Email letters, Oct. 18, 2012

Gallegos highly qualified for CU Board of Regents

As the current member of the Colorado University Board of Regents, representing Congressional District 3 (all of western Colorado), I am pleased to endorse and support Glen Gallegos as my replacement to the CU Board of Regents. 

Gallegos knows many of the challenges that lie ahead for the CU system (four campuses), such as balancing the budget, keeping the university accessible and affordable, providing quality education and being a strong voice for western Colorado, as well as providing leadership that can lead CU into the future.

I have watched Gallegos develop and gain experience as a School District 51 administrator and a businessman in the private sector, meeting a payroll and raising a family with his wife, Diane. Gallegos served as president of Mesa State College Board of Trustees and Western Colorado Community College. As you look around CMU’s campus today, you will see some of the outstanding work Gallegos and others have done in a relatively short time.

Gallegos is a good listener and hard worker; he is very dependable in carrying out various tasks put before him.  For the reasons above and more, I fully endorse Glen Gallegos and ask the voters in western Colorado to vote for him.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the people in western Colorado for supporting and voting for me during my 38 years of public elected office. Thank you.

Grand Junction

Ford credited for standing on its own two feet

Today, as part of the diatribe coming out of our esteemed president’s mouth, I keep hearing about the great success stories of Chrysler and General Motors when they received huge government bailouts.  When GM received its bailout and had its IPO, the Chinese government bought more than $1 billion worth of common stock at about $33 per share. Today, the Chinese, the U.S. government and United Auto Workers largely own GM.

Ford, on the other hand, borrowed heavily to keep from taking government money. Today, it is getting its debt paid down and showing a small profit. It is the last truly American automobile company still standing on its own two feet.  Now there is a real success story.

The American people should rally around Ford Motor Company and give it their support. From the days of the Model T more than 100 years ago up through today, Ford is an American tradition and part of our heritage.


Sentinel thanked for publicity on mental health care

The United Methodist Women sponsored a study of mental health care based on a survey of mental health care professionals that was published in the Oct. 12 edition of The Daily Sentinel. The Sentinel was kind enough to print many extra copies, which we have placed at public places in the hope of increasing conversation and awareness. The study committee thanks The Daily Sentinel for its help with this project.

I made an error and left out the word “not” from one of the responders’ quotes. It should read, “There is not follow-up” on page 10.

If anyone has comments or ideas to improve Mesa County, we would appreciate hearing from you.


Voters could make Mengers’ anniversary very special

This is why you should vote for Tim Menger for House District 54. Nov. 6 is not only Election Day, but it will also be the day that I have been married to Tim for 36 years.

Over the past 36 years I have known this man to be one of the most caring, logical and hard-working men ever.  Tim has spent his working life in many different fields.  He has seen the good and bad sides of both working for the government and private sector.

He has learned there are two sides to every story and has been fortunate to help negotiate disputes between two factions on numerous occasions.  He has a logical mind.  He can look at a problem and figure out what is the right thing to do.  No one works harder than Tim.  He has always given 110 percent to every employer that he has worked for.

He cares so much for this state that the resources and beauty it offers are always on his mind to protect. But, he is a logical environmentalist. His goal is to use our wonderful resources here in Colorado wisely and with care, keeping any eye on how it will affect our public lands for his and your future generations.

The reason he is running is because he has helped over the years send many good people to elected office with the knowledge that he could go back to his personal life and expect that elected official to protect the needs of the people that they represent. 

Then a month or two into their terms something always happens. They start voting or writing bills that only special interest groups could come up with.  I can promise you that when a bill comes across his desk, he will not look first as to what letter is by the name of the bill’s sponsor.  He will read it thoroughly and look at whether the bill will 1) be constitutional and 2) help or hinder his constituents in House District 54.

He is so fiscally conservative that he has refused numerous offers to take money to fund this campaign. He believes that when you take money from special interest groups or even your own party, you are then bound to listen to their needs first and not the people who really put in office one vote at a time.  Tim will work for you, not a party or a lobbyist.

It is time we start taking our county back.  Remember YOU are the government, not the people you elect. They are here to work for you … to represent your needs.

So, please look at Tim as not a third-party candidate, but as the man who will work for you, your family, Mesa County and our future generations. Please vote for Tim Menger for Colorado House District 54.  He is the man you can trust to look after your needs first.

Unaweep Canyon/Whitewater

Pioneers created vital infrastructure without help of government

Two quotes, so little space…

“I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America ‘s story.”

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” (This was later amended to
mean the government helped.)

So, to put it into perspective….

The Rich History of “Islam” in America:  Muslim slave traders supplied the slaves from Africa to worldwide destinations!

nuff said….

“You didn’t build that.”

Real History: The pioneers came west over rocky, uncleared trails. Many died on the way because of the dangers, sickness and accidents along the way. They made the roads as they went. No government involved.

They cleared the lands of trees, rocks and other obstacles to farm or build their homes on. No government involved.

They created local areas to meet that later grew into towns. The streets were in place; the buildings built before the “need” for government arose.

People built the roads between towns before any government came into existence.

After governments were established, they only did that which was necessary for the needs of the people.

People needed better roads to travel on, so they for the most part worked to improve the sections closest to their homes with help from their neighbors for the big jobs such as dynamiting large rocks and bridging gullies and canyons.

When neighbors fell into bad times, the neighbors pitched in to help. A home or barn burned down, the neighbors were there to help rebuild.

If the husband died, the widow and children were looked after and kept from starvation or being homeless.

I could go on, but this should be enough to point out that big government has destroyed the fabric of this nation. And the person in the White House knows nothing of this nation’s history or the culture that built the greatest nation on earth.


Thunder Mountain parents, children deserve safer walk to school

Here we go again.  A child has been hurt on one of our busy backstreets, and the call for change falls on deaf ears. 

Very recently a car crossing F 1/2 Road near Thunder Mountain hit a 5-year-old student.  A concerned parents group organized, again, to see if they could bring the dangers of this road to the attention of the appropriate people.  The excuses given were shameful. 

The group, Parents for Student Safety, is asking for crossing guards in both directions of the school.  That’s all!  They have volunteers and vests and have taken the class—anything they could do to move this forward as soon as possible.  You’d think they were asking to raise the mill levy. 

I walked my elementary school student down that road in the 90’s.  When I became vocal after my child fell while walking with no curbs or sidewalks and was almost run over by a bus, I heard the same song as the parents are getting today.  The district, the sheriff and the county all put the responsibility on someone else. 

Pass the Buck was the name of the game then, and they have become professionals at playing it today.  If one of those players had a child or grandchild injured or, heaven forbid, a child were killed there today, it would be a different story.  Just follow the skid marks.  There would be crossing guards there by day’s end.
I hope that parents from Pear Park who initiated change for their students, parents on the Redlands who were able to get a crosswalk reactivated and any other parent groups in the valley can help this group at Thunder Mountain get what’s best for students.  In the meantime, as a taxpayer, I wonder why the principal at Thunder Mountain is not leading the charge.


Grand Junction

President dodges responsibility

Amazing! Secretary Hillary Clinton said, “I am responsible for the State Department,” apparently to take the heat off the president for the terrorist attack in Libya.

President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said, “The buck stops here.” General Eisenhower wrote out a press release to be read if the landing on Normandy, France, failed on June 6, 1944. It said, “I take full responsibility for the failure.”

President Obama continually says, “The buck stops with Bush.”

Grand Junction

John Leane offers leadership skills needed for tough decisions

Tuesday’s front-page headline, “Lodging Call Center to Close,” has me seriously concerned. The news that Mesa County is again losing more than a hundred jobs is quite troubling to our community. Mesa County cannot afford the loss of vital, good-paying jobs, and I believe at this time there is a role for county government to play in helping to not only maintain, but grow, the economy of Mesa County.

Unlike my opponents, I have a plan for economic growth in Mesa County.

Since day one of my campaign, I have shared at public forums and on my website several plans to help growth and development of new jobs here in Mesa County. Specifically, my Small Business Jobs Growth Plan involves financial incentives for small businesses to receive a $5,000 grant after they increase their work force by four full-time employees for a year and pay at least $15 per hour.

This type of growth in Mesa County would go a long way toward ensuring economic health for our community. Mesa County has the money in the general fund aurplus account to financially support my incentive program with no increase in taxes or reduction of services.

Currently the excessive funds, nearly $4 million, sitting in a savings account are doing little to grow interest, or, furthermore, help increase the economic vitality of this beautiful county. These excessive funds belong to Mesa County citizens. It takes someone who is willing to make tough decisions to implement a growth strategy for the future of our county.

As a former commissioner, I made tough decisions such as locating the county jail downtown. Anyone who has lived in Mesa County since the early ‘90s will tell you locating the jail and justice center at its current location at the west end of downtown has helped to revitalize our vibrant downtown area.

Leadership takes courage.

As of today, neither of my opponents has put forth a plan to grow the economy of our county. They don’t think it is a proper role for the county to even get involved in economic development. It’s fine to wish for a financially stable Mesa County, however.

I believe one of the roles of a county commissioner is to plan, research and implement sound programs that will help to ensure a fiscally viable community for our future. Tuesday’s news is not just a bad dream; it’s the reality of our current troubled economic situation. It is time for a plan and action. I have always been a fiscal conservative, and it is time to put my fiscally responsible, yet progressive, plan into action in Mesa County.

If citizens believe, as I do, that leadership takes the vision to make tough decisions and viable plans for growth I hope they will give me the opportunity to serve them and vote for me Nov. 6.

Candidate, Mesa County Commissioner, District 1
Grand Junction

Election to decide if people control government, or vice versa

Finally, it’s now time to vote, and the choice could not be clearer.  Putting aside all the canned talking points on specific issues, repeated ad nauseam in the campaign speeches and debates, there is essentially one primary choice to be made. It all boils down to choosing between two very different philosophies of government.

On the one side, we are asked to continue following the president’s path to ever-bigger government, more and more state control of an ever-weaker economy, a dangerously reduced defense capability and less and less free choice as to how we conduct our personal lives as we become ever more dependent on government entitlements.

On the other side, we have the possibility of returning to the path of constitutionally limited government, as envisioned by the founders, rejuvenating a vibrant free market economy (not to be confused with crony capitalism), rebuilding a strong defense and giving all of us more choices and the freedom to choose how we will conduct our personal lives.

This election will answer this essential question: Is it to be government control of the people, or government controlled by the people?  The choice is clear; the consequences are crucial. Cast your vote with a clear understanding of the consequences.


Libyan attack was organized, not spontaneous act of terror

Regarding the claim that Obama did not immediately call that attack on our embassy an “act of terrorism,” here is what Obama did say in the Rose Garden Sept. 11: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” And, for two weeks or so following the attack, the administration was blaming it on the infamous video.

What Romney said in the debate was, “You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror, it was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying? … I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.”

The allegedly nonpartisan debate moderator, Candy Crowley, interjected herself by stating that Obama did call it an “act of terror” and went on to say Romney was correct that it took a couple of weeks to get the truth out, which was lost in the hubbub following her statement of “fact.”  I was floored by her involving herself to that extent.

While a wordsmith could say Obama was right, that was not the thrust of what Romney was really attacking—the time it took to get the truth out that it was organized terror and not spontaneous terror as was claimed.


Grand Junction

Public discussion on oil shale should be driven by facts

Bonnie Peterson of Club 20 was spot-on when she said that the poll alluded to in Gary Harmon’s October 16 article about Garfield County residents support for commercial oil shale development “misses the point.”

The poll apparently asked if residents favored research before commercialization. But it entirely missed the issue at question, about whether 2 million acres of oil shale-rich land should be made available for application for leasing, or not.

An environmental impact statement from 2005 determined that that amount of acreage ought to be made available. An EIS completed recently, following a lawsuit by environmental lobbyists, somehow came to the conclusion that the vast majority – more than 90 percent of it – should not.

At issue are three things, none of which have anything to do with research and development: 1) Should prime oil shale land be made available for research and development, and subsequent commercialization 2) Should environmentalist lawyers be making public policy, and 3) Should allowing private companies to pursue oil shale, representing 4 trillion barrels of oil and potential U.S. energy independence – at no cost to the taxpayer – be considered an appropriate public policy?

Let the facts of the matter should dictate this important public discussion, not devious, agenda-driven firms that are bought and paid for by the radical environmentalist lobby.

Grand Junction

Polling tactics dupe public

The story from the Oct. 16 edition, “Finish Oil Shale Research First, Poll Says” is a perfect example of how polling tactics can be used to mislead the public.

The Denver-based environmentalist support group, Checks and Balances Project, commissioned the poll in question, doubtless asking the innocuous-sounding question, “Do you support oil shale research, prior to commercialization?” The answer would, in most cases, be “yes,” even among supporters of oil shale – everyone, after all, agrees that a successful research program must be completed before anything can be made commercial.

At issue is not whether research needs to be completed first or not; it is about what happens after the research has discovered a method of harvesting this energy source. Under the plan being promoted by the BLM, the answer is … nothing. The BLM’s preferred plan of action (or rather, inaction) is to restrict oil shale leasing to a handful of R and D leases, without the possibility of expansion into a commercial scale industry – foregoing, therefore, the possibility of converting that research into jobs and regional economic development.

I wonder what the result would have been had the question been slanted the other way; for instance, had the pollsters asked, “Do you support the federal government permanently barring oil shale development in Colorado?” Or maybe, “Do you believe the federal government should jeopardize American energy independence by shutting off several trillion barrels of oil from ever being produced?”

A better question to ask, one that would paint an accurate picture, might have been, “Do you support the privately-funded establishment of a viable, productive, oil shale industry?” The results, I predict, would be much closer to revealing what residents of northwestern Colorado really think.


Where do Tipton, Pace stand on renewable fuel standard waiver?

As a sorghum producer in Walsh and president of the Colorado Sorghum Producers, I am curious to know where U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton and state Rep. Sal Pace stand on the proposed Renewable Fuel Standard “waiver” currently under consideration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The issue was not addressed at last week’s U.S. Congressional District 3 Candidate Forum held in Pueblo.

The RFS has helped domestic, renewable transportation fuel strengthen Colorado’s rural economies and communities. It has spurred millions of dollars of investment in new technology for conventional and advanced renewable fuel, making cleaner, homegrown alternatives available and reducing our consumption of foreign oil. We need to send a clear message to Congress: Renewable fuel is good for the U.S. economy, for our nation’s energy security and for the environment.

We invite you to join the Colorado Sorghum Producers and the broad coalition of stakeholders committed to protecting America’s Renewable Fuel Standard and promoting the benefits of all types of renewable fuel already growing in America. Visit for more information.

President, Colorado Sorghum Producers

Useless presidential debates cut into prime-time viewing

The second of three presidential debates is over, the election looms on the horizon, early voting has begun and it’s hard to imagine anyone still being “undecided.” After months on end of increasingly tacky campaign cha-cha, now we have to look forward to another night of screwed-up TV programming.

No doubt out there are “political junkies” who care about that last debate, but what about the millions of us who don’t? An hour and a half of rehashing issues we’ve all heard both sides of for months and another hour of being told by pundits what we just heard is too much to bear. So, I’ll pick out another old movie to watch and blow off the debate again.

In 70 years, I’ve participated in many presidential elections, none as expensive, frantic and intense while irritating and tiring at the same time.

I’ve often wondered why the TV networks can’t agree among themselves to have one offer airing the final debate to only those who really need to want to watch? There must be lots of greed and money to be had there somewhere. Otherwise, why make so many of us “decideds” suffer again?

Grand Junction


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