Email letters, January 6, 2014

Many more should obtain ‘concealed carry’ permits

Incredible! That’s what came to mind when I read what Ken Toltz said. Concealed handguns threaten? Maybe, but it’s usually the one concealed by a criminal that is to be feared. Does he really believe that a criminal will care in the least that guns - concealed or not - aren’t permitted on campus?

And that not having legally concealed weapons on campus will prevent our state from becoming “known for any more tragic mass shootings”? Not sure how that might work. Why not have someone surprise these sick weirdos who want to kill with an unexpected concealed weapon? I think that would very likely throw a major wrench into their plan for the day.

I believe many folks on campus (and elsewhere) should obtain their training and permit and carry concealed. Hunting would be a lot different if the critters could shoot back.

ED JONES
Grand Junction

Problems of legal marijuana should come as no surprise

In Friday’s editorial, the Sentinel questioned whether there would be an increased availability of marijuana to school-age children now that the recreational pot shops have opened in Colorado.

This is a ludicrous question since your own paper daily documents arrests in the blotter that show increased teen arrests for marijuana. You have also published many articles about the dramatic increase in school expulsions since medical marijuana shops opened in 2008.

Now that the floodgates have been thrown open, how can you continue to wonder what the outcome will be on the youth? The Colorado Sheriffs Association and Grand Junction Police Chief Camper warned us that if you normalized a behavior you will get more of it.

How will law enforcement be able to deal with the “black market” when people who possess receipts from legal sales are able to use them as a front for transporting their illegal pot?

The legal shops will only serve as a way to expand the customer base of addicts and advance their agenda to legalize all drugs in the U.S.

For those who still believe the tax revenues will be a benefit to our state, they should read the Columbia University studies that show that only 9 percent of the social and medical costs related to alcohol and tobacco use are covered by tax revenues from those two legal substances. Why would we ever want to pile on more problems by legalizing more of this kind of stuff?

Most addicts will continue to buy off the street because with little overhead and no taxes or regulation it will continue to be cheaper — a very significant issue to druggies.

For a paper that claims to have opposed Amendment 64 to legalize pot, the Sentinel certainly devotes a great deal of front-page space to its promoters.

DIANE COX
Palisade

Article on ship stuck in Arctic failed to mention its mission

The Daily Sentinel Jan. 3 article entitled “Stuck ship’s passengers rescued” omitted an important bit of information. It failed to say the mission was to find evidence of climate change, and it referred to the stranded people as “passengers,” “scientists” and even “tourists,” without a word about climate change or global warming.

I understand that the Associated Press supplied the article, not the Sentinel, but I wonder if you are comfortable with the AP being in charge of your reputation for trustworthiness? Of course, you are not alone, since most newspapers and all the network morning and evening news shows have not mentioned that climate change had anything to do with the expedition.

The Environmental Protection Agency still acts as if warming is settled science, while companies are being driven out of business and workers are losing their jobs because “scientists” would rather rely on propaganda and on faulty computer models than look out their windows. It’s too bad that there is not more even-handed respectful discussion of this and most other important issues in the media.

GEORGE E. CORT
Montrose

Florida State University study on firearms is bogus

In response to my letter on Jan. 2, Ben Etheridge writes in to quote a statistic from a professor at Florida State University that citizens use a firearms to defend against a criminal attack 2.5 millions times a year in America. This is a completely laughable statistic.

If you take 2.5 million and divide it by the 50 states and then divide that by 365 days in a year, you would come up with about an average of 137 times per state per day that citizens use a firearm to defend themselves. Please, that is completely ridiculous.

I guess if you are a gun advocate and you have the sick gun culture to back you up, you can make up any statistic you want about firearm defense and put it into a book or into your gun magazine. But these instances never reach the light of day in the mainstream media because they simply don’t happen that often.

If you took this 2.5 million number and had it investigated by a reliable source, you would most likely find that it is completely bogus.

JIM CIHA
Grand Junction

Radical environmentalists ought to reflect on ice-cold December

I’m wondering how the greeny zealots think they would have had heat and light during the December 2013, when the sun didn’t shine for days and it was bitter cold. Without evil drilling/fracking, we would not have had cheap, abundant, clean and convenient natural gas to keep us warm with no effort on our part.

And lights!  Without coal, natural gas and nuclear generation, there would have been no lights and no energy to pump precious heat around your house.

I urge you greeny zealots to think of these things before you unequivocally say, “Ban fracking!” or “Ban coal mining!” Try to imagine what life would be like without the comforts you take for granted. And no provable harmful effects have been derived from fracking for the last 60 years.

NEWT BURKHALTER
Grand Junction

The elephant in the grow room

While I applaud and share in the jubilant and victorious feelings about the success of marijuana legalization in Colorado, I cringe in disgust at the distorted manifestation of its production paradigm.

C’mon, really, everyone is cool with his or her “medicine” being produced under the constant white noise and glare from indoor heating/cooling and lighting and planted into some sort of growing medium which in no way resembles fertile soil!

Is this really the Colorado I grew up in, where generations of my family farmed the rich earth and where my coming of age was guided by the environmental as well as the organic food movements? Seriously, we live in one of the most sun rich states in North America. Do we really need, and more importantly can we afford in terms of increased carbon footprint, to grow marijuana in giant warehouses with massive consumption of energy for lighting and heating? Would you eat kale or lettuce grown in this manner? And would it sustain you? Could it?

Now, there will be people who come along and tell you that their marijuana is organic indoor, but it’s a lie! By definition the term organic implies sustainability; indoor grown marijuana is in no way a sustainable proposition. I say this having been in the organic farm community for 30-plus years and having seen both indoor and outdoor ganja. Nothing compares to the glow of ripening buds in the late afternoon sun! Makes me want to puke in my mouth when I hear an indoor grow warehouse referred to as a farm or garden. Get real!

Well, I could go into the myriad of statistics supporting my case, such as the energy consumption for indoor being equivalent to putting 30,000 new cars on the road each year or the tons of coal it takes to grow one pound of pot, but the information is already out there on the Internet and many studies have been conducted. Check it out and decide for yourselves what you want to support.

The Jeffersonian vision of small, independent farmers growing cannabis on sun-drenched, fertile Colorado soil nourished with Rocky Mountain spring water (behind security fences or in greenhouses or both, of course) is what makes sense — not corporate-controlled grow houses funneling your money into dirty energy from tar sands-like projects or coal-fired power plants!

CHRISTOPHER OLSEN

Hotchkiss

Long pharmacy lines indicate U.S. descent into socialism

I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions yesterday. I have put it off because for the several days there has been a very long line and I wasn’t in a hurry.

So, what do I find out by observing the folks in this long line? If you have Medicare or Medicaid, you are hosed. They have been offline, out of business, shut down since Dec 31. This has created a nightmare for the Pharmacy and Patients.

Why? Further research is this is an effect of the ACA, or Obamacare. What government doesn’t screw up, wreck or send into disrepair it raises the cost of and make it impossible for citizens to comply. I want to thank President Obama personally for being an idiot with no idea what he is doing and totally lacking the skills to officiate this system.

Those liberals out there who disagree with me, go to your local pharmacy and stand there and tell people just how great things are in a socialist-led Amerika.

RICHARD BRIGHT
Grand Junction
 
Many ‘packing heat’ for decades have had no accidents

This is in response to the David Ryan letter in the Jan. 5 paper. Ryan wishes to engage the “what if” scenario concerning the Montrose county commissioner’s wife that forgot about the gun in her purse. What if “some kids had found it”?  OK, I’ll play … what if she had prescription drugs in her purse?

What if, when the two World Trade Center hijackers of 9/11 stood up with their box cutters (remember, they did not use guns), one or more persons stood up and pulled their legal firearm? Do you think the terrorist would have immediately sat down, claiming it was just a joke? Personally, I believe so. Perhaps almost 3,000 people (not counting friends and family) might have appreciated that.

He brings up the “numerous opportunities for accidents” when carrying a gun. How about the actual accidents (far more than guns) involving automobiles? I mean, if we’re talking “potential” and “what if” possibilities, then the sky is the limit.

I’ve known many people that have been “packing heat” for decades and have never had an accident.

In closing, I would simply say that on any given day, it’s impossible to know what, when, where and why accidents will occur, and that we must rely on common sense, good luck and/or faith, to see us through.

WM. PATTEN
Fruitvale
 
Headlines on energy stories don’t reflect fair reporting

Is Dennis Webb an environmentalist disguised as a Daily Sentinel reporter?

Every headline in every article he writes concerning the oil and gas industry is deliberately skewed to make the reader think the worst of each situation and give the impression that quantities involved are more than they actually are. 

An example is “tens of thousands of gallons” instead of actual barrels. The reader gets the distorted view in the headline only to find the real truth on the back pages.

Here is an idea for the Sentinel’s editors. How about some fair reporting in the headlines from your agenda-driven environmentalist?

GARY ENGLAND
Grand Junction

CMU students give prof hope for a bright future

Regarding the Jan. 4 article, “Gloomy Americans see a downhill slide in next four decades,” I would like to offer another perspective on the current generation of young people. My comments are based on 30 years’ experience as a teacher that includes Head Start and G.E.D. classes, as well as many semesters at the college/university level here at Mesa and at Texas A&M University. 

During the past year I have taught courses at CMU that include a required general education class for first-year students and sophomores and an elective upper-level class for juniors and seniors. My observations are identical for both levels of students.
The students support one another and work extremely well in teams and groups when focusing on a common objective. Over the course of the semester they have built camaraderie and a sense of community. They are creative and proficient with technology. In my classes, students give presentations at the ends of the semesters, and they are consistently lively and fun and smart and informative. 

In the general education class most of the guys decided, on their own, to dress up for the presentations, and in they came with suits, vests and ties, snappy shirts and jackets, even haircuts. Some students asked permission to invite family members.


They care about the world around them. Projects in both classes required interaction with nonprofits, governmental agencies and businesses in the community. One individual at a nonprofit organization profiled by several students commented to me, “It was very encouraging to talk to these students. They give me hope that the work I care so much about will be continued in some way.”


Like the quotes in the article from the Sentinel, I am writing about a small slice of contemporary society, but it is a very hopeful and encouraging slice.


LYN FRASER
Grand Junction

Numerous gun owners know how to use weapons responsibly

I see writer David Ryan added his name to the list of people who write to rail against gun ownership every time there is gun violence or an accident with a gun. Seems to me that these folks just can’t stand the idea of gun ownership.

Maybe what they don’t know or don’t want to admit is that lifelong gun owners like me simply own guns like some people own golf clubs or bowling balls. We have learned to use them carefully and responsibly over a lifetime of use.

He cites a couple instances of why it is dangerous to own a gun. My answer to that is simple: You cannot cure stupidity. People do stupid things. Every day drunk drivers kill people with their autos. Just yesterday I saw a young driver texting from Clifton all the way to 12th Street. Would he have written a letter railing against auto ownership if that young man had caused a fatal wreck? I think not.

To err is human, no matter if it’s a car, gun, fist or ice pick. If you want to be completely safe, then stay in your bedroom. Just hope someone doesn’t drive through the wall.

LARRY HERWICK
Grand Junction

Colorado may no longer be state worth defending

Josh Penry in his editorial has expressed an opinion he is entitled to, but I agree with Pastor John Hagee. The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.

Funny, but the progressive Josh Penry cites a passage of scripture about Jesus telling His disciples to “bring the children unto Me.”

That passage is linked to the passage where Jesus (that Rabbi from Nazareth) is confronted by a group of Pharisee who asked about divorce. Jesus focused on dogmatics and directed them to consider what was written in the Law of Moses — at the beginning—and reflects what we see in Genesis 1:27 God made them male and female—and Genesis 2:24 “and said for this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.”

Hebrew law had not changed in hundreds of years concerning “marriage” and they did not recognize same sex marriage. In Colorado the people of this state voted to defend “marriage” by elevating it to constitutional status. And on that same ballot voted NO to the fraud of civil unions.

Unfortunately, we elected enough Democrats and John Hickenlooper and the Legislature, and the express will of the people was expunged. Now we have a state court that orders a baker to bake wedding cakes for people who cannot legally marry in Colorado.

When the government rejects property rights—when it decides that queer rights trump the rights of conscience, this is no longer the state I was born in. No longer a state worth defending.

ROBERT JAMES BURKHOLDER
Fruita

FBI probe, civil suits uncover good-old-boy system at airport

It’s not the airport that is in crisis. The crisis is with the previous airport management. The active FBI investigation and civil lawsuit have exposed an arcane, good-old-boy system of alleged patronage, intimidation, corruption and fraud. People, not airports, do those acts.

The airport, like any across the country will survive and prosper in spite of its management. I doubt air travelers will avoid Grand Junction airport because of this scandal.

So, your editorial of Jan. 5 misses the point. The county commissioners have demonstrated their understanding of the problem by taking appropriate action — removing those who are incapable of leading through this crisis.

The commissioners should be commended for their courage and leadership. By their action, they have laid down the gauntlet. For the public good, you might consider a similar position.

LEE A. WHITNEY
Fruita

To make paper more readable, place related articles on same page

Generally, the content organization of The Daily Sentinel makes sense from a reader’s perspective. I wonder, though, if it would make the paper more readable if similar articles were printed on the same page.  A good example of how stories on separate pages could be combined occurred in Saturday’s edition. On page 5A there appeared a story of the dysfunctional Obamacare website. Gary McCallister regaled us (page 10A) with the woes of construction and deconstruction when one doesn’t know what one is doing. Those articles could have appeared side by side or have even been melded together.

Keeping in mind Nancy Pelosi’s admonition that “we need to pass Obamacare to find out what’s in it,” it’s clear that the bill’s designers (Democrats only) didn’t know what they were doing. Among other things, we now find out that a change in life can’t be updated on the government website. Such life changes as a new baby, a marriage or divorce, death of a family member, moving to a new community, and a new job or change in income are left out much like McCallister’s pieces left over in assembly. He says that when that occurs “something is probably not going to work.” I contend that when the government leaves things out that it’s “guaranteed” not to work and just needs more taxpayer money to be fixed.
 
McCallister’s example of the robot he built that was supposed to avoid obstacles but instead attacked them was classic. It’s analogous to Obamacare, which is supposed to provide insurance to the uninsured, but instead has cancelled people’s insurance, thus attacking those who had insurance.

Of his disasters in assembly and disassembly, McCallister said they “have sort of left a mark on me.” Kathleen Sebelius, head of Health and Human Services, has said that Obamacare leaves a mark as a “new day in healthcare.” Judging by all its problems, it looks as if it’s a mark that’s going to hurt patients and taxpayers.

RICK L. COLEMAN
Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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I do NOT trust Camper. Remember when he appeared from Loveland and stated to the effect “oh no. I do not want the job permanently.” What? How many years now?

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