Email letters, June 8, 2012
Air passengers deserve upgrade more than airport administrators
I was happy to learn that Grand Junction has received a grant to improve the airport terminal. Then I read that the first thing to be built is a new administration building. I would ask just what benefit to the airlines or passengers a new administration building would provide. How will such a building improve the operations of the airport?
It seems to me that priorities are wrong. If improvements to the terminal are to be made in stages, would it make sense to start with passenger waiting areas, ticketing areas, aircraft parking and boarding facilities, luggage handling, security facilities, etc.?
A new administration building should be the last priority. Such a building adds nothing to the actual operation of the airport or to the passenger experience.
MICHAEL Z. LOWENSTEIN
Walcher’s write-in campaign for commissioner deceptive, petty
I am a registered Republican in Mesa County and a committee person in the 29th precinct from which I was elected a county delegate. I, like hundreds of other community volunteers, participate in the caucus process as a concerned citizen interested in the direction of our local, state and federal government operations.
Woody Walcher also participated in this process by campaigning in the county commissioners’ race over the past several months. However, at the county convention he failed to garner the minimum delegate vote (30%) required for placement on the primary ballot. In short, he lost his bid to be placed on the Republican primary ballot.
Since then, Walcher has embarked on a write-in campaign in an effort to defeat Pugliese in the primary, which he has every right to do. However, his conduct with regard to numerous radio advertisements is despicable and an affront to me and to the hundreds of volunteers who are involved in the caucus process.
One such ad deceives listeners into believing Pugliese was “hand picked by the party bosses” and voters are being forced to pick “the establishment candidate.” This deception (lie) and others like it in similar ads personify the exact opposite of what I am looking for in a candidate/representative.
To further engage in one personal attack after another on Pugliese shows pettiness and the lack of judgment and leadership I observed when I cast my vote as a delegate. I know Pugliese, and I know she isn’t whom Woody portrays, nor does she display his character traits.
Walcher was rejected by the vast majority of citizen representative delegates at the assembly, and I personally intend to do the same again when I cast my ballot and fill in the circle beside the only name listed for County Commissioner District 3, Rose Pugliese.
Editorial on Wisconsin governor lacked mention of big money
I read your editorial, “Wisconsin Voters Repudiate Recall,” with growing surprise and consternation with what was not said about Gov. Scott Walker’s victory and why he won the Wisconsin recall election.
Yes, you did make a legitimate case about the abuse of recall elections in general. Your editorial was accurate in stating that the unions and the Democrats were attempting to punish Walker for living up to his promises of placing the burden of Wisconsin’s budget woes on public employee unions. Voters who elected Walker obviously agreed with his anti-union position in general and his particular stand in cutting back public employee benefits and salaries.
What is astounding by its absence in your editorial is the primary reason Gov. Walker won the recall election; he outspent his opponent seven to one. Unless you believe that spending money on advertising does not affect election outcomes, I find this lapse in your reasoning stunning.
It is clear that the results of this recall election was more a direct consequence of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which unleashed disgraceful amounts of money into American politics by wealthy individuals and corporations, than any other factor in the race.
Inform Redlands residents of water restrictions in ‘timely manner’
So Redlands Water and Power thinks we panicked. With a little warning we could’ve planned for it. People whose watering schedule normally runs over the end of the week and the weekend got to see a front-page article on the same day their water was cut off.
I hadn’t run my water for a week so things were really dry after an additional 3½ days of not having water. I suspect everyone with ponds (including Tiara Rado Golf Course) were both watering and filling ponds. Maybe the golf course got prior warning, but no one else I’ve encountered did.
So, yeah, my whole place is getting watered. That way I can begin a new schedule to accommodate the restrictions. But people wonder about the lack of explanation or planning. What? They can’t write a letter to the residents who own Redlands Water & Power? Redlands residents own the oldest water right on the Gunnison River and low-water years usually result in a call on the river.
I can deal with restrictions, but the Redlands has never had restrictions other than voluntary. A call by senior water rights usually means Blue Mesa needs to release some. It’s understandable if the Redlands board made a deal with the Bureau of Reclamation over Blue Mesa. I would rather see food production farmland get what water it needs. But there are still some farm operations on the Redlands, and people need to be informed in a timely manner.
Sen. Bennet’s bipartisan accomplishments serve Colorado well
In Josh Penry’s recent opinion piece he accused Sen. Michael Bennet of blind partisanship. That claim does not stand up to the facts and, unfortunately, shows the blind partisanship of Penry by his choice to ignore the facts.
Sen. Bennet has worked across the aisle on issues large and small. The facts are that he has proven himself to be a senator who puts solutions ahead of politics. Some recent highlights:
Last month, he guided a bipartisan bill to modernize the FDA, working closely with Republicans such as Richard Burr, R-N.C., Orin Hatch, R-Utah, and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., to pass the bill, aimed at improving the safety of pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices and the speed in which they are available for patients and families in Colorado and across the country.
The FDA Safety and Innovation Act passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support by a vote of 96-1. Congress showed rare unity in passing the FDA overhaul.
In April he brought Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon together to craft a bipartisan bill that would allow the general public to invest in startup companies over the Internet, a practice known as “crowd funding.” The Bennet-Brown-Merkley bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support as part of the JOBS Act the President signed into law.
He is leading efforts to reduce the debt. He teamed with Republican Mike Johanns of Nebraska to write a letter to President Obama urging a comprehensive plan to reduce the deficit. Later, they joined a bipartisan group of senators to create a comprehensive plan and to push deficit-cutting compromises.
This week the Senate started debate on the farm bill. Sen. Bennet worked across the aisle on the bill that passed in committee with broad bipartisan support.
Colorado is well served by Sen. Bennet.
J. MARTELLE DANIELS
Tax products such as sugary sodas that bloat national medical costs
New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to ban supersized sugary sodas has resurrected the age-old debate over the role of the state in protecting public health.
In recent years this debate involved bicycle helmets, car seatbelts, tobacco, trans fats, saturated fats in meat and dairy products and sugar (or more aptly, high-fructose corn syrup). Public subsidies for tobacco, meat and dairy, and corn production added fuel to the debate.
I would argue that society has a right to regulate activities that impose a heavy burden on the public treasury. National medical costs of dealing with our obesity epidemic, associated with consumption of meat, dairy and sugars, are estimated at $190 billion.
Eliminating subsidies for these products, as well as judicious taxation to reduce their use and recoup public costs, should be supported by health advocates and fiscal conservatives alike.
Benjamin Franklin claimed that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Ironically, death can be deferred substantially by taxing products that make us sick.
GJEP commended for helping CMU expand facilities
As a founding board member, I would like to commend the Grand Junction Economic Partnership for unanimously supporting Colorado Mesa University’s request to the city of Grand Junction and Mesa County for additional funds to build a new classroom building.
As businesses look to relocate or expand, they first look to see the educational opportunities that are available and whether there is a university to help supply an educated workforce. They also ask how a community is investing in itself. Why would I invest in a community that will not invest in its future? Thankfully, GJEP can point to a city and county that invests heavily in CMU.
We have a truly unique partnership in our valley. Our local governments have been investing directly into CMU since the 1970s. Combined with the state of Colorado and CMU’s revenues, these unprecedented investments in quality faculty, facilities, technology and students have allowed CMU to grow at an annual average rate of 14.5% to reach its current enrollment of more than 9,000 students studying in 72 different academic programs.
CMU is reaching capacity. Its current priority is a new 56,000-square-foot classroom building, which will allow CMU to grow to more than 12,000 students.
It is easy to see how 3,000 additional students will contribute to the local government’s general funds through sales tax. What is harder to see is the message such investments send to relocating and expanding businesses. We are proud of the opportunities CMU has afforded our young people. We will invest in our community. You should, too.
GJEP Board Member