Email letters, April 8, 2013

Chamber of Commerce urges extensive input on BLM plan

I read with interest the letter posted online by Brandon Siegfried regarding the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and the draft Resource Management Plan for the Grand Junction BLM Field Office. It is notable that the letter begins with an admonition to “get the facts.” Seems like that is good advice for all.

Here are the facts. The Grand Junction Area Chamber has not yet submitted comments on the plan. The chamber fully intends to represent its member businesses and to weigh in on a plan that affects more than one million acres. The deadline for submission of comments is June 24.

I agree with Siegfried that the travel management plan is an issue. The chamber comments, however, will not likely be limited to just that section of the plan. Many other areas will also impact the business community. The chamber will be thorough and specific in its comments.

This issue has already been reviewed twice in our regulatory oversight committee. Having recently provided comments on behalf of the business community regarding both the Colorado River Valley and the White River Field Office’s Resource Management Plans, we have again concluded that merely saying we are against something is not useful in this process. Providing specifics is the key to being heard.

We also recognize that it is not just one person at the BLM who determines either the development or the adoption of a final plan as broad and comprehensive as a resource management plan.

Everyone has an opportunity to submit comments on this plan. We are urging broad participation in this process from our members in addition to comments from the chamber.

MICHAEL BURKE
Chairman of the Board
Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce
Grand Junction

Citizens must stand up, take public lands back

I noticed the Bureau of Land Management is trying again to get enough support for its land grab plan for the Western Slope to go forward with its “recommendations.” I hate to tell you, but it going forward with the most restrictive plan it can get approved. It always does.

Take it from someone who has witnessed government agencies such as BLM and U.S. Forest Service doing whatever is necessary to deny Americans access to their own land. These agencies do not care about who has access and who does not. They only care about controlling land that they believe belongs to them, not us.

They are patient and calculated. They make their moves when the liberals are in power and sit quietly when the other side is in power.

Ask yourself this question: When is the last time the BLM or Forest Service removed access restrictions on any public lands? Trust me. It is a one-way street. 

Under the parameters of the U.S. Constitution, states are to be responsible for lands within their established borders. The only lands the federal government is allowed to own are military bases and the national capital lands.

All the lands within a state boundary were to be turned over to the state when it was established. Somehow, our federal government missed that part of the Constitution.

By any means, until the people of the states impacted by large areas of their land being controlled by the government stand up and take their land back, the BLM and Forest Service fat cats will continue to deny citizens public land access and to control their usage of their own land.

JAMES O’MALLEY
Grand Junction

Governor, state Legislature passed useless gun laws

Now we find out that the mental health consultant of James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, knew a month in advance of Holmes’ heinous act that he was “homicidal.” She is purported to have reported to law enforcement …. who did nothing.

The so-called “smart people” in the state House (to say nothing of our “smart” governor) should have known this. So, all these so-called “smart people” enact a bunch of meaningless, onerous “common sense” anti-gun laws which will not save one life, and our “smart” governor signs them. All these pointless ant-gun rules will do is abrogate our Second Amendment rights under the Constitution.


The “smart people” in our state government are letting the act of one totally deranged person influence the lives of millions of peaceful, law-abiding folks, who would never even consider doing what Holmes has done.


Hopefully, the voters of Colorado will remember these “smart people” in our state government at election time and turn them out.

NEWT BURKHALTER
Grand Junction

Americans should be outraged over cuts to Social Security, veterans’ benefits

I am questioning President Obama’s mindset when he is now asking for cuts to Social Security and veterans benefits. This is an outrage. This is especially an outrage when his federal budgets waste billions of dollars each year.

Part of this waste has been spending tax dollars on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Veterans are having a hard time now getting help, let alone getting more benefits cut. It appears that this is a political favor to the wealthy 1 percent for raising their taxes. It is also a way to protect future Pentagon cuts due to the sequester cuts. This is also a teaser bargaining chip for the Republicans in Congress.

Obama is making these cuts to Social Security and veteran benefits so he can gain some political hay at the expense of hard-working Americans.  The American people who fall into the 99 percent, the middle-class or lower-income levels, should be outraged. This is what happens when we have Democrats and Republicans controlling our government. 

I am outraged; I hope you are, too.

Calling the White House or members of Congress is OK, but I doubt if anyone there will listen.  At least a number of online petitions are protesting these cuts. Please sign these petitions or start your own.

RANDY FRICKE
New Castle

Publicizing many opinions is essential part of democracy

I am personally amazed at the conservative culture of this wondrous Grand Valley. I have lived here for nearly three years, and I am still astounded at the prevalence of a collective body of voices who speak/write against progressive causes.

We are much better as a community if we pull together and seek out opinions from every sector of society, and that includes our governor and the current legislature. I am very pleased that our state government is aiming to minimize the excess of gun violence by reasonable legislation.

There was a “shame on everyone” letter to the editor recently toward any citizen who didn’t agree with one letter writer. There is no logical or rational reasoning for the same old, tired arguments that any regulation regarding gun safety legislation is poisonous to Second Amendment “rights.”

I simply wish that those who advocate so strongly for Second Amendment issues would also just as strongly advocate for educational programs that are evidence-based such as Head Start for our young and precious kiddos.

Furthermore, a letter stating that the Associated Press advocated a side for abortion rights that should be judged as abominable, according to the writer, is allowable to be printed in our local newspaper, in my own humble opinion.

This is a democracy—not a plutocracy or an aristocracy. All articles and opinions should be welcomed, including liberal press.

VALERIE ETTER
Clifton

Massive advertising can buy votes, but never character

Buying a large amount of advertising for a political campaign can produce enough votes for a victory. But no amount of money can buy character.

BILL MARVEL
Grand Junction

Sheriff Hilkey inappropriately rallied against President Obama

I have generally supported Sheriff Stan Hilkey, but not now.

First, I do not understand why law enforcement would not support background checks on gun sales. That does not even make good sense.

Secondly, I am ashamed Hilkey would rally against the president of United States.

Lastly, this should not have been done in a taxpayers’ Mesa County vehicle.


JAYNE BAILEY
Grand Junction

 



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