Email letters, February 21, 2013

Bring John Otto’s vision of national park to fruition

The Grand Valley is graced with awesome sandstone towers and canyons minutes from western Colorado’s largest and most diverse communities of Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade.

It is called “The Monument.”  The question asked by most new visitors to the Colorado National Monument is, “Where is ‘The Monument,’ you know, the pile of rocks with a statue on it?”

The name “monument” is not only confusing, but also costly. International travelers already land at Grand Junction Regional Airport, then head straight to Arches and other canyon-themed national parks. Guides and travel books promote national parks and often do not list monuments in their tours of the West.

National park status for Colorado National Monument will add millions of dollars to western Colorado’s lagging economy, which has the highest unemployment of the 12 major economic centers of Colorado.

The Grand Valley is proud of our art-filled downtown and our expertly grown fruit, wine and crafted spirits. We tout flowing and technical mountain bike trails. Colorado Mesa University provides high-quality education and unique experiences to students.

If western Colorado adds a new national park to our list of highlights, it will bring more acclaim and more visitors to buy wine, enjoy fine meals, warm up after a day of skiing, tune or upgrade a bike, spend a night under the stars or in high-rise hotels or take on challenging semesters to earn accreditation.

“The Monument” is there because of founder, climber, trail builder and promoter John Otto’s desire to share the canyons, towers and amazing views with the American public. We honor his legacy and efforts by making his dream a reality. The Grand Valley will realize the overwhelming economic benefit that only national park status will bring.

National park status for the monument will be a great offering to western Colorado and the world—as its founder and creator John Otto intended.

Grand Junction

Bill Grant unqualified to analyze Enefit’s oil shale testing

For whatever reason, Bill Grant can’t seem to help but write columns on topics that he knows little about.

This week he decided to cherry pick from a Salt Lake City Tribune article that informed readers that Enefit, the Estonian-based oil shale company that is starting an operation in Utah, recently conducted initial tests that showed Utah oil shale doesn’t retort exactly the same as Estonian oil shale.

Now, geologists will tell you that samples taken from different geographical locations will have slight, but important, property differences and that therefore processes for handling or developing them may require adjustments. This is why processes are tested.

To Grant, though, this is not representative of a common and prudent business practice.  This is the “smoking gun” that declares that oil shale in the United States will never, ever be developed.

While Enefit’s scientists and engineers take and analyze the information they gather, make whatever modifications they need to and prepare to retest in advance of opening their facility in a few years’ time, Grant is employing his own years of expertise in geology and petro-physics (which consists mainly of jumping up and down in front of his word processor screaming NO! NO! NO! at any mention of oil or natural gas) to explain to all his readers that it’s all just a big conspiracy, that all those scientist, engineers, accountants and analysts are clearly wrong, and that oil shale can only be produced in countries that don’t start with the initials US.

Actually, when it comes to oil shale, I think I’ll trust the petroleum engineers and economic analysts before I trust a guy who spends most of his time praying to Al Gore that oil would just disappear.

Grand Junction

Gun rights infringements are part of U.S. history

Curt Claussen tried reading my mind and read it wrong. I have never said I want to abolish the Second Amendment. Our rights are not absolute. All of them have restrictions and regulations.

Never have I yet found in my reading of history anyone wanting to abolish the Second Amendment. Not the government, the states, President Obama or the victims of Sandy Hook. Like so many, Mr. Claussen has a large imagination.

Infringement has nothing to do with regulating. The only thing that can take away our rights is overwhelming public anger. 

I’m trying to get people to study the situation. The viewpoint of “Gunfight” by Adam Winkler is most prominently libertarian. Historian Clayton Cramer is an advocate of the Second Amendment and gun rights.

As discovered by Cramer, the Southern states after the Civil War outlawed conceal carry, claiming no honorable gentleman would conceal a gun. That’s regulating the Second Amendment. Blacks weren’t allowed guns at all. I call that infringing on the Second Amendment. Martin Luther King, Jr. was denied a permit to carry a weapon. That could be infringement and regulation.

Actually, I agree with Bill O’Reilly’s proposal which is 1) federalize registration and background checks on all guns (it’s currently against the law for the feds to go into registration data bases), 2) pass a mandatory federal law giving an automatic 10-year sentence to anyone with an illegal weapon and 3) allow each state to regulate types of weapons.

Grand Junction

Obama’s stance on sequester akin to ‘Chicken Little’ story

An interesting comparison surfaced this week comparing the sequester to the sky falling, as it does in the Chicken Little story. Thinking on it, one must admit that it does bear a slight resemblance. Especially if the various players in this sequester fiasco are imagined to be characters in the story.

For example, imagine Chicken Little, Henny Penny and Ducky Lucky, the goofy threesome, being like the public, which Obama and the media are laboring to hoodwink into believing the sky will fall if the Republicans don’t cave and stop the sequester. Since the three are totally uninformed and in awe of Obama and his media henchmen, they’ll believe every word.

Now imagine Obama being like Foxy Loxy in that he’s spreading absurd nonsense about the sequester’s disastrous consequences, all the while luring the threesome farther into the government’s doomed “house of cards.”

The end result will be the same as the story. The fox wins again and gets a full stomach, and the goofy threesome loses and gets tricked again. All that while Congress and Republicans stand by and look on.

Who are the real winners in this story?


Grand Junction

Luke’s work on Greyhound bus issue makes her a strong candidate

When voting for City Council candidates, remember which ones actually did something good.

I want to recommend Laura Luke, who took the time and made the effort to attend our neighborhood meeting to stop the Greyhound Bus terminal from being put into a residential neighborhood.

She then took it to council, and its members wrote a letter to the Planning Commission against the idea.

Good job, Laura.

Grand Junction



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