Email Letters: September 7, 2017

Removing statues shows disregard for the history of our country

A disregard for the history of this county is abounding, from removing Confederate leaders’ statues and statues of Columbus, and now Confederate stained glass windows are being removed from the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Some who are demanding statue removals are Native Americans because they claim genocide, slavery, etc. What are we to do with the history of the Buffalo soldiers and how they fought beside the white soldiers in several battles killing the Native Americans? These black soldiers are honored and given respect for their part in those Indian wars and many statues are erected in their honor. No comments on this from the Native Americans or black leaders on this part of our history. Wonder why? Will their statues continue to grace our landscape?

I am against any statues being removed but since there seems to be a “scorched” earth policy now on good and bad statues, where does the Buffalo soldier fit in history as it is now being rewritten?



Chamber of Commerce supports measures aimed at funding SD51

November’s ballot brings two critical measures aimed at funding our K-12 education system: a bond for much-needed facility maintenance and improvements within School District 51, and a mill levy override adding more days to the school year and additional funds for curriculum improvements. The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, representing 950 businesses employing more than 37,000 individuals, fully supports both measures and urges all voters within the School District boundaries to vote “yes” on the proposals.

We recognize that businesses will shoulder most of the property tax increase. But then we as businesses also have the most to gain: Our future workforce includes the students sitting in the crumbling Orchard Mesa Middle School, the boys and girls at Clifton Elementary enduring ceiling leaks and mildew, and all of the students being shortchanged with fewer district classroom instruction days than their peers elsewhere. Properly funding our schools is a key component to the success of these future employees and business owners. It’s also a key component to attracting other businesses and talented professionals to the Grand Valley.

School District 51 has shown itself to be a committed partner in improving education and in working with the Chamber on various workforce development initiatives. Let’s invest in our business community and in the young men and women who are our future employees and business leaders. Please vote YES on 3A and 3B this November.


Chairman of the Board, Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce
Grand Junction

Columnist’s recent ramblings should not go unnoted

Last week’s column by Rick Wagner was the same old blather as usual but there is a section in his ramblings that should not go unnoted.

Wagner, in his typical pompous way, constantly thinking of himself as being cute and clever, states that the Grand Junction City Council had adopted a “four-point strategic plan.” He then bewilders the reader by asking, “which is funnier – the strategic part or the plan part?” Wagner then goes on to state, “it’s a wonderfully redundant phrase” and bases that on the fact that by definition, “strategy is a plan” and therefore the phrase is redundant.

Well personally, I have far fewer good things to say about the incompetent leadership of this city (and county) than Wagner, but I, and most readers know the difference between the words “strategic” and “strategy.” The fact that Wagner, whether by design or sheer ignorance, changes the word strategic to strategy in order to support his non-sensible observation that the phrase “strategic plan” is redundant is the actual and only “funny” part of his column. Evidently, our celebrity attorney, who you would expect to be skilled at paying close attention to detail, doesn’t have the basic knowledge to differentiate between a noun and an adjective. Thanks for the good laugh Rick. Keep up the stellar work.

Grand Junction

Solar center clarifies numbers quoted in recent article

As solar installers in Grand Junction since 1979, we are happy that Dave Kimbrough was able to give customer sited residential solar some attention in The Daily Sentinel on July 30. The growth of solar has been 50 percent per year in Colorado since 2005, and the solar industry in Colorado now directly employs over 6,000 people. It has had a $2 billion impact on the Colorado economy since 2005 ( We are grateful that Dave Kimbrough took the time to do some analysis of the economics of solar for homeowners, although the numbers in the article require some clarification.

First, if the solar salesperson told the homeowner that there would be “meteoric” increases in utility rates, then the salesperson either was ignorant or misleading. In fact, the annual U.S. increase in electricity prices is 5-7 percent (

Second, numerous national surveys demonstrate that the majority of homeowners do solar because of “saving money,” not to “make a statement” as the article states (

Third, the article states that a Colorado homeowner will spend $25,000 on the solar after incentives. In fact, the average amount now spent by a Colorado homeowner on solar is ~$11,000 after incentives – less than half of the cost listed in the article (

Fourth, the hard economics are that if a Colorado homeowner actually spent $25,000 on solar for his/her home, that homeowner would be saving $250 per month, accomplishing a 12 percent internal rate of return (IRR) on the homeowner’s capital ($3,000/25,000) – even without any utility rate increases!

Finally, it appears that the solar salesperson that spoke to Doug the homeowner from Dave’s column told Doug that solar would increase the resale value of his home by $50,000. This value appears arbitrary and is highly inflated. The long-term, longitudinal hard data from several studies over the last 10 years in multiple U.S. states provides evidence that nationally homes with solar sell for $10,000 - $20,000 ( more than comparable houses without solar, and the homes with solar typically sell faster.

In the U.S. over 1 million homeowners have gone solar, and a new solar system gets installed in the US every 2.5 minutes, now saving U.S. homeowners ~2 billion dollars/year (

All of the above numbers are factual rather than the “too good to be true” numbers that were presented in the article. The majority of U.S. homeowners recognize that solar is a worthwhile investment for their home.

Thank you again to Dave Kimbrough for recognizing solar, and we are grateful to Dave Kimbrough and the Kimbrough Team for having the chance to clarify the numbers.


Co-owner, Atlasta Solar Center
Grand Junction


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Ms. Duzenack,

If your ancestors had been enslaved, raped, murdered and generally treated as sub-human, where do you think the statue honoring the people that did it should go?

Ms. Duzenack, the statues being removed are those of who committed treason to the US. If you want to go back to the Buffalo soldiers they are no more in the wrong than all the US soldiers for killing Native Americans. Why are you singling them out? The statues go back to the days of the Reconstruction. They were meant to specifically remind everybody of the righteousness of their cause —  slavery. If you were an African American would you consider them a reminder of righteous American history? Once again, why are you bringing up the Buffalo soldiers, African Americans, in the cause of getting rid of reminders of traitors?

Thanks to Mesa’s Beverly Duzenack (“Removing statues shows disregard for the history of our country”) for affording a timely opportunity to clarify the issues implicated by the hastening removal of objectionable statues and images from places of public prominence.

First, contrary to her letter’s title, “removing statues shows [no] disregard for the [true] history of our country”, but rather constitutes a much-too-belated rejection of the false history by which some sought to obfuscate our true – even if blemished – history.

Thus, the Confederates honored in government buildings and public spaces were not “heroes” or “patriots”, but rather traitors to this country whose statues were erected to intimidate Negro citizens.  Christopher Columbus did not “discover America”, but rather initiated the decimation of indigenous peoples by Europeans.  The Washington National Cathedral is no place to honor Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson – who led those who insisted that the Bible justified Slavery—with idolatrous stained glass images.

Second, Duzenack’s reference to the Buffalo Soldiers proves more than she intended and exposes the false equivalency upon which she relies.  These intrepid Black men (and one woman) – some of whom were former slaves – fought for the United States of America, not against it, and were not responsible for the arguably misguided decisions that propelled them into battle in the Indian Wars and in Cuba, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Third, the number of statues honoring loyal Black soldiers is far fewer than the number honoring disloyal rebels, and – while the former earned such remembrance – the latter were deliberately memorialized to announce the reemergence of White Supremacy.

That explains why Native Americans are silent as to “this part of our history” (but not as to Christopher Columbus), and why “black leaders” seek to expose the most ignoble parts of that history (the Confederacy, Jim Crow, lynchings, church burnings/bombings, etc.).

“Where does the Buffalo soldier fit in?”  While Confederate statuary will continue to abound at Civil War battlefield sites (where what happened there and why is afforded proper historical context), the history of the Buffalo Soldiers reminds us that Confederate statuary elsewhere was an intentional affront to our Constitution’s 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments and to the Union that treated those soldiers as (almost) equal to whites.

Ms. Duzenack,
If you are old enough to remember, during the Iraq war when the news outlets were showing Iraqi civilians toppling the huge bronze statue of Saddam Hussein, did it make you feel good?

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