E-mail letters, August 25, 2010

Mosque near Ground Zero is a political statement

The issue of an Islamic mosque within two blocks of Ground Zero is troubling.

The site is the center of the 9/11 attack conducted by extremists in the name of Islam against the United States specifically and the Western World generally. Never forget that was only part of the 9/11 when 3,000 people were murdered at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania.

The World Trade Center, the commerce center of the western world had been targeted by Islamic radicals in 1993 during the Clinton administration. Islamic extremists also attacked Spain successfully influencing the Spanish to withdraw from Iraq. The name of the proposed mosque is the Cordova Center. Cordova was the capital of Moorish Spain for five centuries at the height of Muslim political expansion. This giant mosque on the site where Muslims knocked down the commercial symbol of the western world will be viewed as a victory memorial by radical Islam. It will be a source of pain to the families of 9/11 victims.

Perhaps not all Muslims are radicals, however, in the name of Islam: a radicalized Muslim attacked and killed unarmed soldiers in Texas, bombed the London train system; attempted to set off a bomb on a U.S. airliner, (Richard Reid); attempted to detonate a car bomb in Times Square; planned to detonate jet fuel tanks at JFK airport and planned to attack soldiers at Fort Dix New Jersey. This is not a center for tolerance, reconciliation and understanding.

If this were not a political statement, why is this specific site so important? Imam Rauf has been offered a different site without cost but insists on this one. I believe that’s because he expects deep Saudi pockets to fund this monument to Islamic supremacy.

KENNETH L. BROWNLEE

Grand Junction

Homeless issues need to be addressed and acknowledged

As a long time friend of Jacob Richards, it was of great interest to me to read Amy Hamilton’s profile of him. After reading the article, I believe it was well researched, fair and balanced. I’d like to add a few additional comments.

Housing First! No More Deaths! meets every Tuesday in Whitman Park at 1:30. People who are interested in homelessness and its eradication should come to a few meetings to make contact with homeless people in a non-institutional setting — in the rain, snow or searing heat. This is a visceral experience with no substitute.

In the profile, Bev Lampley of Catholic Outreach is quoted as saying that homelessness is a social problem, which doesn’t belong in the street. I cannot disagree more. The street is where the homeless are. That is where the help is needed. I wonder what Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr. would think about this.

Finally, there is the frightening admission by police Chief John Camper that he does not consider the homeless to be citizens. Hopefully he misspoke. This mentality of “the other” is part of how rogue officers justified destroying a homeless camp earlier this year. Say it ain’t so, John.

ERIC NIEDERKRUGER

Grand Junction

John Salazar right on energy independence

My respect for Rep. John Salazar just went up dramatically when he opined that energy independence for the United States will depend on clean coal and nuclear as in the modern and safe designs in Europe.

It will not come from oil shale, natural gas, solar, wind tides, geothermal etc., or any combination thereof. He may be a potato farmer from southern Colorado, but he knows how to evaluate good advice and has done a creditable job, including with the Gulf disaster. My Republican hat is off to him.

LARRY SODERBERG

Parachute

BLM looking ahead to preserve land

The document that is referenced in “Documents reveal ‘monumental’ plans for land by BLM” in the Aug. 15 edition of The Daily Sentinel is a forward-thinking and practical conservation vision that works for Colorado’s people, land and resources. The internal discussion document, “Treasured Landscapes: Our Vision Our Values” balances the current uses of Bureau of Land Management public lands recognizing that “public support and acceptance of preservation status is best achieved when the public has an opportunity to participate in the land-use planning or legislative process.”

The time is ripe for innovative management of our shared public lands. Last month, the Obama administration officials visited Grand Junction to listen to western Coloradans’ ideas about conservation as part of its America’s Great Outdoors initiative. At the listening session, officials heard from us about better ways to protect and restore our lands and waters that sustain our communities.

One recent success story that the administration can learn from is right here in western Colorado: the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and, within that NCA, the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. These protected lands exemplify what the Treasured Landscapes document and America’s Great Outdoors can and should achieve through better land management and protection.

The process that brought about the protection of these two beloved areas is a key theme in the document and America’s Great Outdoors: one of local, inclusive discussions, and carefully crafted legislation. While we can always learn from such experiences how to improve similar efforts in the future, western Coloradans now see benefits from these protected lands and waters in their agriculture, water supplies, and abundant recreation activities.

Together, the Treasured Landscapes document and America’s Great Outdoors can help shape conservation for the 21st century. With public input and governmental leadership, we can protect our lands that benefit the health and well being of future generations.

STEVE SMITH

Assistant Regional Director

The Wilderness Society

Denver

Honor Flight experience was outstanding for WWII veteran

The following is a letter that my father Milton Walls started shortly after his return from the first World War II Honor Flight. He now resides in a nursing-care facility.

“To the editor The Daily Sentinel:

From all of the WWII Honor Flight Veterans, I hope that any sentiments expressed by me would be shared by all comrades who living and dead were included on this flight.

I would say that never before have I covered so much territory, seen so many beautiful things, had so many people worrying about my well being, in such a short period of time.

Thanks to the pilots and crew, who handled that massive, fully loaded, aircraft. Thanks also to the professional and essential staff who organized the flight and with the help of many volunteers saw to our every need.

Our sponsors that worked under difficult times and conditions deserve our respect and thanks. Raising money for such an Honor Flight when many had little is greatly appreciated.

The return to Grand Junction was outstanding and surprising. Crowds of well wishers, marching bands, celebrities, relatives and others shook the ambiance of Grand Junction Regional Airport. We heard about these things, but that was for big cities. Our duties were to find employment or start businesses, find girls, start families, enhance community values and register to vote.”

SYLVIA MCELHINEY

Loma

Tancredo should drop out of governor’s race

Tom Tancredo should withdraw from the Colorado governor’s race.

As a lifelong Colorado native, I thank Tom Tancredo for his service in representing Colorado for five terms in the House of Representatives, and appreciate his efforts to stop illegal immigration and enact term limits for politicians.

I also recognize that any citizen has a right to engage in the political process. That being said, Tancredo should have represented himself as a Republican throughout his career. His attempt to enter the governor’s race at the last moment because he didn’t believe the other Republican candidates are viable is arrogant and egotistical. This attitude is the epitome of the problem with incumbents today.

Incumbents on both sides have made a mess of things and it’s time to bring in some fresh blood. I think Jane Norton got this message recently.

I do not know Dan Maes personally, nor have I supported him financially to date, but he won the Republican primary fair and square. Being governor is a CEO job and Maes has an entrepreneurial background and real business and executive experience.

While Mr. Hickenlooper also has a business background, he is closely tied to the prosperity ruining policies of the Democrats in power now. The electorate is angry and wants real change. We want to stop the spending that is leading us in to socialism and we want pro-growth policies. I believe Maes thinks along these lines and that we should do everything we can to support him and help him win.

The best thing you can do for him is to acknowledge that you made a mistake and drop out of the race.

ALAN SAGE

Grand Junction

Lack of Tipton coverage shows bias

I can’t believe it. When a nationally known, prominent commentator came to Grand Junction on behalf of our 3rd congressional candidate, it only rated a small, inside story and a picture of Scott Tipton’s back. When our sitting congressional member comes to town, to speak to the editorial board, not the voters — he’s ignored them for over a year — it rates not one, but six front page pictures.

We’re glad to hear that he’s decided that we don’t need further stimulus funding. Why then, did he travel to Washington, D.C. just two weeks ago to heed Nancy Pelosi’s call and vote for the latest $20 billion package? It’s common knowledge that Nancy Pelosi “allowed” him to vote “No” on cap and trade because she knew she had enough votes without him. And those American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signs he saw?  The only jobs they actually produced were for sign painters and people to install them. No mention though of his plan to swap valuable land in Gunnison, without the usual review process, and at the behest of his largest campaign donor, even though the Wall Street Journal saw fit to publish a major story about it.

With a $4 million dollar campaign fund we can look forward to a lot of nice pictures of our congressman, the issues man,  riding his horse across the west. I wonder if retired editor Denny Herzog still believes that journalism is all about the best stories and nothing to do with political slant?

MARCIA NEAL

Grand Junction

The sick Rocky Flats and the Cold War uranium- mining workers continue to have problems with the claims process under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).

Unfortunately, some of the very same problems the claimants encountered six years ago when the last reform was legislated to EEOICPA still exist today.

The Colorado claimants from the former Rocky Flats facility and the uranium workers are fortunate to have the full support of Sens. Udall and Bennet as well as Reps. Salazar, Polis, Perlmutter, DeGette and Markey.

However, the claimants from across the country need the support from each and every senator and representative which has a facility or uranium mine in their state.

The Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups posted a petition to urge Congress to hold oversight hearings on the implementation of EEOICPA by the Department of Labor and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Congress intended to compensate these sickened workers but that intent has been thwarted by the very agencies responsible for administering EEOICPA. Sick workers only want what is fair and owed to them under the law.

GEORGE AND TERRIE BARRIE

Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups

Craig

Bill would force Xcel to use more expensive energy

Colorado has passed a new bill called House Bill 1365. This bill all but mandates that Xcel switch from coal usage to natural gas for electrical generation. The justification for the bill is based on assumptions and not fact. It is based on back-room deals, not an open-door policy.

Whether you are a coal miner, gas driller or just a resident in Colorado the only impact HB 1365 will have on Colorado residents will be negative. The actions of this bill have taken away a fundamental right we all should have, the right to choose. The state of Colorado, gas industry and Xcel Public Utility have gotten together and have essentially mandated what type of fuel will be used to generate electricity in Colorado. It does not matter if there are cheaper alternatives or better alternatives Colorado will be bound to use one fuel based on biased decision making. In effect, the state is discriminating against other alternatives in their rule making.

When the government starts to mandate how business, especially, a public utility must conduct its business, we will all pay the price. Rest assured, we will pay the price because not only are we switching to a fuel at double the cost, but the state has guaranteed Excel an accelerated recovery of money spent increasing their profit margin.

I believe part of the responsibility of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is to ensure this type of activity does not occur. I also believe the PUC should represent the end user and ensure a level playing field and make sure no discrimination has taken place.

On August 30, the PUC will hold a public meeting in Grand Junction to discuss this topic. I urge all residents of Colorado receiving an electrical bill to attend and voice your opinion. Your rates are about to begin a steady rise year after year after year.

RANDY LITWILLER

Crawford

Sellers take advantage of the gullible

The poor trust people, the rich take advantage of their gullibility and the government doesn’t care. That’s the formula for all self-made men to get rich today.

If the government would force all sellers to prove their products work as advertised, there would be far less rich people and more money in poor people’s pockets to spend on things they really need, and the recession would mysteriously end.

Caveat emptor  — let the buyer beware — is really a license to steal.

RICHARD L STOVER

Grand Junction



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