Email letters, April 15, 2014

GJSO gave schoolchildren a fine performance of ‘Carmen’

What a wonderful experience to attend the Friday performance of the short version of “Carmen” by the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra for elementary students in District 51. Conductor Kirk Gustafson, Buffy Baggott, Mark Thomsen, Kelly Anderson, Kathleen Ruhleder, Dara Fubler, Chris Arroyo and all the rest of the cast did a personal performance for these young attendees.

The thrill for us was the introductory arrangement by the orchestra of “Jaunty Cricket.” It was composed by our granddaughter, Royanna Crawford, who received the Crystal Baton award. 

How fortunate we are as Grand Junction residents to be able to appreciate our local talents.

Grand Junction

Influx of people does not seem to have helped Grand Valley

A few years ago the wife and I returned to Grand Junction after living in the other region of legal pot, the Seattle area, for over 20 years. I used to refer to it as the soviet socialist region of Seattle — the political climate being what it is. High taxes, lower property values everywhere except in the Seattle-Bellevue area and traffic like L.A. County. It was the only place I ever got flipped off by a senior lady in a Buick for doing the speed limit.

Does it remind you of home? It should.

Grand Junction has taken a lot of the same attitudes and policies in the last over 25 years as the soviet socialist folk in Seattle. I almost didn’t recognize our little truck stop along I-70 when I returned a few years ago. Has it been worth it?

Doesn’t seem our schools are much better and drug use is UP, although the mayor didn’t get arrested like Telluride’s did for selling. The land use issue is STILL going on; hunters and fishermen are getting the shaft after all the stewardship they provide. Taxes, WOW! Way up and what you get for your taxes way down.  The cost to do business in the valley is astronomical by comparison to other areas.

The only battles we had to fight years ago was the cowboys against the dopers in school.  Now the dopers out-number the cowboys, and a lot of cowboys are dopers.

I just shake my head and wonder, “Has the influx of people made things better?” We used to be somewhat insulated from federal policy; now it seems to wreck lives every time we turn on the news or read the Sentinel.

If it isn’t the feds or BLM taking our water, our lands or our access, it’s some nutcup with a law degree attacking our constitutional rights. Most moms and dads come home after a long day and just want to know that their kids are smart and have a future and that water will come out of the pipe when they turn on the spigot. “We aren’t Boulder and we never want to be” was the saying heard around the valley years ago. Apparently nobody was listening. Wake up, America.

Grand Junction

CASA volunteer urges others to help kids have voices in court

We have all experienced it. We read in the paper cases of abuse and neglect of children within our community —  the most recent case being that of Heather Jensen. It shakes us to the core and breaks our hearts, and we wonder how this can happen.

I come from a childhood of abuse, but I know it is foreign for most people. When we see these stories, we might ask, “Why isn’t someone doing something?”

The system cannot change the epidemic of child abuse here in our community; only we can. One person at a time, volunteering to help these children who desperately need an adult in their lives who will not abandon them and who will stand up in court for them and be their voice.

When I realized that I needed to be part of the solution, I searched our community’s resources and found Court Appointed Special Advocates. I made the call, and after my interview with their staff I knew in my heart I wanted to become a CASA volunteer — a child’s voice in court. The training
classes were full of information, and a network of other volunteers made me feel as if I were part of an amazing program.

Alone, I can’t help them all, but together we can. We can help one child at a time and make a difference for these children who need us.

I was sworn in Nov. 6, 2013, a day I will not forget. Now, as a CASA volunteer, I am working my first case and am dedicated to making a change in our community.

I know this is what I was meant to do. I did not have a CASA as an abused child, but now I am the CASA dedicated to help change the lives of children who are suffering in silence as I once did.

CASA is holding an orientation for new volunteers May 1. I hope you’ll consider joining me. One child at a time, we can make a difference. We can be a child’s voice in court.


Grand Junction

Sen. Udall’s record exemplifies why he should be defeated in November

Colorado voters will have a great opportunity this November to unseat Sen. Mark Udall.

This writer has been following Udall’s voting record since he began to vote in the Senate. A careful and thorough review of this record demonstrates beyond any doubt that this man does not have the values of our state in his mind. This has nothing to do with him being a Democrat or a Republican – if he were a Republican with his record, I would certainly say he must go, and go he must.

Colorado voters must not make a voting decision based on party affiliation, the decision must be made on his record – and here are some very disturbing examples:

• He has voted repeatedly for treaties with the United Nations giving our sovereignty to that body.

• He repeatedly refuses (fails) to justify to us (his constituents) his opposition to the keystone XL pipeline, despite being asked to do so – this refusal speaks so loudly of his arrogance and unwillingness to listen to Colorado citizens.

• He has the audacity to suggest (request) that the Colorado Insurance division alter (lower) the number of Colorado citizens who have had their health plans cancelled.

• He further has the audacity to write to us requesting that we pressure our representatives in the House of Representatives to press (vote) them to bring an amnesty plan to the floor of that body right away. How strange that he would do this especially when we remember that the Senate has bottled up virtually every bill sent it by the house, refusing to vote on most of them.

When will this man come to Grand Junction, have a town hall meeting, look us in the eye and articulate the answers to these concerns?

Finally, I have asked him repeatedly to justify his wholehearted commitment to the idea of man-made global warming, which I view as one of the largest hoaxes perpetuated by him and the current administration. He refuses because he cannot tell us what will occur if warming continues (it won’t). Our climate changes, of course; we have nothing to do with it. 

Finally, speaking of audacity, he frequently tells us that his votes reflect the view of the majority of Coloradans – a bold-faced lie.


Grand Junction

Show manufacturing workers the money to keep them in valley

It was with some amusement that I read Gary Harmon’s article on the Western Colorado Manufacturing Summit. It seems those in attendance have some concerns about the lack of  availability of skilled workers in the area. The article described how business people seem to have a lot of reasons for the shortage of employable people with technical abilities.

Of course, the real reason skilled workers don’t stay in the region wasn’t reported,  and that is simply that people with valuable career skills in the manufacturing field are severely underpaid in Grand Junction and the valley. Why would a machinist with 20 years experience settle for the maximum wage of $15 an hour working for Western Colorado business when that person with a valuable training and work history can earn $20 to $30 an hour on the Front Range and even more in California or other parts of the nation.

For decades conservative business associations promoted the Grand Valley as an area where a business could move to and enjoy paying blue-collar workers exceptionally low wages, and those groups have worked together to keep the wages for the average worker below the national average.

As the old saying goes, “now the chickens have come home to roost” for manufacturing companies that think executives should be paid 100 times more than the people doing the real work on a shop floor.  I just have to  laugh and say,“Good luck finding skilled workers, manufacturing folks.  We’re on to your greedy little game.”

Grand Junction

Economic realities do not support Obama administration’s assertions

The Obama administration kept telling us we had 47 million uninsured in the U.S. and therefore we had to have the Affordable Care Act. A couple of billion dollars later they signed up 7 million people for the ACA. Now the administration wants us to believe the problem is solved. What happened to all those uninsured? They seem to have vanished. 

We are being told the administration created 8 million new jobs. Why are there still so many unemployed people?

We are told the economy has improved greatly over the last  six years. Why, then, does our debt keep increasing?  Just wondering.

Grand Junction

It’s important to learn more about Pennington and Cox

So, two Mesa County Patriots, John Pennington and David Cox, made the GOP ballot for sheriff and Congress respectively, and both follow a coordinated script regarding the Constitution and how they will “oppose, attack and destroy” (Cox’s militant words) the “criminal operation” in Washington D.C. and in Colorado that doesn’t agree with their interpretation.

Everyone else’s interpretation of the Constitution is, of course, a “misinterpretation.” What a bunch of control freaks.

We’ve heard some about Cox, but Pennington stepped out of nowhere. Does he have a legal background of any kind? Doesn’t he know that in our form of government he must follow the law, even if he disagrees with it? He can try to change the law through voting, legislation or the courts, but no one may choose his own law. Isn’t that actually the basis of our Constitution?

There’s a new book out, “American Epic” by Garrett Epps, who is an active constitutional lawyer and a professor of constitutional law. The book provides lessons about understanding the Constitution. With people recently kicking around the Constitution like a football, Epps wrote it to educate.

One could suggest the Mesa County Patriots read this excellent tutorial that doesn’t display a left or right agenda but only describes how difficult it is to interpret.

I know I couldn’t pass muster in front of the Supreme Court, and I doubt these two could. But our president could. President Obama is also a constitutional lawyer and professor.

We need much more background on these candidates, such a how often and how long they have been voting, as well as education, political activity and other normal background information.

Grand Junction

American Rivers has indeed been involved in state water issues

I appreciated Gary Harmon’s article Monday morning on the American Rivers listing of the upper Colorado system as the second most endangered river (system) in America. The listing was made due to the development of the Colorado water plan and the persistent pressure from the Front Range for a
new diversion from the already seriously depleted Colorado River.

I do have one point of clarification. Chris Treese from the Colorado River Water Conservation District was quoted as saying that American Rivers has never been involved with the roundtable or Interbasin Compact Committee process. To the contrary, while I have only worked for American Rivers for a year now, I have been involved with the Colorado Basin Roundtable as the environmental representative since its inception nine years ago. I have been very engaged in Colorado and West Slope water issues for over 20 years, and I am currently involved with the Colorado water plan and with drafting our basin implementation plan.

I can excuse Teese for perhaps not realizing that I work for American Rivers, although I’ve known him for a long time, as well. Harmon should have given me a call to talk about the listing. He had sufficient lead time, the information, press release and all of my contact information, yet I never heard from him. I was surprised at Harmon’s lack of journalistic prudence, as I regard him as an outstanding reporter otherwise.


Bundy out of line in feud with feds

Today’s mealy-mouthed editorial – “Nevada grazing standoff reignites a festering feud” — is an embarrassment to responsible journalism that panders to local anti-government extremists.
‘Cliven Bundy’s latter-day Sagebrush Rebellion is a treatise on why [scofflaws] and “others [mis]guided by traditional Western values so frequently [but self-servingly] question the legitimacy of federal authority on federal lands.”
At least, the Sentinel impliedly admits that the “lands” in question are “federal lands” – which the BLM is constitutionally empowered to manage for the benefit of the “public” – an inconvenient fact that Bundy disingenuously denies.
“Bundy, 67, is a [wealthy] Nevada rancher who has been illegally grazing his cattle on federal lands for 20 years” – and is therefore a hypocritical “free-loader.”
“He stopped paying grazing fees in 1993” – while 16,000 other fellow-citizen- ranchers grazing cattle on public lands have been routinely paying their annual grazing fees.
Bundy “ignored a Nevada district court ruling that permanently barred him from running his cattle on the land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land management” – so he owes over $1 million to his fellow taxpayers and stands in contempt of the federal court.
Bundy “claims that his family has been raising cattle on the land since 1887, before the BLM existed, giving him a preemptive right to use it.” However: first, the U.S. government – not “the BLM” – owns the land, which it acquired from Mexico by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848; second, Bundy’s “preemptive right” argument was rejected by the Nevada Supreme Court in the 1970s; third, Bundy does indeed have a “right to use” federal land – as long as he timely pays the legally established grazing fees and abides by restrictions intended to protect an endangered species – another “power” statutorily conveyed to the federal government under the Endangered Species Act (which also protects Western Slope water).
Grand Junction

U.S. is no longer a nation of laws

An editorial in the Sentinel speaks of an independent judiciary. That may well have been the intent when Congress provided for a judiciary. But the judiciary has increasingly become more politicized. since the 1930s when the judiciary became powerful enough to demand its own federal building – using the claim of an independent judiciary, and especially so since FDR changed the balance of the court by appointing “liberals.”

Certainly under President Obama the court has been anything but independent. Had it defended our U.S. Constitution, Obamacare would never have been deemed legal. Given all the changes in Obamacare since the court went along to get along, I wonder what Obama’s spies have on Justice Roberts that he doesn’t want America to know?

But, hey, the courts earned the reputation of being anything but an advocate for the common citizen when their own buddies working for the same system are against the citizen.

Cliven Bundy probably has no reason to trust the so-called independent judiciary .... any more than he or any of the rest of us have to trust the BLM. (Under Obama the politicization of all aspects of government via tyranny has gotten worse.) Remember, it has been the courts all along that
have sided with the federal government.

Once again the captured press ignores the fact that the BLM promised to help the ranchers, but the land management has been nonexistent. The BLM wanted to control people. It wanted people to blindly conform to its governmental “bs.” Bundy was the only one maintaining the fences and the water, from what I hear. Harry Reid’s dirty little deal with the ChiCom to do a solar farm on government land left no room for cattle, so BLM policy pushed other ranchers out. The real criminals in this all are employed by our federal government and their shills in the state.

Bundy has been protecting his livelihood. Like most of us not employed by the government, he understands the courts are not on our side.We have no rights and no voice. No wonder the BLM, when confronted by patriots, backed off to prosecute this in their favored ground – the courts. where the people will not be permitted. Once the court blesses the BLM, the rancher will be removed and his land seized and given to illegal aliens or to Harry Reid’s buddies.

If anybody protests the next raid, it will be like Waco — or Ruby Ridge. But America is no longer a free nation of laws. It is no longer governed by just men who fear God who serve the people. Listen to Harry Reid –“It’s not over.” For him, it is all about setting an example so the cowards and sheep will go back to letting the criminals control us.






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One could almost be compelled to believe Eileen O’Toole until the last paragraph of her letter. President Obama is a Constitutional Lawyer who never learned the Constitution. Perhaps Ms. O’Toole would like to read about the Separation of Powers, which outlines the duties of each branch of the Government. Specifically it outlines that Legislation is left to the Congress (Legislative Branch, a real toughie to figure out or interpret). President Obama believes he has the right to alter legislation on his own hook. He also believes he has the right to get his agenda through without Legislative Approval via Executive Order. He is wrong on both counts. If Ms. O’Toole was truly a student of our Government and had the courage of her convictions, like the Republicans during the Watergate era, this Presidency would end in Impeachment.

However, the Democrats have lost all sense of responsibility or Constitutional Authority. They have no moral standing. They have no ethical voice. They fully operate outside the legal bounds of the Constitution.Only people who wish to work outside its constraints feel that the Constitution is difficult to interpret.

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