Email letters, August 16, 2011

Shooting range is needed, but not at Horsethief Canyon

Scott Tipton and the Colorado Mule Deer Association (CMDA) are proposing to construct a modern public shooting range in Mesa County. I support the need to reduce the dispersed shooting that now frequently occurs in rural areas and this sounds like a good idea. The problem that immediately arises is location. At this time the Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area (HCSWA) is being considered for this project.

This state wildlife area is a poor choice for many reasons. The HCSWA was created in 1989 by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to restore sensitive riparian habitat. The Colorado Division of WildLife (CDOW) was chosen to manage this area. Today we can see the results of the combined effort with a diverse migratory bird population now choosing to frequent this habitat as well as a community of other species that are now established and inhabit this ecologically sensitive setting. A shooting range clearly does not fit with the original intent purpose of the HCSWA.

Another major issue is the proximity of the HCSWA to the well-used Pollock Bench Trail and the adjoining Black Ridge Wilderness Area. A rifle shooting range will quickly disrupt the sense of tranquility that people seek out when using this area. The supersonic blast of a modern high-power rifle can be heard for miles and reverberates many times in these secluded canyons.

Hunting is allowed here, target shooting is not. Both the BOR and the CDOW recognize the safety hazards of these weapons and do not allow their use within the HCSWA. Accepted established rules would have to be changed.

Other significant issues include impacts on a nearby residential area, safety for users of all areas in the proximity and the all-important access road which continues to experience significant increases in recreational traffic even without adding more attractions.

I support finding a suitable location for a public shooting range here in the Grand Valley however the Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife area does not fit the parameters for this project. Please direct your quest to more suitable areas with good access for the public.

BOB SHERRILL
Fruita


Thanks to BLM and the Palisade Fire Department

On Aug. 4, my buddy Tom Shaea and I went exploring. Both of us are in our late-80s. I am from Florida, but born and raised in Grand Junction and Tom is from Delta. We both think we know it all. And we love to explore Delta and Mesa counties. We enjoy going to places we visited in out youth.

On Aug. 4, we decided to go to the Mount Garfield area to look for wild horses. We turned in at Cameo and up we went. About four miles up the road, we got stuck in a little gully. We decided I could walk better than Tom, so I started walking back for help.

I made it about a mile, and about noon I fell. I lay in the road about 3 1/2 hours in the hot sun before anyone came. Finally, a car came with two employees from the BLM, Erin Kowalski and Bri Ingram. I had passed out by then, but they called Palisade Fire and Rescue to come and save me.

The men who arrived with the ambulance were very good at their jobs, and took me to St. Mary’s Hospital. The young man in the ambulance was very knowledgeable about his job. And so were the people at the hospital.
Tom had stayed with the truck, and they got him unstuck and on his way.

If the ladies from the BLM had not come by, I would have been dead and there’s no telling what would have happened to Tom.

I’ve learned in my old age. Even though we thought we knew everything, what we did learn is always to tell somebody where we’re going, take a cell phone and a shovel.

So give our local BLM and the ambulance crew at Palisade credit for what they did.

JOHN HALE
Vero Beach, Fla.

Government should not compete with small business

Recently our City Council voted to pay more than $100,000 of our tax dollars for development fees so a wealthy developer would build apartments. These apartments will compete directly with rental units owned by small investors who do not have the clout of wealthy developers and do not receive taxpayer subsidies. They struggle to compete against unfair competition funded by their and your taxes. Now, the federal government is considering using their substantial inventory of foreclosed homes as rental units to compete against those same investors.
It is time for our local, state and federal governments to quit mouthing empty tributes to free enterprise and capitalism while making decisions that directly counter that philosophy. I simply do not know how much more of this free-enterprise system taxpayers can survive. Soon the government will put small businesses out of business.
JAMES HOFFMAN

Ron Paul completely ignored in reporting of Iowa straw poll results

What poor news reporting. In the Aug. 15 edition of The Daily Sentinel, there was a front-page story covering a range of things from Rick Perry to the Iowa straw poll and Michele Bachmann’s win.

The story covered all the usual establishment suspects in great detail but only gave a brief mention of the real up and coming political star, Ron Paul. He was narrowly edged by Bachman for the win in the straw poll, but was allowed only a short single sentence at the very end of the piece. The bias against this man of principle and consistency is sickening.

The Daily Sentinel should be ashamed to print such absurd bias. Apparently they can’t bear his message of peace, prosperity, and constitutional government.

DAVID L COX
Grand Junction

Wisconsin recall effort is legitimate

The Aug. 11 editorial “A cheesy recall effort” stated: “Instead of accepting that elections have consequences and sometimes the other side wins …”  I’m almost speechless.  Has that not been exactly what the Republicans have been doing to Obama?  To the extent that everything Obama supports, even GOP written and sponsored legislation, Republicans have discredited their own legislation and withdrawn backing.
The GOP in Wisconsin did not run a campaign stating they wanted to limit collective bargaining and increasing retirement contributions for state employees, but when the bill was brought, the unions agreed to what the GOP asked.  And then the Republicans pulled a bait and switch to remove collective bargaining rights of specifically targeted state employees.  The recall vote was not called “at the slightest whim.”  The Wisconsin governor and the GOP have their own agenda.  They were elected solely to represent the people, NOT their outside corporate sponsors.
One of the first things the GOP did when the recall was put forth was to hinder ease of voting by bringing bogus charges of voter fraud and vote on legislation to make voting more difficult.  Why?  I would remind you that the same thing happened in Colorado when our new secretary of state wanted to toughen voter laws by implying that voter fraud was rampant. Not true. A deliberate lie — part of a national agenda.  It showed up in state after state with no voter problems.  Fortunately, we have a competent, Republican county clerk (unlike Waukesha County in Wisconsin) and she cried “Foul” when her office was brought into Scott Gessler’s dispute.
The Sentinel’s low estimate of $31 million spent on only 12 percent of the entire state’s voting electorate for a state Senate recall should trigger the most obvious questions.  Where did the money come from?  Who will benefit from this legislation?  I would charge that the money came mostly from large corporations and from out-of-state millionaires and billionaires.  Remember when Sharon Angle actually bragged about people outside of Nevada caring about her upsetting Harry Reid.  Why would they care?  Isn’t a large part of our political process having local control and state’s rights to run our governments and have representation on the local, state, and national level for us — the residents of the districts and states where we live — not out-of-state or transnational corporations?  Do you agree outside corruption of local elections is acceptable?
Ever heard of the phrase “follow the money”?  Check the motive.”  These are basics.  Do your journalistic homework.  Google ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council — and see just how much of what is going on politically is the work of a few who want it all — the money, the control, the right to take our rights away all across the country.  Remember, our own Supreme Court has given corporations citizen status and they are not taxed fairly.  It’s too bad the Sentinel can print its “cheesy” editorial without attribution.
VJ MADDOX
Grand Junction


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