Email letters, May 2, 2014
Extensive, advanced health services readily available in valley
On April 29 The Daily Sentinel reported representatives from Community Hospital stated there were many health care-services – high-risk obstetrics, neonatology, cancer care, advanced cardiovascular care, neuroscience and trauma – frequently unavailable in communities such as Grand Junction.
This may be true in other communities, but it is not true in Grand Junction, and the implication does a disservice to our community and the dedicated individuals who deliver exceptional care every day. The reality is that these services have been available in Grand Junction, some for decades.
St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Center has provided oncology care since the early 1940s. By investing in cancer-care physicians and staff, we have reduced the need to go to Denver or an out-of-state cancer center at a time when patients value their family and friends’ support. Without leaving Grand Junction, St. Mary’s patients may also be candidates for national clinical trials testing cancer treatments, which are promising treatments not yet available at other cancer centers.
St. Mary’s has a comprehensive heart and vascular program with three cardiovascular surgeons. St. Mary’s cardiac cath labs, opened in 1986, are still the only ones in Mesa County. We can provide our patients both minimally invasive and open-heart surgery.
St. Mary’s neonatal intensive care unit works with our pediatric specialty clinic to care for babies born early or with complex medical needs. The NICU has been caring for our smallest, most vulnerable patients for more than 20 years. St. Mary’s maternal-fetal medicine clinic, opened in 2008, cares for moms and babies in complicated and high-risk pregnancies.
Our stroke-trained and fellowship-trained movement disorder neurologists complement the brain and spine services provided by our staff neurosurgeons. And we are the only certified primary stroke center in the region. As the only Level II trauma center between Denver and Salt Lake City, St. Mary’s has trauma and specialty surgeons available around the clock to provide the region’s highest level of care for accident and trauma victims.
The best health care is received in collaboration — the patient, primary caregiver and specialist working together. It is provided locally, close to support of family and friends.
We congratulate Community Hospital in its new venture; however, St. Mary’s philosophy has been to serve the demonstrated needs of the region by investing in the personnel and technology that keep health care local and personal.
CHRISTOPHER J. STEEN, M.B.A.
Vice President, St. Mary’s Medical Group
Grant must want spot on MSNBC
Bill Grant could start every column with “all Republicans and conservatives are evil and wrong because.” Apparently he is auditioning for a spot on MSNBC. Can’t he ever put aside his prejudices and just report the unbiased facts?
PERA a sound retirement fund fully vetted for integrity
As a retiree from Mesa County Valley School District 51, I am pleased to be one of more than 3,200 Public Employees Retirement Association beneficiaries in Mesa County. My husband and I have chosen to live here in Mesa County since 1976, during which time we worked, raised our children and owned homes. We have now retired.
My only retirement comes from PERA, the fund to which I contributed a set part of my salary each month, as did my employer. Those contributions, plus those of other employers, other school employees, state troopers, state Department of Transportation workers, corrections officers and other public employees have been invested by PERA and provide current and future retirees with stable incomes which we reinvest in our local Colorado communities — over $109 million annually in Mesa County alone.
I appreciate the integrity and work the PERA board members did to mitigate the impact the 2008 recession had on our fund and their fiscal responsibility to PERA members to get PERA fully funded and to keep us informed.
PERA is under state oversight and received a clean financial audit from one of the country’s
premier independent accounting firms. The state auditor, under the supervision of the Legislative Audit Committee, hires the accounting firm. Additionally, PERA’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report consistently receives recognition awards for excellence in financial reporting and transparency.
PERA fund does not tap into Colorado taxpayers’ pockets
I was encouraged to see a positive story about the PERA retirement fund’s 2013 investment returns being “north of 13 percent.” PERA may not be perfect or fully funded, but the residents of Colorado are not bailing out the fund.
The fund is sustained by member and employer contributions and by the above referenced investment returns. PERA supports 6,463 retired residents on the Western Slope of Colorado, which supports 1,241 jobs in our communities, lending economic support and stability in our unstable times.
Colorado should be proud to have an “above average” and sustaining defined benefit program for our school, municipal and state employees.
PERA employees spend their retirement checks here in the community
Thank you, to Gary Harmon and The Daily Sentinel for the April 29 article regarding the Public Employees Retirement Association. The article resulted from a meeting between the paper’s editorial board and PERA Executive Director Greg Smith.
Several important statistical facts were cited in the article. However, I noted a couple which I thought were equally important that your readers might like to know. I believe these are important to the economy of Mesa County.
While Colorado PERA retirees were sharing $3.7 billion in benefits in 2013, the 3,242 Mesa County PERA retirees were paid approximately $109 million, most of which went to pay for goods and services and to pay taxes here in Mesa County. I thought your readers would like to know the economic impact we PERA retirees have, and will continue to make, in this county with our PERA benefit checks in the coming years.
I am proud to say that I, as well as most of the other 3,241 retirees receiving and spending those benefits, was a public employee living right here in Mesa County.
Western Division Chairman
Colorado School and Public Employees Association
Email reveals administration’s cover-up on Benghazi attack
On April 29 an e-mail from President Obama’s key staff members was released, thanks to a federal court ruling forcing this information from the most transparent administrations in American history.
It clearly exposes the Obama administration’s full intent to hide the truth about the events on Sept. 11, 2012, and to further deceive the American people about what factually transpired that day. This e-mail included President Obama’s talking head, Jay Carney, and was directed to then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice. The White House knowingly provided her with false statements, in order for her to disseminate these false statements to the American public on five Sunday shows.
For weeks afterward, Obama, Hillary Clinton and others in the administration continued to perpetuate these false statements, and since that time they have stonewalled Congress and the American people regarding the truth about Benghazi.
Why would these corrupt politicians do this? By misinforming the American people, they were hoping to buy enough time to win the 2012 election, before the truth leaked out.
On May 1, Brig. Gen. Robert Lovell testified that they could have and should made an attempt to rescue Ambassador Stevens and the other Americans at the consulate in Benghazi, and yet received no orders from President Obama to do so.
Just as with so many other famous Obama statements such as, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan — period”, “I will hold those accountable for Benghazi,” “there are all these phony scandals”, and, yes, “there is not a smidgeon of corruption regarding the IRS scandal,” it is becoming transparently clear that there is not a smidgeon of truth, honesty or integrity coming out of this administration.
Juvenile belligerence had no place in De Beque BLM meeting
Juvenile chest-pounding when a lot of people want to understand a problem and then work out a solution is never helpful. Belligerent macho behavior brings up the hair on the back of my neck. Not out of fear, but anger and confusion.
At the BLM meeting in De Beque, one puffed-up male wanted to challenge the BLM people, and the audience applauded his juvenile act. We need to remember that government workers, whether local, state or federal, are all working stiffs just like the rest of us. The lease problems started from an elected government headed by Vice President Dick Cheney as he bypassed normal procedure to gear the United States for the Iraq War.
The truth is, the problem is not the “United States government.” This government is “elected” by us, the citizens. We are our own worst enemies.
Now we are starting to fight one another. I really doubt anyone wants the Idaho/Montana “militia” guys here like are still haranguing Bunkerville Nevada. (See:
Southern-born presidents helped create our socialist utopia
Today’s Sentinel printed the second letter of the week from someone obviously from the far, far left (socialist) claiming that the South is peopled by uneducated people.
This seems extremely odd as three presidents that the far, far (socialist) worship as gods helped create this socialist utopia in which we now find ourselves mired — Lyndon Johnson (Texas), Jimmy Carter (Georgia) and Bill Clinton (Arkansas). They were all Southern born and raised. Odd, isn’t it?
Democrats in nation’s history responsible for acts of racism
Bill Hugenberg must be working from his own sense of guilt when it comes to racism. Conservatives and Republicans have long been the champions of freedom.
Hugenberg needs a quick review of history.
Democrats led the South out of the union over the election of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. Democrats manned the trenches and fought with the Confederacy to keep African-Americans slaves. After the war, Democrats in the South formed the Ku Klux Klan. Democrats in the South created the Jim Crow Laws and took away the freedom that thousands of dead union soldiers had won for Southern slaves. Republicans were not elected in the South for 100 years.
Then there were Democrats like George Wallace and Robert Byrd, who fought the Civil Rights movement of the ‘60s. President Johnson would have never succeeded without Republican support to pass landmark Civil Rights Legislation.
Fast forward to today. Donald Sterling is not just a racist. He is a died-in-the-wool Democrat who gave millions of dollars to the Pelosi and Obama campaigns. He was in line to win his second award from the NAACP for his service to the African American Community, when the reality came to light.
The local tea party members are racists? Did the Sentinel editorial board not read the article by Duffy Hayes? This weekend’s tea party rally at Lincoln Park featured Derrick Wilburn, head of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives and American Conservatives of Color. Rallies in past years have featured Ryan Frazier, a prominent Denver-area conservative (also African American) and Niger Innes, a prominent African-American who works with Herman Cain and is a Fox News Contributor.
Hugenberg and Democrats can no longer defend the lies being perpetuated by the current administration and so turn to the tried and true of obfuscation by spouting more lies. Shame on Hugenberg for writing a letter packed with untruths; Shame on the Sentinel editorial board for giving it unwarranted publicity.