E-mail letters, Feb. 15, 2010

HB 1186 and Rep. Bradford

are good for small businesses

Small business people like myself own over 70 percent of Colorado’s convenience stores. When the state Legislature repealed the prohibition of liquor sales on Sunday, we suffered a significant revenue loss in beer sales.

Recently, House Bill 1186 won preliminary approval. This bill gives small convenience-store owners the right to sell full strength beer, thereby allowing us once again to compete for the consumers business.

By limiting the size of the convenience stores affected by the bill to 5,000 square feet or smaller, it prevents big-box grocers and retailers from jumping in and unfairly monopolizing liquor sales all together. A layer of local control is added by requiring convenience store owners to apply for an application and meet a number of criteria.

This bill is free-market oriented and rebalances the playing field inadvertently thrown off by the “Sunday Sales bill.” What’s more, it combines the strength of small, independent liquor store and convenience stores owners to defend ourselves against mega-box, out-of-state monopolies. This is why small-business champion, Rep. Laura Bradford, supports its full passage and should be applauded for her diligent work in establishing balance between liquor store and convenience store owners.

It’s an unfortunate tangent that some liquor store owners opposed to HB-1186 have mounted unjust attacks against Rep. Bradford. What she gets that eludes them is that this bill corrects a mistake that unfairly penalized convenience stores in the first place, and it returns free-market competition to the benefit of Colorado consumers. Moreover, it’s simply ludicrous to label Rep. Bradford as a small business opponent when her record clearly demonstrates her fierce advocacy for small business interests.

As an independent, small business owner I’d like to advance the support of HB-1186, applaud the selfless work of Rep. Laura Bradford, and encourage all Coloradoans to read, understand and support this legislation.

C. Paul Brown

Monument Oil Co.

Grand Junction

The Daily Sentinel off base

on Rep. King’s legislation

The Daily Sentinel editorial staff is dead wrong on the bills I am running this year.

They misrepresent House Bill 1334 which changes the public indecency laws in a way that most people would understand. It is unfortunate that the Sentinel editorial staff didn’t take the time to understand the bill, or even to call me to become educated on what it intends to do. This common-sense legislation removes people convicted of crimes such as public urination from the ranks of registered sex offenders. Having people convicted of non-sexually related offenses, such as public urination, simply overburdens the sex-offender system and dilutes the importance of tracking sex offenders. In addition, true sex offenders would now be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor instead of just a petty offense.

As a further clarification to the Sentinel editorial staff, I had already selected my five bills for the year.  The Public Defender’s office requested this legislation and the speaker of the House granted an additional bill request, as he also thought it was valuable.

The Sentinel editorial staff also did not do their homework on the two pieces of school safety legislation that I sponsored. I worked diligently with the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Safety to partner on the K-12 School Safety Bill, and together we eliminated any fiscal impact. They were able to absorb all the additional functions within their department.  So the charge that this legislation would have added to school budgets that have already been

cut is simply inaccurate. In the state that endured the tragedy of Columbine, to say that it is not a priority to provide our children and teachers the skills to keep themselves alive is misguided. The drills can also be tornado drills on the Eastern Plains, avalanche drills in mountain districts, or flash-flood drills in low-lying areas. The legislation was flexible enough to allow the schools to do what was best for them.

The Higher Education Safety bill is equally necessary.  When you send your kids to college, you want to know that they are getting the information on how their particular campus handles critical incidents I’m not sure why the Sentinel finds this unimportant.

The “political crosshairs” are always on the point man, seldom on those timid souls in the shadows. I stand tall and accept that responsibility for the people I serve.

I talk to the constituents of House District 54 every day. I know from their feedback that the legislation I run has broad support in the Grand Valley. Can the Sentinel editorial staff point to any information, other than their own opinions, that this legislation is not serving my constituents’ needs? If so I encourage them to take up the flag and run against me.

Rep. Steve King

House District 54

Grand Junction

Time to get vote out Supreme Court justices

Seems like only yesterday we watched the value of our largest investment (our homes) increase year after year. Our county assessor kept raising their estimate of value right along with the county treasurer raising the property taxes.  That was before the end of 2008.

Then we watched the value of our homes fall at least 20 percent or more.  But because the Legislature froze the school mill levy when the taxes were at their highest, we are forced to pay a very high penalty

And guess what? Our dearly beloved Colorado Supreme Court upheld that higher tax. Four of those judges are up for retention this fall. Let’s boot them out by saying “No.”  Their names are:  Justices Malarky, Rice, Martinez and Bender.

Jo Anne Eberhart

Grand Junction

Sales taxes on fertilizer, chemicals

further endanger family farms

The new sales taxes on fertilizer and chemicals for the agriculture community are very disturbing! Farmers and ranchers create new wealth every year, while providing food and fiber for the state.

We have never paid sales tax on fertilizer and the sales tax on chemicals was removed 10-15 years ago. Do any of the Democrats in Denver have clue of what farming and ranching is about?

The ag community has always been a low-margin business and we have no way of increasing the price of our products because of higher taxes.

These same people have never been able to pass a rainy day fund and always seem to be able spend more than the state can take in. Taxing businesses more will not help the unemployment rate or balance the budget.

How many state employees does every farmer and rancher have working in Denver supposedly “helping” or regulating us?

John Justman

Fruita

Obama’s immigration policy is

‘Dont ask, don’t tell, don’t enforce’

I have noticed recently that advocates for illegal immigrants have been staging meetings, forums and protests to again promote amnesty and citizenship for 20 million illegals. Their timing couldn’t be more ludicrous.

The most obvious retort would be that with 10 percent unemployment in the midst of a recession, allocating even more benefits and resources away from citizens to illegals is unjust and irresponsible. No amount of rationalization can obscure this conclusion.

Of interest in the latest Daily Sentinel article was a rebuttal of the myth that illegals exist in the shadows. Mr. Harris proclaimed that the people in the auditorium “were patriotic and want to become citizens.” One individual was quoted as saying that they are eager to reward politicians and that “our votes could make the difference.”

One does need a teleprompter to conclude that illegals have come out of the shadows and will represent a powerful voting block, if legalized.

Why the bravado?

It’s simple. The current administration has implemented an explicit policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t enforce,” except for drug dealers and those with multiple felonies.

Luckily, most politicians are savvy enough to realize that backing another comprehensive immigration bill would be equivalent to offering their heads on chopping blocks.

While most Americans prefer immigration to be out of sight, out of mind, highlighting illegal immigration will certainly awaken the sleeping giant of public sentiment against this proposal.

Dana Isham

Rocky Mountain Minutemen

Grand Junction

Local woman deserves thanks

for bringing financial program

I want to take this opportunity to commend Karen Troester for her work in bringing an exciting program to Grand Junction, coming on April 17.

Money X Live is an award-style show that brings together sports stars, celebrities, DJ’s, live bands and financial education experts to give today’s youth real-world advice on how to manage their finances. The goal is to inspire and educate the participants so they can achieve financial success.

This program is geared for the youth, but is a family event. Volunteers are being trained to visit classrooms throughout the school district during the month of April. They will share their personal stories about money management, spending, credit, savings and investing.

Financial literacy is badly needed. This exciting event and follow-up training will be a wonderful experience for our community.

Ms. Troester has worked many months to organize this and should be recognized and thanked for her efforts.

As The Daily Sentinel is a donor for the print media, your readership will read more about the event in the coming weeks. Rep. Laura K. Bradford

House District 55

Collbran

Valentine’s Day political confab

appealed to people’s emotions

Appeal to emotion is one tactic that the so-called conservatives and their propagandists have mastered and constantly exploit. It is based on the belief, which is actually true, that an individual is most vulnerable when in an emotional state. There are certain times and periods when individuals are most susceptible.

On Feb. 14, the Republican front-runner for governor, Scott McInnis (along with others) stood before the cameras on Valentine’s Day decrying a proposed tax on candies and other products with high sugar content. While they may have been speaking one language (taxes), what was not so evident to most, was the underlying message: “If this tax is implemented you will not be able to buy candy for your sweetheart.”

Playing on the heartstrings (emotion) of others is not, I would submit, a tactic used by any responsible person, particularly one seeking public office. Rather, it is the mark of an exploiter, one prepared to sacrifice anyone and anything to obtain his her personal objective. In this case, political office and power for himself is Mr. McInnis’ primary and sole objective.

The first step in neutralizing the influence of such a tactic is for the individual citizen to recognize it for what it is and to reject it and anyone attempting to use it, especially when it is used to promote a message of negativity and/or superiority.

It is difficult enough to make carefully thought-out decisions without having emotion consciously and deliberately introduced into the discussion by any party.

Robert I. Laitres

Delta

Reporting group mislead public

on mistreatment of sheepherders

When I read the article about Tom Acker (a Mesa State professor) and Jennifer Lee (a member of the Colorado Legal Services) regarding: the mistreatment of the sheepherders in western Colorado, I admit I was outraged at the mistreatment and wanted some action.

The Daily Sentinel column on Feb 14, 2010 by John A Hotchkiss on the truth regarding the mistreatment the “sheepherders” was very eye-opening. Hotchkiss claimed that Ackers and Lee may not have interviewed “nearly a third of the herders” as they say they did in order to write their article about the mistreatment. If this is the case, then Ackers and Lee deliberately mislead the public. I, like many readers, would like to know the truth.

I hope Acker and Lee will produce the results of their interview with “nearly a third of the herders” to support their allegations of mistreatment.

Manipulation of the truth, distortion of the facts to justify one’s end is evil and hateful —regardless of how good your intentions or worthwhile your goals may be. It is deception and the truth will surface. If you lied, manipulated, distorted the facts or the truth, then you have not served the cause of the sheepherders.

Please learn from the global warming issue. It is muddied by the manipulations of the facts and truths. If the truth is told, there is no fear, and everyone is served by it.

Violete Stevens

Grand Junction

Dialogue with the Tea Party

Oh, goody, a Tea Party response from Bruce Taylor. Houston, we have dialog.

Yes, language can be “misleading.” That’s the point. Since most of the “socialism” in our government — public education, the space program, Medicare, and Social Security — benefits the free market, the Tea Party argument is also misleading.

What if Wall Street had collapsed? How about 20 million people out of work?

What about the stimulus bill? Well, CNN pulled up the entire stimulus package — nine volumes of twelve inch binders — and discovered that most of the stimulus money so far has gone toward unemployment insurance, partial payment of Cobra Health Insurance, food stamps and Medicaid.

Lots of people don’t like that. But people on unemployment pay taxes. They go to grocery stores rather than bread lines. They buy things. Does business want to go out of business for the sake of principle?

The free market has to be controlled “somewhere in between,” or else it leans toward corruption.

Human beings are no less opportunistic than a bear breaking into a house.

The “healthy and wealthy” would not have what they have without a strong middle class to work for and to buy the stuff that makes some “healthy and wealthy.”

We can’t provide for all of us without all of us providing.

Regarding health care, what if the government didn’t require us to have car insurance? Would the insurance companies insure all cars?

No.

Would many people buy car insurance?

No.

But we’d all be paying for it one way or the other.

When I see a young Tea Partier on television screaming against socialistic health care because he doesn’t want to lose his Medicaid (not Medicare) what I see is a disingenuous fellow using “misleading” words.

Eileen O’Toole

Grand Junction

Writer brings subject

out of the closet

I was glad to see Lt. Col. Wingate’s letter to the editor recently. Finally, we are allowed to hear a little on the other side of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” mess.

We seem to have several sacrosanct subjects in our society today that we must always speak of positively.  Any comment with the slightest possibility of negative interpretation may elicit immediate condemnation as a “bigot.”  Obviously, this inhibits real objectivity.

I think it well that we all might remember that any worthwhile society will and must, require structure, as established and maintained by laws, customs and mores.  These laws will always discomfort and inconvenience someone, but they remain essential to an overall, stabilizing structure

I believe that today most folks, especially military officer corps members, are very carful about stating publicly anything negative they know and feel about the effects of homosexuals in the military or any possible effect military effectivness. The kneejerk condemning reaction will be immediate. Therefore, major public participation in uncomfortable questions such as this will, infallibly, be heard from only from one side, as, I believe, is the case in this instance.

When I was 18, looking 15, during my Navy tour beginning in 1941, I was assigned aboard a destroyer that routinely stayed weeks at sea, rarely even seeing land. At about 120 pounds, I turned away sexual advances several times, on two very memorable occasions, by drawing a belt knife

Finally, I’d ask, if we condone open homosexuality among the troupes, how and why do we insist on separate bathing facilities for the female members?

Ray Lashley

Grand Junction



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