Email Letters: August 11, 2017

Context about coal markets and climate would provide a balanced perspective

I was surprised Sentinel reporter Gary Harmon didn’t include any context, about climate change or about coal markets, in his piece “Coal looks to make a comeback in state.” After all, the need to address climate change is part of the back-story. As is the destination of the dwindling number of coal trains.

Domestically, coal is primarily challenged by the glut of natural gas, but also by the rapid approach of parity between cleaner energy and fossil fuels. Globally, coal markets are likewise constrained by an abundance of gas and robust growth of renewables, made more so by policy commitments to address the carbon pollution driving human-caused climate change.

Coal has served its purpose in powering America. But it’s reign will not be forever or even until we dig the last piece from the earth. Other than by a shrinking number of boosters, there is little disagreement that coal is in long-term decline. The likelihood of a price on carbon pollution in the future could be the final nail, but even that will not be the cause.

Climate change demands prompt action and Colorado can lead the way. And – regardless if one believes the overwhelming science or not – sound economic policy should accept the inevitability of change and prepare. Wishing things otherwise will not make them so.

Yes, coal may enjoy a brief rebound under more favorable policies, but that will not reverse the trend. The Stone Age, the late Randy Udall used to be fond of saying, did not end because we ran out of stones. Some context about coal markets, trends, and climate reality, would provide a more balanced perspective for readers in understanding our challenges and finding solutions. Because we all want Colorado to be part of a thriving and healthy future.

PETE KOLBENSCHLAG
Paonia

Outdoor Recreation Coalition endorses Citizens for SD 51

Outdoor recreation is an important part of the Grand Valley’s culture, lifestyle and economic viability. The Outdoor Recreation Coalition (ORC) was formed to ensure that as our economic impact grows, we continue to serve the community that we rely upon. We owe a lot to the Grand Valley, not only its steadfast commitment of support to our industry, but to the folks that continue to support the local businesses and lands that make our coalition so strong. Further, we believe a healthy, thriving community starts with a strong commitment to its future leaders, business owners and citizens.

Which is why we are endorsing Citizens for School District 51, the campaign supporting the bond and mill levy to repair our schools, equip our kids and give them the tools needed to compete in the 21st Century.

The dynamic new economy has fostered a workforce that is looking for jobs in a place they want to live, play and raise a family. A good school system and modern infrastructure are key metrics potential employees measure when considering whether a community is a good fit. The ORC’s council is made up of small business owners who experience firsthand the challenges to recruit skilled labor to relocate here.

Our local graduates are at a disadvantage as soon as they enter the workforce:

Experience – Our kids go to school 18 days less than the national average – an entire year less by the time they graduate.

Tools for the job – At a time when digital literacy is critical to their future, our kids go to schools where there is less than one computer or tablet for every three kids.

Industry knowledge – Our kids are learning from textbooks over 20 years old.

Facilities – Many of our schools are run down and dilapidated.

We must prepare our kids for the workforce by investing in them. The bond and mill levy do just that by addressing all of these issues directly.

As for companies relocating here, more than 30 percent of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership’s current prospects come from within the outdoor recreation industry, many of which are manufacturers. The modern outdoor industry makes use of high-tech materials, innovative design, skilled labor, and modern marketing to succeed, all of which are built upon a foundation of good education. Further, they employ educated, skilled and high-earning employees who contribute positively to our local economy.

The District is not asking for much. The average homeowner will pay less than $10 a month. We already pay some of the lowest property taxes, not just in Colorado, but in the nation; this is an incredibly affordable measure, even for commercial property owners.

As business owners, we are continually investing in our employees with updated training materials, new technology and equipment. As a community, we must do the same for our children. In fact, it is not just lack of any new investment, our schools have seen more than $40 million in local budget cuts and even more massive cuts from the state over the past decade on top of that. We have an opportunity in November to change that. It’s up to us to give our kids a chance to compete in the real world and succeed. Vote Yes for the bond and mill levy. Vote Yes for our future.

OUTDOOR RECREATION COALITION OF THE GRAND VALLEY

Grand Junction

Local media should have provided coverage of recent BMX event

Grand Valley’s news media provides coverage of bicycling events. This past weekend, Grand Valley BMX hosted The Mile High Nationals – apparently, an event not newsworthy enough to command any kind of coverage.

Riders came from New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan, the United Kingdom, and other countries. An Olympic gold medalist, Olympic silver medalist, and No. 1 men’s and women’s pro riders World #1 Men/Pro were all here to compete.

We had riders from California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, and more. Our Colorado competitors came from the entire state.

Riders, parents and siblings stayed in our hotels and campgrounds, ate in our restaurants, shopped at our stores, and visited our other attractions. The USABMX crew from Arizona was here. The average stay for most was four days. Some traveled 18 hours by auto. Others flew into our airport. The parking lot at the Mesa County Fair Grounds was bursting at its seams, more than for most other events held there.

In Monday’s sports section of The Daily Sentinel, the headlines read ‘‘Thrills and Spills.” The coverage was of a downhill event at Powderhorn.

Nick Adams, Grand Valley BMX Track Operator, does a good job. Nick’s track crew is all volunteer, working tirelessly to provide a place for Grand Junction’s young and old to participate in a sport on an individual basis. Grand Valley BMX is the host track for the State Finals Championships in October. Will anyone notice?

KATHY DEPPE
Grand Junction

Will Mesa County just keep voting for failed stewards?

We waited more than an hour to transfer license plates. Some wait three hours at the county clerk’s office, but we got there at 7:40 and were “only” 25th in line. People from Gateway and Collbran spend close to a whole day getting plates or a new title.

Scott McInnis now dominates the county commission and is writing a secret sales tax plan for increases for the sheriff and district attorney only. What about the rest of county government? Is McInnis plagiarizing a plan from somewhere else?

Incredibly high turnover, said to be 20 percent per year, low salaries and morale, scandals in Social Services, the BMX track boondoggle, deteriorating roads, questionable accounting practices – where does it stop? It sure looks like Mesa County’s government is collapsing.

Maybe the commissioners should come to each department and work as trainees. I don’t know if I’d want them to take care of complex things like title applications and plate transfers. Surely they could do simple things and help out harried clerks. But one clerk told us, “we only see the commissioners when there’s a photo opportunity.”

Of course Rose Pugliese would have to stop her frequent trips to Washington to fawn over Trump and John Justman would have to do something, anything.

McInnis is up for re-election next year. Will Mesa County just keep voting for the failed stewards of Mesa County? You may not like voting for Democrats, but can anyone run this county worse? How can anyone expect business to move somewhere so badly governed? The very successful Front Range cities are mostly governed by Democrats. What has 24 years of Republican rule accomplished here?

I’d vote for a tax increase to properly fund the county, but not if it only goes to two departments.

GENE GOFFIN
Glade Park

Resident provides more information on Mesa County roads and addresses

I would like to add more information to Mr. Holt’s letter on Friday regarding Mesa County roads and addresses. Many roads, such as 29 Road, stretch from Orchard Mesa to Patterson (F Road) and beyond. There is a way to pinpoint an address on a possibly six-plus mile road.

The addresses between the lettered roads correspond to the letter of the alphabet; for example since “A” is the first letter of the alphabet the addresses between “A” Road and “B” Road will be 100-199, “B” Road to “C” Road will be 200-299, etc. So if you are looking for an address that is 600-something 29 Road you know that it is going to be north of “F” Road and not on Orchard Mesa.

However, this system does not apply in Grand Junction city limits. The confusion comes when Patterson turns into “F” Road; 12th St. becomes 27 Road, etc. I’m not sure how to fix this but hopefully this makes it easier to find an address in Mesa County.

SHANNON ALLEN
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Great letter, Gene.

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