Email letters, December 26, 2013

Master Sgt. takes Ryan to task for budget deal

All politicians are snakes, ready on a moment’s notice to strike, taking out even the most ardent supporter. As proof, there’s Congressman Paul Ryan.

Although Ryan was once believed a staunch ally of conservatism, his budget deal reveals whom he really is and the stench of betrayal is too strong to ignore. The deal he brokered with Democrats was praised as a great bipartisan breakthrough and a necessary compromise. But then it came to light that cuts included military pension benefits, and the nation’s veterans see it another way.

A better description of this can’t be written than that of retired Master Sgt. Chuck Wooten in an Arizona newspaper. I urge all who are able to do so to go to the website,, and read his post of Dec. 24. Judge for yourself. It’s well worth the effort.


Grand Junction

City may need to take long look at members of airport board

I have read with interest the complaint by Donna Vanlandingham against the Airport Authority and Rex Tippetts. Without commenting on the veracity of the complaint, it does raise some serious issues. Apparently the FBI, at least, seems to believe there may be some “fire” to go with the “smoke.”

In my one and only interface with Tippetts, I found him to be exceedingly overbearing and a good deal less than truthful. The issue at hand, then, was the loss of free parking for the Patriot Guard and others who came out periodically to welcome veterans coming home.

That aside, and once again stressing “if” the complaint is found to be true, it appears that Tippetts ruled the board with an iron hand and intimidation.  Apparently a couple of board members did not vote for the firing of Tippets. I wonder why?  It would appear, possibly, that the board did less than “true diligence” in going along with Tippetts. If the complaint is found to be true, there is enough “smoke” raised about the Airport Authority Board itself that may need investigation.

I believe the city needs to take a serious look at how this plays out and immediately begin an effort to find a replacement for Tippetts. In a recent article the Sentinel pointed out all the wonderful things Tippetts did to place our airport on the map. While all those wonderful things did occur, it does not mean someone else could not have done, as well, without the allegations of fraud, intimidation and coercion.  I would also recommend to the city that it takes a long look at the board’s makeup and perhaps look for replacements.


Grand Junction

Fracking safely done for decades in both Colorado and Texas

Casey Sheahan, CEO of the innovative clothing company, Patagonia, Inc., believes the process of fracking will damage human health and the environment with consequences for hundreds of years. He points to the chemicals used in fracking that are toxic and cancer-causing. His company and he will contribute financial support for a Colorado ballot issue that will ban fracking statewide.

How long has fracking been with us in Colorado?  I asked Alan Roberts who was raised while a youngster in Texaco’s company town in the Wilson Creek Field north of Meeker. Alan graduated from Meeker High and then Colorado School of Mines, and he spent a lifetime in the energy industry. He believes well over 75 percent of wells were being fracked when he first went to work in his home state in the early 1960s. Colorado has experienced fracking for more than 50 years.

Fracking has been prevalent in Texas on a much greater scale. Fort Worth commissioned a $1 million study completed in 2011 by a Massachusetts firm to document the health effects of natural gas drilling, fracking and production. Hardly any negative effects on its citizens were confirmed in the 320-page report. Ninety-eight percent of emissions were of a low toxicity, and the measured air pollution levels did not reach any levels that cause adverse health effects.

Fort Worth, a city of 730,000, contains within its city limits roughly one well pad containing multiple wells for each 1,300 citizens. Fort Worth should be Sheahan’s laboratory to validate the Armageddon of illness and disease that fracking has inflicted on their citizens. I believe half a century of history will prove him wrong. Sheahan should be equally worried about the cancer-causing chemicals in his Thanksgiving dinner.


Glenwood Springs

Viewer bowled over by so many ‘big’ football games

Are you getting tired of watching football “bowl” games? We now have more than 30 (used to be about six and all on Jan. 1), 

All these games feature some teams that you weren’t even sure they had a football program and a lot of teams with even records. Can you imagine how bad the teams must be that didn’t make it to a bowl?

I expect next year there will be a new one called the Toilet Bowl that will feature the two best teams to not win a game!  Happy “bowling,” everyone.

Grand Junction

States lack funding, resources to fairly manage public lands

There is a growing movement to transfer responsibility of our public lands from the federal government to state government. It is important for me to suggest that we all think a little more deeply on this issue and realize what a mistake this transfer would be.

We all agree that the federal government has been dropping the ball on protecting our constitutional rights and stumbling amidst its own ineffective bureaucracy, but the management of public lands is one of the few things it does well.

State governments do not have the funding or resources to take over responsibilities for such large areas of public land. Soon the states would begin to sell public land to the private sector.

Can you imagine what kind of corrupt “good ol’ boy” systems that would arise from this? The access we now all have to these lands would disappear. Recreation would be a series of locked gates and “no trespassing” signs. Hunting would he changed to standing in line for tickets to “Bubba’s Blast a Bull’ caged animal shootings. Places that we now enjoy camping with the family will then be locked away by some rich Texan using our land for personal gain.

Please consider this.


COPECO dance hall story evokes memories for Hap Harris musician

Your article on the COPECO dance hall brought back several memories from the early 1950s. I graduated from high school in 1951 and Mesa Junior College in 1953. Most Saturday nights were spent in the various dance halls in the area (Clifton, Loma, Collbran and the COPECO). There was even an open-air ballroom just west of 1st Street north of North Avenue.

I wasn’t a fan of western music and avoided most dances with that music. I was surprised to read that so many western bands played the area. I don’t remember many in the period from 1950 through 1953. During 1953 I played trumpet and my wife played piano for a band named Hap Harris, and we frequently placed the COPECO. Our music was very up-tempo, and there were no slow tunes played there. I last played at the COPECO the last Saturday of September 1953 and reported for induction in the Army Oct. 1.

The COPECO was very rough and rowdy until a man named Warner (?) ran the place. There was still a lot of alcohol consumed, but the fighting was controlled. I am not sure of his name, but he later had a kids’ program on KREX television.




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Floyd trots out the old industry argument that fracking is old and used for a long time. But it has evolved far beyond what “old timers” remember i.e. a distinction can be made between conventional or low-volume hydraulic fracturing used to stimulate high-permeability reservoirs to frac a single well, and unconventional or high-volume hydraulic fracturing, used in the completion of tight gas and shale gas wells as unconventional wells which are deeper and require higher pressures than conventional vertical wells. The former often using HORIZONTAL breaking of rock in vertical wells and the latter using VERTICAL breaking of rock in horizontal wells.

Floyd’s touted study did not look for VOC’s of methylene chloride, ethylbenzene, toluene, or xylene. The later 3 being the rest of the BTEX group. THE STUDY DID NOT DO HEALTH SCREENING to determine if there were health effects and only measured against “The primary environmental regulation that would apply to natural gas extraction sites is TCEQ’s oil and gas “permit-by-rule”. This regulation is in the Texas Administrative Code and sets criteria for air permitting, based on the amount and type of emissions from a given facility.” EVEN THEN, they found, “Based on the emission rates that ERG calculated for this project, five sites—a processing facility, three compressor stations, and one well pad—had overall emission rates that exceed regulatory thresholds that are supposed to trigger certain permitting requirements.” 
That study looked only at air quality. Although it found, by the standard guides the study used, no significant health threats beyond setback distances, it recommended additional emission-control equipment and enhanced inspection and monitoring at natural gas sites.

However, prior to that study, citizen concerns that triggered Ft Worth to commission the 2011 study was the finding of the problems in Dish, TX of high benzene levels from their wells and compressor stations.;=/news/health

Finally, the study did not look at the results of health and damage caused by the ozone these hydrocarbons create. And this study just discarded the lighter hydrocarbons (98% as they estimated), even though they too are precursors of ozone.

Yes Floyd, even though your construction company may make money off the industry, it is a corruptor of air quality with cancer causing chemicals. And, many people ARE equally concerned about that as well as the turkey and other poor food producing practices that are growing as fast as the air pollution.

Merrit P. Dismant… Thank You! That was fun to read. (Allen Burns)

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