Email letters, January 10, 2014

Front Range pols indifferent to lack of fire districts

It is time to call out Gov. John Hickenlooper’s attack dog, James Davis, executive director of Colorado Department of Public Safety, for what he is: a political hack fronting for Democratic politicians.

More than a year ago, I wrote Hickenlooper about the lack of fire districts in Colorado. In rural Hinsdale County we applied for inclusion in both the Lake City Fire District and, because it is closer, Mineral County’s Creede Fire District. Both districts summarily turned us down for being too isolated (30 minutes away from Creede). When we applied, we made it very clear that we were willing to pay to join.

When I contacted Hickenlooper, Sen. Gail Schwartz and Rep. Mike McLachlan, I got nothing but an auto-reply. They were too busy working on their social agendas to bother with rural Colorado problems. Now that it is an election year they profess much concern for our well-being.

What Davis fails to add when he parrots Hickenlooper’s solution, which is to include ranchers and farmers in the firefighting force, is that adjoining states such as Wyoming and Idaho, which are much more isolated, have 100 percent of their residents in fire districts. In other words, it is just more lip service from Front Range politicians with no real solutions attached.

I have been working with Sen. King for the past year, and he is the [ITAL] only politician [ITAL] who has responded with anything other an auto-reply. He has been working with me attempting to find solutions to our safety, due to the devastating loss of our Engelmann spruce trees.

King does not represent my district, but he is working for all of Colorado. I just wish my representatives from the governor on down would do the same.


Obamacare creates Catch-22 for retired, now uninsured couple

My wife and I find ourselves in a situation that now millions are in. Due to Obamacare, we have lost our health insurance as our insurance company dropped us at the end of 2013 after 30 years with the company. This company notified others and us that, due to Obamacare, it no longer will insure individuals or families, only municipalities and companies.  We are both retired and on a fixed income, as are many others.

We moved to Colorado from California to have the American dream and own a home. After meeting with a Connect for Health adviser and two insurance agents and having a phone conversation with an assistance person for Connect for Health in Denver, the outcome is devastating. We cannot get premium assistance because we make $200 to $300 a month too much, and cannot afford insurance, as the lowest premium is one-fourth of our monthly income. This leaves us with a choice of having insurance or paying our mortgage.
Because of Obamacare, we lost our insurance and can’t afford insurance. Also, the government will penalize us with a fine each year because Obamacare made us lose our health insurance.

We have been advised by all contacts to try to get by without insurance and just pay the yearly penalty. At this moment we are fortunate to be in good health, but hopefully neither of us will become ill.

We have always been believers in having health insurance. We have been Democrats, American workers and taxpayers for more than 43 years, but we now will change political parties because we feel the Democratic Party and this administration have betrayed us.
Grand Junction

Liberal talking heads jumped on N.J. bridge closing incident

Within minutes of Gov. Chris Christie’s press conference, the liberal and Democrat talking heads took to the airwaves, saying they think the governor is lying or if he didn’t know about the bridge closure scandal, he should have.

These same talking heads also want you to believe that the president never lied, only misspoke, and that he was unaware of any of the scandals during his administration when he saw it on TV or read it in the newspapers.

I, for one, am sure getting tired of these people thinking everyone else is stupid.

Grand Junction
Keep on using ‘gallons’ in energy industry stories

It was truly exasperating to read Gary England’s letter complaining about the Sentinel’s headline policy.

England looks “agenda-driven” to give the energy business as much cover as possible for its well-known belief that it is cheaper to pay for cleanup than to spend adequately for maintenance.

Of course, he would prefer spills expressed in barrels, an amount not as easily conceptualized by many of us. We who may breath, drink and, in the case of the unfortunate lady mail carrier in the Twin Cities some years ago, be incinerated by mistakes of this industry can understand gallons pretty readily, whereas barrel volumes are not part of our normal experience.

Isn’t it always amazing how easily we perceive someone else’s truth as bias? Please, Sentinel editors, keep using gallons, which are easily pictured from cartons in our refrigerators and gas cans for our mowers.

Grand Junction

S.M. Stoller employees may wish to reflect on a motto that vanished

A recent piece in the Sentinel reported that Matt Mulherin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding, a part of Huntington Ingalls Industries, was in Grand Junction for a visit. 

He told employees of the recently purchased local business S.M. Stoller Corp. that their jobs are safe: “Nothing is going to change.”  His words sound reassuring but an interesting bit of history may give one pause.
A family business established in 1887 was the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company; it was situated on the James River adjacent Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.  It thrived for many decades, building ships for the U.S. Navy.  The shipyard was also known for building commercial ships as big as the famous and long-retired passenger liner S.S. United States.
Perhaps the best-known of the modern ships was the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Enterprise originally designated CVA(N) 65, launched in 1960.  I was aboard that impressive warship when it returned to Newport News for refueling of its reactors in 1969.  This arrival wasn’t long after lengthy negotiations had concluded between the owners of the shipyard and large Texas conglomerate Tenneco Corp.  A merger was formed.
Along the historic street which the shipyard’s administration building faced was an utilitarian, old but well-maintained sign identifying the NNSB&DD, a huge handful of letters, telling of an admirable tradition. 

Immediately below that placard, separately exhibited, was the company motto established by its founder, Collis P. Huntington: “We will build good ships, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but we will build good ships.”  Truly a fine sentiment.
Not long after the merger, one ambling along the sidewalk outside the administration building couldn’t help but notice that, curiously, signage of the once-proud motto had been removed.




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For Ms. Kerr and others volumetrically challenged…

A Barrel is 42 gallons, not to be confused with the “Drums” which are the most commonly seen large container at auto service shops and bulk oil dealers. A “Drum” is 55 gallons.

So when they say “Barrels”, just multiply times 42.

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