Email letters, Sept. 26, 2011

Flaming Gorge pipeline would be bad for the state

As the summer tourism season ends and fall begins, it is a fitting time to remember what drives our Western Slope counties. We shouldn’t underestimate our namesake Colorado River and the role it plays in attracting visitors to our communities and creating jobs.

The river, and our communities’ livelihood, is now threatened by the proposed Flaming Gorge pipeline which would transport water from the Green River 560 miles across the mountains to Colorado’s Front Range. This costly and destructive project has a price tag of $7 to $9 billion and would decrease flows in the Green River by 20–25 percent. It would cripple the annual $10 billion recreation-based economies that communities like Grand Lake depend on for our survival. 

And despite opposition from West Slope businesses and thousands of Coloradans, on Sept. 14, the Colorado Water Conservation Board made a decision to spend $72,000 for a task force to further study the proposal.

The bottom line is this: the economic future of the Western Slope is intertwined with a Colorado River that flows strong and beckons families and outdoor enthusiasts to the communities close to its banks. Governor Hickenlooper and The Colorado Water Conservation Board should be taking note of this rather than providing funding for a Flaming Gorge task force.

Executive Director
Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

Global warming story was opinion, not news

The article by Charles J. Hanley which ran on the front page of The Sentinel on Sept. 25 should not have been run as a news article.  It is an editorial — and a bad editorial at that — and should have appeared on the Opinion page, if at all. 

It is full of unsupported generalizations and cleverly worded misrepresentations. Example, it quotes former representative Boehller, “Ninety-eight percent of the world’s climate scientists say it’s (global warming) for real.” I challenge you to find 98 percent of scientists, climate or otherwise, who would agree on anything. Quoting Al Gore quoting Martin Luther King is puzzling. 

In all probability Dr. King was not talking about global warming, since he died some years before Prof. Broecker used the term in 1975.  To cap it off, the pictures were taken in 2008 and 2009 — hardly news. With regard to the adjacent article about glaciers melting in Greenland, the staff at the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World should learn how to read a map before pronouncing “we are the best that is.” If they are the best, we are in deep trouble.

Grand Junction

More coverage is needed for women’s sports

I see the good ol’ boys are still alive and kicking at The Daily Sentinel. There are so many articles about the men and soccer, football, volleyball, etc. However, we have to look long and hard, if at all, to find anything about the women’s soccer, which is winning most of their games in RMAC.

Those ladies play their hearts out for the team, school and Grand Junction, and get so little in return from the community or The Daily Sentinel. As a grandfather of one of the players, I would like to see more about the winners instead of so much on the ones who only win now and then.


Honor Flight was a great success

The Honor Flight that enabled many World War II veterans to visit the memorial in Washington, D.C. was a great success. The trip was made possible by the efforts of many, but there are three people who really made it happen. The three are: Kris Baugh, Kathy Isle and Greg Brumfield. These three put in hours raising money and organizing the trip. All of we vets who participated owe these three a huge vote of thanks. God bless them and God bless America.

10th Mountain Division, WWII
Grand Junction

Many successful schools have four-day-a-week schedules

In response to Denny Herzog’s op-ed piece of Sept. 25 supporting the District 51 ballot measure to raise money through taxes. At the end he states, “ Do you really want to live in the community … where they only send their kids to school four days a week? Or the town that doesn’t have a high school football team?”

There are many Colorado schools and districts on a four-day schedule and their students do just as well as students on a five-day schedule. Additionally, there are schools with no football team that turn out successful students!

Instead of mentioning negatives that have nothing to do with student performance, it would be better to mention specific benefits that the additional funding could provide students. Taxpayers need to know exactly how the money will be used.

Grand Junction

Climate scientists have been wrong in the past

In 1975, 18 authors published a book, “The Weather Conspiracy: Coming of the new Ice Age.” All 18 lived just a short way from Washington, D.C. The national propaganda media fell in line with articles and stories intended to scare folks into giving up more of their dollars and freedom.

In 1974, the National Science Board announced, “Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end ... leading to the next ice age.” Science magazine in March 1975 predicted “a full-blown, 10,000 year ice age.”

You can’t blame scientists for sucking up to the fed’s mantra du jour. Scientists live off grants. The latest global warming scam (or is it now “climate change”?) tries to scare us into “going green.” Scaring us must work for the politicians, and their allies. They certainly have every government agency and bureau with its own climate program.

There’s a new report out from the Government Accountability Office that says green energy and climate research spent $8.8 billion in 2010 and a cumulative $103 billion since 2003. Your tax dollars at work.

I think we all should remember the words of Pericles in his funeral oration translated by Rex Warren, he warned “that happiness depends on freedom and freedom depends on being courageous.”


Tipton seems to be focused on Big Oil

Here are some points I’d like to bring out about Scott Tipton and his hearings concerning energy production on the Western Slope:

—There’s much more to the western Colorado economy than just energy extraction. Why isn’t Tipton talking to the rest of the small business community?

—Are these hearings to help with Tipton’s re-election efforts? Is this a payoff for his Big Oil friends?

— How much are these field hearing costing taxpayers?

—Is Tipton using hearings like this to justify special tax breaks for Big Oil while he works to cut Medicare?

—Is Tipton hurting his district by refusing to advocate for federal funding?

—Will Tipton hold a hearing on his vote to privatize Medicare?

Every time I write to Mr. Tipton, he answers by agreeing with me, but explaining that he will vote opposite of my request because he doesn’t want to burden the business community with regulations.

If he has his way, pollution and air quality will never get better.  I find his reasoning alarming, especially since oil companies are making huge profits, while the rest of his constituents are struggling with the economic downturn.


Constitution established federal power

A major element of tea party and far-right propaganda is the contention that our Constitution restricts the power of the federal government and protects states rights. Wrong.

Since few Americans understand the reasons for the Constitution, or the fact that it represented a major consolidation of federal power, this disinformation campaign has proved remarkably effective.

The tea party/right-wing confuses the Constitution with the Articles of Confederation, which described the United States not as a government, or even a nation, but as “a league of friendship” among the states and declared each state sovereign. Under the Articles, very few powers were delegated to the federal government.

This so-called “originalist” thinking about the Constitution — how the founders allegedly disdained federal authority — ignores the fact that nearly all the founders (including Washington, Adams, Madison, Hamilton and Jefferson) advocated replacing the Articles even before the revolutionary war ended.

As the Constitution was being written, the framers made sure that besides authorizing sweeping federal authority, our new governing document dropped key language from the Articles that had suggested the supremacy of the states.

Deliberately left out of the final document were the principles of state “sovereignty” and state “independence.” States were no longer dominant; they were subordinate to “we the people” as represented in the “union,” the United States of America.

Though the tea party doesn’t want to admit it — and it is an inconvenient truth for the far-right — the Constitution represents the most important expansion of federal power in our history.

Grand Junction

Thanks and appreciation from a World War II vet

I extend my deepest thanks and gratitude to the organizers, staff, volunteers and sponsors of the Western Slope Honor Flight. Being able to participate in this event was the greatest honor and a tremendous privilege of my life.

I was in the U.S. Air Force from February 1940 to October, 1945, with over two years in England with 8th Air Force, 303rd (Hell’s Angles) Bomb Group. I was an airplane mechanic at Lowery Field in Denver when war was declared after the Pearl Harbor attack.

I never thought I would be able to see the World War II Memorial along with all the other memorials including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the beautiful Mall area in Washington, D.C.  All of the people were great wherever we were and the pilots and crew of the flight were wonderful and looked after our every need. I was so fortunate that my son, Harry was able to be my guardian. He was also my pilot while on the ground “driving” my wheel chair through all the wonderful sights.

The people of Grand Junction and the Western Slope were fantastic. Their greetings and expressions of appreciation created a very emotional situation for most of the veterans. Grown men should not cry, but I guess there are exceptions.

My family moved to Palisade in 1945 when I was discharged from the service. I worked in Grand Junction from 1949 to 1967.  Then we moved to Arvada, Colorado, where we lived for the next 40 years. When my wife passed away in 2005, I moved to a quieter setting in southern Colorado, but I still have wonderful memories of Grand Junction and the entire Western Slope. 

Thanks again for one of the greatest experiences of my 92 years.


School district should show president more respect

When I received a letter from District 51 notifying me that our president would soon be airing his back-to-school message, I wondered why they would spend money on this. It then became apparent that it was a warning to parents that their children could opt out of watching it.

What bothers me is that it seems that it has become routine to consider our president as a threat to our children’s safety. His message is about education, hard work and improving quality of life for our children. Our president was elected by the majority in a fair election. Our president has sacrificed his political capital for the benefit of our nation. His willingness to compromise has proven this.

Maybe the school district could show our president a little respect. Maybe a little respect for the president would do our nation some good. Maybe parents could teach their kids that you can disagree with the president without having to publicly slander him.

Lastly, maybe the school district could save some money.

Grand Junction


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