Email letters, Sept. 28, 2012

Energy industry’s contributions to Grand Valley are appreciated

This is in response to the story appearing Sept. 22 regarding Mesa County’s largest employers. Identifying the top employers in our community can be a challenging project. The Grand Junction Economic Partnership staff reaches out to area employers in an effort to take a seasonal snapshot of their labor forces. We strive to compile the most representative data.

However, participating in this “survey” or process is entirely voluntary, and should a company elect for whatever reason not to provide its employment figures, its data is not included in the results. It is an unfortunate consequence that these results can then be misconstrued to the general public.

When reading the Sentinel’s story, I knew a significant segment of our economy, the energy industry, would not be represented.  This should not be taken to mean that industry is not part of the top employers in the valley; it simply means GJEP staff was unable to secure figures from those companies. 

Why would we publish the list, then, if we know it isn’t entirely representative?  That is a great question. The reason GJEP provides this data on a biannual basis is to help paint a picture of our community for businesses outside the area that may be considering a Grand Valley location. It is important for them to know who some of the larger employers are when making their decisions. 

The energy industry is extremely valuable to our community for so many reasons. This industry provides excellent primary jobs and significant tax revenues to our municipalities. It truly helps our community generate wealth – the precise goal of economic development. While the energy industry’s absence from the current list is disappointing, its presence in our community is very well known and greatly appreciated.

Executive Director, Grand Junction Economic Partnership
Grand Junction

Obama should promise to do better in new term

I think the campaign slogan for the Obama administration should be “Trust me, I’ll do better next time!”

Grand Junction

Why is it easy to produce IDs for food stamps, but not to vote?

Paul Didier’s recent letter lambasting Romney, Republicans in general and anyone that wants balanced budgets and elections neglected the common sense element of the dilemmas.

Politicians serve their constituents by insisting that we stop spending ourselves into a Greek scenario and demanding a balanced budget. It is also a no-brainer that these millions of people that can’t get an I.D. to vote can offer one to cash checks, get on a plane and collect food stamps and the like, but just can’t find one to vote.  Think Acorn.


Grand Junction

Reinstating Obama akin to rolling the dice on nation’s future

In 2008 voters elected Barack Hussein Obama president of the United States, a man whose experience would not have qualified him to manage the local Wal-Mart. This son of a Kenyan Muslim and leftist mother parachuted onto our national political scene with a murky educational background and murkier associations, among them “Old Frank” Marshall Davis, a card-carrying Communist; Saul Alinsky’s successor, Jerry Kellman; former Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn; convicted swindler Tony Rezco; and billionaire currency manipulator George Soros. Obama also spent 20 years in the congregation of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s “Black Liberation Theology” church.

Lured by the siren song of “hope and change,” we elected a man president who had never run a business, never met a payroll, never served in the military and had not even completed one term as a U.S. senator. We gave him responsibility for managing a $1.6 trillion U.S. economy, directing a federal workforce of more than 2 million employees and serving as commander in chief of the U.S. military.

In fewer than four years, Obama has added $6 trillion to the U.S. debt, now over $16 trillion, much of it borrowed from Communist China. He has sharply curtailed offshore and other drilling permits on federal lands and blocked the Keystone Pipeline to bring Canadian oil to U.S. refineries.

Gas prices soar at the pump. Unemployment reaches all-time highs. The Middle East is in flames. Iran is rapidly progressing toward nuclear weapons capability.

Behind the scenes, Obama pushes for steeper cuts in the U.S. military, including reducing our nuclear arsenal to a level that would eliminate our historic deterrence to a first strike by hostile nuclear powers. He offers no plan for the future except more of the same failed and dangerous policies.

Are we willing to continue to gamble our nation’s future on this man?


Buffaloes actually beat Cougars, not Huskies

I read your article about the Buffaloes winning in Pullman, Wash. You said that they had beaten the Huskies. If they were playing in Pullman against Washington State University, that victory would not be possible.

WSU’s team is the Cougars. I know, because I grew up near Pullman and have watched many Apple Cups, the Huskies vs. the Cougars. If more people from my area had read this article, it might have been really bad for you, as Cougars are formidable predators, whereas Huskies are merely domesticated dogs.

Thank you very much.


Fort Garland

Chimney Rock receives justly deserved protection

You pause and look closely at an ancient wall. In the mortar between the rocks you see the outline of fingers. Looking down at your own hand, you feel a human connection to the builder. You think about the time, skill and effort that went into building these kivas and dwellings. All accomplished without the modern luxuries of plumbing, electricity and hardware stores.

The breeze seems to carry thousand-year-old voices from the past to your ears: chanting, laughter, prayers. A Peregrine falcon soars by, and your eyes float up to see spires gracing the sky above you.

You smile, because this wonderful place. Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is now a national monument. It will get the protection and attention that it so justly deserves. Special thanks go to Sens. Bennett and Udall, Rep. Tipton, Secretary Salazar of the Interior and President Obama. They each worked toward this goal.

By using the Antiquities Act to make this new designation, the
president has fulfilled the wishes of many, including the community within Archuleta County.

Many of us have favorite outdoor places where we can derive great joy just by pausing and absorbing their details. What is extra special to me is when a dramatic natural landscape combines with a deep historical presence.

Northern Delores Basin, near Gateway, is such a place. There are red cliffs soaring above the gurgling Delores River and an old mining camp, where I’ve been told that the whole camp gathered around the one radio to listen to a championship-boxing match. I can hear the shouts from the miners still echoing in the canyons. Seems to me like the perfect spot for a new NCA.

I, a member of Great Old Broads for Wilderness, urge Congress and the president to move forward on protecting America’s other favorite places.

Grand Junction

Think twice about meaning of ‘handicap’

When we returned to our handicap parking space on Main Street on Sept. 27 we found this note under our windshield wiper:

“Couldn’t help but notice that you occupied this reserved parking space for a long time. I also noticed not one of you appeared to have a physical disability. This is not OK. Especially if a war veteran drove up only to find your RAV4 here. Find a spot out back and park there or in the parking garage.”

Dear “Couldn’t”:

Your observation skills are severely handicapped.

1. Handicap spaces are not only for war veterans or cars that are not RAV4s.
2. “One” of us lost half of our colon and eight feet of our small intestine and had our back broken. Recovery is a lifetime process of some days filled with debilitating pain and other days when we can walk Main Street in the Colorado sunshine.
3. The “one” was honorably discharged from the Army with 100 percent disability.
4. “One” was my son visiting from out of state. I am one mother who is very proud of her son and finds your note not very noteworthy.

Grand Junction

Romney’s position on abortion still unclear
Today’s typically sophomoric offering from Josh Penry – “Current events on political stage give writer cause to wonder” gives this reader “cause to wonder” when Penry will return to fact-based column writing.

According to Penry, Romney’s “opposition to abortion includes an exception for rape, incest and the life of the mother”. False!

In October 2011, Romney appeared on Mike Huckabee’s television show and affirmed his support for a hypothetical Massachusetts “life begins at conception” (“personhood”) amendment – akin to that introduced in the House of Representatives by Paul Ryan as H.R. 212 – which would permit states to ban all abortions regardless of rape, incest or the medical judgment of her physicians as to the life or health of the mother.

Between October 2011 and Aug. 19, 2012, Romney at least impliedly reiterated his no-exceptions position during the Republican primary debates and on the stump – as did Paul Ryan.

Only after Republican senatorial candidate Todd Akin (R-Mo.) made his now-infamous “legitimate rape” comment on Aug. 19, 2012, did Romney “clarify” his position on national television, announcing that he favored exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Ryan then reluctantly confirmed that he would follow Romney’s lead.

The next day, Romney’s campaign staff “corrected the record” – stating that Romney did not believe in an exception for the life of the mother. Thus, as usual, we (and Penry) don’t really know what Romney’s real position on abortion is – only Ryan’s for certain.

Likewise contrary to Penry’s claim, “landmark” minimum sentences for child rape make it harder – not “easier” – “for Colorado prosecutors to prosecute child rapists” Most judges, prosecutors and legal analysts concur that sentencing flexibility – not minimum sentences – facilitate plea bargains which gain convictions without putting the victims through the ordeal of a trial wherein the defendant seeks to avoid the minimum sentence.

Grand Junction

Brady’s cleaning out of rendering plant a great asset to Grand Junction

David Cale and people of the same mindset complain about Brady Trucking’s existence along the Colorado River. The fact is that when Brady Trucking bought the land the old rendering plant it had the proper zoning for its trucking business.

When the city annexed the Brady property, the city gave Brady zoning that was compatible with its truck business, which was I-1 and I-O. It wasn’t until a petition was filed that the change of zoning for Brady Trucking was in question.

The complainers say they want a trail from Fruita to Palisade without industrial operations downtown. There are many homes to the east of Brady Trucking, and they would all have to be bought to put the trail in.

They also claimed the noise from Brady’s trucks would be unacceptable. When they have a rock band at their amphitheater, the noise level would be 10 times greater than the EPA qualified mufflers of Brady’s trucks. Brady Trucking spent $400,000 to clean out the rendering plant, which was a great asset to Grand Junction, and I’m sure these same people would complain about the smell if the rendering plant were still there.

I’m certain these complainers all have college degrees, which would explain their ignorance.





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Tuesday’s mail—which included a colorful item from Americans for Tax Reform (“ATR”), Grover Norquist’s extremist anti-tax group that sponsors the Taxpayers Protection Pledge and advocates for regressive “flat taxes”, Paul Didier’s letter in Thursday’s Sentinel – “Signing Taxpayer Protection Pledge verges on sedition”, and R.M. Sherman’s inanely simplistic on-line response—“Why is it easy to produce IDs for food stamps, but not to vote”, all aptly focus attention what’s wrong with Republicans.
By signing the “pledge”, Tea Party Republicans (including Paul Ryan and Scott Tipton) subordinated their constitutional oath of office to fiscal irresponsibility.  It was Norquist who equated “closing tax loopholes” to “tax increases”, thereby scuttling the Simpson-Bowles Commission—the last bipartisan effort to responsibly address the national debt.

Having deliberately prolonged the debt crisis for partisan gain, ATR (and, apparently,  Sherman) falsely blames President Obama for its own handiwork.

Republicans (Ronald Reagan and both Bushes) “served their constituents” by preaching “fiscal conservatism”, but “neglected the common sense elements of” fiscal responsibility and handed President Obama a $10+ trillion national debt plus “structural deficits” (two wars, two tax cuts, TARP, Medicare Part D, and an urgent need for a “stimulus” to preclude total economic collapse) that have increased it to $16 trillion.

Sherman’s dubious “common sense” is also revealed in his distortion of the “voter ID” issue.  Voting is a constitutional right guaranteed to all citizens – and the Constitution makes no reference to “identification”.  While the Constitution empowers states to “prescribe” the time, place, and manner of elections, they are also expressly subject to regulation by Congress – which has prohibited discriminatory barriers to voting.

Thus, even if it is a “no brainer” for most of us to produce the required identification, the right to vote is guaranteed to all citizens equally – including those who can’t.

                Bill Hugenberg

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