Email letters, January 20, 2014

TV ads only teach children greed

I am writing in reference to the TV ads for AT7T 4GLTE network, with the gentleman and the group of young kids (sitting at a table, or on balance balls, or on the floor).

Does anyone else find these ads disturbing and wrong? All we are teaching our kids is greed.  You have to have more and have it sooner and faster.

It is no wonder our youth feel a sense of “entitlement.” I have seen several ads, with adults touting this same message.


Grand Junction
Long-time energy worker attests to safety of fracking

As a follow-up to the Jan. 1 letter from Floyd Diemoz, I, too, am a child of Wilson Creek and many other oilfields as I grew up. I was born and raised in the “Patch.”

I began working in the “Patch” when I was 14, and, as a 30-year employee of Halliburton Colorado, I was directly involved in the drilling, production and stimulus of oil and gas wells throughout Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Texas and Alaska until 1992. That gives me more than 40 years of direct involvement.

I have been covered with those nasty frack fluids and breathed all of the fumes that could be found in and around the well sites and frack jobs. We fracked a well in 1963 in the Silt area. I have been involved in fracking from shallow wells, 5.000 feet to 20,000 feet in depth. We used crude oil, diesel, water and numerous combinations of all of the above, along with liquid CO2.

Wells in the Pavillion, Wyo., area that the EPA found were NOT damaged by fracking actually are contaminated from existing natural gas from shallow coal zones that the water wells are exposed to and not cemented off to prevent this problem.

As for the dangerous chemicals used in fracking, most can be found under the sink of your residence. All chemicals used on any location are required to be identified and the appropriate MSDS sheet furnished and available to anyone requesting them. All emergency personnel are aware of these sheets and their location.

Some of the proprietary formulations are patented and therefore protected.

I am a healthy, living example that fracking is not the boogieman that the anti-energy greenies make it out to be.  Some of them actually believe that the propane that is used for heat and cooking comes from the tanks at the storage facility and have no clue as to the actual source. If these individuals would actually figure out how important the nasty oil industry is to their way of life, they would be astounded. No cell phones, no computers, no batteries, etc.

Also, ask some of the old-timers of the area about the fun that they used to have lighting the Colorado River and Roan Creek for entertainment many years ago.

There have been NO confirmed and documented cases of surface water contamination ever, as per the EPA.  Many lies by Hollywood, but no facts.

Grand Junction

Southwest Colorado hospital hopes ACA will cut bad debts

This is in response to a letter to the editor that appeared in The Daily Sentinel Tuesday entitled “Obamacare creates Catch-22 for now uninsured couple.”

According to an article entitled “Obamacare may cut hospital bad debt,” published in The Dolores Star Jan. 9, “Southwest Health System said patients were unable to pay about $4.6 million in medical bills during the 12 months leading up to October 2012.” Southwest Memorial Hospital “also found through a survey that not having health insurance was the No. 1 health concern for the community.”

The article also noted, “The Colorado Health Institute estimates that 20 percent of the people in Montezuma County are uninsured. In preparation for Obamacare, the hospital became certified in the fall to sign people up for Medicaid, another form of insurance. ’The hope is that people will seek out preventative care and make fewer trips to the emergency room when they have insurance,’ said Kent Helwig, CEO of Southwest Memorial Hospital.”

In the article in The Daily Sentinel, it did not state the reason that their insurance was canceled. Was the reason their insurance was canceled because it did not meet the criteria for Obamacare?


CIA security force could have protected compound

The Jan. 16 article in The Daily Sentinel entitled, “Panel Spreads Blame For Benghazi,” should place the blame on the CIA, because it is the department that wanted it. The CIA’s security force would have been more than adequate to protect the compound.

We need to ask why the State Department asked Ambassador Chris Stevens twice if extra security is needed. The State Department was already aware that it was an explosive situation. The Obama administration blamed it on an American-made video that was anti-Islamic.

This attack was well planned by terrorists long before the video was seen. Remember it was done on Sept 11. Don’t be blindsided by the liberal New York Times. It reports that anger from the video had played a significant role in the Benghazi attack, but ask why the State Department did not protect Chris Stevens and his staff.

Grand Junction

How can BLM close so much access on public lands?

According to Colorado Revised Statute 43-2-201 (E), all roads over public domain are a legal tight-of-way in Colorado. Additionally, under CRS Title 3, the state has not ceded jurisdiction on 99 percent   of our local public lands to the BLM or USFS, which means Colorado laws and the sheriff have jurisdiction. The BLM and USFS have only a proprietorial interest on 99 percent of our local public lands. 

Without the legal jurisdiction to close our legal ROWs, how can the BLM close more than 2,400 miles of legal ROWs in the Grand Junction Travel Management District on our public lands? 
That should be the question of the year in our upcoming 2014 local elections. 

Grand Junction

AARP actively assists Western Slope seniors

As state president of AARP, I was dismayed to read the article about a lack of tax assistance on the Western Slope. I know personally that VITA volunteers are assisting older Grand Junction residents in tax preparation.  I also know that AARP Tax Aide volunteers are assisting older Coloradans in Cedaredge, Glenwood Springs, Montrose and Delta.

Last year on the Western Slope, AARP Driver’s Safety Program held more than 76 classes, 26 of which were in the Grand Junction area, training seniors to drive safely and obtain a vehicle insurance discount. We were present at fairs and festivals. We disseminated information on fighting fraud and asked people’s opinions on how to strengthen Social Security and Medicare. We had a workshop at CMU on how to increase brainpower and sponsored a day at the Botanical Gardens, admitting our members free of charge.

AARP is alive and well on the Western Slope.

State President, AARP Colorado

Sentinel readers should question what kind of governor Gessler would be

While Democrats are not immune from irresponsible behavior, and while Obamacare’s rollout has afforded Republicans ample ammunition to criticize it, the Sentinel’s front-page report (courtesy of the Durango Herald and the AP) – “Election chief’s office posts $5.1 million loss; he blames Dems’ bill” – affords insight into Republicans’ (including Secretary of State and would-be governor Scott Gessler’s) hypocritically self-serving version of responsible governance.

In 2001 and 2002, Republican President George Bush abandoned Democratic President Bill Clinton’s balanced budgets and national-debt-reducing budgetary surplus to enact exorbitant tax cuts – the latter, after starting unfunded wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – which disproportionately benefited the already wealthiest taxpayers.

After thereby squandering the federal government’s revenues, in 2009 Bush bequeathed to Democratic President Obama the largest annual deficits and national debt in history. In 2011, Republicans threatened to welch on the nation’s “full faith and credit” – causing the largest one-day increase in our national debt in our history.

In June 2012, Gessler had an unlawful $7 million surplus in his budget. Rather than turn that surplus back to the General Fund (where it might have benefited public education), Gessler unilaterally cut business registration fees – most significantly, from $125 to $1 — costing his budget $1 million per month into 2013 and resulting in a $51 million loss. Now, Gessler disingenuously blames House Bill 1303 – The Voter Access & Modernized Elections Act (sponsored by Democrats and supported by the Colorado County Clerks Association).

In light of New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s burgeoning “Bridge-gate” scandal, Sentinel readers should reasonably question what kind of Colorado governor the ethically challenged Gessler would be.

Meanwhile, the FEC found Idaho’s former Republican Sen. Larry Craig guilty of knowingly misusing campaign funds to fight his 2007 conviction in the infamous airport bathroom sex sting, and ordered him to pay $360,000 in fines and restitution.

Grand Junction

President’s policies contribute to economic disparity

President Obama has noted an increasing disparity between the wealth of the very rich and middle class. He does not realize that his policies of extreme economic regulation and wealth redistribution, which decrease personal freedom and entrepreneurship, are the cause.

The rich are rich because they know how to make money. Given the opportunity, they will collude with government for their mutual benefit, heavily tax our citizens, and then divide the spoils. With $3 trillion each year to dispense, corruption abounds. It was recently reported that 285 of 535 congressmen are millionaires, in a country where the average annual family income is just over $50,000. We are ruled, not governed. It is no coincidence that congressional wealth is more than obliquely connected to the 30,000 lobbyists that stalk the halls of Congress.

Almost 2,000 years ago the Roman historian Tacitus wrote, “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” He could have added, the more numerous the laws, the greater the corruption. Every month the Federal Register publishes 8,000 pages of new regulations for us all to follow.

Almost all government regulations have some stated and supposed good, but usually they are to support some favored contributor or supporter of the ruling party. For instance, the coal industry is being regulated out of existence by Obama to favor his environmental-extremist donaters.

A 2013 study made by two North Carolina college economists titled, “Federal Regulations and Aggregate Economic Growth,” concluded that if America were relieved of the burden of the last six decades of unnecessary Progressive regulations, today’s average household income would be $330,000, and our GDP would be $54 trillion.

Upon retiring from public service Thomas Jefferson wrote, “leaving office with hands as clean as they are empty.” Big government Progressivism destroys integrity.


After wasteful Hawaii trip, Michelle now gets big party

It was so thoughtful of President Barack Obama to give Michelle those extra days in Hawaii as a birthday gift and now (surprise!) a big birthday bash at the White House. Nice gifts, especially since neither of these cost the president anything, just the taxpayers.

You would think with all his millions he would have at least paid for the party. However, I am sure the White House will announce that all these guests begged to come for her special day and all paid their own way. And the beat goes on!

Grand Junction

Tri River horticulturalists treated unfairly in article

The new Tri River Extension Service Horticulture agent, Nick Meyer, resigned after eight months on the job and is accusing the staff of many things. Emily Shockley’s article, “Horticulturist’s resignation leaves programming in flux” (published Jan. 11 in The Daily Sentinel) lays out some of the accusations and got my attention for a couple of reasons.

First, I’m surprised the Sentinel would stick its nose into a contentious personnel matter. Second, I’m surprised the Sentinel would present only one side of any story, let alone a personnel matter.

It’s my opinion the people Meyer is accusing of wrongdoing are hard-working, honest folks who have provided a significant service to this community for a very long time. And, they can’t be interviewed to defend themselves in this situation because of pending lawsuits.

However, the Sentinel sees fit to let Meyer present his case to the public through the newspaper? Not fair.

The programs provided by the Extension Service were excellent. One was the Master Gardener Program. I personally went through that program in 2013 (before Meyer’s arrival) and found it profoundly informative, professional and helpful. The staff members are knowledgeable and courteous and always ready to go the extra mile for anyone.

The Sentinel was out of line in publishing that story.


Brooks’ column raised important points about minimum wage

David Brooks’ editorial in Sunday’s paper was precisely where the debate should be concerning raising the minimum wage and income inequality.

Raising the minimum wage would only help 11 percent of the poor. Efforts to help the poor should start with promoting marriage, with both parents raising the children and the government concentrating on putting more people to work by slowing down the EPA and trimming back some of the 1,8000 new regulations put into effect in the last five years! 

As someone recently said, jobs at fast-food chains were never meant to be lifetime jobs, but starting points for young people to learn work ethics and responsibilities, so they can go on to careers in better-paying jobs of their choice. Like throwing more money to schools, it has never helped.

Grand Junction

CU air monitoring program could expand to Mesa County

John Justman’s statement that “Western Colorado counties generally are not plagued by the ozone and pollution problems facing the Front Range” is highly subjective at best.

What Mesa County lacks is hard data. Monitors around the county do make some readings, but we lack the kind of concentrated data demanded by a study that would meet a “peer-reviewed” scientific data collection and analysis. To discontinue any further misconceptions, we need to have such a program.

Using high school students as data gatherers, CU-Boulder is conducting an air-quality testing program in the North Fork area. The program was reported Oct. 28, 2013, in The Daily Sentinel (“Project aims to assess effects of pollution” by Dennis Webb).

Because of this article, I pursued more information on the monitoring program and happened upon an EPA grant that would help support the effort to expand the monitoring into the Mesa County airshed. To initiate this program, I have been working with the same people on whom Webb reported.

At this time we need educational, governmental and/or nonprofit community or private entities to write letters of commitment for small matching funds and/or participation in the program.

This is an opportunity for hands-on education for fortunate students to participate and learn about air quality, the management of that air shed, use and care of the equipment, data collection and analysis, and problem solving with team building. What an opportunity!

If you are part of an educational, governmental and/or nonprofit community/private entity and wish to support this educational data program, please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Ashley Collier, program manager, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


New airport board members trying to fix bad decisions

With all of the flurry around the airport, it appears some of the most vital information is missing. I have been involved with this for the past three years, and it needs to be made clear that the current board members are the solution and not the source of the problems going on there.

It has taken a long time to remove member of the old board and replace them with people who have some integrity. The old board members are those who chose to back Rex Tippets and the now huge mess we are dealing with.

Members of the current board are trying to repair the very bad decisions that were made and do not deserve to be accused of any wrongdoing. That responsibility belongs to the previous members. Go back and look at them.


Sentinel’s Rick Jussel is a fine teacher of football

Everything I know about professional football and the Broncos, I have learned from Rick Jussel. Thanks, Rick.

Grand Junction

Give members of new airport board a fair chance

Citizen frustration with the airport is entirely understandable. We understand and agree that accountability is important. Previous airport boards did not perform well.

As an organization that has closely monitored the performance of the airport board for almost three years, we also make this observation:  It is important to note that most members of the current board have been in office only a few months.

Chairman Wood was literally handed an underfunded hole in the ground deceptively labeled as a “terminal building.”  Commissioner Wagner, head of the board investigation, had a complex mess dumped upon his plate. Let’s acknowledge and thank these gentlemen for their uncompensated community service. They have a tough job and are giving selflessly of their time.

President, Grand Junction Airport Users and Tenants Association
Grand Junction

Environmentalists must share blame for dearth of good jobs

Actions have consequences!  Teachers and parents tend to teach children that fact. Many adults today have seemingly forgotten that sometimes even well-meaning actions have dire consequences.

Environmentalists are having drastic and frightening consequences, as seemingly every day western Colorado increasingly resembles a community of the Depression era.
Economics is a hard science and can’t be manipulated. Our well-paying jobs are disappearing along with the workers — workers who were good citizens, sent their children to our schools, shopped locally and paid property and sales taxes.

To be replaced by what:  tourism jobs for waitresses and maids, a gambling mecca in De Beque, and, my personal favorite — pot tourism? We watch the unemployment trend and celebrate that it hasn’t fallen further, ignoring the fact that, along with the jobs, the workers have departed, leaving low-paying and part-time jobs in their wake.

Public lands in western Colorado should benefit all, as they were intended. Instead PILT funds, which counties and school districts have shared, are being denied. The closing of the Vermillion Basin and others guarantee that School Trust Lands, granted by our Constitution to provide money for school children, are no longer available for that purpose. But the sage-grouse is safe!

At least two western Colorado school districts face drastic cutbacks in per-pupil funding as their sinking property tax base has forced them to go to the state for funding where they are subject to the “negative factor.” As few as 30 years ago, school districts received most (about 65 percent) of their funding from local sources; today that figure is around 33 percent. We are then constantly bombarded with tax increase measures and surprised when they are soundly defeated.

Energy companies today are vital to our communities. They have learned how to develop their resources wisely; they are generous members of the community; and their workers are vital and vibrant citizens.

So, let’s stop pretending that the drastic measures environmentalists are forcing upon us are not also drastic reductions to our quality of life. C.S. Lewis told us that good men, acting upon their desires, act as cruelly and unjustly as the greatest tyrants. I think his words deserve our reflection.

Grand Junction



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