Email letters, Nov. 18, 2011

Salazar protecting too much land

There is an up coming bill in the Senate that would end dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program, which has helped off highway vehicle riders. The RTP program money went to states to develop and maintain trails. This bill, S 1813, “Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st. Century” (Map 21) was approved by the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee 18-0 on Nov. 9.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has identified 18 backcountry areas in 9 western states, that deserve protection as national conservation or wilderness areas.
Salazar hopes his report is incorporated into an omnibus public lands bill similar to another public lands bill passed in 2009. Congress used rare parliamentary tactics that closed 2.1 million acres of public land in 2009.
Isn’t it great to have Coloradan Ken Salazar working for us in Washington with a plan for more public land closing? With his grand vision, perhaps all of Colorado will be wilderness. I’m certain that the Sierra Club would endorse that.
Contact our senators and tell them we don’t want any more areas closed to multiple use.
JOHN JUSTMAN
Fruita

Interior secretary continues to harm western Colorado

In the mid 1970s, the state of Utah worked diligently to create special districts to receive and distribute federal mineral lease money separate from monies allocated to the counties through PILT and other programs. This essentially allowed the state to receive the lease money without reducing the amount of money the counties received from these other programs.

Recently, Colorado followed Utah’s smart example and set up its own similar system. However, while Utah has been operating under this arrangement for more than 30 years without federal intrusion, the Department of the Interior is now using some accounting gimmick to single out Colorado with the goal of robbing Mesa County and the region of almost $2 million — money this area desperately needs.

This is one more example of a clear, concerted campaign by the department to hurt western Colorado’s job opportunities and economic vitality. At every step of his leadership, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (who during his political campaigns espoused his Colorado roots) has sought to stymie the different economic opportunities west of the Continental Divide.  I am positive that the small, very fixable issue that is the basis of Interior’s claim, can be resolved in the upcoming legislative cycle.

Hopefully, Salazar can put his efforts to destroy our way of life out here on hold and allow the issue to be resolved and the money allocated to areas that will actually and wisely utilize the funds.

CHAD MCCUNE
Grand Junction

Don’t allow unfunded mandates

I’d like to propose that the following wording be considered for legislation in Colorado:  “Unfunded spending mandates by state or local governments may not be imposed unless first approved by a vote of the affected publics or their elected representatives.”  I believe this would allow local entities to effectively live within their means.  It would also be wonderful if similar legislation were passed on a federal level by our Congress.

STEVE HAGERMAN
Grand Junction

Tax credits for federal investment losses

Since the present administration has invested our taxpayer money in losing propositions such as Solyndra and other enterprises that seemed to benefit a few of their friends and donors, and since GE can make $14 billion and pay no taxes due to loopholes and various write offs, it only seems fair that I should be able to take a tax credit for losses on investments made on my behalf using my tax dollars.

Oops. If I do that I will probably get audited, fined or jailed.

L.W. HUNLEY
Grand Junction

More government regulations or less?

The Fruita anti-government letter writer doesn’t seem to catch his contradictory philosophy. If Wall Streeters were only inflicting horrible economic damages with the governmental regulations in place, then does the writer mean that they would have done even more harm if those regulations didn’t exist or if the regulations had been more prolific, the Wall Streeters wouldn’t have been able to cause the harm in the first place?

If there is crime going on in a neighborhood the radical right-wingers chastise the government for spending money installing streetlights. In the meantime, big powerful financial interests (like those funding election campaigns and lobbyists, placing their cronies in Cabinet positions, etc.) are ransacking the jewels and electronics from the rears of the neighborhood’s houses. I guess this reality is acceptable (because it creates jobs for robbers?) or is just not recognizable to the anti-government crowd?

JOEL PRUDHOMME
Grand Junction

Be careful what you sign

FRAM Operating LLC plans to drill 108 wells (down from 500) below Grand Mesa along Highway 50 and it will affect our area in many ways. A big concern is drilling in our water shed and near the city’s reservoirs.

Several years ago when I learned Grand Junction had no watershed ordinances, I approached the City Council and was told they did not have one nor did they think it was necessary. We volunteers gathered and collected enough signatures on our petition to force the Council to write one. I was invited to sit in on a last session to add my views to this ordinance.

Grand Mesa now has Landmen knocking on doors to get residents to sign contracts to drill on their property. When the new owners of Powderhorn ski company become surrounded by these gas rigs and truck traffic runs 24/7 on the roads on the Grand Mesa, this will have a major effect on plans to make Powderhorn a year-round resort.

Drilling will come. Be careful what you sign. Obtain an attorney who specializes in this field to try to protect yourselves from operators unconcerned about you or your property. The damaging effects of contaminated water and soil are permanent.

PEGGY RAWLINS
Grand Junction

‘Merry Christmas’ sign was much appreciated

Recently, when I walked into our local Target store, I was pleasantly surprised to see a banner hanging from the ceiling saying “Merry Christmas.” I wish to thank the person(s) responsible for the display — you made my day!

It is so sad to see the centuries old traditions of Christmas fading away in obscurity. Now, it is “against the law” to display a Nativity scene and anything pertaining to Christ’s birth in public places. In some places, even whole neighborhoods are forbidden to display these scenes on their property.

What happened to our constitutional rights to freedom of religion? Our great country was founded by godly men who believed in Christian principles. We are supposed to be the “land of the free” but we are becoming and ungodly society where illicit sex is publicly exploited and taught in our schools. Crime and murder are rampant. I am deeply saddened by so many things that have taken our country in a different direction that what it was originally. I love this country and believe that we are to be the light of the world, not a reproach of our ancestry. That is why I was so thrilled to see “Merry Christmas!” on a banner at Target. May we not lose these simple freedoms that speak volumes about true freedom.

In closing, I would like to share what I believe God in His mercy has given us as our hope for restoration of our religious freedom and many other freedoms that we are losing. It is found in the Bible in II Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” My God bless America ... and Merry Christmas!!

ELEANOR SADDORIS
Clifton



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