Email letters, July 1, 2013

Enforce existing laws
on illegal immigration
After reading your editorial column in Sunday’s paper I have to say it sounded a lot like the talking points in those well polished commercials that are inundating the airwaves.
We have border enforcement laws on the books now. They are not being enforced. We had an amnesty in 1986, with promises of strong border enforcement. The amnesty was granted, the enforcement was ignored. Bush promised a secure fence after another failed amnesty attempt in 2007. The fence was never completed. What makes you think
those promises will be kept this time?
Let’s develop an efficient and functional guest worker program to take care of those agricultural needs.
Let’s find and fine employers who are illegally hiring illegal immigrants. Let’s secure, enforce and patrol the border like we mean it.
We don’t need more new laws that aren’t going to be enforced, we need the Will to enforce the laws we have. We owe it to the millions of American citizens who are looking
for work.

Seems that our current President cannot visit any country anywhere without passing out a bucket of cash or free goods. Who determines these amounts which seem to me to be quite arbitrary and where does the money come from if we are so broke? While we have veterans who can’t get their benefits in a normal timely fashion it is surprising that we always have money laying around to benefit other countries. Think about it!
L.W. Hunley

Chamber does not condone
any form of domestic violence
Over the past few months and since the local election, there have been many articles, commentaries, and opinions for and against the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce’s position regarding domestic violence. As a sitting board member (2nd time) and as the president of the WCBA (Western Colorado Business Alliance), I am very tired and sickened by the falsehoods and comments that have been purported of the GJAC. The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is probably one of the best and strongest voices of business I have had the pleasure of working with. The fact is the Chamber, its staff, leadership and, in particular, its president and CEO Diane Schwenke, work tirelessly to promote common sense and conservative decision making and business values.
In a recent article, Jessica Coleman stated that she is surprised that the chamber was in support of Rick Brainard from a public
relations stand point. Really? The Chamber has never supported
Rick Brainard in his domestic violence case. The chamber recognizes that it has a job to do in supporting and developing business within the Grand Valley.
I am going to state this one more time: From my perspective, the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce and the WCBA in no way condone, support, stand behind or with any elected or non-elected individual who engage in such a cowardly act. My suggestion to Coleman is to direct her attacks to the perpetrator of this crime. The Grand Junction Area Chamber will continue to be a voice of common sense
business values.
Michael P. Anton
Grand Junction

Climate change is not
main culprit in fires
On the front page of the June 28 Sentinel, Governor Hickenlooper attributes the increase in the intensity of wild fires to climate change (presumably increases in global mean temperatures).
This is interesting, especially since the NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies data indicate that the trend in mean global temperatures has been flat for the last nine years (
So if climate change has been essentially the same for nine years, why have wildfires increased in frequency and intensity?  The Forest Service in a paper entitled “Fire and Fuels Buildup on Public Lands” lays the blame on fuels buildup in our national forest and BLM lands, primarily due to dead tree accumulation and limits on certain logging activities (
The governor rightly concludes that we must remove beetle-killed trees and establish defensible spaces to reduce fire danger.  However, since mean global temperatures have remained flat for the nine years, its effect on wildfires seems overrated.  Better forest management appears to be a better approach, and will have the added benefit of improving habitat for our declining mule deer populations.
Ben Etheridge

Congress should share
same care as citizens
We are saved! Nancy Pelosi thinks we should celebrate our
independence with Obamacare. Have you read the damn thing yet Nancy?
I’m retired on a fixed income and wondering when they plan on taking
my retirement benefits away just to pay for this over-engineered, soul-sucking legislation that is sure to ruin the national economy when fully implemented.
So I say to Pelosi and every member of her party, including Mark Ferrandino and John Morse in the Colorado Statehouse, get the hell out of our lives.
Better yet, I say give yourselves Obamacare and take Social Security as your retirement instead of the golden parachute you folks get
now with full salaries and your own healthcare plan. If it’s good enough for us, they should get to share in the giant “*&^% sandwich” they are making us eat.
I think I’ll have some hats made up that say, “Obamacare and Social
Security for Congress.” These guys suck scummy pond water.
Grand Junction

Rubinstein wrong regarding
the Second Amendment
While due deference should be afforded to Chief Deputy D.A. Dan Rubinstein’s analysis of Colorado’s 15-round magazine capacity limit – “A constitutional perspective on high-capacity magazines”—readers familiar with our Supreme Court’s inconsistent rulings on the Second Amendment should recognize the fundamental flaws in his perspective.
First, while the Second Amendment expressly protects at least some citizens’ right to “keep and bear” at least some kinds of firearms (at least for self defense), it is entirely silent as to ammunition – perhaps because its authors had no knowledge of any firearms capable of discharging more than one round without cumbersome reloading.
Second, because our courts have already upheld bans on machine guns and “cop killer” bullets, Rubenstein essentially begs the question by assuming that Colorado’s high-capacity magazine ban somehow “restricts” the Second Amendment.
Third, because the Second Amendment is arguably not implicated at all, the three levels of “scrutiny” described by Rubenstein are irrelevant. In Heller, the Court rejected D.C.’s denial of residents’ right to “keep and bear” handguns for self-defense, but also ruled that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” and does not preclude prohibitions on the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”
Fourth, if Colorado’s statute does not “restrict” a fundamental constitutional right (like Free Speech), only a “rational basis” is required to justify it. Thus, the prohibition of “high capacity magazines” need only contribute to reducing a legislatively-perceived threat to public safety (as with machine guns and “cop killer” bullets), and need neither entirely solve a problem nor be “actually necessary to the problem in need of solving.”
Consequently, Rubinstein’s reliance on Brown (violent content of video games protected by Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment), is entirely misplaced. To paraphrase the NRA’s familiar refrain: “Vvideo games don’t kill people, bullets do.”
Bill Hugenberg
Grand Junction

PERA is a great
American success story
The Pacey Economic and Fiscal Impacts Report states that “PERA payments are a critical source of reliable, predictable income and provide an ‘automatic economic stabilizing effect’ on state, regional and local economies, especially in economic downturns as these monies provide important stimulus in market activity.”
The research further states PERA provides $3.03 billion annually in benefit payments to Colorado residents.  These retirement distributions represent 3.3 percent of the total wage income of the state.  In real dollars, that amounts to over $8 million every month in economic impact for Mesa County.
According to the economists who conducted the research on PERA, “When a household receives PERA benefit payments, it represents an infusion of income into the local economy that creates a chain of economic activities whose total impact is greater than the initial benefit payments.”  A ripple effect takes place where a recipient’s spending for things like a newspaper subscription, a meal at the Texas Road House, or a few tools at the local hardware stores becomes someone else’s income.
Some would argue that PERA is a burden on taxpayers.  That could only be true if we decided we did not want our prisons guarded, our roads and bridges maintained, our children taught, or safer highways, thanks to the State Patrol and CDOT.
The fact is, for every dollar invested with a state employee to do the job we all ask him or her to do, $3 are returned to the local economy.  Every public employee contributes to his or her own retirement and over 65 percent of PERA’s retirement income comes from the investment markets.  The professional investment team at PERA, overseen by the PERA Board of Trustees, has achieved a 9.6 percent annualized rate of return over the last 25 years at a cost of just 0.4 percent of assets.  The average annualized return since the 2008 recession has been more than 11 percent.
Imagine if Colorado had 5 million employees (including the private sector) instead of 500,000 on a plan like PERA. What every employee needs from his or her employer is a living wage, a chance to improve that living wage and a dignified retirement at the end of their career.  Every employer wants and needs a loyal and stable employee work force.  A plan like PERA would provide all of that.  PERA is an All American and free market success story.


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And I am going to state it one more time, Mr. Anton: Until the Chamber withdraws its support from their woman-beating chambermade, you Mr. Anton and your Chamber are, indeed, supporting and promoting violence against women.

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