Email letters, April 19, 2012

Media focusing on the wrong things

Our country is bankrupt, true unemployment (not the phony figures politicians and the government quote) is greater than 15 percent, personal bankruptcies and mortgage foreclosures are at an all time high, congressional approval rating hovers around 12 percent, gasoline will soon be $5 per gallon and what does the media choose to report? The fact Romney once hauled his dog atop the family station wagon and Obama ate dog meat as a child. Pathetic.


Citizens have already spoken on gambling

As a concerned citizen and resident of Mesa County for over 35 years, I am tired of Denver dictating what they believe is good for our residents.

When I first heard about the effort to expand gambling to our great city, I assumed that this must be an effort headed by those in Denver. I assumed wrong. You would think as a resident of Montrose, Rep.  Coram would know better. You would think he would take the input of those who he represents and those who helped elect him. In 2003. 78.5 percent of Mesa County voters and 81 percent of Colorado voters rejected a similar proposal.

The proponents of this HB-1280 are ignoring what the citizens want and instead are more concerned about lining their pockets. Even Mr. Seymore who drafted this bill said that this is about helping Arapahoe Park” and it is to “help him make money.”

Charles Ashby’s story was not even close to biased, he presented both sides of the expansion of gambling to the Western Slope.

It would bring jobs to Mesa County but at what cost? Supporting this sends the signal to elected officials and the proponents that it’s OK to ignore what the citizens want. I ask the supporters of this bill to take into consideration what the citizens want, and not to just listen to those who agree with you.

Grand Junction

School caved; choir didn’t sing Muslim song

Well, it is a sad day for our schools, our children and our constitution. After the hubaloo surrounding the selection of a song to be sung by Grand Junction High School’s men’s choir, in an apparent last minute decision, the school district capitulated and caved into bullying and did not perform the song, Zikr.

Let’s put aside for a moment that the first song out of the gate praised our Christian God, and Jesus’s name was proudly proclaimed in several other songs in an otherwise spectacular performance. Rather let’s look at the lesson now taught our children about our precious freedom of speech and freedom of religion. So much for teaching our children about our American resolve to do to the right thing, as proclaimed within our Constitution, to stand up against censorship, religious persecution and prejudice, no matter how great the challenge.

The lesson now taught to our children, by the very school they attend, is that American resolve to protect and preserve the freedoms our forefathers fought and died for, can be set aside by the racial and religious prejudice of a few. That our Constitution which ensures religious freedom to all may be optionally applied. Our government (school system) can now decide what religions can and which cannot be represented in our schools. We have now reached a point where our government, in this example our schools, choose that Christian songs were allowed to be performed and Muslim songs censored. Being a Christian, I can only guess that Jesus would have been ashamed of us. I am unaware of any teaching in the Bible which says persecution and censorship are blessed acts.

What was even more concerning was the presence of Grand Junction’s finest to ensure that any protest to this censorship would have to answer to law enforcement. You heard it folks, two officers from Grand Junction’s Police force were present to ensure the peace was kept. Any protest proclaimed to the schools choice to note sing the offending song, would be met with an arrest. I can only wonder if law abiding German citizens felt a similar uncomfortable feeling back around 1930 the audience felt last night in Grand Junction High School’s auditorium.

To be clear, I am ashamed the school caved. I am angry at the folks that put the pressure on the school. But for the rest of us who choose to sit on their hands and let the few bully the many, I am both. Are we still Americans, who choose to do the right thing, even if it is the hard thing?

The issue isn’t about Muslim songs or Christian songs, but rather our freedom. This is about what it means to be an American. What happened was a group of people were prejudiced and their voice censored based upon their religion and we Americans didn’t stand up to defend them. News flash, folks, they are part of us. It doesn’t matter if you are Muslim, Christian or whatever. We are American, and we stood by and let fellow Americans be put back into the back of the bus. Shame on all of us.

So here we now sit folks. This is what happened last night. As Americans, what are we going to do about it? I wrote this letter. What are you going to do to protect our American values? The world is watching.

Grand Junction

Government funds through taxes

I look forward to the times when Jim Spehar invites us to join him while he worships at the altar of government. This week is a personal favorite.

Canon Spehar read us the gospel according the chamber. We were informed that of the top Mesa County employers five were from the public sector with 6,346 jobs. The private sector five contributed but 4,792.

In the abstract this model is doomed to failure. The Soviet Union tried it and is now out of business.

In his homily, Spehar informed us of a number of private enterprises which had a benefit from various government programs and projects. He attributes this munificence to what he euphemistically refers to a “government funding.” The heretics among us call this taxes.

I would ask Spehar to look at a phone book. With a public career spanning 26 years, I’m certain he can easily find the government listing section. However, I want to draw his attention to the yellow pages in the back. There are thousands of individuals and companies offering their goods and services. Their collective success is taxed to fund a municipal or county government, without those taxes “the government doesn’t create real jobs.”

Grand Junction

There is more to conservation than easements

Libby Collins, coordinator Mesa County Conservation Forum, had a letter to the editor published talking about their forum for Mesa County commissioner candidates. There were six candidates who attended, but only three are mentioned in the article.

I spent several hours putting together the conservation work I had done on our farm. I thought this would be very interesting to a conservation group. Our conservation practices saved 370 tons of salt from going into the Colorado River every year since the late 1970s, per NRCS (natural resources conservation service) projection.

I handed out the maps of our property to the few board members who were there. This farm is much improved from when we purchased the property in 1972 and I’m proud of our conservation stewardship on the farm. I thought I would get some mention of that from a conservation group and have done more real conservation projects than the rest of the candidates put together, but obliviously good agriculture stewardship isn’t important to this group. I’m very disappointed in Libby’s letter.

I have served on the Mesa County Soil Conservation board for about 9 years. I have voted to approve many conservation projects for Mesa County land owners. Soil Conservation district’s mission is “too aid and assist land owners, not regulate them.” There is much more to conservation than trails and conservations easements.

I support people putting their property in conservation easements, if that’s what they want for to do. I have talked to the Land Trust several times including Libby the day of the forum, about putting some property in a conservation easement, but have never had any response.
Candidate for County Commissioner District 1
More than just Republicans are let into heaven

According to . Mike Bambino in his April 17 letter to the editor the Democrats are responsible for every anti-Christian act except terrorism. I find it hard to believe that the Lord only accepts Republicans in heaven.

Let’s get real here.

Grand Junction

Are the good times really over?

I remember when song lyrics were understandable. But that was long ago. Today’s so-called music, even country, seems to have moved past caring about that sort of thing. I guess if it doesn’t have raunchy lyrics and wild guitar riffs it just won’t sell. And we all know selling is what counts.

Lyrics used to be not only clear, but relative. Listen to the music from the not so distant past sometime. We could relate to them, and the lyrics sometimes even touched our emotions. I doubt today’s music can do that.

To many, this devolution of music parallels the continuing downward spiral of American culture. It’s sad to see the erosion of morals and quickly diminishing decency. We worry about the future of our kids, but we also wonder how this could be happening here.

Things were getting bad when Merle Haggard sang “Are the good times really over?” 30 odd years ago, but it seems worse now. I know we can’t go back, but I fear that morals, meaningful lyrics and even decent people are becoming a thing of the past. Maybe the good times really are over.

Grand Junction

Why attack candidates for being successful?

It used to be that the public and the media wanted to see a candidate’s tax return to make sure he was not beholden to special interests that might influence his agenda if elected. Now the opposition wants to see the returns so they can attack the candidate for being successful. Could this mean that being a failure or never having accomplished anything is an asset? Seems to have worked last time.

Grand Junction


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