Email Letters: August 18, 2017

Efforts to grow CMU will result in more wins for our community

Congratulations to President Tim Foster and his entire team at Colorado Mesa University for continuing to make smart and effective moves that will help establish Grand Junction as Western Colorado’s university town.

As CMU’s 10,000 students return for the new school year, they are being welcomed with banners along our streets, the opening of a fantastic new health-sciences facility and the continued construction of an incredible new engineering building on campus. The students in those programs will earn degrees for high-demand, well-paying jobs.

The Grand Junction City Council is doing their part to support the cause. Each year the city contributes significant funding towards the expansion of the campus. They recently voted in favor of University Boulevard, and they will undoubtedly be asked to do far more. We should all thank them for their continued support.

Alongside these efforts, the CMU20000 initiative was recently launched by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce to spearhead efforts to bring the university and our community closer together. Businesses are getting engaged with We Are CMU window stickers, special discounts for students and the development of a more robust internship program. Efforts with on site high school councilors to get more District 51 students on track to college are already underway.

Did you know CMU already contributes $450 million annually to our economy? Efforts to grow CMU will result in plenty of more wins for everyone in our community: A more highly-educated workforce, more parents that fly to our airport, stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and shop at our stores, and more students that decide they want to live here, start a career and raise a family.

I suggest all of us do our part. Attend a CMU event this year or simply walk around campus to check out all of the new facilities. Keep updated, suggest ideas or volunteer to help at CMU20000.com. And please share your enthusiasm for all of the positive things taking place at Colorado Mesa University, whether it’s with friends, neighbors, on social media or a letter of support to the newspaper or City Council. Because when CMU grows, we all grow.

ALEX CHAFFETZ

Grand Junction

City Council should not squander tax dollars on name change

I am a tax-paying citizen of the Grand Junction area.

I do not feel it is my responsibility to finance a ridiculous thing like a street name change. I don’t like to be told that I will pay for this ridiculous folly. This just proves that City Council has its priorities all screwed up. I think this street name change should be put to a vote by the people, not dictated by City Council. Please, citizens, roar and make these inept City Council members aware they cannot squander our tax dollars on such ridiculous things as this.

STEPHEN HALL
Clifton

Citizens should be concerned about FRAM drilling proposal

I’d like to express my appreciation to the staff of Western Colorado Congress and members of the local community for taking the time to research and provide a look at the FRAM drilling proposal on the Southwest flank of the Grand Mesa.

As I look at the proposed project area found on the BLM website, it appears to me that Grand Junctions watershed could certainly be impacted. According to the BLM’s report, three different methods of hydraulic fracturing may be used, which will require a tremendous amount of water. In addition to questions I have about hydraulic fracturing, I wonder about the city of Grand Junction’s willingness to sell between 52.75 and 361.50 acre feet (326,000 gallons in an acre foot) of city owned water for “drilling, completion, dust control, and hydrostatic testing.”

I wonder why oil and gas apologists have recently expressed dismay that Western Colorado Congress and its citizen leaders should question the safety of the valley’s watershed. I know that Western Colorado Congress is about supporting and creating citizen leaders that make a difference in their communities about issues they care about. I believe that’s called democracy. Every citizen in this county should be concerned and asking questions about this project going forward.

STEVE ALLERTON
Grand Junction

Urge BLM to reconsider FRAM drilling proposal close to watershed

The residents of the City of Grand Junction are fortunate to get their drinking water from an absolute pristine source – the watershed that begins high up on the slopes of the Grand Mesa. There are no previous users of that water, and it is a steady source of clear, clean water from snowmelt and rain. That could change, however, with the latest proposal from FRAM Oil to drill.

After city residents signed petitions and insisted on more protections for their water, the City Council passed a watershed ordinance in 2006 after Genesis Oil and Gas proposed drilling in the city’s watershed. Now FRAM is proposing to drill and frack 108 gas wells from 12 well pads just outside the watershed boundaries.

There will be impacts to residents from this industrial activity so close to the city. Oil and gas development can contribute to air pollution by emitting volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides that combine with sunshine, causing ozone. Additional truck traffic and road building to well pad sites contribute to higher levels of PM 2.5, which are tiny particulate matter that aggravate respiratory illnesses in children and the elderly.

My biggest concern, however, is for our water. While I understand that companies want to be good stewards, oil and gas development is an industrial activity, and accidents, spills, and well blowouts do happen. The proposal calls for 22 year-round jobs created by this project. Yet the watershed supports fresh drinking water to 60,000 residents, ranchers, livestock, and numerous wineries. If our main water source were polluted, there are no good alternatives. I believe the trade-off is too great to risk our main source of clean drinking water.

The BLM is accepting comments until Aug. 28 on this proposal. I urge residents to stand up once again for clean water and air, and urge the BLM to reconsider this proposal, to require a complete Environmental Impact Statement, and to move those wells further away from the watershed boundaries.

You can send your comments to:
BLM
Attn: Whitewater MDP
2300 River Frontage Road
Silt, CO 81652

KRISTIN WINN
Grand Junction

Emblems of the Civil War are historical and belong only in museums

All the grand what ifs and enlightenment in humanity simply can’t beat that devil human nature. Most recently, in Charlottesville, white supremacy made its statement about their respect for themselves.

This is not about respecting the historical deep South. This is now. This is history becoming. It’s a self-aggrandizing belief system as tyrant on display like the giant pictures of “The Great Leader” scattered all over North Korea. These people are still fighting the Civil War. The emblems are historical and belong in museums. Instead they are glorified as gods of a failed self-righteous caste system.

Face it, humans are bigots. It’s a flaw, not a virtue. These people are using history to advance the flaws in our natures. It’s no different than ISIS or the Taliban.

We have strived forever to really create equality and it is no small thing to continue this. Supremacists want our country to be what early colonists escaped from in Europe. Meanwhile, all the people they have forever hated – blacks, Jews, Italian-Irish-German Catholics, anyone dark skinned native or oriental –one can’t even name all their hatreds. If we aren’t them, we are nothing. Maybe one day we’ll get rid of tyranny.

William Faulkner once said, probably about the South, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” But it does belong in a museum where all can study the rights and wrongs.

EILEEN O’TOOLE
Grand Junction

Proton radiation another viable treatment option for prostate cancer

On Tuesday, The Daily Sentinel carried an article from the AP discussing the current thinking about the pros and cons of two of the choices for men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer. The options compared were “watchful waiting,” monitoring with additional testing and biopsies, versus radical prostatectomy (surgery to remove the cancerous prostate). The article, probably quite accurately, described the risks and benefits associated with the surgery: a likely cure for the cancer but about a 15 percent chance of impotence and 17 percent chance of incontinence.

To print this article suggesting that these are the options seriously shortchanges readers in not telling them that there are several other viable treatment options, and one in particular, with a higher “cure rate” and far less risk of collateral damage in the form of impotence, incontinence or secondary cancers. This much-better option is proton radiation and, even though the nearest treatment facility offering it is 800 miles away at Loma Linda Adventist University Hospital, dozens of Grand Valley residents have had their prostate cancer treated and cured by this remarkable medical technology. There are now 26 institutions around the country offering this treatment, including many top-ranked universities and cancer treatment centers.

If you or someone you care about has received a prostate cancer diagnosis please know that there is an excellent choice available to you beyond living out your years with cancer and undergoing years of additional biopsies or risking a greater than 30 percent chance of major, life-changing surgical side-effects. There’s lots of information about proton therapy online or ask any of the 40 -plus men in the area who have had this treatment. Unlike the guys whose surgeries left them with much reduced quality of life you’ll find the proton patients (and their wives) anxious to share their experiences.

JERRY NORTON
Grand Junction

North to University Avenue name change is perplexing

The name change of North Avenue to University Boulevard is perplexing. To begin with, the university graces a very small fraction of those four miles. Wouldn’t a smaller street with more university presence (12th Street *cough) make more sense? Further, the CMU20000 initiative will succeed. Changing the name of a street, however, contributes nothing to this end. It seems questionable the City of Grand Junction would consider spending its resources on a project that offers no real tangible change besides traffic stops for the installation of signage.

This unfortunately seems to be their proclivity. Case in point: the deterioration of District 51 infrastructure. The Sentinel has written several articles on how these buildings are suffering, and have been for years. The use of $22,000 towards this would have an immediate, concrete outcome. It would have a decisive, positive impact not just for those of lower education, but also for the future members of the CMU20000. I suppose Mr. Lucero’s “bucket list” outweighs the true needs of the community.

SCOTT GOEBEL
Palisade

Legislators need to take heed of study regarding fracking

Fracking in the oil and gas industry seems to be taking front-page news again in our state and community. Our legislators, local and statewide, need to take heed of the following study.

“Fracking is linked to sinusitis, fatigue and migraines. People living closest to hydraulic- fracturing sites are 49% more likely to have sinusitis and migraines…88% more likely to have sinusitis and fatigue…95% more likely to have migraines and fatigue…and 81% more likely to have all three symptoms, compared with people living far from fracking sites.”

This is a reprint from Bottom Line Personal, Aug. 15, 2017. It’s a study of 7,785 participants led by researchers at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

ERNIE HUMPHREY
Grand Junction

We must support and elect leaders who promote unity and renounce hatred

General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander of forces in Europe in World War II. In 1952 he was elected president of the U.S. In his book “Crusade for Europe” he wrote of his first experience seeing a Nazi concentration camp. “The same day (April 12, 1945) I saw my first horror camp. It was near the town of Gotha. I have never felt able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency. I am certain…that I have never at any other time experienced an equal share of shock. I visited every nook and cranny because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify firsthand about those things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda….”

Six million European Jews were systematically put to death and five million others executed for their race, beliefs, or other reasons. It is estimated a total of 60 million people lost their lives during World War II as a direct result of the actions of Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany and his allies. What would Eisenhower and his fellow World War II veterans, who liberated people from Nazi concentration camps and went on to win the war, think of the spectacle of Neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, Virginia with flags bearing the swastika and chanting, “Jews you will not replace us?”

And what of the white supremacists/KKK at Charlottesville who want to expel, enslave, or once again segregate African Americans? Between 1882 and as late as 1968, 3500 African Americans were lynched in the U.S. In just the three years between 1868 and 1871, it is estimated the KKK was involved in more than 400 lynching. These horrific acts were done in the name of white supremacy.

Let’s get this straight, the white supremacists/KKK in Charlottesville were not there to merely protest the removal of a statue; that was a pretext to spout their hate.

This situation cannot be allowed to stand. Our progress toward fulfilling one of the most sacred creeds of this country that “all men are created equal” must not be jeopardized. We can never forget what hate has done in the past. We must support and elect leaders who promote unity, who appeal, as Lincoln said “…to the better angels of our nature” and renounce bigotry and hatred without equivocation.

MAX STITES
Grand Junction

Volunteers, public safety professionals should be commended following incident in Moab

A friend and colleague of mine, Frank Jarman, was visiting us in Grand Junction before a Public Safety Conference in Denver. On Aug. 11, we went to Arches National Park in Moab. We were on the Delicate Arch hike in Arches just after lunch and at the one-mile mark we came up on family visiting from India. The father was in distress, in early stages of heart attack from our best guess; they said someone was on the way down to get help. It was clear to Frank and me that his condition was not good and I decided to dial 911. Living out here and as a frequent visitor to the park, I knew that there is no service in much of the park and especially down in the canyon bottoms.

I climbed up higher trying to get a signal to dial 911, and after a couple failed attempts due to coverage issues I got through to Grand Co. 911, who collected my information and GPS coordinates while dispatching resources from Grand County EMS, the National Park Service and the local air medical crew. While I was on the phone with dispatch the man went into seizure and thankfully there were other hikers who were either nurses, EMTs, or simply good Samaritan people who were all helping as best as they can, and began administering CPR while the professionals were en route.

Between the volunteers and EMS, they worked on him for an hour, and we were there through it all, watching, praying, and helping. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it, family far from home, losing a husband, father, and grandfather in a foreign land. It had to be heartbreaking for them, and being there myself, it was pretty tough to watch and experience for the many who lent a hand and witnessed it.

I’ve been involved with public safety for most of my professional life and I am always amazed and impressed with those folks who get up each day and answer the bell. Equally impressive were the volunteers who stepped up with water, shade, comfort and care. Total strangers but bonding together in trying to save another’s life. Though it didn’t end as we would have hoped, this was a prime example of why we have 911 and public safety services. I want to make sure that those involved who took the call, responded, and gave it their best effort are thanked for what is a very tough job. They were incredibly professional, thoughtful, and caring when it was clear how things were going to end.

STEPHEN FULLERTON
Grand Junction

Thanks to Norris and McArthur for voting against North name change

Our collective hats off to Phyllis Norris and Duncan McArthur in voting against the name change of North to University. Norris noted that if the issue went to a vote most voters would not agree to it. We believe that too. Why not give the voters a chance to agree or not? We fail to see how this renaming adds to the image of Grand Junction such that CMU magically expands to 60,000-student population and visitors somehow determine that Grand Junction is really a big modern city, and thus will drop tons of dollars here. Simply mystifying! North has historical significance; University does not.

CREIGHTON AND GLORIA BRICKER
Grand Junction

Urge the BLM to mandate strong adherence to state laws on oil and gas emissions

Grand Valley residents who value the views, watershed, air quality and wildlife in and around Whitewater south of Grand Junction are prudent to take note of the FRAM proposal to drill 108 oil wells. Yes, right there in our back yard.

Given the history of fracking throughout the country, I cannot welcome the threat and very real potential of infiltration knowing that accidents do happen. Drilling companies are not legally required to tell us the “recipes” of the chemicals they pump into our land, but it only has to seep into our streams and underground water one time to change the nature of the drinking water for 60,000 residents of the City of Grand Junction. The process of harvesting what the BLM itself calls a “low development potential” area ultimately produces methane and ozone precursors, which affect the Grand Valley air quality, which is already challenged during winter inversions and spring/summer outdoor burning. In other words, in the big picture of oil production, the Whitewater Unit doesn’t have the potential of contributing a significant amount of oil, but it can still seriously degrade our tap water, the air we breathe, the views we treasure and wildlife activity. It is predicted that FRAM would utilize millions of gallons of our pristine “first use” drinking water every year.

In 2006 and 2007 the City of Grand Junction passed important watershed ordinance and regulations to protect our precious water. You can read them at http://www.gjcity.org/residents/water-services/watershed-protection/ Let’s hope they follow through in their comments to the BLM regarding the proposal to drill.
I urge the BLM to mandate very strong adherence to Colorado state laws on oil and gas emissions to protect our health. You can do your part by sending your comments to the BLM at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

BARBARA LEE

Grand Junction


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