Email letters, April 22, 2013

Does educational welfare exist?

Students start school at the age of five or six, spend at least seven hours per day for 160-180 days per year for a minimum of 12 years. Why are the reading, writing and math levels so low that 47 percent of the students attending in-state colleges need one or more remedial courses? What are students doing during all those years spent attending school?

Is it possible that educational welfare exists? Is it possible that students and often their parents feel entitled to inflated student grades? Is it possible that students are never held accountable for learning? Is it possible disruptive students prevent teachers from teaching and cheat students from learning? Is it possible that the curriculum is a series of pretty words with no substance?

Taxpayers should be outraged at the waste of money. The cost of education continues to rise; yet the quality of education continues to decline.

The problem is not insoluble, but the question is: Will leaders in public education and in state colleges have the determination and the backbone to make the changes necessary?

PHYLLIS HUNSINGER

Grand Junction

Lies can be spread in many ways

“The Truth Will Make You Free.”  These words were inscribed above the stage in my high school in 1952. They are the words of Jesus, in the gospel of John, chapter 8, verse 32. And they have a corollary, “Lies will make you a slave,” words that might well have been Satan’s. 

History tells us that both these expressions are true. Adolph Hitler’s minister of popular enlightenment and propaganda, Josef Goebbels, could mislead an entire country of well-educated but trusting people into unbelievable evil. In the Soviet Union, prior to its downfall, Pravda and Investia spread the lies that kept Stalin and his successors in power for a long while. Even today, by controlling publications, radio, motion pictures, TV and the arts, the propaganda and untruths continue to mislead the masses in many places.

Lies can be spread in many ways. Some are the source of jokes, such as how do you know when a politician is lying? (You know the answer.)  Charismatic demagogues are masters of enhancing their image, hiding the truth with distraction, fear mongering and blaming others.

Mussolini, Mao, Lenin and Hitler had the ability to visibly remain above the arguments, appear as the champion of the people and manipulate emotions as required. If the autocratic regime can control the sources of information that the people should normally depend on, then the people might have no recourse but slavery.

When the sources of information report only what fits the ruler’s agenda, then learning the truth is difficult.  The founders of our country, with the safeguards in the Constitution, tried to prevent this, but dictators might circumvent them. Fortunately, there are sources of the truth available to people now that did not exist when the Communists and Nazis controlled the media. Perhaps the best advice to learn whether a politician is truthful is to watch what he does, not what he says. “Actions speak louder than words.”

I extend all good wishes for a truth and freedom for all.

GEORGE E. CORT
Montrose

HB 1304 would subsidize union labor disputes


Do you want to subsidize union labor disputes? Union backed legislation HB 1304 would pay unemployment benefits to defensively locked-out employees.

Unemployment benefits are intended for people who have lost their job through no fault of their own, not union members who have a job waiting. 

Unions have the right to strike; employers have the right to lockout. In an offensive lockout, companies lock out employees until contracts are settled. Examples are NHL or NBA lockouts.

In offensive lockouts employees are
 entitled to unemployment benefits.
 With defensive lockouts, unions first engage in a “whipsaw” strike. When several companies negotiate together, the union strikes one company to try to pick them off. The other companies then defensively lock out. 
Bottom line: no whipsaw strike, no defensive lockout.

Current law correctly says employees defensively locked out are not entitled to unemployment benefits. The union causes this lockout. 

The state took a $630 million bond last year to shore up the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 7, with
 $22 million in its treasury, supports the bill. Strike/defensive lockout payments should be paid by the union, not by taxpayers and businesses through jobless benefits. This bill is bad public policy. 


CHRISTOPHER D. HOWES

Colorado Retail Council President
Denver

Obama must address real causes for gun crime

With much chagrin and amusement, I have listened to President Obama and his loyal anti-gun disciples divide Americans in yet another way since the shootings in Newtown: all law-abiding American gun owners against many non-gun owners.


Rather than addressing the real cause of these horrific crimes, and actual solutions thereto, Obama and the radical left has instead elected to pursue a course of divisiveness and politics, even using grieving family members as props to bolster his cause and to elevate already high emotions.

Their only accomplishments thus far has been to demonize law-abiding citizens who are not committing these crimes, to threaten their rights under the Second Amendment and to place blame on the tools being implemented in the course of committing the crimes, rather than to address the criminals themselves.

Are guns any more to blame for shootings than are knives for the recent stabbings or pressure cookers for the recent bombings? It is a fact that if all of the recent failed legislation had been passed prior to all of the shootings of the past five years, that none of them would have been prevented. So, why is it that they continue to pursue this illogical path? Politics perhaps?

Regardless of any laws, no one intent on committing a crime, regardless of his or her state of mind, will ever voluntarily register a gun, and especially one that has been stolen. This political grandstanding is sad, when in fact there are actual solutions to at least minimizing the frequency and severity of these heinous acts, such as improvements in security design of schools, training of all school staff and improved definition of those who should not be in possession of guns, while strengthening laws which would better address illegal gun owners and serve to discourage others who might consider acquiring a gun illegally.

DON BOYLES
Grand Junction

National Audubon Society appreciates story on Colorado River

Thank you for highlighting the American Rivers’ annual report, America’s Most Endangered Rivers, which selected the Colorado River as the most imperiled in the nation. With all the recent stories and talk amongst neighbors about drought and wildfire conditions, this story is very timely. 


At risk are the drinking water for 36 million people, irrigation for four million acres of cropland, habitat for threatened and endangered wildlife and a $26 billion per year outdoor recreation economy. Additional support for these concerns is found in the Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study (December 2012), which found that there is not enough water in the river to meet current water demands, let alone support future demand increases. 

National Audubon Society has recently joined the growing number of partners that have invested resources towards sound management of our western rivers. 


This spring, in collaboration with Audubon chapters throughout Colorado, Audubon launched the Western Rivers Action Network (http://conservation.audubon.org/western-rivers-action-network) to advocate for common-sense actions that will increase river flow, enhance the health of the environment and restore valuable wetlands and forests throughout the Colorado River Basin.

More than 800 Audubon supporters around Colorado took action in opposition to proposed state legislation (Senate Bill 41) that would allow spring runoff to be hoarded instead of increasing beneficial flows in the Colorado River. 

In Colorado, our rivers are being hit with a combination of drought, invasive species, over-allocation and unsustainable management.

It is our hope that this new report will help bring attention to the perilous state of the Colorado River and ignite public support to begin restoring river health before it runs dry. We can’t stand around any longer with our hands in our pockets and our eyes averted.

BRIAN RUTLEDGE
Executive Director of Audubon Rockies


Fort Collins

Assessment of Colorado River, a ribbon of life, is essential

The Colorado River, listed as the nation’s most endangered river by American Rivers, supports 36 million Americans from Denver to Los Angeles and has created a $26 billion recreation economy.


The Colorado River, along with its tributaries, is also a vital connector of national parks, monuments and recreation areas in Colorado, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. A veritable ribbon of life, it provides a rich riparian zone and serves as a corridor for migratory birds and wildlife species.

Park visitors experience the history of the river via carved landscape features key to park units, from the sheer cliffs of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park to the vast depth and breadth of the Grand Canyon.


As a retired regional chief of natural resources with the National Park Service, I believe the assessment that the Colorado requires improved water management is correct and absolutely critical to protecting the national park units that call it home. 

JANET WISE

Lakewood


Perhaps we should simply consider a name change for the monument

The Colorado National Monument is loved by us all; it is a treasured local natural wonder. As a National Park Service scenic attraction, the Colorado National Monument is relatively small. Its main attraction is a singular road traversing a collection of awe-inspiring red rock canyons. High desert wildlife and a gorgeous cedar-juniper forest complement these canyons, and there are spectacular hiking trails, as well as one of the world’s great bicycle tour routes over the aforementioned paved road. 



Many local leaders believe an upgrade to “national park” name status will boost tourism at the monument and in turn enhance tourism in the Grand Valley. This may be true but is that alone a worthwhile reason? Not too long ago, Colorado boasted just two spectacular national parks, Rocky Mountain and Mesa Verde. One is a celebration of alpine beauty and the other is a majestic example of ancient lives carved into rock, both fully deserving of their rank.

Recently we have seen two other “national monuments” upgraded to park status, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon. While beautiful and unique, these new parks are perhaps a few rungs down the “spectacular quotient” of our original two parks. Was their change in status truly warranted, or was their upgrade spurred on for economic reasons? Did their name changes make a 
difference?



The Park Service has a list of protocols used for designating our natural wonders. Some of us now may feel we are on a course of stretching the NPS criteria a bit for local economic gain instead of more altruistic reasons.


We should examine the pros and cons of that thinking. Are we better off with a second-tier national park or a first-tier national monument?

As an alternative, should we consider a more descriptive name change instead?
 Something more reflective of the geography such as “Red Rock Canyons, Colorado Canyons or Red Stone Canyons? Would that be as effective?

 If national park status is to be seriously considered, should we strive for a park that is more encompassing and more accessible by including a reach to the Colorado River below and the Arches to the west?

If we do opt for national park 
designation, maybe it is wise to pursue a more diverse park replete with river, arches and canyons. The whole enchilada! I can only imagine the bureaucratic expense and endless hand-wringing to accomplish this, but a national park, in our backyard, that had all the marbles would be a treasure of the American West deserving its status, sitting up top with the best.

I do think travelers want amenities such as modern campgrounds as well as better access into the wild. Are we willing to support that? New trails and perhaps a seasonal dirt road or two plus some solid ADA access would be great.

Whatever designation is sought, we should at the very least look at a new, more descriptive name that places us more in company of Arches or Canyonlands, parks with names that aptly describe what’s in store for the visitor. This alone would be a step in the right direction. 



I encourage all to support the local chamber and economic development group’s view that community input going forward is both valuable and makes good common sense whatever its future designation. Those of us who have spent their lives in and around this park should have a say as to its direction.

We are the primary user group, riding the road and hiking the canyons. Grand Valley citizens can convey a wealth of good advice and creative ideas. The National Park Service will be enhanced by including locals in its plans. 




RON WILSON

Grand Junction

What are Pelosi’s views now on phrase, ‘war on terror’?

In light of the tragic events in Boston last week, I wonder if Nancy Pelosi and her liberal Democrat colleagues continue to believe it is inappropriate and insensitive to use the phrase, “war on terror”?

Just
 curious.

WAYNE CURREY
Montrose

Those willing to give up Second Amendment rights are like sheep

Have you ever watched a flock of sheep grazing? When the shepherd wants the sheep to follow him, he sends his dogs out to herd them. The dogs nip at the sheep’s legs until they follow the shepherd.
If the sheep resist, the dogs bite them until they submit. The more the resistance, the more vicious the bite.

Those of you that are willing to give up your Second Amendment right are by your own choice becoming like those sheep. When the Second Amendment is gone, the rest of your liberties will soon fall like dominoes with it. You can then be like the rest of the world that are at the mercy of their shepherds.


The nice thing about “baa” is that it sounds the same in any language; we can be one big global flock. As for me, “baa” is not in my vocabulary. 

MICHAEL BOHNENKAMP

Montrose

Boston attack should remind legislators not to ban inanimate objects

Bombings should be illegal! In the aftermath of the horrible and deadly bombing in Boston, one has to ask, how could this happen? Why isn’t setting of a bomb in a crowd of people illegal? Wait a minute; it is illegal! If it’s against the law, how could this possibly happen?
It’s because people that do these kinds of things are criminals. Law-abiding citizens don’t set off bombs. They don’t go on shooting sprees. They are not the problem. They already live within the law. 



Our politicians (especially in the Colorado legislation and the person with veto power who is in the last position to maintain the system of check and balances in our state, Gov. Hickenlooper) need to learn a lesson from this. We don’t more stupid and worthless laws that put more restrictions on law-abiding citizens. We need regulation on the people who are likely to commit this type of crime.

Hunters don’t just shoot into a herd of elk and hope they get the right one. They take their time and aim and the one they want to get. Enacting laws that don’t take aim at the criminals is the same as randomly shooting into the herd.




Making laws that outlaw inanimate objects are as ridiculous as outlawing cars because someone aims it at a crowd of people. Again, let’s make laws that will make a difference. Let’s set up systems that will catch someone that has indicators of trouble (be it mental or criminal) from committing these terrible crimes.
Simply outlawing a piece of equipment such as an ammunition magazine or a gun is like outlawing plumbing pipe and caps because it may be used as a pipe bomb. Again, it goes back to people, not things. 



Elections are still a ways out. You need to pay attention to which is
 advancing common sense laws that will make a real difference.

It’s more important than ever that we, the law-abiding voting citizens remember the way our elected officials vote on these laws the next time you cast your vote. Pay attention to who are advancing common sense laws that will make a difference and vote to keep them in office.



MIKE KELLEY


Grand Junction

Vegas hotels flush away vital Colorado River water

I just spent a week in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the downstream users crying for more water.
I made an interesting observation and a very conservative estimation of one water use. We stayed in an 800-room facility, of which, they claim to have at least 50.

I realized that they were still using the old high-volume flush toilets. So, if we do the math, (we’ll only use 25 facilities, five flushes per day/room, a 4 gallon difference between high and low volume units, for 365 days, and 326,000 gallons/acre-foot), we find that 448 acre-feet of water is wasted every year when there is a simple solution to reduce the water demand on the Colorado River.

The real number could be several factors higher, not to mention the 50-plus golf courses and all the uncovered swimming pool and fountains. 

(By the way, I do have low volume units in my old house.)


ED FOY
Grand Junction

How could Tipton support cyber intelligence act?


Scott Tipton voted “Yea” on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing 
and Protection Act. The act was narrowly passed on to the Senate. 

 Ostensibly created to protect U.S. companies and agencies from cyber attack, CISPA is a solution in search of a problem.

The vagueness of justification of the Yea votes clearly expose supporting representatives’ lack of 
understanding of the issue and their willingness to be steered. Cyber security is connected to a highly dispersed range of networks and depends upon the technology individual networks implement. It cannot be improved with a centralized approach from D.C. Those crafting such a bill know this and have designed CISPA for other, less popular, means.

CISPA gives companies a blank check to violate their contractual user agreements in furtherance of the burgeoning surveillance state. It reads in part, “Notwithstanding any provision of law, including privacy agreements or terms of service agreements, companies may share information with ANY other entity including the federal government.”

This means regardless of any contracts you sign with an internet service provider regarding privacy, the service provider my violate this agreement with blanket immunity from CISPA.


The preeminent contemporary question is, “How does any law allow companies to create terms of service contracts with its customers and then legally allows them to break them with no recourse?” And how does our representative support such an act?

DAVID L COX
Palisade

Brainard’s city council seat, criminal charge are separate issues

The Chamber of Commerce is supporting Rick Brainard over leadership, integrity and the well being of our community as its Facebook page is censoring all comments.

I don’t understand why Diane Schwenke continues to support this man for a City Council position. He slapped his girlfriend across the face because, as he admitted, “she had to shut her mouth.”

I
 know many women in Grand Junction have lived through similar abusive experiences, and we do not deserve to have a man helping to govern our city who doesn’t respect women.

 There is no ground on which to base support for this abuser.

Those who do 
are desperately throwing up a smokescreen that he is being criminally tried in the court of public opinion and that calling for his resignation is illegal and/or unconstitutional. This is not the truth. Brainard’s
 criminal issue and his City Council seat are two separate issues.

RACHEL BUDMAN

Grand Junction

City Council should return to conducting city’s business

As I sat in the City Council meeting last Wednesday evening, I knew something was very wrong. A feeling of mob rule dominated the proceedings.

Then it occurred to me I was witnessing a scene very like that in a Paris courtroom during the French Revolution. Politically motivated leaders who had decided that a neighbor who threatened their goals had used a smear campaign to dupe noble-minded men and women to speak out against him. In those days, a guillotine was waiting just outside. Thank goodness, we are not French.



That evening, the “threatening neighbor” was Rick Brainard. The
 “leaders” were five of the current City Council members, sitting on the podium wielding the puppet strings. And the “noble-minded (but duped) men and women” were a series of good Grand Junction citizens who had fallen prey to the smear campaign of the five council members.



Of course, the motivation of the current City Council is to overturn the voters’ decision in the recent City Council election that stopped them from stealing tax dollars from us by their behind-the-scenes circumvention of our TABOR rights.

If Brainard abdicates, the “leaders” will have overturned the decision of the people. 

But, is Brainard the monster the leaders hope we believe he is?

Here’s my thought. What happened in that bedroom happens 100 times every Friday night in bedrooms all across Grand Junction. In almost every case, the participants realize the foolishness of their actions and make up the next morning. In this case, no marriage was at stake; no child’s future was at stake; and Brainard and his girlfriend simply decided to dissolve their relationship.



I suggest we let them do that and get back to the business of our city.



DR. KENT CARSON
Grand Junction

Renewed effort to provide amnesty to illegal immigrant is disappointing

I’m sure I was not alone Friday night, when watching the apprehension of the second Boston bomber, in being proud of the law-enforcement agencies and public individuals all pulling together to get justice for those that were injured or murdered.


I believe our society depends on the rule of law. Individuals must be held accountable when they break those laws. That is why I am gravely disappointed in this renewed effort to provide amnesty to those who have entered our country illegally.

Some politicians want to give them a free pass in the hopes of gaining votes from some quarters. Where, for example, is the justice for our citizens who have had their Social Security numbers used illegally? 


Years ago, while helping people with their income taxes, a disturbing number of people told me about receiving scary letters from the IRS saying they’d not fully reported all their income and that they owed some huge amount of money. Why? Because an illegal immigrant had illegally used their Social Security number for his or her W-2.

In this amnesty package will there be
 compensation for the trauma suffered such people? No. Instead the lawbreakers will be rewarded with green cards and citizenship. 
I support revising the immigration laws to allow more temporary 
workers for industries such as farming and skiing. Encouraging foreigners with
 science and technical degrees to stay is also a great idea.

Inviting 
illegal immigrants to stay, however, is just rewarding people who have been breaking 
our laws. It is a slap in the face to would-be immigrants who have been waiting outside the U.S. to immigrate here legally. 
Continuing to say “no” to illegal immigrant amnesty stands up for law and order.

Shame on you, Josh Penry (“immigration overhaul”, April 19), for being soft on crime.

JANICE SHEPHERD
Grand Junction

Garco commissioners maintain deafening silence on spill, leak

Regarding the recent spill and leak of toxic chemicals in the Parachute Creek area, it appears that a private citizen has determined more about what happened than all of the so-called “experts “ employed by the drilling company that is responsible for the spill. Perhaps these companies are not as proficient or using “best practices” in their operations as they and the state regulators say they are.

Also quite noticeable is the deafening silence from the members of the Garfield County Board Of County Commissioners, even though this incident could adversely affect the well being of a large number of the citizens who reside in the area.

Of course, this may be because they are currently involved in negating any detrimental effects the existence of the sage grouse may have on the operations of these oil and gas drilling companies.

GARRY EVENSON

Battlement Mesa

President, legislators violate their oaths of office

Barack Obama is in violation of his oath of office, 

as is every member of Congress who voted to change the Second Amendment. 



The president of the United States on two occasions has taken an oath or affirmation stating, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”



The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”



Any and all attempts to dissolve, change, modify or bypass the wording and intent of the amendment is a direct violation of the Constitution that all the aforementioned oath takers have sworn to preserve. According to the online http://www.dictionary.com, “preserve” means: 

1. to keep alive or in existence; make lasting: to preserve our liberties as 
free citizens. 
2. to keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare. 
3. to keep up; maintain: to preserve historical monuments.

 Those who support any changes to the Constitution without an amendment are in direct violation of their oath of office.



Every violator should at a minimum, be censured or better, expelled
 from the body in which he or she supposed to be serving the United States. 
It is a drastic but effective method to revamp Congress.

DR. THOMAS E. DAVIS

Monroe Township, NJ

Boston bombings illustrate need to use logical reasoning regarding guns


The recent events in Boston show us once more that we need to use logical reasoning when it comes to guns instead of enflamed emotion. Two terrorists managed to lock down a whole city for a day. Imagine if you were there and it was your house they decided to break into. Who should decide what weapon you can use to defend you and your family with or how many rounds of ammunition it will hold? You or the politicians in Denver or Washington, D.C.?

We live in a country where politicians pass restrictions on guns on law-abiding citizens believing that somehow criminal behavior will be curbed. Why should law-abiding citizens be held responsible for the actions of criminals? Inanimate objects don’t commit crimes. When there is a death resulting from drunk driving, do we blame the automobile?

The president says he wants to re-instate the “assault weapons ban” even though the government’s own study concluded that the ban did nothing to prevent crime. In fact the cities and states with the strictest gun control laws have the highest crime rates.

He wants restrictions on normal capacity magazines and is promoting a universal background check” claiming that if these are passed we would be protecting our children. In essence he is saying that if these measures are passed it will free the country from any more mass murders. Who believes that?

Who thinks that criminals are going to submit to background checks? 
The president claims that he and his ilk are not proposing gun registration but proposing background checks for criminals. However, I think that a universal background check would ultimately be unenforceable without registration, which of course would follow the next mass shooting.

With registration would come taxation, and ultimately to a point where some bureaucrat could decide to confiscate your firearms. 
 Police are reactive and not proactive, as they are only allowed to react to a crime in this country. When seconds count and the police are minutes away, the individual should have the right to keep and bear arms to protect himself with the weapon of his choice from whatever danger, foreign or domestic.

MICHAEL HIGGINS


Grand Junction


Does fertilizer plant owner raise a family in West, Texas?

Under the premise of “What were they thinking?” comes the “We don’t need no rules and regulations” argument regarding the massive explosion in West, Texas. 

Without knowing whether the fertilizer plant was there before the town of West or vice versa, who in his or her right mind would put nursing homes, schools, apartment buildings and houses next door or across the street from a highly explosive industrial complex? 



Yes, don’t we know business is always respectful of human life so there is never a need to regulate any of the dangers connected to any industry?  Texas is famous for resenting government rules and regulations of any kind—local or federal.  Of course, one would think the citizens themselves would avoid living near such an industry or at least have something to say about it. 
But we seem 
to live in a world in which people don’t have to think or reason simply because someone 
will save us or, if not, we can sue them. 

 It would be interesting to know where this particular business owner lives in 
proximity to the fertilizer plant—Waco, Dallas or New York? 

It’s probably too 
late in the scale of reason or logic to suggest industry owners build their 
mansions and raise their children next door to the danger.



EILEEN O’TOOLE


Grand Junction

Parachute’s toxic spill reveals façade of petroleum industry

The toxic spill at the Williams Plant near Parachute Creek is a continuing saga of the evasion of responsibility and the façade of good intentions by the petroleum industry.


Where are the minions of this industry who speak and vouch for its purity and good will?  Those who want it to be freewheeling and without outside control or regulation because it affects profits and jobs, but mostly it affects the profits of an industry that does not suffer losses.


When no benzene was found in Parachute Creek, it was reported as good news. Now that it has been found in the creek but below the standards set for safe drinking water by the EPA, it is again reported as good news.  Is it not apparent that the situation continues to grow in dangerous complexity, and that this industry continues to run amok as in years past? 

And does not the increasing incidents being reported such as trucks carrying toxics overturning on I-70 endangering the Colorado River, a river listed as of one of the most abused rivers in the country?  Or the recent overturning of trucks carrying toxics contaminating the pristine waters of West Creek?  And the many other reported and unreported incidents? 

Does this not establish an irreversible trend of pollution by this industry that is accumulating not only toxics from past incidents, but also the accumulation of toxics in our water and ground for the duration of this industry?  This to be suffered by us and our progeny who rely on a healthy environment and clean water for our survival?


We must come to realize that water is more important than petroleum, yes, even more important than jobs.  It is the most important factor and the wellspring of our lives in the West.  Without clean and safe water, there will be no life here or anywhere else.


ROBERT A. TALLARICO
Grand Junction


Editorial on lead clean-up omits danger to wildlife

The editorial on April 21 about the recent city expenditure regarding lead contamination at a firing range gave the inaccurate impression that lead is harmless unless ingested by children. This is false.

The adverse effects on small mammals and birds are widely supported by the technical literature, which has shown mortality may result from the ingestion of a single lead shotgun pellet. Of 157 doves fed two to 24 lead shot pellets, 104 died prior to the conclusion of the study while all 22 control doves survived. (Note: Doves commonly ingest grit because it is necessary for digestion of their diet.) 

The above information is documented in two peer-reviewed scientific reports I have co-authored and published. The research was performed with funding from the U.S. Army and accomplished in collaboration with researchers from the U.S. Army and Columbia University. 

All efforts should be made to eliminate lead from the aquatic and terrestrial environment.  Responsible sportsman should never use lead ammunition.  Indeed, the US military has led the effort to develop lead-free ammunition experimenting with tungsten, nylon and other components. 


NIC KORTE
Grand Junction


FairTax Plan is efficient, intelligent solution to current frustrating tax system

The FairTax Plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an 
integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue replacement, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

This nonpartisan legislation (HR 25/S122) abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax—administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities. The IRS is disbanded and defunded.

The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system. 

Meanwhile, Congress fumbles the ball on the economy by continuing to waste more tax dollars it doesn’t have to stimulate the economy. 


Ask yourself.  If the Fair Tax is implemented and every worker in this country receives his or her full paycheck plus the planned prebate without any deductions, wouldn’t that be a tremendous stimulus to the economy?  If every business never has to file another tax return and pay income taxes ever again, wouldn’t that be a tremendous stimulus?  For more information http://www.fairtax.org or call 1-800-fairtax.



ROY NEWSOM


Granbury, Texas

Mob rule should not supplant court of law

What is mob rule, also known as anarchy? Could that be the court of public opinion? Maybe we should overthrow the Constitution and turn everything over to mob gatherings of personal opinions.

I do not know who wrote the resolution quoted in the Sentinel Thursday, April 18. It was on page 7A under the heading “Oath: Many in the audience applauded vote.”

Whoever wrote this and those who believe it, remind me of the old Salem witch-hunt trials. I am including a copy of that resolution as part of my letter to be sure that everyone has a chance to read it again and think about the implications implied there in:

“While we know that all persons have legal and Constitutional protections including the presumption of innocent and the right to trial by one’s peers, we also know that some things in life do not need to be decided in the court of law; sometimes the court of public onion should decide,” the resolution states.

I, myself, choose the rule of law as provided in our Constitution.

VERNIE RATHBONE
Grand Junction

Simpson’s TABOR concerns point out a bureaucracy at work – or not

This is in response to the recent article concerning the taxing decision of whether Mesa County is complying with the law (Taxpayers Bill of Rights).

This issue is a classic example of taxpayers not being represented by either county or state government. Taxing districts submit their tax rate (mill levy) request to the state for final approval, supposedly in compliance with the Taxpayers Bill of Rights.

This process is referred to as a certification. In this instance, even though the taxpayer is supposedly protected by law (TABOR), and, combined with a state oversight (certification), the process remains questionable.

I base this on a personal response that I received from the State Department of Local Affairs concerning an obvious violation of TABOR for a certification request. The response was that the State Department of Local Affairs had no enforcement powers and took no corrective action against the taxing district.

Here, we have a state law and no state agency to enforce it or give its interpretation in helping to settle such special issues as those in Mesa County.

The bureaucracy is at work, or not at work, on all levels against Simpson obtaining a just outcome. I agree with Simpson’s comments concerning TABOR, and I admire him for bringing this to the attention of all the taxpayers in Mesa County.

I would encourage Simpson to address his concerns to the Colorado State Department of Local Affairs for a response.

KEN CALL
Glenwood Springs



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