Email letters, November 22,  2013

Commissioners wisely supported riverfront trail

It’s understandable that the county commissioners want to scrutinize every budget item considering the reduction in revenue for the 2014 budget. They made the right fiscal decision to approve the county’s share of matching funds to finish the third phase of the Colorado Riverfront Trail.

Those matching funds, a fraction of the actual cost, were leveraged along with other local municipalities matching funds to secure a $4.3 million grant funded through lottery ticket sales. Commissioner Acquafresca called it a “darn good deal.” The cost of completing this section will never be cheaper than it is right now.

The riverfront concept, which began decades ago by James Robb and other community leaders, has continued to progress through both good and bad economies, due to the ongoing efforts of community leaders and participating landowners. There is no better example of a successful community partnership in our valley today. This community partnership and legacy has continued to prove itself worthy of our time and resources.

Along with many others in our valley, I also urge the Mesa County commissioners to continue to fund the Colorado Riverfront Commission part-time position.


Whose needs are Tipton and Lamborn serving?

Colorado is to be applauded for its proposal to regulate the release of methane (natural gas) and other gases from the many drill sites in our state. Unfortunately, a part of our congressional delegation seems intent on undercutting this effort by introducing or supporting legislation that would weaken environmental standards, the conduct of due diligence before granting permits and financially punishing individuals who question the lease process.

The United States, in 2013, is projected to produce about 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. According to a comprehensive study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, roughly 0.4 percent-0.5 percent of the gross production will escape into the atmosphere. That works out to about 1.2 trillion cubic feet of methane lost. This is roughly equivalent to 33 trillion cubic feet of CO2 in terms of atmospheric heat trapping capacity. Along with the methane that escapes, a number of other gases are released that are harmful to health and react in the atmosphere to form ozone, which, when trapped in places like the Grand Valley, has adverse effects on folks with asthma and other respiratory disorders.

The legislators pushing for relaxed approaches include Congressmen Tipton and Lamborn, who argue that gas development is hindered by unnecessary restrictions. In fact, gas and oil exploration is driven by the price of gas, which has dropped more than 50 percent since 2008. The collapse of prices in 2010 has led to the current slowdown in exploration and development, not environmental regulations. Even so, production is projected to continue increasing for the next several years from wells nearing completion.

It is unclear to me whose needs Tipton and Lamborn are serving. It doesn’t seem to me to be Colorado’s, or for that matter even the oil and gas industry that has intentionally slowed production, several of which have endorsed tighter air quality regulations.

Grand Junction

San Diego vet appreciates kindness of stranger

Many thanks to the gentleman who “paid it forward” at the Denny’s in Clifton on Nov. 17. My brothers and I were having lunch when you stopped at our table and asked if we were veterans.

All three of us were Navy veterans and when we said “Yes”, you slipped a $20 on to the table. You left so quickly that we didn’t have a chance to thank you appropriately, but thanks again for recognizing our service, and we will continue the policy.


San Diego

When will Republicans accept Obamacare as law of land?

You have to wonder why Republicans continue and will increase their efforts to destroy Obamacare. Simple logic tells you that if you insure greater numbers, costs for each insured would be less.

Republicans never submitted an alternate bill and they still haven’t. Yet they have wasted months with their shenanigans, their escapades, their chicanery and their underhandedness. They must be chafing at the bit because they didn’t fight Obamacare thinking it would not be enacted. What they want is for every one to play stupid now and forget that the only other alternative was to continue with fewer and fewer persons being able to afford medical insurance.

Don’t we know already that according to Republicans and Romney the 47 percent don’t and have never counted in most Republican and conservative circles? Isn’t that the posture and stance they have taken?  Didn’t the Supreme Court rule that our majority counted and that Obamacare was the law of the land? 

Still Republicans and conservatives don’t believe. Does this mean that our land of laws is becoming lawless?  Do you suppose that most of our deceased former presidents are turning over and over in their graves?  Shouldn’t Republicans and conservatives let them rest in peace?

Grand Junction

Despite glitches, ACE still much better than unfair policies in the past
Dave Kearsley’s latest offering – “Trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again is futile fix for ACA” – takes credit when none is due.

Nothing in the Affordable Care Act required insurers to cancel any policies in existence on March 23, 2010. The appearance of “deception” arose because some health insurers “baited and switched” insureds from “grandfathered” into “non-grandfathered” policies (rather than modifying them to retain “grandfathered” status or upgrading them to comply with the ACA) — and continued issuing new non-compliant policies (with no caveats) knowing they would be cancelled as of Jan. 1, 2014.

President Obama has apologized for the ACA’s failure to anticipate and prohibit such deceptive business practices and/or to “mandate” complete disclosure by those insurers.

Nothing in the ACA required anyone to change doctors, but neither prohibited doctors from dying, retiring, or limiting their practices, nor required insurers to maintain existing “preferred provider” networks.

The American Hospital Association supports the ACA – because it offers more prompt and adequate compensation for rendering indigent care. However, in 25 Republican-controlled states that reject Medicaid expansion, hospitals may be forced to close emergency rooms.

In sum, 80 percent of Americans’ premiums were largely “unaffected” by the ACA, some 15 percent gained access to affordable health care for the first time, and only 1.3 percent may pay more for equal or better coverage.

Moreover, the ACA has (as President Obama “promised”) reduced long-term costs (and thus “debt”) projections by some 10% — reducing health care spending growth and health care price inflation to the lowest rates since 1965.

Parroting Republicans’ bogus “alternatives” to the ACA, Kearsley would revert to the “pre-existing condition” of double-digit annual premium increases, arbitrary denial and/or cancellation of coverage by for-profit “death panels”, and leave 40+ million Americans without affordable access to health care.

Good luck with that, Humpty.

Grand Junction

Many have expressed concerns about airport

Thursday’s editorial suggesting the Grand Junction airport manager should be suspended caught my attention for a different reason. Far down the column is the admission that an investigation and audit should have occurred much sooner. It states, “...while a few people involved with the airport claimed there were serious problems, most observers, this newspaper included, didn’t see evidence of anything more than significant policy differences.”

Please pardon my disbelief. The “few people” mentioned were few in number compared to the population of the area but were a high percentage of affected airport tenants. City hall has seldom seen a more packed house than the night airport users complained to councilors about what was taking place. Many articles and letters appeared in the Sentinel regarding these complaints, which were also registered with the county commissioners, airport commissioners, a U.S. congressman, TSA, FAA and at least two TV stations. Does one have to self-immolate at 6th and Main with a gasoline can to draw attention to what was happening?

While no one knows what triggered the FBI search, the warning signs of an out-of-control organization were there for all to see. There was a systemic failure of elected and appointed officials, as well as the media, to question and look. There should be some serious local introspection regarding why local leaders failed to do their duty. 

Grand Junction


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I am not sure where Bill Hugenberg and Jose Lucero have been living, but lets clear up the confusion.

There were no Grandfathered policies because the new mandates in the ACA forced all policies to change after the law was passed. Hence none of them can be called compliant. The Administration knew this. There was no bait and switch by the Insurance companies.

Mr. Lucero, at no time was there ever a majority of the American Public who was in favor of the ACA. The act was passed on a Party line vote on Christmas Eve. Nancy Pelosi said we needed to pass it to find out what was in it. People are finding out and they are angry.

Wait until 2014 starts. Each month all of the Small Group Policies due to renew that month will begin to become non-compliant. Letters have already been sent to companies warning them that after 2014, their policies will be gone.

Hugenberg and Lucero are attempting to convince us that the ACA is a Rose. However we know that smell, and it is the end product of a bull.

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