Email letters, March 6, 2014

Recall Muir’s Yosemite vision when considering park status

The argument we most hear against upgrading the Colorado National Monument’s designation to a national park is that doing so will bring more visitors and thus degrade our own experience of this incredibly unique and beautiful wild land. This seems to be a selfish view of the issue.

In 1890 John Muir did not strive to keep the Yosemite Valley a secret. He loved the area and desired to protect it and share its inspiring beauty with the world. He pushed Washington to designate Yosemite a national park.

The fact that making the monument a national park would create the byproduct of increased opportunity to provide our world visitors accommodations, meals and entertainment would only be a bonus, not something to be ashamed of.

MARK SMITH
Grand Junction

Figure for monument visits seems unrealistically high

I read with interest the “Scenery is greenery” article. 

Simple math says 409,000 visitors to our treasured Colorado National Monument is 1,120 on [ITAL] each [ITAL] of the 365 days of the year. If visitation is during the 12 hours of daylight, and if two entrances are equally busy, make it a new visitor greeted and the fee collected each 1 minute 18 seconds at each booth, all day, every day. 

If you take into account the winter slowdown, there must be some summer traffic congestion that I am missing. Would someone explain that to me? I’ve not waited in line, and (I’m guessing here) it takes a minute or so to say hello to the friendly ranger in the booth.

JIM GRADY
Grand Junction

Issa gave Cummings ample opportunity to ask question

Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) should quit trying to elaborate on the lies told by this administration. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) gave him ample opportunity to ask his question during a hearing Wednesday on the possibility that the IRS had targeted conservative groups.

Cummings chose instead to mumble rhetoric and accuse the committee he serves on of attacking the president. That only proves that Cummings likes to be lied to, so let me respond in kind.

The economy is just fine; nobody is out of work who doesn’t want to be; there are no social parasites in America or in Congress; our education institutions aren’t corrupted by bad policy; there isn’t an illegal alien problem in America; we can afford Obamacare; the Internal Revenue Service, National Security Administration, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Justice and other government institutions aren’t persecuting innocent citizens; and Cummings is the smartest man on the planet, so we have to listen to him.

Oh, yeah. Former IRS official Lois Lerner hasn’t lied to the American people and Benghazi is a motel operator in Reno, Nev. Wake up, America!

RICHARD BRIGHT
Grand Junction

Just denting climate change could bankrupt our economies

As a retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employee (National Weather Service) of 23 years, I am dismayed at how “climate change” has become such a political hot potato. It has become very fashionable these days to blame everything related to climate extremes as the fault of mankind.

This viewpoint is nothing more than a political agenda that the mainstream liberal media willingly always perpetuate as a given fact. Climate, by its very definition, is [ITAL] always [ITAL] changing … always has and always will. It is up to us to adapt to it, same as every other species has since day one.

There is little doubt about our being in a current global warming cycle. The disputes are whether man is the direct cause and whether we can even do anything about it now. Personally, I believe we would bankrupt our economies if we were to even make a dent in climate change.

Making reasonable and economic moves away from fossil-fuel power sources is a noble goal, but we have to let market forces decide the agenda and [ITAL] not [ITAL] Washington politicians.

DOUG BAUGH
Grand Junction

IHOP staff, patrons merit note of thanks

I would like to thank the crew and customers of the Grand Junction IHOP for all they did for Shriners Hospitals last Tuesday. 

STEVE THOMAS

Montrose


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Richard Bright’s dim-witted on-line letter – “Issa gave Cummings ample opportunity to ask questions” – illustrates why Bright “should quit trying to elaborate on the lies told by” demagoguing Darrell Issa (R-CA) and his producers at FoxNoise.

As Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Issa violated both House and his own committee’s rules by denying Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) – the ranking minority member of the committee—any opportunity to “ask questions” or speak.

House rules require “unanimous consent” to adjourn formal committee hearings, and the committee’s rules allow – absent “unanimous consent” to adjourn – each member five minutes to ask questions and/or make statements, starting with the ranking member. 

Issa arbitrarily adjourned the hearing without asking for “unanimous consent”, and then ordered Cummings’ microphone turned off when Cummings tried to speak.

Issa knew in advance that Lois Lerner would invoke her Fifth Amendment rights, but asked his ten prepared questions anyway – carried live and repeatedly rerun on FoxNoise – to create the false impression that Lerner was “hiding something” (rather than prudently abiding by her attorney’s advice – as Greta van Susteren later opined was appropriate).

Cummings sought to inform the committee, the public, and FoxNoise that Lerner’s attorney had offered to provide the committee a “proffer” of Lerner’s answers to all ten questions – thereby telling Issa what he wanted to know while protecting Lerner’s rights.

Issa did not want that inconvenient fact publicized because—like the previous testimony of the IRS official (a Republican) who initiated the purported “targeting” and its OIG (a Republican appointee) who investigated it – Lerner would have confirmed that there was no partisan bias involved and no White House influence to “target” only “conservative” and/or “Tea Party” political groups masquerading as “social welfare organizations”.

As Bright’s letter amply proves, watching FoxNoise can be dangerous to viewers’ mental health.

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