Email letters, Nov. 9, 2011

Support ‘Small Business Saturday’

We have all heard of and come to love or dread “Black Friday,” but have you heard of “Small Business Saturday”? For the last few years, small businesses across the country have promoted the day after Black Friday as a day to support your local small business.

Now more than ever, small business needs your support. We don’t have fancy commercials. We don’t use celebrity spokespersons. We are the stores that remember your name when you come in. We are the businesses in your town that you have used for years.

In this day and age of big box stores and faceless corporate entities, please remember the stores that remember and count on you. Take a minute to visit the Small Business Saturday site on Facebook and remember to support and keep small business alive in your town.

JAMES JULIAN
Rifle

Uranium tailings were fine where they were

Gary Harmon’s article on the uranium tailings requires correction as they are being relocated, not cleaned up. The original tailings dump was beautifully engineered and, prior to being exhumed, was in perfect condition, hermetically sealed from the surface environment. The decision to dig up and relocate it was purely political and, ironically, totally counter-productive as now that it is exposed to wind and rain it is causing exactly the kind of contamination that the environmentalist proponents of the relocation claimed they were concerned about to begin with. That several people in Grand Junction have gained employ in this operation pales in comparison to the monumental cost of this operation, estimated to reach several hundred million dollars, be borne by the helpless U.S. taxpayers.

The original claim by environmentalists that the tailings were leaching into the Colorado River and poisoning fish locally and the good citizens of Los Angeles, at a greater distance, was a leap of disingenuous junk science that beggars the imagination. The Colorado River and its numerous tributaries cut through hundreds of uranium deposits all across the immense Colorado Plateau, both upstream and downstream of Moab, so of course there is uranium in the river. That the level of uranium is a little higher immediately adjacent to the tailings is as significant as the water at the edge of Lake Powell being a bit yellow right next to a little boy peeing. And, based on this magnificent display of science, the feds will spend close to a billion dollars of the taxpayers’ money.

On a related note, I find it interesting to note the contrast between the article expressing environmental alarm about the fellow who wants to reopen his alabaster mine and the joy with which Sen. mark Udall greeted Obama’s signing of legislation enabling ski resorts operating on federal land to stay open year round. It seems that dozens of resorts, each hundreds of clear-cut mountain acres in size, choking in the exhaust of thousands of cars, sheltering under the cacophony of industrial and human noise pollution and drowning in the millions of gallons of sewage from the constantly urinating and defecating visitors, miraculously, none of this seems to stress to the environment or disturb the otherwise sensitive bighorn sheep. However, a guy with his little underground quarry and his environmental footprint of a few acres does. Right.

AVROM HOWARD
Grand Junction

Chatfield Elementary says thank you

Chatfield Elementary would like to thank the members of our community for their generous donation of much-needed school supplies. Our school is very grateful for your generous gifts. We’d like you to know that your thoughtfulness is truly making a difference in the lives of so many children.

PRINCIPAL JACQUELINE WILSON
and our team of educators
Chatfield Elementary School
Grand Junction

County-based regulations aren’t needed

I hope all county and municipal elected officials take note of the potential problems associated with implementing specific county-based hydraulic fracturing regulations. As the Denver Post editorial from Nov. 6 so rightly stated: “They [counties] need to recognize that most concerns regarding hydraulic fracturing — which involves the injection of water, sand and trace chemicals under pressure into rock formations to release oil and gas — are best regulated by the state.” Of course, it is important for counties to be involved in the planning process, but the state of Colorado already has a time-tested system in place that gives operators and communities regulatory certainty that allows for efficient and environmentally sensitive exploration and development of our important energy resources.

In 2008, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) implemented a series of new rules for oil and gas development. These rules have been heralded as some of the strictest in the nation. Furthermore, rules for disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids were recently issued in a series of draft state regulations. We don’t need duplicative local government red tape holding up the development of clean, domestic natural gas.

The COGCC is well-equipped to protect the public health, safety and welfare and has a strong track record of doing so. Creating additional county-specific hydraulic fracturing regulations won’t increase the amount of protection for our communities — it will merely create an environment that makes Colorado closed for business.

RAY SCOTT
Colorado State Representative
Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Energy Forum
Grand Junction

Uranium tailings being trucked to Junction disposal site

I recently read in the Department of Energy newsletter that the Grand Junction Disposal Site for our local uranium mill tailings received over 400 truckloads of radioactive materials from the Highway 160 uranium mill site in Tuba City, Arizona. The loads were transported between June 14 and Aug.
29 this past summer, to the best of my knowledge there was no public notice and/or comment opportunity.

In July 2009, two Daily Sentinel editorials, former county commissioners and Mesa County citizens expressed opposition to the attempt to store out-of-state mercury in our disposal site because the promise had been made of storing “only low-level, locally generated radioactive waste.” The Sentinel also expressed concern that “Residents of this community have every reason to wonder what might come at some time in the future, regardless of any promises that may be made today.” These 400 truckloads show Mesa County’s continued pressure to accept waste from elsewhere.

Historically produced radioactive materials and waste continue to be the Achilles heel for the nuclear industry and the Department of Energy. If the United States is to see a nuclear resurgence then real state-by-state processes to clean up, store and monitor radioactive wastes should be a necessary requirement before new developments could occur. Trucking radioactive wastes interstate to dedicated sites is not a long-term solution.

Questions come to mind: Did the 750-mile, 2-day route for the radioactive materials travel on Highway 141 past the proposed Pinon Ridge uranium mill site and through Gateway? Has there been other outside shipments of nuclear waste to our site? What does the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Energy and Grand Junction say and has it changed?

JANET JOHNSON
Grand Junction

Somebody has to pay for entitlements

In Nov. 5 edition of The Daily Sentinel was a lengthy article on immigration seen as a “God event.” A Rev. Smith says, “Just because you are in the majority doesn’t make it right.” He states he is trying to communicate the love of God.  I feel he is implying if the United States doesn’t lie down and build superhighways for illegals to cross into our country (don’t forget to get your gas card and food stamps upon entering) we are downright heathens.

I take umbrage to that and I am sure millions of other Americans do also.  America is always the first to give millions and billions if necessary to rebuild and save life, property and help people return to a prosperous way of life.  Many times this is to countries that hate and criticize us at every turn.
It is a slap in the face I feel to all the people who go through the channels to immigrate into this country.  What gives folks the right to waltz into this country just because we are one landmass.  Then they seem to expect to have money and benefits tossed into their shopping cart because they are homeless immigrants.  All of my grandparents were immigrants and worked hard to make a life by the sweat of their brow and determination. 

Our country cannot continue to be all things to all people.  We are so hung up on entitlements, that many forget they must be paid for by somebody.  Unless you are a liberal and think more taxes are the answer letting millions of aliens in will cement your election victories for years to come.

JIM ZUBACK  
Grand Junction

Everyone invited to RMS fundraiser

I am a 6th grader on the Redlands Middle School fundraising committee. With Measure 3B defeated, schools are without necessary funds. To help ease this problem, Redlands Middle School will be holding a fundraiser on Nov. 16 from 6:30–8:30 in the school cafeteria. The money earned goes to classroom expenses so the teachers don’t have to use their own money as often.

The event is open to anyone and consists of a chili dinner, silent auction and musical showcase performed by talented Redlands students.

All of the money earned from the fundraiser goes to school supplies such as projectors, computers and other classroom needs. Without funding, teachers pay out of their own pockets, learning days decrease, schools potentially shut down and the arts and physical education will no longer be part of our curriculum. Please don’t let any of this happen to Redlands Middle School.

The dinner is open to everyone, so feel free to invite your friends and family. Please come and help support my school.

TIA SEWELL
Grand Junction



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