Email Letters: November 4, 2016

As citizens of this great country we need to respect each other

My neighbors and I get along pretty darn well. Several are Democrats; several are Republicans. We don’t mud sling, argue, or bicker like the two candidates for president are now doing. We strive to live in harmony and we cooperate in a neighborly fashion to make this happen no matter what our political affiliation.

I am a documentary cameraman by trade, and was hired to shoot a video at the recent Trump rally in Grand Junction. Not being a Trump fan, I was worried about covering the rally. Would I be seen as the liberal media? Would I be greeted with fire and brimstone? I was warned to be careful stepping into the lion’s den. The divisive chatter on the internet and from friends paints a picture of ignorant, uneducated, and angry…deplorables.

What I found was families. Young children lifted up onto the shoulders of their parents joyfully waving an American flag. Octogenarians. Grandmothers. Grandfathers. All were there to support a candidate they feel will restore prosperity to this United States of America. I was treated with respect. I was even told I had nice hair by an older woman. Looking around, I saw my neighbors. Not from my subdivision, but from all over the Grand Valley – neighbors that love this valley, love this state of Colorado and love their country. Although my choice for president is not theirs, I respect them and their choice. They are not deplorable. They are my neighbors and your neighbors.

Remember who we are. As citizens of this great country we need to respect each other and stand together no matter what our differences. That’s a sour pill to swallow, especially during this election that has been so unpleasant. When the voting is over, no matter who is our new POTUS, it is we the people who make this country great again, by being good neighbors.


Vote for candidates, initiatives that support clean-energy economy

I am writing on behalf of The American Renewable Energy Institute and that of the AREI Board to express our endorsement and full support of national, state and local candidates and initiatives that are proactive on climate change solutions and have strong platforms and implementation strategies for the transition from fossil to clean energy in addressing the climate crisis. It is our opinion and that of the world’s leading scientific community that the window is rapidly shrinking to make the transition from a world-wide economy based on the extraction and burning of fossil fuels to a world-wide economy based on the rapid implementation of renewable, sustainable and energy efficient technologies at the speed and scale necessary to solve the problem.

We now know that renewable energy, along with utility scale battery storage, can provide the base load necessary to serve civilization’s needs for all of its electrical generating capacity. Coupled with the rapid decrease in the price of solar and wind technologies, along with the emerging electric vehicle market and the retrofit of the built environment, we now have the opportunity to move into a new energy efficient and sustainable world. Therefore, I urge you, when going to the polls on Nov. 8 or when you mail in your ballot, that you vote for all candidates and initiatives that support a new, clean-energy economy for the sake of our children and all future generations to come.

Chairman & CEO, American Renewable Energy Institute

Tipton seems like the obvious choice for Congress

The Schwartz campaign has decided to stick with their same old attack ad that has been proven false time and time again. Her campaign put out a cartoon this time, colorfully illustrating Tipton “selling off our public lands.” Her campaign knows that these attacks are not true so they resort to cartoons and colorful illustrations to detract from the lies they are pushing.

I could list all of the articles that have now de-bunked this claim, but that would take up a whole letter. Even in The Daily Sentinel, their endorsement of Schwartz stated, “There’s no evidence to support Schwartz’s TV ads that he wants to sell off public lands. ” These types of baseless attack ads are exactly what is wrong with politics in this country. Tipton’s ads accuse Gail Schwartz of killing coal jobs. The Denver Post rated that claim “mostly true.”

So while Scott Tipton is not responsible for selling off public lands, Gail Schwartz is in fact responsible for the loss of jobs in our district. Scott Tipton seems to me like the obvious choice for Congress.


Schwartz a true bipartisan who seeks and fights for solutions

Now that we are in the final days of the election, the shady out-of-state money and attacks are at full volume. I was actually amused, however, when I read an ad that stated “Gail Schwartz doesn’t listen.”

This is so far from reality that I had to laugh out loud. For everyone who was so well represented by Gail in the statehouse, we know better! And she did not merely serve a narrow segment of partisan supporters, but a truly broad spectrum of Western Slope citizens. Whether on protecting land for ranching, hunting and recreation, or fighting for schools and water, Gail was a true bipartisan who sought and fought for solutions. Just check her record or ask someone whom she represented – like the full community around Carbondale who has come together to protect the Thompson Divide. This group included the complete political spectrum and citizens of all types and stripes. Tipton only listened to his big campaign funder, who (still) wants to drill where all the locals object. Note – this is by no means a blanket rejection of oil/gas development but only for a specific area. Tipton ignored citizens and is following his out of state special interest funders.

Guess that’s why both The Daily Sentinel and The Glenwood Springs Post Independent have endorsed her – a remarkable and unusual action for both papers. They realize that Gail will do a far better job of working on our interests from Washington.

On the other hand, maybe the real meaning of the ad was that Gail doesn’t listen to the narrow special interests that are funding Scott Tipton – now that would make more sense! Please see through the smoke and deception and vote for Gail Schwartz on Tuesday.


Doody plans to raise taxes, bring marijuana sales to Grand Valley

The Sentinel’s endorsement of Jim Doody was based on the fact that he has a serious plan to spare the county budget cuts. His plan is to pull the county out of TABOR and bring marijuana sales to Mesa County. I’m not sure if it was The Sentinel’s plan to help or hurt Jim Doody. But any person who can’t cut a budget, and who wants to raise taxes and bring marijuana to the Grand Valley to spare the pain of cutting budgets, is more aptly a candidate for county commissioner in Boulder. I’m voting for John Justman – a conservative and a leader.


Closing of Life Center a cold and calculated financial decision

The closing of the Life Center is sad for those of us who have benefited from it over the years. But what is even sadder is St. Mary’s attempt to defend the closing with an indefensible story. It could possibly be true that to maintain the pool is an immense expense. However, closing the cardiac rehab and general gym because the building has not been properly maintained does not have a ring of truth to it. I question how a building that has been deemed as unfit for use can continue to conduct physical rehab classes a few feet from the general gym. I am also curious how the second floor of this dangerous facility can maintain all of the speech therapy classes.

We were told that when the Life Center began it filled a need that was not provided for anywhere in the community. Now, however, pools, general gyms for seniors, and cardiac rehabs abound in our town, or so we are told. Well, guess what, so do physical rehabs and speech therapy classes. The only difference I can find is that the pool and gym and paid for by members and the physical therapy and rehab are paid for by insurance companies. This speaks to St. Mary’s desire to feed its bottom line. There is nothing wrong with that in a profit driven society, but please don’t say that this decision was done with compassion and tears. It was done with a cold and calculated decision for the future of St. Mary’s. I would be happy if, in the future, St. Mary’s would learn to tell the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, instead of insulting our intelligence.

Grand Junction

Tipton’s voting record reveals he supports special interests over local interests

If you are undecided about whether to vote for Scott Tipton or Gail Schwartz and confused about which candidate aligns with your love of public lands, consider Tipton’s record.

● Pushed a bill drafted by his biggest campaign contributor, Houston gas developer SG Interests, which ignored local communities’ unified voice calling for permanent protection of the Thompson Divide.

● Voted against an amendment to public lands funding bill HR5538 prohibiting the use of funds for efforts to transfer or sell public lands.

● Stood by quietly as the senate voted on party lines to sell or give away all fed lands besides parks or monuments.
● Cosponsored HR 866 wresting control of oil and gas management from feds and handing it to much more permissive states with weak environmental impact analyses.

● Cosponsored a HR 4313 making it easier for states and counties to assert bogus ownership of routes across public lands, fragmenting habitat, disrupting hunting and backcountry recreation, and leading to county seizure of public lands.

● Cosponsored the HEARD Act HR 5836 forcing federal government to sell or give away certain public lands at unreasonably short timeframes even if lands were identified in outdated plans. The forced timeframe makes infeasible the typical land exchange that provides a net benefit to the public.

● Supported HR 4480 in 2012 and HR 4899 in 2014 that would prioritize drilling on public lands over all other uses, short cut review processes, and cut the public out of the decisions affecting our lands.

● Voted for government shutdown, impacting rural communities dependent on public lands recreation, hunting, fishing and tourism, cumulatively costing $24 billion at the national level.

● Was silent on the armed seizure of the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge, tacitly support to this fringe element who oppose public lands.

● Voted to gut the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Tipton cleverly stops short of calling to outright selloff public lands but his voting record reveals that he supports special interests over local interests and is incrementally chipping away at the public estate, a slippery slope bottoming out at privatization.

Schwartz understands that public land recreation-based economies support sustainable communities. Our public lands are part of who we are and Gail won’t let that be taken away.


Women, give considerable thought to voting for a misogynist in the White House

For undecided women voters, please give considerable thought to Donald Trump becoming the president of the United States. He’s been quoted as saying “there’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do” and that he would be their greatest advocate as president. Yet an “Access Hollywood” recording has him saying “I did try and f**k her, she was married. When you’re a star you can do anything.” He was once quoted saying “I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” In 2011 it was reported that he called attorney Elizabeth Beck, opposing counsel in a deposition, “disgusting” for wanting to take a break to pump milk for her 3-month-old daughter. Last March he said that women who seek abortions – if the procedure is banned in America – should be subject to “some form of punishment.” He later recanted, instead saying “the doctor performing this illegal act would be held legally responsible.” On Howard Stern’s radio show he said, “A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.” Fox News’ Megyn Kelly said to him in a GOP debate “You have called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs’, ‘dogs’ and ‘slobs’.” Your vote, your mom’s vote, your daughter’s vote, your sister’s vote, could decide if this man is elected president. Or not.



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