Email letters, March 13, 2013

BLM should clean up unsightly Rabbit Valley signs

The BLM’s Draft Travel Management Plan “Balanced Plan Alt. B” would close 187,900 acres to motorized use and 158,500 acres to mechanized travel. It would limit 897,500 acres to “designated routes” for mechanized travel.

In addition to being far too restrictive, I am concerned about the visual effect these closures would have.

Before the BLM became overzealous in Rabbit Valley, one could pause on a knoll and look out over rolling hills and valleys covered with prairie grass interspersed with pinon and juniper trees—a peaceful scene unmarred by man, except for the occasional access dirt road or trail.

Now nature’s beauty is polluted by a glut of excessive, ugly brown Carsonite signs placed indiscriminately over the entire landscape. This is hardly an environmental improvement and is visually very distasteful.

I just don’t see this as an example of good stewardship of our public lands and taxpayer dollars, and I would hate to see this practice replicated in the future. I also think the BLM should go back to Rabbit Valley and clean up those unsightly and unnecessary sign slabs.


Grand Junction

Melton advised to review Bible lessons

Jovan Melton’s comments on pages 1A and 10A of The Daily Sentinel suggest his education did NO favors.

Dr. Alveda King, who had both her father and uncle killed because they were black, said several years ago that comparing sexual orientation to civil rights would be the death of the civil rights movement. (See the Washington Times Jan. 4, 1998, story by Julia Duin, “King’s conservative daughter makes waves with agenda”) Dr. Alveda King makes more sense than Melton.

As an educated man, Melton ought to realize when making a comparison it is best to compare like items. When discussing the Bible, one ought be careful to rightly understand the written word. Melton at least got Luke’s Gospel right.  The problem is he really muddled it like any unbeliever.

The greatest commandment, according to Jesus as reflected in Matthew, Mark and Luke, is thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength. That is the first and great commandment.

A Christian ought to cite what Jesus taught about marriage.

Melton missed the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew Chapter 5, and he missed Matthew 19:3-5 in which Jesus affirms the condemnation of adultery and teaches that whoever divorces his wife for anything other than fornication causes her to commit adultery.



Second Amendment rights equal to civil-union right

On the front page of Tuesday’s paper is a quote attributed to Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, regarding civil unions. “I’m just really trying to understand, when it’s 2013 and we can say with a straight face, ‘It’s OK to deny someone their rights.’”

Really? How about my constitutional right under the Second Amendment to have firearms? This really shows the priorities of our elected representatives.


Grand Junction

Industry can operate near river responsibly

I am normally not the type of person who writes letters to the editor, but after seeing the letter from David Cali, I felt compelled to respond. Encouraging people to vote “No” on Referred Measure A based on the premise that industry cannot co-exist close to the river is just plain wrong.

We have plenty of examples of responsible employers in this community from United Companies to CoorsTek, Mays Concrete to Action Publishing that provide good-paying jobs while also allowing citizens to access a riverfront experience. Does Cali propose to go after these employers and their employees next?

A simple call to the City of Grand Junction Planning Department would have provided Cali with factual information about how future users of the Brady Trucking site would be required to submit a site plan for approval to the city just as Brady did. A simple check with the 521 Drainage Authority would reveal the kinds of clean-up measures that would need to be employed for any discharge of water into the Colorado River.

It also goes without saying that the 50-foot easement goes with the property, regardless of ownership and that the 25 feet of additional landscaping would be required of future owners, as it has been of Brady.

The reality is that we can have both jobs and trails as Brady Trucking contends, which is why I encourage people to base their decisions on facts and vote “Yes” for Referred Measure A.

Grand Junction

Remind Colorado legislators they are in office to represent constituents’ interests

Disingenuous representation: Recent legislative events here in our state and in Washington bring into focus once again the question concerning the attitude and behavior of those sent to Denver and Washington to represent us.

Let’s begin with the age-old premise that legislators are to represent their constituents. Lately we have been told in speeches, writing and on television that “we are and have been voting with the best interests of our constituents and state.” Really?

This writer always asks, “How do they know”? They, in fact, have no clue whatsoever.

This past couple of weeks has placed on the national spotlight the speaker of the Colorado House, Mark Ferrandino. With his every utterance he says in effect, “Be quiet, little children. I/we know better than you.” He does not. He reminds us of our senators with his manner and disdain for us little people.

The larger tragedy, however, is this. We must let them know via phone, e-mail, etc. just how we feel. If we don’t, then their claim and attitude have some validity.


Grand Junction

Monument Baptist neighbors denied meeting with commissioners

Something smells in River City. It stinks of arrogance, incompetence and egotism.

No cell towers are allowed in residential zones. Notice MUST be given to neighbors. Cell facilities MUST be set back. Verizon MUST prove that there are no other existing towers or suitable locations.

County staff ignored all of these requirements by calling it a ‘belfry.’ Fine. Build your belfry, but when you put a commercial cell tower in the middle of it, it is still a cell tower in a residential zone.

When a mistake is made, you only have two choices: Fix it and learn from your mistake, or bury your mistake and hope it doesn’t rise from the mud. It appears that upon the advice of their infamous legal counsel, the illustrious county commissioners have chosen the latter.

On Feb. 6 several concerned neighbors of the Monument Baptist Church area submitted a formal request for a meeting with the county commissioners to discuss how a commercial cell tower got approved, more specifically why the planning department ignored the explicit rules in the Land Use Code.

To this day, the commissioners and planners have refused to grant us a meeting. If the review and approval process was done properly, why would they not be willing to talk to us? Many of us also followed the proper channels, submitting forms to the Mesa County Code Compliance Department, also with no response. What are tax-paying citizens to do to get a response?

Implied in this non-response is that the only course of action for these concerned residents is a litigious one, where they will pay to fight against the bottomless pockets of the county (whom ironically they pay to fill). What a sad abuse of the public good these commissioners have sworn to serve and uphold.

Grand Junction

Is a “Yes” vote on Ref. B a trial balloon?

The mail-in ballots came this week. While I was reading the candidates and measures, something occurred to me. Referred Measure B brought to mind New York Mayor Bloomberg and his proposed ban on big sugary drinks, a true “trial balloon.” It failed this time, as many trial balloons do the first time. But, rest assured, he’ll try again and again until it passes.

So, that made me wonder if a “Yes” vote on Referred Measure B isn’t a trial balloon also? One attempting to override TABOR with our blessings this time?

Even though the projects they propose sound worthy, isn’t the ultimate goal the elimination of TABOR? After all, politicians have always wanted unlimited tax money without any accountability.

I’ve decided to vote “No” on that one, and I hope it fails. But, rest assured; we’ll see it, or something like it, again real soon. Just wait and see.

That brings to mind another question. If we vote “Yes” like they say, and our taxes won’t go up, then aren’t our taxes too high in the first place?

Grand Junction

Vote “No’ on Ref. A for 10 reasons

Referred Measure A is a zoning issue only. Here are ten reasons to vote “No” on Referred Measure A:

1. Voting “No” ensures the continuation of the Riverfront Vision of 35 years and a $100 million investment by this community.

2. Voting “No” means this community rejects “SPOT” zoning which is a dangerous and unintelligent practice in any community.

3. Voting “No” ensures that the spot zoning will not be tied to this property forever.

4. Voting “No” ensures that Brady, a hard-working and responsible business, can sell or trade the land.

5. Voting “No” means the community understands that the Chamber of Commerce has muddied the issue with its skewed statements about lost jobs.

6. Voting “No” means there is no chance in the future the property will be under any legal or other constraints, so this issue will be put to rest forever.

7. Voting “No” allows Brady to continue to seek a buyout and/or trade.

8. Voting “No” ensures that the City Council knows the community wants to support Brady through a buyout and/or trade, so the company can expand into an appropriate property next door to its present business building in the Indian Industrial area.

9. Voting “No” effectively tells city leaders the riverfront is for the community and the natural capital that generates sustainable employment and a clean environment.

10. Voting “No” speaks volumes to our beloved Colorado River that is lifeline of our lives and the future of the Grand Valley.


Western Colorado Congress of Mesa County

Views of natural wonders marred by glut of billboards

Look around when you’re driving around town. The gateways to the valley and the key corridors and arteries in and out of Grand Junction are increasingly being filled with the visual pollution of giant billboards. We now find cherished views of the Bookcliffs, Mt. Garfield, Grand Mesa, the monument and the sky itself grossly blocked by in-your-face billboards.

This is a great pity, for their effect is to substantially degrade both our natural and urban environment for the sake of crass commercialism.

The proliferation of these monstrous eyesores is the result of the failure of the Grand Junction City Council and the Mesa County government to implement the goals and guiding principles enunciated in the Comprehensive Plan for development adopted by both in past years.

The Comprehensive Plan repeatedly calls for preserving and reinforcing the aesthetics of areas visible to the public and protecting and enhancing scenic vistas. It cites the prevailing view of residents thus, “as a community we value our agricultural background; we enjoy open space and a small-town feel.”

A major goal is to “create attractive public spaces and enhance the visual appeal of the community through quality development.” In the development of parks, both the city and the county have done these things, but their failure to curb the blight of billboards has damaged the quality of life here.

Maybe the newly elected commissioners and council members will see the need to impose regulations that would keep things from getting worse.


More laws will not increase public’s safety

This letter is in regard to Al Amirault’s comments on Jeff Rezak’s column.

First, Rezak isn’t a gun dealer; he repairs guns. Second, Amirault is very wrong about accidents. They are not technically accidents. They are collisions or crashes. Ninety-nine percent of the time someone is at fault for the crash, so therefore it isn’t an accident. If people are driving drunk, then there is no way it is an accident.

The comments by Rezak are good. Rezak is right on so many levels with the data, and that this isn’t going to save lives. We have gun laws and we have murder laws. What’s on paper isn’t saving lives.

Judges have to follow the laws and have less discretion on the laws. HIPPA laws need changes. Hospitals will not tell police if someone is there or even if a serious criminal is being released. 

More background checks? What a dumb comment. There are only so many ways one can check a background, and, short of doing fingerprints at the store and sending them in, they are doing all they can do right now.

What is needed to go along with the background checks is a confidential database of the mentally ill that alerts if they try to buy a gun. That way their privacy is still there unless they are trying to buy a gun. We all want the shootings to stop.

If they would actually try the other options first and if that didn’t work, then go to more gun laws. Then they may have some support but what they are doing is not going to save any lives at all. They are most likely going to cause more shootings, because the criminals will still have guns just like they do now.

Who reading this thinks a criminal is going to say to himself, “Oops, I have a gun illegally. I better turn it in?” Get real.

Connecticut had some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and look what happened. Why are we penalizing the citizens for what a small group is doing?

Focus on them. Keep guns out of mentally ill people’s hands even if making it so their family members can’t have guns if the person lives with them. And what about the out-of-state hunters this state depends on? Do you think they are going to want to come here now? Lot of lost revenue for the state there also. And, no, I am not a hunter.



Valley’s heritage at stake in vote on Referendum A

Ballots began arriving yesterday for one of the most important municipal elections in years. I urge you to give thoughtful consideration to the implications that will result.

Referendum A, aka the Brady Trucking rezone, is being touted as a property rights issue by those (particularly business leaders) in support of the referendum. Indeed, it may be, but not in the view in which it is being supported.

Rather, it is our heritage that is at stake, and the property rights along our riverfront belong to the generations to come—those who will forever benefit from the vision, hard work and countless dollars that so many individuals and community groups have put into the effort to clean up the river for many decades.

The fact that the Brady property COULD have been purchased by the riverfront supporters when it was available is immaterial. Anybody listening knows that all available and found dollars were being expended to acquire countless other properties and to pay for their cleanup.

But the fact that Brady acquired the property knowing that it would require a rezone IS NOT immaterial. And the fact that the same city council which force-fed the community a safety building it had already denied, and the same city council which then ignored the wishes of the community again, as well as its own planning commission, by compliantly giving Brady the zoning requested to re-industrialize the riverfront, IS NOT immaterial.

Please vote “No” on Referendum A. It will not change Brady Trucking’s current operation. It will keep the riverfront from reindustrialization. And it will keep a community vision for the riverfront alive.

And while you’re voting, please be mindful for whom you’re voting. There is a clear Chamber of Commerce slate of candidates who are supported by the same chamber that supports the “property rights” aspect of Brady Trucking.

The same chamber was the driving force in the defeat of Bernie Buescher, one of the most effective and respected elected officials ever from Western Colorado at the state capitol. And the same chamber that, for the sake of pure politics, was instrumental in replacing Buescher with Laura Bradford.

Yes, indeed.

Is that the kind of vision and judgment you want used in running our city?

Grand Junction



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