Email letters, February 25, 2014

Silt town trustee candidate promises dog park improvements

Silt is growing but still has a very tight operating budget.  One of my main goals is to improve the Silt dog park, which many residents, visitors, fisherman, boaters and dogs utilize throughout the year. 

If you have seen my website, I have photos of the park that include old signs, fallen trees, empty doggy bag stations, an old Porta-Potty and a parking lot that needs attention.  Since I am a Libertarian and find tax collection immoral, I will take the $400 town trustee monthly salary and re-invest it into the dog park by setting up a fund dedicated to the park’s improvement. 

I have no interest in using the taxpayers’ money to pay my personal bills or to benefit financially in any way from service to my community.  I will plan to manage the fund, work with the Town of Silt staff and recruit volunteers and other groups that would like to see improvements to the area.  I would also seek financial commitments from area businesses that have an interest in the beautification of Silt.   My salary as town trustee over four years would equate to $19,200.  This is more than enough to remove dead branches and add trash receptacles, picnic tables, crushed gravel to trails and new doggie bag stations.

Public service should be selfless. It cannot be if the representatives are compensated with money taken from the citizens of Silt.  If elected, I will not take the taxpayers’ money without giving them something that they can use and enjoy for years to come.  I also want the citizens of Silt to know that members of local government cannot solve our problems unless we give them specific instruction. 

We, the citizens of Silt, have the power to change our surroundings.  We have the power to change the way our water tastes, we have the power to slow traffic in our neighborhoods and we have the power to allow legal businesses to operate in our town. 

Do not let Dave Moore and Paul Taylor tell you what you want and how you’ll get it.  They want to be our fathers, but they are not.  They are elected officials, and they need to be held accountable.  When you get your ballot in the mail March 11, look past the past and vote for the future.  Vote Dylan Lewis for Silt Town trustee.


New name may spur economy but likely to damage ecology

According to Terri Chappell in her letter published Feb. 23, changing the name of the monument is not about “T-shirts and fast food” or, in other words, the economy.

It seems, after three years of “exhaustive study,” it is about heritage, the future and quality of life — none of which, I suggest, will be affected by a different name.

It would be better if we admitted the driving force for change is money. Our concern must therefore be the effects it would have on this beautiful treasure of geology, fauna and flora. It is to be hoped the draft legislation thoroughly addresses the threat.

If changing the name to a national park is expected to be the savior of the economy, then we should expect to deal with some disappointment.


Grand Junction

DMV’s missing great chances to give relief from boredom

After waiting for hours at the Department of Motor Vehicles, I realize why everyone including the employees dread this place — it’s boring. So, in an effort to make ours the most fun and lucrative DMV in the country, I have developed some ideas I feel should be implemented immediately.

Musical chairs: Place a digital screen under each chair with a random number. The “now serving” screen randomly selects a number; whoever is sitting in the corresponding seat is the next in line. This can be varied by incorporating music and having everyone change seats (there might be some healthy living funding that can assist with the cost of implementation). This gives people the gambling adrenaline produced by the chance of being a winner.

DMV trivia: This is modeled after the trivia games in sports bars, but this has a DMV educational piece. Everyone gets remotes and is able to answer random yet pertinent DMV sanctioned questions. If funding allows, winners get
prizes or the next spot in line. They could also use this for those taking their written permit test. The first one to 100 points passes.

Disney movies: Play a Disney movie on a large-screen TV and sell headphones to those waiting (like on an airline). Who doesn’t like Disney movies? This would keep everyone less anxious.

They should have someone selling lottery tickets (since they are in the same building). They could do this like a peanut vendor at a baseball game or an old-fashioned cigarette girl. This could pay for the big screen TV.

They are missing out on some golden money-making opportunities. For example, why isn’t there a coffee and bakery kiosk? They could sell chair massages while people wait or stress balls or aromatherapy. There are many ways to eliminate stress for the detainees and make a buck. We could probably reduce the deficit if this were implemented nationwide.

These are just some suggestions that our government might consider in an effort to retain more employees in these less-than-thankful jobs and perhaps increase revenue and decrease aggression displayed at the DMV.

Thank you, and happy driving.


Dr. Havlik richly merits another term as coroner

Our family would like to thank Dean Havlik for his seven years of service to Mesa County as coroner. His intelligent application and skills of being American Board Certified in both forensic and general pathology, willingness to continue learning, conscientious reporting and respect for the people he
serves have brought efficiency and cost-effectiveness to the position of Mesa County coroner as well as to law enforcement agencies and others in need of his expertise.

The active role and reporting he has taken in suicide prevention and tracking is very eye-opening and needed. As coroner, he has done an excellent job providing our community with answers to questions that are difficult to understand. He does this with a very caring but professional manner.

His generosity to the community goes beyond his office and his responsibilities as a physician. We were fortunate to be recipients of his youth outreach to the schools, showing our children the effects of smoking and drug use as well as having him as a coach for youth basketball.

We are hoping the continuity of the past seven years of his service is extended to another term as Mesa County coroner. It is our family’s hope that Mesa County residents will visit to learn more about him.


New air quality rules punish rural Coloradans

The new air quality rules passed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission are a continuation of the Hickenlooper administration’s war on rural Colorado.

The first examination of the rules, backed by The Daily Sentinel, make sense. Everyone wants clean air. However, a closer viewing shows the stupidity of these new rules.

Methane, which the new rules seek to eradicate, is natural gas. So, the rule that a natural gas well has to retain its methane is redundant. The result will be to add extra expense to the process with no result.

The second gas they are seeking to limit is ground-level ozone. Ground-level ozone is created by the sunlight interacting with emissions from engine combustions. Since natural gas and oil wells are how we extract raw materials, not finished products, it is unlikely that the wells are producing much ground level ozone.

In fact, I would hazard a guess that members of the Oil and Gas Commission create more pollution in spewing out their ridiculous rulings than all the gas wells in Colorado. The reality is these rules are directed at limiting the economy in the rural areas of Colorado, since there is almost no drilling in Denver and the I-25 corridor. This is more of the punitive legislative agenda of the Democrats in Denver.

Finally, and most disappointing of all, our own representative to the commission, former Mayor Teresa Coons, voted for these punitive rules instead of protecting the already dwindling jobs and economy of the Western Slope.


Paying airport contractor’s bill was a fair, aboveboard decision

In Sunday’s edition you printed a letter from William Voss concerning a matter recently before the Airport Board. By this letter I respond to Voss and respectfully request that you correct the record regarding my vote as an Airport Board member to pay Jviation $92,094.00.
The item came before the board at its Feb. 18 meeting with a recommendation from airport staff to approve payment for completed work. The work was not a “mystery,” and the results of the work have been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration for review.

Because the contractor relied on the prior authorization and completed the work, I voted to pay the invoice. While it is not preferred to sign a contract upon completion of this or any work, I could not in good conscience penalize the engineering firm. If you have questions please see the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority agenda report.
GJRAA Board Member
Grand Junction City Council, District B
Grand Junction

Dingell’s retirement should remind readers of his belief about ‘skilled liars’

John Dingell’s (D-Mich.) announcement that he is finally retiring from the House after 59 years (the longest-serving congressman in history) should remind Sentinel readers of his long-held belief that “Republicans are skilled liars.”
Recent pronouncements lend added credence to that proposition.  Thus:
First, last week, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was still claiming that our military could have saved the situation in Benghazi, but that Secretary of State Clinton vetoed the plan.  Issa’s lies – exposed by both the House and Senate Benghazi reports—earned “4 Pinnochioes” from fact-checkers and prompted the ranking member of Issa’s oversight committee to formally demand a public apology.  An ethics complaint may follow.
Second, as The New York Times opined last Saturday, “Of all the myths and falsehood that Republicans have spread about President Obama, the most pernicious and long lasting is that the $832 billion stimulus package did not work.”  Despite the Congressional Budget Office’s findings to the contrary, Speaker Boehner (R-OHhio) was still repeating that lie last week.
Third, in early February, Republicans (including our own Scott Tipton) lied about another CBO report — that the Affordable Care Act would enable the equivalent of 1.2 million employees to leave the work force and retain health insurance – which those “skilled liars” misrepresented as “ObamaCare kills jobs.”
Fourth, virtually every Obamacare “disaster anecdote” touted by right-wing media – once investigated by objective journalists – has turned out to be false.
Of course, the classic example remains the “death panel” meme championed by Sarah Palin and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) – spawned by a Republican proposal to pay doctors for counseling Medicare patients about “end of life” options.
As we enter another election cycle, we can only hope that the Sentinel will responsibly fact-check and chronicle such falsehoods – lest local voters fall prey to them once again.
Grand Junction


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Mayor Susuras, where can citizens find detailed records of Airport Board meetings, including discussions about votes taken at these meetings? Such records don’t seem to be readily available online. Similar information IS readily available for City Council, but not for the Airport Board. And exactly what is an “agenda report”? Do you mean minutes of the meeting? How do we find the “agenda report” of the meeting?  Please advise.

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