Email letters, Feb. 29, 2012

There is enough land for oil shale research

More often than not, The Daily Sentinel takes a level-headed approach to energy. However, the paper’s recent editorial on the Salazar oil shale plan misses the mark.

If anything, the plan opens up too many acres of taxpayer-owned public lands for speculation, including nearly half a million acres in the West. Industry already has access to 265,000 acres of nonfederal lands with oil shale deposits — 200,000 of which are in Colorado. By comparison, Shell’s Mahogany Project, located on private lands in Colorado, takes up a whopping 17 acres. 

Chevron just walked away from 5,000 acres of “prime real estate” for oil shale with backers claiming the land held five billion barrels of productivity worth $500 billion.

Or perhaps the land wasn’t worth much at all.

If 750,000 acres is not enough for speculation, the oil industry will never make oil shale work.

MATT GARRINGTON
Co-Director, Checks and Balances Project
Denver

Where is the story on the airport gate?

There is a term for someone who sells acceptance for financial comfort. This being a family-friendly paper, if not fair and balanced, I will avoid the term. I’ll get right to the point: Where is the fair-and-balanced report on the situation over the gates at the Grand Junction airport that we have been waiting to see for months?”

BOB CASKEY
Grand Junction

Thank you to all who have served and sacrificed for our country

There is absolutely nothing fair about war. It leaves some unscathed, while others forever bear the scars of their experience. This truth came home to me this week like never before. I went to Iraq and came back, all my fingers and toes intact and my mind in one piece. I am home, sleeping in my bed each night, my husband at my side and the smell of fresh coffee every morning to greet me.

My neighbor’s son will never sleep in his own bed again. He’ll never again feel the embrace of his mother’s arms or the share a day at the lake with his father. He’ll never again laugh with friends or marry and have kids. He made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and he will come home only to be laid to rest.

I think about this often or at least maybe more than I should. I think about the fact that people thank me for my sacrifice when I feel I really sacrificed so little compared to those who have given all. People like my neighbor’s son Capt. Ryan P. Hall.

I think about those who have come home missing a part of who they were. Missing an arm, a leg or maybe part of their mind, and I think I didn’t sacrifice anything at all. And when people look at me and thank me with a little tear in their eye, I feel a little guilty about that. I am one of the lucky ones and I did my duty freely. And I would do my duty again if called because I am a soldier and I have sworn to do that for you and for me and for our country. 

I want to say to them, “It’s alright, I’m OK. I had air conditioning, real food and I got to speak to my husband almost every day.” I want to say, “I didn’t get shot at, just the random rocket attack that never hit anything. And I had a bed and a hot shower.” But most of the time I just say “Thanks” or “You’re welcome” because at that moment I don’t know what else to say. 

I’d like to think that that tear, that thank you was not just for me, but for all of us. Each thank you is for all who’ve served. It’s for those whose final trip home was in a box draped with an American flag. And it’s for those of who left part of who they were over there. 

I want to say thank you for your love and support while I was gone. It has been my honor and privilege to serve. Thank you for your love and support for all those who have served.

And Finally, I ask for your prayers for my neighbors.

TRISH BROWN
Grand Junction

Always money for politicians, never for education

I find it interesting that our state lawmakers can make more in daily per diem than most of us make for our wages. In the meantime, there is never enough money to educate our children. Shame, shame, shame!

GARY CONKLIN
Grand Junction

Customer thankful to employees of closing City Market store

On behalf of myself and other customers who have shopped at the City Market grocery store at 1st Street and Orchard Avenue, I would like to express my appreciation for the kind, thoughtful and helpful service that present and former employees gave to me during my 30-plus years of shopping at that store.

Thank you gals and guys. You will be missed.

I wish you all the best in your future employments or retirements.

DOUGLAS C. SAWTELLE
Grand Junction

Move City Market out and Whole Foods in

It is clear that Kroger, aka City Market, is staying with its heartless corporate decision to abandon its loyal customers at its store at 1st Street and Orchard Avenue. Since we can’t convince them to maintain a store there, let’s try to convince Whole Foods to put in a store there. How great would that be?

Whole Foods, are you listening? 

CHUCK BUSS
Grand Junction

Drivers license freeze laws need to be changed

The process of putting freezes on drivers licenses for everything from unpaid fines to back child support is counterproductive from its intent.

Employers today use drivers license possession as a character reflection and credibility issue. Most adequately paying jobs today above the fast food level, require drivers licenses even if the job description does not require driving at all. If you don’t have a license, your not getting a very good job.

I don’t understand how the legal system expects someone to achieve the means to have the income to pay their fines, fees, support payments, etc., if they cannot get a job that pays more than barely basic level living expenses, leaving nothing left over to pay fines and be responsible.

Granted, people (including myself) have put themselves in the position of having to deal with court fines, fees, back child support etc. However the current laws actually prevent solutions to these problems. The system is actually shooting itself in the foot, and not realistically encouraging people to have the ability to solve their problems and pay their fines, and more and more fines go uncollected.

I personally know many people who are unlicensed drivers as a result of current laws, and there are more and more everyday. People will use the term of privilege when it comes to driving, but in today’s society, it is a matter of survival.

For those who blatantly refuse to pay child support or court fines and don’t even try, tougher jail sentences would be a better option. Don’t hobble those of us who want to make an honest effort of turning things around.

M. TODD MISKEL
Grand Junction

Group is thankful for commissioners’ decision

This morning as my kids and I were enjoying some tender green beans from Eagle Springs Organic Farm in Silt (bought at the Carbondale Food Co-op). I was deeply grateful for the BOCC’s vote recently.
 
I was grateful for the vision and commitment of Ken Sack, CEO of Eagle Springs, who saw a neglected piece of land and turned it into a highly productive, state-of-the-art organic farm. And for Bryan Reed and crew at Eagle Springs who care so deeply about growing healthy food for local consumption.
 
I was grateful for all the citizens who responded to and are part of the Roaring Fork Food Policy Council and sent letters, made calls, and showed up to the rally to voice their value of local farming. It was stunning.
 
I was grateful for the respect and thoughtfulness with which the Garfield County Board of Commissioners considered the information and sentiments expressed to them by their constituents. It was an exquisite moment in our local democracy.
 
What local governments do or do not do can make or break community efforts at increasing the availability of healthy local food. The Roaring Fork Food Policy Council will continue to build working relationships across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to support innovative food policies and projects for our region. For instance, we’re working on the use of EBT cards at farmer’s markets, and a Landlink service to hook up available growers with landowners who would like to grow food on their land.
 
We’re past peak oil, and the climate challenges will only increase. Feeding ourselves locally is something we can do more of, and the benefits are guaranteed. If you would like to get involved with the RFFPC, please email or join the Facebook page at Roaring Fork Valley Local Food. Or come on March 21, 5:30pm, to the Basalt Library for our next meetup.
 
And please join us in expressing your thanks to the Garfield BOCC. We all remain in this together.
 
GWEN GARCELON
DAWNE VRABEL
Roaring Fork Food Policy Council



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