Email letters, October 24,  2013

  Support for Amendment 66 is illogical in several ways

I find fault with your logic in supporting Amendment 66 in several areas.

For one, you state that the tax hit will be small for most county residents. However, the tax hit is large (especially since it opens the door for many more such increases down the road) on the small businesses that employ those people. Take a dollar from them and you just as surely take a dollar from their hard-working employees. Secondly, you are once again asking us to trust the politicians in Denver with a huge pile of new money and suggest that we can correct one flawed law by replacing it with another flawed law. Surely we deserve better than this.

While I fully support that our schools need to be adequately funded, we have increased funding for schools at several times the rate of inflation over the last 20 years (nationwide), and we spend much more on our schools than do many nations who are outperforming us. Clearly, money alone has not solved the issues our schools are facing. Several of the school board candidates seem to understand this issue and say they want to address the changes that are needed to really make a difference.

Finally, we do not live in a vacuum. Surrounding states are working hard to lower their tax rates - not increase them. How are you going to explain to the Grand Junction graduate a few years down the road that he has to go to Oklahoma or Kansas to get the job that was forced out of Colorado by high taxes? Californians are living this every day and we used to get many of the jobs that left California. If we follow their lead on taxes, we will surely get the same result and see our jobs go elsewhere.

It truly is the time to demand more and not settle for this flawed law.

JOHN STARR
Grand Junction

Should we continue to teach lies?
There have been many questions asked of the school board candidates. Everything from budget to amendment 66 (which I don’t support by the way). What matters to me is what is being taught in our schools today. Is it truth or lies, or an agenda? So, my first question to the candidates is; 1. Should we teach lies to our children? 2. If a teacher is caught willfully teaching a lie, should that teacher be fired? And 3. If we find a lie or an error in our textbooks do we have an obligation to correct it for the sake of the children?

Seems fair enough right? I think we can all agree that we should teach our children the truth right? I mean if we find a math textbook that teaches that 2 + 2 = 6. I would hope the teacher would catch that or make some sort of note in the textbook right? You would think so.

Well, not so fast. We are teaching our children lies. Known lies. Lies and frauds that our educational system should know about but either are willfully ignorant, or buy into the indoctrination of evolutionary teaching. Contained in our textbooks are literally hundreds of lies that the average parent is not aware of or simply do not understand, and they leave it up to our educational system to be honest and truthful. I only wish.

Case in point: The biology textbook “Biology The Dynamics of Life” being used in our high schools, page 433 uses German scientist Ernst Haeckel drawing of human embryos that supposedly show human development starting with the fish stage, an amphibian stage, a reptile stage and so on. The problem is that these drawings are a complete fabrication (frauds) made by Haeckel to support or provide false evidence for evolutionary human development. Specifically, the “gill” slits shown have nothing to do with the formation of gills, but are actually folds in the tissue in the neck region. They are more appropriately called pharyngeal (throat) arches.

Haeckel was charged and convicted of fraud in 1875. Yet today, 137 years later, we continue to teach our children lies. Why? Look, I’m not saying we should stop teaching evolution and teach creation, I’m simply saying that we should stop lying to our children. If evolutionists have true evidence for their theory, fine, but don’t use lies to continue to indoctrinate our children with lies.

Lastly, I completely disagree with our liberal, God-hating columnist Bill Grant who stated in the October 23rd edition, next to last paragraph;  “keep the system free of political and religious propaganda on topics like evolution, global climate change and multiculturalism, “ Since when is teaching the truth propaganda, Bill? When is teaching our “God” given history of this county propaganda? You know; “One nation under God”, “In God we trust.” Parents, it may be already too late, but we need to stand up and be counted for our children’s sake or we will go the way of the California schools.

MIKE NEVINS
Grand Junction

Does Tipton represent the 75+ percent?

Local supporters of comprehensive immigration reform (S.744) should be gratified by recent polling results (“West Slope voters want immigration reform, poll shows”) – even though Congressman Scott (“tea party”) Tipton’s real position remains unclear.


On Sept. 5, 2013, Tipton told a Delta town meeting that he put “border security” first, opposed any “pathway to citizenship” (even for “Dreamers”), but favored a separate guest-worker program.


Now, Tipton professes support for the original House bill (H.R. 15) which (Gary Harmon reports) purportedly “excludes [some] provisions aimed at increased border security,” but still “firmly believes that . . . verifiable border security and a strengthened guest-worker program are two vital steps.”


While the statement by Tipton’s office makes no mention of a “pathway to citizenship” (the essence of truly “comprehensive” reform), H.R. 15 does include a “DREAM Act.”


Tipton’s “change of heart” (if any) reflects Republicans’ belated awareness of internal contradictions in their dubious “conservative” policy positions – already obvious to the public, as reflected in polls blaming them for the “shutdown” and “debt ceiling” crises (costing some $324 billion) and – now – rejecting their obstruction of comprehensive immigration reform (which would save $1+ trillion over the next two decades).


Thus, after first supporting the shutdown and threatened default, Tipton voted to end both – only after calls for his resignation grew louder. Meanwhile, Republicans’ manic efforts to reopen the government piecemeal exposed “sequestration’s” many harmful effects.


Because Republicans insisted that increased border security was a prerequisite for any “reform”, S.744 added $46.3 billion to double the number of Border Patrol agents, extend the border fence, etc. H.R. 12 reduces that to $8.3 billion. However, as Senator Michael Bennet opined, it defies common sense to spend billions on 21’ fences when 22’ ladders abound – particularly when more vital programs remain grossly under-funded.


Does Tipton represent the 75+ percent?
BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

If Obamacare website is deemed bad, wait until you read the fine print

The president is sticking to his guns, insisting that Obamacare is a great law. Many are already benefiting from it. Like most laws liberals promote, it isn’t about the overall results or the cost.

This law does require that many provisions be added to existing policies right now that many insured have no need for, like maternity coverage. That has resulted in sky rocketing premiums and higher deductibles for those already insured. Many insurance companies are dropping policies for many who are currently insured because they are not in compliance with the demands of Obamacare. It’s a good deal for some (if you need maternity coverage), but awful for many others. They lose the ability to keep a policy or build a new one that suits their individual needs. This additional cost is an indirect tax.

The penalty for not having coverage next year is $95 or 1 percent of your income. That tax goes up significantly in future years. The reality of these indirect and direct taxes will shock lots of people. You think things are bad with the Obamacare website? Wait until you get to feel how bad this law is in its fine print.

The Supreme Court got it right when it upheld this law. The president likes to point this out. The Court said Obamacare is all about taxes. Those taxes cannot be hidden much longer. We the people still have the right to elect politicians who don’t increase taxes. In the end we will decide how good this law is.

DAVE KEARSLEY
Mesa


National government dishes out one crisis after the other

We have a new crisis every week to take the spotlight off of last week’s crisis.

OK, Iran, no more for you or you’re in trouble. The UN will take care of that.

Fast and Furious - utterly unrecognizable - we’ll get to the bottom of this. Any word on that?

Benghazi - utterly unacceptable - we’ll get to the bottom of this.  What difference does it make, we now have a new focus, no more White House tours, government sends billions to Egypt.

The IRS targets conservatives. Give IRS head paid time off. That will teach her. She doesn’t have to testify. We’ll see this news happen again.

Red Line in Syria — you’re in trouble big time — never mind, just kidding about the red line.

Government shutdown — parks and memorials hidden from public… Reagan would say, “Tear down that wall.”

Obamacare — what can I say? It makes me sick. What’s next? Immigration reform will take the spotlight off Obamacare, then climate control…

We need a new monetary system and leader. What about a One World Government?

Can’t we all just get along? How about a One World Religion?

Now I’m really feeling sick. To whom can we turn for help? 

If my people………..

LAVONNE WILSON
Grand Junction

Obamacare website not working well in Nevada

We live in Las Vegas and are trying to get health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). We are currently stymied because of the “glitches,” and suspect that millions of others are, as well.
We could not submit documents to prove our identity (like our social security numbers and dates of birth) because of the government shut down, and we were told to mail those documents to a P.O. box in downtown Las Vegas.
Then the shutdown ended and we were able to submit our documents through electronic channels. But we have now encountered another “glitch” — which keeps us from paying.  This “glitch” will become another bottleneck. What’s worse, it means that NO ONE has signed up in the state of Nevada.
It occurs right at the end of the application, changes what’s submitted around and puts the wrong information into the wrong boxes. If you press “SUBMIT” anyway, it either gives you an error or sends you back to the “sign-in” screen.
I hope your state is doing better than Nevada.

GEORGE LESTER
Las Vegas, NV


To effect real change, elect those who are untied to teachers’ union

I read a lot of letters pro and con on the school board election being so political and money coming in from outside our area. I can’t see that outside money having an interest is different than local interests. It looks like some want to leave things as they are, which is unacceptable seeing that many of our students can’t get into college without a lot of preparation work they should have learned in District 51 classes.

Leaving things as they are means letting the self-serving unions controlling our educational systems and stopping all attempts to change for the better just to protect their members’ status quo.

Naturally, Denver educational associations, along with our local teachers associations, are pouring money into the election for their own personal interests. Others should have the same right. District 51 could be one of the few that actually get some real changes if we elect board members who are not tied to the union.

R.M.SHERMAN
Grand Junction
Environment suffers as carbon polluters continue to profit

There’s not much that can be done to convince climate change deniers that global warming is real and caused by the burning of fossil fuels. However, there is no doubt that ocean acidification is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. This one’s real simple. When oil, gas and coal are burned, carbon dioxide is dumped into the air. As the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increases, carbon dioxide in the oceans increases because of equilibrium. As the amount of carbon dioxide in the oceans increases, it turns to carbonic acid and the oceans become more acidic. Simple.

Ocean acidification from manmade carbon dioxide is causing great damage to the coral reefs and fisheries around the world. The resulting economic damage being done is huge – trillions of dollars. This is easy to prove, and the carbon polluters (oil, gas and coal) know it. They know they are causing trillions of dollars of damage because of ocean acidification, but they keep on causing it anyway. Sounds like grounds for a lawsuit or two.

It’ll be like the lawsuits against the tobacco companies.  Does anybody out there still doubt that smoking causes cancer? The big tobacco companies denied it for decades even though they knew better.

We can no longer afford to use our air as a free ‘carbon dump’. Just like a regular garbage dump, it’s time to start charging for dumping carbon into the oceans and the air. It’s time for a carbon tax, or a few good lawsuits. Either way, the carbon polluters can no longer get off scot-free.

As the people around the world lose their coral reefs and fisheries to ocean acidification, the carbon polluters just continue to make more and more profits. It’s time to settle the score.

THOMAS PHILLIPS
Palisade

Turn out to support FMHS’ hosting of Southwest League

The Fruita Monument boys soccer team set a goal early this year to win the Southwest League and host a state playoff game—something that had not been done for 20 years.

To help realize this dream, the boys continually visualized playing this game at CMU’s Walker Field. When the bracket was announced earlier this week, the game was originally scheduled to be played at Canyon View — a great playing field but not very spectator friendly.

Thanks to the diligent hard work of Denny Squibb (FMHS), Paul Cain (D51), and Jermaine Williams (CMU) the site for today’s game has been changed to the beautiful CMU venue. Kickoff was at 4 p.m.

As head coach, I know how hard these boys have worked to accomplish this goal. I invite all of the valley’s soccer enthusiasts — Fruita, Grand Junction, Central and Palisade —  to come together and attend the game today.

Thank you all in advance for your support. I also want to thank The Daily Sentinel and local broadcast media for their coverage this season.

DAN MCKEE

FMHS Soccer Coach
Grand Junction

Nisley staff, Principal Newton highly deserving of national award

My daily ritual when opening the Sentinel every morning is to recall words from a hit song by Anne Murray back in 1983, “I sure could use a little good news today.” Some of us may remember that was back when music included meaningful lyrics instead of noise and vulgarity.

Well, my wish was granted Wednesday, Oct. 23, when I quickly skipped to page two and discovered the uplifting article on the most recent accomplishment of the now highly acclaimed Nisley Elementary School.

Under the leadership of Principal Curry Newton and her dedicated staff, this school has achieved yet another scholastic honor to add to past achievements, which include Colorado School of Excellence awards in 2010 and 2012.

This year, Nisley is one of two schools out of 600 to earn a national Title I Distinguished Schools of the Year Award of $5,000 in addition to the prestige and recognition it gained.
The success of Nisley is best predicated on the credo that Newton and her teachers adopted five years ago: “that all students can achieve great things, regardless of background, socioeconomic status or learning challenges.” Those familiar with this school’s location will best appreciate the enormity of this challenge.

The school environment there is “all about the kids” - with students challenged to take “pride in their performance” – and the staff refusing to take credit for the “awards.”

There is a concept there that could have enormous positive consequences if it were applied in our society and to our approach to life. Newton says it best when she defines their “ultimate goal” is for the student to become “a lifelong learner.” Quite an ambitious goal for elementary school students, but it’s working.

Congratulations, Nisley students and, oh yes, thanks, Daily Sentinel, for providing “a lot of good news” in this article.

RICHARD DORAN
Battlement Mesa

What would have a full term looked like for JFK?

At the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination begs the question: Would JFK been as notable if he had lived out his term(s)?

He could have been caught emotionally abusing women ... as Marilyn Monroe made evident in her late appearance and sad haunting happy birthday song. He could have been caught up in ramping up U.S. involvement in Vietnam which did in his successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson. He could have failed at prioritizing civil rights and getting proper legislation passed. This is all speculation because he died.

Our present technologies are spinoffs from JFK’s race to the moon. That’s a fact. He would be 96 now, if he had lived so long… (Did any of the Kennedys live as long as their parents, Joe and Rose?). He is forever 46 ... or younger.

As a young man, he had a front row seat in the events leading up to World War II. His father was the American ambassador to England before old Joe telegraphed his Nazi fear back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Goodbye, Joe. JFK also traveled in Soviet Russia before the war. Ultimately, the Kennedy’s joined the war effort, and JFK famously commanded a PT boat in the Pacific.

The most notable accomplishment of Kennedy’s was a little book called Profiles in Courage. The premise is profound: If people have the courage of their convictions, nothing can stop them.

Garnered from this book and other quotes from speeches, one comes to mind for today’s world situation. The time is right. At one point in his speechmaking he said: “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”

Today there are big men with little interests. Find them in Israel, find them in Congress, find them among friends, find them among family and/or find them among advisers. The truth is found in Profiles in Courage.

FRED STEWART
Grand Junction
Candidates backed by teachers’ union have a conflict of interest

I read Emily Schockley’s article in this morning paper and had an immediate reaction of incredulity.

This is a complete non-story. Who cares what company is doing the mailings for the candidates? Who cares if Mark Baisley runs a company that does those mailings and asked for restitution? Obviously, The Daily Sentinel does when it wants to sensationalize the school board election.

The real story in all of this, and the one which will be missed by most readers, is that Greg Mikolai, Tom Parrish, and John Williams see no problem receiving thousands of dollars in support from the very union they have to oversee. Most people would see this as at minimum a conflict of interest. I consider it akin to out-and-out bribery, particularly in light of the way Mikolai handled negotiations with the union this year.

Voters, you have a stark choice. Clearly, the left would like to make this campaign for school board about innuendo and falsehoods. Keep these numbers in mind: 33.8 percent math proficiency and 49 percent reading proficiency. They are the reality of our school system.

If you think the numbers are OK, vote for the union-backed, candidates.

If you don’t, vote for John Sluder, Mike Lowenstein and Pat Kanda.

KEVIN MCCARNEY
Clifton

 



COMMENTS

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As usual for Dave Kearsley (“If Obamacare website is deemed bad, wait until you read the fine print”), the “glass” is always empty when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  However:

First, for “liberals” who do care “about the overall results or the cost”, the most recent studies by the Center for American Progress and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that —“overall”—the market-driven competitive forces harnessed by “ObamaCare’s” health insurance exchanges are working just fine.  In fact, overall premium levels are 16% lower than originally projected by the CBO when it “scored” the AFA.

Second, even though “liberals” (in contrast to the “conservatives” who enacted Medicare Part D) insured that the AFA was fully paid for by a suite of new taxes (and therefore immunes from “de-funding”), these lower overall premiums reduce the CBO’s projected overall costs of premium subsidies by $190 billion over the next ten years.

Third, while requiring provisions covering maternity care and free preventative care (including contraception), the AFA also prohibits gender discrimination, annual and/or lifetime caps, coverage-evading “death panels”, and denials for “pre-existing conditions”.
As a result of these tradeoffs, some premiums increased (particularly for substandard policies), while other decreased.  Thus, Kearsley’s narrow focus on anecdotal particulars merely obscures the very “overall results” he accuses “liberals” of ignoring.

Fourth, because of Repugnicans’ on-going misinformation campaign and the inexcusable problems with the web-site roll-out, many would-be health insurance purchasers don’t even know yet what their new premiums would be after accounting for subsidies.  Thus, as Gary Harmon reports (“For senator, a sampler platter of jobs”), one local told Senator Bennet that his premiums would double, but hadn’t yet consulted “ColoradoConnect”.

Fifth, Kearsley is correct that the penalty (for a single person) in 2014 for not having coverage will be the greater of $95 or 1% of taxable income, increasing to $325/2% in 2015, and $695/2.5% thereafter—incentivizing those who can afford health insurance to decide whether to pay the tax penalty “for nothing”, or apply it toward buying coverage.

Mr. Nevins: Galileo was convicted of heresy for saying that the Earth revolved around the Sun.  That doesn’t mean he wasn’t right.

Mr. Phillips,

Unfortunately, we cannot go back to the horse and buggy days, stop all air traffic and everything else that uses energy, and sustain a civilized world. Even returning to living in teepees and burning wood for heat goes against the green “save the trees” mantra, and we would decimate the tree population rapidly.

Al Gore and other enviromentalists took a play from P.T. Barnum’s “There’s a sucker born every minute playbook…

If you create a fear, and then say you have the answer, people will flock to your bandwagon.

Maybe we should start developing ways of plugging all the worlds volcanoes which contribute more to “Climate Change” than man does.

The earth has been much hotter and cooler at times than we are even beginning to approach, as we are still coming out of our last ice age. Pushing so called “carbon credit” remedies and controls that damage peoples ability to get a job, eat, survive, support their families and pay their bills is not going to stop climate change.

Until man learns how to control the weather and mother nature, we will just have to do what species have done for millions of years…adapt and evolve to survive.

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