Email letters, June 15, 2012
Take away firearm ownership rights of vandals destroying federal property
The morons around us are at work again. The BLM just finished the complete rebuild of the rifle range north of town. In fewer than three days some morons have fired shotgun (slug and shot) shells through the brand new aluminum weather cover. What heroes—a 12-gauge at three feet versus a new roof of 1/32-inch thick aluminum.
This is a federal facility on federal land. When the vandals are caught, I hope the fine will also involve loss of firearm ownership rights because this type of destructive behavior means they are dangerous and committing open destruction of federal (and possibly private) property when they can with a lethal weapon. That should cause loss of firearm ownership rights and a seriously healthy fine.
Focus on real solutions for homeless such as housing
The recent debate about houseless folks camping along the river misses the bigger issues. First and most important, is that there are roughly 200 shelter beds in the Grand Valley and 800+ houseless people.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that with one bed for every four houseless people, some are going to have to sleep somewhere other then in the shelters, and if not on the river it will very likely will be downtown.
The problem is compounded by the fact that the Homeward Bound’s Shelter limits guests to 180 days; that means for the other half of the year people have to camp. They don’t vaporize when they run out of days.
Secondly, this conversation misses the real solution, which is housing. Busting camps will not move people into housing, nor will legalizing camps. Housing is and has always been the solution to homelessness; too bad the city and many of the service providers can’t see past their own vested interest.
This has been an issue for 20 years and will continue to be an issue for the foreseeable future, unless we focus on real solutions.
Justman wants to know more about Henry’s employment record
On the campaign trail I have repeatedly talked about my qualifications and job experiences over the last 39 years. I’ve owned and operated my small business (a farm) for 39 years. Everyone knows what those qualifications are.
My opponent said that he graduated from college in the mid-60s. He then talks about his experiences of two terms as mayor of Fruita.
What is his employment record between college graduation and being the mayor of Fruita? That’s about a 35-year period.
He did mention working for Countrywide Mortgage before he became mayor. Countrywide Mortgage worked closely with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, government agencies that contributed to the housing market bust. (Both agencies do not have the best image of doing what’s best for the country.)
Yes, I took farm program payments from the USDA that are a safety net for farmers. The years I received the most money were the years I was farming 800 acres and grain prices were extremely low, so the program did what it was supposed to do. It got me through tough years so I could plant the next year.
Eighty percent of the USDA budget goes to food stamps and the school lunch program and 20% goes to producers. What could food stamps buy if there were no producers?
Again, I ask what jobs did my opponent have over these years and why he isn’t talking about his employment record?
Improve medical pain management
A family member of mine just went to a prominent local clinic for a severe dental abscess and infection emergency. She was in tears and excruciating pain. Her face looked like she was beaten up from the swelling and an infection. After her examination, the dentist just prescribed her antibiotics, but nothing for the pain.
We had to go back in and ask why she was not given any adequate pain medication. The dentist wrote a prescription for Motrin, an over the counter medicine which she had been taking already with little benefit.
She had been given 48 hours worth of Percoset during an emergency room visit just two days earlier for the same infection, but the infection hadn’t progressed to the intensity it was at today.
She should have been given a refill of the Percoset but was denied. There have never been any pain pill addiction issues with this person.
I understand that doctors and dentists are under the microscope regarding narcotic pain medication by the DEA, and the fear of malpractice lawsuits for prescribing narcotics is now worse than ever.
However, proper pain management is a part of practicing medicine, and the Hippocratic oath states that a doctor should never harm a patient. Leaving a person in pain without treating it adequately is worse than running the risk of addiction or having the meds sold on the street, especially when the person has no addictive/criminal history.
I guess we need to fight fire with fire to get practices changed. If the medical profession is afraid of legal battles for prescribing narcotics, maybe we should start filing malpractice lawsuits for not being given narcotic pain medications when they are really needed.
It seems to me that lack of proper pain care and management is a form of malpractice as well.
M. TODD MISKEL
Leasing more land for drilling would achieve little
Our House representatives to Washington seem to be out of touch with what is happening here in Colorado. On June 14 your paper reported about how the lack of gas drilling nearby is because the price of gas is too low, $2.20/1000 cubic feet vs. the $4 to $6 needed to make drilling economical (“Forecasts diverge, but 2 gas firms staying put”).
That same day, it turns out, our Colorado representatives Tipton, Coffman and Lamborn were pushing bills through the House to require more land to be leased for gas and oil drilling. The gas and oil companies are already holding leases on plenty of public lands, and 56% of those lease holdings are sitting idle.
Requiring the Interior Department’s agencies to issue more leases is not the answer.
Paranoia may be greatest enemy
What a strange report by Gary Harmon regarding our Western Slope sheriffs trying to “calm gun crowd.” Was the meeting about guns, or about “tanks rolling down the street,” or about Agenda 21?
So, why does a lawful citizen need a license to carry a gun? How does Sheriff McKee figure out who is a “lawful citizen?” I have no problem with guns, but I don’t think the words “responsible” and “lawful” are synonymous. Remember the drunk (in his own home) but “lawful” citizen in Montrose who killed a policeman?
As for “when the tanks are rolling down the street,” can no one reason the difficulties of this? First, the military is barred from fighting on American soil. Yes, you all think President Obama is going to order such a move.
Seriously, do you think our military would obey him? As for the National Guard, that call is required by governors, not presidents. And I’m sure, if the tanks really do start rolling, someone is going to report it.
This paranoia simply doesn’t hold up. It is far more likely that the right wing militias, if they were able to buy tanks, would be the ones “rolling down the streets.” And it’s they who’re most likely to cause a reason for martial law.
No explanation evolved about the mysterious “Agenda 21.”
So I looked it up, read the whole thing and saw nothing about driving people out of rural areas.
This is an old U.N. agenda implemented in 1992, in partial reference to decreasing government subsidies to farmers. The John Birch Society and Glenn Beck are terrified of it. But hey, if you believe in small governments, then aren’t you against government subsidies? Maybe paranoia is our greatest enemy.
Improve timing of traffic lights to save energy, money
The unemployment picture hasn’t improved much throughout the country. It continues to hover around 8-9 percent or more. There are many reasons for this problem such as greed, poor management, outsourcing and advancement in technology that has resulted in the automation of many jobs.
These are only a few examples that have created job losses in many areas. Advances in technology are rendering computers of a year ago obsolete. We can use these advancements in technology in several areas. There is one way we can benefit and create many jobs, reduce pollution, unhappy drivers and also increase gas mileage by updating our existing traffic light system.
How many times have you waited at a red light and no traffic going the other way? I, like many of you, have had perhaps twenty vehicles or more waiting for the green light. True, many intersections have too much traffic to reduce this dilemma, but refinements can be made.
Nevertheless, there are many intersections in small and large towns that can improve the problem of vehicles waiting needlessly for the traffic light to change to green.
Enhance the timing of our traffic signals or replace them with newer computer technology. We could also have centralized areas to accommodate rush hour traffic and other changes as needed.
Now the big question! Who will pay for making these major changes? We all need to make this sacrifice by having our gas taxes go up by perhaps a penny a gallon since we would benefit. Our government would need to get into the picture to make this happen; however, I think private industry should put bids in and methods to make these modifications happen.
The above idea may not be implemented for many years. Yet I’m hoping this idea may stimulate other innovative thoughts that will help the unemployment picture.
Too few chose to honor Flag Day
On June 14, Flag Day, which honors our American flag and all that it represents, few homes and businesses in my area of the city displayed our national banner.
Apparently, many no longer are motivated to make an effort to show our country’s symbol on the special day.
I did note that our national flag was prominent in some areas along Horizon Drive and even at the Nellie Bechtel Apartment Complex. I wonder what Harry Truman would say about all of this?
JEFFREY C. LAINE
Pugliese a ‘principled conservative,’ only ‘official Republican candidate’
I am voting for Rose Pugliese. I am one of eight elected by people from my precinct to represent them at the GOP county convention.
I chose to vote for a principled conservative back then and will again vote for her in the primary election. Rose worked hard to get on the ballot. Instead of relying on propaganda, she called and talked to me about the things that mattered to me.
I urge you to mark your ballot for the principled conservative Rose Pugliese, the only official Republican candidate on your ballot for the District 3 County Commissioner race!
Penry unfair in assessment of Obama’s ‘fine’ remark
As is so often the case, I perused Josh Penry’s column this morning and came up with nothing.
He chose to jump on only part of a remark that President Obama made. The president’s remark that things were fine in the private sector of the economy has to be understood in that the entire remark was that in comparison things were not fine in the governmental sector of the economy when policemen, firemen and teachers were being laid off or terminated.
Any fair-minded person would understand that the remark was that of relativity. The president has made countless speeches about how things were not fine at all in any part of the economy, but at least there is some improvement in the private sector and improvement is being made.
So, why are things not “fine”? Penry seems to have forgotten that the president is not a king who can order that things be done and it will happen or heads will roll. Acts of Congress are necessary to make things happen in the economy that will improve conditions more rapidly, and the Republican leaders in both houses of congress are on record as saying that anything Obama might get credit for will not be done.
So what do the Republicans offer to improve the economy? As usual, more tax reductions and reduced regulation. If you ran a business, would you expand and hire more people if those things were enacted when the problem is a lack of customers?
Businessmen, large and small, agree that until people get out from under too much debt they will not be buying. Why do you think there are billions available but not being invested by business?
So, will Congress respond to what Obama wants? No, getting rid of him is a higher Republican priority than the economic health of the American people.
Telluride a strange bed partner in fight against uranium mill
I’m writing about Ta-Hell-u-ride and Sheep Mountain Alliance fighting against the uranium mill 80 miles to the west. They’re fighting for air and water quality,
What have Telluride and the Telluride ski company done to the pristine mountain valley in the San Juan Mountains? They have torn down hundreds of thousands of trees for a ski area that ruined high mountain meadows, imposed on wild life and probably destroyed elk breeding ground.
They built the town of Mountain Village on the side of the mountain. Air quality can’t be what it was 30 years ago, because there’s four times the traffic in and out of that little valley.
So, if someone wants to look at air and water quality and the devastation to the environment, they need to look at Telluride because all this was done so people could SKI.
If I was Sheep Mountain, I would look a lot harder for a bed partner.
Other Fruita governmental officials deserve credit, too
Ken Henry came “unraveled” when John Justman received ample votes at the convention to make the ballot. While still at the convention, Henry began name-calling. He later wrote John an “almost” apology. It implied his words were taken out of context (darn Sentinel). I wonder whom he’ll blame if he apologizes to the commissioners for trashing them during the Fruita debate. News flash: “Talking the talk” does mean using both sides of the mouth.
At Alan Story’s “meet the candidates,” Henry was asked about “personal property rights” and disregarding 550 petition signers who requested removing trails from Fruita’s maps, trails crossing private property beyond Fruita’s boundaries. Henry said he wasn’t responsible; he didn’t vote because the mayor only votes to break ties. It’s mind-boggling how he single-handedly performed all those self-proclaimed accomplishments without even having a vote.
I’ve heard Henry’s speeches and debates and read his reaction to Josh Penry’s support of John Justman. I’ve yet to hear him credit staff or City Manager Clint Kinney who does “manage” Fruita. As a former personnel director for the city of Grand Junction, I know these folks deserve major credit for the good things in Fruita.
And how about a wee bit of credit for the six council members who probably didn’t just sit by in total awe of the miraculous solo performance of their leader? Ken Henry needs to understand if you toot your own horn constantly, “blowhard” comes to mind.
Josh Penry got it right. If you know John Justman, you know ethics are a priority for him. He will use his vast experience and knowledge both in the public an private sector to do the best job for Mea County citizens.
Pugliese using global warming as political ploy
Establishment candidate Rose Pugliese makes the claim that she fought for “the children” when she carried her global warming petition.
But I saw the Fox News interview in which she was asked her opinion on the issue of global warming. She told the interviewer that she “did not want to wade into the global warming debate.”
It made me wonder, what kind of person carries a petition to ask Mesa County School District 51 to teach both sides of the global warming debate and then does not take a position on it?
If, on the one hand, she didn’t believe in global warming, why didn’t she enter into the debate? If, on the other hand, she believes in global warming, why carry the petition?
I think when Pugliese refused to take a position on the global warming debate on Fox News, she exposed herself for concocting an issue as a cheap political ploy for a future run for office.
TERRY M. REYNOLDS
Pugliese’s Florida businesses fail to contribute to county’s economy
New York City lawyer Rose Pugliese likes to tout that she is a business owner. She actually owns two businesses in Florida, one called Florida Affordable LLC and the other one, strangely named, Grand Mesa LLC (Maybe there is a Grand Mesa, Florida?)
The state of Florida is known to be a tax haven. Now, it seems disingenuous to me that Pugliese is seeking a job with a salary paid by Mesa County taxpayers, yet her Florida businesses contribute absolutely nothing to our community.
Electing an inexperienced Rose Pugliese to county commissioner would be like allowing the Republican Party bosses to fleece the Mesa County taxpayer.
I hope the regular Republicans who aren’t involved in the insiders’ party drama recognize the charade that is being perpetrated on us and write in Woody Walcher for county commissioner.