Email letters, April 10 2013

Nazis murdered millions of non-Jewish people, too

I observed yet another poorly stated and perhaps poorly researched item in the editorial column.

The “Never Again” editorial stated, “Some six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of others were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust.”

While 6 million Jews (approximately 2/3 of the Jews living in Europe at that time) were indeed murdered, including 1.1 million children, there were more than 5 million (close to 6 million) other people murdered, as well.

Among them were Polish people, gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled, Jehovah’s Witnesses, black people and anyone else the Nazi government didn’t like, including some Germans. These facts are easy to find online.

I think everyone should know all the facts about evil run wild. If not, it will come again.



City Council members should request that Brainard resign

You would think there would be a public uproar that we had some competent nominees not get elected, one by as few as 63 votes, and yet in a few weeks we will have a new councilman sworn in who beats up his live-in girlfriend and then lies about it to police.

If members of the City Council would use some common sense, they would all sign a letter and ask him to resign before he besmirches the reputation of the city and appoint someone else.

If Brainard had any personal integrity or shame, he would do so without being asked. However, it is unlikely that someone who apparently can’t control his temper and tries to justify hitting a woman will do so.

Grand Junction

BLM plan addresses needs for both recreation, wildlife protection

When the Grand Junction BLM released its Draft Resource Management Plan last January, I was a little apprehensive. I was concerned that the preferred alternative would be centered on motorized use of these lands and encourage ATV type recreation.

When I looked at this draft plan, however, I was pleased. The preferred alternative had several Lands of Wilderness Characteristics, but most important was the reduction in the number of roads in the preferred Alternative B. Alternative C had even more roads closed, thus opening up more wildlife habitat. The BLM eliminated roads that paralleled other roads or had no destination.

You may ask why I was pleased. The Resource Management Plan should be about balancing environmental parameters that ensure stable viable habitat for wildlife, as well as providing a high quality outdoor experience, a task that can be achieved. We must remember these lands are the habitat for a myriad of species, plant and animal, and roads can have negative impacts on animal populations and movement.

In its draft management plan on page 4-127 the BLM comments, “In general the more acres of routes that are designated in the planning area, the greater the likelihood of habitat fragmentation and disturbance to species and habitats.” One of BLM’s planning issues is “how they (the BLM) will manage our public lands to provide for the needs of fish and wildlife species?” 

I will be responding to this draft plan with letters that support roads closed by the BLM and which will subsequently improve wildlife habitat.

Grand Junction

BLM strikes balance between access, protection

Despite the overheated rhetoric, BLM is right to address the spider web of unplanned routes that have accumulated on our public lands over the last century. Looking at the proposed travel maps, it is clear that The BLM tries to strike a balance between access and protection. Most of the miles of closures are duplicate routes or dead-end spurs.

I went to the BLM open house on Saturday and heard several loud voices calling to keep it all open, that the status quo is fine. I don’t believe this is true - the unplanned dense network of routes creates dust, fragments wildlife habitat and cuts up the countryside so much that it’s hard to find places to hike or hunt away from the sound of motors. This well-rounded approach benefits all public lands users, including hikers.

I appreciate the BLM’s adult and balanced effort to address this important issue that will help both preserve recreational opportunities for motorized and human-powered alike, plus protect the health of our public lands.



Many local citizens deserve thanks for riverfront visi

Thanks, Jim Spehar, for mentioning my name in your April 9 commentary that in part mentioned two early contributors to the Riverfront Trail. While I did make a contribution, MANY OTHERS also made important contributions, some more than mine.

Chairmen Jim Robb (it seemed to me it became Jim’s “next career”) and Bill Ela ably led us, but it was a happy, very collaborative commission effort,with others that yielded amazing results.

The earlier accomplishments have been continued and expanded by many other folks who have made and are making wonderful things happen. The best chronicle of the earlier commission years I’ve seen is the “People, Parks and Trails,” authored by Bob Silbernagel (Editorial Page Editor), Robb, Ela and Dave Buchanan.

Grand Junction

Concerned citizens must write to Washington about BLM plan

Why are we having a Resource Management Plan? It states right in the RMP handbook in Chapter 1, introduction , page 1-1. (BLM 1987) that BLM “provides management direction where it may be lacking or requiring clarification to resolve land use issues or conflicts.”. The introduction also states, “Current management direction that has proven effective and requires no change has been carried forward into this RMP and will be considered throughout the analysis process.”

If it requires no change, why are we spending tax dollars on this RMP? Why aren’t we using the funds for sites for directional drilling so soils and other aspects aren’t harmed?

We need all right-of-ways left open for public usage. If we close off any of these right-of-ways, it will cause more impact on those areas. We are growing fast in this area and need all the access for the public that we can get. We have wilderness areas for those of you that ride horseback and love to hike.

I know the percentage in motorized to wilderness in Montana is 3.7 percent wilderness and 96.3 percent motorized, which is probably comparable in this state. We also have wilderness study areas that don’t qualify for wilderness designation. This could be put back into normal management that would help on the impact of other areas. If managed under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, it would lessen the impact on our environment in other areas.

We have federal law RS 2477 that would be used to open these right-of ways that have been close to access and state law 43-2-201 C.R.S. In the RMP handbook it states (page 3-205):  “In summary, WSA’s must be managed in a manner that would not impair the suitability of the area for preservation as wilderness and to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation.”

Except for grandfathered users and valid existing rights. RS 2477 was a grandfathered right under the FLPMA. So, why are these right-of-ways not open for the public to use? These are laws that are not being used to keep more access to the public open.

We, as concerned citizens, need to writ to Washington and tell them we want them back. You can do this online or by mail, so get involved.  More area, less impact. It’s not rocket science.

Grand Junction

Brainard brouhaha exemplifies valley’s political machinery

I sure hope the civics teachers in the Grand Valley are capitalizing on this outstanding example of political machinery we are seeing right before our eyes in the form of the 2013 Grand Junction City Council race.

As philosophers have said, “Democracy only works as long as the people focus on the greater good rather than their selfish desires.”

First, we had members of the Chamber of Commerce openly discuss their plan to get their hand-picked candidates on the ballot. They succeeded in three seats, being unable to beat Harry Butler, a man of integrity who has served on the school board and in many other areas in our community. Sam Susarus is already “on board” as part of the in-crowd.

We’re all set for consensus on most issues (also known in the management world as “group think” and little discussion of alternative views or opportunity for creative problem solving or community input).

Now, one of their “stars” is charged with poor anger management skills. This could make for more colorful news in the future; however, if the machine stays true to form, Brainard will respectfully resign within six months in order to be replaced by another person hand-picked by the Chamber of Commerce and voted in by the council who will agree with its choices.

If Brainard resigned now, the current council would pick the replacement, thus allowing for more diversity of thought in council decision-making. This is the political science lesson to watch and one rarely viewed in such a blatant manner.

Enjoy the circus!

Grand Junction

Going easy on Brainard would send wrong message

I am a licensed social worker and marriage and family therapist, and I have run a counseling center in Grand Junction for 35 years. As part of my business, I regularly work with court-ordered domestic violence offenders, so I have been watching the Rick Brainard saga with much interest.

According to the police report, Brainard said that he had to slap his girlfriend because she needed to “shut her mouth.” This statement is particularly offensive and makes my job more difficult, because I tell my clients they should never treat women, or anyone, like Brainard did his girlfriend.

My clients are accountable for their actions, accept responsibility for them and face the consequences. If the courts go any easier on Brainard for his crime than they have for my clients and their crimes, it will set a bad example that favoritism and advantage are afforded higher profile people in this community than “regular citizens” who commit the same crimes.

I also want to say that, given the amount of information already made public about Brainard’s alleged assault, it would be a thoughtful gesture if Brainard graciously relinquished his seat on council.

It would be better for all of us if we could have local elected officials who gain notoriety for more positive characteristics such as good ethics, patience and respect toward others, particularly in situations involving duress.

Grand Junction
Brainard’s private actions don’t bode well for his public ones

Rick Brainard has admitted pushing and slapping his girlfriend for remarks so awful he is unable to remember them.

What other wrong, offensive, questionable decisions and actions is Brainard going to make on behalf of the city of Grand Junction? Resign!

Grand Junction

After assaulting girlfriend, Brainard should step down

I wholeheartedly agree with the Wednesday Sentinel editorial recommending that Rick Brainard step down from his City Council position.

I also can hardly believe that Brainard’s claim of “many calls and emails of support” that he allegedly “received the past few days.”  Is there something in the air, water or food around here that affects people’s minds?

How can anyone read Paul Shockley’s reporting and then have the least bit of respect for this man?  Have we elected another council member with the “my way or the highway” frame of mind? 

Brainard says he examines all sides of an issue and takes a big-picture approach to a decision—unless, apparently, someone takes serious issue with him. As the Sentinel editorial mentions, “But there will always be questions about how he may respond to constituents, city staff members or fellow councilors when he becomes angry.”  This was also my reaction to the unfolding events.
Any man that thinks physically assaulting a woman is within his rights, for whatever reason, has some very serious issues. And, while not yet “convicted,” the facts are clear from the released police reports.

Grand Junction

It’s amazing to learn of support for Brainard

It is amazes me how there can be any e-mails or calls of support of any public servant who hits a spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend.

Brainard’s attitude that since he has not been tried or convicted of anything means he did nothing wrong is outlandish. He admitted to the police that he grabbed her hair, pushed her and slapped her.

How does he expect to represent women in our community with a difference of opinion? Slap us all!

Grand Junction

Support House Bill 1269 on oil and gas commission as originally written

The Colorado legislature is considering House Bill 1269 that addresses issues of the state’s Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

This agency has a dual mandate to both promote the oil and gas industry and to protect the public health and the welfare of wildlife and the environment. There does not seem to be a need to promote this industry via the COGCC considering they oil and gas industry has its own very well-funded and active promotion agency, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, and evidenced by the mostly high profitability/field laborer wages and onslaught of expensive media advertising we constantly see.

Considering that the drilling industry’s contribution is small (1.7 percent of state Gross Domestic Product) and a big majority of our state’s residents and businesses rely more on clean air to breathe, unpolluted domestic water to drink or use for processing and a undamaged environment for agriculture, ranching and recreation, why are three of the nine commissioners of the COGCC actually oil and gas company employees—built-in lobbyists, if you will?

It seems as if common citizenry sees large self-interest business entities taking control of many of our regulatory agencies and processes — and watering down or subverting the main role of government—protection of the Constitutional rights of the vulnerable but non-affluent.

Our legislators have an obligation to eliminate the “foxes designing the hen house” and quit using public dollars to promote a mature, profitable and continual damage-threatening industry.

Contact your elected officials to support HB 1269 as originally written.

Grand Junction

In the fracking process, test for nitrogen tetroxide, as well

The threat is not limited to toxic hydrocarbons such as benzene. The fracking process includes powerful oxidizers of the nitride family such as nitrogen tetroxide—see U.S. Patent 3929192.

This chemical is also very toxic to all life forms, so any analysis and testing for public safety must include it. 

Reg. Prof. Engineer Colo. (Ret.)
Grand Junction




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