Email Letters: August 15, 2017

Connection exists between agricultural burning and climate warming

There is much in the news about climate warming and who is responsible for it. I decided to Google the internet and seek some answers. There is a vast amount of information to be had about climate warming.

In the Grand Valley the spring agricultural burning is a hot issue. Is there a connection between the biomass burning and climate warming? See for yourself. I entered, “What effect does agricultural burning have on climate warming?”

If you go there be sure to read “The Stanford Study.” Also, “Forest burning is a net contributor to global warming,” and “Smoke from biomass burning.” Biomass burning involves burning of crop stubble and vegetation burnt for land clearing.

No matter how much and how often we tell the public we don’t like agricultural burning, nothing is done to change the practice to tilling crop stubble into the soil. Won’t anybody listen?


Representatives should push for a total repeal of Obamacare

True enough, Dr. Pramenko, the Republicans have pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare with something better and less expensive. However, what is also true is that Obama and the rest of the Democrats lied about keeping your doctor, keeping your current health insurance plan, and saving $2,500 to boot. Also what is true is that Obamacare is in a death spiral. It’s collapse and death, I believe, has always been the plan in the first place to advance the single payer agenda, which would be Democrats nirvana.

In the column next to the good doctor’s there is a column by Jay Stooksberry that hits on one of the biggest problems in Obamacare – the administrative costs, which according to Mr. Stooksberry, rose from $414 per person per year to $1,537 per person per year after Obamacare was put in place. That is a rise of over 270 percent. Clearly, getting the federal government out of the health care business would go a long way to bringing costs down. I know that there are a lot of people who had insurance were happy and now find themselves paying $1,000 month for health insurance and having a $5,000 deductible per person.

I hope that Sen. Gardner and Rep. Tipton continue to push for at least total repeal of Obamacare. They also need to push to make sure that they are included in whatever they pass afterward and not exclude themselves from it as they are now. If there is a bipartisan bill waiting somewhere in the wings as the good doctor suggests (I am guessing that it is single payer) then let them bring it up and get bipartisan support. The good doctor claims that the polls (the same polls that said that Hillary Clinton would now be our president) show that the American people have spoken and they want to save Obamacare. I wonder how many people would favor not having the federal government in our health care at all?

Grand Junction

Regulation requiring methane capture from coal mines is misplaced

The Aug. 6 guest column (“Coal mines, methane and our common future”) drew our attention for several reasons. First, we thank Mr. Danielson for acknowledging coal’s importance to the economies of several Western Slope communities and in supplying affordable electricity. Colorado coal continues to directly employ more than 1,100 miners, providing high paying wages and benefits that enable those individuals to purchase homes, cars and other necessities, affording a comfortable standard of living. The mines also support thousands of additional jobs in associated retail and service businesses, and pay millions in taxes and royalties that go to public schools, and to state and local governments.

Colorado Mining Association believes that a regulation requiring methane capture from coalmines is misplaced. West Elk Mine and the other North Fork mines have encountered methane during mining; however, it is not pervasive throughout the other mines in the state. Further, Federal laws require that methane levels must be monitored and maintained at minimal concentrations for worker safety. This is accomplished primarily with large ventilation fans, and if needed, is aided by supplemental venting through boreholes that are typically open for several weeks to a few months. This short-term removal of gas though boreholes is insufficient to justify the infrastructure required to process and place the gas into the commercial market, nor will it benefit the taxpayer in the form of royalties.

The recent supplemental draft EIS considered the use of helicopters to avoid roads, as suggested by Mr. Danielson, and concluded that approach to be infeasible, stating, “it is impossible to drill MDWs using heli-portable rig systems.” The roads contemplated will be temporary and will be fully reclaimed when mining is completed, a process that was anticipated and authorized under the Colorado Roadless Rule. The “subsidized energy” criticism is a red herring. Government policies to encourage affordable commodities such as food and fuels have always included research money and tax incentives, and in some cases (such as renewable energy), even legally mandated purchases. It just depends on which commodity one currently seeks to encourage or discourage.


MarillacHealth embraces role in stemming dental disease in youngest patients

Thank you for promoting the importance of dental care in your editorial, “Get thee to a dentist.” Based on dental visits, Colorado ranks 11 in the nation for children’s dental care and 18 for adult dental care. There is room for improvement. According to Mesa County’s 2015-17 Health Needs Assessment, the percentage of residents not seeing a dentist in the last year is significant: 31 percent of children and 48 percent of adults 21-64 years old. Lack of access to dental care and poor self-care contribute greatly to unnecessary pain and suffering, tooth loss, worsening of chronic health conditions and ultimately, higher costs. Delta Dental’s new insurance policy for children and their investment in training more registered dental hygienists are steps in the right direction.

MarillacHealth is a long-time partner with Delta Dental. Our most recent project is a resounding success. With grant funding from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, MarillacHealth has placed registered dental hygienists in the busy pediatric practice operated by Primary Care Partners as well as our own County Clinic site. These hygienists placed at Western Colorado Pediatric Associates/PCP and MarillacHealth-County perform brief visits with children to examine their teeth, apply fluoride varnish to prevent decay and offer valuable reinforcement and education. Embedding hygienists on medical teams has allowed MarillacHealth to serve approximately 2,200 additional children over the past 18 months. In addition, children who do not have a dentist are urged to visit Marillac’s dental program or get started with another local dentist. Naturally, the sooner a patient develops a relationship with a caring dentist, the more likely s/he is to seek routine care. This is especially true for youngsters.

MarillacHealth has long accepted Medicaid and also has a pediatric dentist on staff. As Mesa County’s only federally qualified community health center, MarillacHealth embraces its role in stemming the rampant dental disease in Colorado’s youngest population while welcoming patients of all ages.


Chief Dental Officer, MarillacHealth
Grand Junction

Senators deserve thanks for speaking out against violence and hate

Thank you, Sens. Bennet and Gardner. I am not “spiking the football” in response to the news coverage regarding Trump’s personal reaction to this weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, but I am saddened that violence and hate is becoming more acceptable in America, today.

We must never go back, as a nation, to the pre-civil rights days. As a young child, I watched the news on TV as they showed the Southern brutality of the times. We can never condone a group of individuals or a group of organizations that want to take us back to the days of violence, the burning of the crosses, denying one’s right to vote and the bodies hanging from trees because of their hateful ideology and actions towards the color of your skin, your sexual orientation or your religious beliefs.

We can never allow the “Hitler ideology” to represent the United States of America. Men and women gave their life’s blood to put a halt to the spread of such actions and ideas.

I am proud to be living in Colorado and seeing that there is still political common ground we can come together on. A ruling body of “hate” shall never have a place of honor in a civilized society and especially not here in Colorado

Sen. Bennet tweeted, “The events in VA are contrary to all we stand for as a country. Embrace inclusion, celebrate differences – that’s the America we believe in.”

Sen. Gardner stated, “White supremacists, white nationalists, they’re not a part of anybody’s base.” He added that Republicans did not want white supremacists in their base and said that point needed to be made “crystal clear.”

Simply put, your actions and words genuinely deserve a thank you for speaking out.

Grand Junction

Racism strongly influences health equity in America

Our nation is in conversation about access to health care. The Charlottesville tragedy reminds us that an important obstacle to health care, and so much more, still exists. That obstacle is the racism that is woven deeply into the origin and fabric of our country. Charlottesville reminds us that racism is all too alive.

“Health equity” is a term that refers to everyone having an opportunity to attain his or her highest level of health. Racism strongly influences health equity. For example, race is a strong predictor of conditions like diabetes and heart disease, even after taking into account other factors such as income and education.

Let’s continue our efforts to devise programs that allow access to health care. But let’s also remember that racism will undermine this, and so many other efforts. Charlottesville painfully reminds us that there are those that would openly reinstitute a system where power is based on skin color – not on talent, skill, or merit.

Grand Junction


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I wonder how many times Higgins needs explained to him about why the president said what he did and why things changed relative to the ACA. Watch something beside Fox and listen to something other than Limbaugh. Talk about a true believer!! Get a pet or something to help get your mind straightened out to look at something beyond the Koch financed, very partisan trash. Are you really that gullible?

Mr. Dempsey, next time you write a very partisan letter you might let readers in on your background.  You apparently served your previous master well and you can’t erase it. It is part of who you are and you have proved for years where your loyalties lie. You are bfar from just an impartial to the facts,  plain old citizen.

Mr. Borgen, You need to get some new material.  Those of us who disagree with you do not need Fox News for our information.  There’s this new-fangled thing called YouTube and when I entered, “Obama lied about Obamacare” I got 318,000 hits of videos showing Obama in his own words.
You are the one who needs your mind straightened out.  I won’t recommend a pet as you surely would abuse the poor little thing.
Are you able to write a civil comment?

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