Email letters, July 10, 2012
City deserves thanks for improving Patterson Road
My thanks go out to the city of Grand Junction and its employees. You did a wonderful job in repairing, repaving and painting the lanes on Patterson Road. It looks great and is a smooth ride.
I’ve lived in a number of places in my 83 years of existence, but Grand Junction, I must say, is one of the best. Grand Junction, you do your best to make this city look pristine and a wonderful place to live.
Again, I thank you.
ROBERT G. SMITH
Gandelman’s column a good reminder of political polarization
Joe Gandelman’s recent article on our political center is a reminder that we should more recognize that present day political party power has moved to the extreme hard right and/or extreme hard left.
The result is conflict that begets a do-nothing political process (political gridlock). John Roberts has shown leadership in reminding us that the political center still lives and has credibility.
Over time we have evolved into equal parts of Democrat, Republican and Independent voters. Soon we will also have the voter influence brought into play by the addition of an increasing Latino voter populace.
We best not hesitate in recognizing the existing political power centers should reshape their power politics or an evolving political voter constituency that could become a surprise to both the hard right and hard left will bypass them.
Thank you, John Roberts, and thank you, Joe Gandelman.
GEORGE G. GUSTAFSON
Accept change, support park status for monument
Everyone who moved to Grand Junction after 1950, get out. I want North Avenue to be two lanes and gravel past the VA Hospital. I want Patterson Road to be shut down every year for two days to run the Soap Box Derby.
That’s no more practical than to say that you don’t want the Colorado National Monument to become a national park. Look at it as a business that will bring in people. They will leave their money and then go away. Anyone who is sick of the boom and bust of the petroleum industry should love having a park. Anyone with a business, motel, restaurant, anyone with business downtown should want a park.
I want to the mall to go away and only have mom-and-pop businesses downtown, but that isn’t how the world works. People who don’t want a park are selfish, pure and simple. People who say they don’t want big government to fund the monument have a complete lack of knowledge as to how the monument is run. The same people who run the monument also run Yellowstone and every park and monument in the United States.
Change comes. Embrace it or get out of the way. It’s about time.
Library’s renovation/expansion project needs more public scrutiny
My concern is how the library is going about its renovation/expansion project. It seems to be so secretive.
No community-needs assessment was done; thirty people showed up at an open house in January that was poorly publicized; and the idea was launched, to my knowledge, in November 2011. I, for one, do not want the library to spend my tax money on a Band-Aid fix that is the vision of the library director and not the community’s.
I went to the meeting of library’s board of trustees July 6. I was allowed to express my concerns, but there is no place in the agenda to discuss the public’s concerns. I patiently sat through the rest of the meeting, but when the project manager said tying in the new mechanical systems to the old was going to be a “nasty” job, my curiosity was piqued. He hastily corrected himself, but the seed was sown.
Now, I’m really concerned about this folly. There have been only a few months between the inception of this project and the projected start of construction. It seems like things are going too quickly—mistakes will be made. Customer service will be compromised; people will lose jobs. The children of the county will be the most affected—the children’s center space will be reduced by 20 percent. In fact, even with the expansion, there is a net loss of public space. This is not the right time to take on a worthless, expensive renovation/expansion.
This Thursday evening at 6 the library’s board of trustees will meet to approve the move of library services to the old Ashley Furniture building. If you’re at all interested in your tax dollars being spent on this “nasty” project, I recommend you attend.
I’m in favor of building a new building in a few years that is technologically advanced to accommodate the next new things on the digital horizon. I will support that plan with my taxes and individual donations. I’m also very in favor of including the community in this vision.
Homestead exemption does not shrink value of seniors’ homes
The article on page 3A of Monday’s paper was incorrect when it stated, “The tax break reduces the actual value of a qualifying home by 50 percent but no more than $100,000.”
Both the law, available at the Colorado legislature website and the AARP official position on the homestead exemption, available at the AARP website, clearly state that the exemption is for “50 percent of the first $200,000 of a home’s assessed value.”
For those seniors lucky enough to be financially stable enough to be able to forego the exemption, which reduces only the amount of tax owed, not the value of the home, it means that since all senior services are now coming out of the same pot of money that the money they forego will go to fund other senior services such as Meals on Wheels.
In no way does the homestead exemption reduce the actual market value of a senior’s home, just the property tax burden for that home.
Please print a retraction on the front page so that some seniors who may not be able to use the net’s resources to find out the truth will not be unduly worried.
Take up BLM’s decision with your representatives in Washington
Maybe the BLM does not want to reveal these names due to the harassing nature that some environmental groups are known for.
This might be done for the protection of the nominating parties against undue harassment or possible terrorist acts.
Environmentalists know that this was a nomination for lease; it’s the government’s call whether this section goes up for lease sale or not, so
one should not look for the nominator but take it up with your senators and congress persons. They are the government.
Bennet lauds farm bill as good for economic recovery, hopes it passes House and is signed into law
Last month, I joined my colleagues in the Senate to pass the 2012 Farm Bill, which governs agriculture, conservation and nutrition policy. As a member of the Senate agriculture committee, I used input from Coloradans all across the state to help craft a bipartisan, fiscally responsible bill that reduces our deficit by $23 billion.
Much of the savings comes from reforms to risk management, where we’ve eliminated direct payments and consolidated other programs in favor of a strengthened crop insurance program. Colorado producers have repeatedly told me that crop insurance is the best way to support this critical sector of the American economy. Also, this bill calls on the Department of Agriculture to extend crop insurance eligibility to previously unserved crops, including fruits, vegetables and organics.
In my discussions with Colorado farmers and ranchers, I also heard regularly about the importance of conserving their way of life and their land. This bill does that by consolidating and adding flexibility to conservation easement programs that will allow more landowners to enter into easements in order to preserve the farming and ranching heritage of their land.
The bill also reauthorizes stewardship contracting authority, a provision I pushed to promote forest health and help prevent wildfires. I also teamed up with Sen. Mark Udall to include increased resources in the bill for bark beetle mitigation.
Agriculture is a critical part of our state’s economy and an essential component to our economic recovery. This bill will help keep rural America growing and thriving, and it will help invigorate an economy just now getting back on its feet.
I am hopeful that the bipartisanship the Senate displayed will give this bill the momentum it needs to pass the House of Representatives, reach the president’s desk and be signed into law.
SEN. MICHAEL BENNET