Email letters, April 11, 2014
Bryce Canyon National Park proposal would rein in riding
This is one reason I am against the change from monument to park. I believe the people of Mesa County need to read this and think about what they are trying to make happen. I have ridden the trails in the monument and would hate to have to employ a guide for big bucks to take me.
Bryce Canyon National Park has proposed changes for users of privately-owned stock on designated horse trails within the park. The changes are intended to ensure the safety of all visitors and to protect park resources. The park initiated a public comment period on the proposed changes for 30 days beginning March 26.
The changes proposed by Bryce Canyon National Park include a requirement that all horseback riding must be coordinated with the park’s authorized trail-ride concessionaire, prior to entering the park. Of concern, however, is that private stock users also would be required to the pay a substantial fee to the park’s concessionaire to guide and accompany all privately-owned stock riding groups for the duration of their trip over any portion of the eight miles of park trails available for stock use.
The fee that would be charged by the concessionaire for this service would be based on the number of riders, up to eight riders per guide. The proposed fee schedule would range from $100 for the first rider to $345 for eight riders.
For more information, view the park’s website here: http://www.nps.gov/brca/parknews/proposed-rule-change-for-private-horse-use.htm
If approved, the proposed changes would represent a new and disturbing precedent among national parks to require all private stock users to hire a commercial guide. We are not aware of any national park where such a requirement currently exists. Nor do members of Back Country Horsemen of America want to see this precedent established at Bryce Canyon. In order to adequately resolve concerns regarding visitor safety, we believe that alternative measures can be taken that emphasize rider education, resource protection, and the role of law enforcement in dealing with rogue riders who choose to violate the rules.
Return to voting for the candidate, not the party
I hope the people of Mesa County read Ruben Navarrette’s column April 9. His warning that Texas may go the way of California when one political party is in complete control is what is happening in Mesa County. The party in power in California is putting up terrible candidates. We have in Mesa County elected county commissioners who ignored the TABOR regulations and took $38 million from taxpayers. Also elected was one commissioner who thought he was above the law and could use his position to fix tickets.
We elected a legislator who lacks integrity and doesn’t know what it means to be a responsible gun owner. We chose a legislator who was incompetent instead of Bernie Buescher. In addition we chose others just because they had an R after their name, when some of the recent candidates were better
qualified. We have passed the time when the voters looked at the candidates, not the party. Where are the candidates who represent all the people, such as Tillie Bishop?
I hope the voters take a good look at the candidates who don’t have the R after their name. They will put the people of Mesa County first.
Smith also has endorsements for seat on Board of Education
Marcia Neal did not support the rest of the Republican members of the Colorado State Board of Education when they voted to support Mom’s Bill. This is on her record. Thank God she is not in the Legislature. She has been for Common Core since Colorado HB191 came out in February of 2012. Memory lapses and denial are too common among our politicians today when they get caught with their finger in the cookie jar. Check BoardDocs (http://www.boarddocs.com/co/cde/board) for MAY15, 2013. She was there in Denver but was absent for some very important votes. I will never be absent from voting on any issue.
I also have endorsements: Sen. Bill Armstrong and the author of Mom’s Bill, Sen. Vicki Marble. Also, one of the State Board of Education members is also supporting me but feels it is a breach of ethics for any Colorado State Board of Education member to endorse publically any candidate for this board.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results. The Colorado education budget increased 5.4 percent, and we have nothing to show for it. The achievement scores were flat. No increase. This was under Neal’s watch.
BARBARA ANN SMITH
Bambino praised for values and service to young people
This letter is in response to the letter that bombed Mike Bambino for his beliefs. I’ve known Bambino for a long long time, and even though he sometimes rambles, he is an honest man who does not lie or cheat to get ahead.
Mixing religion and politics, everyone knows, is a no-no. That said, those who still believe that politicians are the saving grace for our country or the world for that matter are like a boat with one oar in the water. They vote for the best one, only to find out he’s just like the rest and then complain about him for the term he is in office.
Bambino has a program in place for youth and is to be commended for it. Jesus respected the machinery of government, although he refused to operate it. He said pay back Caesar’s things to Caesar but God’s things to God. Anyway, kudos to Mike.
Beauregard merits best regards from reader needing his humor
With the daily bombardment of negativity and a dismal outlook of today’s world brought to us via multimedia, it can be hard to see a “silver lining” in today’s world. So, I just wanted to say thank you to Steve Beauregard, a humor columnist who writes for The Daily Sentinel.
I so look forward to reading his column every Thursday in the local paper. I must say I always smile and often laugh out loud at this good read. Once again, my thanks to Beauregard for the “silver lining” to the start of my Thursdays.
Xcel sends mixed messages about efficacy of solar energy
It’s good to see Xcel is continuing to offer its customers the chance to buy clean, renewable solar energy. There is clearly a demand for this, and Xcel should be doing everything it can to ease the transition to renewable energies.
Unfortunately, its leaders are contradicting themselves by opposing net-metering benefits for those who generate their own solar energy at home. Why not cut the cost of building huge solar arrays, and instead encourage individuals to install their own solar panels?
Xcel clearly is sending mixed messages. All solar is good solar, so let’s do everything we can to make sure that is accessible for every person in Colorado.
Absentee landlords should be more mindful of keeping up their properties
The Grand Junction Downtown Development Authority identified downtown locations for commercial housing projects. The Greater Downtown Plan promotes opportunities to live downtown because the residents are good for local economy and vitality of the community.
Of the 1,857 housing units occupied, 1,269 are rentals. Only 588 homes have owners living in them. I happen to be one of the 588.
I moved here for many of the same reasons the group wishes to enhance for future downtown residents. I am not apposed to the many rentals that dominate my neighborhood, as the majority of the residents have been great neighbors. However, the property managers and the owners of the rental units are not neighbors at all and are difficult to deal with. I try to keep up my property to help the neighborhood appear happy and friendly and a good place to live.
Most of the rentals in the downtown area are shabby, surrounded by dirt, gravel and weeds. The city sent out notices about the weed abatement program beginning May 1 with suggestions on how to reduce the negative effect weeds have on our city. Planting grass and flowers helps with this. Gravel in yards does not discourage weeds, nor does it improve the appeal of downtown living. The notice reminds us that it is the property owners that are responsible to remove live or dead weeds from properties.
I urge those with influence and in authority positions to direct downtown development toward the value of the residents and their way of living, not simply to the commercialism and marketing end of it. Enhance what is here first; make it a better place to live for all in the downtown area before allowing more investors to run down our neighborhoods.
Simply because investors have the money for development here yet choose to live elsewhere, and the city seems to be more concerned about the monetary returns of its decisions, these factors should not remove them from the responsibility to maintain the quality lifestyle of our inner city and the appeal of our downtown neighborhoods and amenities.
PATRICIA L. SUSMAN