Email letters, May 28, 2013

Repeal ban on trapping to increase deer population

Yet another study on deer herds! I hope it won’t be another bogus study like the three-year project on the Uncompahgre. The claim was the plants don’t have the nutritional value as before the ban on trapping. If that were true, why aren’t the cattle and wildlife up there getting skinnier and falling over from lack of nutrition?

Maybe the researchers should look at history and see that when fur prices were higher deer herds increased and when the price of furs went down so did the deer herds. If you didn’t know it, coyotes eat fawns. Now would be a prime time to repeal the ban on trapping, as the demand for American furs was at an all-time high at last winter’s international fur sales, with China and Soviet Union being the biggest buyers.

With the increase in fur prices again, it would give sportsmen the incentive to trap coyotes, bringing millions of foreign dollars into the state. The deer herds would increase, making more licenses available, bringing millions more into the state economy.

Or the people of Colorado can sit around with their heads in a cloud of pot smoke, dreaming up some more bogus reasons that won’t emotionally upset the animal rights’ groups.

ERIC CARLSON
Whitewater

Benefit race for wildlife foundation set for Saturday, June 1

This year’s “5K Walk/Run for Their Lives,” a benefit race for the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation, will be Saturday, June 1, in Silt.

The race, which begins at 8:30 a.m., starts and finishes at the Stoney Ridge ball field in Silt.

An open house and yard sale will be at the foundation property also on June 1. The yard sale begins at 9 a.m., and the open house begins at 10 a.m. The open house is free to race participants and will cost non-race participants $10.

To get to the foundation, take exit 94 (the Mamm Creek exit) and turn south onto the bridge over Interstate 70. After the bridge, make an immediate left and turn onto frontage/county road 346. About 1½ miles down the road, the road will make a sharp left-hand turn, and parking will be on the right.

If you are unable to make the June 1 event and would like to make a contribution to the foundation, you may send a check to PSSWF, 5945 Country Road 346, Silt, CO 81652 or go to our website, which is http://www.schneegaswildlifefoundation.org and make a payment via PayPal.

The foundation rehabilitates and releases injured or orphaned wildlife, with more that 5,000 animals cared for since 1984. These animals include bears, mountain lions, foxes, elk, deer, beavers, whistle pigs, bighorn sheep, songbirds, eagles, owls, hawks and falcons.

Thanks to everyone for supporting the foundation.

LINDSAY SMITH
Aspen

Citizens must remember significance of three national holidays, thank vets

Every year around this time I become melancholy. The upcoming holidays remind, and sadden me as I see veterans outside the VA hospital here and see them treated like second-class citizens. Most are strangers. Many are homeless, ill, crippled or victims of alcohol or drug abuse. The way our society discards them is appalling. These men and women risked life and limb to keep us free; our repayment is sad at best.

Throughout the year various support groups hold fundraiser events in an effort to assist these folks, and each year the local pet shelters out raise them. I love animals, too, but it seems our priorities are woefully misplaced. Small communities such as ours have long been thought of as extra patriotic, but after living here 10 years, it saddens me to say, “I don’t believe that.”

We’ll observe three holidays soon. Two have military significance, and one is a national favorite. The three are Memorial Day, D-Day and Independence Day. But sadly, I suspect today’s youth know or care little about their meanings.

The first, Memorial Day, a federal holiday, is more than simply a long weekend. Besides being that extra day off work, or the start of the summer season, it’s also a day of remembrance. Remembrance for the lives of the thousands of men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces in all the many wars. From the American Revolution to Afghanistan, they gave their lives to ensure our freedom. We owe our respect and honor, and we need to teach our children that, too.

Next comes D-Day (Normandy), June 6th. That little known or cared about day in 1944 when brave soldiers hit the beaches of France to initiate the Western Allies’ effort to liberate mainland Europe from the grip of Nazism. This one’s not a federal holiday, but observed by those of us who study history and appreciate the sacrifices many made that day on our behalf. Some say these men and women were the “Greatest Generation” and claim we wouldn’t be free today if they hadn’t shown the courage they did back then.

And finally, there’s Independence Day, commonly known as July 4th. It is federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The declaration proclaimed our fledgling nation’s break from the rule of England and is now celebrated with fireworks, picnics, parades, etc. However, its casual observance masks the dangers its signers faced those many years ago. They faced death or imprisonment if captured, something we can’t even relate to today.

So, in conclusion, I pray that we as a free people try a little harder to appreciate what members of our military, past and present, do for us.

AL CARLEY
Grand Junction

Karis committed to helping teens, but also to being good neighbor

My thanks to the community for its support of Karis’ work with homeless teens this past year at The House. Eighty-four percent of homeless teens in The House’s program have moved onto stability in our community. Some are in college, others have secured apartments, many have graduated and the majority has been reunited with their families.

My thanks, as well, to our neighbors for their concern. While it is true that the only time House teens have been directly linked to illegal or unneighborly activity arose when House staff called law enforcement (in one case, this occurred because teens showed up on our doors-step with alcohol on their breath), Karis, Inc. is committed to being as neighborly as possible and to making our neighborhood safe.


To that end, we have restricted our parking (something we should have done previously), reached out to form a neighborhood-relations committee and encouraged neighbors to call us directly with concerns (The House is well staffed and in most cases can respond immediately.) We are also sending neighbors cookies and magnets with our cell phone numbers, meeting with the police to review our detailed safety policies and moving ahead with a house remodel that will do a lot to improve our presence in the neighborhood.

Every day at The House we invite teens who have been abandoned to consider a future of promise and hope. Every day we beckon teens to leave lives of isolation for the warmth of community. In short, everything we hope to do and be is compatible with being good neighbors. To this end and toward the end of simply living in this community in integrity and peace, Karis, Inc. is committed to working with our neighbors and community partners to resolve any problems that may impact the safety and peace of our neighborhood.

JOHN MOK-LAMME
Karis, Executive Director
Grand Junction

First Amendment rights threatened

Amendment #1 to the Constitution of the United States:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, OR OF THE PRESS; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances. (author’s capitalized emphasis)”

If this current threat stands, we are slaves!


MICHAEL J. MCINANEY
Grand Junction

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/23/roger-ailes-letter-to-fox-employees/

Invitation from White House to illegal immigrants was inappropriate

I think everyone can admit we have a problem with illegal immigrants in this country. Whether it be our budgets blown out by providing free medical benefits at hospitals, welfare systems overheating providing benefits, or taking jobs we would or wouldn’t do in the first place, that is still debatable in my eyes.

But the big problem for years has been identifying the illegal aliens in our country, so the ICE agency could deport them. Well, your president has finally come up with a plan. Tell ICE to stay home and invite the illegal immigrants to the White House! How about that for a way to identify them!

UH, wha? What’s that you say? The ICE agents weren’t allowed to arrest them? And when they do, illegal immigrants shout, “Obama will release me. Just wait.” Some of my ancestors came through Ellis Island and were treated as slaves by the railroads and coalmines. At least they were legal. The other half of my ancestors were already here and were beaten, had their food source shot into extinction and were locked up on reservations for their beliefs.

So, don’t give me the rhetoric on dues being paid and it’s somebody’s right. Personally I feel the president has committed yet another felony by bringing know illegal immigrants into the People’s house! Ah heck, maybe another gun deal is being put together to stimulate the economy? Semper fi, America!

RICHARD BRIGHT
Grand Junction

Excessive government regulation cramps job growth

Joan Woodward missed the point in her letter commenting on my letter criticizing actions by the “Green Machine.” It is the unreasonable application of regulations to which many of us object. A good example is the installation of miles of burlap-wrapped tubes on the highway improvement project south of Meeker. Its sole purpose seems to be to keep water from running off highway slopes onto adjacent sagebrush-covered fields.

The Colorado Department of Health has assumed jurisdiction over highway construction through provisions of the Clean Water Act. The GREEN MACHINE supports this sort of ridiculous action. Thousands of similar examples can be cited.

Our economy is suffering due to excessive governmental regulation. Many good people are desperately seeking jobs. Reasonable control can be exerted without stymieing the efforts of job creators.

DICK PROSENCE

Meeker

JUCO ban on concealed guns just paints bulls-eyes on fans

For 365 days a year hundreds, if not thousands, of Grand Valley concealed carry permit holders go about their business in restaurants, hospitals, churches, friends’ homes and all sorts of other venues without causing any problems. Meanwhile, in an Aurora cinema, Sandy Hook Elementary School and other places where firearms are not allowed, nutcases ignoring firearms laws murder the unarmed.

So, what do the JUCO wizards of smart do?  They will not allow concealed carry permit owners to attend JUCO games carrying, citing the “new normal” following the Boston bombings. That’s nonsense!

Now that JUCO officials have advertised that you are not armed, just relax and enjoy the games. And if you have an uneasy feeling that you have a bulls-eye painted on you while you watch your favorite team, there’s a simple explanation. You do.

RICK L. COLEMAN
Grand Junction

Make Mike the Headless Chicken Festival worth crowing about

With each year that passes I find myself more and more disappointed by the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival. It used to be a rather large event (almost as big as the Fruita Fall Festival) that brought in a lot of tourism, and I remember when the event made national news. But every year it gets more and more pathetic. This last year, there were a handful of food booths, a handful of vendors, a street filled with sand, and a band that did a rather poor job of sticking with its gimmick.

While I love Fruita Fall Fest, fall festivals are a dime a dozen. Mike the Headless Chicken is something unique that our community does. If we would promote it more and make it at least half as big as the fall fest, if not the same size, then the town could stand to make a lot of money off just tourism alone, not to mention vendors’ fees.

It just seemed strange to me that every year the town put less and less effort into it when it could be a real boost to the community.

ASHLEY VALENCIA
Fruita

Those who minimize tax bills ought not to be labeled unpatriotic

Citizens, engage your minds! Radio commentators and now, Tina Dupuy (Sentinel, Sunday, 5/26, p5B), tell us that it is UNPATRIOTIC not to pay more income taxes! Think about that! Really, it is unpatriotic not to be better informed. And, Daily Sentinel, why do you publish such fallacious opinions?

Fellow taxpayers, we ALL are allowed to arrange our affairs to minimize our income tax obligation. We are not allowed to EVADE the tax law. Shareholders would likely sue corporate officers if they breached their fiduciary duty to manage their companies in an efficient and profitable manner.

Don’t blame individuals or corporations (or their accountants and lawyers) for minimizing their tax bill. Take your friends in Congress to task for creating such complex tax laws. Think, citizens.

DICK ARNOLD
Grand Junction

While helping teens, House also dedicated to being good neighbor

I commend the board of directors of Karis, Inc. on starting The House. The problem of homeless teens in Mesa County has been well known and documented for many years. Karis is meeting this problem by creating a place for homeless teens to stay and also developing a program to walk beside these young people, giving them guidance to become productive members of society. I also would like to apologize to the neighbors if our church created any of the concerns in the neighborhood about traffic congestion and cars parked on the street.

During ShareFest 2013, April 13 and 14, we had a large team of people building a back deck for The House. During that weekend we had quite a few cars parked in the street. Had we been aware of the concern about traffic, we gladly would have parked elsewhere. I would also like to offer that if J0hn Henry determined the sprinkler head he has replaced was damaged during that weekend, we would be more than willing to reimburse him for that because we could have been the ones who broke it.

On the concern of smoking in places that are not on the premises of The House, we built a separate brick area in the backyard of The House for people to smoke. We absolutely don’t condone smoking by youth, but there are youth who smoke living at The House and to keep them from going out front or elsewhere we provided a place within the confines of the fenced backyard.

I hope that The House and the neighbors in that area can build a positive relationship that will both help our homeless teens and let the neighbors feel comfortable in their homes.

DEBE COLBY
Director of Outreach Ministries
First Presbyterian Church
Grand Junction

Local TV station disappointed Formula One race fans

Our local TV stations are training stations for newcomers who are transferred elsewhere—so continuity of operation is poor. But the local NBC airing of Monaco’s Formula One race this Sunday was the worst. Viewers got up at 5:30 a.m. to watch live one of the most amazing races there for years.

Then, with about 16 laps to finish a race stopping wreck occurred (no injury) at 8 a.m. Then channel 9 did their no one is present at the station automatic cut to the farm report, and we never saw the finish of the most famous race in the automotive world. The level of amateurism of our local stations is astounding, which is why the Sentinel is still the place to go to for real news.

JIM SHULTS
Grand Junction


Sen. Steve King based MJ bill on three years of research

While I am fairly certain that The Daily Sentinel does not have the space to publish the highlights of my “inadequate” three year’s of research on “DELTA 9 THC.”  I do feel a responsibility to submit the information to rebut Mr. Hick’s inaccurate and misleading statements about our legislation.

The one question that proponents of medical Marijuana and driving don’t want you to ask when they claim a 16 nanogram THC level with no impairment is “WHAT WAS THE LEVEL OF DELTA 9 THC?”  Delta 9 THC is what impairs driving.  With Delta 9 THC motor vehicle fatalities going up every year in Colorado, the industry clouds the issue by not being specific about the science and this at the risk of innocent lives.
Here is why the five nanogram per se level is essential to ensure public safety.
•      The five nanogram per se level (Delta 9 THC in whole blood) equals the highest legal level for intoxication in the country and the world.
•      THC has been shown to impair cognition, psychomotor function and actual driving performance and therefore crash risk. (J.G. Ramaekers, G. Berghaus, M.W. van Laar & O.H. Drummer, 2009)
•      Significant driver impairment occurs with one ng/ml Delta 9 THC in whole blood and crash risk increases significantly at 2-5 ng/ml. (Drugs, Driving and Traffic Safety; J.C. Verster, S.R. Pandi-Perumal, J.G. Ramaekers and J.J. de Gier Editors, 2009)
•      Delta 9 THC in whole blood is indicative of extremely recent marijuana intake because once ingested or smoked, Delta 9 THC rapidly metabolizes in the body (occurs over a 2-3 hour period). 98 percent of users will be below 1 ng/ml 4-6 hours after intake.
•      Chronic users (such as those individuals who use medical marijuana) regularly measure 1-3 ng/ml – well below the five nanogram limit and their levels will decrease to this base range in the two to three hour period after intake.
Need for the five nanogram per se limit:
•      14 states already have DUI per se. The per se levels in these states are all lower than five nanograms and more restrictive.
•      Drivers impaired by marijuana use are, by far, the second most substantial danger on Colorado roads after those impaired by alcohol.
•      In 2009 there were 8,625 DUI tests performed in the state. 934 of these drivers tested positive for THC, and 222 of them were above five ng/ml.
•      In 2010 there were 10,431 DUI tests conducted in Colorado. 1,376 of these divers tested positive for THC and 523 of these drivers were above five ng/ml.
•      In 2011 there were 10,393 DUI tests conducted in the state. 1,435 of these drivers tested positive for THC and 574 of them were above five ng/ml.
•      In fatalities involving Colorado drivers with a positive drug test, 55 percent of those drivers test positive for cannabis. (CDOT’s “Heat is On” Campaign 2011)
•      In fatal crashes involving a driver with a positive drug test, 53 percent of those drivers tested positive for cannabis. (CDOT’s “Heat is On” Campaign 2011)
•      A growing percentage of teenagers do not see marijuana use as a distraction while driving and one in five (19 percent) say they have driven shortly after using marijuana. By comparison, 13 percent say they have driven under the influence of alcohol. (USA Today, 2/23/12)
•      The USA Today report cites a study by Students against Destructive Decisions establishing a “dangerous trend” toward acceptance of marijuana among teens. USA Today also reported for the fourth straight year in 2011, daily use of marijuana was at a 30-year peak among high school seniors.
•      This legislation will provide a strong deterrent to impaired driving under the influence of marijuana similar to the deterrent effect of the .08 BAC level in alcohol related DUI cases.
•      This bill follows the precedent of Colorado’s current DUI alcohol by using science to set reasonable standards on substances that impair the ability to drive.
•      This legislation does not change law enforcement procedures in any way. It merely allows a jury a permissive inference of guilt if five ng/ml of Delta 9 THC is present within two hours of driving.
•      This bill demonstrates the state’s recognizance of the potentially dangerous consequences of driving while impaired by marijuana and puts drivers on notice that Colorado considers this offense just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
•      This legislation is first and foremost a traffic safety bill and focused on keeping dangerously impaired drivers off the road. It will save lives, protect our communities and still allow for the responsible and legal use of medical marijuana.

SENATOR STEVE KING
Grand Junction

Just tack on two little words to boost interest in monument

Much heat, and some light, has been generated by the debate over changing the Colorado National Monument to park status. Apparently this is needed because the tourism industry thinks a monument is a statue or some such. It is argued the main benefit of a change is that it will bring more tourist dollars to the surrounding community.

This can happen simply by adding two words. It is not difficult. Advise all tour companies, etc., worldwide, of the monument’s new name, Colorado National Monument - A Park.

It seems to me all parties should be happy since politicians need not be involved, no votes needed. The Chamber of Commerce can put up the publicity money (members will be the main beneficiaries), and local signage change expense will be minimal. I hope this is simple enough for advisory boards and local and state government to accept.

DAVID COOK
Grand Junction

Parks and Wildlife fishing fee may be letting funds get away

I enjoy the Outside section of the newspaper. I was surprised to read in Dave Buchanan’s article about a possible problem with revenue to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife from an aging population of anglers in Colorado. When I was down to Cabella’s to get a fishing license and was only charged a dollar, that was a double surprise. I would be happy to pay more or make a donation if that is a possibility. I don’t fish as much as I used to, so I am glad for some relief in high prices for everything, but only a dollar is pretty extreme.

Also, the travel articles by Bill Haggerty bring up a question about finding spots for newcomers. I have an old Garmin GPS unit which, when it came out, was all about latitude and longitude and waypoints. It has a use problem that is too expensive to fix, so I bought a new one. The new models are all about touchy/feely menu selections, which are nice, but it took me a long time to figure out how to get to way point specifics and find out that the latitude and longitude is still available.

I would like to see the part of directions in the travel section include latitude and longitude at the trailhead or other site locations, and then the disembodied voice can take me right there without my having to read the directions as I am driving down the road. This is still an option in the GPS units, although the fundamentals of the old tracking systems are often obscured by preprogrammed selections that only take me to places I don’t need to go.

PAUL WILLECKE

Grand Junction

Sheriffs correct in decision to bring lawsuit

“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”


However, according to our Supreme Court in Heller, “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” – i.e., can be “infringed” (by “prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual’ weapons”).


Thus, Ralph Hicks should welcome the sheriffs’ participation in the privately-funded constitutional challenge to Colorado’s recently expanded “gun laws” – even if the “Sheriffs’ lawsuit crosses important ethical line” (May 28).


As public servants sworn to uphold our constitutions, sheriffs deserve an unambiguous determination of “what the law is” – and will be indisputably bound thereby. As elected officials answerable to voters, they are understandably inclined to embrace the misguided views of their most ardent supporters. As law enforcement officers, their participation may even protect their subordinate officers by minimizing the potential for confrontations involving irate constituents armed with “assault rifles.”


In Heller, Justice Scalia effectively erased the “prefatory clause” from the Founders’ text by giving it no practical effect. Nevertheless, the Second Amendment is totally silent as to the government’s authority to regulate the design, manufacture and sale of “arms” in interstate commerce and does not limit its power to tax them under Article I, Section 8. Thus, limiting the size of magazines poses no real constitutional issue.


Likewise, while the Second Amendment guarantees (most) citizens the right to “keep and bear arms” (at least for self-defense), nothing therein constrains governmental power to “regulate” how such “arms” are acquired. Therefore, “universal” background checks for most gun sales (to prevent criminals, terrorists, and/or the demented from legally obtaining firearms) are certainly constitutional.


Hopefully, by resolving prevailing ambiguities and misconceptions, the sheriffs’ lawsuit will contribute a valuable public service – but not achieve the legal result they desire.


BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Thieves of Social Security numbers also among those to gain citizenship

Home from the office. Time to grab the mail and relax with a cold drink. Quick flip through the mail ... WHAT’S THIS? A letter from the IRS. Uh oh. This is not going to be good. Heart beating faster as letter is quickly pulled out and scanned ... Owe how much?!! And thousands in interest and penalties! How can this be? Looking closer for the details ... Unreported W-2 from California. Never worked in California!

Another tale of a stolen Social Security number. Luckily, this has not happened to me, but others have told me their stories. Not only that, but when I used to volunteer helping people file their taxes, I learned that the IRS has an official procedure for processing tax forms that include stolen Social Security numbers. And no, the IRS doesn’t report the crime to justice or Immigration Services. If someone lists his or her occupation as “bank robber,” does that get reported? What part of using a stolen Social Security number is not a crime? What part of working here illegally is not a crime? The IRS looks the other way and issues them their tax refunds.

Now such thieves are about to be granted citizenship. They are supposed to first pay a fine. How about also paying compensation to the proper owners of the Social Security numbers? Five hundred dollars a year paid to the victim for each year his or her Social Security number was illegally used seems fair.

Did you know that the immigration reform also includes a clause to allow people who were successfully deported to come back in and become citizens?

What about the next million coming in and looking for a third round of amnesty? Will the immigration reform law also force the IRS to report this criminal activity?

Now’s the time to tell our representatives if you share these concerns.

JANICE SHEPHERD
Grand Junction

Let drivers choose whether to wear seat belts, helmets

I am writing this regarding Ray Whitney’s letter about helmets and seat belts.

I have questioned this for years, as well. If you are in a car, you have the car to protect you. If you are on a motorcycle or bike, obviously you have nothing to protect you. My oldest daughter was driving a car and was in a wreck years ago. She did not have her seat belt on and was thrown from the car. Thank God. The driver’s side of the car was so smashed in that she probably would not have survived.

I am not saying that it is safer not to have a seat belt on. I am saying that I think it should be everyone’s choice to wear a seat belt or to wear a helmet. While I am on the subject, I would also like to see people who are riding bikes obey the same laws we have to obey, such as maybe stopping at stop signs, whether they have a helmet on or not.

I was stopped years ago without a seat belt and was fined $15. Actually, I told the officer I think it would be more beneficial if he were out busting drug pushers and going after sex offenders.

CAROLYN BRYANT
Grand Junction

 



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