Email letters, June 18,  2013

Investing in wildfire protection would be worth high price tag

Sen. Steve King’s recent bill for state wildfire protection is a law that has become necessary. But it’s unfunded. Why? No one wants to pay for it. It’s up to the citizens, I guess. So, why don’t we put it on the ballot? 

Funding could come in a variety of ways with the first being an increase in state sales taxes. Also, there are lottery funds with perhaps a combination of lottery and sales taxes.

Make no mistake, this is a very pricey service. There are no minimum wages in this type of operation and no low-cost equipment. And there should be at least two, if not four, service centers around the state. It won’t eliminate the need for federal firefighting, but they’re stretched pretty thin, and with more and more people moving to the West it will only get worse.

It could even be set up to help neighboring states, if they’re willing to pay for the service, when an occurrence such as a fire in eastern Utah could use some help.

In western Colorado “tax” is a dirty word, and no Republican would even suggest taking the question to the people even though that’s how they designed the TABOR law. If, however, people want a service, they should have to pay for it.

However true it may be that Democrats like to tax and spend, it’s also true that Republicans just like to spend and then promise constituents if they’d just “buy stuff” it could be paid for.

But remember, the TABOR law ratchets down when the economy gets better. State funding may never get back to where it was after this past recession.

I’ll bet Colorado Springs would be a unanimous vote.

Grand Junction

BLM encouraged to preserve Hunter Canyon, other wildlands

This past spring I had the chance to explore a few side canyons in an area north of town known as Hunter Canyon. It was awesome.

We found gorgeous and colorful hoodoos, flowing waterfalls and bear, elk and deer scat, and we enjoyed trying to locate the many birds whose song accompanied our adventure.

There were tons of opportunities to route find, and we even had the chance to use ropes as we navigated the challenging terrain. It’s landscapes and opportunities such as these that make me a proud, lifelong resident of our Western Slope.

I wholeheartedly encourage BLM to protect this area and all our remaining high-desert wildlands in its Resource Management Plan.

Grand Junction

Mesa County representatives turn in lackluster performances

As I read the Sunday, June 16, issue of the Denver Post, I noticed the article about the members of the Colorado Legislature and their voting records. It showed no mention of Reps. Jared Wright and Ray Scott or Sen. Steve King.

Maybe we need to do away with the representatives from Mesa County. It appears that they don’t do anything anyway or carry any weight in the Legislature.

Keeping bad-mouthing the governor — that’s what they do best.

Grand Junction




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As soon as we get job growth going again so more people can get off the Obama welfare dole, then maybe we can have a tax base that can afford fancy fire fighting equipment. It’s not that the people don’t want another service, it’s because they cant afford another tax.

Why is it that so many people like Todd Miskel believe things that are not true? A report came out this week that compared job growth in all 50 states—Colorado ranks number 4 out of 50.

Obama welfare dole? What dole? Clearly Miskel doesn’t know that welfare reform happened under President Clinton, and there is a limit to the length of time anybody can receive welfare, and there are built in incentives to find work. Oh, maybe Miskel is talking about the corporate welfare that keeps the oil and gas industry one of the wealthiest and most profitable industries in the history of the world—since I know that he is quite familiar with that industry.

As for another tax? Colorado’s budget is required to be balanced every year, and it is. No new taxes are anticipated and if they were, they do require a vote of the people, per TABOR.

I’m really tired of seeing old, recycled talking points in the comments without any supporting facts. Educate yourself.

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