Email letters, February 24, 2014

Luckily, Wright soon to lose peace officer certification

So, Rep. Jared Wright explains his unattended handgun incident at the capitol by asserting that he is a peace officer allowed to carry in that environment. He also feels a “duty” to be a first responder wherever he may be.

Seems that he is no longer a peace officer, at least in part because he did not feel a “duty” to respond when his shift was scheduled to begin. At that time, he seemed uninterested in being a first responder, even though he was being paid to be exactly that.

Fortunately, his peace officer certification will expire soon, since he is no longer one, and remove one more empty shirt from his closet.

Someone once observed that diapers and politicians should be changed frequently, and for the same reason. Still true.


Grand Junction

After gun incident, Wright does not merit public trust

Congratulations to Rep. Jared Wright for setting a shining example of “responsible” gun ownership. Because he is apparently POST certified, he can be “trusted” to carry a concealed weapon within the Statehouse.

It appears he can be trusted to possess a concealed weapon about as much as he can be trusted to actually report for duty as a Fruita police officer.

In other words, he should probably just phone in his attendance at state assembly meetings and stay inside his home when carrying a gun.

Some people wonder why it might not be a good idea to have teachers armed in the classroom. Rep. Wright has demonstrated the very real flaw of this proposal.


Grand Junction

Farm Bill touches everyone in Colorado

The Nature Conservancy and the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts applaud leaders on Capitol Hill for reaching a bipartisan agreement on the Farm Bill and quickly passing it into law. The legislation not only impacts our state’s land, ranchers and farmers, it also touches every one of us.

Colorado’s farms and ranches make up the rural West we treasure, the watersheds that provide our water, and an important part of our state’s economy. Yet, development has forced a steady decline in working lands.

The Farm Bill’s agricultural conservation easement program allows landowners to enter into voluntary agreements to conserve the agricultural and natural values of a property. This program preserves agriculture’s economic viability, protects jobs and provides incentives to conserve
working ranches and farms. It also protects the grasslands, wetlands and forests on these lands.

Coloradans reap the benefits of this program in the food we eat, the water we drink, the vistas we enjoy and our overall quality of life.

Farm Bill programs help orchards around Palisade thrive, touching anyone who enjoys Colorado fruit or wine. In this area, funds helped protect 14 family farms that produce nearly 2,000 tons of peaches worth more than $3.5 million annually, as well as wine grapes and other crops.

We thank Sen. Michael Bennet for recognizing the importance of Farm Bill conservation programs to Colorado. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, he went the extra mile when he worked to improve the easement program so that landowners in Colorado have better opportunities to conserve their working lands. We also thank Congressman Scott Tipton, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, who worked to ensure that the bill supports Colorado’s agricultural economy.


Colorado State Director
The Nature Conservancy


Executive Director
Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts

God loves, but there’s a limit to his patience

This letter is in response to the letter from Rev. Virginia Taylor on Feb 19.  Yes, indeed our God and Lord, Jesus Christ, is about love.  As his word tells us in John 3:16,  “For God so loved the world, He sent his only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish (hell)  have eternal life (heaven).” The commandments and other warnings are also due to his great love for his creation, to protect all of us from bad choices and the dangerous and damaging consequences of those choices. 

But there is a limit to his patience, and he also hates. See Proverbs 3:31, 6:16-19, 12:22, 5:8, etc..  In Leviticus 18:22 he tells of the abomination of unnatural relations of men (with men) and women (with women).  He also warns us again in I Corinthians and Romans of these unnatural acts and the sinfulness and dangers in participating in such acts. He tells us that any sexual sins (including heterosexual sins) are especially serious, as they are a sin against the body. 

We all can choose not to listen to our flesh and the desires from within or we can choose to listen to a very loving father and creator who wants only the best for us. (Read and study his word, the Bible, it is all there.)



We can settle for mediocrity or seize opportunity for park

I have watched people’s reactions to changing the status of the Colorado National Monument to a national park. It’s like an Old West gunfight, but the shots are words, hurtful things lacking respect.

I moved here from a place many would label as progressive. Progressive does not mean liberal. You may not see the blended community. It lacks ragged razor-sharp edges. People have chosen to collaborate and figure it out for the common good.

The base word in progressive is progress, to move forward. Moving forward can be very difficult for people. We like our comfort zones. When we become comfortable and complacent, it often leads to mediocrity.

The Grand Valley has an opportunity before us. When we live in our past and settle for mediocrity, we lose sight of what the future can look like. The research shows us that changing the status of a park can increase economic growth and livability.

This is not about them and us, or liberals and conservatives. It’s time to lay down the labels. It’s time to work together to create a stronger and more livable valley.

I used to never stop in Grand Junction when I drove by on I-70. Now I live here. When company comes, I look forward to not having to explain what a monument is. A monument is what we get when we settle for mediocrity.

What will we get when the monument reaches national park status? It’s the difference between medaling and standing on the podium at an Olympics and placing fourth.

It’s time to write a new chapter through collaboration. There will be growing pains, but in the long run, it will be worth it. It’s time to go for the gold.

Grand Junction

Silbernagel indeed a worthy recipient of Colorado Press Association award

The Sentinel won’t be the same without Bob Silbernagel, who’s been the long-time editorial and opinions editor. Like many readers, I wish him godspeed in his retirement and hope he’ll use his newfound time to publish more about Colorado history. 

The Colorado Press Association couldn’t have found a worthier recipient of its “News Person of the Year Award” than Silbernagel.


Hard work, talent make Sentinel an engaging paper

Congratulations to Bob Silbernagel and The Daily Sentinel staff for taking top honors at the Colorado Press Association awards ceremony in Denver Friday. (“Sentinel sweeps awards for 3rd year” — Saturday’s Daily Sentinel.)

We look forward to reading the Sentinel every day and appreciate the hard work, dedication and talent that go into making it a consistently excellent and engaging newspaper. The stories, photos and graphics are compelling.

Keep up the good work.



De Beque gambling would lead to societal problems

If the citizens of De Beque think gambling would be a good thing, then here’s some not-so-good things to think about.

Gambling itself is addictive to lots of folks and can be a financial tragedy for them. Sometimes those who are not addicted will hope to swell slim finances or get lucky and get out of financial trouble and find themselves worse off financially.

A big casino will come in and create some jobs for a short time, and it will have a restaurant, gift shop and other amenities. There goes any local related businesses. It will put a strain on the sewer, water, garbage and other city services. The tax base will increase but will take time to catch up with needed improvements. Property taxes may increase with values, but this is only helpful if you’re going to sell property.

Gambling also attracts opportunists who are often the less civilized among us, and law enforcement will become a burden.

Casinos encourage drinking to loosen wallets and other inhibitions. That often creates drunk driving.

If you ever saw Cripple Creek after the gambling started, it is no longer a charming mining camp but is lit up like a circus.

Finally, where do you think the money will come from? It will mostly come out of the local economies of Mesa and Garfield counties, and those profits will go to the investors in the casinos. I guarantee you they will not spend it in De Beque or Mesa County.

I can’t see De Beque as a destination resort. The east side has Black Hawk and Central City, so I don’t think they are coming here to gamble. Think about it.

Grand Junction

Councilors to indeed revisit new panhandling ordinance

I appreciate your coverage of the panhandling ordinance that was passed by our City Council Wednesday. The day after Wednesday’s Council meeting, you followed up with another article that included some of my comments.

Specifically, I requested the council revisit passage of the panhandling ordinance in one year’s time to learn how it had really affected people’s lives and to see if the goals they hoped to achieve had been reached. The article then stated that the councilors “did not entertain that option.”

However, I am happy to share with you that they actually did!
While my request for a revisit was not specifically attached to the motion made on the floor, Mayor Sam Susuras did state in his remarks at the time of voting that the council would review the ordinance at the end of a year.

Also, in the break just after the vote, I reiterated to Councilman Marty Chazen how important I felt it was to revisit this ordinance after one year.

He gave me his word that would happen. Therefore, I am very confident members of the City Council will review this ordinance as promised, but should it slip their minds, I will be sure to remind them.

Grand Valley Peace and Justice
Grand Junction

Look at politicians’ records before voting for them

How do you choose your politicians? I would hope you would look at their records to see that they make common-sense decisions from having some experience about issues you care about and they practice what they preach. A politician who has no clue is the worst form of hypocrisy in our society today.

Gov. Hickenlooper was recently quoted in the Sentinel as saying, “We don’t have the facts. We don’t know what the unintended consequences are going to be. I’d say if it were me I would wait a couple of years.” That comment was in reference to legalized “recreation marijuana” to a group of other governors. Well, that just reminds me of Nancy Pelosi’s famous quote on healthcare, “We need to pass it to know what’s in it.” Uh, my doctor calls that a stool sample.

Our buddy in the White House, “Choom” as he was known in college, says, “I give it a green light,” yet he also says, “No to my daughters as it is a waste of time and not healthy” in talking about the “recreational use of Marijuana.” Now this man knows about the subject matter, for a change.

We ban cigarette smoking. It’s unhealthy and adds to the national health care crisis we seem to have. Yet we legalize the cross between booze and cigarettes? Where is the warning label? Apparently we can ban guns and stop all crime and violent acts against humanity. If you believe our elected officials, yet have no way to defend yourself in many circumstances in their vision of society they created? WELL why don’t you just ban heroin and meth, maybe Oxy abuse. That’s also illegal now.

Next, a government ban on teaching our kids that “It’s OK, Honey, everything your parents and grandparents have done is what has made the world such bad a place to live.” We are going to clean it up by singing “kumbaya” and putting all major
energy business out of business. Maybe we could change that to “Choom by ya” to be more with the times.

The dopers are all complaining that the tax on “legalized marijuana” is too much, making illegal sales much more lucrative and affordable to the public. I roll my eyes here, shake my head and mumble, “Name one thing the government has taken over and made more efficient, less costly, a smoother-run operation or better for us?

They should be like the Mexican drug lord who just got arrested. He says he couldn’t spend all his wealth because they were watching him. In this case maybe it’s good the government runs the program that common sense dictates might be a bad thing.  Is there anything else we might like to legalize? Like say immigration?


Grand Junction

Medal of Honor should not be awarded cavalierly

This letter is in response to the Associated Press article that appeared in The Daily Sentinel titled “Obama to award Medal of Honor to 24 overlooked veterans” in Washington  March 18.
Clinton did much the same thing back in 2000 when he awarded 21 Medals of Honor to veteran Japanese Americans who served in the U.S. Army 442d Regimental Combat Team during WWII.
Individuals in both groups being decorated are recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second-highest award for valor in combat. This award alone is a high honor.
The upgrade to Medal of Honor in every instance is going to individuals based on ethnicity issues, real or imagined, that possibly prevented them from receiving the medal originally.
It’s interesting that both presidents handing out this award never served a day in the U.S. military. President Bill Clinton was a unapologetic draft dodger from the Vietnam era.
Obama’s reason for not serving is more obscure, much like the rest of his past.
Of the 45 individuals awarded the medal by Clinton, or about to receive it from Obama, no doubt some are deserving. Certainly not all. 
This is nothing more than a cynical political ploy by two democrat presidents to cater to their constituent base.
The prestige of the Medal of Honor is being diminished greatly by awarding it in such a cavalier fashion.
Grand Junction
Creating Hispanic Plaza would enhance valley’s overall vision

Changes in demographics have created opportunities in all facets of life. Change is difficult to accept because it challenges our comfort zone. We need to recognize these opportunities, overcome obstacles and take advantage by exploring ways of embracing opportunities with vision, strategic planning and innovation.

The economy is ready for growth and will rebound; growth is coming and better times are in view. Being proactive will forge productive partnerships, encourage people to believe in themselves and enable us to meet challenges head-on in this changing environment. People with innovation and creativity, going through a change together, will experience success and become more comfortable with the change process. We should not only look at the horizon but look beyond and make the horizon tangible and attainable.

Because of changes in demographics, I offer a business suggestion.  I propose a Hispanic Plaza, similar to other plazas; think Santa Fe, New Mexico. This project offers a business investment opportunity. A
Hispanic Plaza would include restaurants, entertainment and retail. A place to socialize and experience diversity, it would have a social and positive economic impact.


Latino Links Think Tank

School District 51 should release kids from ‘school lock’

Since the Congressional Budget Office released its findings that Obamacare, aka Democrat Care, would result in the loss of 2.3 million jobs, we’ve been told how wonderful that is for those trapped in “job lock.”

Similarly, it amazes me that School District 51 doesn’t understand how wonderful it would be for the children to be released from the malady known as “school lock.”

Think of the positives for them if they were free from school to enjoy family life, become more fit and healthy with time for recreation, and have time to write poetry or develop some other artistic talent.  The possibilities are exciting and endless.  The benefits to society if these kids were free to pursue their passions can truly bring about “hope and change.” 

More seriously folks, job lock and school lock are simply figments of imagination.  The former from the Democrats and the latter from me.  To celebrate and encourage either “lock” puts the additional strain of more dependent people on a federal government that spends $1 trillion more per year than it takes in.  It’s already in debt to the tune of $17 trillion.

In reality, keeping kids in school and adults working is actually better for our society.  At least then they will be able to contribute to our economy rather than take from it.


Grand Junction

Media should stop printing lies of those who deny climate change

I’m old enough to remember articles in newspapers back when I was a child, supporting second-class citizenship for black people. The articles said
“Negros” were intellectually inferior to whites, their brains were smaller, their test scores lower and their ambitions stunted.

I also remember articles back then quoting “scientists,” saying smoking was NOT a health problem and was actually good for you. The articles were a comfort to my father, a bigoted three-pack-a-day smoker who later died of lung cancer.

At some point the media figured out that these articles were destructive lies and decided to stop printing them. Folks were. of course. free to make racist comments in private, and harrumph about the “G-D” surgeon general not minding his own business. But the media no longer trumpeted their points of view.

Today, we would be appalled by an editorial about the innate inferiority of blacks or the healthful benefits of tobacco. It is long past time for the media to apply this same self-censorship of lies to the subject of Climate Change.

Climate Change is real, it is happening, and it is caused by humans burning CO2. Folks are free to believe whatever they want. But belief is quite different than fact. For centuries, folks believed that the Earth was flat, but that did not change the fact that our planet is actually quite round.

Printing the lies and distortions of climate-change deniers does real damage to our society, just like printing the racist distortions of the ‘50s and the lies of the tobacco companies did. Lives are stunted, hatred and ignorance is promoted and problems not dealt with worsen. If you believe as I do that the media should refuse to print climate-change deniers’ lies and distortions, please tell them so.



Rev. Taylor clearly reminded us of Jesus’ message of love

Thank you, Rev. Virginia Taylor, for your excellent letter in the Sentinel.

You reminded us so clearly that Jesus’s consistent message is to love one another. The teachings of Jesus do not include disclaimers or say except the poor, the aging, the women or those with different sexual orientation.

That message has lifted me up all my life. I believe that each one of us has the Holy Spirit within us, and as we are loved unconditionally, we are called to love unconditionally.


Grand Junction


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I will have to rename Elizabeth Black Captain Obvious. Yes, Climate Change is real. It has been going on for 5 billion years.

However, there is absolutely no proof that it is human caused. It is not caused by CO2 emissions because there has been no temperature increase over the past 17 years.

The entire liberal Global Warming hypothesis is based on lab and computer models that can not even get a 5 day forecast right. Ask any forecaster and they will honestly tell you that anything beyond 3 days is a shot in the dark. There are just too many variables involved in Climate and the Weather, to make long term predictions, particularly when it is trying to take 150 years worth of data, only 50 of which might be accurate, and extrapolate a change in a climate period which has been in existence for 60 million years. That would be like making a daily forecast based on a one second observation.

Scientific truth is not voted on, and does not derive from consensus. It is established by observation and data. The attempt to quell the dissenting voices of scientists is frightening.

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