Email Letters: September 20, 2016

Sentinel didn’t fail in reporting on Powell’s emails

Gary Stetler’s letter to the editor last Friday chastised The Sentinel for what he called “false equivalency” in reporting General Colin Powell’s emails blasting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Powell, a prominent Republican, expressed different views of Clinton (ambitious, greedy and non transformational) and Trump (a national disgrace, an international pariah with racist leanings for promoting the Birther Movement). Stetler stated that Powell revealed completely different views of Clinton and Trump. Powell went on to say he would find it difficult to vote for Clinton and voting for Trump is a danger to the country.

I fail to see where The Sentinel erred in it’s reporting. Colin Powell has different opinions of Clinton and Trump. If that doesn’t sit well with Stetler, it’s Trump’s fault, not The Sentinel’s.

Grand Junction

It’s ironic for Trump Jr. to speak on wildlife conservation

How ironic and typically crude of the rich son who so enjoys the blood sport of trophy hunting to visit our area and hold forth on wildlife conservation. But then, nothing about the Trump family surprises us anymore. His father equates killing animals on safari with playing golf.

Grand Junction

Trump continues to lie as a means to get ahead in the election

Many years ago I was enjoying a Cubs game at Wrigley Field when I observed a player attempt to make a diving catch. The ball hit the ground just before he got it, but he rolled and then lifted it in the air as though it had been a fair catch. The umpire was not fooled and the crowd groaned. My mother turned to me and said she found it frustrating that players are rewarded for lying for the sake of winning. She said it was a shame and they were bringing a sense of dishonor to the game.

While watching this Sunday morning’s talk shows I listened to Reince Priebus, chairman of the RNC, state that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement and that Donald Trump actually proved her wrong. It reminded me of my mother’s frustration about the acceptance of the idea that anything is okay when winning is the objective. The difference is that when someone from the Hillary team heard the lie, they saw it as a possible way to win the election. Hillary Clinton recognized it as a despicable means of defeating her opponent and did not allow the use of the information. When Donald Trump learns of despicable lies, he sees them as a means to an end. We cannot control what people tell us, only what we choose to do with the information.

When Trump hears ridiculous allegations such as that Ted Cruz’s father was a conspirator in the assassination of John Kennedy, or that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, he sees it as a lie worth promoting to advance himself. Trump continued to push the birther issue for five years, not out an honorable desire to clear up questions about the legitimacy of our first African American president, but as a disrespectful effort to demean him by reminding us of a time when African American people were not considered “legitimate.”

When persons in positions of national leadership promote a candidate’s dishonorable words or behaviors as honorable, they display their belief that winning is all that matters and that honor, integrity, and character no longer have a place in American politics. I cannot think of a more dangerous position for our country.

Grand Junction

Action speaks louder than demonstration/protesting

The flag is a symbol of our great nation. It should not be used as a platform for individuals to lodge personal protests. Stand in front of our flag with pride, not behind it in defiance.

Yes, all Americans have a choice to stand, heart in hand or to kneel or sit in a state of rebelliousness. To the individuals who are truly passionate about their plight, and who are using center stage for an injustice cause, there are other avenues to pursue. High profile, professional athletes have drawn the most attention for not honoring our flag, but they are in the best position to help America become totally united.

Personally, I believe poverty and drugs breed lawlessness. How does one help those in need? 1. Encourage children to stay in school; 2. Drug awareness is essential; 3. Become an advocate or mentor. Help our youth become useful, helpful members of our society. All the generations of Americans have experienced “injustices” during the course of history, but a protest only draws attention to problems in our society. Action speaks louder than demonstration/protesting.

Fight for better schools, help guide the impoverished toward a more meaningful life, become an advocate, and go to the source/heart of the problem you believe is not being addressed. Research the court system and visit the local police department and find out exactly what they have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Over 55 years ago, I represented the United States on a goodwill tour of Japan and as we stood before the first wrestling match, the U.S. National Anthem was recited. As I looked at my teammates, we all had our hands over our hearts and tears in our eyes. I did not see any sign of defiance. I knew it would have been a quick ticket back to the states in shame and disgrace.
I am a proud American and would never disrespect our flag in any way. My, oh my, how times have changed.

Grand Junction

Tipton needs to move on from coal

I guess Tipton has no other claim to fame – look at Mesa County’s economy – so he debates coal.
What rock has he been under? At least 40 years ago, people dropped coal furnaces in their homes because yes, gas was cleaner. Corporate America and government: look at Rifle’s big solar field along I-70. We have decided that gas, solar and wind are better sources of energy. Look at eastern Colorado and northern Colorado’s big wind farms. China is moving away from coal. In China’s case it’s well documented, as during the Olympics, the air was dirty from coal fired factories.

So, Tipton, where are coal’s customers? It’s a matter of supply and demand: the demand in down, so move on!


Front-page headline was misleading on several levels

The Daily Sentinel’s Sept. 13 front-page headline “Town cries foul over gas” is misleading on several levels. Battlement Mesa is not a town in the classic sense. It is a Planned Unit Development in unincorporated Garfield County. Its governance is divided between the Battlement Mesa Service Association Board of Directors, whose members are elected by the community to handle covenant establishment and enforcement, architectural control and maintenance of the common areas in the community. Garfield County provides the balance of the municipal type services such as law enforcement, road maintenance, land use control, building permits, etc.
The Battlement Mesa Concerned Citizens is a privately organized group of residents formed to oppose gas drilling in the PUD or, at least, mitigate its impact. It’s their right for sure, with no objection. However, any implication by BCC or any news agency that it represents the community is false. The group has no official capacity or authority. The maximum demonstrable support is a petition circulated last year to deny drilling permits in the PUD, which collected approximately 400 signatures. That is 10 percent, or less, of the current community population. Not a majority, not a plurality or a mandate.

More correctly the headline should have been ” Group of residents cries foul over gas.”

Battlement Mesa

Libertarian party offers alternatives this election season

A 2015 Gallup poll found that 6 in 10 American voters agree that a third major party political party is needed to improve the state of politics. If you are one of the many American voters looking for other options, please consider Gary Johnson, his running mate Bill Weld, and the Libertarian Party in 2016.

For the purposes of brevity, the Libertarian Party platform can best be summarized by the following two-part axiom: 1) Individuals are free to make choices without asking for permission from the state; and 2) as long as those choices do not infringe upon the rights of others, an individual’s rights to life, liberty, and property cannot be negated by the government.

This means the freedom to choose how we spend our money without excessive taxation, freedom to choose who we can marry, freedom to choose what firearms we can purchase, freedom to choose what substances we consume, and freedom to engage in voluntary exchanges with others without interference from an intrusive nanny state.

If you are interested in learning more Johnson, Weld, and the Libertarian Party, please join the Delta County Libertarian Party on October 8 at CB’s Tavern. Starting at 3 PM, the group will host a meet-and-greet and town hall discussion, where they will share information about the party platform. Representation from the Gary Johnson’s Colorado campaign will be present to answer questions about the LP ticket.

Libertarian Senatorial candidate Lily Tang-Williams will be featured as a special guest speaker. Williams will share her unique journey from growing up in Mao’s China to migrating to the United States to seek a better life.

The October 8th event is free to the public and light snacks and beverages will be available. More information is available at


Libertarian Party of Delta County

Roundabout incorporates several noteworthy design elements

I was disappointed to learn that the City of Grand Junction’s engineers were not primary in the design of the proposed roundabout on Highway 340. Granted, the roundabout at 12th and Horizon will never, and should never, be entered into an engineering hall of fame. But as the city built roundabouts moving west on G Road they improved.

The roundabout on 23 Road and G Road incorporates several design elements that are noteworthy. The open view in the center allows drivers to get the “big picture” of traffic flow. On two occasions, at the 24 Road and I70 roundabouts, I have witnessed confused drivers start down the off ramps and get halfway down before they realized their mistake and backed up. A friend was driving eastbound on I 70 one day when a vehicle did make it down the off ramp. That vehicle missed him, but hit a truck head on. A fatality resulted.

At 23 and G Road, the apron to the center is of minimal slope and the driving lane is of consistent radius. This reduces disorientation and confusion that some drivers get. The mountable curbs and usable apron negate the damaging effects of the AASHTO W.B. 67 design standard. The city’s Lee Cooper applied common sense when designing the roundabout. This design is superior to others being used, and can be expanded to meet high traffic demands. Safety, highway users, and taxpayers would benefit if this design were adopted statewide.


Journalist was charged with trespass, plain and simple

Amy Goodman’s column, “Journalism is not a crime,” recounts her presence and journalistic coverage of the recent oil pipe line protests in North Dakota. Her article centers on the fact that she was charged with criminal trespass associated with those activities.

Trespass is a relatively simple concept involving one’s physical presence on land without permission. Goodman gives no details of her location, such as whether the land was public or private, or whether she had gained prior permission to enter. Rather, she portrays her presence as impliedly justified simply because she was a journalist. In effect, she had a presumed first amendment free pass to trespass because she was just doing her journalistic job.

Ferreting out the clutter of deflecting, pouting indignities present though out the article, the simple fact remains that the arrest warrant made no claim of “criminal journalism” or “criminal doing one’s job,” as Goodman claims. The charge was, plain and simple, criminal trespass – violation of a possessory land right –which is exactly what her hyper-pout studiously fails to address.

Grand Junction

School’s tennis court maintenance is lacking

I’d like to know who is responsible for maintaining the tennis courts at Fruita Middle School. What’s the point of having two decent courts but no nets? The nets are totally missing on one and are pretty much useless on the other – with just a wire running across it. These courts used to be used by all sorts of people back in the day, but then, suddenly, any kind of maintenance just stopped.

If this is the school district’s idea of good management, then we need new people on that board for sure. If someone else is responsible, they need to take care of it or turn it into a parking lot. Then it could at least be used for something.


We need to find the root causes of terrorism

The news is loaded with the bomb attack that occurred in New York. Questions are being asked: How did this happen? Why did this happen? And what are we doing to stop these acts? Now, there seems to be quite a bit of information as to what happened. The causes or why this happened are not yet well defined, and the action or actions to keep this from happening again do not seem to exist.

The blame game has stated. The news is filled with information and not one cause has been contributed to the individual as to why the bombs were placed. Finding a cause will be deeply rooted in the individual’s nurturing by family, friends, religion, and education. Unless we deal with and correct the root causes, we are dealing with symptoms and the incidents will continue to occur. Do not blame the United States! This individual was afforded the opportunity to succeed and they made a choice.

Grand Junction

Column misrepresented the mission of Farm and Food Alliance

Greg Walcher’s recent column regarding the trip to Washington DC that I organized through the Colorado Farm & Food Alliance misrepresents the situation and our mission there.

The trip was to share local efforts to move toward energy independence through producing more homegrown power. The North Fork Valley is headquarters to the leading global training institute for solar and alternative energy systems: Solar Energy International. And solar is a large part of our rural member-owned utility’s plan to produce 50 percent of our power by 2025, developed by our own sweat and ingenuity from local sources.

It’s not the only piece, however. Coal mine methane capture, using proven technology already in place in the 3 megawatt facility built by Vessels Coal Gas, Inc. in partnership with Bill Koch’s Oxbow Mine and Aspen Skiing Company, is another part. Up to 60 MW are available in this potential power source alone. Small – and medium – scale hydro on our ditches and canals, also proven technology already in operation on the South Canal with a project built by Uncompahgre Valley water users, likely represents another 40 MW of developable power.

Producing more of our power means more of our hard-earned dollars stay in our communities, where they continue to circulate through the local economy. That just makes good business sense that will have a positive effect on residents’ bottom line.

Mr. Walcher can spin it however he wants to boost false hopes for an industry in decline. He can disparage our efforts and slight our leaders if he wishes. But it is a dead end approach. American know-how and strong work ethic provide solutions that will have immediate benefit – for places like the North Fork and all across the nation where communities are moving quickly toward real energy independence.


Addiction is much more than a drug problem

I wanted to re-cap on the community-organized Overdose Awareness Event and Candlelight Vigil held at the steps of the Old County Courthouse on August 31st, International Overdose Awareness Day.

This was the second annual event in Mesa County and was a tremendous success. We had over 60 attendees, which is a 400 percent increase from last year. Multiple companies and organizations partnered to make this event possible for the community with very little out of pocket expenses to the organizing team. I wanted to thank all the volunteers and speakers who contributed selflessly and openly: Rib City Grill for feeding our volunteer staff, Snob Productions and crew for providing all the audio and visual equipment, Mind Springs Health and Summit View Treatment Center for providing information on local treatment resources, and WESCAP for providing the life-saving Narcan/Naloxone demonstration. I’d also like to thank all the local media coverage from The Daily Sentinel, The Criterion, Channel 11 and 8 News, and K-Star and The Vault radio stations.

Next year we hope to see more person-serving agency and organization leadership at the event including local politicians, Mesa County and Grand Junction officials and administrators; health care, behavioral health, public health, human services, criminal justice and corrections, law-enforcement and other first-responders as we all are stakeholders of the community directly affected by the social and economic impact of addiction and overdose. Through leadership, a person-centered culture of compassion with accountability can translate to each person we serve affected by or struggling with addiction where every interaction between service provider and receiver could be therapeutic and life changing. This is the ripple effect that can transform entire communities for the better, as opposed to the ripple effect of addiction that harms our community.

The main message of the event was that addiction is so much more than a drug problem; it’s a relationship problem often determined by environmental influences occurring early in young people’s lives where they have no healthy defense to stave off the violence, neglect, fears, and other traumas of their childhood. Children can become hard-wired for violence and addiction, which will only continue the cycle of behaviors that often land people in the criminal justice system, cycles of recidivism, or cycles of continued relapse. As a community, we can all take responsibility; we can be heroes.

Grand Junction

Forgiveness of drainage ‘fee’ shows how ‘rotten’ it is

So the Grand Valley Drainage District has inked a sweetheart side deal with District 51 to avoid having to pay a $114,000 drainage “fee.” (If students watch video of drainage, bill canceled, 9/14/16). District 51 escapes the drainage “fee” by forcing students to watch an agitprop advocacy video produced by, of course, the drainage district itself. And the money the drainage district doesn’t get from the School District will simply be collected from the rest of us. That means you, taxpayers, are just subsidizing the drainage district’s propaganda efforts. Nice, huh? (Credit to the drainage district: Forcing citizens and businesses to pay its new “fee,” and then justifying that extortion to our children through mandatory classroom videos, is remarkably brazen.) Here’s a question for the drainage district: If we require our employees to watch the video, can we, too, be exempt from the fee? Or does the district selectively enforce its “fee?” The question answers itself, and that’s the lesson for us all: If you’re an educational entity that can propagandize on behalf of the drainage district, then you get a deal. We’ll pretend to tax you, and you can pretend to pay us (wink-wink; handshake in the back room). But if you’re an ordinary citizen or business? Sorry, no deal for you: Pay up now, or we will turn our attorneys and the state of Colorado’s collection agency loose on you. (See Drainage district duns tardy clients, 9/4/16.) But the most chilling part about this is that the district has plans to continue (and apparently expand) its indoctrination going forward with new videos and a broader “curriculum.” How do you like it that the drainage district manager talks about, in his words, “priming the pump” for indoctrination of your children in years to come? This episode perfectly encapsulates how the district’s “fee” is rotten to the core.


Grand Junction

Trail advocates show little respect for property owners

Sunday’s “You Said It” expressed anonymous complaints about recreational use of ditch banks. They said the “liability” issue doesn’t exist. With more than 30 years of argument, they are still blind to the reality that does exist.

Most ditch banks don’t belong to the ditch companies. Those of us who actually own the properties beneath the canals pay taxes on the property. We also pay for the use of the water. And neither the public nor the trail advocates have any respect at all for the property owners. They dismiss us like we simply don’t exist.

These people go out of their way to find ways to purchase property through taxpayers for trails like the Lunch Loop and that is not enough. There are trails all over on private vacant property where the public has no right to go. They even advertise these trails on private property over the internet.

But their hidden bully comes out in regard to ditch banks. They are rude, unwilling to listen to our objections, and will discuss nothing except that they should have these trails. And it has been this way since they initiated their desires so many years ago. So what they get in return is our anger. They have never even offered any type of compensation or help to keep these vital waterways operating for the benefit of all valley residents.

Maybe property owners and irrigation companies should sue the trail advocates for harassment if they’re so unconcerned about liability.


Grand Junction

Natural smoke cancels out efforts to reduce gases

I read with interest The Sentinel’s coverage of the Lost Solar forest fire on Page A2 of the Sept. 15 issue.

The fire apparently was caused by lightning and began burning on Aug. 8 — some five weeks ago. The strategy for dealing with it is to let it continue burning, so long as it does not threaten any man-made structures.

In your coverage, considerable emphasis is placed on the ecological benefit resulting from letting the fire burn. In fact, fire spokesperson Lynn Lockwood is quoted as pointing out that, “it’s reassuring to us to have the public understand that this is part of the natural ecosystem, and it’s a great benefit in the long run.”

Of course, there are many such fires that burn in this country each fire season, most of them larger than this one. Not to mention the volcanoes here and there around the world that belch thick smoke and even poisonous gases until they decide to quit doing so. And other natural sources of contaminants and particulate that find a way into the air.

This all being the case, I have to ask why we are fed so much nonsense (I’d prefer to use a stronger word) concerning coal-fired power plants and automobiles, and the climate change they are said to be responsible for?

Isn’t it fair to say that the natural sources of smoke, carbon dioxide, other gases, and particulate completely cancel out our feeble, regulation-driven efforts to cut back? And that this natural phenomenon will continue always?

So much for man’s contribution to “climate change.”


Grand Junction

Kaepernick critic was able to have his say

I don’t necessarily support the NFL quarterback in his effort to bring attention to social issues in the U.S. by kneeling during the national anthem.

He takes his chances with his employer and the public as far as his viability as a player or as a representative of the team. We all know he has a right to do what he is doing. A veteran of the armed forces (Patrick Mosbey) wrote a letter here expressing his dismay and condemnation for the act. I respect Mr. Mosbeys’ opinion and his willingness to serve in the armed services, yet he goes too far by playing the “persecuted Christian” card. If Tim Tebow was persecuted I would like to see some video or viable proof of such an event. As far as I know, the NFL didn’t stop him from kneeling on the field or audibly expressing his belief in God on national TV.

I think you can produce video of many professional athletes thanking God for their successes during sporting events. There’s no bleeping it out or suppressing it at all. The bakeries he mentions as persecuted chose to discriminate against U.S. citizens, which expect the country and its inhabitants to act as if they live in a secular state, as the U.S. was designed to be. When the bakery issue arose, there was much more than a peep uttered by the press. The subject was discussed in every publication I read or watched or listened to. No one is forcing Mr. Mosbey to agree with anyone. After all, he wrote to this paper complaining about a liberal agenda and I’m willing to bet no one went to his house to shut him down and at the very least he got his Christian “peep” by having his letter published here.



Schwartz misleading public on Tipton’s public-lands position

Gail Schwartz’s radio and TV ads keep playing. “Stop Scott Tipton from selling our public lands.”

She goes on to say she is for all uses on public lands, including energy, grazing, and tourism.
On July 8, 2016, The Daily Sentinel, at her announcement to seek office quoted her regarding federal lands: “We should not be selling them, we should not be leasing them,” Schwartz said.
Now she claims Scott Tipton wants to sell public lands?

He has never said that. It polls well, but is not accurate.

Scott served on the board at Mesa Verde National Park. He was instrumental in Chimney Rock becoming a National Monument. He has always been for multiple use on public lands and has fought against wilderness designations that would limit public access.

For freedom to use public lands, vote for Scott Tipton.

Grand Junction

Ask your doctor what he or she thinks of Amendment 69

Why does Colorado need a resident of Massachusetts to tell us how Amendment 69 is going to be such a benefit to us with free health care? What the writer Virginia Ryan fails to mention is the mandated 10-percent tax on wages (6.67 percent paid by employer and 3.33 percent paid by the employee) and ALL other income including Social Security.

This tax will be above what individuals already pay in Colorado income tax and make Colorado one of the highest taxed states in the Union. It will start with a 15-member appointed board and then expand to a 21-member elected board, with no guarantee that any of the board members are from the Western Slope. The board members do not need any experience in the medical or insurance fields. They will have no oversight from the Governor’s Office or the state Legislature and cannot be recalled except by their own board members. They will set the parameters of what will be covered, what the reimbursement will be to health providers for health care, medicine, all medical devices, and can increase the taxed amount if they find they are short of funds. Ask your doctor for his or her opinion of this amendment. Vote “no” on Amendment 69. It’s a disaster for Colorado.

Grand Junction

Powell’s comments get ‘false equivalency’ in the media

The headline for the Sentinel article “Ex-Bush official’s leaked emails blast Trump and Clinton alike” is demonstrably untrue. The attempt to equate his comments about Clinton and Trump is a textbook example of a troubling media trend toward false equivalency. Whereas in his recently released emails Powell stated that “…Trump is a national disgrace and an international pariah,” he expressed what could only be described as irritation and anger at Clinton. His most damning statements about Clinton rarely go beyond what could be described as personal peeves, describing her as “ambitious, greedy and not transformational.” This is a long way from insisting in his emails that Trump should not be elected president and that the birther argument that Trump has promoted was “…racist.”

Even though Powell has stated that while he respected Clinton he would find it difficult to vote for her, he did not rule it out. His emails reveal a completely different view of Trump and the danger he would present as president.


Grand Junction

Tolerance for Kaepernick’s protest a sign of the times

I recently was deeply offended when Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the 49ers, refused to stand during our national anthem. He claims that he as a minority has been “oppressed” by America. Just for the record Colin, minorities are provided with more opportunities in America than any other nation on Earth! How would your disrespect be treated in Iran, China or Russia? Would Iran provide you with a $16 million-a-year salary to play a game? By the way, you make around 267 times more than I do each week, not counting endorsements. ( I could use a little of that “oppression.”)

Tim Tebow kneels in prayer before the game and the press crucified him for that act as being “offensive.” Christian bakery owners in Colorado and Oregon refuse to provide a cake for a homosexual wedding, because it violated their conscience, beliefs and convictions. They were persecuted, sued and each lost their businesses and the press didn’t utter a peep. Yet they flock to support Colin and the others without regard for the “feelings” of patriots all across America.
Our elected officials worship at the shrine of “political correctness” while the press serves as priests. I, for one, am sick of it! What is worse is their determination to force participation in their liberal agenda whether we like it or not!

People have always had the right to believe whatever they like, but that is not enough. Now we all have to agree with them.

Patriotism is a virtue, or at least should be. My father served in the military as did my brothers and I. I am proud to be an American. I am proud to have served my country as a Marine. I am proud of our American heritage!

I say, enough is enough!


It’s time to level the recreational playing field

I propose that state Parks and Wildlife needs to address an extreme inequality that exists today. For the last 80-plus years a minority has done its best to insure that the people of the state of Colorado have the extremely wide and varied recreation possibilities in this state that we have today.

That minority is the anglers and hunters of this state who have carried the load of the expense for the Division of Wildlife and parks and rec. How have they done this? Through self-imposed excise taxes to fund the state’s programs and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. These acts are the Dingell-Johnson Act and the Pittman-Roberts Act. These taxes can range from 10 percent of the value of each and every fly sold right on to excise taxes on recreational equipment ranging from 10 percent and up.

So we have the state Parks and Wildlife wanting to double the cost of sportsmen’s licenses and thus continuing the inequity of the situation.

So how about a statewide recreation license (equal in cost to a state fishing license) to be purchased by those non-anglers and non-hunters who love to recreate in our state and by doing this the hikers and campers and canoeist and kayakers and photographers, etc., who have enjoyed all this state has to offer would help on an equal basis. Remember the Hug an Angler and Hug a Hunter ads on television in this state? Rather than a hug, how about stepping up and helping out financially? The Habitat stamp is woefully inadequate in addressing the funding needs and needs to be changed to a statewide recreation license (anglers and hunters would be exempt from this through the purchase of a fishing or hunting license). I can hear the howls of indignation from those who have had a free ride for the last 80 to 100 years, but it is time for the majority to help the minority, time to put your money up to help preserve, maintain and enhance our recreational possibilities in this state that we all love to take advantage of.


Canal trail proposals fall short of the ‘greater good’

Several things are bothersome about reasoning away the use of any asset in a community. Obviously Richard Gerhardt in his Sept 13 letter doesn’t think of the canals as an asset. If that’s true, then his reasoning is valid.

The canals are unique to this area; however, they are privately owned. From that standpoint, they are restricted to the agricultural interests. How boring a ride or hike with all the wonderful scenery and terrain that’s otherwise available? For many it would just be quick access for an “off the beaten path” clandestine detour and all the illicit rubbish that accompanies it. For others, and for the most part, it would be a good way to connect to the valley and soak in its essence ... this is a farm community of sorts.

The main point is that any canal trail system should be just that, a system. Trails are just the beginning of the experience. Behind this is the funding for maintenance of the trails and trash, and for safety of participants. Tollgates and/or video surveillance may be in order.
If it’s there and you don’t use it, you lose it. The only “greater good” is for the canal companies. In this case the “greater good” does not resonate.

Grand Junction

Ethanol in gasoline creates more problems than it solves

When are we going to wake up and stop mandating more ethanol mixed into our gasoline? Corn-based ethanol takes more energy to produce than it saves, raises the price of corn for agriculture feed as well as consumer food products and is playing the devil in gumming up small-engine carburetors. Another great government program making a problem worse trying to fix what they don’t understand.


Grand Junction

Clinton, unlike Trump, has committed to increase access to medical care

Today, another 30 minute call with an insurance company to preauthorize one medication that isn’t new or experimental and has no FDA-approved alternative. After three transfers, I finally reached the pharmacist. He starts the discussion: Why does your patient need the medication? My patient has Parkinson’s dementia. I need a diagnosis code. Sure, the code is G31.83. What else has the patient tried? There is no other FDA-approved medication. You prescription exceeds our allowable daily limit. My patient has side effects and needs a lower strength more often. What side effects? Nausea and vomiting. Will your patient get worse without the medication? Yes, Parkinson’s dementia is a progressive condition. Ok, I’ll fax my decision.

This interaction occurs almost daily. In 2016 we saw a dramatic increase in insurers blocking prescriptions without regard for consequences, creating barriers, delaying treatment, and burdening providers. The problem is daunting when caring for people with chronic neurological conditions. Where do the presidential nominees stand on this issue?

Hillary Clinton has a detailed agenda to stop pharmaceutical profiteering and limit out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for people with chronic health conditions, saving them thousands of dollars. Clinton has specific proposals to reduce costs and increase access to care, citing examples of her past reform initiatives that have improved children’s healthcare.

Donald Trump proposes buying cheap medications overseas and spending less on Medicaid but makes no mention of Medicare. Trump says more jobs will reduce dependence on healthcare programs, but makes no mention of the growing number of people disabled from chronic neurological illness and has no plan for 20 million that will lose coverage if he repeals Obamacare.

Trump dismisses the chronic healthcare needs of patients despite millions disabled from neurological diseases. Clinton, on the other hand, has committed to increase access to care and invest in research to cure diseases like Parkinson’s.



Will the presidential election matter?

Recent polls suggest the contest for our next president is a toss-up. Either one of the major candidates could pull off the win according to polling data. Americans are split on whom they want for the next president, but there is little doubt how polling data indicates the people regards the government in general.

A recent PEW research poll indicates that only 20 percent of Americans trust the government; 74 percent think elected officials seek their own interests above the needs of the people, and the approval rating for Congress is in the low teens. It’s hard to argue with those thoughts.

The election of our next president is important but it won’t change those numbers. Dismal performance from our Federal government has become the norm over many administrations. We have come to expect partisan political games in Congress, career politicians doing whatever it takes to get re-elected, deficit spending at a huge level, and agencies making law instead of Congress. So, the president tries to run the government with executive orders.

The branches of government will not fix those problems. If they intended to it would have been done already. So the Constitution, (Article V), gave powers to the states to make repairs to an out of control Federal Government. Article V allows states to come together and propose amendments to the Constitution that can shrink the power and jurisdiction of the Federal Government, impose term limits on Federal officials including Congress and the courts, and impose fiscal restraints on Federal spending.

Once ratified by the states, these amendments become the law of the land. Visit for more information.

Grand Junction

Vote Yes on Amendment 69

If you watch local television you’ve seen one of the most despicable ads I’ve seen in a long time. The ad claims that our tax load will more than double if Amendment 69 is passed in November. Nowhere is it mentioned that the vast majority of our health expenditures will be paid for by the Colorado Cares program, which is included in the misleading ad. Take our current tax load and add all medical expenses paid in Colorado in a year and what do you get? A larger number.

So now we have a letter to the editor by Joan Kelsey saying the same thing. Either she is naive, factually challenged or deliberately trying to mislead. Comparing our taxes to any other state is highly misleading because no other state would be collecting for all, or most, of our medical expenses, which include medical insurance. Colorado Care is medical insurance.

And strangely she also complains about the lack of government oversight whereas other commenters claim the system cannot be trusted because it is a government program. The program is specifically designed to not be a government program with a governing board of your fellow citizens.

Finally, Ms. Kelsey says to ask your own doctor about what he or she thinks. We, in this country, spend more than roughly double for our medical care than in any other developed country, yet our medical outcomes are not among the best in the world. What do we spend for doctors, hospitals and medical equipment in this country that is so expensive?

Colorado Cares, Amendment 69, is a single payer system with it’s risk pool being all citizens of the state. Doctors will have an immensely easier bookkeeping and collections system, meaning less expense. The system will also have great bargaining power to get overall expenses cut including drugs.

We have too few family practitioners and too many specialists locally. Yes, some doctors may be afraid that their fees might be in danger. That is not likely if you have a family physician.

Vote yes on Amendment 69.


Grand Junction

Mainstream media concentrating on the wrong issues

We have something that explodes in NYC and injures a lot of people. They find another explosive device not far away. What does the mainstream media concentrate on? Criticizing Trump calling it a bomb instead of an IED. I guess we have to wait until it kills a bunch of people before we can call it a bomb. What a bunch of biased jerks.


Grand Junction

For freedom from such disingenuous dishonesty, vote for Gail Schwartz – not Scott Tipton

Contrary to Sunday’s fawning letter from familiar Republican apologist Lois Dunn (“Schwartz misleading public on Tipton’s public-lands position”), it’s not so clear who is “misleading” whom when it comes to Scott Tipton’s position on “selling public lands.”

For example, on July 14, 2016, Tipton voted against Rep. Jared Polis’s amendment to H.R. 5538, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017. Polis’s amendment would have preemptively thwarted attempts to divest from federal control any of America’s parks and public lands that remain outside the established land-use planning process. See:

Likewise, in his periodically e-mailed “Updates,” Tipton has previously expressed his support for bills that would transfer control of federal public lands to states. Common sense and the public pronouncements of such bills’ avid proponents suggest that any transfers of national public lands to states would inevitably result in some states selling off our public lands to developers and polluters.

Moreover, these same avaricious “developers and polluters” have been generously supporting Tipton with campaign contributions since 2010. What do these self-interested contributors – and Gail Schwartz – know that Dunn and Tipton refuse to admit?

Remember, this is the same Scott Tipton who “represented” his 3rd C.D. constituents by joining his fellow “Tea Partiers” to threaten the full faith and credit of the U.S. in 2010 (costing taxpayers billions in additional interest expense), by voting to “shut down” the government in 2013 (then publicly lying about his vote), by voting to cut Food Stamps, unemployment benefits, and medical care (50+ times) for displaced coal and oil & gas workers on the Western Slope, and by supporting a Farm Bill that benefited millionaire and corporate farmers at the expense of small family farms in western Colorado.

For freedom from such disingenuous dishonesty, vote for Gail Schwartz – not Scott Tipton.

Grand Junction

Reported raid on the home of an innocent family was utterly incomprehensible

Utterly incomprehensible. Those words come immediately to mind in describing the reported raid on the home of an innocent family. Who in the sheriff’s department or police department authorized this absent clear, irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing at that address and that the wrongdoers still lived there? Whoever that person was, even up to the level of the sheriff or chief, should have his butt kicked into the unemployment line and I will offer the first boot.

That armed law enforcement officers would participate in a travesty like this based on allegations of an informant whose information was not verified timely and independently is laughable. Barney Fife would have known better and he was a comic TV cop. This is serious. Innocent people could have been killed and if they had killed law enforcement officers in the process of defending their home, I as a juror would have found them entirely justified.

Does law enforcement leadership in this community have anything more than a 40 IQ? Even at that diminished level one should recognize this was an utterly stupid thing to do. Who made this decision? Why is that person still employed? Can we expect more of the same in the future?

Grand Junction

Clinton has concrete plans for realistic policies that will make America better

I haven’t forgotten the start of my career working part-time at a coffee shop just so I could get health insurance, even after I’d completed graduate school and was teaching university courses. The Affordable Care Act fundamentally changed all that, and because I was able to get effective health insurance that stayed with me as I changed jobs, I have had the flexibility to pursue professional opportunities that otherwise might have seemed too risky.

Our next president needs to protect and build on the achievements of the ACA and fight back against pharmaceutical robber barons who jack up prices on essential medications. Hillary Clinton has shown throughout her long career in public service that she will fight to make our health care system work well for all Americans. Instead of empty rhetoric of fear and hate, Hillary Clinton has concrete plans for realistic policies that will make America better.


We can only wonder about America’s past successes to it’s present decline

As the Anthem protests continue, which now even include our high school athletes, I can only wonder about America’s past successes to it’s present decline.

From 1776 to the “greatest generation,” which went to war to defeat the twin evils in the world and save civilization from Nazism and Japanese Imperialism, this country went to war with the intent of winning because we believed in what we stood for, even if it was, as today, imperfect and idealistic.

Then came the “Forgotten War” in Korea, which was won, and then lost because of our faint-hearted political leadership.

Vietnam followed. Look at the pictures of our ignominious defeat and escape, and the treatment on the return (many in body bags) of those who served and died for an unknown cause.

Now we struggle from the hit and run wars in the Middle East, where our troops are sent in to face stalemate or defeat orchestrated by a leadership which has no intention of winning but desires only to not offend our enemies.

And finally the current generation taking a knee in protest against the very country, flag and anthem which so many have fought and died for and which stands as a beacon to the world for liberty, freedom, and equality.

Consider the dynamics of the world today dominated by an aggressive China which, with contempt for America and the West, intends to extend it’s dominance not only in Asia, but the world including outer space.

Consider the Korean Peninsula ruled in the North by a despot that, at the cost and suffering of its people, publicly and with the support of perhaps the largest army on earth is developing nuclear weapons and rockets that will be able to reach the United States and our allies with the avowed intent of destroying us and all we stand for.

Consider also the forces in the Middle East: Iran, ISIS, Syria, and even Iraq and Afghanistan where we fought and died to save them from tyranny, all now supported by Russia, Saudi Arabia and others. Their sworn objective, to promote extremism and develop weapons, including nuclear, to wipe our allies and us from the face of the earth.

What wasted effort on their part, when all they will have to do to accomplish their goals against this weak and distracted generation is to show up. How sad.

God Help America!


Grand Junction

The Senate race is a case of David vs. Goliath

For those folks that missed his rousing speech at the GOP Convention, Darryl Glenn represents a dynamic new conservative voice. Among his many fans, Glenn has received endorsements from Mark Levin, James Dobson and FreedomWorks. He is challenging Democratic senator Michael Bennett.

As a military veteran, Darryl Glenn sees the senate seat as an extension of his commitment to defend our way of life. He describes himself as a “constitutional conservative.” Unlike Bennett who has been working to erode gun rights, Glenn is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. He also advocates tax reform. Rather than redistribute wealth, he says taxes should fund services prescribed by the Constitution.

Like the country’s founders, Darryl Glenn considers national security the first duty of government. For Glenn, this means a secure border and a strong military. Obama has gutted our military. His foreign policies have emboldened our enemies and placed our citizens in danger. Perhaps the most dangerous policy has been the Iran Deal. Bennett voted for it; Glenn believes we must rescind the treaty and re-impose sanctions.

Just as conservatives predicted, the dramatic expansion of government effected by The Affordable Care Act has resulted in less freedom for citizens. Darryl Glenn believes we must repeal and replace it, thereby restoring choice in making healthcare decisions; Bennett still supports Obamacare despite its damaging impact on Colorado.

The story of Darryl Glenn vs. Michael Bennett is the story of David vs. Goliath. With little name recognition and a shoestring budget, Glenn has had an uphill battle. He is overcoming the odds however, a testament to the quality of his message. I encourage citizens to get to know Darryl Glenn. Watch his GOP Convention speech on YouTube. Visit his website at



Coverage of citizenship ceremony was uplifting

Regarding the KREX Channel 5 evening news coverage of the citizenship ceremony in Fruita, it was uplifting to hear a lady – her name is Sandra Dias – from Jamaica speak. Her comment was that you can achieve anything you want in America, but it comes with hard work.

There were others who spoke with a similar spirit and a good attitude of great fullness to live in America.

Grand Junction

Terrifying comparisons can be drawn between Trump and Hitler

Hitler was elected. That’s right. Adolph Hitler was elected by the Germans, who had a democracy, and they officially elected that man. One of the first things he did was fire the generals and put generals in power who would do his bidding, for the right price of course.

What would Trump do next? I wonder. Probably make the Muslim wear an armband to show us the public who they are. Oh, wait, that doesn’t work, because Muslim women already dress differently than we do and we would instantly know their religion. Probably just an armband for the men. Let’s see, next he’d probably suggest putting illegal immigrants in camps to await deportation, oh, wait, refugee camps already abound world-wide, and so do homeless camps in the USA.

I know! Trump will put us all to work, promising us free housing and jobs if we would only be willing to move. And I bet he’d throw in a free train ride to the new destination. We have lots of trains nowadays. Let’s use them to transport working America. Finally, Trump will offer to build us new cafeterias, public restrooms, and bathing facilities in our new working towns. Work, a roof over our heads, and one meal a day free, all at government cost. Doesn’t it sound ideal? It’s been done before – in Germany – after they elected Hitler.




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