Email letters, March 3, 2014

Fracking protestors ought to walk to work

I am a 90-year-old World War II vet who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. I am amazed at the number of letters to the Sentinel about the air quality and fracking in our area.

I hope those people stop and think where their gas, natural gas and other byproducts come from. I am sure they all have cars and heat with natural gas or propane, yet they want all the drilling in “Joe’s” backyard, not theirs.

They should try walking to work or wherever and shut off their heat for a week, and I’ll bet they will sing a different tune. They should get real and do something constructive.


It’s time for Reid to go

It is hard to figure out who is sillier or more inept with their speeches and statements, Vice President Joe Biden or Majority Senate Leader Harry Reid. My vote goes to old Harry, who just continues to read whatever ridiculous speeches are put in front of him. He is an  embarrassment to  himself and to the party he represents. Time for old Harry to go or be replaced.


Grand Junction

Egg farm owners admirably tried to play the hand dealt to them

I want to express my undying admiration and thanks to the Hostetlers on behalf of all those engaged in agriculture, including us, for their steadfastness and perseverance in asserting their innate right to farm.  That almost was lost but for Rep. Don Coram mentioning this situation to the governor.  As he said, “This ruling would adversely affect all commerce in Colorado.” Thank you, Rep. Coram. Thank you, Gov. Hickenlooper. Thank you, Attorney General Suthers.
However, our county commissioners, including ex-commissioner Olen Lund, who is now the Delta County Farm Bureau leader, originally failed, and even undermined, both the state right to farm and our own county’s right to farm law by allowing our county attorney to sweep the right to farm laws under the rug, declaring them not applicable.  They did this to enhance their right to issue Specific Development Regulations, turning the right to farm into a permission to farm. To recognize the state law would also recognize:
(5) Any ordinance or resolution of any unit of local government that makes the operation of any agricultural operation a nuisance or provides for the abatement thereof as a nuisance under the circumstances set forth in this section is void. Selective enforcement of the law breeds disrespect for the law.
None of the briefs to the appellate court, except for Suthers on behalf of the governor, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Agriculture even mentioned CRS 35 3.5 the Colorado right to farm law.  Not even the Hostetlers’ brief or the Farm Bureau’s Brief.  Judge Patrick had declared that the right to farm law did not apply and that was it. All bought into his insane declaration. Please vote him out of office this fall as he comes up for retention in Nov. Yet the saving argument that will overturn this wrongful court ruling is precisely the declaration by the Colorado Legislature that Colorado is a right to farm state and that farmers have a right to be free of nuisance legal maneuvers as long as best practices are used. This is the heart of the matter. A direct quote from the attorney general’s brief:
II. The lower court’s actions contradict the General Assembly’s intent to protect well-run agricultural operations from nuisance-based legal challenges.
While plaintiffs lawsuit is brought under C.R.C.P. 106(a)(4), it is akin to a nuisance lawsuit that should have been barred under §35-3.5-102(1)(a), C.R.S. Stated differently, the decision of the lower court undermines the Right to Farm Act by providing an alternative mechanism for opponents of farming operations to bring nuisance claims. The lower court thus empowered the opponents to sidestep the General Assembly’s mandate, shutting down a viable agricultural operation that was in compliance with all regulatory requirements. 
You, the public and voters, should know that your elected representatives did NOT act to protect your interest but rather acted to preserve their petty power to control your farming lives strictly prohibited by CRS 35 3.5 the state right, not permission, to farm law. To the Hostetlers’ credit, they tried to play the hand dealt to them by a power crazed, Boulder County inspired (David Rice), anti-job, anti-business, anti-growth Delta County planning department.

Many, including me, thought they should have stood on their right to farm and not cave into Delta County’s illegal SDR process, a process that by itself cost them $50,000 to $100,000 and two years of delay and hearings.
I know the Hostetlers are not vindictive people, but on behalf of all farmers in the state, I want to urge them to sue the plaintiffs, Jardon, Raymond et all, for the full cost of their mischief as allowed by the state right to farm law including all legal, consultant, expert testimony, interruption, and loss of income. Such a lawsuit would serve as an everlasting monument and warning to those people that think they can disrupt lives and not suffer the consequences.

Valley’s diversity diminishes need for Hispanic Plaza

If you’ve lived in the Grand Valley area for any length of time, you know how demographically diverse we are within our community. Reading the letter from Rich Lopez Feb. 28, however,  you might think otherwise.

The Latino Chamber of Commerce was established a year ago to “fill in the gaps” for local Hispanic businesses. I honestly don’t believe there are such gaps within the original Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce. If such problems exist, then racial discrimination investigations should be initiated without hesitation. 

No one denies the cultural impression, longevity or social importance that is our Hispanic populous in our nation. Our state’s very name derives from Hispanic origins that also includes towns, rivers and mountain ranges. Lopez states that a Hispanic Plaza would create a positive social integration experience and challenge folks to reach outside their comfort zone because of changing demographics. If you believe this valley isn’t socially diverse or racially integrated, then you are the problem.

If you can’t find diversity, I advise you walk through downtown or visit the surrounding communities during one of our many, many events. During the Art and Jazz Fest, Cinco de Mayo, Farmers Market, Octoberfest, Peach Festival, Wine Fest or Veterans Parade, you can find every walk of life peacefully and enjoyably interacting. We have everything from rodeos to golfing, ice cream to sushi, not to mention the 193-plus restaurants or 250-plus local events showcasing the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Grand Valley.

Innovation, creativity and economic value within the free market dictate if a business will thrive or fail, not racial or ethnic discrimination, as this valley has proven time and time again. If someone is truly racially biased, no matter what alliance is created, he or she is already lost.



When so many struggle, we are all poorer for it

Josh Penry is correct when he praises our country’s free enterprise system. It’s among many freedoms for which we should be most grateful.

That said, the avenues for advancement aren’t so clear for much of the population. When a third of children living in the U.S. don’t get enough to eat and 1 or 2 percent of us earn more than 50 percent of the rest of us combined, something is very wrong.

Our residents are our human capital, and to the extent they are deprived of access to a good education, health care and jobs that provide food and shelter, we fail miserably.

On whom do we think we’ll rely to gas up our airplanes, drive our food delivery trucks or make sure our hospitals are sanitary? On whom do we think we’ll rely to be our future physicians, teachers, city councilmen or law enforcement officers?

Forget about the bank account. In reality, we are all sustained by each other, and when so many among us are struggling, we are all much poorer than we think.


Grand Junction

Governmental authority should always be questioned

“The best way to take control of a people and to control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode those rights by a thousand tiny almost imperceptible reductions. In this way, the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed.”
Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf 

The above paragraph came to mind after reading Bill Grant’s latest column, in which he condemned a group for daring to open a road into BLM land. Grant seems to think our government can do only good. Any government that has the power to take one’s life, freedom, possessions , as well as the results of one’s work, has too much power and should be challenged at every opportunity.

Always question governmental authority.

Grand Junction

Will teacher compensation be inspired by innovation?

I was privileged to take part in a recent strategic teacher compensation plan meeting attended by School District 51 teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators. The initial phase of “how” to approach S strategic teacher compensation will soon be followed by “what” it will look like, as the strategic teacher compensation design is formulated.

Strategic teacher compensation, when well implemented with an evidence-based design, can be a boon to academic achievement as well as teacher performance and retention. There exists strong evidence that individual teachers rewarded for excellence spur overall improvement. However, I can’t help but wonder if the strong MVEA presence expected within the design committee will
do more to stifle innovation than to address D51’s existing problems with real changes.

As a former nonunion teacher, current substitute teacher and parent in D51, I hope that Superintendent Schultz will ensure the design team has equal representation among MVEA members, nonunion teachers and the invaluable classified personnel (aides, secretaries, librarians)who serve students.

As national, state and local teachers’ union membership drops, and unions are often seen as rigid special interest groups, it’s important that those with new ideas, unfettered by union loyalties and unafraid to try new approaches by rewarding good teachers, will be given as much sway on the strategic compensation committee as those present to protect MVEA interests. These are my hopes. As a citizen, I also urge the School Board to ensure that the design meetings are open to the public. With transparency comes accountability. With accountability comes trust.

Will the D51 Strategic Compensation design be inspired by innovation, the desire to reward and retain the best and brightest teachers regardless of tenure, and a fearless free market of ideas? Or will it be driven back into the same old ineffective approaches that are no longer relevant in the
evolving world of education?


Grand Junction

Refusing service promotes an ‘us vs. them’ attitude

This is in regard to recent articles concerning Christian and religious business owners objection to government restrictions on their right to refuse service to some customers.

I understand why business owners would object to the government telling them what they can or can’t do. I also think that would be way too much government.

But why in the world would Christian business owners want to refuse service to anyone they considered morally unacceptable?

According to God’s Word, we are all in the same boat. He says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one.”

Jesus came to change that through His death.

When Jesus was on earth He condemned no one. When they were going to stone the woman taken in adultery, He said, “He that is without sin cast the first stone.” They all left. Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

People condemned Jesus because he associated with prostitutes, corrupt tax collectors, alcoholics. Jesus served everyone with loving kindness and compassion and offered them a life of fulfillment here and eternal life with Him after this life. He never refused anyone!

I am a Christian and a sinner who has accepted the gift of life Jesus offered to me. Jesus says to Christians, Go and tell others that I love them and have made a way for them to be with me forever.

In my opinion, for Christian owners of businesses to refuse service to anyone because of moral judgment is to promote an “us and them” attitude. I believe that may be called, “hypocrisy.” 



City needs to address problem of potholes

The article on potholes in Saturday’s Sentinel was interesting. This has been a hard winter on roads east of the divide all the way to the Atlantic. The local road maintenance has been pretty good with the policy of periodic resealing to protect the basic underlying asphalt.
There is a problem, though, that ends up with our own roads having increasingly large man-made potholes that are there, unfortunately, all year ‘round. Problem? The manhole covers remain at a level even with the earlier original road surface and the hole they cause gets deeper every time new sealer is laid down. I haven’t measured the depth of some of them but my guess is that some might be two to three inches deep.

So what? Either you try to dodge them as you wend your way down the street, or you just plow through with the suspension and wheels and tires of your car enduring the “holes.” Any good mechanic will tell you that takes a toll on both the suspension of the car and the tires to a somewhat lesser degree. That’s what is happening to all the cars being driven through the potholes in all the areas east of here “enjoying” their extreme weather.
Remedial steps can be taken every time the road is resealed, but it costs money in time and materials. So, what is better, spending money on the damage that is done to your car or spending money on keeping our roads free of man-made potholes? Big problem?

Personally, I would enjoy driving down our streets without taking weaving, evasive action and appreciating the rest of our generally, pretty smooth streets. Ask your mechanic about the cost of wheel alignment, suspension repairs, bent wheels and blown tires.

Grand Junction

Grand Valley needs more big business to support changes

All the talk about how to change Grand Junction and western Colorado for the better and we still don’t see any big business to support these changes.

People talk about being a hot spot for mountain biking, yet we don’t build mountain bikes here. We talk about our off-road trails, but we don’t build off-road vehicles. We talk about rafting and kayaking, yet we build no boating craft; we talk about hunting and fishing, but we build no guns or accessories. We talk about our gold-medal waters but we build no fishing equipment or accessories. We talk about national monument as a national park but have nothing to support a national park. We talk about our great hiking, and yet we build no shoes, rope or any accessories.

If we don’t have the monetary support from these industries, and we chase other industry out, what signs are we sending to any company that might have thought about moving here? Then what do we have? We have people living here, working elsewhere and spending their money else where trying to get back and forth to their jobs, all the while planning their move to somewhere else. So, it seems to me we’ve just shot ourselves in the foot,  but it seems to me we do a lot of that here and, yes, I’m planning my next move.


Grand Junction

Wright unfairly castigated by Sentinel, party leaders

I am saddened by the departure of Rep. Jared Wright, but I know he did what is good for his family.

Amazing to me, however, is the same rubbish coming from the so-called journalists and editors of The Daily Sentinel, and also the same big-mouthed people who have no understanding of the legislative process or common laws.

Maybe because all they do is let the paper articles lead them and have no idea how to do their own investigations, or, they have an agenda of their own, maybe?

I did notice that all the paper and big mouths really had was to dredge up the past. Wonder how long they want to do that?

As I watched this all play out, I realized how jaded this city and county and residents really are - a typical small town that has a few people who think they run it and hard-working citizens, who try to do the right thing and are just working hard to get by. Those who understand the devastating
events that happen in families, and those that really don’t care because they are pushing that agenda, who THINK they have power.

As for the editors and journalists of this paper, maybe they should look deep into themselves and see if they want to have others(a biased editor) manipulate their stories, print half truths and play on words in their stories. Is that the life for them? Than they are no better than a criminal.

And, finally, in reading today’s editorial, I hope the current candidates realize the veiled threat in the end, alluding to the “relief of the party leaders,” and how they can “reassert themselves.” I guess they hated that the people chose someone that wouldn’t bend to the will of the few “leaders.”

Be careful, citizens of Grand Junction and Mesa/Delta counties. Whom are your “leaders” are going to manipulate next?


Local wing of Commemorative Air Force deserves more coverage

Wow - four photos and two-thirds of a page. The Associated Press Urbana, Ohio article rates two-thirds of Page 4 coverage in Sunday’s Sentinel.

Someone’s special interest at the Sentinel news desk was certainly sparked. We need YOU! We need you right here in (the Grand) River City!

I congratulate the troops at the Champaign Aviation Museum for their valiant effort restoring a World War II Boeing B-17 to flying condition. What a thrill that must be – looking forward to flying in a real WWII bomber. Someone on the Sentinel editorial staff must have that dream….

But why wait? You can fulfill that dream today – right here in (the Grand) River City.

What did the local wing of the Commemorative Air Force do wrong? Shouldn’t the citizens of (the Grand) River City be made as proud of their own WWII bomber and museum? Oops, maybe they read the Sentinel, so they only know about (and have directions to) the Champaign Aviation Museum in Urbana, Ohio.

The Grand Junction Airport (yep, the same one that gets oodles
of coverage in the Sentinel) is the home (and has been for more than 30 years) of the Rocky Mountain Wing Commemorative Air Force. The RMWCAF is an all-volunteer supported organization that has restored and is flying a World War II Navy TBM Avenger Torpedo Bomber. If you join the CAF, you not only can ride in the TBM, but you also have the opportunity to ride in one of the TWO Flying B-17s currently flown as part of the CAF collection.

Instead of driving to Urbana, Ohio, just drive out to the Grand Junction Airport some Saturday between 10 a.m. and about 3 p.m. Follow the signs to the Commemorative Air Force and when you reach the “wildlife fence” – call ext. 30 – we’ll come get YOU!



Renovation of Avalon Theatre should continue

I believe the city will vote this coming Wednesday to either continue, or cut, funding for the Avalon Theater remodeling. My wife and I are for completing the project.

Our interest is for our wonderful city symphony orchestra. Its performances of classic and pop music bring an important segment of the arts enjoyed by, admittedly, a portion of the people living in our valley. I am sure there are others with similar interests. We are a diverse population. Our diversity is our beauty, not our strength, as stated by some. Our strength is our unity.

Our oldest son, when three years old, was playing on a slide in a city park. As he came to the bottom of one of his rides, a man of color came up to the slide and placed his hands on the rim. Our son looked at those hands, the first of their kind that he had seen. I don’t recall if he said anything, but it was obvious what was on his mind. The man looked our son in the eye and said, “When God made the flowers, he didn’t make them all one color.” That meeting was a blessing.

When members of the council vote, I hope they will celebrate our diversity.

Grand Junction

Democrats simply tell candidates not to bother getting into race

Brad Webb, who looks like a promising candidate, remarked that he was new to active involvement in politics. His remark about a “shameful, back-room deal” in regard to Jared Wright’s decision to withdraw from the race, illustrates this.

ACA is the out-of-wedlock child of the Democrats The Democratic party doesn’t do backroom deals because the party chooses (not officially, of course) the candidates and
then tells other possible candidates to “back off”.

I had this demonstrated firsthand in Denver a couple of weeks ago when the newly announced Democratic candidate for the state Board of Education was introduced. I was later visiting with a Democrat who had told me earlier that she was planning on running. After she left, one of my fellow board members remarked, “Oh, we told her to forget it.”

When was the last time you saw a Democratic primary? Muddied as our primary contests become, I still prefer the old-fashioned “democratic” way.

Grand Junction

 ACA is the out-of-wedlock child of the Democrats

Regarding making the Affordable Care Act “better,” according to Dr. Pramenko, he would like “serious options.” 

Serious options were offered before it was forced on the American public by Democrats only.  Present administration didn’t want ‘serious options’ like buying across state lines, or tort reform.  Those are just two I remember being thrown into the circle file of the ACA. 

He identifies Kathleen Parker, and Charles Krauthammer as opponents of the ACA.  I agree, but those two aren’t the only ones who see it for what it is.  Socialized Medical Care.  As for the ‘utterly hollow’ statements Parker makes about ‘reducing the work force’, and ‘millions still left without insurance’ – well, Nancy Pelosi says those folks “can stay home and paint or write poetry”.  That won’t get them insurance – but it sounded good.  Truth is, the ACA was engineered to insure 45 million (by the administration’s count) that didn’t have insurance.  The administration has admitted that only about 30 million of those 45 million were ‘picked up’, whatever that means.  Add to those numbers, those who ‘lost’ their previous plans, due to restrictions in the ACA itself, those who were granted ‘waivers’ by the very administration who wanted to “insure everyone”, add back in, those who have had to purchase through exchanges of one type or another at higher costs, and there is a net loss of insured’s overall.  The government cannot even tell us that of those who have managed to sign up, how many have paid for insurance.  Not to worry – the administration says  insurance companies should “cover those until we get it straightened out.”
Pramenko touts Section 1332 as ‘allowing’ a way for states to “avoid the controversial elements” by electing to do something different.  Of course, there are many disclaimers to that scenario, all of which must be met.  Then again, in another part of his commentary, he says:  “Where’s the Beef?”  “Put up or shut up.”  “Show me the money.”  We need to keep in mind that he is “offering” a chance for we naysayers to offer “fixes” to the ACA.  It may be beginning to dawn on even the good Doctor, that the ACA needs a transfusion of some kind – maybe defibrillation at this point. 

No, Doctor, don’t call on the very people that have been laughed at for not signing on to the ACA for a fix.  The ACA is the out-of-wedlock child of the Democrats – it belongs to the Democrats.  The Republicans didn’t get to be part of the conception, so they don’t have to raise it.  So-called “legitimate conservatives” (your moniker – not mine) may have, in the ‘90s, offered “individual mandate” and “exchanges,” but they didn’t write a multi-thousand page bill, hoping for a single-payer system. (much like you mention Vermont is attempting)  And, just in case youhadn’t noticed it, during the Clinton presidency – health care reform wasn’t Bill Clinton’s idea – it was Hillary’s.  Bill just had to put up with all the backlash. 

It was a socialist’s dream then, and it is a socialist’s dream now.
Grand Junction

Hower’s letter drew a laugh

After reading the letter by Diana Hower on Sunday and reading the comics strip of Dennis, Peanuts and Zits, I’m not sure which made me laugh the hardest.

Her major concern is renaming the Colorado National Monument. The pressure is so great because of the pressure we all suffered with the renaming of Walker Field and Mesa State University. A person can only stand so much.

She states she now lives here and it will make life much easier not having to explain the “monument.”

She also points out she is a “Progressive,” which is not a liberal. I’m glad she cleared that up. If I were to guess where she came from it would have to be one of three choices: San Francisco, Berkley or Boulder. I know, just a wild guess on my part.


Dr. Pramenko urged to reveal his politics

Dr. Michael Pramenko opened a can of worms in his column, “Serious Options Welcome,” when he accuses Kathleen Parker’s opinions as being motivated by her politics.  

I do not know what Parker’s politics are, and I am no fan of her.   (I have observed that her pen seems to cut to the right as well as to the left.)

Since Pramenko brought up the issue of politics, I believe that he should disclose his politics. Full disclosure on his part might be helpful. Did he vote for Obama?

I believe we have a right to know his politics now that he has tried to tar and feather Parker’s right to an opinion with the criticism of party politics.

It’s time to list name of airport efficiently

I needed to call Grand Junction Regional Airport about what I thought was a serious security breach (unattended bag sitting on the curb for almost a half hour), but I had some difficulty locating a number.

So, on a quest to learn how the airport is listed, I found that apparently no one is in charge of checking the listings in the various directories, because sometimes the name is under Grand Junction Regional Airport and sometimes not. Sometimes it is listed under airports in the Yellow Pages and sometimes not, and sometimes one finds it listed under Walker Field.

With one of the reasons for changing the name being to more readily and easily identify the airport as connected with Grand Junction, as opposed to some long-dead “obscure” or air transportation and city booster, it seems someone would want to make sure that the name is listed in all places possible and correctly. That is particularly true since it has been seven years since the name was changed.



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