Email letters, March 18, 2013
Colorado’s ‘brand’ draws in new residents, business
In his March 15 column, Josh Penry earns his paycheck as a gun-rights advocate, but he flunks as a branding consultant.
He excoriates the legislature for spending time on gun regulations, not on jobs bills. This is evidence to him that Colorado’s “brand has major league problems.”
He should stop viewing the state through the limited perspective of a rifle scope and look at what really attracts companies, workers and new residents who’ll spend money here.
You won’t find guns ranking highly among criteria for best places to live, work or do business. But on more relevant measures, Colorado’s brand looks pretty good:
No. 5 on Forbes’ Best States for Business (and No. 1 for labor supply)
No. 4 on the Kaufman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity
No. 2 in the Gallup Poll’s Happiest States ranking
No. 6 on MoneyRates Best States for Retirement
No. 6 of the 30 Best Places to Work by Outside Magazine (more than any other state)
Perhaps the gun lobby is the only client still willing to take branding advice from the Colorado GOP.
Colorado has fundamentally changed in past 50 years
Have you noticed that there has been a fundamental transformation of Colorado? And it didn’t just happen over the past five years.
It actually started more than 50 years ago—- slow, but persistent. The driving force for this change has been the Denver-Boulder metroplex and its political influence. Consider the images we see today.
• The impact of second-hand smoke is no longer lung cancer. It is more likely you’ll get high. And that isn’t a Rocky Mountain high.
• Instead of blue jeans, the preferred dress is Spandex.
• The drive (no pun intended) is to ride a bicycle instead of a pickup.
• Instead of the Marlboro Cowboy, we now have an image of the midnight cowboy
• At one time (long ago), no real man wore jewelry. Now males wear more than females, and it can be challenging to discern the difference.
• Instead of a cowboy hat, it is a plastic crash helmet.
• There was a time when public assistance was the absolute last thing you would lower yourself to. Now it is a way of life and there are those who are proud of it and think society owes it to them.
There are many more changes that are obvious to the casual observer. But there is one more change that we may need to make. That is the name of the state. The state was named to reflect the red color of the Colorado River.
Now so much of the water is going to Denver to run down the gutters to the Mississippi that there isn’t sufficient water to carry enough red silt far enough to support the name.
Beware of more and more buzzwords
In this world of ever-increasing government control, buzzwords abound.
They fly off the presses of newspapers and the tongues of radio and TV announcers. Here are a few familiar ones, with their liberal meanings. Listen for them; they’re everywhere.
“Renewable resources”- wind, solar and trees, such as those that produce the raw material for long, wooden noses such as Obama’s.
“Investment”- higher taxes
“Progressive”- left-wing, radical left or liberal
“Carbon footprint”- scars which bad factories leave
“Global warming”- now called climate change since it wouldn’t quit snowing after they dreamed up the “warming” part
“Same sex marriage”- gay/homosexual
“A woman’s right to choose”- abortion
“Biodegradable”- organic things which rot away in landfills
“Environmentally friendly”- whatever the government says it is
“Global community”- one world-ism
“Bio-fuels”- oil, natural gas, coal, things on the liberal hit list
In our nanny state we’re now told which light bulbs to buy, which cars are best to drive, and how much trans fat, salt and sugar is bad and don’t even think about that buttered movie popcorn.
In the name of safety, they want our handguns, still to be determined assault weapons and large capacity ammo clips. They tell the schools what they can and can’t teach, discourage conventional parenting and would eliminate gas-guzzling vehicles altogether if they could.
Now they’re working on controlling medicine, doctors and hospitals. And there’s no room at all for Christianity or God in government.
How did our parents survive without all this help? We don’t have to like it; just get used to it. The slaves in the South did.
Those of us who still believe in God and know right from wrong need to pass those values along, trust our core beliefs, use common sense and know how to recognize buzzwords.
Allow Brady to develop property, create jobs
In the spirit of full disclosure I must tell you that I live in the county and will be unable to vote on Referred Measure A. However, this is still an important issue to me.
Many of us in the county have worked in Grand Junction and utilize its parks and trails system. The outcome of this election will affect us.
I have followed the issue and still can’t understand why people are so upset and fighting a company that wants to invest in our community, create good-paying jobs and is willing to provide a 50-foot easement that continues the trail system.
If you don’t like what they plan to do, why haven’t you purchased it yourselves in the past four years?
I hope the registered voters of this city will understand how important it is to all of us that Brady be allowed to develop its property and vote “Yes” on Ref. A., so we can all enjoy the trail system and point our young people toward job opportunities that pay far above average.
‘Guns and gays’ take up far too much time in Legislature
I don’t care! I don’t care about the Civil Union bill and know very few people who do.
One of my best friends from childhood was gay. His partner and he lived in Gunnison (not exactly a bastion of liberalism) for most of their lives and were treated with respect as businessmen, friends and fellow citizens.
The current efforts by the Legislature are a page out of the Democratic playbook, one designed to convince everyone that Republicans are bigoted and unfair and in the process show how little they individually respect those for whom they are supposedly advocating.
I don’t ever recall a picture of the House leader or the Senate president on the front page of the Denver Post, kissing their husbands or wives. Yet, that was the picture this year. Why would they, the next day, single out the eight official “gays” serving in the Legislature and why would those eight obligingly pose for their picture?
I am probably the oldest member of the Colorado State Board of Education and would be highly offended should someone want to picture me as such.
The Republicans blundered badly last year at the end of the session. But, at least they waited until then. We are now two months into the legislative session and almost nothing has been done except “Guns and Gays.”
Guns, we are told, are to be sacrificed if “even one” child can be saved. This, while seemingly thousands of infants and children, born to young, single mothers, die every day because of abuse and neglect, as these young mothers form new attachments to new men, at the cost of the safety of their children, and we do nothing but send the young man to jail for the rest of his life.
The chance to save those children by emphasizing the responsibility of all, even teenagers, for their actions, in this permissive age, doesn’t seem to be very important. Has no one noticed that the offer to provide birth control for everyone, free to charge, is not being utilized?
Instead of newspapers happily quoting those “hateful bigots” on the right, while left-leaning legislators forget their campaign promises when they receive a call from the vice president, do you suppose we might get down to work restoring the economy of Colorado, so we can afford the $1 billion dollar tax hike aimed our way?
Colorado State Board of Education
3rd Congressional District
Chazen’s accomplishments prove his leadership skills
I highly recommend Marty Chazen for City Council District D.
His leadership skills have been a breath of fresh air for Grand Junction. His problem-solving skills are razor sharp, and his financial acumen has saved District 51 thousands of dollars. I have had the opportunity to see first-hand many of Chazen’s’s skills. Chazen serves on District 51’s Budget Advisory Committee, of which I am co-chair.
Once again, I am very proud of Chazen’s accomplishments in the community. He is fair and innovative, and he is a great listener and friend to all. Please vote for our kids’ future. Vote Chazen, District D.
DR. BARBARA ANN SMITH
Excessive monitoring shuts down chances for good jobs
I fail to understand why people complain when a business such as an egg farm wants to expand creating a locally used product and neighbors bully the potential for jobs into shutting down. This seems to be a common theme these days.
We complain about the safety of our food supply, yet we remove millions of prime farmland from production and build housing units that force us to seek produce from outside the U.S.
We refuse to let a uranium mill provide much-needed jobs, knowing that that industry has changed and now has many new safety standards. We can drill for oil and gas in any other country but ours.
When are we going to grow up and monitor important things and stop preventing things that provide products, services and jobs?
Shooters in mass slayings had common attributes
I have been watching the Democrat-sponsored, anti-Second Amendment bills debate in Denver. One after another the out-numbered Republicans have pointed out how flawed these bills are, how not one of them would have prevented or changed any of the recent shootings, and how much money the state will lose if they pass.
The Democrats seem to be simply following orders from Mr. 16-ounce-soda and Vice President shoot-up-in-the-air. It seems that every Democrat wants to remove every firearm from our society. I did do some research recently that you may find interesting about the shooters (whom I refuse to name) who caused all of this uproar in the first place.
The Fort Hood shooter - a registered Democrat and a Muslim
The Columbine shooters - they were too young to vote but both families were registered Democrats and progressive liberals
Virginia Tech shooter - wrote hate mail to President Bush and his staff and a registered Democrat
The Colorado Theater shooter - registered Democrat, staff worker for the Obama campaign, member of Occupy Wall Street, and a progressive liberal The Connecticut shooter - registered Democrat and hated Christians
The common threads? All had mental problems and all were progressive liberal Democrats.
It seems that Democrats don’t want us to have guns, but it seems that they are the ones who aren’t responsible enough to use firearms correctly and responsibly.
I have a simple solution for all of this. Let’s just make it against the law for Democrats to own guns; now everyone is happy. OK, now all of you politicians get back to work and balance the budget.
Let only those with spades, aching backs vote on burning
Burning season is upon us again, and those who don’t know they’ve moved into an agricultural valley will be complaining of smoke. Some have said we need to put the continuance of burning season to a vote.
I agree, but I propose it be a qualified vote. Only those who have cleaned a minimum of one-quarter mile of irrigation ditch, using only a spade and their aching back muscles should be allowed to vote.
Citizens should elect new talent to city council
Jim Spehar wrote a fairly good column last week. And I’m probably not the first to remind him that he spelled Marty Chafetz incorrectly. It is really Marty Chazen, the very smart gentleman who is running for City Council. Jim wrote a fairly well reasoned piece, and I appreciated it.
He also mentioned the candidates and their big blue signs. So, I’m sure everyone is well aware of whom the candidates are. There are a number of new names such as Chazen, Duncan McArthur, Phyllis Norris and Rick Brainard.
I’ve heard them speak and like what they have to say. All four want to change the status quo of City Council and make our city much more business-friendly.
Jobs should be the top priority of the city fathers, and these four will work to get the job done. They all have many years of both business and financial experience and understand that government doesn’t create jobs; businesses do.
The citizens of Grand Junction would do well to vote for these four candidates.
Megan Fromm rightfully earned ‘Sunshine Award’
Kudos to the Daily Sentinel for editorially focusing on the issue of local government transparency (“Sunshine grades”) and to Mike Wiggins (“Spotlight on government is about the process, not the person”) for recounting the heroic efforts of Megan Fromm, then Editor-in-Chief of the Mesa State College “Criterion” student newspaper, to force the college’s arrogant board of trustees to comply with state Open Meetings law.
Although Megan was not an “expert” on that law, she could read the plain language of the statute, which the trustees and their attorneys apparently could not. Fortunately, Kenzo S. Kawanabe, Esq., now a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs in Denver, could also read English and agreed to represent her pro bono.
On July 2, 2004, former Mesa County District Judge Amanda Bailey issued an 18-page decision rejecting all of the board’s legal arguments – as well as its cynical effort to impose legal fees on Fromm. While Judge Bailey’s opinion remains the most definitive judicial analysis of Colorado’s “sunshine laws” ever issued in Mesa County, it somehow disappeared (along with the entire case file) from the archives at the Justice Center.
In 2004, Megan received the Society of Professional Journalists’ “Sunshine Award” – before earning her Ph.D. in journalism and marrying an Air Force officer now stationed in Germany. Clearly, Megan benefited (albeit in an unexpected way) from her “higher education” at Mesa State.
Fromm’s legal action did not challenge Tim Foster’s selection as president of the college – only the illegally secretive process by which it was accomplished. As expected, Foster has since built Colorado Mesa University into an invaluable community asset.
Meanwhile, local disregard for governmental transparency continues. Apparently acting without competent legal advice, Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner spent some $90,000 in taxpayer monies before settling her losing Colorado Open Records Act lawsuit.
Let fruit growers burn land, others should go to landfill
I woke this beautiful spring morning, inhaled a cloud of smoke from someone’s backyard fire and decided to speak out about the practice in this valley of open burning.
For five months of the year we suffer the effects of open burning, and I believe it is time for us as a community to talk about restricting this tradition. If we examine the benefits and the detriments of open burning, we’ll see that the negative aspects of it far outweigh the positive.
The negative aspects of open burning are:
1. Health: There is no control over what people are actually burning, but a typical burn of backyard waste can release acrolien, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, volatile organic compounds, dioxins and polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons, none of which are good for anybody to breathe, especially those with compromised respiratory systems. If people are burning all the trash they have collected over the year, the carcinogenic effects could be even worse.
2. Horticulture: Ash is alkaline, and we are already struggling to grow plants in soils that are naturally very alkaline. The soils in the valley have a typical pH of 7 to 8.5. Most plants like a pH of 5 or less. Adding more alkalinity to our soils makes no horticultural sense.
3. Economic: Dirty skies from open burning cannot be an attractive feature for those visiting or thinking about moving to our area.
I understanding that the fruit growers may not have an economical alternative to burning, but for other farmers plowing crop waste under, as is done in many farming communities, could be a viable alternative to burning. There may also not be at this time an economic alternative to burning ditch banks.
If only these kinds of burning were permitted, however, what a difference this would make to our air quality. All of us living on acreage, which is essentially residential non-crop-producing property, should be required to haul yard waste to the landfill where it can be turned into something wonderful: compost.
Grandchildren get ‘real-world’ lesson on gasoline price hikes
Ever since President Obama has taken office, the price of gas has risen 101 percent. I will agree that the prices have gone down every now and then, but mostly then.
I really do not know what gas companies think when they raise the price of gas 25 cents, wait two or three weeks, lower the price by one cent, wait a few days and then lower it another penny. My great-grandchildren think that it is funny.
I tried the reverse on them by lowering their allowance a quarter, then a few weeks later raising it a penny. Just like the gas companies are doing to us, and they were not happy at all about what I was doing. Neither should we at what the gas companies are doing to us.
This penny here and a penny there is enough to make you want to take the bus or train or ride a bicycle—anything that doesn’t use much gas. I, myself, have cut back from $125 a month to just $30 a month. My wife and I decided that we didn’t need to just drive around for no reason at all. We eat at home more, watch movies on TV and play games with our children and grandchildren either at home or at their house.
We may not be able to make the gas companies lower their prices to at least $2.25 a gallon by ourselves, but with all your help cutting back we can all do it.