Email Letters: October 10, 2016

Amendment 70 will not help us grow, advance, or prosper

We have important issues on the ballot this fall and one being aired out on these pages is Amendment 70, affecting minimum wages.

It is important we all agree that everyone has the opportunity to grow, advance and prosper. I can’t find evidence that artificial wages by mandate do that. Seattle enacted a similar law beginning in April 2015 and so have had merely a year to feel the effects. A study by the University of Washington gives us some insights. They are at $11/hour, going up to $15/hour by 2021. In spite of a strong local economy due to tech and construction, which we don’t share in Western Colorado, hours worked have declined slightly, about 4 hours/week. Employment rate (new jobs created) is down versus surrounding areas. There is no evidence of ancillary job creation, so throw that argument out the window.

When anything rises in price there is less demand for it – a fundamental reality. In this situation, consider that when labor starts to look expensive, new technology begins to look cheap. Some see this as a moral issue. But there is more than one moral. When giving a little more to a few means fewer jobs for more (e.g., teens, low-skilled workers) what do we gain as a whole society? My experience also doesn’t bear out the concept that people suddenly being paid more, without merit, suddenly become more productive. Why would they? Where is the pride in an unearned raise? How will the managers now getting $18-20 because they earned it view staff that doesn’t bear the same responsibilities or skill sets?

Finally, the people who create the jobs in America put their entire life savings at risk to do so. Why would they do that in Colorado if we legislate their hard work and capital risk as worth less than a passive investment, like treasuries? This is not the way to help any of us over the long run. No on 70.

MARK SANDSTEDT

Grand Junction

‘Never Trump’ voters are now ‘never Hillary’ voters

Never Trump voters are now never Hillary. We are rejecting the establishments of both parties who have led us to a crushing 20 trillion dollar debt. We want to return to basic principles, like the rule of law where nobody gets special treatment. Stronger growth is the economic solution we seek.

Hillary supports President Obama’s economic policies that led to an anemic 2 percent growth. She helped to craft America’s retreat from leadership in foreign affairs. That led to disasters in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Her answer to terrorism is more gun control. Our borders are full of holes. She offers no change.

Trump will secure our boarders to stem the flow of illegal drugs and control immigration. He will fight for better trade deals. He will be able to work with a Republican House to close tax loopholes. Trump had difficult times 20 years ago, but he turned his businesses around and made them great again.

We remember the disgrace of a president being guilty of sexual harassment. Hillary’s response, as many times before, was to attack his victim. Trump has a healthy marriage. He is our best hope for change.

DAVID A KEARSLEY
Mesa

Local Trump supporters may have blind hatred of opposing party

I’ve noticed a lot of support for the candidacy of Donald Trump for president in Mesa County. I find it distressing that so many of my fellow Coloradoans would support a man that is clearly racist and anti-free trade, cynical, and dishonest to boot. I hope I am wrong, but I can only explain this support over a clearly more qualified candidate of Hillary Clinton by ascribing it to blind hatred of the opposing party. If that indeed is what’s going on in Mesa County you, my friends, are risking taking down the entire country with your own hatred. This is not a Democrat or a Republican nation: This is one nation under God, indivisible with liberty for all. Please consider that when you go to vote in November.

JACK S BYROM
Grand Junction

What is the logic to opening pot shops in Grand Junction?

Well, it didn’t take long. We saw our first comment in the You Said It section that reasons since our city revenues are down and we can’t afford a lot of the good things that we want to improve our way of life here in the valley, the solution is for the city to approve opening pot shops in Grand Junction. There must be some logic there somewhere!

J.C. SMITH
Grand Junction

Trump’s comments are classless and offensive

Tell me, Trump supporters, how to explain Trump’s continuing offensive remarks about women, immigrants, the disabled, etc., to our children and grandchildren? He is just classless.

JILL BREMAN
Grand Junction

Strength of country counts for more than party loyalty in election

Still undecided who to vote for? Watch Frontline “The Choice 2016” on streaming PBS for an even-handed look at the backgrounds of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Each are followed throughout their formative years revealing parental influences, schooling, and religious training. Learn what challenges they faced. Successes and failures helped formulate their goals and public persona. These real people behind campaign slogans and rhetoric have taken vastly different paths to reach this point in history.

Make an informed choice about the two main candidates. The strength of our country counts for more than party loyalty in this critical election. Change for the sake of change is a dangerous gamble.

Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Solid experience always trumps erratic divisiveness.

Can’t stomach either? A third party vote is wasted, so work to effect changes at the state, county, and local levels where your input has greater impact.

I trust your vote will be thoughtful and informed.

PENNY HOPKINS
Grand Junction

Trump has the logical mind and determination to be successful president

There is a big difference between being a business owner and a politician. A business owner constantly risks his business by every decision he makes. It’s not a given that he will be around very long if he makes to many mistakes. Those who are smart and diligently determined to succeed can be very successful but many fail as we have seen in Grand Junction during the last few years. When a business runs out of money the doors close.

I have sold businesses and have done business appraisals for over 30 years. I have seen the financial records of hundreds of businesses. I have come to the conclusion that having a logical mind and strong determination are the necessary talents to succeed in business. You don’t need a bunch of degrees.

A politician has only one thing to worry about and that is getting re-elected. If he makes mistakes, doesn’t show up to vote or does absolutely nothing important he still gets paid and can still collect a full retirement. He can sponsor a bill that require large expenditures and knows he won’t risk his job, as the government will just print more money. Politicians keep their jobs by convincing voters they are doing a great job and by making promises that they never seem to keep. They end up as being part of the establishment that is only looking out for their own financial gain.

Donald Trump has no financial gain to be president, but he does have the logical mind and strong determination to be successful. He knows how to find the right managers to run his different businesses. He hires talented people, men and women and he will do likewise as president.

It’s time we all wake up! Republicans, Democrats, independents or what ever you call yourself. We have been taken advantage of by politicians eager to fill their pockets and egos.

ROBERT KLEIN
Grand Junction

It’s disappointing our local representatives continue to support Trump

After Sunday night’s embarrassing “debate,” it is certainly disappointing – but not really surprising – that our 3rd C.D. “representative” Scott Tipton and 7th District State Senator Ray Scott continue to support Donald Trump for President. See: “Congressman Tipton, GJ legislator Scott say they still back Trump.”

While Tipton wants Trump to “sincerely and directly apologize to all women” for his “locker room” misogyny, Tipton has more in common with Trump than he is willing to acknowledge: both Trump’s and Tipton’s political careers have been fueled by “an avalanche of lies.”

Trump’s pathological dishonesty was once again confirmed by post-debate fact-checkers (see, e.g., http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/factcheckingthecandidates/factchecking-the-second-presidential-debate/ar-BBxehzy?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp).

Tipton’s penchant for lying to his constituency was chronicled by the Sentinel’s Charles Ashby in September (“Tipton ad: Schwartz is enemy of coal; Claim is murky; bill had support of GOP leaders”) and then confirmed by retired High Country News publisher Ed Marston’s letter-to-the-editor on Sunday (“Tipton misleads on Delta’s devastation”).

Scott conveniently dismisses Trump’s rhetorical admission of sexual assault as mere sexist buffoonery – in order to embrace Trump’s oft-discredited “economic plan,” which would increase our National Debt (once a campaign anathema for disingenuous “fiscal conservatives” like Tipton and Scott) by almost $6 trillion over the next ten years.

Like Tipton (generously funded by the Koch brothers) and climate-change-denier Trump, Scott would subordinate renewable energy (and thus cleaner air and water for Western Colorado’s vibrant outdoor recreation and tourism small businesses) to the interests of the giant fossil fuel industry.

Like Tipton and Trump, Scott opposes comprehensive immigration reform – despite the facts that it would help local growers find workers, decrease deficits by $1 trillion over the next 20 years, and expand GDP by 5.4 percent ($1.4 trillion) over that same time frame. See: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/guide-s744-understanding-2013-senate-immigration-bill. Of course, none of these “deplorable” nativist xenophobes would ever admit that second–generation immigrants are actually more productive citizens per capita than are native-born workers. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/29/opinion/campaign-stops/what-does-immigration-actually-cost-us.html?_r=0; https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23550/the-economic-and-fiscal-consequences-of-immigration.

For these reasons (and many more), the Daily Sentinel and its readers/voters should reject the dangerously duplicitous Republican charade of profoundly irresponsible governance based on the vacuous “conservative principles” espoused by Trump, Tipton, and Scott.

BILL HUGENBERG

Grand Junction

Cory Gardner’s recent column was pure partisan nonsense

I imagine that the powers that be at The Sentinel felt that Cory Gardner’s op-ed column today is a public service. He uses a lot of words to come up with the statement that he is still working on the solution to the high cost of medical insurance. This after spouting about the “evils” of Obamacare.

The impetus for Obamacare was to make insurance available for those who either couldn’t get it otherwise or couldn’t afford it. Insurance companies would provide the insurance based on their estimations of the composition of the risk pool and the assumption that people who didn’t need the insurance today would enroll and, in effect, defray the costs of those who badly needed the insurance. That didn’t happen and so their estimations were incorrect and the insurance companies either lost money or didn’t make enough in profits to make the effort worthwhile in their estimations. Nevertheless, millions of people did get insurance that couldn’t otherwise get it.

Remember, Obamacare utilized for-profit insurance companies and subsidized with Medicaid those that couldn’t afford the projected premiums. Also remember the objective was to make insurance available for everybody, nobody could be refused coverage, nobody could be arbitrarily cancelled and nobody would be bankrupted by medical costs.

The flaw in this scheme is that insurance companies have to make a profit to keep stockholders satisfied. Mr. Gardner is complaining about the high cost of insurance. Can he devise a system that achieves Obama’s vision, insures everybody and still allows private enterprises to make a satisfactory profit? He seems to think so. How can he achieve his apparent objective? He can’t.

Unfortunately his column today is pure partisan nonsense. Can people still have the choice to not buy insurance? Who can predict when they might incur massive medical bills? Will ER’s still be there to cover the costs of freeloaders?

And I thought Republicans number one complaint was people freeloading, relying on everybody else to pay the bills.

JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Why was LEAP turned over to an outside firm?

Why can’t we ever get the real skinny on these decisions – like turning LEAP over to an outside firm and taking away a job in Mesa County? What they did not say is how much the part-time person was being paid to do this, as compared to what the new entity, Discover Goodwill in Colorado Springs, is charging to do this same service? Just a simple answer will do.

BEVERLY DUZENACK
Mesa

Today’s sportscasters don’t know correct pronunciation of ‘Notre Dame’

When I grew up in the ‘30s and 40s, with no nationwide TV, we listened to football on the radio. Back then Notre Dame was the usual power. The nuns who taught me in grade school stressed spelling and pronunciation. The phonetic pronunciation of Notre Dame is: no-truh-DAYM.

Today’s “sportscasters” who are adults who allegedly went to school, seem to feel it is now pronounced as “Noter Dame.” Shame on them!

CREIGHTON BRICKER
Grand Junction

If you love Colorado’s outdoors, vote to unseat Tipton

Everybody who loves Colorado’s outdoors must unseat Scott Tipton in Congressional District 3. Even if you’ve never set foot on Colorado’s public lands, you’ve received enormous shared benefit from the $34 billion that outdoor recreation brings into our state.

Scott Tipton has co-sponsored four congressional bills to rip that away from us, trying to transfer or sell off 25 million acres of our mountains, valleys and prairies. If you’ve ever lived a moment thrilling to the pure gold of an aspen grove, or had the ripple of one of our crystal streams or rivers go up your spine, or taken anything from a camera to a ski or snowboard to a bow to a rifle to a fishing rod, or nothing more than a water bottle outside for a breath of pure air, you owe back to Colorado. Vote to keep it. Vote for and volunteer for Gail Schwartz.

JOHN ROBERTS
Boulder

Don’t let disgust with presidential race silence your political voice

This election season I’ve worked for five campaigns on a national, state, and local level, investing hundreds of hours to make my voice heard in our democracy. It’s likely that you’ve seen me around town campaigning or received a phone call from me making sure that you’ll be voting this election. Ironically, despite spending hundreds of hours ensuring that
others have the ability to vote, I will not be eligible to vote this year because I’m only 17.

While out campaigning I’ve been told by countless people that “voting is a waste of time this year,” or “there’s nobody good to vote for.” This is simply not true, and people shouldn’t let their disgust with the presidential race silence their political voice completely. I would argue that local and state elections are actually far more important than the presidential elections.

As a voter in Mesa County, it’s especially important that you cast a ballot this year. You have the unique ability to radically change the direction of our valley. Our current county commissioners have been dishonest, electing to give themselves a pay increase after saying they wouldn’t accept it, and at the same time voting against countless policies that would have benefitted their constituents. They’ve closed government to the people and refuse to put issues like high-speed broadband and marijuana on the ballot, showing disregard for the voice of their constituents. Mel Mulder and Dave Edwards are running to replace our current commissioners, and they’ve pledged to open government back up to the people, diversify our economy, and make government work for the citizens of Mesa County again. The choice is clear this November.

Since I can’t vote myself, I’m asking for a simple favor: cast a ballot in my place.

WYATT HURT
Fruita

Hillary the most qualified person to govern our country, regardless of party affiliation

I encourage people to vote for Hillary Clinton. Ignore the hyperbolic conservative media’s constant barrage of her lack of honesty and sincerity. They have blown the affairs discussed, ad nauseam, way beyond the truth. She has been tried and re-tried to the tune of millions of dollars and hours lost that could have been more well spent and found to be not guilty of any wrong doing.

Was Secretary of State George Schultz under Reagan personally chastised when 241 of our military personnel were slaughtered in 1983 in Beirut? Was Hillary’s personal e-mail server ever hacked, as was Colin Powell’s? Can we stop making mountains out of molehills and pick the most qualified and well-prepared person to govern our country regardless of party affiliation?

Think about it. She will be the first female president of the United States! Does anyone in their right mind believe that she will not go above and beyond the call to show that women can handle anything a man can in that office? She will attempt to excel at all things presidential in order to clear the pathway for women in the future to pursue the highest office in the land.

Vote Hillary Clinton.

HOLLY VON HELMS
Montrose

If you want a better economy and a safer country, vote Trump

Voters, please think hard before marking your ballots. There are important issues at stake.

The economy: our country is not just broke – it is $20 trillion dollars in debt. Millions of people are unemployed and underemployed. More millions have quit looking for work. Government policies – Obamacare, excessive regulations, uncontrolled immigration, and more – have contributed to this.

Illegal immigration is out of control. We need a wall. We need to deport. When we can’t even provide proper care for our veterans, why are we supporting so many illegals? They are bankrupting our hospitals and prisons, putting too much stress on our educational and welfare systems, and yes, taking entry-level jobs that years ago went to American teenagers.

Healthcare is a disaster. Most of the exchanges have folded (despite receiving millions of taxpayer dollars). Many workers have lost their employer-sponsored policies and can’t afford to replace them.

Legal immigration is great, but we need a moratorium while we find out who is already here. It is currently too difficult to check out immigrants from countries with terrorist ties (few and inaccessible records from their home countries). Even if only one in ten thousand is a terrorist, that one can kill thousands.

Guns: there is constantly a push to take them.

Hillary will not only continue all of this, she will increase it. If you want a chance for a better economy and a safer country, there’s only one choice: vote Trump/Pence!

ANGIE MANY
Eckert

If Tipton has his way, valuable Colorado assets would disappear

$35 billion and 350,000 jobs – that is what is at stake in this November election. If Scott Tipton has his way, all of these valuable Colorado assets would just disappear.

Representative Tipton supports selling or transferring federal open lands to the states. The potential for economic and cultural loss to all Coloradoans is significant. But more importantly, Coloradoans may lose the right to access and use public lands for recreation and open space enjoyment if the extremist Tea Party Anti-Parks Caucus, of which Scott Tipton is a supporter, retains his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 8, 2016.

Gail Schwartz, candidate for U.S. Representative from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, Scott Tipton’s opponent, is the only choice standing between preservation of our national open lands heritage and the wholesale giveaway of our greatest national treasure, our parks, rivers, open spaces, and wildlife habitat. Gail Schwartz understands the importance of protecting and even expanding our environmental treasures and natural resources. She is and avid outdoors enthusiast who will work to protect the open spaces and natural vistas that we all enjoy that makes Colorado the special place that it is. She also understands the need for a balanced approach to management of economically viable development of mineral, oil and gas and agriculture resources from those same public lands.

A vote for Gail Schwartz in November is a vote to maintain and protect one of Colorado’s most important economic and aesthetic resources, our public lands. A vote for Scott Tipton means the loss of those resources and a return to the old days of dig it up, rip it out and leave it for someone else to clean up. That is just not acceptable for Colorado. Neither is Scott Tipton.

STEPHEN THOMAS KING
Salida

Charter can’t get television and telephone service working properly

I have been having trouble with my cable television since last June and Charter can’t seem to fix it. The main problem is that the cable box is constantly resetting itself, sometimes four or five times a day. This has been going on, and getting worse, since June. I’ve replaced the box three times and the service techs, both on line and in person, have replaced lines and cables, checked everything several times and have spent hours on this problem to no avail. And, no, it’s not the television itself. There is no way to complain directly to the company, person-to-person or on-line, except with a clerk or a tech, never a suit.

To top it off, for the past month or so, we’ve just been told, our telephone service has been weird. People call in and sometimes get a busy signal when the phone isn’t in use; weird electronic noises instead of a ring tone; an interrupt saying our phone is out of service or a dead line.

I pay a lot of money each month for good service and I’m not getting it and I’m about fed up with Charter/Spectrum. I can’t do without cable service in this day and age as I need telephone and internet and, yes, I do watch some TV, I’m sorry to say. Smart phones are not the answer, in my circumstances. I believe I’m due some sort of significant compensation, which isn’t going to happen. I’m just hoping this letter might move the Charter suits to get off their chairs and get my television and telephone service working properly. But with a monopoly, like any other entrenched bureaucracy, that’s like hoping for world peace or ethical politics. Pie in the sky.

T.C. STREFF
Grand Junction

Only Trump will benefit if elected president

Rarely do I agree with Rick Wagner. However, he wrote an article comparing a tourist/entertainment-based economy versus an economy based on manufacturing/energy extraction. In it, he pointed that the first offers little in the way of wages and benefits while the latter offers greater income along with benefits.

Now, he champions Donald Trump who is in the tourist/entertainment business. Donald Trump does not make anything nor has he developed any energy resources. He is the epitome of the tourist/entertainment industry. He benefits greatly while those he employs toil for minimum wage with little or no benefits. In fact, Indeed.com ranks Trump Entertainment at the low end of the wage scale.

My conclusion, Donald Trump will benefit if elected president while the rest of us can work for minimum wage unless Donald gets his wish and a Republican Congress eliminates the minimum wage.

DANIEL H HARRIS
Fruita

Democrats expecting us to vote for their felon for president

Concerning The Sentinel’s article on Oct. 6 about the felon managing Trump’s Towers, isn’t one of the big Democrat platforms the “rehabilitation” of people who have gone askew, ethically and morally, during their life’s journey? Puh-leeeez! They’re expecting us to vote for “their” felon for president.

LLOYAL ANDERSON
Delta


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Response to Dave Kearsley (Part 1):

On the day that the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City closes for good after years of multi-million dollar loses, it’s as always amusing to read Mesa’s anti-Hillary apologist Dave Kearsley’s latest fact-free offering (“’Never Trump’ voters are now ‘never Hillary’ voters”) – knowing that many “low information” locals share his uninformed opinions.

Once upon a time, Kearsley touted Trump as a “successful businessman”, a falsehood rejected by many truly successful businessmen across the nation – including Trump’s oft-mentioned icon and real billionaire Carl Icahn.  Rather, Trump is – and always has been—a con man.  See:  http://www.rawstory.com/2016/09/hes-not-a-businessman-hes-a-con-man-robert-reich-stuns-trump-fan-into-silence/.

Now that Kearsley realizes how badly he and his ilk have been conned, he wants to return to “basic principles”, including “the rule of law” that was ignored by the prior Republican administration and by Trump himself.  Kearsley also bemoans our National Debt – which was tripled by “fiscal conservative” Ronald Reagan and doubled again by George Bush.

Yes, “Hillary supports President Obama’s economic policies” because they have created 15 million new private sector jobs since the depths of the Bush near-Depression, and the “anemic 2 percent growth” rate would have been much higher but for partisan opposition to sensibly stimulative fiscal policies – which Hillary promises to pursue (and pay for).

As Secretary of State, Hillary did not “craft America’s retreat from leadership in foreign affairs”, but rather joined him in reducing Russia’s deployed nuclear weaponry and in fashioning the internationally acclaimed Iran Nuclear Agreement.

Kearsley conveniently forgets that the ongoing “disaster in Iraq” was precipitated by Bush/Cheney’s duplicitous invasion (which Senator Clinton indirectly supported), by their decision to disband the Iraqi military and de-Baathify its civil service (thereby creating 200,000” armed and unemployed Sunnis), and by its failure to negotiate an acceptable Status of Forces Agreement prior to our troops’ Iraqi-demanded departure.

Kearsley also forgets that Hillary supported the “red line” as to use of chemical weapons by Syria, but was no longer Secretary when Obama agreed with Putin to destroy Assad’s stockpiles rather than attack militarily (thus avoiding more “stupid shit” and body bags).

The irony of Libya is that Hillary supported NATO’s humanitarian intervention to save Benghazi—only to be blamed for locals’ failure to provide adequate security for our annex there (“no good deed goes unpunished”).  Aleppo presents a similar conundrum.

Reponse to Dave Kearsley (part 2):

Hillary’s “answer to terrorism” abroad is not “more gun control”, but rather intelligence- driven intensification of the tactics which have already proven successful in shrinking the would-be Islamic State. 

Hillary’s response to domestic gun violence is to adopt universal background checks and common sense measures intended to prevent guns (especially assault rifles) from getting into the wrong hands, and to protect police from being out-gunned and/or under-armored.

Contrary to Kearsley’s ridiculous claim, Hillary supports comprehensive immigration reform – including doubling the number of Border Patrol Agents and deploying state-of-the-art technology to facilitate detection, interdiction, and deportation of illegal entrants.

Trump’s much-touted physical “wall” will neither fully “secure our borders” (they’re too varied), “stem the flow of illegal drugs” (as long as Americans want them), nor “control immigration” (because businesses don’t really want to).  Likewise, even if so inclined, Trump won’t “be able to work with a Republican House” that has no interest whatsoever in closing the tax loopholes that benefit the Trumps and the GOP’s wealthy donors.

Even it were true that Trump turned his many failed businesses around (which he didn’t), he’s been freeloading on the backs of investors, stiffed small businesses and tradesmen, and gullible American taxpayer for far too long).

Dave’s laugh-out-loud concluding paragraph takes the cake.  Yes, “we remember the disgrace of a president being guilty of sexual harassment” – and the nearly 23 million jobs created during Bill Clinton’s administration.  We also know that Donald Trump has been married three times and has publicly admitted to committing adultery during the first two, while Hillary Clinton has been married once – for 41 consecutive years – to the same man.  Yet, she is the untrustworthy reprobate?  Hardly!  A Hillary Clinton landslide is “our best hope of change” from six years of deplorable Republican obstructionism.

Once again Ms.Many writes a letter purely regurgitating what she’s heard on Fox or picked up on the conservative/reactionary/deplorable echo chamber. I’ll not go through the items one by one with fact-check actual facts but her guns subheading tells it all. I know of no one nor have I heard anyone that wants to take away all guns. Apparently she is a devotee of the NRA, too. What most Americans want is universal gun registration so that those who shouldn’t have guns are identified and precluded from having a gun(s).

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