Email letters, April 25, 2012

Students working to save rainforests

I am writing on behalf of 5th grade students in Summit County. We are concerned with the rainforest deforestation dilemma. We are writing this letter in hopes of raising awareness of the impact of this devastation on our generation and future generations.

Rainforest deforestation is an issue not only for the wildlife inhabiting the rainforest, but for humans across the globe. Although it’s not a commonly known fact, rainforests provide resources used in everyday life all over the world.

For example, 25 percent of all medicines known to civilization have at least one ingredient that originated in the rainforest. Rainforests are also a source of oxygen. Regions without rainforests have less oxygen, likely because of the lack of trees. The trees are also vital to our clean water supply. When the trees are cut down, we lose valuable filters that provide our earth with clean water. Deforestation likely contributes to water crises around the world.

Many commodities stem from the rainforest, too. Products like lumber, chewing gums, rubber, strings, fuel, paint and wood finishing are routinely elicited from the rainforest. If the trees are cut down, then we will no longer be able to enjoy these luxuries. We hope that you will take action and save the rainforest now, because each tree that is cut down in vain is one less minute for your children and grandchildren to live.

This is our website:
Some websites where you can take action are:


We already have forms of gambling

I have some comments for those opposing the horse track/video lottery bill currently making its way through the House committee in Denver.

I understand the moral stance of not wanting gambling in Mesa County, although it already exists. The logical extension of this would be that they would want to shut down the bingo parlor and the off-track-betting facility as well. Those are gambling operations currently running in Mesa County. I also believe that they will push for Mesa County to ban lottery tickets in all forms from all stores.

I believe that if this is the strong moral stance people against video lottery are taking they will have no problem returning to the state all money the county, city and school district receive from the current state gambling and lottery funds. After all, whether the money comes from here Blackhawk or the state lottery, it is all gambling money.

I am also assuming that they will ban all fund raising based on gamblingvgames, such as raffles and the like, since these are all games of chance.

The opposition to this bill is the height of “not in my backyard.” Here are some facts to consider. The bill does not mention Mesa County at all, it just says “West of the Continental Divide.” The bill will not force gambling down people’s throat, but gives them the option to decide this for themselves, not have the state decree it. In other words it gives the control of what happens in Mesa County to Mesa County, not Denver.

Gambling is not a grey issue. You either accept it or not. If you accept the money from the state, you are just as involved as if the slot machine is right in your store.


April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month and April 25 is Drug Endangered Children Awareness Day. Children whose parents abuse alcohol or drugs are three times more likely to be verbally, physically or sexually abused and four times more likely to be neglected.

Sadly, children growing up with parental substance abuse suffer increased risk for substance use and mental health issues by the time they reach adolescence. The best way to protect a child from this fate is to quickly and efficiently identify children and families affected by substance use and ensure they have access to the necessary support services so they may thrive.

On behalf of the Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children, I would like to recognize the work being done in Mesa County for children and families affected by substance use. Thank you for your dedication and leadership.

Executive Director
Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children

Oil shale production must prove viable before dedicating more land

The recent moves by our county commissioners to push the BLM to open more acres to oil shale development is troublesome as stated in the April 17 Daily Sentinel story “Mesa County commissioners adopt flawed resolution on oil shale.” Left out of this discussion was the compensation issue: How will the government be paid for the use of our public lands?

Private mineral rights leases are for a short length of time, include a bonus for signing, a fee per acre per year, a renewal option, a bonus for renewing and identification of the royalty to be paid when production starts. The bonus for signing and the amount per acre per year for the length of the lease are paid when the lease is closed. In short, there is positive revenue that can be gained from leasing of public lands if done in the right way.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government receives some of the lowest royalty rates in the world. We will not pay our debt by giving away our resources.

After reviewing Interior’s recent plans for its oil shale program and attending a field hearing in Silt, I am convinced that its recommendation to lease reduced acreage is prudent.

It simply is not good business to commit way more resources than is required before anyone knows if a financially viable approach can be found.

Contact your county commissioners and ask them to rescind their recommendation, examine the compensation package and explain it to the public before they make a recommendation.


Credit Union CEO acted professionally

I want to respond to The Daily Sentinel story about the Rio Grand Federal Credit Union in the April 25 edition. I was on the supervisory committee for approximately the last eight months.

I retired from a large construction company with branches here on the Western Slope. I managed five ready mix locations and approximately 75 employees. I had a long business background after college and know what is required for sound management of a corporation.
First, I am unable to speak about Mr. Lefebre’s discharge that is protected by law. However, I can speak about the management of the Credit Union in the story.
When I was first appointed to the supervisory committee, I was very impressed with the professionalism displayed by the CEO Jim Burkey, the V.P. Valerie Neumier and the Board of Directors as well as the Supervisory Committee. Coming from a corporate culture the first thing I noticed was the strict adherence to ethics, honesty and compassion for the members of the Credit Union.
I learned that the credit union, approximately 6 years prior was in serious financial trouble when they hired Mr. Burkey. He began to implement a professional program to lead the company into a sound and profitable entity. With the help of the V. P. the Board of Directors and the Supervisory Committee they have brought the Company from one of the lowest rated Credit Unions in the State to one of the top rated Credit Unions according the NCUA’s criteria.
The members now have a credit union with a top rating able to make loans in complete safety and their funds are invested with good sound judgment meant to enhance their value.
The auditors hired by the supervisory committee can attest to the strength and integrity of the Company and all it’s leaders. The 4,600 members can be proud of their Credit Union and the management of such.
As always there seems to be a few who can be disenchanted by rumors and false accusations, these folks should speak with the management personally and get their facts straight.

Glade Park

Religious dialogue has degenerated

Mankind suffers from a horrendous lack of understanding as we continuously fail to clarify exactly what means what, and who is who, when it comes to our religious beliefs and ideological commitments.

Thanks to several recent letter writers, a compelling new approach to reading this section of the paper has emerged: looking for the name at the bottom of the letter before reading on, checking it against a growing list of writers whose minds are so open their brains have fallen out, and thereby circumventing some unnecessary intellectual anguish.

Admittedly, we all have a lot to learn, but good lord, here’s a recent quote from a professing Christian: “During World War II, the Germans — a Christian people — gassed to death and slaughtered millions upon millions of innocent men, women and children.” That statement is so appallingly ignorant and arrogant (not to mention self-loathing) it is terrifying.

One of the most important rules of critical analysis while defining or comparing our beliefs is to never judge a philosophy by the actions of those who abuse it or fail to live up to its demands consistently.

Take your average hedonistic, cannibalistic, devil worshipping serial murderer, who helps little old ladies safely cross the street and donates every penny he has to an orphanage. Do his charitable actions justify the tenets of his self-serving and heinous religious beliefs? No, actually, they argue against it. If genocidal maniacs are to be considered authentic Christians, then Buddhists are Muslims, Hindus are
Atheists, liberals are conservatives, Democrats are Republicans, up is down, cold is hot and you are both reading these words and not reading these words at the exact same time — because if our dialogue has degenerated to that low of a level, then nothing really means anything at all.

Grand Junction

Assumptions being made from right and left

This letter is to address the assumptions made in two recent letters to the editor about me, my associate Kelly Sloan and The Western Slope Conservative Alliance.

The first is a letter by one Vera Mulder. I have no idea who this person is, but I can assume she is from the environmentalist left, and I can testify that she is wrong on several points. Her letter regarding oil share asserted that Kelly Sloan has no right to comment on policy because he hails from Canada and is currently going through naturalization is just vapid.

Piers Morgan, the snarky leftist from CNN, like Kelly, is not an American citizen, but spends his career bashing the right in his commentary on American culture and politics. Both Piers and Kelly have the right to speak their minds. We don’t yet live in her “censor what makes me uncomfortable” liberal dystopia just yet.

Vera was also way off base in purporting that I have been “assigned to shadow Dan Robinson.” That’s pretty funny because I have had a total of one conversation with Mr. Robinson regarding his vote to support the ASSET bill, which gives tuition breaks to illegal aliens. That is hardly shadowing. Am I sensing a little paranoia here?

Vera asserted that my letter was insulting. Writers often use a tool called parody. It proves sometimes to make people think about a topic. Apparently it did not in this case, but at least it got a good knee jerk from the left.

Vera might want to research the people about whom she writes before she shows herself to be so wildly misinformed again.

The other letter is one from James Haas. Haas is a patriot and a decent man. But his assertion that the upcoming events sponsored by The Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity and the Western Slope Conservative Alliance are not sponsored by the tea party, is wrong.

The tea party is not owned by anyone. And no one owns the tea tarty label. The tea party is an idea. It is a movement for like-minded patriots who want our country to return to its founding principles of limited government, the consent of the governed, the natural rights of man, and a moral electorate.

James Haas is welcome to gather with patriots on May 4 at Lincoln Park to hear our national speakers Niger Innis and Victoria Jackson. He is welcome to join us in the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. He is welcome to join us in prayer. And I am personally inviting him to join us in paying tribute to the men and women who have fought and died so that we can maintain our liberties, and our rights to speak freely and assembly peacefully.

Haas does not own the tea party, but we want him to join with us in this event. He will be surrounded by patriots and friends. That is what defines the tea party; it belongs to no one, and everyone, it is the idea that we can guide our own American destiny. It is the peaceful revolutionary movement that will help to restore our Constitution and wrest control of our culture and government by the misinformed, blinded, big-government small-citizen types on the left.

Grand Junction

Henry has the right experience to be county commissioner

At the recent Mesa County Republican convention, I was pleased to serve as a delegate and to have the honor to nominate, Ken Henry, my dad for Mesa County commissioner for District 1.

My dad taught my siblings and I by example; he has lived a principled life that places a high priority on family, on education, on individual integrity and on personal responsibility. Ken Henry loves this community almost as much as his family and he is committed to keeping Mesa County fiscally viable for current and for future families.

As a citizen, he has left his fingerprints in a myriad of places in Mesa Couny, from helping to save the historic Fruita bridge, to serving on school’s parent accountability committees, on church trustee boards, on the riverfront commission, the Fruita cemetery board and many others. As a city councilman and mayor to the city of Fruita, he took his passion for our community to the public arena.

Ken was raised on a farm, has owned small businesses, has worked for large companies and has knowledge of local government. He knows how to work collaboratively with diverse groups. Two unique attributes of Ken’s leadership style is transparancy and accessibility; he is one of the most accessible and approachable public servants — in fact, he keeps his number published in the white pages and he really listens to people in all walks of life.

Mesa County needs the dedicated leader of Ken Henry as County Commissioner. The breadth and depth of his volunteering, his public service and his innate leadership skills have led him to this moment and this position; and I believe that makes him not only a good candidate, but the most experienced and the best choice for county commissioner.



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