Email Letters: September 1, 2017

Recent Sentinel article did not promote the local economy

Our local college sets up a career center specifically to try to get graduates to stay here with their skills. The Daily Sentinel publishes an article the next day how high school kids can’t wait to leave with very negative comments. I thought The Daily Sentinel was pro local economy.

Grand Junction

Street’s name change is progressive and respectful

Thank you to City Council for your progressive and respectful North Avenue name change to University Boulevard. CMU is so deserving. Progress and growth generally means change.

Grand Junction

Environmental Impact Statement needed to vet Fram proposal

Our hearts sank when the Mesa County senior planner explained to the commissioners that “there were expensive solutions to Alanco’s “stinky ponds” but Alanco had neither the money nor expertise to use them.” Low budget options were tried, with the last leaving a hydrochloric acid smell. Now, it’s not known if the waste ponds even work properly because of lack of use from the drilling slow down. To community taxpayers, it does not appear our County Commissioners used a financial vetting process to protect us from Alanco’s damaging speculation.

As citizens who have commented in each phase, we were stunned when our County Commissioners signed off on the environmental assessment with Fram selecting Alanco’s compromised ponds as their first choice of a dumpsite.

Vetting/due diligence is the risk assessment process of investigating all facts, conditions, rules, laws, environmental regulations, financial considerations and health effects of a speculative proposal.

A report from the Norwegian Company owning Fram stated they failed to file their spring 2017 financial statement and have sold equipment to secure operating funds.

In order for Fram’s project to be seriously “vetted” the BLM needs a complete Environmental Impact Statement, technically reviewing each facet of Fram’s proposal including a bonding requirement much higher than the $10,000 per well pad proposed.

The city of Grand Junction will have the option, upon BLM approval, to sell pristine, fresh drinking water to Fram “for drilling, dust control and hydrostatic testing.” They need the results of a BLM EIS and Fram’s financials to see if they warrant that level of support.

Critically, in this “low potential area,” our County Commissioners should vet Fram’s financials along with an Environmental Impact Statement to determine if they can bring the project to a strong position or if they are creating another Alanco type failure.

Grand Junction

12th Street better suited to the ‘University Boulevard’ designation

While I have no strong opinion about changing or keeping street names, I do think it odd that the city decided to change the name of North Avenue to University Boulevard rather than giving that name to 12th Street. Visitors coming to our town and thinking a street named University Boulevard will take them to Colorado Mesa University are going to be much better served if that name is on what is now 12th. The simplest I-70 exit for getting to CMU is Horizon, where the visitors and families will find lodging and eating options. The drive on Horizon to 12th is very easy to follow. The drive from Horizon to the campus on 12th passes many beautifully landscaped areas, leaving an impression of Grand Junction as a thriving city. It takes the traveler right past the athletic complexes, the parking garage, and the Performing Arts Center. 12th Street is also a direct path to Stocker Stadium and Lincoln Park.

People coming to CMU thinking that University Boulevard (North Avenue) will get them there will first need to know that they must get off the highway at Clifton. Then they will need to navigate a confusing and dangerous maneuver onto University (old North) where traffic is merging and exiting from various directions. Then they will drive almost the full length of the boulevard, which will give them a great opportunity to see lots of run down buildings and parking lots.

We need to face the fact that there is little that can be done to make North Avenue beautiful that is within a reasonable budget. Maybe some day we will. When that happens we can give it a new name, maybe something else that works for the university, or something that celebrates it historically.

Grand Junction

Congress should consider giving personal contributions to hurricane relief

At the soon gathering of the rich and famous, known as the next session of Congress, I am sure that more than a few members are waiting to attach their names to and vote for any appropriations bill in support of the tragedy in Texas and now Louisiana and Mississippi, perhaps our worst in history. While this is certainly appropriate and to be applauded, let’s not forget that this is taxpayer money and not their personal contributions.

Wouldn’t it be a great gesture, since most members of Congress are multi-millionaires, if the four leaders of the political parties would “pass the hat” asking for personal cash contributions or contributions from whatever charitable foundations they lay claim to?

Perhaps it is yet to come, will be publicized later, or is occurring as this comment from me is being written but I have heard nothing from the Bush family, Texans all, or the well known and publicized Clinton Foundation, which has hundreds of millions in their fund. It is interesting that we have heard more about contributions from individual athletes, athletic teams, private citizens, and various public and private businesses than from members of Congress or any bureaucrats or very rich appointees who seem to have no problem coming up with political contributions.

Just a thought!

Grand Junction

The Center At Foresight poorly served by Colorado Health Department

I would like to give public praise to The Center at Foresight, the new skilled nursing and rehab facility that recently opened its doors to receive patients. The community will be well served by such an outstanding facility and long overdue, in my opinion.

I was fortunate to be one of the first patients admitted to The Center for physical and occupational rehab and was overwhelmed by the facility itself and the resort-like atmosphere. The medical and support staff are the best and I am grateful to them for the care I receive. I hope the community appreciates all of the jobs and income to contractors and vendors and staffing that the local owners of this new facility have generated.

However, The Center at Foresight has been ill served by the State of Colorado Department of Health and Environment. First, because there was a four-month delay from the readiness of the facility to be inspected in May to the actual inspection by the CDHE team because it was short-staffed. But, the inspection finally took place on Aug. 24 and licensure was granted.

The Center immediately started staffing and accepting Medicare patients, myself included. Then, one week later, it was advised that the CDHE must also conduct a certification survey before it can be Medicare-certified and eligible for Medicare reimbursement. This survey would be conducted “sometime in September.” In the meantime, all patients like me must be cared for as “pro bono” patients because the Center cannot back-bill for Medicare reimbursement until after the date this survey is conducted and “certifies the certifier.”

Meanwhile, the cost of the building’s construction, the professional staffing, and the cost of patient care must be borne by the owners with no possibility of reimbursement by Medicare. What is wrong with this picture?

Grand Junction


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