Email letters, January 22, 2014

After feds refuse to pay PILT, is it time to take lands back?

OK, let me see. The federal government, through the BLM, wants to close more than 67 percent of our access to our public lands. The Forest Service is rapidly closing roads and trails throughout the National Forests to restrict access to our public lands.

Now the BLM is doing an extensive study on the grouse so it can further restrict our access. If one doesn’t take into account the areas Ken Salazar, former secretary of Interior, pushed into proposed “wilderness” areas, or the energy leases that have been reduced or eliminated, I guess one could accept that the federal government is flexing its authority to control our public lands to a point never before experienced in this region.

Now comes the ultimate slap in our local government faces. They are not going to pay their local fees for professing they own this property. The Payment In Lieu of Taxes is not being funded by our brain trust in Washington as an apparent message to the western states that we don’t matter.

I just have one question. Is it time for the states that have to put up with this obvious disregard for their fellow Americans to take back control of their lands? All the states in America east of Colorado control 95 percent of their lands. We now have a federal government that believes it owns our public land and refuses to pay its taxes on it. Shouldn’t the tax collector seize this property for nonpayment of taxes?

JAMES O’MALLEY
Grand Junction

GOP should lead efforts to raise minimum wage

Raising the minimum wage should be a no-brainer, but we will have to convince Rep. Scott Tipton and his Republican colleagues.

The proposed $9 per hour minimum (up from the current $7.25) doesn’t even get workers to where they were in 1967 (it would have to be $10.56 an hour to have kept up with inflation), yet Republicans offer the same flawed arguments. Here are the facts:

It WON’T ship jobs overseas. Minimum wage jobs are highly concentrated in the service industry: cleaners, store clerks, food workers, etc. – jobs that cannot be shipped overseas because they serve the people here.

It WON’T hurt workers. Virtually all minimum wage earners support raising it   that wouldn’t be true if it were going to hurt them.

It WON’T hurt business. Business will pass the costs on to consumers.
Believe it or not, consumers overwhelmingly say they will pay the extra dime on their coffee or few cents on their purchases to support the working poor.

It WILL give more than 15 million people money to meet everyday needs – money that WILL immediately be poured back into the economy, boosting overall growth.

It WILL reduce the number of people on food stamps and other government
aid. (Republicans should support the proposal for this reason alone.)

It WILL be representative of the American people – more than 70 percent of whom support the minimum wage raise.

Here is a challenge to Tipton and other Republicans: Do better than the Democrats. Propose legislation that increases minimum wage to more than $9 an hour.

PETER WESTCOTT

Carbondale

Valley residents should resolve to stop polluting

Do you enjoy breathing during our inversions? Whether our polluted air comes from tailpipes and cars left idling while owners run in for quick stops (which, by the way, is against state law), from burning or from the gas and oil industry, it’s still pollution.

Everyone living under this hovering mass suffers to some degree. Did your eyes and nose drip more than usual? Did you cough more often or have a sore throat? Did your children have more respiratory problems? Did your asthma and lung problems worsen?

We can do something about this. People in our valley burn leaves, weeds, household trash and other materials that release toxic smoke. Some may not know the open burning rules that apply to all residential and commercial areas, not just the Grand Valley. County residents must get a permit from local fire departments, since Mesa County does not issue permits to them. The fire department reviews applications to ensure that only allowed materials are burned.

Confusing rules apply for Collbran, DeBeque, Gateway, Glade Park and Mesa and Plateau valleys, allowing burns to take place outside of burn season (a mistake in my view, as smoke and air move). As for East and Central Orchard Mesa and Whitewater, the Mesa County Health Department issues permits just for them.

We are very close to being out of compliance with EPA air quality regulations here in the Grand Valley. It would be very beneficial if we would all resolve to be better stewards of our air quality and pay more attention to what harms it. After all, everyone has to breathe.

PEGGY RAWLINS
Grand Junction

Slaughters by aethists far surpass those attributed to Christians

This is in response to the Jan 21 letter to the editor by S. Miles Johnson: “True believers” are those who follow Jesus’ command: “love God and love neighbor” and the 10 commandments. And by the way, we all (with absolutely no exceptions) fall short of this command, as well, as all do relapse, no matter how good the intentions.

So, I question the actions you cited as those of “true believers.” They are the action of men through the ages and will continue. Since mainly slaughters by Christians were mentioned, I do want to put a relative perspective to slaughters caused by the atheist regimes of the 20th century alone vs. those by attributed to Christians. These numbers are averages from books and reviews. Yes, any killing is bad, and mass killing is horrendous.

Totalitarian atheist regimes of the 20th century alone (Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot) from 1932 to 1969, over a period of only 37 years killed more than 86 Million. Mao Ze Dong from 1958 to 1969, over a period of 11 years, killed more than 70 million (recent estimate is more than 100 million). Hitler from 1939 – 1945, over a period of six years, killed more than 10 million (6 Million Jews). Josef Stalin from 1932 – 1938, over a period of 6 years, killed more than 6 Million. Pol Pot of Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, over a period of four years, killed more than 1.7 million (50 percent of Cambodia’s population).

Christian slaughters cited by Johnson’s letter - Crusades, inquisition, witch-hunt: 1095 to 1700, over a period of 700 years killed fewer than 2.5 Million. Inquisition from 1560 to 1700, over a period of 140 years, killed between 3,000 and 5,000. Crusades from 1095 to 1291, over a period of 196 years killed 2 million. Witch-hunts (Europe and Salem) killed 43.

We are all works in progress until time is no more. However, I’d rather have the moral compass of the Bible than the relativistic compass of the secular self/ego.

VIOLETE STEVENS

Grand Junction

Place methane gas fueling station on site at Persigo

Grand Junction should be applauded for finally pursuing the collection of methane gas from the Persigo plant to be used as a motor fuel for the transit and service fleet. While this technology has been around for years, the abundance of cheap liquid gasoline and diesel has kept it on the back burner (pun intended).

My critique of the current plan is the proposed pipeline from Persigo to the compressed natural gas fuel island by the city shops. My thinking is that the popularity of this energy source is bound to escalate and eventually become commonplace on the public market.

I would seriously explore the option of placing the fueling station, as well as processing and cleaning mechanism on site at Persigo. There is an abundance of room on site, and vehicles could refuel there and avoid congestion at the existing station. This would also save an estimated $1.5 million and traffic problems associated with building the four miles of pipeline along River Road and Riverside Parkway.

I applaud any attempt to create the infrastructure and use of such an abundant fuel as methane and CNG. This clean-burning fuel trumps any liquid fuel on the market, besides reducing the raw methane released into the atmosphere.

JOE JOHNSTON
Fruita

Article on dental office shed ‘a terrible light’

This letter is in response to an article that was printed about my dental office and me in Tuesday’s edition.

I am confused about why a reputable paper such as The Daily Sentinel would publish such an article. It is incorrect in several statements.

The overall sentiment of the article sheds a terrible light on my office and on me personally, even though the author and I have never met or spoken. The light it sheds is just not accurate at all.

The reporter has taken the one-sided opinion of a disgruntled patient and made it out to be the truth without finding out any details whatsoever from the one source he could and should have looked to: me.

My office manager told me a week or so ago that someone called from the paper asking questions about our My Personal Dentist program and that she answered him. That is all I ever heard about it.

The next thing I knew is that one of my staff approached me with Tuesday’s edition of the paper. I proceeded to read an untrue, biased article that threatens the survival of my business.

Building a business is difficult enough without something like this dragging it down. Why would you print such an article without talking to me? Why would you take the opinion of one person who is obviously angry about a situation as the absolute truth and print it for the whole world to read without confirming that it was actually true?

I would appreciate an opportunity to meet personally with you and the author of the article as soon as possible. Thank you.

ERIC BENEFIELD

Grand Dental
Grand Junction

Members of public deserve more information about murder of Randy Cook

As I peruse The Daily Sentinel and search for any information on the homicide of Randy Cook, I find literally nothing about this absolute senseless murder in the paper. It disgusts me that I see such big news on sage grouse and the Grand Junction tourism website.

It just reinforces my opinion on what this paper is about, and it sure isn’t news; it’s fluff.

This man was murdered and literally had more than 1,000 attend his funeral. Three weeks pass and very little media coverage with ZERO answers from law enforcement. A candlelight vigil took place last night on the courthouse steps and what do I hear from our paper?  “Crickets.” Keep up the great reporting … NOT.

ERIK “THOR” HOYER

Cavecreek, Ariz.

Crimes against humanity are not the result of minds in submission to God

In response to S. Miles Johnson’s letter attributing crimes against humanity to believers, Jesus set the example for believers in John 8:3-11 (New International Version).

“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’  They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said.  “Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’”

Notice that Jesus neither condemns nor condones the woman. He is merciful but unwilling that she should continue in her sin. This should be our response.

Crimes against humanity are not the result of minds that are in submission to God. John 3:16-17 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

JOHN COX

Palisade                                                                                        



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