulder, but rather the ravenous thirst to drill and mine every bit of land we have left in the West.

I can only hope people are not fooled by the Petroleum Institute’s claims that they are concerned about our jobs. This “rally” is about frightening people about their jobs so we won’t think about the possibility of our hunting & fishing lands turning into the next Deepwater Horizon incident.
R.J. Kuehn
Colorado Springs

How can anyone seek to
return to pre-Obama days?

As I watch political news daily, I am sadly aware that lies and hypocrisy have become the standard; infidelity and deception are not only ignored, they are acceptable behavior; reason and logic have gone the way of morals and ethics — down the drain. 

I am awestruck by the realization that those in our country who are disgruntled and dissatisfied with the progress of the current administration want to return to the policies and practices of the eight years prior to Barack Obama’s election. Those policies and practices put us in this black hole in which we find ourselves. Why would anyone in his or her right mind want to go back there? 

What did people expect President Obama to do? Snap his fingers and fix everything instantaneously? He has said many times it will take years to recover from the results of tax cuts, deregulation and war. Positive steps have been taken with success. We just don’t hear about the good things happening in our country. The naysayers are too loud.

We are on the downside of progress, and it will take many miracles to keep us out of the morass. Our democracy certainly won’t survive in this milieu of hatred, anger, vitriol, violence and intolerance.
Holly von Helms

Koran burning perpetuates
endless game of revenge

Pastor Terry Jones is no better than the hate-filled people who now burn the U.S.
flag because they think all Americans are like him.

The average Muslim did not plot or participate in 9/11. The average American doesn’t
deserve the condemnation that Jones does for what he is planning.

As Goethe said, “There is nothing more terrifying than ignorance in action.”

Jones has become the very thing he is attempting to destroy, which only perpetuates the endless game of revenge upon revenge upon revenge.
Kitty Nicholason
Grand Junction

God caught in middle
in world religious wars

With all the human hatred being expressed right now about Islam and mosques, Mark Twain comes to mind.

I don’t remember which book (maybe his “Letters From the Earth”), or the exact words, but he said something like “People and war are a funny thing. They all grab their guns to kill each other, but before they do, each side goes to church to pray to the same god to help them win.”

The three great religions stemming from the Old Testament all praying “me God, let me win.” Poor God.
Eileen O’Toole
Grand Junction

King is clear choice
for the state Senate

The upcoming election is a very important one for the direction of our state. In the case of Mesa County, we are fortunate to have someone like Rep. Steve King running for the state Senate.

Rep. King has proved himself in the House as being someone who understands the complex and challenging issues of the state. He also has been a strong and clear voice on behalf of his constituents in western Colorado.

King recognizes the importance and value of our business community and the need to create jobs in the private sector. At the same time, he has made it known that it is important that the state, like any family, live within its means and not pursue additional taxes and fees at a time when the public can least afford it.

The November state Senate election offers Mesa County a stark choice. We can choose someone like Steve King, who has a proven track record and experience as being a strong supporter of Western Slope interests and someone who has earned the trust of the business community or we can roll the dice with an unknown.

During this challenging period for our state, I think the choice is clear: Steve King. 
Dewayne Blanscet

There’s firefly-like critters
on Smith Fork River

I read with interest the Sept. 6, Page 7A article regarding firefly shortage. In mid-article, the Associated Press writer states that there are no fireflies found west of the Rockies.

Maybe the Boston Museum of Science would like to send one of their “bug men” to eastern Delta County and western Gunnison County and check out the mid-to-upper elevations of the Smith Fork River during mid-summer. On numerous trips up and down this stream, I have observed small UFOs flitting about, their lights going on and off.

I had always thought of them as to being fireflies and on close examination, they appeared to be some type of insect with wings and legs. A cleaver camouflage by the aliens. But I am not trained in the science of studying fireflies.

Here is a chance for some researcher to find a new species.
Larry M. Head

Supreme Court selection
shows election consequences

That the newest left-of-the-electorate member of the Colorado Supreme Court is a Grand Junction High School graduate is a small consolation. Voters should see in the ascension of Monica Marquez to the state’s high court the reality that elections have lasting consequences.

Gov. Bill Ritter will leave office soon as one of many unpopular incumbents, but not before adding to his questionable legacy with the choice of   Marquez over far more experienced and qualified candidates.

As the people of Colorado go to the polls in November to elect our next governor, hopefully they will bear in mind that the person they select will, through judicial appointments, extend his influence over the state for years to come, even after leaving office.
Vaughn Park
Grand Junction

King wrong in views
about ballot measures

I respond to Rep. Steve King’s letter against tax relief. I was first struck by his using a royal “we.” (“We have taken a close look at these measures and we urge you…”). A strange tone for someone who claims to be a public servant.

Why are government officials so afraid of initiatives brought by citizens? These initiatives got about 420,000 petition signatures to make the November ballot, and will pass, because we the people don’t trust the politicians. King’s letter telling us how to vote is arrogant. Lawmakers regulate our lives and our money 364 days a year; Election Day is the one day citizens tell them what to do. Citizens don’t need their “help” to vote.

Citizens reject the doubling of car registration “fees” (taxes) that politicians passed in Denver last year without voter approval. Citizens reject the billions of dollars in future school property taxes politicians passed in Denver in 2007 without voter approval. Citizens reject the doubling of property taxes on senior citizens that politicians passed in Denver, which took effect this year. Citizens reject the tripling state debt without voter approval over the past 10 years. Citizens reject the $18,000 per year tax-free expense accounts taken by politicians, while raising our taxes you call “fees.”

Citizens know from reading COtaxreforms.com that state spending has soared 476 percent since 1984, mostly under Republican Legislatures, so stop trying to score points by blaming Democrats. Because some of us really are fiscally conservative. Property tax revenue has escalated 183 percent since TABOR passed, thanks to the loopholes politicians invented.

King justifies the growth of government spending on government jobs in recent years. If government spending were the key to prosperity, totalitarian nations would be the wealthiest on Earth! I suggest King learns to respect the private sector; which pays for government.

His time is up; citizens want our state back. When the ballots are counted, you will find out your “we” is not as numerous as you thought.

Readers, if you are ready to help pass issues 60, 61, and 101, contact COtaxreforms.com and join the REAL “we”—the People!

Ken Schum


Obama’s legacy will be
‘An era of duplicity’

The Obama administration has created yet another form of “political correctness.” It’s pure and simple and obvious dishonesty, consisting of blatant lies, which Obama would likely describe as “mis-truths.” To prove my point on popularity and acceptance, there is now a “Lie to Me” TV show on FOX.

The president and his congressional leadership have not only proved to be the most unpopular administration in history, but also the most deceitful and untrustworthy.

For documentation, look back on some of Obama’s campaign speeches:

—“I’m going to make our government open and transparent.”

—“As president, I’m going to make it impossible for congressmen or lobbyists to slip pork barrel projects or corporate welfare into law.”

—“... meetings will be more open to the public ... no more secrecy, no more secrecy!” (twice!)

—“...and when there’s a bill on my desk to sign, the public will have five days to look online to find out what’s in it.”

—“I will cut tens of millions of dollars in spending … there will be no new taxes,”

Next is Nancy Pelosi regarding prisoner interrogation: “We were not, I repeat, we were not told that water boarding was used.” Then on the beginning of life and abortion: “As an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue I have been studying for a long time … we want abortion to be safe and rare.” (What?)

Naturally, Harry Reid is off base and off the wall: “The war in Iraq is lost,” and “One reason we have fires in California is global warning.”
I almost forget Joe (what’s-his name) Biden at his best: “That is simply not true about Barack Obama. He did not say he’d be willing to sit down with Ahmadinejad.”

During every president’s term in office there’s always media attention on his legacy. In this case, Obama’s “Audacity of Hope” has “blossomed” into “audacity of hypocrisy and dishonesty.” 

I suggest that the Obama legacy should be: “An Era of Duplicity!”
Richard Doran


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