Email letters, February 21, 2014

Mother Nature, Old Man Winter are real culprits behind smog

In regards to the article, “Crying foul on air rules, air quality”, in The Daily Sentinel Thursday 20,2014. I read Joann Moon describe how she had a cough, gets dizzy and suffers burning in her eyes nose and throat due to wood burning stoves, malfunctioning cars and oil and gas development. She also needs to condemn Mother Nature and Old Man Winter who are the real culprits of the smog (air inversion) here in the Grand Valley. Having lived here since 1987, the only time I have noticed “smog” is during winter when these two culprits are at work to dirty our air.

I do agree that during the winter wood stoves add to the “dirty air” in the valley. I am not sure where Moon gets her data on oil/gas development causing ozone depletion. Vehicles these days “run much cleaner” according to my mechanic. The “CO2 emissions have declined nearly 12 percent over the last five years”, according to the Yale forum on climate change dated May 2013.

As for the symptoms of smog (air inversion) that plague most Grand Valley residents during the winter, we learn to live with them or we are off to the doctor to be treated, and we wait until winter is over to enjoy the clean fresh air again. As for the symptom of “dizziness”, Moon may have to live with that the rest of her life.


Grand Junction

Is Wright living in an alternative universe?

In what alternate universe does state Rep. Jared Wright think he is a police officer/first responder entitled to carry a concealed firearm?

He was fired from the hooterville Fruita police department, and his recent action of leaving a loaded gun in a bag under a table in the Capitol shows how irresponsible he is. I wonder if Sheriff Hilkey has issued him a CCW permit?

Like so many in the Grand Valley, I am embarrassed he is our elected representative and pray the November elections remedies this mistake.


Grand Junction

Dilettante dog owners should be fined

Colorado Parks and Wildlife could achieve an immediate and handsome budget surplus were it to round up and fine all of the suburban dilettante dog
owners of Pitkin and Eagle Counties (Aspen and Vail) who arrogantly ignore local leash laws permitting their critters to chase and attack not only
wildlife, but human life as well.

Sadly, the origin of this problem lies with the U. S. Departments of Agriculture and Interior who long ago adopted a ‘soft governing’ attitude toward Western U. S. Ski Corporations whose principal product became real estate.

This policy permitted the once pristine U.S. Western wilderness to become overwhelmed with a suburban population wholly unsuited to mountain living.


GOP’s health care doublethink evidenced by prior statements

I read Kathleen Parker’s column “A Washington Fairy Tale” on February 18 regarding the CBO’s report on workers leaving jobs without worrying about
losing healthcare coverage in connection with new options under ACA. Parker and her colleagues are now lambasting the ACA for damaging the economy. I’d like to point out some prior quotes:

– “A lot of people change their jobs. So the tax benefit should change and go with them, and not be attached to their jobs. We want to address job lock. So, the key question that ought to be addressed in any health care reform legislation, is are we going to continue job lock, or are we going to allow individuals more choice, and portability to fit the 21st century workforce?” [Paul Ryan, 5/20/2009]

– “Today, leaving a job or changing jobs means leav­ing behind the health insurance provided at the place of work. Individuals who wish to take a better job, change careers, or leave the workforce to raise a family or to retire early take substantial risks. [...] Under the McCain plan, which links tax breaks directly to individuals instead of to their place of work, individuals would no longer feel obligated to stay with their employers simply because they need to keep their employer-based health insurance.” [Heritage Foundation, 10/15/2008]

– “Of course there are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I’m going to put in place…. I also want individuals to be able to buy insurance, health insurance, on their own as opposed to only being able to get it on a tax advantage basis through their company.” [Mitt Romney, 9/9/2012]

– “[T]he employer-based system leads to ‘job lock,’ whereby people are afraid to leave their jobs if they fall ill on the job, because switching plans could mean higher premiums or denial of coverage.” [Avik Roy, former health care adviser to Mitt Romney, 2/7/2012]

The GOP asked for health care portability (using the term “job lock”), got it, and now vilify it. Seems to me that the GOP was “for” health care portability “before it was against it.” The doublethink is perplexing.

Grand Junction

Wright loses trust, should now walk through metal detectors

Where I enter the Colorado State Capitol, there’s a “No Firearms” sign and a metal detector. But not for Rep. Jared Wright, who left his firearm unattended in a committee room Feb. 6.

Think about the school children touring. Suppose one found Rep. Wright’s gun? Suppose a deranged individual wandered in and got it? And suppose now we ask Rep. Wright to enter the Capitol the same way I do - through metal detectors?

Wright may not even have been legally carrying into the Capitol given rumors that he was fired for dishonesty from the police department. Regardless, I don’t feel safe with someone who carelessly leaves his firearm lying around. Nor do I trust that without going through a metal detector as I do, Wright will abide by the agreement between he and the governor that he now leave his firearm at home.

Make Wright walk through through the metal detectors at the Capitol.


Can businesses simply hike prices to pay higher wages?

On two specific occasions over the past week or so, President Obama tipped his hand regarding his knowledge and understanding of how the US economy works. First, he pressed Congress to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10 per hour, or an increase of 39.3 percent. And in an attempt to appear to be a real leader, he declared that all federal workers would be increased to that level, all the while knowing that almost all Federal employees already make more than that.

The nonpartisan CBO then performed calculations confirming that such a raise would likely result in a direct loss of a minimum of 500,000 American jobs, and many more employees having their hours reduced as a result. Why? While we all want to see folks paid a fair wage, just ask yourself the following. Can all business owners currently paying the $7.25 per hour simply raise the price of their goods 39percent to pay for this raise, and pray to remain solvent?

And what about those employees in America already receiving $10.10 per hour or more? Do they just stay at their current pay levels, or do they also get a 39 percent pay raise to maintain their present pay advantage based on skill levels, demand, etc? Can Americans already strapped by this horrific economy pay 39 percent more for all their purchases?

Then President Obama attempted to persuade the employees of Volkswagen USA located in Tennessee, to vote for UAW representation, insinuating that it would be un-American to “support German shareholders”. So if I understand Obama’s view of how the economy works, Volkswagen with a plant in America that provides 1,500 Americans with good-paying jobs is bad. But GM, which was bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, a debt it will never repay,  and which has moved thousands of U.S, jobs to China, is good. Now I get it.

Grand Junction


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