Email letters, August 7, 2014
Markey’s views on preserving PERA a positive in Treasurer campaign
I am writing to commend the Daily Sentinel for the well-written, and accurate article about Betsy Markey, and her views on preserving the Colorado Public Employers Retirement Association (PERA).
How refreshing it is to finally hear from someone who is positive about the status of PERA, and how well it has done in its history. Most people in Colorado are getting sick and tired of hearing Walker Stapleton constantly attacking PERA, and not giving PERA credit for its success. Markey understands how important PERA dollars are to the local economies. She knows how Senate Bill 10-1 has put the employers association on a sound financial future, and how the bill continues to work.
It is a known fact that Stapleton has for four years blasted PERA. He can’t stand the fact that PERA has had returns for the past two years of over 12% and 15% when the projection was 7.5%.
According to Stapleton, the taxpayers of Colorado are on the hook for bailing out PERA, when he knows that less than 2% of the state budget supports PERA.
What is good about Markey is that she is campaigning on what is now, not like Stapleton who wants to believe what he wants PERA to be.
I am asking Colorado voters to support Markey for the office of Colorado Treasurer. Colorado committees will all benefit from the millions of dollars that PERA members put in local businesses, we all benefit from PERA success.
RON STONEBURNER, JR.
Markey’s dubious logic would be disastrous in Treasurer position
With regard to your profile on Wednesday of Betsy Markey (State Treasurer challenger defends PERA), Markey seemed to spend the entire interview attacking Walker Stapleton without advancing a single policy position of her own. Perhaps this is because her track record leaves much to be desired.
As a member of Congress, Markey didn’t just vote for Obamacare; she called it “the biggest deficit reduction bill to come before Congress in more than a decade.” Putting someone with such dubious logic in charge of Colorado’s public finances would be nothing short of disastrous for the state.
County’s use of chip and seal ruins roads
Why does Mesa County take otherwise good roads and apply this mess called chip and seal? I can’t find a good reason on their website that convinces me that chip and seal is even necessary.
The mess it creates just doesn’t seem to be worth it. There is loose gravel everywhere and Mesa County doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to clean it up. Also, I bike to work and have to ride over
this chip and seal on the way and it’s not a very comfortable ride compared to the nice smooth surface of the previous road condition.
In addition, in many areas of Orchard Mesa where I live, the County doesn’t finish the job on certain streets by putting on the top layer of liquid asphalt that seals in the loose gravel that they previously laid. This creates even more loose gravel on those streets that get the additional top layer of the liquid asphalt. What’s up with that?
I just have to shake my head. Is chip and seal just created to give the Mesa County street workers something to do during the summer? I’m from Wisconsin where the winter road conditions are much worse than they are here and chip and seal is nowhere to be found. No more chip and seal in Mesa County, please.
Markey lacks qualifications for State Treasurer position
When Betsy Markey was in Congress, she voted for Obamacare, Cap-and-Trade, and the failed so-called “stimulus.” Her constituents sent her packing after a single term, but President Obama was quick to reward her with a plum administration job.
Markey is a career politician who serves at the behest of national Democrats, not the people of Colorado. The State Treasurer’s office is critically important for Colorado’s financial future. Other than being a life long politician and bureaucrat, Markey has zero qualifications to hold this office.
It is critical that we re-elect Walker Stapleton to the office of State Treasurer.
Delta residents thrilled about Avalon Theatre project
For all of the colorful politics in the small city of Grand Junction, it’s a dynamic municipality that is a delight to visit. It offers venues for sports, trails for the health conscious, park and recreation facilities for families, varied retailers for shoppers and some truly one-of-a-kind restaurants. These venues can likely stand on their own against any city of similar size.
As long time Delta residents, we are frequent visitors to Grand Junction. We have felt that one venue was sorely missing in your city: a performing arts center. Following a recent tour of The Avalon Theatre project we are convinced that this deficiency is being corrected.
A thoroughly knowledgeable Development Director, Robin Brown, led us through the progress in renovating The Avalon, and we were utterly astounded. We first noticed how carefully costs were considered. There is no extravagant seating, gilded fixtures, Italian marble floors or imported statuary.
Yet, critical aspects of a fine performing arts center were considered and incorporated. The acoustics, we understand, are remarkable. An advanced wireless connection, for those with hearing aids, is installed. The floor plans were logically considered, reflected in locations of doors, stairs, restrooms and elevators. Rooms of varying size are available satisfying different event demands, and can be used simultaneously. The view from the roof is spectacular.
This is a performing arts center of which everyone in Grand Junction can be proud. We, and likely others, as neighbors, will be attending many events to enjoy a facility of this quality.
The Avalon Theatre is a jewel that belongs to all Grand Junction; there is nothing elitist about this
marvelous building. It will surely profit the sensibilities of souls seeking the beauty of the arts, and in time, we can’t help but think it will profit the city’s bottom line, too.
ALAN & PAULA METCALFE
Reader responds with facts about athletic funding in the Grand Valley
Hopefully this letter will help those uninformed members of the public like Jeanette Wicks, who spread rumors through ignorance via printed letters to the editor. I will give her credit in acknowledging that coach’s salaries are a big expense in providing an avenue for students to participate in programs that help them learn lifelong skills in a variety of environments.
Athletics receives $20,190 for the four local high schools, which amounts to about $866 per sport, including sports for girls. The supply budget has been cut by 60% over the last five years and coaches, student/athletes, and parents must fundraise for supplies and to honor the current schedules for competition.
That $866 will buy about four helmets in football. You can see the challenges for schools that are offering up to 21 activities for students to participate in at their respective schools.
To believe that athletics is a waste of money and has little or no value to its participants really proves a lack of understanding. To perpetuate that lack of understanding in the form of disseminating false information shows a lack of character and goodwill, at the very least.
It is actually shameful for a school board to fund athletics at less than 3/4 of 1% of the total budget for District 51, knowing the value of athletics in the total scheme of educational value.
Senate candidate voices importance of Western Slope involvement in water plan
Thank you to the Daily Sentinel for the timely discussion of water in Wednesday’s edition. During the next session, the legislature will be considering a state water plan. I’ve been attending sessions at CMU’s Water Center and some of the roundtable outreach sessions for the past four years.
We know that 80% of Colorado’s water falls on the Western Slope, but that 87% of Colorado’s population lives on the Front Range. Hydrologists are predicting that Colorado will experience substantial water shortages by 2050. As Jim Pokrandt, a Colorado River District spokesman, said, “The river district is not interested in West Slope agriculture being a sacrifice zone to solve the state’s water problems. As a participant, we’re going to make the point that all sectors have to share the pain.”
It is no surprise that Front Range communities are all looking to the Colorado River for additional water they need. The importance of this issue for the people of Mesa County cannot be overstated.
We need to make sure that water continues to flow down the Colorado in sufficient quantity and quality to keep our local farmers producing peaches and our wineries producing world class wines.
Yet, to the amazement of many who were there, my opponent got up and walked out of a recent briefing by James Eklund, the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and the man who is leading the development of the Colorado Water Plan.
The Western Slope needs a constructive and active presence in the development of the water plan. If he’s not willing to sit at the table, not willing to listen and build relationships with key players, it is hard to see how my opponent will be able to protect our interests.
Candidate for Colorado’s Senate, District 7
The future of energy shifting away from coal, oil and gas
Considerable thought and argument has been going into the viability of mining coal and fracking for oil and gas as the primary energy sources for our country. There is no question that these energy sources are an important part of the economic success of the Western Slope, the state, and the country. To eliminate them is a futile effort.
Some facts, however, seem to be ignored in the discussion and must be considered if an intelligent and workable solution is to be made regarding our energy future.
Electricity will provide the power of the future. In fact, it already is, when you consider all the equipment and devices that draw their power from electricity. The question is, “What is to be the primary energy source when generating electricity?”
Currently, coal and petroleum products are dominant, but that is changing rapidly. Renewable energy sources are experiencing rapid growth as the efficiencies of the systems increase and the costs of installations decrease. Utilities such as Xcel seem to be buying heavily into renewable energy sources both domestic and commercial.
It is possible today, using current technology, to provide 100 percent of domestic home energy needs from solar alone at minimal to no cost. That includes all the energy needed to run your home appliances and to heat and cool your house. As efficiencies in solar collectors increase, you will even be able to power your plug-in automobile. Can you imagine all your power needs coming from sunshine instead of burning fossil fuels?
That being the case, what is to be the future of the coal and petroleum industries? The utilities as they exist today will serve as energy transfer facilities in the future. They will be generating most of their power from non-polluting renewables such as wind, solar, and other means, and use coal and petroleum for times of low or zero renewable production at their facilities.
There will always be coal and petroleum used for its energy, but the size of the industry will depend on its ability to produce minimal or no detrimental effects on the environment in the production and consumption of its product.
It therefore behooves these industries to work tirelessly to improve their product so that they can compete in the future.
If you are a young person looking for a career in the coal industry, you will be spending a lot of your time in the future either looking for work or being out of work. This may already be happening.
ROBERT A. TALLARICO
Writer responds to Don Boyles
Thanks to Don Boyles for once again exemplifying the art of the “fact-free rant” (“Reader disagrees with recently published ‘leftist’ letters”) and for graciously publicizing my previous correspondence.
Because those letters accurately and objectively “fact-checked” the pompous poppycock perpetually perpetrated by local right-wing “bubble heads”, someone at the Sentinel apparently considered that to be a valuable public service.
Despite Boyles’ remonstrations, it remains indisputable that President Obama inherited the largest national debt and annual deficits in our history from his predecessor – along with two wars, the financial crisis, and a near-Depression. Six years later, the vestiges of those crises still haunt our politics – as evidenced by the pending report from the Senate Intelligence Committee documenting torture.
Boyles coyly conflates “water boarding” with “enhanced interrogation techniques” rather than with “torture”. Bush’s lawyers cleverly contorted established legal precedents to argue that “water boarding” was not “torture” – employing legal sophistry after-the-fact to dutifully insulate Bush/Cheney and the CIA operatives involved from potential (but unlikely) criminal liability.
Today, the key fact at issue is whether any useful intelligence was actually gained from “torture” – or whether Cheney and his ilk have been lying to us for over a decade.
Last week, President Obama publicly acknowledged that – in the uncertain aftermath of 9/11 – Bush/Cheney did many things right (implementing plans developed by President Clinton’s counter-terrorism coordinator Richard A. Clarke), but some things wrong.
However, rather than acknowledge and take responsibility for those mistakes, ardent Republican apologists like Boyles insist that “everything is President Obama’s fault” – and confuse his prudent avoidance of disastrous unilateralism with indecision.
Boyles’s most revealing “tell” is his “FoxNoise” false claim that “Obama has abandoned our key allies like Israel” – belied by $3 billion a year and $225 million more for “Iron Dome” last week.
Veteran thanks community for honoring at Rockies game
I want to thank the people of the Grand Valley and the Grand Junction Veteran Administration Medical Center for the way they have treated me as a veteran. I was honored on July 6 at the Grand Junction Rockies Game. I want to thank the community for the way I was treated at that honoring. It was nice to be praised after all these years.
Reader responds to abortion debate
There has been considerable talk about abortion by mostly young women lately. God has said that all homo-sapiens life has a spirit installed by the male at conception and that it is sacred. Abortion is considered murder by God and violates one of His ten commandments.
God has also said that all people violate His commandments when they as children come to the age of the knowledge of good and evil.
Knowing this, God prepared a means of receiving forgiveness. A person accepting His son Jesus’ sacrifice of His life on the cross is a way for a person to get forgiveness of their sin by God the Father. If a person does not accept Jesus as their savior then they will come before God in judgment after they die.
Just because a person does not believe God exists does not cause God to cease to exist. God the Father is eternal in Eternity.