Email letters, February 15, 2013

BLM’s preferred alternative will hurt local businesses

Chamber President Diane Schwenke might want to get the facts before endorsing BLM’s new regional director. The new management plan will have drastic impacts on our local businesses. Please refer to appendix M in the plan to find the following for the BLM’s Preferred Alternative B:

·  • There would be 2,102 miles of roads closed to cars, trucks, camping, fishing, and OHV use (60-65 percent closure rate).

·  • 57 percent of OHV intensive use areas will be closed, popular with our youth, will be reduced from 12,500 acres to 5,400 acres.  The BLM is willing to let the kids ride on 5,400 acres of the 1.2 million they manage. How generous.

The new BLM director is on board with this draft management plan and directed the five public open houses recently in the area. Of the five open houses, three different presentations were given and the public was not allowed to ask questions during the group presentations. I was nearly thrown out for attempting to do so. The entrances of the open houses were heavily guarded with eight or nine armed officers.

Three different sets of closure maps were used during the Grand Junction, Gateway and Fruita open houses. The fact sheets handed out were changed after the Grand Junction open house, based on lack of disclosure and clarity concerning road closures.

The chamber needs to back its local businesses, not the unelected federal agency attempting to close down public lands across the West.

On Friday, March 8, there will be a peaceful public protest outside the Grand Junction Field Office from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  We will meet near Grand Junction Harley at 10 a.m. before the event. The kids are out of school that day, so bring them and your OHVs and we’ll all go for a ride at 27 ¼ Road after the event.

We get one shot to protect our public land access for our kids and grandkids. Let’s make some noise, Grand Junction!

Grand Junction

Commissioners act brashly while NRA dredges up fear

I was surprised and disgusted by the Mesa County Board of County Commissioners’ decision this week to adopt a resolution and send it to the state Legislature in support of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Does the state Legislature really need to hear that Mesa County supports our constitutional rights? The board would have better served the citizens of Mesa County by adopting a resolution to support the right to bear arms, while requesting that the state support a policy to ban future sales of automatic machine and hand guns designed for military purposes and to support thorough background checks at all gun shows.

It is incomprehensible as to how and why the sale of semi-automatic and automatic rifles and hand guns designed solely for military purposes have made their way into millions of households across the United States. As evidence demonstrates, putting more guns onto the streets is creating an epidemic and is only making the situation worse. We didn’t have a serious gun problem 30 years ago.

I recently received two phone calls from the NRA, the first in November, and the second Thursday. The November call asked if I wanted to take a survey, to which I agreed. A short message from Wayne LaPierre played, and the survey person asked me if I supported LaPierre’s message, to which I stated “no.” In short, I was refused the survey despite my pleas to take it.

The call received Thursday was a message from LaPierre stating that “gun owners are under siege by the government.” I quickly looked outside my window to see if my residence was surrounded by the military. The NRA should be part of the solution, yet it is creating a fear that the government is coming after our guns.

I urge the board to take a proactive approach to this issue and support gun reform.

Grand Junction

Gaining park status will enhance economy of Grand Valley

The growing support to designate the Colorado National Monument a national park is not “just a request for a simple name change,” but more importantly it is “just a great opportunity” to showcase the scenic vistas and beautiful panoramas of the Grand Valley while improving the health of our local economy.

This single community action could potentially add millions of dollars to boost our economy in ways that few others could. We believe it might be the most effective and least costly way to improve the economic vitality of the area that has come our way in the last hundred years without any significant negative impact to our environment and our western way of life.

When economies are booming, resources such as national parks aren’t usually the focal points for significant economic opportunity. Today we find ourselves in a different situation with high unemployment, a shrinking job market and limited ways to grow our economy responsibly.

Our Colorado National Monument currently injects an estimated $21 million per year into the local economy; however, other nearby national parks including Arches near Moab ($108 million), Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado ($70 million) and Rocky Mountain near Estes Park ($300 million), for example, generate 50 to several hundred million dollars more for their local economies annually because they have national park status and support, including national and international exposure and promotion.

Many tourists who visit several of these nearby national parks fly into Grand Junction and pass right by our Colorado National Monument (taking their tourist dollars with them) simply because it is not designated a national park. They simply don’t know it’s here for their enjoyment.

If our national monument were to be designated a national park, the Grand Valley could capitalize on an opportunity that is already here. We believe that as a community, if we act now with personal responsibility and respect for protecting our environment, we can preserve our quality of life while helping to sustain our future.

John Otto, the first custodian of the Colorado National Monument, wrote in 1907, “I came here last year and found these canyons, and they feel like the heart of the world to me. I’m going to stay and build trails and promote this place, because it should be a national park.”

Now is the time to fulfill his dream.


Nonsecular Catholic Church doesn’t follow worldly trends

Ruth Marcus is missing a very important point in her commentary of Feb. 13, namely: The Catholic Church is not a secular organization and does not follow secular worldly trends and values. “Secular justice” includes same sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia and women priests. All of these are opposed to divine justice and values. Remember what Jesus said to Pontius Pilate (reference to Jesus’ passion before his resurrection): “My Kingdom is not of this world.”

The Catholic Church is, has been and will always remain spiritual. Unlike, Islam, a theocracy in which there is no separation of church and state, the Catholic Church made the distinction of separation between church and State long time ago: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

The religious women who want to be priests do not have a problem with the pope. They have a problem with He who instituted the priesthood – Jesus Christ. They also have a problem with the Catholic Church; check the catechism of the Catholic Church #1577 and #157. I’m surprised that these women do not remember that the priesthood is a spiritual calling and not a secular job to which you can apply and feel entitled to have.

If the religious women want to institute secular rules, rules that they consider fair according to the world, then they should set up their own system and stop calling themselves Catholic nuns. There are plenty of good organizations made up of good secular women with their own rules and services.

I’d say: Just do it; leave and be happy. Why stay in the Catholic Church if they oppose its spiritual rules and values? Just go; don’t worry.

The Vatican will not send cops or police to remove them. They have removed themselves as per their own conscience and free will.

Grand Junction

Feds must stop irresponsible spending

I think the following figures are correct. In any case, they accurately illustrate the problem.

Annual U.S. tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000;
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000;
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000

Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000.

If we remove eight zeros from each figure, it resembles a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700
Money family spends annually: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710

Total budget cuts so far: $38.50.

Can our government really not know that this is a recipe for disaster? Yes, the government can print money to forestall bankruptcy, but soon even China will quit buying our debt. Or, the government can increase taxes on an already overburdened citizenry, and eventually many productive citizens will just quit working and enter the welfare system. Or it can, as the hypothetical family would have to do, declare bankruptcy and default on its debts.

I don’t want to think that our leaders are deliberately trying to crash our economy, but neither do I want to think that they’re dumb or spineless. Yet they continue to buy votes by handing out freebies (phones, food stamps, extended unemployment, rent assistance, heating assistance, cash for clunkers, mortgage payments, medical care and schooling for illegal immigrants, grants, welfare, foreign aid, etc.) while raising taxes on those of us who are constantly working to support people we don’t even know.

Well, we’re tired of it. Note to Washington: Cut the spending!


Conservatives insist that lower 47 percent must continue to suffer

The Daily Sentinel editors’ posture on President Obama’s address has to leave many readers mystified and in a qualmish state, if not in a quandary.

The editors insist on a negative austerity program, knowing full well the negative aftermath of such programs in Europe. It is as if conservatives are hoping and praying for a state of decline, only to prove that an economic decline will occur unless what they say has to be done is done. Conservatives continue to insist that the lower 47 percent has to suffer greatly to get the “correct economic correction.” Aren’t they trying to perpetuate their own prophecy?

You have to wonder whether the editors ever listened to President Reagan’s admonishments.  “Look at your own household,” he said. An extension would have been to look at your own community. If they had listened, they would have to ask themselves, “Where would we be, where would our community be if CMU had gone into an austerity program instead of a full-speed-ahead development program? Where would we be if economic development people had not decided to push forward after Black Sunday?“ Both CMU and those working in economic development have received praise and accolades for their accomplishments.

Are the editors so blind that they do not see middle-of-the-road compromises and solutions, or are they just pleasing their base by continuing to flog and scourge Obama?

The general populace has had a hard time getting through the economic effects of Black Sunday and the Great Recession. Yet conservatives still insist that the lower 47 percent still has to suffer more in order to obtain a “correct” economic correction. Their stance is that the government has to spend less to assure the above correction of suffering in order to assure a better beginning. That is not exactly a better tomorow.

Mars or Venus, I say neither. The Daily Sentinel editors have to come from a more obscure planet.

Grand Junction



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