Email letters, February 11, 2014

First ‘miracle on ice’ happened in 1960 Olympics

I am so tired of hearing our uninformed national sports and news media recount the 1980 Olympic hockey so-called “miracle on ice” U.S. win over Russia.

Few seem to know of the first true miracle on ice that occurred in the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley. That was when a 100 percent totally amateur part-time player U.S. team won the Olympic gold over a 100 percent totally Russian state-supported, full-time team of professional players who could beat the NHL pro teams at the time.

That Olympic event was the forgotten and first genuine “miracle on ice,” and it took place during the Cold War — a time that was much more dangerous than in 1980.

Grand Junction

More major drug chains must join CVS in barring cigarettes

Recently CVS drugstores announced they are going to stop selling cigarettes.

Like Walgreens and Rite-Aid — the two major drug chains in our area   CVS claimed to have an interest in customers’ health while also selling cigarettes, the leading preventable cause of death, disease, hospitalizations and high medical costs. Any pharmacy that expects to be taken seriously when claiming to be concerned about customers’ health can no longer have its cake and eat it, too.

Selling tobacco products in drugstores has long deceptively associated these deadly products with the healthful image of the pharmacy. As early as 1971, the American Pharmacists Association adopted the position that pharmacies should not sell tobacco products because doing so is antithetical to their role as health care providers.

So, why has it taken 50 years after the surgeon general’s first landmark report indicting cigarettes as the leading cause of lung cancer for drug stores to stop selling them?

Almost all independent pharmacies stopped selling cigarettes long ago, recognizing the conflict of interest inherent in selling health at the back of the store while selling sickness at the front.

Indeed, due to rapid growth of chain drugstores and their driving out of independent pharmacies, a greater percentage of pharmacies sell cigarettes now than did twenty-five years ago.

When there is enough public awareness, though, a travesty such as pharmacies selling cigarettes can come to an end. Walgreens and Rite Aid need to immediately follow CVS’ lead and stop selling tobacco products or lose their credibility as “health care” centers.

In the meantime, citizens may want to take their business to pharmacies that walk their talk about caring for people’s health.

Grand Junction

State of Colorado, not the feds, legally controls rights of way

I applaud the Mesa County commissioners’ decision to find a new county attorney, and we must continue to work together to educate our elected officials at all levels so they understand the Colorado Revised Statutes and legislative jurisdiction on our public lands.

Having a strong legal foundation is the only way to protect our county’s network of legal routes on public lands.  In 2012, under the guidance of the previous county attorney, the county commissioners voted to vacate S. 21.5 Road (Jacobs Ladder Road) on Glade Park. The route had been in place since 1883 and extended to the National Forest and BLM lands for more than 100 years.

According to CRS 43-2-201.1 (4) (a), there must be an 18-month comment period given to the public when vacating a county road that extends to public lands. This was not followed, and the route was illegally closed in the middle of the winter 2012, in three short months.

In 2010, during the BLM’s scoping period for the upcoming 2013 Grand Junction Draft Resource Management Plan, Mesa County adopted 400 miles of county vested interest routes on public lands in the area. 

Although we appreciate all efforts to protect legal public access, review of CRS 43-2-110 reveals that when the county officially expands its secondary network of roads the public must be notified in the newspaper and a public hearing must be held to consider the community’s comments. These steps were not taken, and in order to protect all newly adopted secondary routes we must follow state law.

In January 2014, Sen. Steve King sponsored Senate Bill 14-077. This bill’s first line in my opinion incorrectly states, “Currently, the federal government holds exclusive legislative jurisdiction over land within the state owned and operated by the USFS and the BLM.”  I believe this simply is not true, and the statement should scare every resident in the valley who values its economy and recreation.

The fact of the matter is the federal government holds only a proprietorial interest on 95 percent of the public lands in the state of Colorado.  Per the U.S. Constitution, the state must officially cede (give) exclusive jurisdiction to all newly acquired properties/lands to the federal government.

If our state representatives read CRS Title 3, they would find out that we have not ceded exclusive jurisdiction on any BLM lands or national forests in the entire state. This can also be confirmed in the General Service Administration’s Eisenhower Document that defines federal jurisdiction on all public lands in all 50 states.

These facts reveal that all legal rights of way on public lands are under the authority of the state of Colorado and defined per our state laws.

Public Land Access Association
Grand Junction


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