Email letters, Oct. 3, 2011

Food safety story needs to be more prominent

With the Listeria outbreak in the news, the excellent article by Rhonda Follman “Melon care: Wash those babies” needs to be re-printed on the front page (front section), Health Section or Food Section of the paper, not hidden on page 10 of the Real Estate Weekly of the Sunday paper!

More people need to read this article on food safety.

SANDRA NESBITT
Grand Junction

GE sending U.S. jobs to China

An article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek dated Sept. 29 states that GE is moving a 115-year-old X-ray division to Beijing. You know, China. In addition to moving the headquarters, the company will invest $2 billion in China and train more than 65 engineers and create six research centers. This is the same GE that made $5.1 billion in the United States last year but, paid no taxes. The same company that employs more people overseas than it does in the United States.

So let us get this straight. President Obama appointed GE Chairman Jeff Immelt to head his commission on job creation (job czar).  Immelt is supposed to help create jobs. Obviously the president forgot to tell him in which country he was supposed to be creating those jobs. If this doesn’t show you the total lack of leadership of this president, I don’t know what does.

Of course China is one of their biggest customers. American companies like GE keep creating jobs there. The EPA has no say about what they do, and their regulations aren’t so ridiculous as to kill jobs-as they do here in the United States. Please pass this information to others and think about it before you buy a GE product.

JUANITA R. WILLIAMS
Parachute

Environmental groups are killing jobs

It’s a shame that every day I read in The Daily Sentinel that some environmental group is trying to keep companies from building and creating jobs in the Grand Valley and the Western Slope. I have lived here for 46 years and I have seen companies come and go. But to try and keep jobs and industry out is just plain foolish. And yes, I work in the oil industry and I, for one, would like to thank them for their non support.

I’ve done a lot of work in other occupations. If they want to do some real good, start looking real hard at what real destruction is being done to the mountain sides in the mountain towns around Colorado. They are destroying more country side then all of the oil industry combined, but we hear nothing about it. I guess it’s called turning a blind eye and yes the tax payers of Telluride need to ask their city council how their tax dollars are being spent.

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction

Prop. 103 will hurt business

A big thanks to Rick Wagner and his Sept. 39column, on the initiative to override Proposition 103, and, in part, raise our property taxes. Speaking as a small business and commercial property owner, I believe we have been pushed for years now on higher and higher taxes on our properties.

What most citizens don’t realize is that we have been paying an average of 30 percent in property taxes on our commercial properties, compared to an average of 10 percent on residential properties. I was told by the Mesa County Assessors office that 55 percent of the taxes gathered by Mesa County this year goes to our cchools. Does the School Board really think that more money will fix the problem? I don’t think so.

It was hard enough to pay this exorbitant tax when times were good, but now, as we have taken as much as a 50 percent decrease in our rents, this new tax increase could very possibly be the breaking point for many of these small property owners, most of them saving a lifetime for a little security in their retirement years.

Please Grand Junction, everyone is having a hard time now. Don’t make it worse. Vote “No” on this school tax increase.

BONNIE KARP
Grand Junction

Obamacare is raising health insurance premiums

Having been reassured many times by our president that the health care bill would result in a reduction of health care insurance costs, I was surprised when I received a letter from my insurance company informing me that my rate was going up 18 percent and my wife’s rate was going up 19 percent. I guess I should not have been surprised since President Obama has not told the truth about anything I can recall since he was elected.

MICHAEL LOWENSTEIN
Grand Junction

Telluride shouldn’t be making decisions for other towns

I have followed closely and with great anticipation the licensing of the Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill in Montrose County. However, I’ve been quite disappointed by the recent decision by the Telluride Town Council to litigate the license.

Those in the local area – Nucla and Naturita – are very much in favor of this project. The proposed mine is about 12 miles from Naturita and would provide many, well-paying, much-needed jobs in the area and be a boon for Montrose County. On the other hand, Telluride is more than 60 miles from the proposed site and is fighting to kill a project that would bring hundreds of jobs to the West End. I’d like to see Montrose County step up and say enough is enough.

In addition, I feel that if Telluride wants to destroy the business opportunities of Montrose County, then we shouldn’t be taking our business to Telluride or San Miguel County. I am a skier and Telluride is one of my favorites, but there are many great ski resorts in western Colorado located a similar distance from Grand Junction and we should be taking our business there until the Telluride Town Council makes the decision to drop this attack on business development in Montrose
County.

Why would one small town declare economic war on an adjacent county?  This country needs the clean energy provided by nuclear fuels and we should be encouraging its responsible development.

DON PETTYGROVE
Grand Junction

Changes in the United States are not for the better.

I am frightened for my country, my land of law and order, the place where everyone can have their day in court, their chance to defend themselves against the charges lodged against them. It is no longer true and anyone of us could be assassinated at anytime.

Perhaps right now it is only alleged terrorists who are eliminated by decree, but down the road who is not to say that someone in charge could decide that a rabble rouser, a dissident, a political enemy could not be marked for the same fate as Anwar al-Aulagi. He was an American citizen the same as you or me and was not convicted in any court.

I learned American history in school — oh, a long time ago — and the lesson that remains in my memory is the principle of the rule of law that John Adams found so basic and of such prime importance when he stepped up to defend the British soldiers after the Boston Massacre. It now seems to be forgotten.

I am truly frightened by the direction my country has gone since 2000 — torture of prisoners where once we took the higher moral ground no matter what other countries might allow, and war without end with no accounting of the innocent civilians we have killed or driven from their homes or homelands.

I am truly frightened and ashamed.

NANCY KEDDY
Grand Junction

Anonymous attacks shouldn’t be published

Some anonymous coward took a shot at Rick Wagner and his columns on Oct. 2. in the “You Said It” column. He/She took umbrage at his “ill-informed” and “inflammatory” “drivel.” It seems to me that some time ago The Daily Sentinel discouraged, in writing, personal attacks against a named person or persons in that column. But, perhaps I’m wrong since the Sentinel did publish it.

If someone is to denigrate another person, they ought to have the courage to identify themselves In that regard, Denny Herzog has a valid point in his recent column.  I seldom agree with him, but this is a perfect example of doing “nothing to further public discourse.”

CREIGHTON BRICKER
Grand Junction

School board candidates should care about typo

Let me get this straight: Two people who aspire to lead the school district didn’t proofread their campaign sign? Bad enough. But what is worse, they don’t care about the typo. Scary.

KITTY A. NICHOLASON
Grand Junction

3B funding is essential to providing quality education

As a proud parent and a teacher, I am writing in support of the mill levy override for School District 51. Without the funds that the mill levy would supply, consequences to our children will be catastrophic. The system cannot continue sustain the huge cuts, such as the projected $8 million cut projected for next year without negatively impacting the education that our students receive.

It is a difficult thing to ask our community during tough times to increase the amount of money spent on public education, as many people already feel taxes are too high. Please bear in mind that while Mesa County collects property taxes to fund the local schools, it does not get to keep all of these funds here for use in the Grand Valley. For every dollar Mesa County sends into the state, we receive approximately .60 cents back for our schools. In contrast, when Boulder County, for example, sends in a dollar to the state, they receive approximately $1.30 back to spend on their children.

Mesa County receives some of the lowest per pupil funding reimbursement in the state as well as for our entire nation. Passing the mill levy increase would allow these funds to stay in Mesa County to be spent in our classrooms for our children.

I find it poor logic by those who oppose this measure as the mill levy stating it only benefits households that have school-age children. The public education you received was paid for by others. It is unacceptable to refuse to help the next generation to become educated too. We all pay into programs such as Social Security and Medicare even though we might not currently be receiving the benefit of these programs. Such programing would become bankrupt if everyone required to pay for them could opt out because they aren’t old enough to access benefits yet. I am glad to pay my share of these taxes as I have the piece of mind knowing that my friends and loved ones who have worked hard their whole lives can get the money they are entitled to. I feel no differently about providing the opportunity for my children and students to have the same academic and extracurricular opportunities attending Mesa County schools as I had when I was a student.

A more highly educated community is what is needed to attract new businesses to the Grand Valley. More jobs would ease the strain currently felt by so many in Grand Junction right now. I would much rather see my children and students proudly holding their high school and college diplomas rather than a cardboard sign that says “Anything helps, God Bless.” Wouldn’t you?

KIMBERLEE CASTLETON
Grand Junction

School board candidates must be qualified

Electing the tea party candidates to school board is like making an assassin the police chief, or a cannibal the coroner.

They have repeatedly pledged to do their best to ensure that District 51 fails by remaining critically underfunded, which since that is their agenda begs the question: why vote for them?

If school kids could vote, would they vote for the grown-ups that gleefully and recklessly clamor for the opportunity to dismantle public education? Is this a race to the bottom?

Simply being in the race, and mouthing anti-tax, anti-government, and anti-school platitudes is not a legitimate platform. Nor does greater partisanship and ignorance spell “solution.” It spells doom. Simply stated, it is not in the public interest to permit unqualified agenda driven cranks to occupy such an important public office.

DAVID MUELLER
Grand Junction

District has only cut 1 percent from budget

Upon reviewing the details of Referred Measure 3B, I started to crunch the numbers provided in the ballot information that came in the mail. 

The section “Actual Historical and Current Estimated Fiscal Year Spending” revealed that from 2009 to 2010 School District 51 had to reduce it spending 0.18 percent and from 2010 to 2011 they reduced their spending by a whopping 0.87 percent.  That’s a grand total 1.05 percent in two years. 

Most Americans have had to drop their spending 10–25 percent in the past two years. And the school district wants to raise my property taxes when they have only reduced their spending 1 percent? Forget it.

My home value is down 35 percent from two years ago, my income is down and my part of the national debt totals $131,000. The school district estimates that they will have to reduce spending by 6.54 percent in 2012. If that actually happens, then we can consider putting it on the ballot. 

I have two kids in school and I’m voting “No” on 3B. The School District needs to manage their budget like the rest of us.

BRANDON SIEGFRIED
Grand Junction



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