Email letters, January 27, 2014

Cost of firefighting fleet would ‘eat this state alive’

Gov. Hickenlooper should be skeptical of Sen. Steve King’s idea for Colorado to have its own fleet of slurry bomber aircraft to fight wildfires.

King has said California has its own fleet of firefighting aircraft. Need I remind the senator that California is bankrupt? I submit that its fleet of aircraft certainly contributed to its current financial status.

The good senator has further stated that the aircraft are free. Believe me, after 50 years in commercial aviation, I know nothing about airplanes is free.

To plan on using Lockheed C-130 aircraft from the Davis Monthan AFB storage facility is not cost-effective at all. Before these aircraft could be put into service, a Heavy D maintenance check would no doubt be required. Such a check on an aircraft put into storage at the expiration of its service life would entail a considerable amount of public funds.

Then there is the risk of flying an aged aircraft under dangerous conditions in rough air – recall the wing falling off one a few years back – and we have the conditions for disaster and liability for this state on a grand scale.

King has obviously done some research on this; however, he has come to the wrong conclusion. While a fleet of transport category aircraft to fight fires might sound neat when visiting in the Legislature, the fleet’s operating costs will eat this state alive, and the bean counters will rue the day that the plan was implemented.

Grand Junction

Administration resorts to clandestine investigations

When you can’t argue the facts, then start clandestine (but properly leaked to the public) “investigations” or issue some subpoenas to your enemies and their friends. Attacking the pocketbook of your enemies with taxpayer dollars is now the norm.

Wake up, people. This is the current administration’s answer to criticism.

Grand Junction

Friedman praised for noting that parents rule classrooms

How refreshing it was to read Thomas Friedman’s column on how our educational system is failing. Someone finally spoke up about what is really wrong with our educational system. It is parents not allowing the system to fail their children.

If parents and the very students in the classroom can’t put in the time and effort to succeed, we will fall even farther behind the world in education. No amount of money thrown at our current system will succeed as long as parents rule the classroom and not teachers.

As long as parents force teachers to pass their children who can’t read, spell or do basic mathematics, our nation will fail. Isn’t it asking a lot of a teacher to feed, teach basic hygiene, try to keep order in a classroom and impart some knowledge?

Kudos to Friedman from bringing up a subject many want to ignore.

Grand Junction

St. Mary’s nurses and doctors took special care of little girl

Our two-year-old great-granddaughter just spent seven days in St. Mary’s pediatrics ward with pneumonia. We wish to extend a big thank-you to all the nurses and doctors who give such special care for these little people, as well as the response and comforting to parents.

Grand Junction

Friday’s paper provided food for thought about several issues

Last Friday’s paper sparked some thought about the old town in which I grew up. Things have changed. It seems people are so fed up with things that every two years they put ballots out to change things such as mandatory marriage counseling. Why, the preacher did that when I was getting married my two times? They don’t always get it right, but they didn’t have the state raising the price of doing it.

As for no-kill animals, well, that didn’t used to be a problem on the farms in rural life or in town when I was growing up. First of all, there weren’t that many people, and the majority of the ones we had were responsible folk. It’s with higher population the problem has proliferated. That says a lot about our society as a whole.

Community Rights Amendment: If Democrat don’t like it, they will find a way to legislate it out of existence. Government does not belong in business and we don’t need any more Greenpeace politics guarding policy.

The parenthood amendment: This is Chevy vs. Ford, I have my opinions, but it will never be settled in court. It’s for people to decide.

Then we go over to the comments side of the editorial pages. I just love that Alexander has figured it out. The government has made illegal pot sales even more lucrative because nothing the government ever ran was more profitable, more efficient, or user friendly — nothing! (I worked for the U.S. Postal Service for a short time.)

Then we have Tri River employees and the press poking its nose in. Go figure. The CIA should have protected the Benghazi compound. Well, I figure the administration had something going on we aren’t supposed to know about. Seems there is a lot of that in the “most open administration in history.” Hmmm.

AARP: All I will say is I don’t belong to that organization anymore; I found out tits political skew was not of my belief, so I joined another old people group that treats me better and doesn’t contribute to the likes of Obamacare, higher taxes, and government stickin’ its nose in private business.

We have a pretty damn good system in America. Only the government can screw it up on this level. Remember, folks, vote early, vote often and vote with your head, not your heart.

Grand Junction

More people unafraid to state that abortion means murder

This is in response to both The Daily Sentinel editorial on Jan. 24 and Bill Grant’s comments on Jan. 22. Yes, the Personhood Amendment will be presented for the third time. Yes, it is another attempt to ban abortion.

And why should it not be tried again? It is such an important subject.

Over the past 41 years, 56 million abortions have occurred in the USA alone. Americans are beginning to see through the clever and deceptive words such as: “The right to choose, pro-choice, freedom to choose.” These are convenient words to ease one’s conscience so as to justify the killing of one’s own unborn child just because it is inconvenient or a burden to one’s life style.

“Reproductive rights” - whose rights? Definitely not the defenseless child’s rights. “Termination of pregnancy” - why not just state the truth and use the real words such as murder or killing?

Just because previous attempts to pass the Personhood Amendment did not succeed does not mean that it should not be passed. This is the third attempt to prevent what is wrong.

Right now, the majority of Americans are waking up to the truth of all that deceptive euphemism. It took a while, but the truth about abortion is coming out, and the majority of us are disgusted and no longer afraid to speak up.


Inhumane treatment of woman jailed in Kansas must be addressed

For possession of an ounce of marijuana, a 58-year-old woman, driving home to Missouri, was arrested and died on the floor of her jail cell in Goodland, Sherman County, in far western Kansas.

She had been held for two days, deprived of the right to make a single phone call, prohibited from taking the prescribed medications for her serious medical conditions, and then prevented from having meaningful medical care while in great physical distress.

Please read the AP article by Roxana Hegeman on Page 3 of Saturday’s Daily Sentinel and Google this developing investigation.

Whatever your political, spiritual and/or moral beliefs may be, we should each and all be aghast by such a denial of elementary humanism and our basic individual rights which we Americans profess to stand. This incident deserves our attention and our outcry. May Brenda Sewell not have died in vain!

Grand Junction

Krauthammer column more sad than humorous

Sunday morning is always something to look forward to in the Sentinel with the inevitable inclusion of the Charles Krauthammer comedy column.

The latest Krauthammer Obama harangue that claimed we owe Canada an immediate answer about allowing the Keystone pipeline to cross our country is hilarious. Not once did “Prince Charles” mention why Canada doesn’t use Canadian ports to export its extremely dirty oil sands product. Those ports are much closer to the source of said oil.

Could it be that Canadians are much smarter about allowing that stuff being exported from their ports? Why not let gullible Americans and money-hungry oil billionaires shoulder the burden?

As the Kraut says, the stuff is going into the atmosphere somewhere around the world anyway, why not let Americans have a piece of the action? Canadians stand for integrity and Americans stand for —  what? But we owe Canadians an answer post haste? Is the answer always this:  If there is money to be made, go for it?

I was wrong. This column is not comedic relief; it is a sad comment on conservative “thought.” But we can always rely on Krauthammer leading the way.

Grand Junction

Citizens must respect others’ beliefs, but U.S. must also be ‘melting pot’

I read an article (‘Indians a rising force in politics’ on page 5A of Sunday’s paper) that got me thinking. In fact it got me mad. Why do we try to dissect society and break down every vote or issue by race, gender, religion or nationality? Why don’t we let people decide themselves on issues? Let us think and reason ourselves. The news media must think we are sheep and must be led. 

Being a first-generation American and brought up in the 1940s, I still remember some of what I was taught in school.

“America is a melting pot.” People from all walks of life, cultures, religions and countries came to our shores (the United States) to start a new life with freedom from many things. This included religious freedom, freedom from discrimination and so on. We want make a new and better life for ourselves and for our families. We will pull together as “one nation” to make this dream come true.

I was taught to never forget where my family came from or our customs, but we are Americans first, pulling together for a better America. It seems to me, however, that today everyone seems to try to single out groups of people by race, religion, nationality or political groups.

We need to go back and look at a person based on what he or she stands for, not his or her race, religion or nationality is. The inability to see both sides of an issue and intolerance of other views are hurting this great nation that was founded on great principles. Everyone has his or her views. If we all think and act alike, we would live a dull life. We must think for ourselves and respect others’ views and beliefs. 


Pramenko wishes to use smoke and mirrors to obscure mess of Obamacare

It’s an axiom of politics that when you have nothing positive to say about your position that you accuse the opposition of offering nothing of value. So it is with Dr. Pramenko, who states that Obamacare opponents have not offered good alternatives. He’s wrong, of course. What Republicans offered was simply ignored. Republicans weren’t needed; it only took Democrats to pass this travesty.

Now that the Republicans control the House of Representatives, what they send to the Senate is simply tabled (not brought to a vote) by Democrat Harry Reid. Thus, it’s disingenuous for Pramenko to say that the opposition doesn’t provide good solutions, as there’s no way it can.

Pramenko’s real goal, though, is to simply obscure what is happening with smoke and mirrors. That’s really all he can do, because what is happening is not good. He offers as good that Obamacare now covers two million people. Never mind the seven million who have lost insurance due to Obamacare. By my calculations, that leaves five million fewer people with insurance now than before.

Of those that have signed up for Obamacare, the majority are those that had insurance but were cancelled by Obamacare. They are not those that were uninsured. It gets worse, though. The bulk of those people are being funneled into Medicaid. Those new Medicaid patients are in for a real lesson in what happens when government runs amuck.  If they think a new Medicaid patient is thought of in the same way as other patients by doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies, then they probably also get really excited on Christmas Eve.

In fact, if you are one of those new Medicaid patients, I recommend that you run, not walk, to your healthcare providers to find out what your status is. Don’t be surprised if you now have insurance but no one will see you. I have heard of new Medicaid patients that will no longer be seen by the physicians who had treated them. They’ll have to find new physicians. What is the chance of that?  Slim or none. Maybe Pramenko is taking new Medicaid patients?

That leads to another Obama lie that Obamacare is going to save money because people will go to a physician instead of the emergency room. Obamacre is dramatically increasing the numbers of Medicaid patients. If no physician will see them, the ER is all that’s left. How does that save money and lower costs?

To close, let me just say that if you can keep your doctor, keep your insurance, costs will go down, everyone will have insurance, and kumbaya, then you are living in some other country, not the good old US of A. Thank the Democrats, because they wouldn’t, and won’t, have anything to do with alternative ideas.

Grand Junction

It’s wrong to think Pentagon gets whatever funding it wants

Two of the letters in Sunday’s paper caught my eye. One by Marcia Neal was headlined “Environmentalists deserve blame for dearth of good jobs.”  Excellent, Marcia.

The other letter, “Continue to cut military to get more domestic funds,” was from Wayne Flick. I don’t know if Flick ever served his country, but I suspect if he did he was supremely unhappy. He apparently thinks the Pentagon gets whatever it asks for.

Having worked in the Pentagon and in the budget process in the mid- to late-70s, I happen to know that is not the case. Flick, however, seems to know better, so I would ask him for specifics. Just what programs do we delete or underfund, and where exactly do these dollars go to what specific programs or departments?

I’m sure he can enlighten us in exhaustive detail.

Now if he wants to cut the NASA Mars program, I would join him.

Grand Junction

D51 teachers seem willing to creatively address issues

I attended the D51 School Board “Coffee with Teachers” meeting on Saturday. I was impressed, but not surprised, that concerns voiced by many of the professional educators there closely echo the problems discussed in my parent/citizen group, “Parents and Citizens for Better Schools Mesa County.”

Several teachers expressed frustration at the yearly “reinvention of the wheel,” and “fixing what ain’t broke.” Layers of student assessments, teacher assessments, the introduction of new assessments, RTI, pacing guides and administering new curricula without proper training are the tip of a dysfunctional iceberg teachers in D51 are expected to deal with every day. Most teachers want to get back to basics, teach what is tried and true, and have the time and freedom to establish meaningful connections with their students.

The teachers who attended the meeting presented a number of ideas to deal with the increasingly severe behaviors of children, including bringing back a “Truancy Court,” expelling students who don’t respond to other interventions, placing greater accountability on families and parents, and giving real consequences to habitually disruptive students.

Several teachers called for full-day kindergarten because they’re concerned that too many children are entering first grade unprepared. For the most part, however, those present were thinking, and willing to work within, the reality that school funding will be tight for the indefinite future. Suggestions such as reallocation of existing funds and reclassification of existing personnel to fill student needs were also voiced.

D51, like the rest of Mesa County, lives with the reality that money is short and needs are high. D51 teachers seem willing to work creatively to address, in a timely way, the problems they see, without having to lobby or wait for new revenues. D51 teachers see that the issues in education are more complex than just a lack of funding.

Grand Junction

De Beque to continue gaming initiative, despite editorial

I was disappointed to read your summary dismissal of the gaming initiative in De Beque. We will trudge forward without your support.

You touted all the standard downsides of gambling, most of which don’t prove out by statistics from existing Colorado gaming towns. But they make good TV.

I invite you to visit any of the grassroots committee members or me. We can advise you of the substantial constitutional financial benefits for Mesa County — while keeping social pressure away from the Grand Valley, your specific area of concern.

De Beque




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