Email letters, Oct. 25, 2012

Asking about potential impacts of oil shale development is fair

It seems that every couple years, oil shale boosters such as Club 20 and the so-called “Environmentally Conscious Consumers for Oil Shale” trot out the line about oil shale being the solution to our problems. But the fact is that oil shale development could cause more problems than it solves.

We don’t know if oil shale will create jobs – or if it will be an economically and environmentally viable energy source. What we do know is that there could be a huge impact to water and wildlife, the very things that support our diverse economy. Communities need to know what this industry could mean—especially for critical resources such as our water supply before giving it the go-ahead.  Why should we allow oil shale development on 2 million acres in the West when the research and development sites currently being explored and tested have yet to come up with a viable oil extraction method? 

Expecting a fair and full airing of potential impacts of oil shale development is a responsible and reasonable request. I hope the BLM and Secretary Ken Salazar understand that we need to know exactly what those impacts are before moving on to large-scale development on our public land. Even schoolchildren know the “look before you leap” rule – we can’t afford to do it the other way around.

Glenwood Springs

Administration only releases photos of successes

Why are we frequently shown a picture of the president and members of his administration intently watching the killing of Bin Laden, but none of anyone watching the seven hours of the Benghazi attack that killed four brave Americans? Makes one wonder what the priorities are!

Grand Junction

Lifelong Republican likes what he sees in Sal Pace

I am 23, and I was born and raised a Republican. I have been a Republican all my life, and I don’t foresee that ever changing. I believe in limited government, compromise among political parties and elected leaders that believe in their constituency. When a bill gets to the president’s desk, it should be some shade of purple, indicating some sort of compromise between the two political parties.

I recently graduated from college with an accounting degree and moved to the Western Slope. For some reason, I have paid close attention to the 3rd district congressional race that is entering its closing stages. I have watched the television commercials and debates and evaluated each party’s stance, and I am convinced, for the first time in my life, that I will be voting for a Democrat this November.

Sal Pace has run a campaign that this country needs, with a little bit of compromise, pride and passion in it. Pace has told his story and what he believes without attacking his opponent. I believe Pace provides the opportunity to bring a new fresh face to Washington, not the same old games.

And, if he plays the same games and fooled me, I know it can’t be worse then what we have now.

Grand Junction

Romney’s Red Rocks rally ironic, given site’s history

Red Rocks most definitely served as a stunning backdrop for what will likely be Mitt Romney’s last large-scale rally in the state before Election Day. But as politically innocuous a setting as Red Rocks may seem, its entire existence represents a political philosophy that is in stark contrast to the Romney campaign.

The Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression-era public work relief program under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” that put unemployed men, ages 17-23, to work, built Red Rocks. Over a nine-year span, the CCC employed 2.5 million young men, providing them with shelter, clothing, food and a small wage. 

Highlighting the irony of the Romney event at Red Rocks, Romney said at the Oct. 16 debate that he doesn’t believe government creates jobs. Red Rocks has created thousands of jobs, public and private, contributed to the local economy, and has been a source of happiness for millions of people over the last 70 years. It is a magical place for everyone who goes there.

Red Rocks was built with the people’s money and then given back to them to enjoy, the definition of public investment. It took believing in ourselves and believing in our national heart’s ability to build something big and something lasting that created Red Rocks. And that magnificent backdrop put lie to every small-minded word that came out of Romney’s mouth, breathing new life into the critique of the Republican National Convention’s day-two theme, “We Built It.”

Think about it: Hundreds of men were put to work by the government for five years to build ... a concert hall. So Dodge Trucks, another recipient of taxpayer bailout dollars, could sponsor the Red Rocks Summer Concert Series all these years later? Seriously, folks, is there a self-respecting modern-day Republican out there who would not have instinctively called the idea of using taxpayer dollars to build Red Rocks Amphitheatre a boondoggle?


Don’t carve up, auction off, dismantle gift from far-sighted leaders

The first presidential debate this election was held in the West, where most of the country’s public lands are, yet neither candidate discussed his plans for managing hundreds of millions of acres. The omission is particularly troubling because of various proposals to turn public lands over to the states, sell the land or make the states the sole regulators of drilling and mining on public lands.

Also troubling is the call from fellow westerners to carve up, auction off and dismantle our public-lands legacy, a gift from such farsighted policymakers as President Theodore Roosevelt. Their legacy distinguishes this country from all others. There’s nothing more American than being able to hunt, fish and enjoy wildlife in backcountry that is open to everyone.

There would seem to be nothing more conservative than maintaining resources that for generations have provided minerals, grazing land, food, recreation and drinking and irrigation water. But the concept of stewardship gets lost in polarized politics.

Sportsmen are typically a conservative lot, but our ties to the land and our passion for sustaining fish and wildlife populations are nonpartisan. A recent national poll of self-identified hunters and anglers shows that conservation is on par with gun rights when it comes to our priorities. Nearly half the respondents in the National Wildlife Federation survey favored protecting public lands even if it meant limiting energy production.

I’ve worked in wildlife conservation for almost 40 years. In 2004, I retired as the state assistant director of field operations with the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Now, I’m the Colorado Wildlife Federation’s board chairman. I don’t believe states can manage millions of acres for the public good without more funding, which isn’t likely. States would feel pressure to sell public lands, and hunting and fishing would be available only to the privileged few, much like in Europe.


Fort Collins

Obama, Clinton lied about embassy attack, murder of four citizens

Now we have irrefutable proof of the attack on our embassy and the murder of four citizens and the cover-up and lie of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. The many e-mails and photos from the drone during the attack showed that it was terrorists, yet they lied several times regarding who was attacking and killing.
The fact that we were repeatedly lied to must be printed. I hope the Sentinel will acknowledge the truth and print the whole story.

Grand Junction

Letter writer only offers opinions from his own playbook

David Schrum (letter of 10/24) should try to remember the columns, such as those by Dr. Pramenko and Bill Grant, are informed opinions with which he apparently never agrees. Nothing new about people having different views.

However, Schrum does not offer anything except some unsupported opinions from his own “playbook.” For example, surely readers would like to know more about “death panels” for people
over 70.

I do not always agree with the positions put forth by the paper’s columnists, but we should all refrain from suggesting they are “very” guilty of misleading readers and “flippant.” Lastly, their “biased” contributions encourage debate within the community. Just what a lively newspaper should do.

Grand Junction

Mass Communication students question Sentinel’s news judgment

As Mass Communication students at Colorado Mesa University, we acknowledge and respect The Daily Sentinel as a well‐known source of information for the people of Western Colorado. However, we were taken aback by the prominent headline that was placed on the top of your Oct. 14 front page, just below the masthead. The headline was a blatant promotion for one of the presidential candidates.

While we realize that this was related to your editorial page endorsement, other newspapers purposely keep their endorsements off the front page.

The inappropriate placement of that headline leads us to believe that The Daily Sentinel will continue to show biased political coverage, rather than delivering actual, balanced news.

Was that conspicuous headline a unanimous decision of your whole staff, or a management decision made only by a few?

As we move into our careers as journalists and media professionals, we are committed to serving the public with objectivity and integrity. We believe that the biased views of a newspaper should never appear on its front page; instead they should be placed where they belong—on the editorial/opinions page.


mass communication students
Colorado Mesa University
Grand Junction

Student loans, campaign funds illustrate inappropriate use of big money

Wasted money attracts attention, especially big money. The most glaring, of course, is the national debt. But several others stick out like sore thumbs, too:  student loans and campaign funds. One is tax money and the other not, but both are obscene.

The first, highly political, is the current administration’s dabbling with taxpayer money in the loan business. No one could argue against the value of a well-educated society. But, what good is college education and heavy indebtedness when your prospects for employment on graduation are practically zero?

The priorities seem all out of whack. Shouldn’t JOBS requiring college come first? The government has no business loaning money it doesn’t have or attempting to collect student loans that are historically late or never repaid at all.

The next, political in every way, is campaign spending. The sums spent these days in pursuit of elective office have become outrageous, preventing good people from even running. Campaign spending is, by comparison to the national debt, a mere pittance, but extravagant nonetheless, especially now with so much unemployment.

Why waste that money on ads we’ve all heard before? At this point, who hasn’t decided whom to vote for or gotten tired of stale falsehoods?


Grand Junction

Biden a bigger threat than more economic woes or terrorism

This letter is not for everyone, just a select audience—those intending to vote for Barack Obama, those still undecided and those registered, but not intending to vote.

Could we be facing a threat more serious than further economic decline and more ominous than the menace of terrorism? By constitutional provision Joe Biden becomes president if—heaven forbid—the vacancy occurs. Between 1901 and 1974, five vice presidents have presided due to four presidential deaths and one resignation.

Biden was selected as Obama’s running mate, reputed to be a foreign policy expert, presumably adding gravitas and experience to the ticket. However, he’s been wrong in both theory and outcome in almost every important suggestion or prediction he’s ever made.

Considering his conduct in office certainly raises serious questions, especially regarding his lack of leadership skills and questionable judgment. Biden’s proclivity for bloviating is well documented by his many gaffes.

Is this a racial innuendo referring to Obama? “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

Is this a loose-cannon remark? “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

Is this mindless befuddlement? “Stand up, Chuck, let ‘em see ya.” (To Missouri state Senator Chuck Graham, who’s confined to a wheelchair).

Is this off-the-wall denigration? “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”

Is this out-of-touch ignorance? “How many of you know someone who’s served in Iraq and Iran?” He twice asked those assembled at a Nevada rally Oct. 18. Many Democrat drones, along with Harry Reid, raised their hands. Do they not know that we do not have troops stationed in Iran?

Yet, just a heartbeat away from the office of president, Biden is hardly presidential and actually an embarrassment to many in his party.

Please help safeguard America ... vote for Romney and Ryan.





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