Email letters, October 3, 2013

Darren Cook correctly noted failings of Douglas County School District
Darren Cook’s letter to the editor in rebuttal of Jeff Leany’s statements regarding the Douglas County School District was spot on.

It is disconcerting that a sitting Mesa County school board member is so ignorant of what is really happening in another state district. One only has to listen to the radio or read the newspaper to be aware of the demise of the Douglas County school system.

Grand Junction

After shutdown, how long must Newton children wait for counseling?

In reference to the headline, “Fear haunts young Newtown Survivors,” I feel your pain, little people, much like soldiers coming back from conflict, Viet Nam, Afghanistan and others. I also have many fears, I’ve been shot at; it never goes away, just like Congress.

Now we have the fear of the IRS running our health care system for some 30 million people, and it’s going to cost more than the other 85 percent of the population to be insured? Yup, that’s “Washington Math.” That’s the normal way of doing business apparently for these yahoos. Really? So, we ruin the economy?

I say PASS IT; let Obamacare pass and let it be 100 percent on Obama. Let him stand right up there along with every congressman and every member of Washington D.C.‘s workforce and sign up with no exemptions. Be proud of all 2,700 pages, and let’s just see how much confidence he has in it.

How long will those Newtown kids be waiting in line for some counselors to help them? Heck, let it pass, no exemptions and then publish a list of every member of Congress’s phone number ... direct, day or night. How many more “unconstitutional” changes can we make to this bad boy? Let’s make it so big you can’t lift a copy of it without a hand truck. Oh, wait! It’s there already!

Obamacare for Obama, thank you and have a nice day, sponsored by your friends, the feds, “We are here from the government and we are here to help you.”

Grand Junction
Colorado should revamp fire district policies

How wonderful that the Sentinel thinks the state government can efficiently implement an insurance assessment program for thousands of Colorado wildland/urban interface homes. I feel confident that Gov. Hickenlooper and the Colorado Legislature, after hiring hundreds of new employees, will make it as professional and cost-efficient as Obamacare.

They are giving the private insurance carriers a legal reason to raise our insurance rates while the taxpayers pay for the studies and implementation of the program. Don’t
insurance carriers have the resources and ability to assess their policyholders?

I sat in a sheriff’s vehicle this summer and watched the start of the Papoose fire in the San Juan Mountains. I listened to a Forest Service dispatcher tell the deputy that they had no report of a fire and had no resources available even if it was a fire. Millions of dollars later they were able to control it. You want me to pay extra for that?

Above Lake City, we have attempted for years to be accepted into a fire district. Rural areas in most states are in a fire district and each homeowner/landowner pays a tax to maintain the district. Colorado has no such law.

If the politicians in this state want to do something positive, then expand the fire districts to include the whole state. Decisions would be made at the district level, equipment and resources would be available where needed and control would be local. The best part is that homeowners such as I would be paying for the costs of the district and things would actually get accomplished.

Unfortunately, our liberal governor and Legislature would rather do the “big brother knows best” act and nothing will be done except to spend our money — in Denver.


Honor Flight veterans deserved better treatment in D.C.

Why hasn’t the American Legion called a press conference to protest the unspeakable treatment of our Honor Flight veterans who were in D.C .to see their memorial?

The Commander in Chief could have stopped this with a phone call.

Grand Junction
Obamacare now the law of the land, upheld by high court

Obamacare, whether you like it or not, is the law of the land, and it has been upheld by U.S. Supreme Court. The government shutdown is happening because the GOP doesn’t like Obamacare. Its members’ argument for holding the government hostage because they don’t like one of our laws of the land is a rather weak argument. Imagine if a small group of Democrats didn’t like certain aspects of the Patriot Act and decided to hold the government hostage. Ridiculous.

Make no mistake; this shutdown is the GOP’s fault. The GOP wants to argue that it has passed five bills funding the government. However, these bills are not clean because they do not fund Obamacare, a law of the land. So, their argument is just spin.

Since we have had the tea party members rising to prominence and influencing the GOP, it has resulted in sequestration and now the government shutdown.

Is this what Americans want from the tea party and the GOP? Do we want constant gridlock? Do we want a severe austerity program that squeezes the life out of our economy and stops funding worthwhile programs such as national parks, higher education and much needed infrastructure repair? No, most Americans do not want these things.

I remember back in the 1980s when Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill and Republican President Ronald Reagan were able to compromise on passing bills even when they rarely agreed on anything.

And, yet, John Boehner and tea party members just love to praise the memory of Reagan even though they act in a way that makes Reagan roll over in his grave. Members of today’s GOP are indeed spoiled children. And moreover, they are dragging this country down the tubes. We are becoming a shell of the great nation we once were, thanks to this current version of the GOP.

Grand Junction
How would Great Emancipator react to government shutdown?

The government shutdown and related shenanigans in Washington put me in mind of the Great Emancipator addressing what was then a clique of fire-eating Democrats who were intent on getting their way despite political realities.

Toward the end of his remarks, Lincoln asked, ” … do you really feel yourselves justified to break up this Government…? ... And then say that the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear and mutters through his teeth, ‘Stand and deliver or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!’” (Abraham Lincoln, Coopers Union Speech. Feb. 27, 1860)

Grand Junction

President, other Democrats resort to scaremongering

I consider President Barack Obama and Sen. Harry Reid along with the Democratic Party-controlled Senate responsible for the government shutdown. The budget is there to fund the government and keep it open, but they turned it down in favor of their egos and partisan ideology.

Obama and Reid’s intransigence and their disdain for fairness are appalling to me, but, sadly, not surprising. Instead, the White House and Democratic Party leaders resort to the same spin tactics used with the sequestration, e.g., name-calling and scaremongering. That is not leadership, but it is bullying.

Grand Junction

Hikes in price of crude oil matched by production costs

Jim Spehar’s editorial on oil shale reminded me of what I told my classes when I was a professor of geology at Oklahoma State University 40 years ago. At that time, just before the first OPEC (aka. Arab) oil embargo, west Texas sweet crude oil was selling for $3 a barrel.

Conventional wisdom at that time held that when the price rose to $10, oil from the Green River Formation would become economically viable. Now the price of oil is $100 a barrel, and oil-shale oil still can’t cut it economically.

The reason for this is that when the price of energy goes up, the price of everything needed to produce energy goes up. I believe that this relationship will continue until oil from other sources is almost used up or until government decides to heavily subsidize it.

Also, recent advances in the technology of energy production such as horizontal drilling and fracturing in tight formations have pushed the viability of oil shale farther into the future. Moreover, after all the exploration over the years would seem to have found all the hydrocarbon reservoirs, new ones continue to be identified.

So far, I’m satisfied that what I told my students has proved correct.

Grand Junction
EPA’s shutting down is no real loss

I see the Environment Protection Agency people got furloughed; that’s too bad. But the agency has done nothing to help America become energy independent. It keeps its job like a tangled-up web that no one really knows if there is any truth in any thing that comes from that department.

It’s not the department workers’ fault; it’s the higher-up leaders who are being paid off by the oil-producing countries to keep America hostage to them.

Grand Junction
Candidates’ claims of broken school system are inaccurate

My kids are thriving in Mesa County Valley School District 51. I am a mother of four boys, three attending schools in District 51.  My kids have been consistently exposed to many incredible teachers and staff and wonderful extracurricular programs.

I am disheartened by the message put forth by some of the candidates running for school board and some of the current members on our school board. Their message of a school system that is completely broken and failing our students is inaccurate and superficial.

Does our school district have areas that need improvement? Absolutely. As a parent, am I settling for a school district that is inadequate, broken or failing? Absolutely not.

It is my responsibility, as a parent, to support my children’s education in every way I can; this is why I feel compelled to share my perspective of the upcoming school board election.

I believe we need thoughtful and rational school board members. We need board members who support a quality,
well-rounded education for ALL kids and accountability of all District 51 staff students, and parents. We need board members who will put students first, have a healthy respect for the working professionals in our schools and come with balanced and feasible ideas.

I have taken the time to listen to the ideas of all six of the candidates concerning our school system. I will vote for John Williams, Tom Parrish and Greg Mikolai because, in addition to all of the qualities above, I believe these three candidates have the most thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of our school district and are the most prepared to sit on our school board.

Grand Junction
Most Mesa County jobs connected to energy industry

The reason I have found that so many in Grand Junction are opposed to the thought that climate change is real is not due to the lack of facts.

It is more due to the fact that most of the jobs in Mesa County are in some way, shape or form connected to the oil and gas industry. When you have a job, you don’t want to hear that what you’re doing is hurting the planet, because you don’t want to have to take responsibility for it.

But unless we do start taking responsibility for it, our children will curse our names.

Grand Junction

Many scientific articles explain why oceans are indeed heating up

The level of ignorance displayed by climate change deniers is stunning. Scientific fact is disregarded and replaced with “common sense.” No way can the oceans be heating up from a warmer atmosphere because we all know that heat rises and the oceans are below the atmosphere.

It took me about one minute to find a dozen scientific articles explaining how the oceans are being heated from increasing greenhouse gases and a warming atmosphere. But, hey, why listen to a bunch of silly old PhD scientists who obviously promote a liberal agenda and who actually study global warming when you can listen to your gut and common sense and the right-wing echo chamber?

One article is from the April 11 edition of USA Today. It is called “Where’s the heat? In the Oceans!” The article refers to a “recent study that found that heat absorbed by the world’s oceans has increased significantly over the same period (the past 10 years), prompting the study co-authors to say that the warming has been diverted and is heating the oceans instead of the atmosphere. The study was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.”

It further states, “’Over 90% of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases winds up warming the oceans,’ said Josh Willis, a scientist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the press conference. ‘Oceans cover two-thirds of the earth’s surface, so it’s expected that they’ll play a large role in how climate change and global warming play out.’ A large chunk of the warmth appears to be settling far down in the ocean about a half-mile beneath the surface, Trenbreth (a co-author of the article) says. New technology over the past decade or so have allowed scientists to better measure the temperature of the deep oceans, Willis says.”

Grand Junction

Government shutdown actually has many good results  

Call me shortsighted; just don’t call me late for dinner - ha ha!

But fortunately the government shutoff does accomplish the following: Gitmo is closed! Them terrorists are some bad dawgs and they have to go home. Hallelujah on that action.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over, Baby. All soldiers can come home to their wives and kids or husbands or whatever. It’s all good.

All federal governmental aid to schools - GONE - up in a puff of smoke. Oh well. We’ll get by. Walter Reed and all VA hospitals close, but that’s a good thing to at least avoid implementing Obamacare. Many fakers will have to get jobs - including all them doctors and nurses…

So. good there, too. Yup.

And all global warming has to stop since it just a government conspiracy, anyway.

That’s good.

Speed limits on all U.S. highways are gone, too – cool, man!

So, obviously lots of positives are not being reported by the liberal media.

I think we should look on the bright side. Now Mesa County does not have to secede from the USA and there are no gun laws or nothing. Hallelujah!

Free at last!

Grand Junction
Tipton must state for the record whether he’ll support a clean continuing resolution

Kudos to The Daily Sentinel’s editors for unequivocally calling for an immediate end to the current government shutdown (“Point made, now reopen government”).

However, having thrice endorsed Scott “Tea Party” Tipton for election to Congress, the Sentinel’s editors are much too circumspect in refusing to criticize their dubious choice of another tea party lemming.

Even if Tipton “is just keeping his head down,”,he does so purely because the 3rd Congressional District is one of the few “competitive districts” remaining in our country, such that he must both preclude a primary challenge “from the right” next year (by “playing to his base”), and also avoid alienating too many “moderates” and “independents” while doing so.

Consequently, as Dr. Michael Pramenko’s timely column (“Cruz and tea party want to overturn the results of last year’s election”) clearly demonstrates, Tipton remains part of the problem, not the solution.

Likewise, in his regular comments to the Sentinel’s Gary Harmon (see, e.g., “Tipton blames officials for aggravating situation”), Tipton repeatedly relies on simplistic “one-liners and factually challenged rhetoric” to disingenuously avoid his “personal responsibility” for deluding his constituency with misinformation and voting to shut down the government over a “conservative” program that offers 45 million Americans access to health care.

Indeed, Jim Ciha’s letter (“Obamacare doesn’t do enough for affordable care”) is closer to the truth than any of Tipton’s pronouncements about the Affordable Care Act – which was originally a Republican “market-based” approach to combating incessantly rising health care costs and egregious abuses by for-profit health insurers.

Thus, the Sentinel should get Tipton “on record” as to whether he will support a “clean C.R.” and/or would sign a “discharge petition” to bring one to the floor. If not, Sentinel readers should properly conclude that Tipton is both unworthy of his position and undeserving of re-election.

Grand Junction

Congress should be ashamed of its hypocrisy

The old saying “you don’t miss the water until the well runs dry” is apropos for the shenanigans being played out by our great leaders (?) in Washington D.C. Federal services and programs we take for granted are now unavailable and that’s causing serious problems to our entire country.

The tea party is at not at war with Washington over the Affordable Health Care Act as its members try to imply. They actually are against anything the Democrats and especially President Obama are for, regardless if it’s good for taxpayers or not. They are poor losers and are still smarting from the last presidential election.

The fine senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, spent hours filibustering against the Affordable Health Care Act, ranting that the federal government doesn’t need to be in citizens’ lives and shouldn’t be telling them how to take care of their health problems (but he supports Medicare and Social Security).

He neglected to mention that Texas has received more federal tax dollars in one form or another than any other state in the union. A fellow Republican and former presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, first introduced a health program similar to the Affordable Health Care Act when he was the 70th governor of Massachusetts,

Congress should be ashamed of its hypocrisy. What a horrible example they are setting for our youth who will become our future leaders. The juvenile game of “my daddy is bigger, stronger, richer, etc. than your daddy’” does not sit well with other countries. Our leaders are losing their integrity by the inability to govern their own people. The United States of America has become an embarrassment to all.

Please, don’t forget this federal shutdown come election time. Let’s get those juveniles who are supposedly working for us out of the White House. The voters have the real power. Use it.


Blind, vision-impaired people celebrated on White Cane Day

White Cane Safety Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 15. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed into law a national resolution that Oct. 15 be proclaimed “White Cane Safety Day.” This day commemorates the independence, achievements and positive contributions of vision-impaired and blind people. This day is meant to increase awareness of the white cane and what it signifies for those individuals who use them.

A certified vision rehabilitation therapist and orientation and mobility instructor, I work for the Department of Human Service’s division of vocational rehabilitation. I know that the white cane is an important tool for the visually impaired user. It indicates low vision but not necessarily total blindness.

It is important to be vigilant when someone with a white cane is crossing a road. When moving about in the environment, a vision-impaired person may use a cane that could be a folding, rigid or support cane. The person may walk with a guide dog, walker or Global Positioning Systems device.

DVR provides assistance to disabled individuals. These services may include travel skills instruction, independent homemaking skills, training, career and job planning, educational opportunities and equipment. DVR is at 222 S. 6th Street. Ste. 215 (248-7103).

A group of low-vision people, The Western Slope Visionaries, meets each Tuesday at the Center for Independence at 740 Gunnison Ave. (241-0315). This organization offers information and support and promotes community solutions that assist the disabled to live independently.

“Please don’t assume we’re helpless,” says group member Steve Davis. “If we ask for help, please help us. If you want to help, just ask us if we could use some help. Most of all, please accept our answer gracefully. Some of us will need and appreciate it; some of us may not. Communication is critical to all of us and feeling respected and valued as a person.”

Grand Junction

Consider San Francisco lawsuit before busing panhandlers out of city

To all those people who think the city/county should purchase one-way, out-of-town bus tickets for the homeless and panhandlers, San Francisco recently sued Nevada for its practice of doing just that. Does the city want to defend a lawsuit brought on by more stupidity?




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