Email letters, May 8, 2014

Monument’s true colors should be considered if name changed

The names being bantered regarding the name change for the Colorado National Monument (Park?) seem inappropriate.

The monument rock faces are mostly orange, tan and brownish-rust in color — not red. Moab and St. George, Utah, and Sedona, Arizona, all refer to themselves as red-rock country. Three national parks near us have the word canyon in their names. Ninety-nine percent of people experiencing the monument never travel into the canyons but rather see a cliff face or look over the rim of a cliff.

I think Wingate Cliffs National Monument (Park?) would be a better, more descriptive name.
 
JOEL PRUDHOMME
Grand Junction

Unfettered use of coal ought to alarm us more than fracking

Occasionally glancing at the moronic anti-fracking craze, I find it obvious that the technical debate in the public forum on all matters energy-related is nonexistent. Idiocy, hysteria and utter lies permeate the forum. Green opinion is laughable.

The oil and gas industry lit the light of the world for over a century, providing the human race with cheap warmth and light, a transportation revolution and a vast array of fantastic new materials. The industry also changed the comfort level of the world forever for the good.

Media and other misguided interests have made the oil and gas industry somewhat of a pariah, though largely only amid the uninformed, nose-led, needy pseudo-environmentalists. China, India, Japan (yes, Japan — post-nuclear hysteria firmly footed there) and other countries will ramp up unfettered coal use over the coming 2-4 decades, sending soot around the world, rapidly diminishing albido effects through melting of all things formerly white (ice, snow).

To blindly lurch onward as the anti-big-oil, lopsided orb of inept false opinion, arm-in-arm, chanting “death to big oil” is to simply continue as per the original wild-eyed scheme, with little to no effect on the environmental reality.

Snap out of it, people. Soot, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and an array of nitrogen oxides from coal-fired electrical energy generation make up the trillion-kilogram gorilla on the planet, not fracking for natural gas. But thanks for the endless amusement, nonetheless.

JACK REEVE
Grand Junction

Wright praised as freethinker, invited to join Dems’ ranks

I’ve read with delight the change of heart that seems to come over Rep. Jared Wright over the last few weeks. From his position as the only Republican supporting the necessary study of how harmful fracking is to our environment to his support for legislation protecting groundwater from the scourge of uranium mining, I think he’s demonstrated that he is a freethinker who’s dedicated to protecting the environment from money-grubbing industry. 

While the good old boys in Grand Junction pushed him out of the Republican Party, I’d like to be the first proud Mesa County Democrat to invite him to join our ranks and run against the GOP this fall. Come on over, Jared.  

EMILY PEARSON
Grand Junction

 GOP ‘attracts unrepentant racists and nativists’
 
As Kevin McCarney properly reminds us (“Democrats in nation’s history responsible for acts of racism”), there has been plenty of racism and nativism in our nation’s past to go around.  Democrats were once the most virulent racists – while the “Party of Lincoln” had much to be proud of.
 
But that was then, and now is now. 
 
Since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, the parties’ post-Civil War attitudes regarding minorities have gradually reversed.  Today, the Republican Party attracts unrepentant racists and nativists who may have once affiliated with the Democratic Party, while the targets of racism and anti-immigrant nativism vote Democratic.  Those intended victims of Republicans’ anti-democratic voter suppression policies know full-well who the real racists are today.
 
Just this week, Florida’s former Republican Governor Charlie Crist (now a Democrat) affirmed that racism drove him from the GOP.  “I was a Republican, and I saw the activists and what they were doing; it was intolerable to me.”
 
Crist also aptly noted that Republicans are “perceived now as being anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, anti-environment.”  Meanwhile, I referred only to “like-minded local tea partiers” – not necessarily all of them.
 
Thus, while it is reassuring to learn that the local tea party is not organizationally racist, McCarney – by refusing to recognize the obvious – remains in a willful state of denial, and/or is apparently unfamiliar with the racist content of online anti-Obama comments and/or conveniently blind to the signage often seen at tea party events. 

Nevertheless, an overlay of maps depicting opposition to Obamacare, support for voter suppression, average education levels, rural poverty, the “Old South” and Republican-controlled “red states” suggests that President Obama’s elections re-ignited latent racism.
 
As Bob Dylan wrote in 1965, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”.  So,  if the shoe fits, McCarney should just wear it.
 
BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

After moving into new home,  senior denied former tax break

How about having our esteemed powers that be look at the unfair half-price property tax for seniors?

I am 82; I lived in my house for over 23 years and collected the discount.

Then we had to downsize due to age, and now we are not eligible. This is not fair and even discriminatory.

JAMES M. DAY
Grand Junction

Federal government overreach is a major factor in stagnation

Ten years ago Mesa County was Colorado’s leading producer of energy, income growth, economic development and standard of living increases.

Today, western Colorado is fighting for its very life. Our sources of meaningful support are threatened by the ever-expanding overreach of government.

A republic is now producing more energy than at any time in our history. That increase comes from development of private lands, while our public lands go fallow. Burdensome regulations from both our state and federal governments have contributed toward economic instability within our Western Slope energy sector, eliminating thousands of meaningful energy-related jobs.

Loss of employment, loss of income and resultant tax loss for local government infrastructure improvements devastate our lives. Many workers have been forced to find employment beyond Mesa and Delta counties, while others, including ancillary businesses, have not been so fortunate. The latter are living on the edge.

Government’s overreach attacks us by taking away our lands, our access to those lands, our ability to prosper from those lands and our right to choose our own future without government hindrance.

Recent public hearings by the Bureau of Land Management on energy lease early terminations is testament to the very fact the federal government has targeted western Colorado for further eventual reduction of our livelihood by its suffocating regulations. Stagnation will lead to loss of population through emigration.

We don’t need additional laws and regulations, but instead, a reduction of existing laws that threaten to destroy our prosperity.

JJ (JAMES) FLETCHER
Unaffiliated candidate
Colorado House District 54
Palisade



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