Email Letters: April 7, 2017

Residents pass up economic opportunity by voting against 2A

The headline of Thursday’s paper “A Tale of Two States,” really, Grand Junction? Wake up. Our community is dying. We get exactly what we asked for: a retirement community that is not progressive, that is not growing, and is stagnant. The very first paragraph of this article tells the tale comparing Denver’s thriving robust growing economy, while comparing that to the statement, “Western Slope residents tend to be somewhat disappointed with the lack of economic activity.” Really? How could the Western Slope residents be disappointed when they just voted against Measure 2A, the single largest economic opportunity it saw in years. Grand Junction, you have no idea the level of fiscal opportunity you just let pass you by on I-70 heading to Denver.

Grand Junction

Commissioners must find solution to air pollution problems

I am writing to urge our County Commissioners to work toward a solution to the air pollution problems in the county, and more specifically in the valley where the pollution seems to settle. I appreciate the changes to open burning rules passed by our City Council as a great start to solving a big problem but I believe more needs to be done for the health of our residents and to attract new business to the Grand Junction area.

People do not want to live, play, or work in a dirty environment so it is time to talk about vehicle emissions and open burning except for ditch maintenance or when necessary for actual farming or ranching.

Grand Junction

Resident proudly votes against event center, and for schools

I am proud to say I voted against the event center. It was not due to lack of marketing or “education” efforts by proponents. After the possibly reasonably paid jobs available to construction workers, the long range “jobs” touted would be more low wage service industry jobs in food service and hotels.

I am supportive of tax increases for our schools, whether or not a building project goes with it. Technology is expensive and our students deserve to keep up with Front Range students in technology, as well as the arts, which are underfunded and constantly under threat of being cut.

Grand Junction

Appearing conservative takes precedence over critical thinking in valley

In the 40 years I have lived in Grand Junction there has been one solid theory of living, conservative. There is nothing wrong with conservative values; I have some myself. However, in this valley the outward appearance of conservatism, especially financial, takes precedence over critical thinking skills. Although I am not impressed with today’s county commissioners, the valley’s current problems are not entirely their fault.

As long as I can remember both the city and the county have been overwhelmed by a need to appear financially conservative. When the animal control building was built in the current location it was built on land incompatible with supporting a sturdy outhouse. The reasons behind buying that particular piece of land are unknown and I will leave to someone else the chore of proper investigation. The primary purpose appears to be because it looked like the financially conservative thing to do. They put a nice building on a piece of land whose soil shifts constantly. More money spent on decent land would have saved the community $2.4 million. What a concept!

A decade after that regrettable decision the county commissioners balk at having people pay an extra five dollars on license plates. If you own a car in this valley I am assuming a one-time charge of five dollars won’t break you. The problem is the county commissioners want to polish their conservative badge of honor. Therefore they would rather lay off more employees, or lower wages, than charge vehicle owners five bucks. Five bucks? People waste much more on lottery tickets or lattes in a week.

My message to the county commissioners would be this: For once be smarter than the ones who went before you. Proceed with more walk and less talk. Quit padding your resumes for the next election. Develop a backbone and tell the people of this valley things that may not get you reelected. Spend a little more for quality and we won’t get a $2.4 million bill on your next great adventure. In the end, with more critical thinking skills and fewer decisions made on appearance perhaps hope can come back to the valley.

Grand Junction

Urge Sen. Scott to support multimodal transportation bill

We here on the Western Slope often get overlooked when it comes to transportation funding, since the lion’s share of the attention is focused on development along the Front Range and I-25 corridor. The new transportation bill attempts to give us our due with allocations for local governments and communities to build up their “multimodal” infrastructure.

Many in our community rely on public transit or biking, walking or skateboarding and the “multimodal” fund would allow us to develop and implement projects that best fit our needs locally. The recent appalling accident on the East Slope where teenagers were struck by a car while legally crossing a “protected” crosswalk points to the overall increase in pedestrian injuries and fatalities. It’s been shown that properly separating transportation modes increases safety. Rep. Thurlow clearly understands this, and voted in favor of this bill. Now it’s time for Sen. Scott to do the same. This bill will make it easier for our disabled and elderly residents to move around, ensure your children have safe routes to school, and represent an investment in the future of our communities as the Western Slope continues to see our population grow.

Rep. Thurlow has shown his commitment to improving our communities, and I’m calling on Sen. Scott to follow his lead in supporting this bill. Colorado has the 45th lowest sales tax rate in the nation so a modest increase will not make us less competitive for investment, whereas failing transportation infrastructure and a lack of mobility will hamper our chances to compete for investments in Colorado. Give us this chance!

Grand Junction

Situation in Syria makes Sen. Schumer’s political games look petty

After watching dying children and the U.S. finally standing up to the murderer in Syria, doesn’t it make Sen. Schumer’s childish political games look petty?

Wake up, Chuckie! There’s a whole world out there that is more important than you trying to score political points in Washington.

Grand Junction

Call your state senators to shut down SB61

I’m a former teacher with a grandchild in 3rd grade, and I’m very concerned about SB61, sponsored by senators Williams and Hill, and representatives Rosenthal and Sias, to dilute local school boards’ mil levy funds by including charter schools on a per-pupil basis. I’m not against supporting charter schools, but this bill is too broad. Even worse, it is a stepping-stone for corporate and right wing agendas to gain a foothold in public schools.

For-profit organizations are increasingly operating charter schools. In our own state, we have so far approved funding for two school districts to operate corporate-run online schools to serve any students K-12. The corporation receiving your tax dollars to educate our kids is based in Maryland, from which it operates on-line charter schools in 28 states. Its regional name is Colorado Connections and it is owned by backers of the DeVos “reform” of public education, Pearson Learning Corporation.

It is inconceivable that a five-year-old can receive an appropriate education on-line, from a virtual teacher. I wonder if education officials would so willingly turn over the reins of public schools to a corporation had they sufficient funds for actual classrooms and teachers. It’s true, qualified teachers are expensive – and priceless.

Colorado schools rank 13th from the bottom in the nation for per-pupil funding. Legislators should change that before forcing a one-size-fits-all mandate on local school boards. Call your state senator to shut down this bill.


Nations must collaborate to both condemn and prohibit the use of chemical weapons

Just when I thought that the situation in Syria reached its plateau, the news of the chemical gas attack on innocent civilians have exceeded expectations of the cruelty that can arise from political instability and injustice.

The visceral images and videos of the victims – many of them being children – have surfaced and stirred a public outcry to identify the perpetrators of the attack. Regardless of whether or not this was conducted under the auspices of the Syrian government, world leaders have a responsibility to their country, and for global safety. While identifying the cause of the attack is important, by pointing fingers and playing “the blame game,” international conflict will further augment. There needs to be a greater collaborative effort among nations to both condemn and prohibit the use of chemical weapons.

I send my sincere well wishes and prayers to the victims of this horrendous attack.

Alliston, Ontario, Canada

Reader raises several issues with Grant’s recent column

According to “Poor Old Bill” Grant the Trump administration is not operating in reality and is operating in the theater of the absurd, with policies that have no relationship to problems. According to POB the source of Michael Bennet’s ire was President Trump’s executive order to roll back Obama’s executive order installing the Clean Power Plan. Reality number one is that such a plan should have been crafted in Congress and then sent to the president, not summarily proclaimed by then King Obama.

POB then dips into the classic Democrat playbook accusing Republicans of wanting dirty water, dirty air, and wanting to kill and make sick many Americans. He then trots out the Democrats always favorite; the president’s order is a direct assault on children. Of course Republicans and President Trump have no children, so they don’t care.

Reality number two is that global warming or climate change or whatever POB and the rest of his liberal friends (this includes the people of the editorial page of The Daily Sentinel who in their minds confirmed global warming when we had four days in a row of warm weather) is a hoax. There is no science that proves this. There are only computer models created by people who want a certain outcome and provide their own data to make it appear so. Wasn’t it just ten years ago that a certain Mr. Gore proclaimed that coastal cities would be flooded by now if we didn’t take immediate action? Well?

Lastly, POB writes about all of the clean energy jobs that were going to be brought to rural communities with this clean energy plan. What about all of the fossil fuel jobs that were lost, in part, because of the overreach of the EPA? If such jobs do exist, how many of these so-called clean energy jobs would it take to replace the purchasing power of the 600 miners jobs lost in the Paonia area? Are there 600 so-called clean energy jobs to be had in Delta County?

Grand Junction


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
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Mr. Hunley,

Since the Russians were warned about the attack and they tipped off the Syrians so they could move their stuff out of the way, the attack was really just Trump playing for political points. No real damage was done that will impact the situation there in any tangible ways. It was a distraction from his domestic problems, nothing more.

Mr. Iles,  You seem to possess some impressive insight into what transpired in Syria, so, one simple question for you.  How much advance notice did the Russians get?  One hour, two, one day?  How much time Mr. Iles?  Rick L. Coleman

Well, Mr. Coleman, they had enough warning to get things out of the way and move them back in time to start launching strikes today. Less than 24 hours. We damaged a few aircraft shelters is all. Big whoop.

Its comforting to know that the local conservatives are seldom able to demonstrate I’m wrong, and have to resort to name-calling and insults. That tells me I’m on the right track.

Mr. Iles. I guess you, Pelosi, and Schumer are never wrong and never ever resort to name calling. Now what did Maxine Watters call us and what kind of language has the new leader of the DNC been using? I forgot since it is usually bleeped out on most decent reporting networks.

I didn’t say I was never wrong. What I’m saying is that it takes facts and evidence to convince me I’m wrong, and those are things that are seldom on the side of the conservative pundits around here. Hand-waving and arguments from incredulity aren’t terribly convincing. If you have something more than that, I’d love to see it.

Mr. Iles,  I think you are guessing at the time line, the best I can come up with is 5 hours advance notice to the Russians.  But for the sake of discussion let’s say you are correct at less than 24 hours.  Now, if your neighbor is told that someone is going to blow up your house in 23 hours and 59 minutes, are you going to be able to move all your stuff?  I doubt it, a lot of your stuff will be destroyed.  And, it’s a lot more difficult to move stuff out of an airbase than your house.  As for aircraft destroyed, it was nine from what I’ve read not a few damaged aircraft shelters as you allege.  Again, you are guessing I think.
  But, all of that aside, the real assessment of what was accomplished will occur in the days to come.  Certainly, Assad has more on his mind after using chemical weapons this time than when he used them while under the duress of Obama’s disappearing red line.                Rick L. Coleman

Sorry for the confusion, Mr. Coleman. The “less than 24 hours” was how long the base was out of commission. They have been launching air strikes from that same base today. The strike had virtually no effect on Assad’s forces.

And five hours is still plenty of time to load a lot of stuff and get it even a mile or so away. Given that the base was back in operation almost immediately, the damage cannot have been significant.

Mr. Iles,  Not a lot of damage is there, how many of Assad’s newest air-strikes included the use of chemical weapons?  Could it be that Assad has changed his behavior already?  After all, the real goal was to punish him for his chemical attacks and to let him know that if they occur again we will hit him again. 
  Again, the success of our strike will be revealed in the days to come.  Always in conflict the wounded put up a good show immediately following being “hit”, it’s after that when the pain and destruction begins to reveal what effect has occurred and the real struggle to perform occurs.  So we will see.
                    Rick L. Coleman

All we showed him was that when we hit him, we will let him know its coming and won’t do any significant damage. Somehow I doubt that attack is the reason he didn’t use chemical weapons today.

You misunderstand my position, Ms. Patton. I don’t disagree with warning the Russians. Given they had troops in the area, that was 100% the right thing to do. The complaint stems from the rather obvious result that they would, and did, warn the Syrians about the attack, allowing them to move equipment out of the area thus minimizing the effects of the attack. The irony of this after Trump lambasted Obama for announcing the Mosul assault in advance is apparently lost on the Trump supporters. Even more ironic is that Trump repeatedly warned Obama not to attack Syria before the election. And lastly, the fact that he told the Russians about the attack but didn’t tell Congress should tell you guys something, but I doubt it does.

Where do you get all this “stuff” that you think at “facts”, Mr. Iles? Your TV remote must be stuck on MSNBC or you are watching too much Whoppi!

Lots of places, Mr. Hunley. Do you have any information that says more damage was done? That the Syrians weren’t launching air strikes from that same base the next day? Or are you just trying to dismiss anything that you don’t want to hear?

Mr. Iles,  Your claim that the Syrian air-base is operational looks pretty weak now that we are 48 hours out and only two air craft have taken off and none have landed there from the reports I’ve seen.  It’s entirely possible that the two that took off weren’t conducting air-strikes but merely getting out of a destroyed air-base.  That is probably sad news to you as it appears our cruise missiles were more effective than you had hoped.
                    Rick L. Coleman

Consider the possibility that the reports you have seen aren’t giving you the whole story.

Mr. Iles,  I had already seen the link you posted when I wrote my previous post to you.  It does not offer any evidence of planes returning to the air-base after it was destroyed by our cruise missiles.  It only says that war planes had left that base and concluded that they were on a strike mission and not relocating, they offered no evidence of that.  The link also says there are 20 other bases where strikes can originate from.  The fact that planes are not returning to this base offers the best evidence that this base is significantly damaged and not operational.
  Consider the possibility that the reports you have seen are giving you less than the whole story and that you are reading more between the lines than exists.    Rick L. Coleman

So you are assuming that the planes are not returning to that base. You have no evidence that this is the case, but its what you want to believe so you assume its true. I believe I have mentioned that before, and you once again provide evidence of you doing just that. Thanks.

Mr. Iles,  All the articles I have seen have indicated that two aircraft have left that base and I have seen zero articles that any have landed at that base since our cruise missile attack.  Two aircraft leaving, for what reason there has been only speculation, no proof, and no aircraft returning.  Does that sound like a functioning air-base?  To you yes.  With no proof you only assume planes have landed there.  You are hoping and wishing that our attack failed.  Nice colors you present.  Thank you.  Rick L. Coleman

So you have no proof the didn’t land there, but you are assuming they didn’t. I’ll bet you also saw no articles about how much fuel they were carrying, so you can assume they weren’t carrying any fuel when they took off with equal certainty.

All you can say is that you don’t know where they landed, Mr. Coleman. Nothing more, yet you once again leap to whatever conclusion suits you. As per usual.

Mr. Iles,  If the air-base we attacked was functioning, as you claim with no proof, then planes would be coming and going.  They are not because that air-base is not functioning.  Of course, you have concluded it is functioning because that is what you hope.  I don’t know where the two aircraft that left that base landed except that they didn’t come back to where they took off from.  Your fuel argument is nonsense just as your claim that this air-base is functioning as you have no proof of either.  Again, you are jumping to conclusions with closed eyes, a one track mind, and no proof.  As you always do.  At least you’re dependably consistent.
            Rick L. Coleman

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