Email letters, Oct. 22, 2012

Sentinel factually correct in endorsing Romney/Ryan

In his criticism of The Daily Sentinel for endorsing Mitt Romney, John Borgen accuses the paper of ignoring important “facts.”


First, he complains that Sen. Mitch McConnell stated that the Republican objective would be to get rid of Obama. Does Borgen really believe Democrats don’t resolve to do the same thing to Republican presidents?

Secondly, Borgen complains that the Republican leadership targets for defeat those that don’t toe the party line. So what?  It would take an extremely naive person to think that those Democrats who stray from the party line aren’t left out of party leadership positions, cut off from party funds for reelection and targeted by the party for defeat.

In complaint number three Borgen chastises the paper for overlooking the lack of consumer spending as a reason there is so little jobs growth. He is partially right on this point, but he hypocritically overlooks the impact of Obama’s policies on employment. More than $2 trillion is currently held out of the economy by U.S. businesses that will not commit their resources until they know how Obamacare will impact their businesses. Increasingly, they are coming to the realization that it makes more sense to let people go or put them into part-time positions to avoid the onerous Obamacare provisions.

And remember, as proof of how onerous those provisions are, the Obama administration has given more than 1,400 exemptions to Democrat supporters (businesses and organizations) who have said Obamacare will hurt them. That health care legislation isn’t the only Obama legislation or executive order that scares businesses into not committing their resources. Why hire people and risk business expansion when the future looks so bleak and uncertain?

It is obvious that The Daily Sentinel did look at the facts and rightfully conclude that the Obama regime has for 3 1/2 years failed miserably in stimulating the economy. The first two years of Obama’s presidency the Democrats controlled everything with unstoppable majorities in the House and Senate, and they still have a majority in the Senate. To say that Republicans have been obstructionists, as Borgen has said, when they couldn’t stop anything the Democrats did is pure nonsense.

The Daily Sentinel’s Romney endorsement is the right choice as the current administration has proven time and time again it isn’t up to the task. However, if reelected, the Obama administration will have more “flexibility” in giving the Russians, not American citizens, what they want. Why would The Daily Sentinel, or any thinking American, endorse that?

RICK L. COLEMAN
Grand Junction

Obama soon to receive another shellacking

Here are my thoughts on why I think Romney will “shellack” Obama Nov. 6. First of all I don’t look at the polls. I look at results. I start with the 2010 midterm elections in which the president said he took a “shellacking.”  The results were foreshadowing. I look at all the gubernatorial elections since 2009, including Wisconsin Gov. Walker’s recall that he won 53 to 46, and I observe a trend that started more than four years ago.

I’ve seen a groundswell emerge, consisting of unexpected committed voters. They identified out-of-control spending before this current administration took it as exponential. They were against the 2008 TARP and the 2009 stimulus. This group got its name when CNBC’s Rick Santelli went off on a rant in January 2009 on the floor of the Chicago Exchange. By tax day 2009, the Tea Party was in gear.

This group consists of conservatives, libertarians, independents and blue-dog democrats. Progressive Republicans were nowhere to be found. They organized for the first time in their lives. They made banners, refreshed on civics, demonstrated and marched on D.C. They changed their voter registration to “independent.”  Once they voted and got their outcome, they were attacked and called racists and bigots for disagreeing with the president’s policy. The media attempted to put a figurehead on this group without success, because their leader is, well, themselves, We the People, if you will.

But where are they now?  They have not been reported on. They are out there, quietly working, living their lives, not whining, but acting, engaging and getting results. They were, however, very frustrated in early 2012 with the process and outcome of the Republican primaries. Then a surprising thing happened at the first debate.

Romney showed up for work. He stunned the incumbents and media. The political atmosphere changed overnight. It’s no longer a slam-dunk. This change in air I link to the Tea Party types finally galvanizing. Their participation will make the difference in this race; just look at history.

The number “47” has been discussed lately…I think we will see this number again on the morning of Nov. 7 and it will be Obama’s share of the popular vote.

DETLEF HOFFMANN
Grand Junction

Even with a super-majority, Obama’s record disappointing

It is with great wonderment that I read John Borgen’s letter to the Sentinel entitled “salient facts overlooked,” pertaining to an alleged endorsement of Mitt Romney. Where does one begin, in order to address the absurdity of Borgen’s claims, which largely allege that President Obama’s obvious dismal failure to improve the economy and to create any net positive private sector jobs, surely must be the fault of the Republican Party?

Several key facts overlooked by Borgen himself is as follows. It is an irrefutable fact that Obama had a super-majority in both houses of Congress and the White House for the first two years of his term, or 100 percent control of the passage of any and all bills that he desired to pass.

But instead of passing bills that might actually contribute to improving the economy and adding private sector jobs, his full focus was on passing a health care bill (debacle) that more than 60 percent of Americans are strongly opposed to. He also increased the number of federal government staff and related expense by 25 percent over an already bloated government, subsequently resulting in an insurmountable debt-load, which will fall on the backs of hard working American taxpayers and their offspring for many generations.

He promised America that he would pass an immigration bill within the first year of his presidency, and after four years, hasn’t even presented one. He promised to cut the deficit in half and has more than doubled it. He promised unemployment below 5 percent and the “honest” number including those unemployed and underemployed is still above 10 percent.

He promised to reduce the average yearly healthcare costs for typical American families by $2,500 per year, but has already increased it by an average of $2,500 per year. He passed Obamacare without a single vote from the Republican Party and the only budget proposal that he made was voted down 99 to 0 by his own party in the Senate and 414 to 0 in Congress.

It is mind-boggling how anyone could support anyone, in any party, with such an atrocious performance record, someone who has created the most vengeful, divisive political environment in American history. Blithely (and blindly) overlooking many important facts indeed.


DON BOYLES
Grand Junction

Letter writer effectively indicted economic policies of current administration

In his letter published Oct. 18 John Borgen criticizes the Sentinel for endorsing Romney. One paragraph in his letter is of particular interest.

“What about jobs? The Sentinel conveniently overlooks the fact that our jobs problem is directly related to a lack of consumer spending. Consumers are buried in debt, some are jobless and many, if not most are uncertain of their continued employment.” 

Borgen deserves thanks for stating clearly in a single paragraph just why Romney should be elected the next president. He has written a passionate and complete indictment of Obama’s economic policies. It is Obama’s wild spending, his ineffective stimulus plan and his fixation on taxing those who produce jobs that have caused the unrest and uncertainty among consumers.

Thanks again for your endorsement of Romney.

MICHAEL Z. LOWENSTEIN
Grand Junction

Obama has fine record of significant accomplishments

There goes Josh Penry again! In the guise of being an historian, Penry completely distorts President Obama’s record. As a matter of fact, according to him, Obama has no record so he suggested to his boss, The Daily Sentinel, that in writing a column to the Sentinel on Obama, that under his benign headline…. “The Case for the Re-election of President Barack Obama” there would be nothing …just a blank swath of paper.”

Incredible!  The Sentinel rejected Penry’s serious proposal because, I assume, besides being totally inane, you might disagree with Obama and his accomplishments, but he does have a record.

What record?  Obama: Supports policies that shifts increased wealth to just the top 2 percent of the country and reverses this flow to the middle class and small businesses. Supports Roe vs. Wade. Supports Planned Parenthood. Supports a “woman’s right to choose.”  Supported “equal pay for equal work” and supported and passed the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act. Supports the continuation of Medicare. Passed Obamacare.

Obama ended the war in Iraq, eliminated Osama bin Laden, supported the alliance that overthrew Libya’s Gaddafi and has a clear timetable for withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan.

Obama passed Wall Street reform, and, rather than let the American automobile industry go belly-up, saved General Motors and Chrysler; both car companies now prospering.
The president expanded Pell grants and eliminated subsidizing banks that raised the cost of college loans. Obama raised fuel efficiency standards for cars into the future and supported and expanded stem cell research.

I could go on, but I believe my point has been made. Penry might not like Obama, but to say he has no record, nothing noteworthy to support is beyond ignorant; it is bizarre.

HARMON LISNOW
Loma

Leane’s county jail decision contrasts with Justman’s experience, acumen

John Leane expressed concern over another business leaving Grand Junction. We all regret that loss.

This county tried to stimulate business moving here by giving free buildings to them. Taxes were forgiven and no payment asked, just move here, enjoy. When it came time to pay taxes, those same businesses moved, rather than pay. No roots holding them here.

Leane suggests more of that same—$5,000 of hard earned, emergency money. What would hold those businesses here? This is just a bribe, with taxpayers footing the bill, again.

I recall Leane pushing the county jail. It was built over a landfill, against the advice of the planners, against the wishes of neighbors, against many security concerns. But there it sits. A comment in this paper after massive repair due to the faulty site on the landfill said; “Due to the settling and sinking of our new jail facility, I would like to thank its founders for the foresight of painting the roofs green so it will blend with the grass in a few years.”

Hundreds of thousands were needed to repair that facility; it remains an eyesore, threat and detraction for the community. A source of controversy, still a sinkhole, yet, still, undersized.

Needed are foresight, planning, and goals of this community. Who brings that? John Justman.

Justman brings to the table a lifetime in this valley; he has walked the walk, and he knows what we need to proceed into the future. His restoring an energy future of “all of the above” makes sense. His plan of changing the rules to allow businesses to thrive, from the start, by lowering beautification requirements and those substantial costs, make sense. His experiences as planner, water board, administrator and employer speak for his qualifications.

John Justman is our man.

TIM FENWICK
Grand Junction

Digital aficionado still prefers print version of the Sentinel

I have been a daily subscriber of The Daily Sentinel for over two years now. While I used to view Gjsentinel.com, I much prefer the print edition to the electronic. Some view print as old fashioned, and only those without access to electronic means are ones who subscribe, but I disagree.

I am 29 and immersed in the digital world. Many things I do every day involve electronic communication, but I still believe a printed newspaper is far better reading than an online source. I don’t like getting out a smart phone and scrolling through just to read a story, nor will I sit down at the computer to do so.

While some say printed news is going away, I see a permanent place for daily news in hard copy for many years to come.

CHRIS BUZZELL
Grand Junction

Colorado should repeat Alaska’s mistake on drugs

The old adage “Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it” applies to the current question voters are facing concerning Amendment 64 to legalize marijuana in Colorado.

Most people are unaware that the state of Alaska already tried this same “social experiment” in 1975 with disastrous results. Its teen drug abuse problem grew to double the national average. Fortunately, voters there had the good sense to make it illegal again in 1990. But who had to pay the price? Teens who have had to face a lifetime with damaged brains and diminished futures were the unlucky guinea pigs.

Hopefully, we can learn from that mistake and not gamble with thousands of young lives in the process.

It’s common knowledge that kids using marijuana lose motivation and interest in life’s activities, but did you know that 67 percent of kids in drug rehab programs are there for marijuana abuse?

Some people say we’re helpless to restrain the onslaught of the drug epidemic. That’s not true. In Colorado, marijuana use had declined for over a decade prior to the opening of pot shops in our state in 2009.

This present trend can be reversed. We know that when we push back against the drug problem it recedes. Colorado did it before. It can be done again.

Start by voting NO on 64. Let the drug dealers and some greedy politicians know we’re not trading our kids and our state for a few tax dollars. Colorado doesn’t have to become the “pot capital of the U.S.”

DIANE COX
Palisade

Outdoorsman, gun collector to vote for Romney/Ryan

Please allow me to try to answer Josh Penry’s question in his column in the issue of Oct. 19 issue, “The Case For The Re-Election Of Barack Obama?’  See Herbert Hoover in 1929 to 1931 and George W. Bush in 2001 to 2009, while reviewing the aftereffects of each of these administrations, each of which was very similar to what is being promised by the ONLY available alternative - - Romney/Ryan.

And now, if you will, please allow me to offer my excuse/reason for casting MY ballot for that alternative. I’m a retired weapons testing engineer and a long-time hunter/outdoorsman with a life-time collection of guns presently worth considerably more than what I paid for them those many years ago.

There’s also the fact that I raise horses on a small place just outside Grand Junction where police are not in view much. Plus, I’m one of those who feel sure that their being whole, probably even alive, is due to their having had a gun handy at the right time. (You’ve heard about the comedian who carried a gun because a cop was too heavy, haven’t you?) 

Have you also heard the persistent rumor regarding a campaign being planned by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to arrange through an international organization to nullify the Second Amendment?

RAY LASHLEY

Grand Junction


Oil, gas commission has opportunity to raise standards, better protect citizens

COGCC has proposed standards to allow drilling and fracking operations to co-exist with Colorado communities. Once adopted, these standards will undoubtedly be in place for a long time, so it is probably more prudent to make the standards tougher now and then relax them later if future findings indicate a need.

Gov. Hickenlooper has suggested he wants Colorado to lead the nation in oil and gas safety and environmental regulations.

Colorado’s urban growth slowed in recent years, but the Front Range is quickly getting back on a growth track, with other parts of Colorado soon to follow. People wanting to live with Colorado’s clean air and unspoiled natural environment will motivate much future growth.

We all know the nation needs oil and gas and the state needs mineral resource revenue. However, we also know that the state needs to strike a balance between resource and revenue needs and the expectations that we will maintain a safe, esthetically pleasing environment for all our citizens and the communities we choose to live in.

When the COGCC considers setbacks and other safety standards, let them please err on the side of safety and preservation of aesthetics, as well as real estate values and what many might consider common sense. Let’s all support the governor’s exclamation and make Colorado’s standards for safety and the environment the leader of the nation. It will be good for the people, the economy and the long-term future of our state and nation.

EULOGIO ALEJANDRE
Ogden, Utah

Campaign worker urges return to civility, support for winner

I came to Grand Junction for a couple of days Oct. 12-14 to knock on doors for President Obama. I expected to find people who agreed with Obama and those who didn’t. However, I did not expect to find the anger that I found.

Our democracy is an example to the rest of the world for the civil discourse typical of a developed nation. The anger I encountered, coupled with the situation in Obama’s Denver office, concerns me a great deal.

I hope that my Democratic counterparts never verbally abuse those Republicans coming to knock on their doors. Verbal abuse has always been an antecedent to physical and terroristic actions.

I urge all of your readers to take a step back and consider what separates us from Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela and other third-world countries. We let our votes do the talking, we accept the majority’s decision, we concede defeat, we celebrate victory and we move on. We never abuse each other because we disagree on political or social issues. This country will continue to improve, regardless who is elected.

I pledge to accept and support our president regardless of who is elected. America deserves my best self. This election is never about one man. It is not about Romney and it is not about Obama. This election is never about one party. It is not about the Democrats and it is not about the Republicans.

This election is about America. I certainly hope, and I am doing everything I can so that Obama gets re-elected, but if Romney gets elected, I will do my very best to help our nation prosper.

DOUG VAN ETTEN
Fruita

Amendment 64 deals blow to rule of law needed by society

It may be that laws dealing with marijuana and other drugs should be changed, but Amendment 64, if approved, will do great harm.

It is a fact acknowledged by its promoters that federal law prohibits marijuana possession and use. Established federal law, according to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, is the “supreme law of the land.” So those who put Amendment 64 on the ballot and those who vote for it do so in total disregard of federal law and the Constitution.

The proponents of Amendment 64 ignore federal law, so why shouldn’t people ignore state law when it suits them? Since Amendment 64 is predicated on breaking the law, why should anyone respect its provisions restricting the use, possession or distribution of marijuana? This amendment, if approved, will not merely boost marijuana use but deal a serious blow to the rule of law on which civilized society depends.

This exercise in “legalizing” the violation of federal marijuana laws has already been practiced by Colorado voters as well as by voters in more than a dozen other states in regard to medical marijuana. This massive flouting of federal law was the result of the decision in 2009 by Attorney General Holder, in dereliction of his duty, to give such states a pass and ignore the widespread defiance of the laws he took an oath to enforce.

It is shocking the extent to which other political leaders, legislators and executives have also participated in subverting the laws they have sworn to uphold. All legislators and officials who implemented the medical marijuana amendment did so in violation of their oaths of office. How is it that the damage to the rule of law inflicted by these unconstitutional measures seems to go unnoticed? Vote “NO” on Amendment 64.

MIKE MECHAU
Palisade

Penry drew a blank in column on futility of re-electing president

Re Josh Penry’s “The case for the re-election of Barack Obama” There isn’t one,” his tortured attempts at historical analogies are so puerile as to be worthy of his intellectual godfather W. Bush himself.

Too bad the Sentinel did not grant him the blank column space he requested because the blank space would have accurately depicted that which is between Penry’s ears.

BRIAN G. TOBIN

Grand Junction

Political ad has no place on front page

In all my many years I have never encountered an advertisement on the front page of any serious newspaper. So, imagine my surprise when I saw a “political” advertisement on the front page of The Daily Sentinel.

In an editorial a few days ago you endorsed Gov. Romney for president in the upcoming election, so why not make your choice more clear by giving the Republican Party not only the lead article in today’s edition, but a front page advertisement as well?

As you noted in your “explanation” for running the front-page advertisement, people are sophisticated, sophisticated enough to see thorough your hypocrisy. I would add, shame on you, but I doubt you feel any shame, nor responsibility as a journalist.

MICKEY R. SHANABARGER

Fruita

Sentinel should detail how public institution such as CMU can ‘host’ partisan political event

I guess I can understand the appearance of an ad, particularly a political one, on the front page of the Sentinel. Our print media seems to badly need any source of income they can get, but it is sad that what has been kept off the leading page of our traditional source of timely information about the glue that holds our society together has to be yet another banner for advertising.

Every place you look, our schools, public gathering places, the buses we see on the street and on and on, are considered fair game for commerce. The usual explanation is that taxpayers are unwilling to pay enough to support essential services. Do they realize that customers of the advertisers are paying for the ads through their purchases? There is no free lunch. Is there no place that can be free of the clutter of commerce? Shifting financial responsibility is a losing game.


Above Jay Seaton’s note is an article about CMU “hosting” a political event. This seems unseemly in a publicly funded institution. A poor choice of words? It would be interesting to see what the Republican Party paid for the use of whatever space and services they received. They did pay, didn’t they? Or was CMU truly hosting the event, meaning providing it gratis? The president of CMU is a prominent Republican, as seem to be most of his important hires.

Will the Sentinel provide information on whether yet another public institution slips into losing the separation from partisan political affiliation that we expect from taxpayer funded facilities? I know from personal experience that CMU charges for the use of its facilities by non-partisan organizations. This subject seems to be one that the Sentinel might want to look into.


JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Sentinel should sell separate ‘traditional’ newspaper

Guess I should have seen it coming. As if we aren’t already assaulted by commercialism and triviality at every turn, we were today treated to a paid political advertisement for Romney/Ryan and a news flash about Honey Boo Boo, all on the same front page of our beloved Daily Sentinel.

It’s good to see that as our last bastion of intelligent information, you are at last falling in line with providing the “reality” fix we heretofore have only been able to hustle up from TV, the Internet, or your online edition.

As it is, we’ve had to get back to about page five to find any actual news of the world. Maybe you could take a page from the cell phone app people and print a separate traditionally organized paper and sell it to us distractible throwback types for twice the price!

JOHN D. CAIN
Grand Junction

Rather than slamming president, Penry should justify publication of his column

Regarding Josh Penry’s column Friday, Oct. 19, here are some accomplishments of the Obama administration and reasons to re-elect the president.

President Obama reformed health care, passed Wall Street reform, passed the stimulus bill that pulled us out of economic freefall, got the USA out of the Iraq quagmire, saved the U.S. auto industry, hammered Al Qaeda and eliminated Osama Bin Laden, reined in the out-of-control credit card industry, increased veteran benefits, improved the food safety system, repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and signed Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, giving women equal pay for equal work. These are just some of the administration’s achievements.

It should be noted that the Republicans in Congress voted to a man to stop every one of these bills. Really? It’s true. The Republicans voted against Wall Street reform, credit card regulation, equal pay for equal work, increased veteran benefits and safer food. All things that benefit almost all Americans.

Readers would be better served if Josh Penry wrote a column justifying his own weekly column in the Sentinel. He could explain why his views as a professional lobbyist justify his column every Friday.

RICK MATTHEW
Grand Junction

Thank city for compliance with disability act

Attention: Grand Junction now has moved up one giant step. Grand Junction now has an Americans With Disabilities Act ADA button on GJcity.org.

I hope all disabled and seniors have a place to go to for complaint on ADA compliance issues. Please call Grand Junction and thank them for this ADA compliance

Thank you, Grand Junction.

JERRY GALLEGOS
Grand Junction

Edwards’ idea for new CMU degree in materials science is innovative

Dave Edwards has the education, knowledge, and experience that we need in a county commissioner. His ideas are forward-thinking. One commissioner with a new idea will not change the way things are done, but if we do not get any new ideas, progress is hindered.

The idea to offer a degree in materials science at CMU is exciting. That is one of the most promising areas of research right now and offers potential to change our lives for the better. Petroleum—oil, gas, and shale —products can provide raw materials for this research. Regional mines provide many minerals as byproducts that can be valuable in developing as well as producing new practical materials. I hope the board at CMU sees an opportunity in this idea. It is a forward-thinking plan to take advantage of our local resources, and one that should be considered.

Dave Edwards is a thoughtful, considerate, pragmatic, fiscally conservative, innovative and qualified candidate for county commissioner. It would greatly benefit Mesa County to add his skills to the mix.

GIL and SUSAN FULLER
Grand Junction

Subscriber finds humor is note to readers regarding front-page ad

It’s always uplifting to start off the morning with a laugh. The front page of Saturday’s Daily Sentinel Oct.18 edition provided more than a laugh. I was hysterical.

I presume that Publisher Jay Seaton had good intentions behind “A Note To Our Readers,” but he should have realized that it was totally unnecessary ... there could have been a full-page, front-page Republican ad and those of us who are readers and subscribers would not have any reason to believe that it was an endorsement by the Sentinel.

It was clever to comment, “In the end, we decided that we were not giving our readers enough credit. Our readers are sophisticated people.” Sorry, but even “unsophisticated” readers are fully aware of the liberal bias of your newspaper ... it is obvious.

Your Oct. 14 endorsement of Romney and Ryan did not come as a surprise. It was a “no-brainer,” simply requiring good judgment; but obviously being contrary to your newspaper’s views considering the previous two Democrat endorsements for Robinson and Garrow. To date, the only Colorado newspaper endorsing Obama and Biden is the one in Boulder. Why am I not surprised?
The front-page ads are probably a good example of our successful capitalistic system. I presume the Republican Party paid a premium ad price for the front-page location and simply have received the appropriate value for their expenditure.

It’s reassuring to know that the “dividing wall” between the Sentinel’s newsroom and its business office “remains absolute.” How about the door between the newsroom and editorial staff?

I remain a dedicated subscriber, but an objective reader.

RICHARD DORAN
Parachute

Oil shale developers deserve no more ‘practice runs’ in western Colorado

So oil shale cuts are thought to be punitive in nature? Amazing.

Way back in 1982 I worked for one of the subcontractors at the Exxon project. When reaching Parachute on one bright spring day, I was met with chain link fence surrounding everything. I could not even get to my workplace to get my personal items back. What was worse was I had helped process four new hires on the Friday before. Men with families whose jobs were gone before they even began.

The oil shale process came into this area before. They hired many, pumped up salaries and destroyed land. When they found the profit from oil shale was not what they thought it should be, they picked up and moved on, leaving only a path of destruction. They left Grand Junction and Parachute in a deep financial crisis, and I’m sure it didn’t bother them one bit.

Are they being punished? I have no idea why the Obama administration would reduce federal leases. Maybe they don’t like what oil shale mining does to the earth. Or maybe they read local history books.

I do know it is time the people/government of this area started taking a long hard look at what happens every time the oil industry comes to town.

If oil shale has not proved itself to be reliably profitable, let’s not let them destroy western Colorado with another “practice run.” Let’s start demanding the oil industry invests in an area, instead of sucking out what profits they can and then running off.

JULIA MARSTON

Grand Junction

Robinson’s record on education shows more money, worse results

The Daily Sentinel endorsed Dan Robinson for House District 55 due to his experience with education. Let us imagine for a moment that education is really the most important issue in the election and not the economy. What is the Robinson record?

When Robinson was elected to the school board, the School District 51 budget was approximately $124 million. When he left the board in 2008, the budget was $194 million. The increase in spending is 57 percent. The spending per pupil went from $6,600 in 2000 to $9,600 in 2008. The increase is 45 percent.

One would imagine that with the increase in spending our results would show massive improvement. That would be wrong. The high of graduation rates during Robinson’s tenure was 82 percent in 2004. By 2007 that rate had shrunk to 69 percent.

This represents a 16 percent decrease in the success rate.

State and federal governments set the budget. Teachers and the school board establish the curriculum. Robinson was handed a budget exploding with funding and turned it into a failure.

This information begs two questions.  First, did The Daily Sentinel even bother to look at the results from Robinson’s School District 51 tenure? Two, do we really need “a more funding and worse results” Robinson with his hands on the state budget?

Clearly, Robinson’s tenure on the school board was a failure. Can we afford to send a failure to Denver?

KEVIN MCCARNEY
Clifton

Now that economy’s stabilizing, let’s keep current administration

It’s great to finally see the local economy improving so much in recent months. Local home sales are up by 13 percent over a year ago, and home prices are increasing. Home construction is up locally, too, with 100 permits issued in the third quarter of this year, a healthy 32 percent increase in new construction over the same quarter last year. Mortgage interest rates have remained low, making it easier for many people to buy homes.

I lost my salaried job last February and decided to take a hiatus from working to help care for my ailing parents, but since then, I’ve been approached by two employers who have sought me out and asked me to work for them—another indicator things are looking up. And a small e-commerce business I have operated and taken a loss on for many years has done more business in the last year than it has the last ten years combined.

It’s clear we have turned a corner at last and the economy is finally on the mend. We should support President Obama for all he has done to pull our country out of the devastating crash caused by reckless Republican policies. He’s even managed to make progress in the face of an obstructionist Republican Congress.

Let’s not change horses in the middle of a stream when things are finally looking better for the economy, both locally and nationally.

ANNE LANDMAN
Grand Junction

GOP would undermine EPA, leave legacy of squalor

To my dismay and consternation, some friends will vote Republican. Worst is that some will not vote at all. President Obama and Michele Obama have pointed out the importance of this election. To say the least, it will be divisive, decisive and conclusive, creating a future that is stark, not so much for the 47 percent, as it will be for the 99 percent if Romney/Ryan are elected.


Let’s consider the starkness. Republicans have propagandized their employees to believe there will be no job for them if Obama is re-elected. These employees are being told that their job is of uppermost consideration and that the EPA and the whole of the federal government are standing in the way of jobs.

In unison Republicans say that there is more oil or natural gas under the Rocky Mountains than in the Middle East, but because of the EPA and federal government, it is not available. Romney’s first day in office, if he has one, will not be to destroy health care advances or name China a manipulator of is currency but rather undermine the EPA.

Republicans complain that Democrats are leaving enormous deficits and debt for our children and grandchildren. Without the benefit of EPA regulations and control that have been fought over the last 40 years, Republicans will leave a legacy of squalor. Name changes will be in order. Instead of Colorado being recognized as a Rocky Mountain state, our mountains will be known as the Squalor Mountains. The name for the Colorado River will become descriptive for its color.

If you don’t believe this, do what Republicans suggest. Check the facts. I’ll just add two other suggestions: Consider the past, and don’t underestimate the effects of greed.


JOSE U. LUCERO 
Grand Junction

Sentinel shows ‘staying power’

Good luck to the Sentinel and its future, and thanks for running the “letters to the editor.” It’s one of the few places left where readers can express an opinion. Working to stay on the leading edge of newspaper technology has made the Sentinel a local norm.

But, as we know, technology has a way of uprooting norms. Newer, faster, cheaper innovations eventually surface, dissolving the old. Perhaps the most noticeable examples are the electronic wonders of the past and present. They’ve kept evolving, changing and creating the ebbs and flows of industries for years—radio, telephone, television, computers, and the list goes on.

The Sentinel has shown amazing “staying power” in the face of being destined to fall to the many alternative news sources one day. This once powerful community voice has been in steady decline for years. Going from “the only news in town” to “just another way to get the story.” In hard economic times it’s easy to see why fewer and fewer people are willing to buy a paper.

Look around. Very few things today are like they were once. Newspapers are no exception. Only now the Sentinel can only endorse or praise candidates and not sway public thought as it once could. We all have opinions, and they’re usually what was paid for them. They’re one of the few things left that technology can’t change, and the Sentinel is still printing them. Thanks again.

AL CARLEY
Grand Junction

Have Republicans filched Democrats’ insider joke?

I am always amazed when a political figure of either party chooses to portray their party as pure as the driven snow!  I preferred the “old” days and my Democratic friend’s joke (courtesy of Will Rogers):  “I don’t belong to an organized political party; I’m a Democrat!”  Of late I have remarked that I think the modern Republican Party has stolen the Democrats’ insider joke.

This year the Democratic line seems to be that they are the candidates who will conquer bipartisanship. “People are tired of this,” they say. “We should just sit down and work out these problems.”  I note that Sal Pace and Dan Robinson are big proponents of “working together” to end the partisan bickering.

I might note that President Obama, four years ago campaigned under the same theme. But, when elected, with an overwhelming majority in both the Senate and the House, he said, “we won,” and that was the last we heard of bipartisanship.  Then, when he lost that majority he proceeded to blame everything on those rascally Republicans … just wouldn’t work with him.

Think about this folks. If one party favors a big, active government, controlling every aspect of your life, and the other party favors a small government with limited powers, how do you compromise?  Just a little bigger … or smaller …government?  Just give up a “little” liberty or write a “few” less regulations?

There actually are areas of compromise. One of the truest examples was the Welfare for Work compromise by President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress. So what did President Obama do?  He used his executive powers (?) to cancel it. I’d like to hear from Pace and Robinson what areas they might compromise in.

MARCIA NEAL
Colorado State Board of Education
3rd Congressional District
Grand Junction

Clifton’s public image belies pride by many in their homes, neighborhoods

I so enjoyed the article about Clifton in the Sunday real estate section of the paper Thanks to Steve Aquafresca for his nice comments. It seems he is the only county commissioner who believes in us.

Believe it or not, there are nice people here who take pride in their homes and their neighborhoods. Yes, we have some parts of Clifton that aren’t so well kept, but what town doesn’t?

As for the part about the people not wanting to be incorporated into Grand Junction, we didn’t get to have a say in it. No one came around with a petition. I, for one, would have gladly signed it. I would like to have more services such as streetlights, sidewalks, etc.

If Grand Junction doesn’t like us, why do they shop at our Murdocks, Uncle Nubs and Denny’s, to name a few?

You say the consensus was that the people didn’t want to incorporate. Well, the “consensus” didn’t have a say.

JEAN ROATCAP
Clifton

Take a cue from California, vote no on legalizing pot

Proponents of legalizing marijuana are so determined to establish their “right” to use “recreational drugs” that they selfishly ignore evidence from four years of Colorado’s “medical pot” history. Suspensions for drug violations in Colorado public schools have increased 45 percent, and expulsions have increased 35 percent. “Medical use” cards among young males shot up by the tens of thousands.

Amendment 64 would allow anyone over 21 to legally possess one ounce of marijuana— that is the equivalent of 60 joints. And by the way, one pot joint is equal to a whole pack of ordinary cigarettes in the number of chemicals, carcinogens and unknown levels of THC or other drugs. Do we really think more “legal” dispensaries will increase usage among young “experimenters” who can easily find willing young adults who will share their “one ounce”?

Each year 60 percent of all new pot users are under 16. It is associated with poor school performance, because it impairs the ability to concentrate and retain information during peak learning years. Twenty years of research show that weekly use of pot for one year could drop an average student’s IQ from the 50th percentile to the 29th percentile. The proposed excise tax on pot would supposedly go to millions of dollars for school construction, but if we are concerned with improving student performance in Colorado schools, why at the same time would we want to make a mind-altering drug more available?

Pot would still be illegal under federal law, so Colorado would be a national hub for distribution. If you don’t know how much violence is occurring near our southern border, wait until the drug cartels move here. They are not going to suddenly disappear is pot if legalized in just one state. Statistics from the past four years show more than 400 people killed by drivers on various drugs on Colorado highways. Marijuana is not “safer than alcohol” – it just means more impaired drivers.

Finally, if an amendment to the Colorado Constitution results in unintended negative effects, it could not be easily changed once passed and only during “even election years.” (See pages 34 and 35 of the Blue Book.) Existing local ordinances banning medical pot outlets will likely be trumped by a constitutional amendment legalizing statewide distribution.  This proposal’s summary does not tell the whole story of the complex language in the long version. If even Californians said no to legalization, we should also vote NO on 64.

DARLEEN GSELL
Grand Junction

MJ laws unfair to poor people, vote ‘yes’ on Amendment 64

Current medical marijuana laws are discriminatory against the poor. It is common knowledge that anyone with $200 can obtain a medical marijuana license. No one I know has ever been turned down, regardless of his or her medical symptoms. This allows the license holder the protection to use marijuana without the worry of legal repercussions. People without money, who would otherwise be able to obtain a license, are prevented from the protection, even though their reasons for use are every bit as legitimate s those who can afford a license.

To its credit, the Colorado Public Health Department has implemented waivers for its fees for the poor, but I have never heard of any of the few prescribing doctors reducing their fees. Additional benefits of marijuana that benefits users, besides pain reduction, are stress relief and anger control.

It can also help people wean off more serious drug addictions such as alcohol, meth and heroin. Its use does not have to be looked at as a crutch or a defect, but rather as a coping mechanism. It helps some people cope with the tremendous stress presented by modern society. As a musician, I also know many artists, including myself, who use it to enhance their creative process.

Tancredo has it right when he advocates in favor of legalization of the use of marijuana by adults. The fact that federal law are against it is not a reason not to vote for legalization, if anything it is the very reason that Colorado needs to take the lead to put pressure on the feds to change these outdated laws.. The culture is way ahead of laws on this issue. I will be voting “yes” on Amendment 64.

MARK SHORTESS
Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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Dear Daily Sentinel. You need to correct the edits on my letter. The actual numbers I submitted are $124,000,000 or $124 million and $194,000,000 or $194 million.Please correct these immediately.

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