Email Letters: October 31, 2016

There’s a big contrast between commissioner candidates

There’s a big contrast between Mesa County Commissioner candidates John Justman and Jim Doody.

Justman fights for the little guy during this economic downturn made worse by E.P.A. and B.L.M. restrictions on our formerly multi- use public lands. He fights to preserve our rights to access those lands and restore valuable natural gas, oil and coal jobs here. He’s stood strong against outside interests pressuring to open pot shops and grow here. He wants Mesa County to be a safe and wholesome place to bring up families and operate businesses. Sadly, Colorado has become the #1 in the nation for teen marijuana abuse since legalization in 2013. As a farmer, he understands the importance of our multi-million dollar agricultural industry to our local economy and quality of life. For decades, he’s been on water boards to protect our water rights and brings valuable experience crucial to western Colorado. In this time of shrinking budgets, he knows how to tighten the belt and focus on providing critical services. He’s a strong supporter of TABOR – your right to vote on taxes you pay.

Contrast this with Jim Doody, his challenger. Doody strongly supported spending money they couldn’t afford on the Avalon Theater when he was on the Grand Junction City Council. He continues to make extravagant promises to many groups he addresses for funding their projects with money that simply isn’t there. He’s a big supporter of opening our county up to marijuana shops regardless of the harm it’s doing to our youth. He says we need the revenue, ignoring the fact that combined revenues from medical and recreational marijuana contributed only 0.5 percent to our 2016 Colorado State budget. He supports inviting more federal control of the Monument that leads to E.P.A. intrusions on agriculture and manufacturing we can ill afford.


Amendment 71 has good intentions but falls short

Amendment 71 – an amendment like 69 –has good intentions but falls short. The proponents state we have amended our state constitution too many times; it is too easy under the current process. However, currently, we rank only ninth – 152 – in the number of times amended.

First is Alabama at 892, then California at 505, then and Texas at 484. Even Nebraska (234) and North Dakota (161) have amended their constitutions more. Too easy to change? This amendment would make it easier to “remove” current amendments (50 percent) than enact (55 percent) new ones. Not to mention the higher cost of placing new initiatives on the ballot. (Something special interest groups would far better be able to afford than local grassroots organizations.)

The irony for myself in opposing this amendment is, if it had been in effect in 1992, we, as a state, would not be saddled with TABOR. (Passed with just under 54 percent of the vote.)


Grand Junction

Trump voters who think election is fixed are conspiracy theorists

So the majority of Trump voters believe that the “fix” is in for the election. His supporters brought this whole thing onto their own heads. Who cares what these people believe? These are the same people who are the birthers, the climate deniers, and the 9/11 conspiracy crazies. They’ve heard the sound of hooves for the entire election, but they only see zebras, never horses. Everything is a conspiracy. Try to explain away Trump losing by tens of millions of votes.


The numbers don’t add up in closing of Life Center

On various days The Sentinel has published articles about the Life Center, with facts they have been given from the St. Mary’s spokespeople.

Fact one: the building is not closing. They will still have the various therapy patients there, which means they still have to pay for electric, water, heat, cooling and taxes. Fact two: they have 1,500 patients other then therapy people using the center. Fact three: the spokesperson said even if they raised the dues to $60 a month for every member it would not pay the overhead. Fact four: 1,500 x $60 equals $90,000 a month income, plus what they charge the insurance companies for the therapy patients.

Can’t meet overhead on $90 thousand a month? Come on St. Mary’s, do we really look that naive? The only patients they are getting rid of are the classes that cater to mostly seniors and keeping the therapy people whose insurance pays high fees to get them well. So if they cannot make overhead with an additional $90 thousand a month, how are they going to make it on just the fees from the therapy patients? Am I missing something?



Halloween theme is appropriate for this election season

The Halloween themes of goblins, witches, monsters, and the walking dead have never been more appropriate around election time than for this year’s election. What could be scarier than the choices Americans have from which to pick the new leader of our nation?


It’s time for Grand Junction to build a community center

As we read about the closure of the St. Mary’s Life Center and learn about our neighbors who are losing their place for health and community, we are reminded of how much Grand Junction could benefit from a community center. Not just a gym or a place for recreation, but an affordable and accessible space for people of all ages and backgrounds to build community.

We in Grand Junction need a place to belong. A place that builds a sense of unity among residents. A place where everyone is welcome. A place the entire city can be proud of.

Residents of Grand Junction have been trying for nearly 40 years to bring a community center to our hometown. In that time, we’ve witnessed neighboring cities build successful community centers that not only benefit the well-being of their residents, but that also boost their local economies by creating jobs, raising property values, and attracting visitors, new residents, and potential businesses to their communities. Community centers such as the one in Fruita leave many Grand Junction residents wondering why we don’t have one here.

A citizen group is currently working to make this happen for Grand Junction. PLACE (People for Local Activities and Community Enrichment) and its partner organization, Western Colorado Congress, are organizing support behind the idea of a community center for Grand Junction, and members are currently applying for private grants to fund a feasibility study for it. We’ll be out there meeting our neighbors and gathering signatures of support for this project, and we’re looking forward to working together to make this happen for our community. For more information or to join the effort, visit


Grand Junction

Tipton is a threat to Colorado public lands

Our quality of life in Colorado is abundantly enhanced by access to our public lands for hunting, fishing, rafting, camping, hiking, skiing, biking, RVs, snowmobiles, and many other uses. Access to public lands why I so much enjoy living in Colorado.

Representative Scott Tipton, and his Republican caucus, are a clear threat to Colorado’s public lands. To see why consider two bills:

In 2015, Tipton sponsored H.R. 866, the “Federal Land Freedom Act” which proposed to transfer responsibility for “leasing, permitting and regulating” all oil and gas development on federal lands to the states. H.R. 866 attempted to abrogate carefully developed federal lease terms, together with operating, surface use, environmental, wildlife, royalty, and public in-put regulations and protections, on both BLM and forest lands. Entirely irresponsibly, there are no standards or protections in the bill – it authorizes the state to lease, regulate and administer federal oil and gas development on any terms it sees fit – with no federal oversight whatsoever. This bill is shocking.

In 2016, Tipton sponsored H.R. 5836, which requires the Secretary of Interior to dispose of lands earmarked as “available for disposal.” However, H.R. 5836 also includes a new process for selection process for disposal lands, which sets no standards or limits. In the hands of a Trump administration, for which this bill was likely intended, H.R. 5836 could be utilized to privatize of huge swaths of public lands, with no public comment or oversight. It is outrageous.

By sponsoring H.R. 866 and H.R 5836, Scott Tipton made clear he is actively attempting to exploit and privatize Colorado’s public lands – to the substantial detriment of all Coloradoans. Mr. Tipton, and his Republican caucus, are too extreme for Colorado.

Vote for Gail Schwartz, as your Congresswoman in the 3rd Congressional District.


Anti-government, right wing politicians like Tipton create trouble in America

America is deeply troubled when homegrown terrorists like the Bundys go free, yet peaceful protesters at Standing Rock are treated like an invading army. Tim DeChristopher, who bid on gas leases on BLM land, trying to protect them from development, spent 21 months in prison. His crime, admittedly illegal, was far, far, less serious. What would happen if armed Muslims took over a federal building trying to get attention to their cause? Surely they have the same rights as the Bundys!

How can this happen? I can only point to the anti-government right-wing politicians like Scott Tipton who introduce bills to take over federal lands so corporations can profit. He let the gas companies write bills that he introduced word for word. He backs the misogynist, hateful Trump. I certainly am tired of his representation, especially since his type of thinking has lead to terrorists going free.



Use and sale of intoxicants is not conducive to study and practice of Yoga

Swami Chaitanya wrongly advocates the use (and sale) of marijuana as a practice and study of Yoga. The Bhagavad Gita describes an intoxicated Yogi as a fraud: “those who are intoxicated, or perform sacrifices contrary to the scriptural ordinances.”

Against this stands the Atharva Veda, 11.6.15, a prayer for non-harm and protection to a world of friends and enemies during moments of disastrous misfortune. Even plants are appealed to, specifically: soma, dharbha, hemp and barley. By this list, does Chaitanya understand “marijuana?” The mistake is similar to confusing English words such as “grass” or “weed” as euphemisms for marijuana. Frauds have used similar arguments to justify killing numerous animals (and sometimes people) as sacrifices. However, proper practice of Yoga both dissuades a person from improper sacrifice, and encourages sobriety.

But even if marijuana is appealed to in the Atharva Veda, it’s illogical to presume marijuana would be among the friendly plants when the Rakshas are also appealed to: marijuana, if included, is like these demons.

Marijuana, like tobacco, causes harm: even if it has a low mortality rate among users it has a high morbidity rate. No one dies from tobacco, but they do die from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other effects of tobacco use.

When in the Puranas, Bhrigu, the son of Brahma, cursed Nandi, “may all who adopt the worship of Bhava (Siva) become heretics, and doubt; may they neglect purification; may they be of infirm intellects, wearing clotted hair, and ornamenting themselves with ashes and bones; and may they be intoxicated,” Bhrigu was not advocating, condoning, nor praising these practices.

Chaitanya describes marijuana as “medicine.” It is important to recognize here that medical experts by and large contradict Chaitanya, showing he is no more a medical expert than he is a Yogi. Yet, if marijuana was not an intoxicant, but medicine, it’s wrong livelihood to capitalize sickness.

The use and sale of intoxicants is not conducive to the study and practice of Yoga.

Loka Hatha Yoga
Grand Junction

Benghazi proves Clinton not qualified to be president

What difference does it make, asked Hillary Clinton. I think that was the statement made by Hillary Clinton when being questioned by the senate sub-committee concerning the Benghazi disaster.

The difference between acting when she should have and the three-plus hour delay of her taking any action caused the death of four Americans. The difference cost four families a loved one, a wife her husband, children their father, parents their son, the siblings their brother, and all of the families heartache instead of joy.

In short, the difference between Hillary doing her job timely and not was the difference between life and death of the four Americans and the happiness or sadness of their families.

If I had a family member in the armed forces today, I would have grave concerns for their safety, not from the enemy, but from Hillary, as commander-in-chief, for not acting/re-acting as required.

This (among many other reasons) makes me feel she is not qualified to be president of this great nation and I therefore urge you to vote for Donald J. Trump.


Gail Schwartz understands the importance of protecting our public lands

It is time to step up and vote for Gail Schwartz who understands the importance of keeping our public lands in public hands. She has been quoted as saying “These lands are our economy, our future and our heritage” and I agree.

The threat to our public lands is especially poignant after the recent acquittal of the Bundy Brothers and fellow conspirators who attempted the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a federally owned wildlife sanctuary in Oregon. The militant action taken to occupy the wildlife refuge was an action taken against all Americans who value the importance of preserving public lands. Now we have an opportunity to show that we care through our vote. Gail Schwartz understands the importance of protecting our public lands and that is one of the many reasons that I am voting for Gail Schwartz for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District.

Women for Wild Lands

Give us someone more than a two dimensional president

There’s something ironic with Hillary being so closely associated with Anthony Weiner.

Some things are fanciful, some are amusing, and others are hard fact. Hillary as president is an oxymoron: imagine her being elected and then having to go through an internal investigation. Elect that, and all its history! What is “stronger together” going to really mean for those who identify with the slogan? Maybe “too big to jail” would fall flat for those supporters.

Die-hard Democrats and six figure incomes are Hillary’s base. That’s why odd couples like Glen Beck on Charlie Rose and Michael Moore on The Kelly File are in support of Hillary. Even Rachel Maddow’s posterior was puckering at the thought of a Bernie Sanders primary win. Heaven help this populist movement, it has an uphill road… it hasn’t been this intense since FDR. (There was a smaller elite base opposing the climb then).

Nixon envied FDR, Hillary envies Nixon; these presidential subterfuges are the difference between an extrovert and two introverts. The difference is the victory in WWII then, and the decline of The American Presidency now. “What we got?” In George Bush, a favorite son. In Bill Clinton “the baby boomer.” In Barack Obama a black. In Hillary Clinton a woman. Give us someone more than a two dimensional president. Donald Trump seems more real, warts and all.

From the dusty road of “value relativism” announced by Alan Bloom in “The Closing of the American Mind”, cultivated by post WWII “Life Adjustment” [check out Sister Mary Janet] we have lost our values. What is left? Dream on from that Fortune/Esquire? Magazine cover from the 60’s of a “Kennedy Dynasty” (depicting successive receding views of JFK’s rocking chair).

For all our intellect, the truth is in the people. They must be respected and given values: “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it,” and don’t forget the McGuffey readers. At least Donald Trump brings along Norman Vincent Peale.


Grand Junction

Are Republicans blind to what could happen if Trump loses?

Many Republicans are turning away from supporting Donald Trump and many do so fearing that his election will lead to the end of the Republican Party, as it existed before Trump. But are they blind to what could happen if he loses?

As president Hillary Clinton will likely appoint two, three, or more relatively young liberal judges to the Supreme Court. This will create a liberal balance that cannot be changed for many decades, if ever.

One result is this will ensure that all existing restrictions on abortion will be ruled unconstitutional. Overturning Roe v. Wade has been a motivating factor for many pro-life voters for decades. Why would they ever again settle, holding their noses and voting for less attractive Republicans in the future, especially if pro-life third party choices are available?

For those who support the second amendment, these same liberal judges will rule that strict gun control legislation is constitutional, thus the second amendment will be effectively altered forever. Again I ask, why would these second amendment advocates continue to support Republicans, who have failed them?

I believe that the Republican Party will lose many of these pro-life and pro-gun voters to third party candidates and the margin of victory they have previously provided will disappear, and in many close races Republican candidates will no longer be able to win.

Yet, these party purists refuse to “hold their noses” and vote for Trump.

Sometimes actions have unintended consequences.

Burke, Va.

We must vote to end the bigotry and hate that is promoted in attack ads

The attack ad against Gail Schwartz that is now airing is absolutely sickening. It depicts “threats” to our schools and communities by showing a Muslim woman wearing a burka, a scene of carnage in the streets, and people of color along with race-baiting phrases like: “Criminals. Near our shopping centers. Felons. Near our schools.”

Before we dismiss this ad as Trumped-Up political season rhetoric, note that the ad was paid for by the Congressional Leadership Fund, which consists of active and former Republican Congressional members including Scott Tipton. This ad is the message from our Republican Congress and the Republican Party.

We can’t stand by and let this Anti-Muslim xenophobia and anti-minority (especially African Americans) fear mongering continue. I am ashamed of the Republican members of Congress for approving this racist, hateful message. We must vote to end the bigotry and hate that is promoted in ads like this.


Colorado Springs


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Monday’s on-line letter from Robert Brown (“Benghazi proves Clinton not qualified to be president”) proves only that too many Trump supporters remain persistently ignorant of actual facts and prefer to base their uninformed opinions on already discredited myths.  In fact, on May 8, 2013, Hillary Clinton asked Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis) “what difference does it make” in the following context:

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans.  Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans?  What difference at this point does it make?  It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”  In fact, no respect was due to her partisan questioners. 

Indeed, her answer called attention to the fact that Republicans were (and still are) seeking to avoid any responsibility for the virulent anti-Muslim video produced by a bigoted Evangelical and for cutting the State Department’s diplomatic security budget – both of which contributed to the tragic events in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.  See:

Moreover, multiple bipartisan investigations have established that there was no “three-plus hour delay” in the State Department’s efforts to send reinforcements to Benghazi – and thus that Fox News (upon which Brown still apparently relies) lied about that “fact” some 134 times (

While Trump cynically exploited the Benghazi tragedy at the RNC by allowing the grieving mother of Sean Smith – as does Brown – to falsely accuse Hillary Clinton of causing the death of her son, that shameless allegation has also been thoroughly debunked.

Meanwhile, “deplorable” Trumpsters like Brown still gullibly urge their fellow citizens to vote for Donald J. Trump—the most dishonest and unqualified candidate to ever seek our Presidency.

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