Email letters, February 28, 2014
Kudos to Teresa Coons for role in new oil and gas regulations
Thanks to the recent 8-1 vote by Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission, as well as the active participation of scores of concerned citizens, physicians, organizations and businesses from the Western Slope and around the state, a comprehensive plan to reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling will provide long- overdue protections.
The new rules are said to eliminate 90,000 tons of VOCs, the equivalent of what is produced by every car and truck in Colorado each year. These protections are designed to effectively control 95 percent of oil and gas emissions through the use of vapor-recovery tanks and other technologies, as well as to require more frequent inspections for leaks and faster response to leak repair. The cost savings for industry provided incentive in terms of methane capture is this: Instead of producers allowing their product to go to waste, it will be utilized for sale and profit.
Special thanks to Teresa Coons, the only state representative from this side of the mountains, whose support of these ground-breaking rules proved critical. In addition, the new plan was backed by large energy producers and major environmental agencies. The measures will significantly reduce harmful ground-level ozone and will be the first in the nation to control methane, a major contributor to greenhouse gases.
Much remains to be done to address other sources of air pollution in Grand Junction, but the successful passage of new oil and gas regulations proves that change for a safer, healthier community is indeed possible.
Citizens for Clean Air
Join community physicians in supporting the Avalon
On behalf of the Avalon Theatre Foundation, we would like to thank the physicians of the Grand Valley for their generous support of the Avalon Cornerstone Project. The Physicians’ Founders Group has raised more than $100,000 for the renovation and expansion of the historic Avalon Theatre.
Because of the support of this group and of others, the Avalon will now be ADA compliant, as well as provide the performer and patron amenities necessary to become a world-class performing arts facility, such as dressing rooms, bathrooms on all levels, expanded lobby and concessions, improved acoustics and, most importantly, more comfortable seating.
Last year, we, the Avalon Theatre Foundation, made a commitment to the City of Grand Junction that we would raise $1.1 million for the renovation of the Avalon. We are pleased to announce that we have reached that goal. At this point, completion of phase 1 of the Avalon will cost more than originally
anticipated, and we have agreed to continue to fundraise to see this project to completion. We have a new goal to raise an additional $500,000 and need the support of the entire community to reach it. Every dollar matters, whether it’s $25 or $25,000.
Construction is ongoing, and with your help we look forward to celebrating our grand reopening this summer.
Buy a seat; leave a legacy. For more information on investing in the Avalon, please go to our website: http://www.avalontheatrefoundation.org.
CHUCK and ROBBIE BREAUX
Zoning objection should have been part of egg farm issue
Regarding Duffy Hayes’ Feb. 26 article, “Guv backs Hotchkiss chicken farms,” now we have the governor and a state agency meddling in a local Delta County issue that I thought was resolved.
I don’t have a dog in this fight, and I really don’t know anyone directly involved. I am familiar with the Redland Mesa property and have an idea where other property is located. The debate historically seemed to be about the “Right to Farm Act.” The Daily Sentinel article indicates that it was not argued as an issue in the lawsuit before District Court Judge Steven Patrick, who ordered the farms shut down. I have zero knowledge of the law.
I’m 81 and started life on a farm located in the Oklahoma Cherokee Strip and later on a farm in the Oklahoma Panhandle and then on a farm in southeast Kansas before moving to a small town in southeast Kansas when I was in high school. I spent my career as an engineer for an aircraft company in Texas. The A7D plane at the Montrose Airport is one of the many programs on which I worked. We purchased our Hotchkiss property in 1988 and moved here in October 1992 after I retired. I think that history gives me credentials to know the difference between actual farming and a commercial operation related to agriculture.
Feed lots, a large dairy and a large chicken facility are commercial operations. They should be in a commercial- or industrial-zoned location. The so-called egg farms were totally incompatible with other property in the area and never should have been approved by the commissioners. This is certainly true for the Redland Mesa location, where access is by narrow county roads that are not designed for heavy truck traffic required for a commercial egg producer.
The actual 40-acre property isn’t even actually on a road. It has to be reached via an unimproved right of way through small acreages of neighbors.
The commissioners ignored the job they were elected to do, and a lot of money has been wasted for no reason. The objecting neighbors chose to fight back based on resulting “health problems” and won their argument in court. A zoning objection should also have been included, in my opinion.
I don’t oppose the Hostetlers. The ones I’ve met are good, hard-working and self-reliant people. The country needs more like them. I hope they find a suitable location to operate their egg business and have fabulous success.
I also hope the people who just fought and won a fight over something they never should have been dragged into have this behind them. I hope the county commissioners learn the difference between a farm and a factory before their next election.
Finally, I hope the governor and his crowd get the hell out of issues that are really only the business of Delta County.