Email Letters: March 20, 2017

Chazen’s accomplishments far exceed those of Wortmann’s

You chose Mr. Wortmann over Mr. Chazen for City Council in District D. Yet, in your March 13 comparison of Mr. Chazen and Mr. Wortmann for City Council, Mr. Wortmann listed no accomplishments other than living here for 40 years. No academics, no jobs, no boards, nothing except a nice smile. Versus Mr. Chazen, whose academic, corporate and public service careers are full of accomplishments and recognition. Mayor Pro-Tem, Board Chairman of Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, etc. Are you afraid of tough questions? Or do you not want someone who is concerned about how public money is spent? Come-on, guys. Get Real!

Grand Junction

Advocating for the ban of Nordic Council is ridiculous

To the unnamed contributor to “You Said It” on Sunday who advocated for the ban of the Nordic Council on the Grand Mesa, I can appreciate wanting to remain anonymous as the idea is ridiculous!

Without the council’s monetary outlay and labor just how would you suggest that the trail system, which you apparently use, be groomed and maintained for the hundreds who use it also? If you’d prefer to have it not groomed and prefer to ski backcountry with your dog, why not access the miles and miles of area available on the Grand Mesa? For many of us who prefer the track skiing, we can not understand why having two of the three ski areas be dog friendly is not enough; surely a compromise is doable.

In regards as to how to handle wildlife is encountered, I would suggest that there is a big difference between a wild animal trying to avoid all human contact and a big, “friendly” dog seemingly wanting some personal contact as perhaps it has no idea as to where his owner has gotten to!

Grand Junction

A roundabout on 5th and North would do more than just move traffic

A roundabout at 5th and North Avenue is a concept that would keep traffic moving on North and yet tie Main Street via an improved two-way, widened artery to commerce on both North and Main.

Grand Junction

Vote yes on projects that could really help our community

Tommy Lasorda, the legendary baseball manager once said, “I found it’s not good to talk about my troubles, 80 percent of the people who hear ‘em don’t care and the other 20 percent are glad I am having them.”

It kind of reminds me of voting in Mesa County for any amenities that might enhance some economic opportunities and push us forward. We need part of the 80 percent to help support ideas, and schools, and projects that could really help our community. Come on people, we have the lowest tax base for communities our size in the state, take a chance and vote yes.

As for our local politicians, take another page from some old coaches, don’t play not to lose, play to win!

Grand Junction

If event center were a good idea, why didn’t city previously plan for it?

I want to thank Jim Spehar for a well-written column on Tuesday. The pro-event center people are running such a good campaign that one might think everyone in Grand Junction is for the proposed event center. However, I will be joining him with a “no” vote.

I heard someone say recently that the Avalon has made money since it opened; is that really true? I thought I had also heard that it has been under-utilized ever since the renovation.

I would gladly pay the same amount of taxes for something that was more concrete in getting industry into the valley – high speed Internet, for one. Betting on a hockey team to fill those seats is like betting that the Rockies will fill all the seats at their games.
If an event center is such a good idea, why didn’t the city plan to put it in Matchett Park or Los Colonias where there would be adequate parking? I think we know the answer to that; it seems we are being asked to subsidize the Reimers’ downtown businesses. As lovely as it is, there is much more to Grand Junction than just Main Street.

Grand Junction

Chazen will prioritize how the city spends its money

Is it a bad thing to have a City Council member who is concerned about the city’s tax dollars? I don’t think so. Grand Junction is full of senior citizens on fixed incomes and taxes are an important component of our budgets. To have a City Council member who wants to prioritize how the city spends its money is a welcome change. Vote yes for Marty Chazen for City Council.

Grand Junction

For healthcare, the free market has severe limitations

President Trump makes reality into an illusion sketched by him and aligned outlets. Alternate facts replace verifiable facts. Job report numbers that were once a lie are now incredible. Global warming doesn’t have a human component. ACA is in a death spiral. It isn’t. President Obama wiretapped him. No one else thinks so. A healthcare program that will keep Medicare, Medicaid, and lower prices for everyone converted to reality will actually eviscerate Medicaid, endanger Medicare, and cause millions to lose insurance. Paul Ryan on Hugh Hewitt’s show was very happy about that. Trumpcare will kill more people than extremists ever have.

If it isn’t enough to target the poor and elderly, Meals on Wheels and school lunch programs are also cut in the Trump budget. The poor, elderly, and disappearing middle class are disposable.

The myth spreaders will continue to try to make illusion real, but the biggest myth of all is that free markets will magically fix everything. Free markets are great capitalistic drivers for business where competition is abundant, but for healthcare it has severe limitations. Ryan himself said that a free market couldn’t cover the number of people government can. No one else has the potential to regulate costs either. Government also has the ability to make an equitable way to pay for healthcare through taxation. There is nothing in the free market system that will accomplish what Medicare does now, and Medicare can be improved. Medicine is just too expensive. We should look at a plan that at least offers Medicare to every citizen.

Perhaps we could regain the moral authority lost to alternate facts and allowing citizens to die by following Jesus’s advice: “What you do to the least of them you do to me,” because we also eventually do it to ourselves.

Grand Junction

Recent cartoon and You Said It pieces are a bit misleading

In the “You Said It” column of the Sunday issue of the Daily Sentinel, appear two letters denouncing the 20 percent raises given the Board of County Commissioners recently. I may be wrong but I understand those raises are mandated by the state and the BOCC have no control over that so perhaps the complainers, who would not give their names, should contact the proper state officials and file a grievance?

The cartoon showing Big Bird being eaten by a Trump eagle is also a bit misleading. Anytime there is talk of cutting back funding for public television the big guns always use Big Bird as their emotional reason why that cannot and should not be done. I believe some of us might hate to see Lawrence Welk go as well so I guess that show, along with hundreds of others on PBS don’t count! The person who drew that cartoon is falling into the same trap – emotion over losing Big Bird. That very well might not happen, as there appear to be deals going with HBO to take over the show. A little Google search will bring up some interesting facts on this subject for the more open-minded.


We should be concerned with event center not meeting financial expectations

Over the past week much has been written about the pros and cons of Measure 2A, the proposed events center. I very much want to vote yes, but I have some large reservations. On the yes side I agree that Grand Junction needs to do something to kick start economic development. It is true that Grand Junction is between Denver and bigger cities and that many groups would stop and perform here. I agree with the articles in Sunday’s Sports and Rec section about the benefits for high school sporting events and graduations. I have no problem with most of the pros that have been discussed. I would love to go to more sporting events and concerts and have the economic prosperity that would bring.

Where I do have the problem is with reality. Jon Mitchell in the Sunday Sports and Rec section talks about a proposed arena becoming a draw like Loveland’s Budweiser Events Center. You cannot compare Grand Junction and the population within 2 1/2 hours drive up against Loveland.

In his March 14 column, Jim Spehar did go into details about comparable sites. The study by Hunden Strategic Partners examined similar centers in seven communities, providing recent financials for four of them opened between 2006-2011. Each showed 2014 or 2015 net losses ranging from $153,000 to $760,000 while hosting sports tenants and name concerts. Four of seven had huge losses.

I have written many letters in the past. I am not against well thought out tax increases. I vote against any tax increase that has “may” in the wording. (The funds may put in an interchange at I-70 and 29 roads) I have been a supporter of the Avalon, as a patron and a financial supporter. Despite what most people here think, the Avalon does not lose money. It may not yet be a big money maker, but it pays for itself and is an asset to the community. It will become an even greater asset when it is complete.

Grand Junction is on life support. The roads need repair, we need better schools and we need sustainable, good paying jobs. Every avenue to a financially stable community needs to be addressed. I just think that some of the possibilities of failure should also be looked at. What happens if you build it and they don’t come – what are the financial consequences of that?
I’m still on the fence.

Grand Junction

Should government be involved in any way relative to the health and welfare of citizens?

Here’s the deal. Should government be involved in any way relative to the health and welfare of citizens? Providers of health care – doctors, hospitals, long-term care, pharmaceuticals and manufacturers of health care equipment and supplies – expect to be paid for their time and material. They expect to be paid at the time you utilize their service and supplies. Do you know when you’ll need their services?

Insurance companies exist to pay your medical bills when they occur. You buy an insurance policy to pool your money with others so that the money is available when needed. You pay the price for the insurance premium to have that peace of mind that the company will cover your costs when needed. Policies are available for however you want to pay and how much you want the company to pay on your behalf. Like the providers, insurance companies expect to make a profit unless the company has been formed as non-profit. Until recently we had a non-profit here locally, Rocky Mountain Health Systems.

So how do health insurance companies make sure they have enough money to pay providers when there is uncertainty as to when that is needed? They expect to have a cross section of ages of policyholders in their “risk pool” of policyholders. Ideally they have people not likely to need payouts, younger people, anytime soon and they have older policyholders probably needing payouts beyond what their premiums will bring in. Ideally the system is meant to cover everybody during his or her lifetime. Premiums for younger people are beyond payout levels and below payout levels when you are older.

That’s the ideal. There are probably hundreds of health insurance companies in the country. Each has a relatively small risk pool compared to what would exist if the risk pool included every citizen in the country.

Should the government be involved in some way in insuring everybody in the country using an ideal, maximum risk pool? Both the ACA and the ”replacement” scheme are nibbling away around the edges of this major problem. Why not attack it as a national problem and solve it rationally instead of nibbling around the edges? Is ideology getting in the way? Are ideologists well informed about the issue? We went to the moon but we understood what we were doing. Does that matter? I think so.

Grand Junction

Our country should consider more immediate concerns than climate change

What’s the worst that can happen?

After reading Sean Goodbody’s column, “Climate Change: What’s the worst that can happen?” I was struck by how far liberals are willing to go to hand control over our lives to the federal government. At least this is a little more novel approach than just saying man is causing warming, cooling, or change over and over. He also almost semi-acknowledges that the variables in predicting the weather are so numerous that it defies the odds of predicting the outcome of the weather 10, 20, or more years down the road.

His contention, with the four options he offered, was what is the worst thing that can happen? Of course he got to decide what the worst things were to each situation. His conclusion, unsurprisingly being that he is liberal, was that if climate change is real and we take no action the apocalyptic, end of the world, effects of that decision were worse than climate change not being real and the effects (energy industry dissolve, mass layoffs, and international economic depression) of taking major action to supposedly counter the effects of a couple more carbon dioxide molecules in the air.

Consider using the same logic in deciding whether to get out of bed each morning. If you stay in bed you might lose your job, lose your house, and depend on others to support you. If you decide to get up and go to work you could be killed in a car accident. Which is worse?

I think that if it turns out that the climate gets warmer, whether man-made or an act of nature, we as the human race will react and adapt to whatever happens. It will also happen over a long period of time. We might consider more immediate concerns such as our $20 trillion debt, North Korea with the bomb, or Iran getting the bomb.

Grand Junction

Piece on climate change incorrectly prioritizes the action side over the truth side

It appears that the editorial board has taken a position on global warming. Mr. Goodbody’s four-point choice on human-caused climate change incorrectly prioritizes the “action” side over the “truth” side.

The first thing that is needed is a proper analysis of the relevant factors relating to climate. You must not ignore the medieval warming period if you claim that carbon dioxide is the primary temperature driver. Carbon dioxide seems to have been selected because it is easy to measure, and its sources are activities that governments want to control or tax. Other factors that affect temperatures are more difficult or costly to measure, and thus could not be included in the computer models, which the alarmists choose to use. Logically, a warmer planet would evaporate more water from oceans, which rises on warm updrafts to form clouds that then reflect sunlight outward and cool the planet.

The list of variables that shape climate is very long. A comprehensive list would run to hundreds, if not thousands, of elements, none of which scientists would claim to understand with absolute precision.

People who want government grants focus on things the governments want to hear about. Then they smooth the data in helpful ways. Then too there are several models in use, not one of which is completely accepted. Most of the fuss comes from the UN’s IPCC, and of course the UN wants a global carbon tax for itself.

I note that Mr. Goodbody has gone far afield from his field of expertise, which seems to be pleading to the emotional hot buttons of uninformed and ill-educated jurors. His overblown list of potential horrors from catastrophic warming is exactly that. I went to an engineering school and I respect actual quantitative measurements, not revised historical data, and I worked in the computer field so I know how incomplete information can lead the gullible astray. Mr. Goodbody must be carrying a really large fear factor, because I can see no way for him to derive financial benefits from a carbon-neutral world. Perhaps there is an organization he belongs to that is prompting such activism?


In a nation of wealth, we need to see that those less fortunate have food

President Trump may be so rich that he doesn’t not have to worry about food, but a great many people in the United States depend upon Meals on Wheels for at least three meals a week. This program was severely cut years ago and here in rural Delta, our senior meals were cut from five to three meals.

Others communities went to two meals, like Cedaredge and Olathe. In Delta, 90 housebound persons receive meals from Meals On Wheels. Our senior center serves about 70 a day. That is food for 160 persons, daily. Leave it up to the rich to once again cut programs that serve the poor. What are you going to do? Get rid of it? Do you know the devastation that would put on the food
stamp programs in rural areas or are you going to cut that also?

If there is one thing other than takes care of infrastructure so we have roads and bridges to get to work, the one important thing our government can do is help feed the poor.

We are a rich nation. We need to keep people from going hungry and have a roof over their heads. “The poor will always be with us.” In a nation of wealth, we need to see that those less fortunate have food. I’m ashamed Trump is our president. He does not reflect the values and morals I, as an American citizen, embrace. Not everything is about money and profit.


American Health Care Act increases costs and risks for seniors

Congress is considering a bill that marginalizes its most vulnerable citizens – seniors. Some troubling facts about this bill:

- It would increase costs for older Americans so that many would not be able to afford their premiums. This “age tax” would come at a time in life when health care is most needed.

- The American Health Care Act hurts seniors who are too young for Medicare, increasing costs to the most needy, while at the same time filling the pockets of greedy insurance companies. These costs could run up to an additional $8,400/year for the same coverage they have now.

- While the bill will certainly cost lives, the insurance companies will gain somewhere around $200 billion in tax breaks to big drug and insurance companies.

Americans need a healthcare system that protects them in the market place, not one that pulls the rug out from under them when they are defenseless.

I oppose the American Health Care Act because it increases costs and risks for older Americans.



Trump’s budget proposal flies in the face of everything we stand for

Donald Trump just released his budget plan and it is as bad as I feared – $54 billion more for war, while slashing life-saving programs here and around the world. With Trump’s slash plan making headlines, now is the time to stand up for what we know is right.

We are living in turbulent times. Under the Trump administration, we are seeing a rise in fear and anger because of the terrifying push to undermine women’s rights, human rights and now humanitarian aid globally. His budget proposal will leave millions of people vulnerable to famine and without access to basic healthcare, food, and shelter, all under the guise of increasing America’s security. It’s dangerous, counterproductive, and downright wrong.

In the weeks ahead, members of Congress will be weighing how to respond to the Trump budget. If you, as a constituent feel that you have serious concerns about this budget, then let your senators and representatives know that you want them to reject Donald Trump’s starvation and insecurity budget.

We cannot stand by while our government tries to justify increasing the Pentagon’s large budget by cutting humanitarian programs that give life-saving support to those in need. Trump’s budget proposal flies in the face of everything we stand for. Pouring money into the already full pockets of the Pentagon is not the answer, especially when we sacrifice the environment, public health and our commitment to helping those in need to do so.

Grand Junction


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