Email letters, October 2, 2013

Leany criticized teacher without having all the facts

I am shocked that our newspaper would publish on its front page innuendos made at the Sept. 17 school board meeting by Jeff Leany, a board member. It is obvious he wanted a platform to spread his agenda … to use an inflammatory issue, though unverified, as a jumping-off place for his comments.

I don’t see any reference to a second comment he made at the same school board meeting, to the School District superintendent, calling him out about another teacher at Taylor Elementary. He asked if the superintendent was aware that he had a 4th grade teacher who didn’t have an American flag in her classroom, but had posters of Cesar Chavez and other “characters” on the wall.

Did he bother to investigate and confirm the facts? No. Had he done so, he would have found out that the teacher of whom he spoke was a highly respected, nationally board certified teacher, new to the school. There was no flag in her classroom when she came, but one was on order. The other “characters” on her classroom wall were Nobel Peace Prize winners and were used to teach required 4th grade curriculum.

If he didn’t verify this accusation, how can one believe the one stated in the newspaper?

First, is it the job of a school board member to spread unconfirmed rumors about teachers in order to have his political position printed in the paper? Second, does he even know what his job as a school board member and its parameters are?

Are school board elections supposed to be decided on political party affiliations, as Leany insinuated by referring to the “Republican-endorsed candidates”?

JANIS S. MILLETT
Grand Junction

Valley’s winter pollution comes from wood-burning stoves

There was an article in the paper about the pollution in the valley. The coal trains do not blow coal dust all over the valley. The cars made with in the last 10 or more years will not run with any kind of power if the emission system is not working properly.

What you can really see as pollution in the winter is smoke from wood burning stoves, and the smell even comes into your house through the dryer vent. Also, you can barely see the stoplights on Patterson Road because of the smoke.

I have written this message for the paper in several different wordings in the past, but it never gets printed.

RAFAEL SALAZ
Grand Junction
 
State health commission touted reforms similar to those in ACA

Any person in Colorado who voted for Bill Owens or any legislator who voted to commission the 2006 Colorado “Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform” (http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?c= ... RIBBLayout) and its findings published in 2008, already support the ACA.

The initial findings of this bipartisan Colorado document include a recommendation to require “all legal residents of Colorado to have minimum insurance coverage (‘individual mandate’).”

The commission also wrote, “Make the mandate feasible by:

• Expanding eligibility for public programs
• Providing sliding-scale subsidies for low-income workers to purchase private coverage
• Reforming the individual insurance market by requiring health plans to cover everyone who is not eligible for a restructured Cover Colorado program due to a high cost pre-existing condition
• Enforce the mandate through the income tax system.”

Medical costs in this country do not reflect the health care available to all. Yes, it is the best money can buy, but, if you can’t buy, then bye bye (or, so eloquently put by some Republicans, “Let ‘em die”) ... at all except emergency services at hospitals.

That was taken care of 1986 via an unfunded mandate called the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act that required all hospitals to provide emergency treatment to all.

Who enacted it? The same party that then controlled the presidency and the Senate and that now is holding our country hostage over the ACA - Republicans, then led by the Teflon president, Ronald Reagan.

I guess Reagan, Gov. Owens and the Republican senators of 1986 were just a bunch of socialists.

LARRY SCHEID
Grand Junction
 
Six Democrats should also take blame for federal shutdown

Realizing late Monday evening that the U.S. government was going to shut down at midnight, one could only predict how the Associated Press through the Sentinel would spin it come this morning. Sure enough (drat) it was those stubborn Republicans who are to blame.

So, if we are going to play the blame game, six names jump immediately into my thinking: Obama, Biden, Reid and Pelosi, and let’s not forget our two Obama lap-dog senators, Udall and Bennet.

For the life of me, it is beyond understanding when members of the House of Representatives who were sent to Washington by their constituents to represent them (do a job), do just that, represent them. The mainstream media then mocks their constituents.

Representing their constituents is a concept Udall and Bennet cannot grasp. Sixty-five percent of Americans do not want Obamacare. What is so hard about that fact that is so hard for folks in Washington to understand?

FRANK ROGER LITTLE
Grand Junction

Methane study only examined part of oil, gas development

Whoops! It looks like The Daily Sentinel editorial board has misinformed its readers about the new Utah study covering methane pollution from oil and gas drilling.

Before everyone thinks we are in the clear on methane pollution from drilling, it needs to be understood that this study is only looking at a portion of oil and gas development. Methane is still a major pollutant in later stages with equipment and leaks on oil and gas facilities. This greenhouse gas is 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. That should indeed be a red flag.

Groups are urging the Air Quality Control Commission to place clean air protections on all parts of the oil and gas development where the air we breathe could be negatively affected and put our health in danger.

It is also important to note that the study found methane emissions to be lower than what the Environmental Protection Agency had expected in wells drilled because of safeguards placed on new wells in 2012. By 2015, all new wells are required to use the best practice technologies of “green completions.”

It should not end there. Other parts of the oil and gas development where methane pollution is still an issue also need to be brought to this same level of protection.

The bottom line is that implementation of clean air protections and best practices does reduce oil and gas pollution.

JULIE MAMO

Grand Junction

Gun-control advocates could also hold government hostage

To those who support the tea party extremists’ move to shut down our government, picture this: It’s now four or eight years later, and we have a Republican president and Democratic House. The Democrats hold the government hostage until there is a bill requiring background checks to buy guns.

Would that be OK? After all, 86 percent of Americans support background checks, way more than those who want to get rid of Obamacare.

PETER WESTCOTT
Carbondale

After shutdown, Democrats are AWOL

The president was broadcast several times prior to the shutdown saying he would not allow the House to defund Obamacare. The Senate was broadcasted as saying it would NOT negotiate with House Republicans.

Now that the shutdown has occurred, Republicans have shown America that the Democrats are AWOL. The despot in the White House ordered the national mall to be closed. Why? To punish the people — to make us pawns in his game.

If we get pissed about the shutdown, we will put pressure on the Republicans who have already been blamed for this partial shutdown. A number of Republicans are talking of surrender. They love their despotic democracy more than they enjoy doing what is right for the country.

Now the fraud in the Oval Office has unlawfully changed the Affordable Care Act a number of times since the corrupted Supreme Court said it was somehow constitutional for the government to mandate the citizens purchase health care insurance.

After politicians passed Obamacare so we could see what was in it, Obama has changed it in major ways, adding at least 1,472 waivers and exempting all his good buddies. If this god-awful mess were so damn good, WHY isn’t our government compelled to suffer under it like everybody else?

I agree with Betsy McCaughey on Mark Levin’s radio program that Obamacare lacks the status of law. The man who was elected to ensure our laws are enforced has violated his duty so often — and nobody has the brass to tell the emperor he has no clothes.

ROBERT JAMES BURKHOLDER
Fruita

Federal employees should be on Obamacare, if it’s so great

If affordable care is so great, why is the government of the United States not on it already, from the president and his family to Congress members and their families and all the other government entities?

Forcing people on a program is like feeding them crap and telling them it tastes great. If this is such a great program, why is the government of the United States not on it already and telling us how great it is?

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction

 



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Employees of the federal government are on ‘Obamacare.’  The ACA is a requirement that people have health insurance or pay a tax (since taxpayers foot the bill when they go to the emergency room without health insurance).  Federal government employees have health insurance, thus they are compliant with (i.e. are already ‘on’) Obamacare.  People have health insurance or they do not—those that do, whether its through their employer or via an individual policy, ‘have’ Obamacare.  Those that do not have health insurance need to get it by January 2014 or pay a tax.

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