Email letters, March 30, 2012

Freedom of speech is being squelched

I am stupid if I think America is the greatest nation that has ever been on the face of the earth.
I cannot chant “USA, USA.” I cannot protest my flag being burned. I am racist if I do not like President Obama. I am racist if I think our borders should be secured. I am racist if I think English should be our official, and spoken, language.

I am not compassionate if I think people shall work if they are able and not take handouts from the government. I am not interested in the environment if I want to pick out my own light bulb. If I love Israel and want our nation to protect her, I am a right wing Zionist. (You got that right.)

If I am rich, I should be poor because there are poor people in the United States. If I think abortion is wrong, I do not like women and do not want them to have a choice. If I want to drill for oil, I just want to ruin my environment.

I cannot use the name of Jesus, but my local high school sees nothing wrong in singing praise to Allah. I am just out of touch with reality if I think bailouts don’t work. If I think these are the end times, I am full of doom and gloom. If I am angry about the filth in language and on the TV set, I am just old fashioned.

If I think marriage should be between a man and woman, I am homophobic. If I love the Bible, I should keep it quiet so I do not offend those who love the Koran.

I don’t want to swear so I’ll just say this is a pile of algae.

Grand Junction

Modify drilling methods to help endangered species

The Daily Sentinel recently reported that Endangered Species Act “Protection of 3 wildflowers could cost millions in oil, gas impacts.”

As explicitly stated in the government’s economic analysis, critical habitat designation will not stop drilling. Rather, designating critical habitat will simply require these companies to implement measures aimed at protecting the endangered plants. Furthermore, the cost of protecting these wildflowers will be incurred by the oil and gas companies that choose to develop parcels within this critical habitat.  

The $967,000 to $14.8 million estimated cost of protecting these plants is spread over 20 years, which comes out to $48,350 to $740,000 per year. The top five oil and gas companies profited $104 billion in the first three quarters of 2011 and the industry is seeing the highest level of development in the past 25 years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that oil and gas development poses a significant threat to these plants. Implementing reasonable modifications on how we drill for oil and gas seems appropriate to help the species recover to the point where they can be taken off the list. 

Rocky Mountain Wild

Protecting communities and environment essential in oil shale development

For over a century, people have been trying to capitalize on the oil shale reserves in the West. Looking back through history, we see a pattern of great hope followed by great disappointment.  

The current research, development and demonstration work occurring in our area is promising, but it still needs significant time to be studied and perfected. The rush to lock up the land through leasing makes no sense when a commercially viable technology has yet to be proven and there is no understanding of the needs for water, power or the potential environmental issues that may be associated with each company’s technology.

Additionally, from my standpoint as mayor of Rifle, I want to ensure that when commercial oil shale production and development occurs that there are dedicated federal funds available to assist impacted communities in coping with the expected socioeconomic demands of oil shale production, including such things as housing, human services, law enforcement and infrastructure.  

Seeking answers to important questions about local impacts should be considered a necessary part of any development plan and not a roadblock. We do ourselves no favors by rushing to conclusions on such important decisions.
I support oil shale development because we need to consider all forms of energy. I want to ensure that when oil shale development occurs, that it is done correctly and that the reasons we live in Western Colorado are protected and preserved.

City of Rifle

Wounding animals before a hunt is unethical

Regarding Paul Shockley’s March 29 story about Marvin Ellis taking a plea deal in illegal lion hunts: How sick does someone have to be to intentionally wound an animal so that it can be more easily tracked down at a later time. How obviously lacking in skill are his clients who have to have this done in order for them to “hunt”?

I know any number of smart, careful and thoughtful hunters who are excellent marksmen and respectful of the wilderness and wildlife that are such an important component of our state. They would never, ever categorize people who need or provide a handicapped animal as a target as hunters.


Government controlled burn is a oxymoron

Why am I not surprised about the cause of the tragic, devastating out-of-control Jefferson County fire? Well, how can an out-of-control government be expected to exercise proper control on anything? Regardless of what level of government is involved, why is an excuse always offered instead of an explanation or in this, case an apology?

The latest drivel from the Colorado State Forest Service regarding the Lower North Fork Fire proves my point. Colorado’s deputy state forester apologized for the fire, announcing that an ember apparently jumped a containment line and started the blaze.

Well embers don’t just jump, nor do guns just shoot people. The ineptitude of Forest Service prescribed burn experts allowed embers to jump as the result of negligence and carelessness.

What national or state government bureau or department operates with proficiency or even adequacy regarding the responsibilities for which it is charged ? Name one.

The Forest Service manager who helps plan prescribed burns says burns aren’t made unless all the parameters are met. Consider a common definition of “parameters”:“numerical or other measurable factors forming a set that defines a system or sets the conditions of its operation.” Say what? Doesn’t that sound exactly like the ambiguous manner government uses to make decisions?

One has to wonder if local weather reports or unusually dry climatic conditions that persisted for months with likely winds could have been more obvious parameters” to follow.

Finally, true to form, our Colorado governor follows up four days after the fire raged out to control with a suggestion to consider suspending such burns for now” Now that is almost decisive. So much for subtle insinuations about good judgment, common sense and logic.

Perhaps there’s reason for concern about how much faith to have in allowing all levels of government to either protect or control our lives and/or what we intend to do about it.



Vote to ban pot shops in Fruita

Although we live near the Monument, and not in Fruita, our kids and grandkids all went to Fruita schools. They have grown up to attend college and became responsible citizens of whom we are very proud.

It would be tragic to expose Fruita’s students to “smokes” more dangerous than cigarettes (marijuana has more chemicals and more potent THC than the ’60s weed) and the resulting high on pot makes teen drivers even more prone to deadly accidents.

Please vote “Yes” to ban pot shops in Fruita, just as Grand Junction and 75 other Colorado cities have done. Medical marijuana is a scam to legalize pot and that is headed for another ballot issue this November.

Grand Junction


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