Email letters, January 23, 2014

Interior has long violated state laws regarding our legal rights

Welcome to the party, Daily Sentinel. Thursday’s editorial was “spot on” in saying that Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell violated Colorado state law with the closed-door meeting on the sage grouse. The fact of the matter is the Department of Interior (BLM) has been violating state laws regarding our legal rights-of-way (roads/trails) on public lands for decades.

According to Colorado Revised Statute (CRS) 43-2-201 (e), all roads over public domain are a legal right-of-way in Colorado. Additionally, under CRS Title 3 the state has not ceded exclusive jurisdiction of our local public lands to the BLM or to the U.S. Forest Service, which means Colorado law and sheriffs 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 backcountry ROWs on public lands in the Grand Junction Travel Management District? 

The answer is:  The Department of Interior ignores state law and has done so for decades. It’s time for western Colorado elected representatives to get educated on this matter and fight to protect what’s left our local economy.  This should be the “question of the year” in our upcoming 2014 local elections. 

BRANDON SIEGFRIED

Grand Junction

Apple computers not immune to attacks by web viruses

I have been using computers since the 1970s, when all that was available were binary computers programmed with switches. My first PC was an IBM that I learned how to use in 1984. I am a PC user, but I have used Apple products over the years, so I am familiar with Apple. Apple does make great products, but along with making great products, there is hype — some true and some not true.

A few statements in the recent article in the Sentinel are not entirely accurate. The statement that Apple has no need for virus protection, anti-spyware or tune-ups is just not true. If an Apple user uses the web and uses Java, there is potential to be infected by a Trojan, depending on the sites visited.

In February 2012, the Flashback Trojan infected 600,000 Mac OS X machines. This program steals user names and passwords. It was discovered in February 2012, but Apple didn’t release the Java patch until April 2012.

Apple has been slow to patch security holes because of the belief that Macs are immune to being attacked. Part of that reasoning is that Macs are more secure and far fewer Macs than PCs are in use. Only about 200 known Mac viruses are known, but Trojans can attack any computer, PC or Apple, via the web.

The comments about a person taking apart an Apple versus a PC were also inaccurate. I doubt if one could take apart a new Apple without voiding the warranty. With some of the newest Macs, one can’t even remove the screws to get the computer case open. In some Macs memory is soldered to the motherboard. If one wants to make any changes or upgrades, one will have to go to Apple.

Recommending an iPad or any tablet over a computer needs to include an evaluation of the user’s needs. Is the user going to type emails and do word processing, or will the user play games and music and watch videos? I wouldn’t recommend an iPad as a replacement to a computer on which one needs to do actual work.

Perhaps the Tech Guys should have proofed this article before it was published.

MIKE CURTIS
Grand Junction

Laying of blame onto Jewell may be premature

While the Sentinel deserve kudos for its companion editorials – Wednesday’s “Jewell should endorse area sage-grouse efforts” and Thursday’s “Trust compromised by feds’ arrogance” – its editors compromise the Sentinel’s own journalistic integrity every time they mention the fake “scandals” perpetrated by Darrell Issa’s “oversight“ committee.


While the Sentinel is entirely justified in questioning Secretary of the Interior Jewell’s seemingly cavalier disregard for journalistic access to an otherwise “public meeting,” it may be premature to attribute that gaffe to “arrogance” (rather than to a misguided staffer) – much less to a larger pattern of “hiding and obscuring the truth.”  Hopefully, the Sentinel will eventually report some cogent explanation.

Nevertheless, while “hiding and obscuring the truth” is clearly inconsistent with President Barack Obama’s publicly expressed commitment to increased governmental transparency (which, by other accounts, he is fulfilling – albeit, incompletely), so, too, is purposely perpetuating proven falsehoods inconsistent with responsible journalism.

“Fast and Furious” was the continuation of failed “gun tracking” operations initiated during the Bush Administration – which arose because Republicans refused to enforce Arizona’s state “straw purchaser” laws and/or to support enactment of federal “gun trafficking” laws. Attorney General Holder disclosed more than1,000 documents to Issa’s “witch hunt” committee, but was held in “contempt of Congress” on a partisan vote.


Within the limits of national security directives, the Obama administration was entirely forthcoming regarding Benghazi – as both The New York Times and the Senate’s recent report confirm. But Sentinel editorials have been deafeningly silent about the scandalous and baseless partisan pillorying of Ambassador Rice by Issa and his fellow-Republicans.


Likewise, the Sentinel has propounded a curiously naive disregard for the trade-offs between the First (freedom of the press) and Fourth (prohibiting only “unreasonable” searches and seizures) Amendments, and the legitimate national security interests served by the NSA (wherein “opaqueness” is a virtue, not a vice).


BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction



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