Email Letters: August 31, 2017

CDPHE committed to a fair rulemaking process founded on sound science

I appreciate the engagement of the Rio Blanco County commissioners on the Air Quality Control Commission’s upcoming oil and gas regulatory rulemaking hearing. I want to assure them that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is committed to a fair and impartial rulemaking process founded on sound science, and an open and transparent assessment of the policy implications of potential new air quality requirements.

As Rio Blanco commissioners alluded to in a recent op-ed column, CDPHE, through the Air Pollution Control Division, has proposed a new set of regulatory requirements that apply only in the Denver Metro/North Front Range ozone non-attainment area.

However, the commission has its own independent statutory authority to adopt rules that differ from what the CDPHE proposes, including the geographic scope of the requirements. Likewise, other parties to the rulemaking have the legal right to advance alternate proposals, including in this case proposals that would expand requirements to the rest of the state. But while recognizing that the commission and other parties have independent authority and rights under Colorado law, CDPHE remains committed to the scope of the rule as initially proposed, and does not intend either to modify its proposal to include a statewide component, or support any alternate state-wide proposals that may arise during the rulemaking process.

It was not the intent of the commission’s administrator, Michael Silverstein, to advocate for statewide applicability of the rule. Rather his sole intent was to provide the reporter with information regarding where the rulemaking process stood, including the fact that applying the rules statewide was one possible outcome. Nor was it Mr. Silverstein’s intent to suggest that he was in any way speaking for the commission.

Mr. Silverstein’s role is to ensure that the commission’s procedural rules for rulemakings are strictly adhered to and that the Colorado Administrative Procedures Act is complied with. I can assure you that Mr. Silverstein is acutely aware of the concerns noted by Rio Blanco officials and that this rulemaking hearing will be conducted professionally and appropriately.

LARRY WOLK
Executive director and chief medical officer
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Denver

North name change will upgrade the image of our town

To all of you that suddenly object to the North Avenue name change to University Boulevard, I have a question: This discussion has been going on for over four years and only now you complain?

Were you at the city council meeting on Aug. 16? It was published. You had notice. If you had been there you would know that CMU graphic arts students have offered to help businesses make stationery and business card changes for little or no cost, (or make the changes on your computer), that the chamber and post office will assist in making the address changes as needed and that this name change does not go into effect until March 2018. The post office will then still continue to deliver mail that is addressed to North Avenue for another full year. That gives everyone at least 18 months to get things changed.

The North Avenue Owners Association has worked long and hard with the city on upgrades and improvements. Many business owners have taken advantage of available funds to remodel and make their properties more attractive.

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing but not much on which to base a business decision. Businesses change names, ownerships, and addresses all the time. The city of Grand Junction, GJEP and the Chamber of Commerce are trying to raise the image of this area after a devastating recession. Reality is 99 percent perception in many cases. In this case, University Boulevard gives visitors and interested investors the recognition that we are a university town with an educated work force and the amenities that go with a thriving community.

North Avenue will always be North Avenue in your teen-age memories. Changing a street sign will not change memories. A plaque can be placed recognizing the street’s historical significance but let’s upgrade the image as well as the medians.

SHARON SOLLENBARGER
Grand Junction

Reader appreciates Buchanan’s recent piece, ‘Wine Openers’

I don’t often read the Sentinel’s “Food” articles, but Dave Buchanan’s piece on Aug. 30, “Wine Openers,” was a pleasant exception.

I agree with his general theme that perhaps restaurant wine pricing is getting out of control. OK, drinking wine with a meal imparts (or is portrayed as imparting) a certain elegance, and maybe even sophistication. There’s little question that the industry’s promotions have been successful in separating wine drinkers from the shot-and-a-beer crowd. But, there’s such a thing as too much already, and the painful reality of almost doubling the final bill because of wine is beginning to create an “ouch factor” that tends to take some fun out of eating out.

That said, the article itself was nicely balanced. Assertive but not aggressive. Full bodied but not pushy. Pleasant with no bitter after taste. Satisfying without overpowering the Sentinel’s other offerings. Imparting an unmistakable hint of careful oak barrel aging. Wait – scratch that last sentence!

Well done, Dave.

BUD MARKOS
Grand Junction

Government help for Hurricane Harvey goes against Trump’s latest budget proposal

As you may not know, big government is the enemy. That is why it is extremely disappointing to see our U.S. government participating in the rescue and relocation of people in the Houston and southeast Texas areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. And now, Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants more than $200 billion to help out with the recovery. More big government!

This goes against everything in the last Trump budget proposal that he wants Congress to consider. This budget includes long awaited and significant cuts to FEMA which responds to national emergencies; the Department of Housing and Urban Development which helps rebuild homes, parks, hospitals and community centers; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which helps coastal residents prepare for disaster; the Department of Homeland
Security disaster-relief programs; the National Flood Insurance Program which would make it more difficult for homeowners to get flood insurance and cuts to other disaster agencies too numerous to mention here.

But now the people crying wolf over big government want to develop amnesia and do whatever it takes to save the great state of Texas and their population, many of whom are foes of big government. “We’ll do whatever it takes and spend whatever we need to rescue the great state of Texas.” I can’t believe it.

Isn’t the goal of reducing big government an attempt to make government leaner and more efficient and to get the private sector to step up to the plate? In fact, why not privatize everything? Sure, sticking to the Great U.S. Austerity Program and letting the people of southeast Texas rot would be painful, but going any further with this sympathetic Harvey recovery would be a serious blow to the concept of reducing the all-evil big government. Don’t be weak people.

JIM DENTON
Grand Junction

Consider donating to volunteer force doing rescue work in Texas

I ask people to donate whatever they can to the Louisiana Cajun Navy, an all volunteer force of individuals who are doing incredible rescue work in hurricane-ravaged Texas.

I have been reading their regular updates and watching video of their fine work in Houston. These people are saving lives! Packing up all types of private boats and supplies, these individuals left their homes in Louisiana and went to Texas, going to where they are most needed to rescue those in the flood, a blessing to everyone there.

I have been deeply impressed by this organization; they are evincing love in all they do, people helping people, as it should be. First responders have been inundated with so many thousands needing help; when authorities asked for help, the Cajun Navy came. Truly a godsend, providing rescue where it would not otherwise be during this disaster, having saved hundreds already.

Please donate at http://www.louisianacajunnavy.org and visit their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/LaCajunNavy for updates on their work.

CHRISTINE SMITH

Howard


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