Email letters, August 5, 2014

County not responsible for fixing 38 Rd. traffic issues

Well it’s already started. People are asking the county to fund improvements to 38 Rd because of the increased traffic.

Let’s be clear, the county didn’t designate the Fruit and Wine Byway. Businesses along the route began calling that stretch of road the Fruit and Wine Byway to help increase their business. They noted the byway on tourism maps, and then asked the county to designate the byway as the Fruit and Wine Byway. The county declined.

At the time the request was made, commissioners voiced concerns that the road was already too dangerous and we didn’t need to make the problem worse by encouraging more traffic, especially when it is stop and go traffic and a mixture of automobiles and bikes. While we couldn’t prohibit the group from printing maps to help promote their businesses, we were very clear that if they created traffic or safety problems as a result of their “byway” promotion they shouldn’t expect the county to fix their problems.

This group of individuals wanted to post signs along this stretch of road and told the county they would raise the money to purchase the signs themselves. But further review of the county code revealed that these types of signs in the right of way would be a violation of the county code, which only permits directional signage (defined in the code as entrance and exit types of signage). I pointed this out to staff and assumed the matter was settled. Imagine my surprise to get an invitation to the ribbon cutting ceremony after the signs had been installed.

So if 38 Road is a disaster it is the people who created the problem, not the county, who should be financially responsible to fix the problem. When other businesses develop and expand they are required to pay for the costs of necessary traffic improvements. This case should be no different. This group of businesses should not expect special treatment.

Grand Junction

Reader disagrees with recently published ‘leftist’ letters

There must have been a fairly recent change in editorial staff at the Sentinel. In recent months, the Sentinel seems willing, even compelled, to print letters from the likes of the local radical leftist affectionately referred to on the Sentinel website as “Buffaloed Bill” Hugenberg. It is difficult to imagine what purpose the Sentinel might have in printing letters like his latest in-the-tank-for-Obama, delusional, non-fact based rant, whereby after almost 6 years into Obama’s term, he still blames everything on George Bush.

Surely the Sentinel must receive frequent letters from many of their more intelligent readers that contain actual facts, as opposed to mere personal misguided ideology. Hugenberg’s letter alleges “war crimes” against Bush and Cheney and conflates torture with enhanced interrogation, which was determined to be not only in America’s best interest at the time, but also to be legal.

I, for one, am very thankful to the Bush / Cheney administration. They were an administration that was willing to make tough decisions to protect Americans, as opposed to engaging in the long, drawn out dithering process that we have seen with the Obama administration. Red lines were drawn, only to be erased or, even worse, blamed on the American people.

The Obama administration frequently responds to all challenging situations with empty platitudes and vague statements such as “Let me be clear,” ” Make no mistake,” “There will be consequences,” or “There will be costs,” all clearly devoid of any potential consequence. These are all statements made to buy time, avoid actual decision-making and to avoid any level of actual engagement in conflicts vital to the American people and the rest of the world.

Obama has abandoned our key allies like Israel, while emboldening our enemies with this feckless, undefined foreign policy. He is presently risking the health, safety and financial stability of all Americans with a reckless, ideologically driven immigration policy, crafted more to garner votes than to protect Americans or defend the US Constitution.


Grand Junction

EPA Clean Power Plan a positive for Colorado

The headline in the Sentinel’s July 30th issue stated, “Air Rules Stir Heated Debate.” However, what I experienced Tuesday the 29th in Denver was nothing but positive. Hundreds of mothers with their children walked up steep steps to the bridge over the rail yards carrying positive signs for the new EPA Clean Power Plan. The group stood in the noonday heat cheering while speakers representing different groups gave their reasons for approving the new safeguards.

One of the speakers was a fireman who had worked on our horrendous fires and floods in Colorado. He said that we could find ways to train workers in clean energy jobs with the new safeguards.

Colorado solar companies employ close to 4,000 Coloradans. In 2012, private investment from installing solar in Colorado homes and businesses totaled $187 million. Wind energy companies are growing in Colorado and expect to add 1,000 more workers in 4 Colorado cities. A solar company in Colorado, GRID Alternatives, was granted money by the Energy Office to provide job training to workers and volunteers. This is what we need in Colorado.

Power plants have been allowed to dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air and cost Colorado over 600 million in federal disaster aid in 2011 and 2012, to cover the cost of extreme weather events.

The Clean Power Plan gives each state targets to help cut overall carbon pollution from power plants by 30% from 2005 levels by the year 2030. States can create their own plan for meeting the targets in different ways, including energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Wednesday, July 30th, I and another speaker from Citizens for Clean Air gave our testimony in Denver. The new carbon pollution safeguards will help us breathe cleaner air and be healthier for it.


Grand Junction

Money should be spent on school supplies, not athletic programs

I get angry every year when I hear that the school children are in need of basic supplies like pencils and crayons. The begging on the news and at stores seeking supplies donated by the Rotary is disgusting when one considers the following:

1. The huge sums spent on athletic coaches for football, basketball, hockey, track, and so on.

2. The trips for these “few” stars (mainly boys). These are trips to destinations that cause the athletes overnight in expensive hotels, eating in restaurants at taxpayer expense. The cost of gas, bus drivers and guardians usually paid overtime or a special rate is sheer stupidity.

3. Next is the expense of prepping football fields: mowing, seeding, watering, and cleaning the bleachers are, again, costs paid by taxpayers.

Are we running a sports school for a handful of jocks? I thought we were a facility teaching reading, writing, math, science, music, and more.

How much of the school budget goes to maintaining these sports? They should not be a part of an educational system.

We have students that are way behind the rest of the world in most subjects. We have large class sizes, poorly paid teachers and an overly expensive sports program.

I agree that students need exercise, but what happened to gym class? What happened to intramural teams? Has our school board lost sight of the purpose of an educational system meant to help all? It is not meant to just support a few jocks that will end up with lifetime medical problems as they grow old, due to parents allowing their children to become battering rams for the glory of the school.

What happens to these battered kids later in life? Do they limp in to adulthood with bad knees, broken arms, ankles, and twisted necks? Watch the number of boys on crutches in the cafeteria and you will note the damage done to their bodies.

Now, back to the topic of buying supplies for the school. The money spent on sports should be diverted to buying school supplies and should not be used for expensive sports programs, coaches and fancy games away from Grand Junction.

Get real. Run an educational system, not a sport-training program for want-to-be NFL players.

Grand Junction

Paid family leave insurance would benefit both Colorado employers and workers

This week marks the 21st anniversary of the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which small business owners continue to support because they believe family leave policies are good for their employees and their bottom lines.

Unfortunately, Colorado’s family leave program only provides unpaid leave, which is a problem for many workers who cannot afford to miss a paycheck, and small employers that are unable to offer a paid program.

Paid family leave insurance would allow Colorado workers to contribute to a state-administered insurance program that would help provide paid leave to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Workers would contribute a small weekly premium (about $2 per week) to the program, which would help replace between 66 percent and 95 percent of the worker’s wages while on leave.

Employers do not have to pay an employee’s wages while on leave, which means employers would see a cost savings during that time, while also giving them the peace of mind that they’re doing what’s best for their workers.

Colorado Outreach Manager, Small Business Majority


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I note the degradation of the education system in America due to social changes and loss of many programs. So many single parents reducing the positive influence of a “both parent” family. The secondary programs such as music, art, and athletics affect our young people in many ways. I have found that “jocks” of either gender tend to be more confident and capable in their life adventures. Our military suffers because so many rural applicants no longer exist bringing the “shooting and hunting” skills that transfer to a good soldier and save many lives. Teachers and Administrations salaries are up, yet we see fewer results in the educating of our school children. We do see stellar results from home schooled children? hmmmmm. so how about a tax credit so Mom or Dad can afford to stay home and school their children equal to the money we seem to be wasting sending our children to schools that don’t seem to be making a difference? Would we be creating good “citizens” and making a better community that I hear so many espouse to in arguing school issues.
Mr. Bright

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