Email letters, Dec. 10, 2012

Seize the day in tackling problem of water shortage

I am really worried about the water situation here in the Grand Valley. We may be in deep trouble if there isn’t sufficient snow or rainfall this winter. We need to find a solution to make sure there will be enough water for residents next year. Every year more residents move into our area and the need is greater. The time is now to find a solution, not when it is too late. Let’s face it. The reservoirs are way down.

I’m not sure if this is the providence of the city counselors or not, but the local government is responsible in the end. Hurricane Katrina and the last disaster, Hurricane Sandy, are prime examples of the government failing to be prepared. New York had a good week’s notice that a disaster was about to happen and it did nothing. Plenty of water, but no power supply for weeks to fill their needs.

Repairing or building new roads or roundabouts and parks should not be priorities this year. However, maintaining life should be. Our homes and property aren’t worth anything without sufficient water. We must educate our residents to not waste our precious water.

Is the solution to this problem building another reservoir or maintaining deep wells? Let the experts or people with just plain old common sense figure this out now. Don’t wait!

ROBERT G. SMITH

Grand Junction

Top state officials break oath of office over Amendment 64

It would be easy for U.S. Attorney General Holder to obtain a court judgment in short order to nullify Amendment 64: it stands in clear violation of established federal law found to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. But it will be quite a surprise if he does so, as it would signal a complete change of course.

The Obama administration has set an appalling precedent of arbitrary government by giving tacit but unmistakable encouragement to the widespread violation of federal marijuana laws. Seeing the federal government’s inaction in 17 states and the District of Columbia in which medical marijuana was sanctioned, boosters of marijuana have now succeeded in passing laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize recreational use of marijuana and its production and distribution. The attorney general’s inaction and silence speaks volumes.


Those who applaud the Obama administration for turning a blind eye on the rampant trashing of federal law in this instance should think twice about it. The wholesale violation of other laws they feel deserve and demand enforcement may well be overlooked by the next administration that chooses to follow the example set by Holder and the Obama administration. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Why didn’t supporters of legalizing marijuana focus their efforts on changing federal marijuana laws instead of defying them with illegal state laws?


Holder’s violation of his oath of office and the wholesale defiance of federal law are bad enough, but what is more disturbing is the general lack of concern in society at large. Our political leaders – Gov. Hickenlooper, Colorado Attorney General Suthers and others who opposed Amendment 64—are now implementing it and breaking their oaths of office and join the ranks of those violating federal law and the U.S. Constitution.

MIKE MECHAU
Palisade

North Fork Valley outsiders sway leasing issue with BLM

I hope the BLM refrains from rolling over to attempts to halt the North Fork Valley February 2013 gas lease sale.

I live in Paonia just across the street from a lease parcel, and hope that the lease sale goes forward, at least to the next step. We as Americans need to promote the safe and environmentally sound recovery of our national resources. If the gas is here and it’s under federal ownership, we owe it to all Americans to develop that resource.

BLM should not bow down to the wishes and whims of those who say NO. It has done its study and is ready to proceed; we concur. All over the country drilling is proceeding without significant impact. The North Fork Valley is somewhat unique, yes, but that shouldn’t prohibit the process to continue. Everyone believes this or her home is “sacred.”

Ever visit San Juan River Valley where the river flows out of Navajo Lake in New Mexico? It’s great. The valley is somewhat similar to our valley, with a meandering river full of fly fishermen, campgrounds along its banks and just a bit less irrigation. Also, there are plenty of pleasure boats on the lake itself. Another thing you’ll notice if you look hard enough is that there are drill pads everywhere. There is also a great vineyard with winery right in the valley. The winery even has drill holes directly on the premise, but you barely notice them. The grapes and wine are great; there is no negative influence of the drilling and gas production. Please go visit the San Juan Valley.

Recovery of natural resources can exist along with all forms of agriculture and recreational activities all across the USA; the San Juan River valley is just one example.

The BLM should not exempt a portion just because folks protest. I believe the majority of Delta County constituents are pro drilling. The local “vocal” minority and its scare tactics will overwhelm the BLM. The BLM will be overwhelmed by e-mails and calls from outsiders not only to the North Fork but also to Colorado. The BLM should continue with the due process.

As of Wednesday, Nov. 28, 994 people had signed a petition on the White House website which desires to withdraw the gas leases in the valley. Of those, 729 listed their address. Guess how many were from the valley? 195 were from our valley; that’s 27 percent; another 196 (27 percent) were from other areas of Colorado. The remaining signers, the other 46 percent, were all from out of state: New York, California, Washington DC, and other states, even Hawaii. Thus about three-fourth of the signers do not reside in the valley.

This is important.  Last year, when the sale initially came up, word was that 3,000 or so comments were received in opposition to the sale. I think it would be reasonable to assume that the split of comments at that time was similar to that of the White House petition signers. The local “vocal” minority has to rely on outsiders to get any real attention.

Yes, I work for a local energy company; but I can and do speak for myself.  I ask the BLM to please let the process run its course. It’s the right thing for America.

JENS LANGE
Paonia

Overriding TABOR would lead to living in big, dirty city

Several comments about the latest TABOR override proposal appeared in the “letters” section lately. I noticed most were negative. I believe it’s an indicator that it isn’t popular with us ignorant taxpayers out here.

Considering we don’t know what’s best for us, or whether we approve or not, I expect we’ll see it on the ballot next April anyway. And further, if it fails to pass, I expect it, or something like it, will be implemented when they deem it necessary.

This latest plea for a “blank check” only differs from other tax increases in that they can’t tell us what they want the money for because they haven’t dreamed it up yet. But, like other big improvement projects, if the bureaucrats decide we need them, they’ll get done, approval or not, tax revenue or not. The library renovation and the new fire/police buildings are examples of that.

I know transforming Grand Junction into a big city is the lofty goal of the Chamber of Commerce and the local merchants. They envision a metropolis with lots of people and urban sprawl. There are downsides to that, too, such as crime and higher taxes, just to name a few. If we had wanted to keep living that way, we wouldn’t have come here in the first place.

To my way of thinking, voting to override TABOR is to surrender to those who want a big dirty city, only at taxpayer expense. I’m not sure the improvements they’ll eventually dream up are really improvements at all.

AL CARLEY
Grand Junction

Country of yesteryear died on Election Day

The America that I loved and risked my neck for in World War II died Nov. 6 after four years of unrelenting torture.


BOB STRONG  
Montrose

Stop blame game, institute a fair tax on all purchases

Wow, let’s keep on blaming Bush for all of our problems. Not! Let’s look past Bush and see what Clinton started, the “everybody needs a home” project. Even Barney Frank thought it was a wrong idea.

Now let’s look at Obama. What has he and his crony Democrats offered? Nothing. Their only rhetoric is to raise taxes on the rich; this does nothing to help.

We need a fair tax so everybody pays their “fair share,” even those evil rich people and the corporations. You see, these people buy stuff. The corporations need to buy office supplies, equipment and toilet paper.

Since we are in the “let’s be fair” stage of this society, then let’s start with a fair tax on everything we buy.

STEVEN MENZIES

Fruita



COMMENTS

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
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One does not need to assume anything about the breakdown of the 3,000 scoping comment received by the BLM on the leasing of parcels in the North Fork.  BLM has those comments available for review.  The BLM ought to promptly make the comments on the EA itself available as well, and we can settle that matter too.  In the case of scoping comments, a majority of the ones provided by BLM were from the North Fork, Delta and Gunnison Counties.  I prepared a breakdown of them myself, and I still have both the comments and the crunched numbers. 

The idea behind the White House petition is specifically to allow other folks to weigh in on the management of their public lands.  Ironically, when its mostly local oil and gas boosters call us NIMBYs.  When folks weigh in from elsewhere, they call them ‘outsiders.’ 

Well, on that note: What was striking was that the majority of scoping comments that the BLM received in favor of drilling the North Fork were from outside the two counties.  Primarily from Mesa County, a few from Lakewood and Montrose. 

I just attended a meeting packed with locals at the school, over 200 people which is a good turn out for holiday time in a small community.  Over 170 of those joined a local protest of these leases to the BLM. 

The fact is while these are federal public lands that belong to American citizens as a whole, the sentiment in the North Fork itself is certainly very strong, as this protest period is and will continue to demonstrate.

Comment Breakdown-Scoping Comments (prior to first EA)

•48 comments were received from businesses, farms, and agricultural associations asking that the parcels be withdrawn or otherwise expressing non-support for the proposed action. 

•36 comments were received from water companies or water districts, ditch or irrigation companies, or reservoir companies—all raising concerns and asking that parcels be withdrawn.

•22 comments were received from governments, agencies, and bodies—all raise concerns, most ask that parcels be deferred (if management cannot be updated), some raise significant issues involving endangered species and other legal obligations that BLM may be violating. 

•99% of the comment received from organizations, governments, agencies, associations and businesses did not support the proposed action. 

•98% of the comment received from individuals in Delta and Gunnison County did not support the proposed action. 
•97% of the comment received from individuals around Colorado did not support the proposed action.

•96% of the comment received from individuals on the Western Slope did not support the proposed action. 

•70% of the comment received from individuals on the Western Slope EXCLUDING Delta and Gunnison Counties did not support the proposed action.

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