Email Letters: November 16, 2016

Protestors should know that Trump won fair and square

Eileen O’Toole (“We really need to talk about bigotry in the open”) takes issue with the notion that conservatives accepted the results of the last eight years. Well, since that election eight years ago was legal, we had to. But she goes on to denigrate “massive numbers of bigots disrupting everything both inside and outside the government.” Wow! Just how did the country exist with all that massive “disruption?” She also said “...the Koch Brothers now own our government….” I guess I missed that sale. Further on in her letter she alleges, “white power rhetoric is even more disturbing now.” That eruption of “white power” is another event I have not noticed. She goes on to urge “upset protestors start planning for the next vote in two years and the one in four years.”

First off, these “protestors” should try to remember their civics course, if they ever took one. If not, then read the Constitution and research why we have an Electoral College. President-elect Trump won fair and square. Oh, and by the way, “bigot” is defined by Webster as “A person who holds blindly and intolerantly to a particular creed or opinion.” That works both ways, be it a liberal or a conservative.

CREIGHTON BRICKER
Grand Junction

Higher royalties from oil and gas results in local revenues

The Bureau of Land Management oversees the production of oil and natural gas on federal lands. These lands and the minerals they contain are owned by all Americans and a portion of the money generated by the sale of federal oil and gas is returned to the taxpayer in the form of royalty payments to the federal government, states and local communities. That money supports local schools, fire departments and the construction of roads and bridges.

Currently, a significant portion of the gas produced is wasted when it is vented to the atmosphere or burned at the well site. In fact, 200,000 metric tons of methane – the primary component of natural gas – were released from public lands between 2009 and 2014. If captured and sold, that gas would have generated $330 million per year.

Luckily, the BLM decided to resolve this issue and finalized a new rule on Tuesday that will limit methane waste. The requirements, if fully implemented, will keep gas in the pipeline, increasing the amount of money returned to local communities. A fair return to taxpayers means a better
quality of life here on the Western Slope. We can use that revenue for many great things, like putting it towards our schools and infrastructure.

When you drive around Mesa County you’ll see numerous roads, buildings and sidewalks in need of repair. Our schools in District 51 are in desperate need of funding, as we rate average to below average compared to other school districts across the state. With the amount of money oil and gas companies make off of the resources extracted from our public lands, it is only right that our county benefits during the process.

As many of us know living in Mesa County, the impacts of the oil patch’s unpredictable boom and bust cycles are always felt on our local economy. Ensuring a fair return to taxpayers from royalties is simply smart for our community’s financial health now and into the future. The BLM Methane rule provides insurance that our resources aren’t taken for next to nothing.

VICTORIA ONTIVEROS

Grand Junction

Redlands roundabout is unwanted, unwarranted, unworkable

Many hundreds of taxpayers feel the proposed Redlands roundabout is unwanted, unwarranted, and unworkable.

At the “open house” regarding same, the engineers’ attitude was a tad patronizing and 100 percent evasive. Mike Curtis and Zane Znamenacek refused to admit the project is a done deal, and the mayor would not respond. (I guess our petition in opposition is being used for toilet paper.) Todd Hollenbeck alone had the guts to be truthful.

Out intersection bears no resemblance to the other roundabouts presented as examples of success. Without traffic lights, vehicles from dozens of side streets feeding onto Highway 340 will be unable to join the steady stream of which the engineers are so enamored.

Yes, the intersection can be made better, but this roundabout is like bringing an elephant gun to a mosquito problem. Someone should go back to the drawing board.

LIANE ABRAMS
Grand Junction

Stop trying to stop those protesting the roundabout

To the person who wrote the editorial in Friday’s (Nov. 11) Sentinel about stopping the roundabout protest, I see at least two problems. First, you never did your homework on why the protest was started. You seemed to be hung up on the “inconvenience objection.” Yes, that is a major concern, however, it is definitely not the number one reason. Since this has been in someone’s “think tank” for at least five years, I would assume the developers or proponents had sufficient time to gain public comments, suggestions, and ideas, or, at best, let the public know there were thoughts of working on the intersection. Remember, “we the people.” Get a fact sheet and consider our reasons for the protest.

Next, if you were at the CDOT meeting on Nov. 9, you must not have been listening. CDOT acknowledged having an alternative plan (actually shown at the meeting) that would upgrade traffic lanes, signal lights, and pedestrian/bicycle crossings. It was also suggested by attendees that caution signs/lights be used to slow traffic prior to the intersection. These upgrades came at a cost of $2 million less than the roundabout, plus less construction time. I have heard one person say that it “is a drop in the bucket,” but any way you slice it, it is taxpayer money. Why spend it, if it’s not necessary? This option has been placed on the back burner, if considered at all. The CDOT meetings were held to “tell” us what they planned to do, not ask for input – just another government entity powering over “we the people.” Incidentally, drivers cause most accidents – you cannot prevent all of them, and no, a roundabout is not the only option to reduce accidents. There is not a shortage of “out-to-lunch” or inattentive drivers on the road; maybe IQ tests should be required before issuing a driver’s license.

Meantime, we can all go to bed with “visions of grandiose roundabouts circling in our heads” and wondering what other surprises await us. When the “powers that be” have satisfied their obsession with putting roundabouts in all our intersections, we will be able to rename Grand Junction – Roundabout City.

WANDA REED
Grand Junction

Three local choirs are precious gifts to this community

A huge thank you to the Colorado Choral Directors’ Select Choir for their concert held Nov. 13 at the Grand Junction High School Auditorium. I was bought to tears several times listening to these voices weaving through the audience, bringing a much-needed balm to our souls. Guided by their much-esteemed directors, the choirs provided assurance that even though we as a nation face challenging times ahead, we have in our midst the ability to work together to bring unity and peace. The three choirs: Colorado Mesa University Chamber Choir, Grand Valley Children’s Choir, and the Colorado Choral Directors’ Select Choir are precious gifts to this community. Please, keep the music coming.

LYN A. CRONK-WEBER

Grand Junction

Methane rule seeks to protect our community health

As natural gas and oil make their way from holes in the ground to our stovetops and cars, a substantial amount of gas escapes to the atmosphere. Sometimes it’s intentionally vented other times it escapes through leaks in the system, but either way it enters our air.

Natural gas is composed primarily of methane – over 90 percent in most cases. While methane itself is benign, natural gas contains a number of other harmful pollutants. Those include benzene, a known carcinogen and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, which can lead to a host of respiratory issues.

Just this week, the BLM finalized its new methane rule. The methane rule aims to reduce the waste of natural gas, but has the co-benefit of reducing other hazardous air pollutants and protecting public health.

Pollution affects our everyday lives and our communities feel the health impacts in both the short and long term. Many of us love Colorado because of its abundance of clean air and water, we should be doing everything we can to protect our air with smart responsible management.

The methane rule seeks to capture wasted gas that was previously vented or leaked during the production process. The rule will ensure that natural gas is not wasted and that the many harmful pollutants it contains are not polluting our precious public resources like clean air.

JERRY GARCIA

Grand Junction

Large percentage of Americans dislikes the liberal message

The American Thinker had an article by Alex Grass that was just too good not to share.
Basically it said, and I am paraphrasing: The soufflé is a puffy delicacy that collapses if you open the oven door at the wrong moment. Mirroring this vulnerability is a nation of liberal millennial students on the verge of hysterical collapse following HRC’s loss to DJT. They have been offered (and this is true) coloring books, puppies, play-dough, Legos and bubbles – to try and heal them and their crybaby “eggshell” peers.”

Now remember, these are 20 something and 30 something people.

Since 2008, the liberal party has lost 900 liberal seats in the government, all across the nation, from mayors on up to senators and representatives. If this kind of behavior is the liberal answer to defeat, instead of introspection and asking, “what’s wrong with our agenda and our message,” then RIP Democratic Party and long live the conservative Republican Party.

The biggest percentage of the American people does not like the liberal message or the way they communicate it.

LLOYAL ANDERSON
Delta


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