Email letters, July 31, 2014

Koch brothers excessive spending nothing compared to Soros

Every few weeks someone writes in whining about the Koch brothers and their excessive spending on the right wing agenda while George Soros makes more money before breakfast than the brothers will make in their entire lives.


Grand Junction

Atlasta Solar supports Clean Power Plan and the economic benefits it will bring

As a 35-year employer in Western Colorado, Atlasta Solar Center supports the new US Clean Power Plan. These new carbon pollution reduction requirements (30% by 2030) encourage states to achieve substantial pollution reductions through the use of solar, natural gas, energy efficiency, and wind. This is the right direction for Colorado and for our Grand Valley.

ASC, along with a majority of all Coloradans, support reducing carbon emissions. Consider the economic evidence of the growth of renewable energy in Colorado: Solar in Colorado increased 41% last year. 300 companies employ almost 4000 people in Colorado in Solar. Solar now has an annual Grand Valley local impact of 25 million dollars. 2000 solar systems have been installed in Mesa County since 2006 on homes and businesses, with 5-10 new solar systems installed in Mesa County every week. District 51 now gets much of its electricity from solar, along with the City of Grand Junction, Mesa County, and dozens of private businesses. A 2 megawatt multi-million dollar solar utility scale power plant is now under construction at Riverside Drive and 29 Rd.

Indeed, in Colorado and nationwide, almost all new power generation now comes from wind, solar and/or natural gas. This is good for Colorado with abundant supplies of all three of these clean resources. A recent Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association study of solar in Colorado shows employee earnings of more than $534 million, a total economic output of $1.42 billion, state and local tax revenues of about $50 million contributed by solar and environmental benefits of $44 million.

Support of America’s Clean Power Plan will increase the economic benefits of clean energy for the Grand Valley.

Co-owners of Atlasta Solar Center
Grand Junction

Crises in America indicate ignorance rather than change

So, let me get this straight. The liberal agenda is being rammed down our throat at every turn. Liberals have gotten 90% of what they want in the world. It’s costing us more than before to prevent the absence of common sense and freedom and still we are worse off than we were 6 years ago.

Nothing is good, there is a crisis is at every turn and apparently we need the Feds to run in
and save us all. No thanks. The President accuses Congress of not doing anything right and yet they have questions that he and others won’t answer.

That alone says to me, there are doubts, let’s step back and look at it more. The President says he wants to do the employer mandate that will ruin most Americans healthcare options that are either retired or soon to be retired.

We weaponize the IRS, and the EPA and other agencies that are supposed to be working for us instead close businesses and put people out of work. This will in effect quadruple the costs of utilities to the American public. No thanks. That is not change, that’s ignorance.

Grand Junction

President’s joke about haters unseemly

It doesn’t matter what your party affiliation or ideology is, it just appears unseemly to see the President making jokes about being sued and calling the other party “haters” while the world is in flames, and we have one crisis after another, some of it of his own making. Please Mr. President, get serious.

Grand Junction

3rd Congressional District has poor representation in Tipton

After taking his seat in January 2011, “Tea Party” Congressman Scott Tipton voted 50+ times to repeal, replace, delay, and/or defund the Affordable Care Act – which necessarily would have repealed or delayed enforcement of the “employer mandate” (applicable to employers with 50+ full-time-equivalent employees).

On July 17, 2013, Tipton voted for H.R. 2667, “Authority for Mandate Delay”, which, as the Congressional Research Service summarized, would have amended the ACA “to delay until 2015 enforcement of requirements that large employers offer their full-time employees the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential coverage.”

In July 2013, President Obama’s administration had announced that this “employer mandate” would indeed be delayed until 2015 – for both logistical and political reasons. In February 2014, the Obama administration announced that the “employer mandate” for employers with fewer than 100 employees (“small businesses”) would be further delayed.

Yesterday, July 30, 2014, Tipton voted for H. Res. 694, authorizing Speaker Boehner to hire outside lawyers (at undisclosed taxpayer expense) to initiate litigation for “actions” by President Obama purportedly “inconsistent with [his] duties under the Constitution.”

You might reasonably ask, what actions? The only purported “transgression” cited in H. Res. 694 was President Obama’s delay of the “employer mandate” for one year.

Therefore, Tipton voted to spend taxpayers’ money to sue President Obama for doing exactly what the House wanted him to do and had in fact impliedly authorized (even though the Senate never considered H.R. 2667, because President Obama’s Executive Order was both compelled by circumstances and well within his executive authority).

Colorado’s 3rd C.D. is being ill-“represented” by right-wing lemming Tipton, who previously voted to “shut down” the federal government (and then lied about it) and now supports a frivolous lawsuit intended to raise campaign contributions from the gullible.

The Sentinel should say so.

Grand Junction

Chaplain voices disapproval of Hope West’s chaplain robes

Hope West Hospice of Western Colorado published an article showing all the new chaplains they are now using. The picture showed a group of persons in white robes with a stole edged in green.

As a professional chaplain with the required seminary degree and four units of ACPE to be a Chaplain, I was infuriated beyond disbelief at Hope West Hospice’s blatant misuse of the
robe and stole. Only persons with a Master’s Degree from a seminary, then ordained by a church, meeting very high educational standards, can wear a robe and a stole.

It has very serious educational standards implications that your non-ministerial chaplains do not meet. Your blatant disregard for this highly educated group in the mainline churches is insulting. A BA with one unit of CPSP does not make a chaplain.

At least 120 graduate hours of seminary training and 1600 hours put in at a major clinical hospital is needed to be an associate Chaplain. To be a Chaplain requires 3200 hours of clinical work. I have written to all the seminaries in Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri and I hope we can put a stop to your misuse of this title and our symbols for an educational standard. It is my hope that other clergy will voice their dissent also.


Administration’s actions on air rules and child immigration are putting country in decline

Anyone who read Wednesday’s front-page articles “Air Rules Stir Heated Debate” and “Migrants A Problem, Poll Shows” should now realize that, indeed, better days are not ahead for the United States.

The first piece discussed proposed EPA rules that, if enacted, would reduce carbon-dioxide concentrations by 1 percent and hold down the projected increase in global temperatures by 0.016 of a degree by 2050. The influx of 57,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant children, with more on the way, was the topic of the second article.

So, we have an Obama administration that wants to cripple our economy to create essentially no change 36 years from now on human caused climate change, an idea not proven and based on flawed computer models (that can’t even replicate what we know has happened in the past).

At the same time, this administration encourages the illegal children to come, is shipping them to communities all over the US, and will not stop them at the border or send them back to where they’re from, instead opting to put an even greater economic burden on an already weak economy.

If this doesn’t strike everyone as the actions of a feckless administration “fundamentally” putting the country in decline, I don’t know what will.

Grand Junction

Landscape architect responds to city’s idea to change landscape regulations

We are not lizards. I use that mantra to draw attention to what I see as a devastating attitude in Western Colorado. We are not lizards and would not survive in a desert lizard-scape. We are a species originally from the grass plains and boreal forests. There is copious scientific evidence that we respond positively to the color green. Just Google the studies of Professor Roger Ulrich, read the book by Dr. Esther Sternberg, MD “Healing Spaces – The Science of Place and Well-Being.” Read “Biophilic Design” by Kellert, Herrwagen and Mador. And read “Your Brain on Nature – The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness, and Vitality” by Drs. Selhub and Logan. Especially focus on their promotion of shinrin-yoku (a Japanese concept that literally translates as “forest air bathing.”)

I am currently the only Colorado licensed Landscape Architect in Delta County. That is not an easy achievement. Most people don’t even know what a landscape architect is or what we do. I am not a landscaper. As a landscape architect I chose to specialize in understanding why and how we, as humans, benefit from being in a verdant environment. I have attended many seminars and training sessions focusing on the field of therapeutic landscape design. I have been certified in Therapeutic Garden Design from the Chicago Botanical Garden and have attended many hours of training in Horticulture Therapy from the Denver Botanical Garden. I served as chairman of the Therapeutic and Healing Garden Design Professional Practice Network with the American Society of Landscape Architects. I am quoted in the recently published manual “Therapeutic Landscapes – An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces” by Naomi Sachs and Clare Cooper Marcus, both great friends of mine. Sachs is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Environmental Architecture. One major rule in their guide to create “healing gardens to reduce stress” is to have a ratio of 60% plants to 40% hardscape, with the more the plants the more the benefit.

I have heard more than once that we live in a desert and should make our built environment more compatible with that environment. We do not live in a desert. We survive in a built oasis in the desert. As you approach Whitewater from the South the first thing you observe is Whitewater is an island of trees in a dobie wasteland. When you drive I-70 from Mt Garfield towards Horizon Drive you observe that on the right side is barren dobie land and on the left is a mecca of trees. Without the trees the left side would be just as barren as the right. When you drive the plains of Kansas you can see the urban areas in the distance as islands of trees in a sea of grassland and barren wasteland. Trees are the key. Those pioneers who first settled the West knew the importance of trees and embarked on major tree planting campaigns.

Reading a current article in the DCI I learn that uninformed bureaucrats want to change the city landscape regulations. They are considering reducing the living plants with boulders resulting in a lizard scape. A previous article reported youths torching shrubs screening a bank parking lot. The city’s proposed solution is more xeriscaping. I have yet to meet anyone who really knows what xeriscaping is. I have been told, “you are from the East and don’t understand.” Folks, I have been on the lecture circuit explaining what “water-wise” design is. I designed a water-wise garden over twenty years ago for a large municipal park where that garden is used today for weddings. Go to my web site and see that water-wise garden. I visit Phoenix frequently and amazed at how a large urban area, where water is more precious, where the climate is hotter and where an urban heat sink exists and yet they appear more verdant than Western Colorado. The reason is that they know how to harvest water for their landscape and are incorporating the practice of capturing storm water run-off in much more efficient methods. The City of Delta has yet to catch on. Kudos go to Paul Suppes and his staff with the Parks Department for their excellent median street plantings. I hope everyone supports them 100% plus.

Licensed Landscape Architect, ASLA

Reader shares knowledge about danger of text alerts in stadium stampedes

Heading to a college or professional football stadium? You really need to read this. People have a fundamental right to know that if they’re in a large, confined crowd and receive an emergency evacuation order and/or panic-inducing information from their cell phone or mobile device, it’s almost certainly a hoax designed to create an artificially generated stampede. Unfortunately there’s a catch-22. Even though it’s a very generic, commonsense public safety issue, the government and private industry won’t touch it. Because if you acknowledge a problem exists, you own it.  And if it happens, you reap the blame.

The government will never voluntarily take action. Plausible deniability discourages politicians and lawmakers from addressing the matter. Foreseeable litigation precludes team ownership and venue management from getting involved. Compounding the problem, there’s no monetary incentive.

Nobody has a vested interest in being proactive. The cons outweigh the pros. And therein lies the paradox. The daytime talk show host Dr. Phil often remarks, “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge” and “This situation needs a hero.” Well, I am no hero, but I do know when there’s an impending crisis that must be averted. At a bare minimum, a scenario like this will one day be

So that leaves us with two distinct choices: confront the issue or willfully ignore it. These days, most people have cell phones. The saturation of smart phone technology has really exacerbated the problem. Social media platforms, bulk text messaging, alert systems, calling, hacking: wireless devices are capable of transmitting and receiving false information (unintentional and deliberate) in more ways than you can fathom. Current venue emergency evacuation protocol fails to account for this inherently evident, irrevocably altered dynamic.

As I’ve maintained, you won’t hear about this issue until after a tragedy has unfolded. Do we actually need to witness a human stampede? Is our only recourse to remain complacent or oblivious? Are our societal expectations really that low? Mitigation isn’t a realistic strategy because human stampedes unfold in real-time. There are no wireless shields or magical contingency plans.

The only way to prevent a catastrophe of this nature is to educate the general public. This matter will eventually become common knowledge, probably sooner rather than later. So why not just put it out there responsibly? People have a right to defend themselves. And that requires
a heightened degree of situational awareness. It is the only viable, long-term solution.

But here’s the good news. You have a First Amendment right to share this public safety information with your loved ones and anyone that frequents large crowds (stadiums, motor speedways, ballparks, etc.). Just because the “powers that be” refuse to discuss the issue doesn’t mean that you must remain silent. Just ask any competent incident commander. They’ll all tell you the same thing: that in the unlikely event of a venue emergency evacuation, the initial order would never be delivered via your cell phone. You use the public address system, possibly in tandem with the jumbotron. It’s imperative to reach everyone in a clear, unified fashion. It’s really
that simple.

Most people have never given this matter any consideration.  This leaves them perilously unaware of their surroundings. Not everything is about money. Think in terms of “stop, drop and roll” or “look both ways before you cross the street.” Everyone has a right to obtain basic knowledge regarding personal safety and security. A little snippet of knowledge can go a long way.

Wheeling, WV


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To Mr. Hugenberg:  I see you are up on your high horse again, trying to paint Tipton as a bad guy. (He is a Republican, after all - that’s all that is needed for you to get all uppity)  Where do I start?  You say he voted 50+ times to delay, defund, etc, the Un-ACA)  I say - good for Tipton.  Just too bad none of those votes resulted in doing away with this Alinsky-inspired takeover of the healthcare industry by this Socialistic government.  Maybe I could say:  Tipton was FOR it before he was AGAINST it - much like John Kerry was about the war?  Hey - it apparently was good for Kerry.  The Congress didn’t actually vote for the ‘Mandate Delay’ - the King usurped that bit of Legislation with his pen - or his phone - I forget.  That the law had been passed and signed into law by the Democrats ONLY, in the dark of night, with nary a Republican vote, then signed by the would-be King, to become law, and adjudicated as law by the Supremes - how is it you think Obummer didn’t overstep his authority by changing any part of it?  Now, I know he thinks he’s a King - unfortunately, he is but one part of three parts of government, and he cannot legally change law in any shape or form, once it has been passed - all by his lonesome.  He’s pretty adept at his failures to enforce laws that have been on the books for years - he even directs Holder to not prosecute laws that don’t agree with his Kingly view of how things should be.  Obummer’s only ‘PURPORTED transgression’ was the delay of the Employer mandate?  I don’t think that’s the only one, but even if it were - as Democrats are constantly saying:  “He’s a Costitutionsl Law Professor” - one would think if ANYONE should know better - Obummer should.

Hey Hugenburg. Did you read the Sentinel lately? Club 20 and the upcoming debates being skipped by Polis? One topic——-3 counties in COLORADO have some of the highest insurance rates in the land. husseincare needs to be de-funded. Duh.

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