Email letters, March 13, 2014

Our oil is running out

I’m going to say something that everybody knows yet no one wants to admit. The simple fact is that oil is running out.

If you need evidence of this, just look at this new project they are experimenting with. Oil shale [not be confused with shale oil] is a black, hard rock that never got enough heat and
pressure to turn into oil.

What they are trying to do is put heating coils in the ground for two years and attempting to do in two years what nature takes thousands of years to do. I don’t know about you, but to me this sounds impossible, if not expensive. Both don’t add to its feasibility.

To close, I’d like to say it’s too late to switch from an oil-dependent infrastructure when the oil is all gone.

ERIC SEVERANCE
Grand Junction

Those who vote for Udall also vote for Reid

Looking at his voting record, I believe a vote for Sen. Mark Udall is a vote for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. A vote against is a good start.

L.W. HUNLEY
Grand Junction

Grant’s latest column on RS 2477 roads had inaccuracies

Bill Grant’s recent column styled “on potential RS 2477 roads” was riddled with inaccuracies. It was not based on either facts or law, but rather his perceptions about those of us who are concerned about the legality of the destruction and closure of roads by the federal government.

It takes no legal expert to understand simple distinctions of law like jurisdiction, or of the separation of powers between state and federal governments, and the limitations on government power imposed by constitutional prohibitions. Legal experts are only necessary to enable, sort out, distinguish and perpetuate a legal system, not based in law, but the sophistry that ignorant lawmakers, lawyers and judges conjure through legislative, executive, judicial and administrative policy.

Grant rails against those who champion access to public lands by opposing illegal closures of rights of way and public highways. An enabler of federal usurpation and occupation, Grant ignores the simple principle that, jurisdictionally, the county has power the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service simply do not have. This does not make the commissioners and sheriff more powerful than federal agencies and agents, but rather distinguishes the county as the proper authority when it comes to roads.

Colorado is a sovereign state, one of 50 which compose the union. Contrary to what we may think we were taught in public school, the federal government is not sovereign in this relationship, but rather an agent with limited power.

Under Colorado law the county commissioners have jurisdiction over roads, from public highways to footpaths. The BLM, Forest Service and Park Service are land management agencies, not road management agencies; and unless and until Colorado abdicates its sovereign jurisdiction — and there is a specific legal procedure for so doing — federal agencies are delegated a
proprietary interest in the land.

Illegal road closures is a Tenth Amendment issue which distinguishes that all power not delegated by the federal Constitution to the federal government, nor prohibited by it to the states, is reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Should Colorado counties continue to stand idly by, and the people fail to protest, silence will sanction the federal agencies’ usurpation and occupation. Colorado’s status as a sovereign state is being directly challenged by illegal road closures.

If the feds are not stopped, Colorado will be relegated to the status of mere administrative subdivision of the federal government — and the people to indentured servitude.

Tyranny always encroaches silently, deceitfully, incrementally. It would never be tolerated if it reared its ugly head all at once.

DAVID JUSTICE
Gunnison

Sentinel thanked for providing balanced views on op-ed pages

I am a regular subscriber in good standing and have been for more than 25 years. Thanks for including more than one side of the issues brought up in the op-ed pages.

LINDSAY HOLMES

Fruita

Grant’s venomous opinion of Tipton is mind-boggling

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. I thought this quote was being used to introduce Bill Grant. It is the perfect description of him.

It must be tough getting up each morning with such a burning hatred of Rep. Scott Tipton as Grant has. I do not know Tipton, but with the vile venom that is spewed upon him by Grant is mind-boggling.

I read other opinions on Tipton. Some agree with him, some disagree with him, but none have the nasty, hate-filled, name-calling of Grant.

Of course, this is why it takes all kinds to make up this great country in which we live.

WILL EIDSON
Fruita

Large, corrupt government recklessly borrows, spends

 A 1960s episode of “Cheyenne” showed government corruption in the late 1800s. The 1939 movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” exposed the same thing.
 
When government is small, the level of corruption is small. When government becomes huge and unwieldy, however, corruption grows exponentially. Our government is now so large that corruption is rampant. There have been entirely too many instances of voter fraud, of political favors, of misuse of government power to punish opponents, and of politicians growing rich when such service originally meant financial sacrifices.  
 
We are spending beyond belief as Congress and the administration buy votes (by extending unemployment benefits, increasing food stamp participation and offering “free” medical care) and repay favors (stimulus funds to quickly-defunct “green energy” businesses, for example). Congress has no incentive to be frugal, and senators and representatives have forgotten that it is not their money.
 
Part of it is [ITAL] our [[ITAL] money. It belongs to us, the taxpayers, and we’re tired of it being used to reward people for making bad decisions and companies and unions who support the “right” candidates.
 
The other part is the Chinese government’s money. Why on earth are we allowing our government to borrow money from a foreign country (not even an ally) and then give it all away, creating debt that may be impossible to repay?
 
It’s time to demand that government stop the spending that has prolonged this recession, created more dependency and pushed us farther toward insolvency. Elect financial conservatives.
 
ANGIE MANY
Eckert
 
Poor and minority students also deserve American Dream

You’re a child from poverty … and you’re a minority. Your teachers change yearly. They’re just learning to teach you, and when they learn, they leave. Every year you fall farther behind.

Is it your future to be locked into poverty and welfare? Don’t you have a right to the American Dream?

We must be talking about inner city school kids, one might say - Washington, D.C., New York City or even Denver. No, we’re talking about our Title I schools here in District 51.

I’ve long been concerned that our high poverty and minority students are not being served fairly. The scenario is: Beginning teachers are hired into Title I schools and gain experience but move to a non-title school within a few years. Why does this occur? Title I schools are regarded as
very challenging.

Recently a Title I principal told me that a teacher, inquiring by phone about a job, asked if they were a Title I school. Once she found out that they were, she hung up. The school couldn’t even interview a potentially great teacher.

In District 51, between the 2010/11 and 2011/12 school years, nearly twice as many teachers left Title I schools compared to other schools. In addition, in the 2013/14 school year Title I schools had more than four times as many experienced teachers leave, compared to experienced teachers who hired on.

Isn’t it our duty to give all our District 51 kids an equal opportunity to a great education and a future? Isn’t anything else just discrimination by another name?

While I am not speaking on behalf of the District 51 Board of Education, I believe it’s our obligation to find a better way to help attract and retain excellent, experienced teachers for Title I schools.

ANN TISUE
Member, Board of Education District 51
Grand Junction


ACA horror stories to abate as more Americans enjoy its benefits

Bud Markos’ ignorantly sarcastic response (“Most citizens of Colorado, nation didn’t want Obamacare”) to Dr. Michael Pramenko’s guest column (“Serious options are welcome for making Obamacare changes”) manifests the effectiveness of the ugly misinformation campaign being waged by “ObamaCare’s” virulent opponents.
 
Thus, while recent polling confirms that a majority of Americans oppose “ObamaCare”, those same respondents support many provisions of the Affordable Care Act –  i..e., banning discrimination against women and would-be insureds with “pre-existing conditions,” annual and life-time benefit caps, and arbitrary policy cancellations, closing the Medicare Part D prescription drug “donut hole,” allowing young adults to remain covered under parents’ policies, and funding free preventative care.
 
Because the ACA is working, a Gallup poll (but not FoxNoise) reported this week that the percentage of uninsured Americans has fallen to its lowest point since early 2009. 
 
So, as Bill Grant suggests (“ACA could be Tipton’s Achilles’ heel”), as more Americans enjoy those many real benefits of “ObamaCare”, their personal experiences will gradually offset the fake “horror stories” touted by well-funded right-wing media and cynical politicians (who have now voted 50 times to repeal the ACA, rather than improve it). 
 
Markos seems totally unaware that the ACA originated as the “conservative” alternative to a “single payer” plan, that Senate Republicans participated in drafting the ACA, and that Section 1332 reflects their input.  Thus, while the ACA embraces “conservatives’” demands for a “market-driven approach” and flexibility for states, Markos rails against it.
 
As Pramenko’s column aptly chronicled, the ACA’s opponents have offered no credible alternatives for solving the problems of rising health care costs, health insurance abuses, and denial of access to millions of uninsureds – while repeatedly asserting that they have.
 
Thus, the most “outrageous lies” being foisted on Sentinel readers by Markos and the Koch brothers are indeed “self evident.”
 
BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Senators urged to introduce carbon fee and dividend bill

Thank you to Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Mark Udall. D-Colo. for participating with 26 other senators to stand #Up4Climate Tuesday night, instead of being in bed with the fossil fuel industry.

I grew up in Maine and now live in Colorado, and I know how much both of these beautiful states have to gain from legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Tuesday night King’s comments focused on protecting Maine’s lobster fisheries, because the crustaceans may move north into colder waters as the climate warms. Maine’s ski industry, maple sugaring, small farms and other industries also depend on a stable climate.

Colorado faces increasing wildfire danger and receding snowpack, yet possesses some of the best solar and wind potential in the country. The all-night climate change discussion fell short on policy solutions, but not to worry. Where the people lead, leaders follow, and Citizen’s Climate Lobby now has chapters in more than half of U.S. congressional districts, as well as several foreign countries.

CCL is working with our legislators to pass a revenue-neutral, free-market carbon tax. Carbon fee and dividend, as it is called, is a policy proposal to tax fossil fuels at the source and return the money to American households.

A great next step for Udall, King and others who participated is to introduce a carbon fee and dividend bill in Congress. More information on how to build the political will for a livable world is available http://www.citizensclimatelobby.org.

AMELIA POTVIN
Carbondale


CNG industry shouldn’t take government grant

We live in a region of rugged individualists who worship the amazing things entrepreneurship and the private enterprise market can do. We are almost daily reminded that if people are just left alone to pursue their business ventures we’d be a lot better off. Government should just get out of the way and the market will just see to it that we’ll all benefit the most.
 
We are in an energy-rich part of the country, particularly natural gas, as long as its price in the market is high enough to make it profitable to harvest. The article Thursday about the possibility of further encouraging the use of CNG in vehicles with more accessibility to filling stations is welcome, since the increased use of CNG  in vehicles locally will have a beneficial result in improving our air quality.
 
It will also be of great benefit to the profitability of locally operating gas drilling companies that will also be able to hire more employees.
 
It’s interesting, however, that the entire enterprise hinges around the possibility for a $500,000 grant from the hated and useless government. I was under the impression that, if just left alone, businesses could best determine how to run and grow their business.

Free market theory says that, to grow, businesses need to promote their products and always seek ways to develop new and/or expanded markets. In this case, expansion of the market for CNG and profitability for its free enterprise companies depends on help from the government.

Why doesn’t the CNG industry make the effort  — on its own  -— to make its product more easily available and accessible? Why is it relying on the government which, as we all know, is just a hindrance to economic development?
 
No hypocrisy here. So, what’s new?
 
JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Spied-upon politicians belatedly scandalized

In regard to the sudden concern of Aspen regular Diane Feinstein about violations of the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, Ed Snowden said it best: “We’re seeing another ‘Merkel Effect,’ where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.”

LEE MULCAHY
Aspen

Unnecessary time change irks living daylights out of resident

Is anyone else as fed up with daylight saving time as I am? My body clock just about gets used to the change in schedule when it’s time to confuse it all over again. It’s time to get up already?

I don’t know what our dogs think of the change in routine. They get used to eating at eight, and suddenly it’s switched to seven. What’s going on?

They tell us it’s to get one more hour of sunshine. Yeah, right. We get the same amount of sunshine. It’s just at a different time.

Why did we start this in the first place? So we could have daylight to feed the chickens and water the horses? Why was it?

Anyway, I sure do wish they’d pick a time and leave it there. (By the way, who are the “they” that I can go to and convince to fix it?)

NORMA SCHUCKMAN
Grand Junction


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