E-mail letters, Feb. 12, 2010

Planned rezoning will leave

historic district unprotected

On Feb. 17, the City Council will no doubt adopt a new zoning ordinance that will strip the North Seventh Street Residential Historic District of all local historical reference.

Historical or preservation language was not used in the new ordinance. The rezoning has no criteria for decision making that basically means the district is the same as all others in the city . The fact that the district is listed on the National Historical Registry seems to be unimportant to our local government. They seem to be only interested in additional tourism, B&B lodging, business and denser mixed family housing.

The new ordinance will void and replace the 1984 ordinance that strongly supported preservation and the residential historical value of the district.

The signage at the north and south entrance of the district will be the last reminder to future generations that these four blocks once had historical significance to our city. The founders of our city built and occupied these homes. No doubt there will be an end to the home tours hosted by some of the private residents which gave the public a chance to experience a piece of history. The current residents fought to preserve a piece of history and lost.

I feel Moyer, Goodwin, Bull etc. were no more important than any of us, but the reminder of their hard work and dedication to make Grand Junction what it is today should be valued and not discarded for a new city plan.

Successful politics is obtained through compromise. The residents and citizens were not given that option.

Sharon Snyder

Grand Junction

LWCF is critical

for Western Colorado

For 45 years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided critical dollars for enhancing and protecting public lands, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Since the LWCF has only once been funded to the full level authorized by Congress and appropriations in recent years have been at record lows, a proposed increase in the fund, derived from royalties from offshore drilling, shouldn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.

The president’s new budget asks that more than $2.5 million be allocated for expansion of Canyon of the Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado. In previous years, $1.5 million in LWCF funds went to the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area and another $440,000 to the Colorado National Monument.  More than $9 million has been allocated to the White River National Forest and in excess of $6 million has helped preserve critical habitat in Gunnison County and assisted programs in the Black Canyon National Park and Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area.

All of western Colorado benefits from these expenditures, which not only improve our quality of life but assist in attracting businesses and creating and retaining jobs in our outdoor, tourism and hospitality industries.

With leadership from the administration and our elected officials in Congress, we can ensure that this investment continues to produce economic and recreational benefits for our communities, and most importantly, for our children and grandchildren.

Tom Burke, past Chairman

Colorado Wildlife Commission

Grand Junction

Rep. Laura Bradford

has been unfairly attacked

Recently at the state Capitol the Business Affairs and Labor Committee, of which I’m the ranking minority member, heard testimony on the ‘Liquor store/Convenient store bill.” I am the House sponsor of the bill.

A tremendous amount of time and effort has gone into the writing and subsequent development of this piece of legislation. The bill addresses the antiquated 3.2 percent beer laws that need to be repealed. Weak beer is no longer a desired product, since the onset of liquor stores being open on Sundays.

I have heard and seen disparaging remarks made by some liquor store owners on the Western Slope in regards to Rep. Laura Bradford’s vote on this bill.  Having the opportunity to get acquainted with her during the past session and the current session—we also both serve on the Local Government Committee—I can’t help but be impressed with her diligent review of legislation heard by our committees.

Rep. Bradford’s small business background as an owner and operator and employer is an asset to our committees and the discussions that take place about pending legislation. She clearly understands small business issues and the consequences of legislation upon the free market place.  We spent hours reviewing the bill, discussing the outcome of its possible passage and engaging the players involved in the discussions. The bill passed out of committee with a 7 - 4 vote.  An amendment, proposed by Rep. Bradford, addressed the hours of operation by the convenient stores and in addition, eliminating their ability to ever make delivery of groceries that include beer.  It is customary for a legislator to vote for an amendment that he/she assists in drafting.

HB 1186 requires all convenience store owners to re-apply for their respective liquor licenses; it allows the local authorities to deny or revoke the licenses. The bill in no way interferes with the local control of fines for non-compliance of local statues.  The bill applies to establishments less than 5,000 square feet.  The bill allows liquor stores to sell snack food items, in addition to the beer, wine and distilled spirits they currently have on their shelves. The bill gives the consumer back the convenience of filling up with a tank of gas and picking up a six pack on their way home from work – in one stop.

Rep. Bradford works tirelessly for the district she serves. She and I don’t always agree on the issues. Personal attacks on her character are simply inappropriate in regard to her vote on this bill.

Rep. Larry Liston

House District 26

Colorado Springs

An alternate idea for the Cameo plant

I was meeting with my concerned citizens group and one discussion was about the closing of the Cameo Power Plant. Reams has been written in the past year on this subject, lots in the Daily Sentinel.

On February 11 this year there was a letter from Mr.Pudhomme who states” it takes tons of fossil fuel to construct and operate a nuclear power plant and that a new Nuclear plant costs approx. 11 billion dollars.” A coal fired plant costs a small fraction of that amount. However, I have not seen anywhere that a nuclear plant was planned for our area.  We have just been on record as supporting uranium mining in Nucla.

Stephen King and Josh Penry have been seeking an injunction to stop Xcel from closing the Cameo Plant.  The Sentinel and others I have spoken with agree that the Cameo plant Is obsolete. We fear that Xcel wants to use the carbon credits from closing this plant to expand other projects on the Front Range.  This before the Cap and Trade Bill, the most ridiculous bill currently being considered, has been voted on. Countless people throughout our nation are fighting this bill, as am I with every ounce of effort we possess.

The Cameo plant was designed and built to use coal or natural gas as a mineral source to operate.  What a concept! Closing Cameo puts the entire Western Slope in danger of blackouts during peak demands for electricity since nothing else is available to replace the energy that will be lost.

Consider this; gut the current buildings, keeping only the foundations and walls. All Xcel would need was a building permit to remodel and upgrade and if more is required it will still be far less than starting from scratch. Replace all the mechanical workings with new approved systems designed to be environmentally sound and that control carbon emissions. Imagine the cost savings! In addition jobs are saved and construction jobs created. The environmental impact statements have already been done the plant is there and operating.  Xcel owns the coal deposits and they are reported to be adequate for years to come. They own the land the buildings are on, the infrastructure is in place as are the lines connecting to the electric grid.  Further if it is again designed to also use natural gas to produce electricity they have an abundance right in their back yard.  Common sense dictates that this is a huge cost savings and boon to the area for the next 60 years. Why abandon and discard such a valuable asset? The mines would have to be blocked off making it twice as expensive to open and operate them again.  The power plant will have to be dismanteled and carted off and how expensive will that be? Why have we become a throw-away society?Just thinking of an alternate solution.

Sylvia Morrison

Grand Junction

Awards scammers are

targetting Grand Junction

Today, we confirmed with the Grand Junction Police Department that there is a scam going around the Grand Valley, perpetrated by “International Award Advisors” from Huntington Station, New York. We received a very official-looking letter this week from that address, and they advised us that “Our most sincere salutations are in order for you. Your identification as recipient for reported cash award entitlements totaling over $2,500,000 has been confirmed!”

They also advised that “this information is real and actual” and that in order to receive the money, all we had to do was to fill out their form and

send it “and the required report processing fee of $20 to us in the return envelope…” and that would “insure prompt delivery.” Folks, this

is a scam! Please do not respond to this attempt to take your money!

Mike Hammett

Grand Junction

Not all miltary retirees

fear homsexuals in ranks

Lt. Col. Clark Wingate’s letter regarding “open homosexuality will lead to divisions with a unit…” was interesting.  But to paraphrase Col. Wingate’s comments: suppose the sergeant and one of her men are in love, or perhaps perhaps the (male) lieutenant takes a shine to a (female)  sergeant. “What does this do to morale of those who are looking for unbiased evaluations, assignments and promotions?”

Wow!  Col. Wingate and I are members of the local chapter of the Military Officers Association.

I know Clark, and I thought that he was approaching the twenty-first century. It sounds like he served during the Civil War.

Lt. Col. Ron Beckman

U. S Army (ret)

Grand Junction

Recall the positive things about Central High School

We are writing to you from our 10th grade AVID college-prep class at Central High School. Due to recent events, our school’s reputation has

been cast in doubt. We feel that the few students involved in the gun incident here do not represent us as a school.

We think that focus should not be placed on those five students who made mistakes, but instead on the positive things here at Central, such as our Speech and Debate team that is ranked 6th in the state, or that our marching band is one of the best 5A bands on the Western Slope. No one focuses on the fact that Mr. Scott, our choir director, was recognized as one of the top five choir directors in the nation, or that our head boy Axel Urie was selected as one of two state student leaders in Colorado.

In addition, Amy Kame got a full-ride scholarship to San Diego State for basketball, and Holden Reed received a scholarship to Mesa State for football. Our drama club put on a successful production of “Treasure Island”, and is working on “Singing in the Rain” for this spring.

We would also like to mention our AVID program, which prepares our specially selected students, through application, and interview, for college with the skills they need to succeed in college,and in life. These students are pushed to take honors and AP classes and be

involved in our school community.

Thank you and we hope that you will see the light that shines from our school.

Gary W. Johnson

And AVID students

Central High School

Grand Junction

Health care should be

a right in America

In America health care cost $2.5 trillion in 2009. That means $8,047 for each person. Our government needs to agree on a bipartisan basis and bring about possible compromise. A health care plan should have be implemented during Clinton’s administration, so now we have no choice because the present system is malignant and the cost will kill us.

Our founding fathers stated that Americans have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In my mind there is no question that

to have life and happiness you must have your health. Health care is a human right. Most countries throughout the civilized world provide health care for their citizens. Our country has health care for the privileged who can afford it.

More than 5.2 million Americans are without health insurance. Drug costs are out of control, medical advice is not available to those without insurance. My 40-year-old son, who works hard for a wonderful company, is without health insurance because it cost too much for the company as well as for its employees. They choose to keep operating and give up the health insurance benefits. A job without medical coverage was better than no job. Still, it is wrong and very risky to try and survive without medical coverage. In time your loss of health will cause financial doom and bankruptcy has to occur.

I believe that private health care plans should remain for those who want them. Public health care options have to be created for the rest of the

people. Plus, the young and healthy should have minimum catastrophic coverage. We needed health care reform several years age, and we can not afford to start over. A compromise and implementation is essential. Come on people, get your priorities right.

Marilyn Willette Smith

Cedaredge



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