Email letters, March 17, 2014

Hunger, homelessness precipitate health care needs

The Affordable Care Act has been the center of political attention for some time now. Many people are worried about the economic effects of that particular piece of legislation for many legitimate reasons. Generally speaking, we still do not understand if it will really serve the purpose it is meant to and somehow manage not to hurt others at the same time.

In my opinion, this law was passed to try to address the rising gap of social and economic inequality in our country. The ACA only covers medical needs, however; it has no details designed to confront poverty head on. Without first dealing with issues such as hunger and homelessness, there is no fixing the inevitable health problems that come with them.

I think the ACA is going in the right direction yet is not going far enough to handle the mechanics of the problems people are trying to address. I received an email that talked about the recent 50th failed attempt to gut funding from ACA. The corruption level of the infrastructure possesses such a dense influence that those who want to make a positive difference in Washington D.C. are hardly able to do so.

That parallel is also true on the ground level, as we struggle amongst ourselves for resources when resources are not the core issue. Every social program like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program right now is on the chopping block not excluding funds that help feed children. What we need is an organization that can take on that responsibility while providing a new opportunity for the people of our country to bring this positive peaceful change. Working together can keep us from feeling like we are fighting the world alone.

To learn about the Human Expedition, check out the petition and free eBook at

Colorado Springs

Altrusa among those disappointed over Tribune’s closing

With great sadness, Altrusa International, Inc. of Palisade learned of the closing of The Palisade Tribune, and I feel that Palisade will change because of the closing.  As I have told Betsy McLaughlin, Darralee Mathews and Bob Dougherty, I have always felt the Tribune was the heartbeat of the community.  Losing the Tribune will change Palisade. 

As a member of Altrusa in Palisade, I know our community service projects over the past almost 18 years were made better through the coverage and pleas for donations assisted by the Tribune.  I know many members of our community will be adversely affected by the loss of our paper. Town meeting and local recreation information, school Information and news of our youth will all be compromised by the lack of a local paper. 

Some of the appeal of the Palisade community has been the encouragement and recognition received through information contained in the local newspaper.  Everyone will suffer, especially our youth, unless some replacement way of getting the Palisade news to our community.  Please express my concern to The Daily Sentinel “powers that be.”  Could they do a weekly insert or daily page in the Sentinel covering the Palisade community?  They are the doctors in this matter—performing surgery on “our town.”  Please give us an artificial heartbeat — we need it to continue our work (as a village) taking care of our community.

Meanwhile, thank you to Betsy McLaughlin, Darralee Mathews, Bob Dougherty and Bob Sweeney for all they have done to make a difference in our community.  They are the BEST and will be sincerely missed!!

Member of Palisade Altrusa Club

Cut federal departments, regs, agencies to combat debt crisis

Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are going to ask, “Grampy-Grammy, why did you do this to us?”

They’ll be talking about our nation’s debt passed on to them. How could this happen to a great nation such as ours? The answer lies with gutless politicians who care more about getting re-elected than about what is best for our country. How do we get out of the mess we are in? Not by taxing the rich (or the poor).

Two actions need to be taken. First, the size and cost of the federal government must be reduced. Departments that have proven to be of little benefit must be abolished.  The departments of Education, Energy, Commerce and others fall into this category. Also agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration, which spends billions passing federal gas tax money back to states from which it is collected, should go.  Eliminate the federal gas tax and have the states collect the money. 

Second, economic growth must be encouraged by eliminating many federal governmental regulations that are blocking the full development of our energy resources. Despite what some shallow-sighted letter writers are saying about new coal mines, coal and natural gas offer us the opportunity to develop energy-exporting industries that would solve our problem with balance of payments to foreign countries and create thousands of good-paying jobs.

Dusty roads can be eliminated in many ways, and I have yet to see a train trailing a cloud of dust.  Approve the Keystone Pipeline. Voting true conservatives into political offices will restore the greatness of our country.

US cuts its military when nation has no real international clout

Somehow I don’t get a warm-and-fuzzy feeling when Secretary of State John Kerry says that Putin invading the Ukraine is not a threat.

Of course, we have heard all this before from the administration: Korea firing off missile, Syria using chemical weapons, Iran has a nuclear bomb.  Of course, the war on terrorism is over, we have won.  Our borders are secure, so there are no real threats to the USA. 

Consequently we now can reduce our military.  Feel safer now?


Grand Junction

Tipton violates trust of his district

Congressman Scott Tipton’s latest weekly “update” once again reveals that the 3rd Congressional District is being “represented” by a disingenuous right-wing extremist who is expending taxpayers’ dollars to propound dishonest anti-government propaganda to his gullible constituents.
Tipton claims that his “Water Rights Protection Act” (HR 3189) — which passed the House last week —  would stop federal agencies charged with managing public lands and water from “using the federal permit, lease, and land management process to extort water rights from those who hold rights under state law . . . [thereby] violating private property rights, and the United States Constitution.”
Of course, as is usual with Tipton, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Rather, beginning under Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1983, Forest Service permits have required that private water rights to use public water for snow-making be titled in the name of the “United States” – thus ensuring that such water rights “run with the land” and cannot be transferred for other commercial uses – to the potential detriment of successor ski operators, local communities, graziers, and/or the national forests themselves.
For some twenty years, that common sense policy was inconsistently enforced (but not “waived”) — and some Colorado ski areas obtained water rights without so titling them. 
In 2004, Republican President George Bush’s Forest Service again began requiring joint ownership of those water rights with the “U.S”., but “grandfathered” older non-compliant permits.  In 2011, President Obama’s Forest Service sought to restore consistency to this long-standing policy by requiring compliance as a permit renewal condition.
Thus, contrary to Tipton’s falsehoods, the federal government has not been attempting to “extort” anything from anyone, water rights are always “conditional” on “beneficial use,” and nothing about the policy “violates the United States Constitution.”

 Grand Junction

Former owner of the Corral gave much to her community

The Grand Junction community lost an incredible person last Monday. Whether one knew her as Grandma, Ma or Joanie, those that were lucky enough to have known her were blessed. While it is her passing that compels this letter, it is her life that I wish to celebrate.

Joan Wieker owned the Corral from the early 1960s through the late 1980s; she was a business owner and
operator who practiced much more than she preached. While owner of the Corral, she fed and sheltered numerous residents of this valley who would not have otherwise been fed or sheltered. This business was my grandmother’s avenue to embody the creed in which she so arduously believed.

The Corral was a social institution and mainstay of downtown Grand Junction, a place where all were welcome and a central location for my family and many others — many of whom were not related to Joanie. On numerous occasions, my siblings and I have made connections with seemingly random people, all of whom returned to Joanie and her kindness, warmth and generosity. In recent years downtown Grand Junction has enjoyed a resurgence, which includes Colorado Avenue, once the home of the Corral. However, I doubt the comfort, community and fun that my grandmother brought to downtown will return.

Whether you went to the Corral for a grilled cheese or a hamburger for lunch or for chili on a cold day, whether you went for a cold beer and some pool with friends, or whether you were lucky enough to enjoy the legendary Christmas Eve parties that followed mass, you knew the Corral was a place to return to and its proprietor and operator, Joan Wieker, was a person to cherish and emulate.

With those things in mind, those of us who knew that place and that wonderful woman celebrate.



A Christian contemplates Saint Patrick’s Day

Hmm … Today is a holiday named Saint Patrick’s Day. History records that saint Patrick was a Roman Catholic – a Christian.

Some say the shamrock was one method used by Patrick to teach the pagan Celts about how God teaches the whole world –  even the illiterate — about Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

History in like manner in America suggests that Samuel Adams was no bigot and could hear the prayer of any gentleman of piety and virtue who was at the same time a friend to his country…. Sam Adams who was ashamed that his fellow Christians “could not as one man bow the knee in prayer to the almighty, whose advice and assistance they hoped to obtain.”

Having read the sacred writings that are the standard for our Christian faith, from Genesis to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, there is but one Truth told. And I dare say homosexuality is neither advanced nor embraced as anything but sin and rebellion against God.

This being Saint Patrick’s Day, it is especially hard to hear that brewers and certain corporate sponsors have discriminated against the Christians pulling their sponsorship in an act of economic terrorism motivated by the enemy of Christ.  Well, they have a right to sponsor what they will. But I will not drink or purchase beer representing Ireland – or beer displaying the name of the Christian Patriot Samuel Adams – when the fools do not honor Saint Patrick or the day named after him.

If the Sodomites desire to be accepted by Christians, they must necessarily embrace our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who taught men who love Him to honor God. Sodom and Gomorrah were examples of what becomes a people who reject God and the laws dictated by God.



County commissioners urged to abandon BMX plan

Gene Goffin and I are on the same page (wish I had his e-mail) when it comes to the county commissioners’ recent actions. 

With all the money being spent on economic development issues,  I wonder if they ever read their job descriptions — concerning their duties and obligations to the needs of the present taxpayers of this county.  We have other agencies the duties and budgets of which are designated for economic development and tourism without robbing our capital improvement funds or committing us to future expenditures for their “maybe” schemes. 

In an email to me, Commissioner Rose Pugliese stated that the BMX improvements “will encourage economic development in the Orchard Mesa area.” She goes on to state, “The Olympic trials will put Mesa County on the map nationwide.” This same reasoning is given for their one-time advertisement in an airline magazine for one month for close to $8,000.

What is this philosophy that we need to encourage busloads of people to come and share our lives?  We moved here in 1959 and have lived here on and off ever since because Mesa County provided a laid-back and yet family-oriented place to raise our sons.  And incidentally, as residents of the Redlands, we remember when one of the favorite excursions of our now-lawyer son was for us to drive down to the end of Broadway and view the herd of buffalo grazing at the foot of the monument. 

Glade Park residents don’t want their way of life interrupted any more than the residents of the Redlands do by the increased traffic that will result from changing the monument into a national park — all plans to “put Mesa County on the national map.”

In conclusion, Mesa County commissioners should “tear down” their plans and maybe “schemes” to perhaps line the pockets of a favored few.  They should start serving the real needs of their constituents who are presently paying the bills and incidentally also their salaries. Recall could be in the future if this behavior does not change.

Grand Junction




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