Email letters, Sept. 10, 2012

Suicide prevention month a good time to reflect on the power of a kind word or deed

We welcome September with its myriad of activities promoting wellness, education and health. Particularly we are grateful for this month’s designation as “suicide prevention” month in the Grand Valley. The activities organized by the Suicide Prevention Foundation to reduce the suicide rate in our community are appreciated.

In addition, we hope that each on of us will take focused time this month to reflect upon and exercise those spiritual qualities that make our lives and those of others smoother, happier and buoyant with hope and productivity, thereby connecting us to a gentler inner self and the source that created us.

Love, goodwill, joy, patience, wisdom – all of these qualities in action even when we appear to be down on our luck, disagree or feel disconnected – cab buoy ourselves and others whom we may not even know are suffering within.

While the issue of suicide is complex and sensitive, we believe we can begin to prevents its beginnings by seeing good in others and supporting the unselfish labors of the organizations, charitable institutions, private counselors and faith communities providing services and treatment to those in need.

Let us acknowledge this service as a proof that we are connected to one another in good, in worth, in beauty and in dignity. Let not a day pass without acknowledging the good in every person with whom we come in contact – especially those who are openly suffering. A kindly word or deed may serve to save a life.


on behalf of members of Grand Valley Interfaith Network

World is a little dimmer after Melzer’s passing

As Jackson Browne sang, “the sudden news that a friend of mine was dead” came to awareness last week.

Tom Melzer, a true human being in the Navajo sense of the phrase, has passed, and this world is a little dimmer because of this.

Our paths crossed in many ways. As my cat’s veterinarian, as a fellow dance club members (where his quiet leadership style was evident), our shard love for the natural world, in his efforts on behalf of animals statewide and in the valley, and for the far too few long conversations ranging from the silly to the serious (always intermixed) are elements of his legacy for me.

His love for both two and four-legged creatures should be remembered. His attitude, his focus and his compassions are traits resulting in character. As the Zen Buddhist strives for “right ego,” Tom lived it. His zest for living resulted in the conclusion of a life well lived.

His passing was too soon – his smile will linger. Hopefully, his type of compassion and spirit will grow stronger within all of us.

In Genesis (In the King James version) our instructions were to have dominion (not dominance) “over every living thing.” Tom did his part to make this world a better place and towards fulfilling our stewardship role. Knowing Tom enriched my life, and I am honored that he considered me a friend.


Sentinel biased against conservatives

I have been very unhappy with The Daily Sentinel. I feel it is liberally biased and, consequently, provides poor reporting. This paper prints biased and slanderous articles on conservative people and ignores the behaviors of others.

It appears on Republicans get DUIs and bankruptcies and try to buy off people. It would truly be a perfect country if Democrats solely inhabited it.

I’m considering cancelling my subscription.

Grand Junction

Implications of North Thompson Divide drilling are disastrous

I have immense concern over the thought of drilling in North Thompson Divide. It is just incredible to me how anyone can think oil or gas is more important than good water.

Please support Sen. Michael Bennett’s proposed legislation regarding Thompson Divide and the withdrawal of unleased land from gas and oil development.

My husband, born in the Roaring Fork Valley in 1926, feels just as I do. Please do anything you can to assist in the passage of this crucial piece of legislation.

The implications for our watershed and all those downstream are too disastrous to contemplate. Please, everyone, get the world out. Help!


Grasp reality when it comes to Brady Trucking and park

The “vision” behind what people want for Los Colonias Park is legitimate. Their actions against Brady Trucking are the wrong way to achieve it.

The late James Robb spent years convincing industrial companies to donate or sell their riverfront properties to create the trail system. The late Ken Nesbitt, who owned United Companies and who dredged gravel from the Connected Lakes, joined the crusade for the tail system, and when he finished dredging, he donated the lakes to the public.

Coorstek, the old City Market warehouse, BJ Services, Mays Concrete and many others provided the Blue Heron trail. The current visionaries will end up destroying all the goodwill the Riverfront Commission built with business and industry.

For those new to this argument, Brady Trucking did absolutely nothing wrong. Los Colonias Park and the Botanical Gardens were part the original industrial area of the city, most of which still exists.

Brady bought a piece of contaminated burned-out property that sat on sale for years -— property that none of these committees wanted to clean up — and that was originally zoned heavy industrial. Once Brady had cleaned it up, the visionaries complained about diesel trucks at Brady, but the place is surrounded by trains and rail spurs, truck traffic on Highway 50 and the Riverside Parkway, the asphalt plant and many other industries that need the railroad just as the industries along the Blue Heron trail need the railroad. The railroad is not going to go away.

That means the businesses that need railroads are unlikely to go away. People need to grasp a little reality here. Build the park; accept Brady’s trail gift and let time resolve many of these issues. The means to this end is reprehensible.

Grand Junction

WCC plays game with economic future of Colorado

Now that the Western Colorado Congress has played its little games with Colorado’s economic future, and bullied the people of Garfield County into wasting time temporarily rescinding a well thought-out resolution concerning oil shale, perhaps we can get back to the business of trying to rebuild the Western Slope economy. For starters, the Garfield Board of County Commissioners should follow Uintah County’s lead and readopt the resolution without delay.

I’m sure that the WCC, along with the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, is rather pleased with itself for wasting Garfield County’s time and money with its frivolous lawsuit over clerical minutia in its drive to see Western Colorado revert to a Stone Age economy.

For the rest of us, oil shale represents a vast, valuable resource that can provide America with energy independence and security for the next century and return jobs and healthy growth to the region. That could be why every other county in northwest Colorado, southwest Wyoming and northeast Utah adopted resolutions opposing the federal government’s plan to remove virtually all of the richest oil shale land from even being considered for leasing.

But to WCC, energy security and the economy are secondary considerations to county commissioners forgetting to tell their clerks every detail of a meeting where they get together with other regional commissioners to discuss important matters of mutual concern – a meeting which is itself illegal because notice of it was posted four minutes late.

God help us if this is the new approach to forming public policy in this country. Uintah County dealt with this absurdity by rescinding and immediately readopting its resolution, and Garfield County needs to do the same to quickly restore some semblance of respect for rule of law and our system of government, of which WCC has made such an embarrassing mockery.

Grand Junction

One industry and a few jobs supersede city’s vision

There is a renewed debate reignited at the city council hearing Wednesday Sept. 5. It will continue until brought to a citywide vote in April 2013. It is about a river and its value to a city. It draws a clear line between right and wrong, the present and the past.

Your chamber of commerce would have you believe that a business should be able to buy a piece of riverfront land and subsequently claim the right to have the property zoned to meet an industrial trucking plan. That is to say, one industry and a few jobs trumps the vision and planning of an entire city and that community’s best interests.

Your city council, somehow, finds it in the best interest of the citizens of Grand Junction to concede to a trucking industry setting up shop on an “island” within a sea of green right on YOUR once-trashed-and-now-rehabilitated riverfront. Looking at the city planning maps, it’s got to be a mistake.

Grand Junction

Affordable Health Care Act provides tangible benefits

Let’s strip away the political rhetoric and look at the benefits of the Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 that primary care physicians and their patients see every day. I am a 1959 graduate of Aspen High School and a family physician with a passion for prevention who has practiced in Glenwood Springs since 1973.

Prior to passage of the health care reform bill (Obamacare), I witnessed a costly, fragmented, inefficient, unfair medical system in which physicians were paid to order tests and do procedures and to take care of sick people rather than prevent disease; where many patients could not find insurance because of pre-existing conditions and therefore received inadequate or no care; where patients without insurance received expensive and episodic care in emergency rooms, driving up medical costs for everyone.

Since health care reform in 2010, physicians are now getting paid for performance (patient outcomes); Medicare and private insurance are now paying for wellness and prevention; patients can no longer be denied insurance for pre-existing conditions; young people are now covered under their parents’ insurance.

Does the Affordable Health Care need to be tweaked? Of course, it’s not a perfect bill (very few are). But it was clearly an important step in the right direction and achieved something both political parties have been talking about for decades.

Think long and hard before you vote in two months; let’s not go back to the bad old days of American medicine.



Actions speak louder than thoughts, knowledge or beliefs

“The Government conducts a monthly sample survey called the Current Population Survey (CPS) to measure the extent of unemployment in the country:

As you can see, there is no actual unemployment count, only polling people living in their own homes and their relation with unemployment. No accounting for human error and no tolerance factors, which in most people polls is plus/minus three percent.

This means that the present 8.1 unemployment should be plus/minus 3 percent

What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.—John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

Grand Junction
Should school boards, teachers unions pay salaries of union officials?

I recently received an article (printed in the Denver Post) from a friend in Douglas County, regarding their school board and issues with the teachers union. The issues are:
• Should the district be prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining with the union?
• Should the district be prohibited from using public funding for the compensation of union leaders?
• Should the district be prohibited from collecting union dues from employee paychecks on the union’s behalf?

I understand, from the article, that the board placed each of these questions on the November ballot.
Could it be standard practice with school boards and teachers unions to actually pay the salaries of union officials?  This is like paying someone to beat you over the head with a club.

Am I missing something here?  I thought union members paid dues that then paid for their leadership. That surely seems like that’s how it ought to work, anyway. Why should it be up to the school district to collect union dues from paychecks on behalf of the union?  Is this how District 51 operates?

Grand Junction

Is it still possible to discuss politics and remain friends?

Last week I heard representative Don Coram speak following the League of Woman Voters’ showing of the movie, “Patriocracy,” a movie about how divided and divisive our government and country have become. He mentioned that, when he was a young man, his friends held many different views and their differences didn’t interfere with their friendships—a thought I’ve had many times over the last few years.

Whence the hatred?  When did venom and vitriol become an integral part of our political discourse?  Ugly bumper stickers, ugly words and ugly slogans dissing the president of the United States are spoken and displayed throughout our country.

Have we sunk so far into the abyss of political animosity, negativity and gloom that we can no longer relate to each other in light of our common interests, admirable qualities and personal assets?  Can we no longer discern the inherent goodness in people?  Each of us has something positive to offer. Might it be possible to just put politics and differences aside, agree to disagree, and still be friends?

Just wondering.



Conventions prove that aliens do exist

The conventions are over—amen. We had a choice, the group not afraid to say God, has a plan for reform, and has some idea of what it actually would take to create a job in the real world, if it was government’s job to create jobs at all. Then on the other side we checked the facts and most of the things stated as facts were in fact, not facts at all but fairy dust and BS courtesy the party that yells forward and then looks back to blame Bush for everything. You choose, and angry mob of high-schoolers or a group with some sand and experience in real world policy and what will work?

Gee, I choose the smart kids that don’t want me to give them all my hard earned cash to pay for things for those amongst us that refuse to make an attempt at providing for themselves.

Hmmm, the least able to produce are supposed to elect the least capable to lead, and let them confiscate the wealth of those among us producing so they can pay for programs we don’t want or need?

All the while praising them as the messiahs? No, thanks. The scariest part of both conventions was an interview with the crowd and two ladies believe firmly that corporations should be limited in the amount of profit they can make. Oh my, aliens do exist!


Grand Junction

Council ought to have repealed ordinance

I thought I was disappointed the first time. I thought after four years the Council would embrace the opportunity to right a wrong. Instead, an even bigger disappointment, an even greater wrong has taken place.

Four years ago I said on a news interview that we would take this issue to the people because that was our only option and I believed we would succeed.

And we did. We gathered a lot of signatures in a very short time. However, I said that before I felt the aggression and intimidation of the opposition. I said that before Diane Schwenke decided to make this issue her pet project.

I said that before I realized we’d have to fight the Chamber of Commerce. A bunch of hard-working community members don’t have the finances, or the resources, or the time the chamber has.

The issue is about zoning. It’s not about the character of Brady’s business or need I remind you of the illegal activities of Aspen Drilling on that parcel, or the radioactive contents of the bunker in the floodplain, or the bullying tactics of some of them towards people trying to sign the petition. It’s not about how much time and money they’ve invested, or need I remind you of the 30 years of energy and millions of dollars spent by our community cleaning up the riverfront down there, too. As much as some might like to think the rights of a trucking company have been compromised, they haven’t. I honestly don’t understand the Chamber’s allegiance to an out of town business that employs 60 people over the community members of this valley.

Four years ago the media had a heyday with this issue. Controversy sells. Sensationalism sells. Facts were often misrepresented. Those of you who lived it know how complicated the issue is. It was emotional. It was ugly. It ripped this town apart. How can the Council let that happen again? How can the Council not, as our elected leaders, do the job they were elected to do? Jim Doody said, “I think what’s going to happen is going to be a heck of a lot of fun to watch…. four council members running and this on the ballot as well.”

Let me tell you, there was NOTHING FUN about it. Our 4,000 signatures now pale in comparison to the chamber’s 1,000 businesses that employ 30,000 people. This issue will divide the town even more this time. This will get even uglier than the last go around.

I feel the council should have repealed the ordinance simply because it would have been the right thing to do. I-1 zoning does not belong on that parcel. How blatant a mistake could there possibly be? Our council members would have shown maturity, growth, and true leadership if they had taken this responsibility and dealt with it appropriately instead of inviting our community to engage in an emotional civil war. James Robb must be rolling over in his grave.

Grand Junction

After you’re through worrying, vote

Ever since I was young I heard, “This is the most important election in a lifetime.” I think some folks just say that because they’re WORRIED their candidate won’t win. Then, regardless who wins, they keep worrying.

In the 40’s, under Roosevelt, they worried about Germany and Japan.

In the 50’s Truman and Ike were top dogs and they WORRIED about the cold war, Korea and the hydrogen bomb.

Under JFK in the 60’s they worried about Catholics in the White House and when he died, they worried about LBJ and the war in Vietnam.

In the early 70’s Nixon ran the show and they worried about corruption in his office, then when he stepped aside, they worried Ford couldn’t restore confidence in the Presidency. Carter took over then and between inflation and lack luster leadership, we all worried.

In the 80’s, under Reagan, they worried about massive military buildups and deficit spending.

The senior Bush came along in the early 80’s and continued Reagan’s policies. They worried some more.

In the mid 90s to early 2000s Clinton focused on the economy and balancing the budget. They worried it would wreck the military.

In ‘01, Bush and the nation watched the birth of terrorism on U.S. soil. The world trade center disaster, wars in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan worried us all again.

In ‘08 we had Obama promising hope and change, but now millions worldwide are worried.

This November it’s time to stop worrying and vote again to choose a leader. Sure, this election is important, but all of them were/are. A simple question remains, “Are we better off now than four years ago?” 

Think on it a while, Wworry some, then get out and vote.

Grand Junction

It’s the Nisley Grizzlies ...

I owe the Nisley Grizzlies an apology for referring to them as the Bears in my previous letter to the editor. They are more than just bears. They’re the toughest bears in town!
So, Grizzlies, keep up the good work.

Grand Junction

Vote in fresh blood to Congress

It’s about to happen again. Nationwide, Congress has only a 10 percent approval rating yet we are about to reelect 90 percent of the incumbents. How can this be? The only explanation is that 90 percent of us approve of our own representative but want everyone else to elect someone different.

If this continues, there will never be meaningful change in Washington. Things will always be the same right up until our country collapses under the weight of debt and corruption.

Fellow Americans, we must do something different now. You can only vote for/against, and possibly replace, one of the 435 members of the House.

Is your representative really worthy of being sent back to Washington? If he/she has been there for 8eight or more years, it’s very likely he/she is part of the problem. If one of your choices in November is an eight or more year incumbent, seriously consider voting for the challenger.

But you say, “The other candidate is a member of the other party, and he’s pro this or that.” A freshman representative of either party will do less harm than an entrenched incumbent. In two years it will be easier to elect someone different and the country gets a new Congress now.

Arlington, Texas

Take your choice: big government or jobs

How loudly do business owners have to shout “You’re not getting jobs with Democrats!” before America gets it? Maybe you need four more years of Obama’s dismal, business hating ways.

As I listen to the crackling in the voices of my teacher friends while they worry about losing their jobs and deal with their skyrocketing health insurance deductibles because our school budgets suck and Obamacare is punishing the middle class, I just want to state this fact: “Our schools hired under Bush and have fired under Obama!”

Why? Because business prospers under conservatives, which means people, get jobs and buy homes. Those WORKING homeowners PAY taxes into our school and Government budgets which gives our teachers JOB SECURITY. It’s WORKING people who support government budgets.

Yet amazingly, most teachers will vote for Obama because of a union they really don’t need and who does them little good anymore. How many cities, counties, states, and government ran programs have to go bankrupt before American’s realize big Government is NOT the answer, IT’S THE PROBLEM!

Obama alone has run up $5.4 trillion in debt on our kids; he’s fixed nothing; and he has no clear-cut plan except to just keep taxing and spending.

America has a clear choice this fall: big government or jobs. I guarantee you’re not getting both.

Grand Junction
Would fair tax or flat tax better stimulate economy?

This country is broke. How long before the total failure of the economy?

It is more obvious every day that a new approach is needed. The economy needs a stimulus that works instead of throwing tax dollars at wasteful efforts. Two solutions have been proposed: the Fair Tax and the Flat Tax.

The Fair Tax would give every employee and business in this country their full paycheck and completely do away with the present income tax system by replacing it with a consumption tax. Think what a stimulus this would be.

The flat tax would not do away with the income tax. Federal taxes would continue to be deducted from every paycheck. Now I ask, which one would be an effective stimulus for the economy?


Granbury, Texas



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