Email letters, April 16, 2013

Change to National Park would create access problems

All the politicos like to promote changing the monument to a national park with all the perceived benefit. But the change will be negative to all residents of Grand Valley.

Ask Montrose what financial benefit came with changing to Black Canyon National Park. You used to go to the Portal State Park just by telling the gate you were passing through (think Glade Park).

Now you have to buy a park pass to use 200 feet of their road. They now charge a fee to hike down old public trails to the river (think Pollock Bench trail) The government is continually restricting access to land with road closure and bogus Wilderness Study Areas.

The more areas closed or fees charged, the less the common people will come and quality of life, job opportunity and incomes will decline.


Sheriff’s Department generously gave kids a tour

I would like to publicly thank members of the Mesa County Sheriff Department for taking time from all they do to create a positive memory for my children.

My kindergartener had recently been asking questions about policemen. Having no involvement with law enforcement, I did my best to answer her questions. We happened to meet some deputies at a local restaurant who were very friendly.

When I called to compliment them, we were offered an opportunity to go to the sheriff’s department and meet additional deputies and sit in a cruiser.

Ever the opportunist, I asked if my friend’s children could come along. My request was met with an enthusiastic yes. Deputy Brooks met us at the door and took our troop of eight kids ranging from 2 to 11 and three adults to see the cruiser, play with the sirens and meet a few more of Mesa County’s

This is a day these kids, who now all want to grow up to be deputies, will not soon forget!! Thanks again!


Grand Junction

Social Security wrongly redefined as entitlement

All this talk about entitlement spending has me scratching my head. One of the most annoying trends these days seems to be the redefinition of words.

Some of the most obvious of course would be words such as “gay,” which once meant one thing and now means something else. Then the phrase “global warming” became “climate change” since it wouldn’t stop snowing.

Those changes really don’t matter much. Others, however, could affect us all very soon.

Take, for example, Social Security. Once believed to be a benefit, a collectible when one retired. My employers and I paid into this system for decades. We couldn’t opt out. Payroll deductions were mandatory.

Then came LBJ and Medicare, again mandatory, a benefit we pay for out of every S.S check. In spite of being conceived by some as a “freebie,” it has never been that.

Now they’ve redefined Social Security and Medicare as entitlements, to be lumped in with food stamps and the child care/housing subsistence programs. When did this happen?

Politicians on both sides of the aisle call them entitlements as if they were always that. Reduction in entitlement spending is a major deficit goal these days.

So, how does paying into a system for years and then gross money mismanagement of that system suddenly qualify it to be redefined as an entitlement?

Grand Junction

It’s time to reshape budget to reflect nation’s priorities

Yesterday was tax day. But how many of us know what the U.S. government is doing with the money we pay?

I was surprised to learn from the Friends Committee on National Legislation that 37 cents of every dollar we pay in federal income taxes go to pay for current and past wars. At the same time, education, diplomacy and help to the nearly 100 million people living in poverty in this country get only pennies on every dollar.

Right now our members of Congress, Representative Tipton and Sens. Udall and Bennet, are hearing from the Pentagon that cutting into its projected spending will be a catastrophe for national security.

With so much of our tax dollars already going to military projects, I think that it would be a catastrophe not to reshape our country’s budget to reflect our priorities as a nation. Congress has an opportunity—but will it take it?


National park status never intended to fatten up coffers of nearby towns

Regarding the current controversies regarding biking events and upgrades to national park status for Colorado National Monument, I have a definite opinion. But the issues are far to complex to delve into here, except to note a quotation to follow.

In regard to the article “Tipton, Udall to ponder next move,” what is the purpose of the ever-shrinking National Park Service? According to the Organic Act of 1916, the purpose of the proposed policy is “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Nowhere in this proposition do we hear anything about enhancing the economic growth of the Grand Valley or any other area that might be similarly affected.

Regarding the article itself, where do private concerns have the right to veto policy dictated by the U.S. Department of the Interior? This is just another example of corporate things we treasure and hope to preserve for future generations in this very crowded world. Where do they get the right?

And please don’t mention antiquated policies, as I will rebut with the Second Amendment and muskets versus automatic weapons. Funny also, that the support of the industry is contingent upon it being introduced by the barely concealed Tea Party incumbent Scott Tipton. What a joke!

Hey, I have no kids, and seemingly no reason to be concerned, but I am. I hate to see what I have always loved, believed in and often visited trashed by those with economic motives at the forefront.

Please, think ahead, folks. Anything in nature that is undone can take decades, if ever, to be redone.


Recent laws only impair Second Amendment rights

    I don’t remember Thomas Jefferson’s exact wording but, in effect, his writing said, ’ - - every law costs someone, some amount of freedom, so We should not squander this precious coinage on frivolous laws.’

    Yesterday Senator Marco Rubio repeated the logic that clearly indicates that none of the ‘knee-jerk, feel good’ laws being proposed in opposition to the intent of the Second Amendment had any chance of having changed any of our three recent insane slaughters. Then two other senators used about twice the time pretending, through discontinuous logic, that background checks and gun registration would have, somehow, “saved our children.”

    This amounts to a frontal assault on our Second Amendment, the attempt to guarantee the citizens’ right to some ability for self-protection in such events as, say, a rogue governmental effort at illegal subjugation of the citizenry through armed force.

    This resembles a claim of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda, that, given control of the news media, it is possible to convince people of anything.  We see it every day in everything from advertising to politics.  Honest logic is our best protection!

    Consider this. It’s often said that we register cars, so why not guns?’ Then, shouldn’t we also consider volume of car-related injuries to that of guns?  Or then remembering that knives and clubs injure more folks than guns, shall we also register knives and clubs?  And consider taxpayer costs/value for these two projects?

Grand Junction

Feds’ encroachment on rights of states is now rampant

Steve King’s SB13-013 gives narrowly limited peace officer status to members of the Secret Service. The bill was written to address inefficiency of redundant investigations between state and federal authorities.

I haven’t seen an evaluation of the number of cases or dollars this bill would save. King’s authorities grant the President’s Secret Service broad misdemeanor and felony arrest capability. Arrests for violating the universal background check and magazine ban fall within this broad grant of authority.

The assertion that SB13-013 is not about “enforcing gun control or weakening the 2nd amendment” is inaccurate. Perhaps Mr. King’s target wasn’t enforcement of state or federal disarmament actions but the legislation does, in fact, include power to enforce such acts. Despite the author’s denial, this legislation unquestionably increases federal authority within our communities. There is no jurisdictional limitation over SS authority.

Thus, federal agents may make arrests in any part of Colorado and their actions are not subject to permissions granted by the duly elected sheriffs where the arrest takes place. The inefficiency in redundant investigations between federal and local law enforcement does not justify significant blurring of the separation of powers between our state and the
federal government.

State sovereignty over activity within our territory must not be delegated to unelected federal authorities. SB13-013 undermines fundamental separation of powers doctrine that ensures concentration of power in Washington DC does not occur.

This bill reinforces King’s track record of degrading sovereign state authority over law enforcement. He has previously voted to extend state law enforcement authority to federal agents in the FBI, ATF, U.S. marshals and the Department of Homeland Security.

With federal encroachment in the states rampant, this is the opposite of what we need. Please let him know the majority wants all federal authority over state law rescinded.




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Any time a citizen acquires a misdemeanor or felony, he is profiled as a criminal, but we have all kinds of criminals in public office and law enforcment as well. They commit a crime each time they pass or enforce a law that violates our constitutional rights.

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