Email Letters: October 17, 2016

Loss of athletic trainers detrimental to safety of student athletes

A few weeks ago School District 51 was notified that Saint Mary’s Hospital would no longer be providing services of the certified athletic trainers to the four local high schools. Currently the District is already understaffed – only having two trainers to service four schools. Most schools have the luxury of having their own trainer or even multiple trainers depending on size, funding, and other factors. The certified athletic trainers, despite being spread thin, do a great job of helping all athletes from every school, every sport and every grade level. The loss of these two trainers could be catastrophic to the safety of our athletes.

The liability and danger of not having these highly qualified individuals on the sidelines could have disastrous effects. These trainers deal with everything from minor tape jobs to serious injury attention and everything in between. Having someone with the proper training and expertise ready to act in the case of an emergency is very important. In the most drastic cases quick response and proper treatment can mean the difference between life and death. We have all read stories from around our nation about young athletes dying due to dehydration, heat stroke, head and neck injuries, cardiac arrest, as well as other non-life-threatening yet serious injuries that can occur in any field of competition.

I would hope that our district and community would rally together and find a way to keep these valuable members as a part of our athletic programs. With research still coming into focus on injuries such as concussions, it is essential that our high school athletes be given the proper care and attention they deserve. We do not want a budgeting issue to translate into something that is going to harm our sons and daughters.


Monument is simply not suitable as a national park

Mark Udall lost my vote two years ago, and now it seems that Gail Schwartz will as well. The Colorado National Monument is simply not suitable to be a national park. The road, the tunnels, the parking and the campground are all inadequate for the volume of traffic, much of it huge RVs and tour buses, that would be funneled through the monument if were changed to a national park. The air quality of the valley would also be negatively affected. Without a clear and immediate retraction of her support for changing the status of the park, I will not be voting for Ms. Schwartz.

Grand Junction

ColoradoCare would ensure all Colorado citizens have decent healthcare

I would like to encourage people to vote for Amendment 69, ColoradoCare. I have some very personal reasons and some reasons that are more generic.

First, my brother died last December of cancer. He was 57 years old, and had beaten cancer twice with radiation and surgery, but this time, he was not so blessed. The first two times he had cancer, he also had health insurance; this last time, he was unemployed and didn’t make it to the “poor people” clinic in time. I would like to think that, had he gone to the doctor earlier, he would be with us today, but it was not to be. A friend of mine had a cousin die from an infection that started in his foot. He didn’t have insurance, so didn’t seek treatment until it was too late. I don’t know how many people die of infections, but it seems like something that would be more or less preventable, with timely care.

I read a gentleman’s opinion the other day that ColoradoCare would be too expensive, more taxes, etc. Nobody seems to be pointing out that the money we pay now to private insurers would go away. ColoradoCare would negotiate lower prices with pharmaceutical companies, as is done in Canada and other universal healthcare nations. I can understand why the insurance and pharmaceutical companies (and their stockholders) would be against ColoradoCare, but I have a hard time figuring out everyone else’s objections. If you don’t have enough money to pay your copays, so you don’t seek treatment, why would you be against universal healthcare? (In the film “Now Is the Time, shown here in Grand Junction a couple of weeks ago, a young Canadian woman didn’t know what a copay was. I liked that.)

Isn’t it time we did something to help “the least of these?” The money that families now give to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries could be invested in education, piano lessons, and soccer equipment. Ensuring that every Colorado citizen has decent health seems like a gift to ourselves, our children, our families, our friends, our neighbors. If you have questions about the benefits of ColoradoCare, I encourage you to go to They have a blog with a list of questions and answers.

Grand Junction

A third party presidential vote in 2016 is naïve and ignorant

Many Bernie supporters assert voting a third party is not “selfish” this November. Instead, these individuals claim third party votes will help in the future. A third party candidate receiving five percent or more of the votes indeed qualifies for future federal funding. However, these folk need to learn from the past and fear a possible 2016 outcome.

The second Bush won in 2000 by only five electoral votes. Colorado had eight electoral votes. Bush won Colorado by about 45,000 votes. At the same time Ralph Nader got approximately 90,000 votes in Colorado. I have read that two of three voters would have probably voted for Gore in 2000 without Nader in the mix. Nader most likely cost Gore eight Colorado electoral votes and victory. More to the point, tens of thousands of Colorado voters wasted their vote, perhaps felt morally victorious, and changed history.

A third party presidential vote in 2016 is not only “selfish,” such an action is naïve and ignorant. Please think of the country and vote Hillary. The country is becoming more progressive, a position certainly supported by Bernie. Listen to Bernie. Do not waste your vote.


Grand Junction

Sentinel seems reluctant to print anything negative about Clinton

Compliments to Kyle Sullivan for the excellent letter to the editor titled “Sentinel biased in reporting on Trump” published on Oct. 14. I believe it clearly expresses the opinion of the majority of your readers and subscribers.

There is no question that The Sentinel will put into print, almost always on page one, any negative article from any source that is negative towards Donald Trump, especially if it comes from the well recognized politically-biased Associated Press. In fact, on Oct. 15, you reprinted two negative Trump AP articles on page one. It is just as obvious that The Sentinel is reluctant to print anything negative about Hillary Clinton, the email releases, or anything hinting at a scandal by the Clinton machine. If it does, it is usually well back in the news section. The Oct. 12 edition was a typical example of both.

And what should be a huge story for Grand Junction and the Western Slope is a presidential candidate from a major party, in this case Trump, coming to Grand Junction for a rally. This story was relegated to page three. My guess is that if it were Hillary coming here, Sentinel staff would devote most, if not all, of page one to her appearance for at least several days, both before and after.

It is becoming obvious that the adopted political policy of the current Sentinel editorial staff is “only the news we want you to know.” Perhaps these staffers should step outside of the echo chamber editorial meetings once in a while and talk to their current readers and the constituency of the Grand Valley. Then again, perhaps they don’t want to know or simply don’t care, at least until after they get their chosen one elected!


Grand Junction

Prop 106 will take government out of medical decisions best left to patients

This November we will have the opportunity to vote on the Colorado End-of-Life Options Act, Prop 106. This is a statutory proposition, not a constitutional amendment, initiated by Coloradans for Coloradans. It has the support of many Republicans and Democrats both. This is not a political issue.

Modeled after Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act of 1997, we know from statistics that the thorough protections built into the act prevent misuse and abuse. This act will take government out of medical decisions best left to patients, their doctors, their families, and their faith. There is no role for government, or anyone else, in the very personal and difficult decisions made at the end of a person’s life. It is completely up to the individual to make the decision and I believe it is their choice and right to do so.

The individual must be 18 or older, mentally capable, with a diagnosis of a terminal illness likely to cause death in six months, as confirmed by two physicians. The person is counseled on all feasible treatment alternatives. The person must make two verbal requests with a 15 day waiting period in between, and a third request made in front of two witnesses (one of whom cannot be related). The person must be able to self-administer the medication without assistance. These are just some of the safeguards.

I have had personal experience of family and friends ending their lives with pain and suffering and wish they had had the choice to make this decision, based on their own values and beliefs. I know I want this option of choice for myself. I am voting in favor of Prop 106.


We Coloradans should vote no on Amendments 69, 70 and 72

We Coloradans should vote no on Amendments 69, 70 and 72. Let us not vote to complicate our fundamental legal principles as set forth in our state constitution. Instead, we can encourage and allow our state legislators to pass the laws necessary to give effect to the provisions of these amendments: healthcare, minimum wages in our state and additional tobacco-related taxes, as needed.

If any of the provisions then need to be adjusted, the legislature can make the correction without requiring another constitutional amendment. Let us not overburden our state constitution with matters such as these. It is so easy to amend our constitution that it is already overburdened by many statute-like provisions. Let our legislators do this work.

We can approve the housekeeping provisions recommended by the legislature in Amendments T and U, and the wise provisions of Amendment 71.

The propositions can all be passed, as needed, and if adjustments are needed to improve the workability of these laws, then our legislature can do that work.

Vote no on Amendments 69, 70 and 72, and let the legislature pass laws that provide the same thing.

And, by the way, this is a great time to vote for local, state and national candidates in whom you have trust and confidence. Select individuals who will represent you and your thoughtful views. Please vote.

Grand Junction

Schwartz will make sure our public lands economy thrives

I care deeply about the public lands that we all, as Americans, own and that form the backbone of Colorado’s large recreation economy. You should too. Gail Schwartz is clearly the only choice in the 2016 race for Congress who will stand up for “We the People” of the West Slope and our public lands. She understands the value of a balanced approach to the use of public lands, including grazing, recreation, habitat preservation, and energy and mineral exploration. Her opponent, Congressman Scott Tipton does not.

Gail will fight to prevent selling off our lands to the highest bidder. She knows the land belongs to us. It’s part of our Western heritage and our quality of life, and it’s a huge part of our economic future.

Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry accounts for nearly $35 billion, supporting 350,000 jobs. Most of that is right here on the West Slope. Skiing, hunting, fishing, hiking and myriad other outdoor pursuits depend on public lands. But recreation isn’t the only thing that benefits from public lands. Ranchers rely on it for grazing. These lands are also valuable for appropriate energy and mineral extraction. Public lands are also vital in supplying our single most valuable resource, water.

I’m not opposed to all drilling and mining, and neither is Gail. She supports an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy, in which clean, affordable renewable energy is part of the mix. Also, we have great potential to produce renewable energy right here, another boon for our diverse local economy.

We cannot jeopardize our public lands for short-term profit. Vote for Gail Schwartz for Congress. Gail will make sure our public lands economy thrives. It’s our heritage and the greatest legacy we can leave for our kids.

Glenwood Springs

Tipton will get our economy back on track and create jobs

I am voting for Scott Tipton because his focus has always been about what is most important to me: our economy. Every time I have heard him speak, his message resonates with me. He talks about a ballooning national debt and a federal government that is drowning out job growth through excessive regulation and taxation.

I like the fact that he owned his own business for 30 years. I think we have way too many people in Washington who have spent their whole lives talking but have never actually built anything themselves.

Tipton serves on the Financial Services committee and has put forth multiple bills to help grow our rural banking sector. His bill, the TAILOR Act, creates tiers of financial regulations based on a bank’s risk sheet. He doesn’t think our local banks should be regulated the same way as Wall Street and I agree.

I have heard Gail Schwartz do a lot of talking. The only thing she seems to want to talk about is Tipton selling off public lands. Several papers have now debunked her claims.

These are two very different messages. Tipton is on a campaign of inspiring voters by talking about how to get our economy back on track and create jobs. In contrast, Schwartz is using scare tactics, in an attempt to convince voters to back her.

I am voting for Scott Tipton because I want my kids and grandkids to have the same opportunities I had growing up.



Public lands transfer from federal to state management could devastate Colorado

Thank you to Rep. Scott Tipton for considering my request to say no to Bill HR3650, the proposed United State Forest Service public lands transfer from federal to state management. This proposal could devastate Colorado. The bill “directs the Department of Agriculture, through the Forest Service, to convey to a state up to two million acres of eligible portions of the National Forest System.” That is about the size of our entire White River National Forest – three times the size of Rhode Island! Our forests and public lands serve as a resource for us all and must stay in public hands, managed by the federal government.

The bill is chalk-full of challenges and items in need of serious consideration:
How would the state of Colorado afford to manage these lands? (Especially in light of the TABOR amendment.)

The state of Colorado and many states across the country would not have the adequate funding or people power to manage these lands effectively. Unfortunately there is over one hundred years of history marking the sales of state owned lands for profit.

Transferring public federal lands to the state for better management processes sounds good, but it is a myth. State managed lands have a history of being managed solely for maximum profit – a devastating threat to our hunting, recreation, and outdoors communities.

How would our state pay for wildfires? (The standing dead trees in our forests are a serious hazard.) Wildfires in our national forests are currently paid for with federal funds.

How would the jobs related to the outdoor recreation industry be affected? What would the impact be on businesses like hotels and restaurants in the gateway communities to our public lands? The public lands outdoor recreation industry generates $646 billion dollars
per year with more than 6 million recreation jobs created. The population of our state is predicted to double by 2050. We need to protect our forests and our watersheds for future prosperity.

This bill is a bipartisan concern. If bill HR3650, introduced by Representative Don Young from Alaska, were to pass, it could have irreversible negative effects on many western state, including ours. Thanks for your time and consideration,


Women for Wild Lands

Don’t handcuff yourself to amendment that will diminish rights; vote no on 71

Television ads are painting Amendment 71 as the savior of the Colorado constitution. They also paint Denver and Boulder, two large metropolitan areas, as villains. Signature gatherers merely have to canvas these cities to obtain enough signatures to place an amendment on the ballot. Amendment 71 wants to spread the gathering of signatures to include the 35-senate districts. There are two problems with this amendment.

First, it would be extremely difficult to gather signatures from 2 percent of the electorate in some of the more remote districts. It’s true the rural population has every right to be part of the decision making process and they are because the signature gathering only places the proposed amendment on the ballot. It still has to be voted on.

Second, voter initiated amendments are sometimes the only way an amendment will be added to the constitution. It wasn’t the Colorado legislature who passed the Taxpayer Bill or Rights (TABOR). It was the hard work of a few very dedicated individuals who gathered the signatures and the voters who overwhelmingly placed Amendment 23 into the Colorado constitution.

There would be far fewer amendments to the Colorado constitution if the legislature were more in tune with the voters. Voters, don’t handcuff yourself to an amendment that will diminish your rights. Vote NO on Amendment 71.


ColoradoCare is an opportunity to improve our health care and lower our costs

Our current health care system is an expensive mess. Were trapped in a wasteful, inefficient privatized system dominated by for-profit insurance corporations. ColoradoCare (Amendment 69) is a first step toward extracting ourselves from this predicament.

ColoradoCare is an opportunity to improve our health care and lower our costs. It would be operated as a nonprofit cooperative, and would expand the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Since the insurance industry would no longer be in control, ColoradoCare would lower costs for most, and save an enormous amount of money overall.

Every Coloradan would be covered. You, not some insurance company, would choose your doctor and hospital. An estimated 80-85 percent of seniors would spend less on health care with ColoradoCare because they would no longer need any supplemental coverage. It also relieves doctors of a huge paperwork burden, and would be cheaper for employers.

How can this possibly work? It works by eliminating the colossal amounts that insurance companies spend on paperwork, marketing, and bloated executive compensation. It’s a win-win for all of us.

Virtually every other industrialized nation already operates with a fair and just single-payer system similar to ColoradoCare. Their experience shows that such a system is far more efficient and effective than our system.

Predictably, ColoradoCare is furiously opposed by the insurance industry. They have spent millions and orchestrated a barrage of letters, articles, and TV ads opposing it. So keep that in mind as you decide. More at



Sentinel should consider endorsing Schwartz for Congress

If The Sentinel hasn’t already considered endorsing Gail Schwartz for Congress, please do. Public land management on the Western Slope is of extreme importance to all of our communities. Inclusiveness and the “public process” behind managing these lands is what Gail Schwartz is campaigning for. In contrast, please recall a 2014 article from The Sentinel regarding
Tipton’s bait-and-switch on Hermosa Creek. Here you concluded, “Tipton has broken faith with his constituents. His last-minute substitution of his own bill for theirs is a stunning admission that he serves only the special interests that fill his campaign coffers.”


Republican establishment doing a superb job of ensuring Clinton is elected

It appears to me that the Republican “establishment,” or perhaps “disestablishment,” is doing a superb job of ensuring Hillary Clinton is elected president. Hope they are happy during the next four years.


Grand Junction

Mesa County School Board should take some issues into consideration

Mesa County School Board: Thank you for your attention.

Before you even consider trying to put a mill-levy override on the ballot, please be advised of the following:
First. You need to fire Superintendent Steve Schultz. How dare he find an $81,063 hidey-hole for disgraced principal Hal Templeton! You’d think it was his own money! Brings to mind Schultz’ attempted kid glove handling of Dan Dougherty. You know – Steve’s absentee Communications Director better known to the public as “Mr. Spin.” But who, nonetheless walked away with an unnecessary $66,831 goodbye gift from Schultz. For those who do not work for District 51, no wonder you wish you did.

Second. You need to institute a 50 percent reduction in District 51 administration. In our community of modest means, where people work hard for their pay, there are way too many positions in that bloated structure and way too many of those command five-figure salaries. Or more. Get rid of half of them.

Third. You need to hope that the county commissioners—either those presently in office or those who soon will be – don’t focus on your feckless hiring policies. If so, a recall election may come to mind.

Grand Junction

Disability Law Colorado calling for legislative action to address several important issues

Yesterday your five-year-old daughter was locked alone in a room at school for an hour. Today you arrived at school to find your seven-year-old son face down on the floor with four adults holding him down. You tried to find out how often these restraints occur and you’re told that schools don’t keep such data. You try to complain to the Colorado Department of Education, but are told they do not have jurisdiction and you must try your luck in federal court. This is happening every day in Colorado and it’s legal. It’s time for change.

Disability Law Colorado is Colorado’s Protection and Advocacy System, charged with protecting and promoting the rights of people with disabilities, and while restraints in schools affect all children, recent data indicates that while students with disabilities make up only 10 percent of the
student population, 78 percent of restraints performed in schools are on students with disabilities. DLC is calling for legislative action to address several important issues.

First, let’s ban prone (face down) restraint. The Department of Youth Corrections, children’s residential facilities and regional centers already do, yet public schools continue to allow this dangerous practice, which has resulted in the death of children in every state. DLC is also calling for statewide data collection to provide transparency. Finally, DLC is calling for an administrative complaint system, because forcing parents to federal court and forcing schools to spend taxpayer dollars defending expensive lawsuits is not effective.

Don’t stand by – take action now because our children deserve it! Visit our website at to review our report titled What’s Holding our Students Down? Restraint in Colorado Schools, get information about our public meeting on Monday, and sign up for our free training event at CMU on Wednesday.


Consider the following Hillary Clinton Voter Credo

Honesty, Malfeasance, and Lying: From hiding her Rose law firm papers in her bedroom while saying she did not know where they were, to making false statements about her role in “Travelgate,” to Benghazi, to deleting 30,000 emails, truth has never been her ally. I accept the fact that more than once under oath she lied to Congress. After 30 years of this behavior, I accept the fact that if she is elected president she is not going to suddenly change, that I will never know for sure what she is doing and that she will continue to lie to my face and to my fellow Americans. I am OK with this.

Borders: I will continue to support the infiltration of our country on the edges and its dissolution from within via sanctuary cities. I accept the fact that innocent civilians will die in this process, killed by those here illegally and allowed to return after committing crimes.

Crime: Black lives matter. Blue lives do not. If a white cop kills a black person during the committing of a crime, the cop should be assumed to be guilty. This is in America’s best interests. If cops are assassinated as a result, replacements can easily be found given the present rate of unemployment.

Terrorism: Terrorism is just another fact of life – like earthquakes and other natural disasters. Many more people are killed in traffic accidents. Does that mean we should be paranoid about oncoming drivers?

The Constitution: Written over 200 years ago, the Constitution is no longer relevant. In any event, the original intent of the framers should not matter. It is a “living” document to be interpreted by the political ideology of the judges. The president should only enforce those laws he believes in.

Healthcare and the Economy: Need I go on?

Grand Junction

There is absolutely no risk in voting for ColoradoCare

Thank you for your editorial on ColoradoCare, which quoted the actual amendment, but, unfortunately, ended with the same vague, fearful predictions of risk. Since the bill also says that, if the federal funds are not received and the various pieces of legislation are not forthcoming, “the Board shall shut down operations and return unused funds.” For me, there is absolutely no risk in voting for ColoradoCare. It just might work, after all.


It is critical that Colorado Trump supporters take the time to vote for him

It is critical that all Donald Trump supporters in Colorado take the time to vote and not fall into the media trap of believing that Hillary Clinton’s election is inevitable and that Colorado for Clinton is a foregone conclusion.

Trump is not the flawed candidate the press and the establishment has made him out to be. The Democrat candidate, on the other hand, is a proven influence peddling serial prevaricator who has significantly compromised this nation’s security on many levels.

Each state has its role to play in the general election. To neutralize the weight of the Denver/Boulder progressives, who are happy to help pave the USA’s road to economic and social ruin, each and every Colorado citizen who seeks to stop that looming national catastrophe must cast their vote. Western Slope, please help out the Eastern side. If you are “on the fence,” take the time to understand the fundamental political and policy differences between Trump and Clinton. Don’t sit this one out.

Colorado Springs

Republicans have voted for the candidate that owes no one anything

Mr. Byrom, I really take offense to the claim that we are racist and dishonest with blind hatred for the opposing party. Maybe you should watch the True Facts of Hillary’s America and you will then understand who is the racist, dishonest and has blind hatred in this country and what a corrupt candidate is going to do to this country should she be elected. This candidate’s party started taking this country down with their Democratic party long ago with their various scams to con various ethnic groups into voting for them and then leaving them in poverty. The corruption that exists in Washington and the good ole boy deals have brought this country to the brink, and the Republicans have voted for the candidate that owes no one anything when he becomes president. Now it is time to clean house.

Grand Junction

Recent letter regarding Trump supporters warrants response

In reading a letter in today’s edition of the Daily Sentinel, I just have to respond. Mr. Byrom directs his wrath on us folk that support Donald Trump. He uses the old attention-getter “racist.” If one has listened to Mr. Trump’s speeches, one should certainly realize that he is referring to criminals being deported, not honest citizens that have become productive citizens.

Mr. Byrom refers to Trump supporters as being “haters.” I was recently given a Trump bumper sticker. I proudly placed it on the back of my camper shell, on my pick-up. The first trip I made to town, I was harassed by a “good” Hillary supporter with some foul HRC style language. She did, however, tell me I am the number one driver. I guess that’s what she meant when she pointed one finger upwards.


Grand Junction

We don’t need to be electing a guy who is a liar and a cheat and a bigot

I feel that Donald Trump is a bully, demeaning to women and we don’t need to be electing a guy who is a liar and a cheat and a bigot. For the world to see that and not do anything about it makes it all worse. He’s not going to do anything that he says. He doesn’t know he’s under anyone’s authority. He doesn’t realize that he isn’t the solution to America’s needs. Everything that we know as Americans will fall, if we don’t kiss his ass, like Russians have to do with Putin.

I’m not a political person, I am disabled and legally blind, but I can see people. Donald Trump hasn’t changed from being a punk; and putting a more powerful suit on him is going to put us in a willing position to have to beg and grovel under his boots for mercy. He’s not a strong leader; he’s a sick individual who thinks money and power are everything, without regard for anyone else outside his circle.

I’m floored that he objectifies women –who run entire families, finances, scheduling, conflicts, teaching, nursing, correcting, multi-tasking and leading; all while getting an education and/or working and being a mom, a sister, a daughter, a grandmother and still be able to find the energy to fight if necessary, even at the end of her energy reserves.

Can anyone really see Donald Trump being able to do any of the above? Of course not, he’s going to do what he’s always done; screw people and demand that everyone, especially women, bow to his whims.



According to polls, criminal behavior more acceptable to voters than inappropriate behavior

A most unusual election! It appears that now according to the latest polls, criminal behavior is more acceptable to the voters than inappropriate behavior.

I recently read some excerpts from a book, “Born Fighting” by former Virginia Democrat Senator Jim Webb, which reminds me of the current presidential election. Beginning in the year 1829, Andrew Jackson served two terms as president of the United States. “To the American political elite, then as well as now, his personal history was nauseating, crude and violent while his populist beliefs were a threat to the existing order.” Jefferson told Daniel Webster, “He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place . . .he is a dangerous man.” Former president John Quincy Adams refused to attend the inauguration. As Jackson ran for president, “aristocratic forces were adept at using the press in an attempt to savage his reputation . . .. For eight years, Andrew Jackson dominated American politics, bringing a coarse but refreshing openness to the country’s government process. He survived because he took the issue to the people rather than allowing it to remain simply in the press or in the back rooms of old-style politics.”

Andrew Jackson founded the modern Democratic Party. His face is on the front of the twenty-dollar bill. In April 2016, the U.S. Treasury Secretary announced a plan that because he was a slave owner, it be removed sometime around the 2020 circulation. Interesting!




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Back in the 70’s and 80’s are health care system worked pretty well.  Then the government got involved and with HMO’s the the system got taken over by bean counters and overstaffed offices to handle all the extra paper work.
  We need to get the government out of the health care business not let it take it over completely.

        Richard Blosser


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