Email letters, January 16, 2014
FBI airport raid uncovers board’s lack of oversight
As reported in The Daily Sentinel on Jan 15, the Airport Authority board now wants a “do-over” on the grant application for the airport’s new building, bringing the description more into line with the truth.
The board doesn’t seem to know much about what’s going on. Had the FBI not conducted its November raid, for whatever reason, Rex Tippets still would be in charge, the administration building still would be characterized a ”terminal” and the board still would be blissfully unaware, but facing possible criminal penalties.
Apparently this board follows the typical behavior of most boards of directors – endorse the CEO and get paid.
What more in this episode remains to be revealed?
Susuras should resign if he can’t see airport fraud
It is time for Sam Susuras to resign. He is an embarrassment to the city of Grand Junction.
Regarding the airport’s applications to the Federal Aviation Administration, Susuras sees “nothing fraudulent in them at all.” This, despite the grant’s request for office space for a duty officer in the fire department. The fire department does not have a duty officer. The definition of fraud involves telling a lie for financial gain. Was not a lie told?
I have had enough of so-called local government “visionaries” who think nothing of flouting the law, either because they think they are above the law, or that they know what is best and will do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals. Gov. Chris Christie would be proud.
Extent of oil, gas spills shows state must regulate industry heavily
After reading an article regarding the extent of oil and gas spills around the state, I have become more concerned about its safety. According to the
article, “Group: 495 spills reported to COGCC in 2013,” multiple spills are contaminating both our groundwater and surface water.
As more information becomes clear about the dirty fracking and drilling processes, it is becoming more apparent that the state of Colorado needs to heavily regulate the oil and gas companies in our state. The oil and gas companies have more than enough money to keep paying fines for spills.
Knowing that 71 spills impacted the ground water last year shows the oil and gas companies’ continued threat to the thing that makes Colorado unique: its pristine open spaces.
As citizens of this state, we must talk to our representatives so we can prevent this from happening year after year. If we don’t, there is a very real possibility that what little water we have left will become unhealthy and dangerous to consume.
Tipton asked to support bill that protects Thompson Divide
As anglers who have fished all over the West, we know we are blessed to call western Colorado home. From the North Fork of the Gunnison to the Colorado and the Roaring Fork, excellent coldwater fisheries are right out our door.
The easiest way to ensure these areas remain top-notch fishing destinations is to conserve and protect the headwater creeks that feed these great rivers. By refraining from developing pristine unroaded areas, we can ensure that the source waters of these rivers will remain clean and cold — the key ingredient to healthy fisheries.
One area of key importance to trout enthusiasts like us is the Thompson Divide. The area is home to vital angling resources, including several
populations of cutthroat trout, the only native trout in Colorado, which exist in little of their original range.
The Thompson Divide’s many creeks also feed the gold-medal Roaring Fork River, the Colorado River and the North Fork of the Gunnison, all of which are our home waters. These rivers are vital to anglers, to the Western Colorado economy and to our way of life. Conserving the rugged character of the Thompson Divide will go a long way toward retaining the amazing angling opportunities it provides.
To that end, Sen. Michael Bennet has introduced the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act, a bill that would permanently retire 183,000 acres in the area from future mineral leasing and provide the space for citizens to buy currently held leases at fair market price.
Our other senator, Mark Udall, and Gov. John Hickenlooper support this bill, and we hope our congressman, Scott Tipton, will also support it. Doing so would show he believes Colorado’s diverse natural resources deserve diverse management prescriptions, from thoroughly developing certain areas to leaving other high value areas, such as the Thompson Divide, as it is.
LEW and TILDA EVANS
Colorado ranks 32nd in nation for teachers’ salaries
While listening to NPR radio recently, I was dismayed and shocked by some statistics that were relayed to their listeners.
Did you know that teachers in the state of Colorado have suffered a 5 percent drop in income over the last five years, thanks to the rise in the cost of living? This, on top of higher expectations and accountability, larger classes and out-of-pocket classroom expenses, leaves one to wonder why anyone still enters the profession.
As a Spellbinder, I am in elementary classrooms on a regular basis, and I am constantly amazed by the standard of teaching and the effort and devotion I observe from every member of staff with whom I come in contact.
The most staggering statistic from NPR’s report is that Colorado ranks 32nd in the nation for teacher salaries. We live in “God’s Own Country,” we pride ourselves on our beautiful scenery, and what a wonderful place this is to raise a family. Sad to say, however, we are failing these professionals badly.
Maybe all that we can do is to say “thank you “ or roll up our sleeves and volunteer in a classroom. Every little bit helps, and it is fun.
State’s school funding woes hinder efforts to attract new businesses
It was great to hear that Grand Junction is 19th best on the Kaufmann Association list of “Hotbeds of Tech Startup.” That is good news for our town. Surely lists like this one and “Best Places to Retire” are good for the economic welfare of our part of the world. People moving in, creating businesses and spending retirement money here are all good things.
Maybe we shouldn’t celebrate too much, though. While we may have tech businesses starting up, we aren’t that desirable a place when it comes to companies moving here if they have employees with children.
Colorado, (according to recent results for school year 2010-2011 published by Education Weekly) has the unfortunate distinction of funding K-12 education at $2,704 less per student than the national average for that year. As a state, Colorado’s funding for the education of the children who will become the workers for these tech companies and other businesses went from 37th of 51 jurisdictions in 2010 to 43rd of 51 in 2011.
When I was a kid, average got you a C and below average got you a D or an F. So, spending 23 percent less than the national average — well, you decide the grade.
Though an informed supporter of District 51 and an admirer of its performance under terrible funding conditions, I wouldn’t bring a business or a family with children here. Would you?
It’s time for some answers on New Year’s Day shooting
Why don’t we have more information on the shooting that took place on New Year’s Day? There’s much speculation as to what happened, but no straightforward answers.
If this was a “Make My Day” case, can’t they tell us that – and if so, on what grounds? We all would greatly appreciate some communication.