E-mail letters, Feb. 19, 2010

Colorado and liquor stores will be hurt by HB 1186

In response to the letter by C. Paul Brown stating that Laura Bradford is the savior of small business in Colorado for having pushed through legislation that could allow full strength beer to be sold at convenience stores, I beg to differ. At the hearing for HB 1186, Laura ran up her true colors, torpedoing small businesses in this equation, the liquor stores.

Laura is part of a group of elected officials who cast a blind eye to the only relevant research done on the likely outcome of changing the laws related to beverage alcohol in this state. They even refuse to utilize data provided by the state of Colorado and the distributors, which clearly states that sales of 3.2 beer are non existent and the average convenience store has only lost $50 a month since Sunday sales began in July of 2008

In a nutshell, there are two liquor stores for every 10,000 residents in Colorado. In states where the convenience stores and grocery stores participate in the sale of full strength beer there is one store per 10,000 residents! Change the law by adding grocers and convenience stores to the mix and 700 liquor stores go out of business within three years, along with 300 more with in five years and Colorado ends up with 1 per 10,000 just like other states.

Perhaps I could live with HB 1186 if the state eliminated 3.2 beer from the grocery stores and made a long-term commitment to take grocers out of the equation. Also some limits should be placed on the total number of strong beer licenses any corporate entity could have and that minors not be allowed to ring up sales? I don’t believe this should be treated like the medical marijuana dispensaries, where the state didn’t set up a framework to properly establish distribution and we ended up with 32 stores in Grand

Junction alone with no one involved remotely resembling a pharmacist.

You know every convenience store or grocery, individual or corporation has the right to have one liquor store license, just like the liquor stores. Part of the problem is they don’t want to play by the same rules as those who invested in off-premise licenses. Sad to say, as long as they get what they want, the convenience stores, along with some of our elected officials, don’t care who gets hurt.

Jerry Sica

Crossroads Wine and Spirits

Grand Junction

City wasting money on unnecessary efforts

It’s too bad the city has had to cut its budget again.  It’s too bad the economic outlook doesn’t look good for the foreseeable future. It’s good to know the City Council has completed a 25-year growth plan. It’s good to know they have big development plans for Grand and Ouray avenues.

I guess the desperate need to scrape up any additional money to build a police station is a thing of the past. Lets talk about a new library and a new parking garage.

The city manager is supposed to be a professional advisor. Why would she ever waste money, even grant money, on such foolishness?  The concept of priorities seems to have eluded the manager and the council.

Gene Kinsey

Grand Junction

Deficit cutting can come after economy is fixed

I saw the first campaign ad I’ve seen for Jane Norton’s run for the Senate recently. There was a distinct fuzzy look to the ad, as often happens with certain actresses and TV personalities, but Jane looked great.

Unfortunately, her message attacking the president was pure lunacy. She was advocating immediate efforts to cut the deficit and balance the budget. That, for sure, has to eventually happen, but emphasizing that right now is purely counterproductive, and massively so.

Most states have to balance their budget. They are scrambling to do that in these tough times and the result is putting people out of work. Our own state is up against that very problem. How does putting more people out of work decrease the dangerous unemployment situation that is hindering economic improvement? How can increased unemployment encourage growth when the effect is to further cut consumer spending, the engine of the economy?

The federal government can have deficits, and our situation now is a classic case, demanding deficits to try to get more employment. Cutting deficits now is a recipe for putting millions more out of work. What is Ms. Norton thinking, beyond pure politics of criticism not based on reality, but appealing to people who have no concept of how the economy works?

We absolutely have to get spending under control and work toward balanced budgets. But, first things first. Get unemployment reduced and get more money circulating in the economy and start doing what has to be done when we are economically healthy.

There is a time for deficit reduction and that is when the economy is healthy, not like now, in near-depression circumstances.

John Borgen

Grand Junction

Public option needed to ensure coverage for all

I applaud Sen. Michael Bennet for urging his fellow Senators to adopt a health care package that includes a public option.  Many of the reforms in the present bill will go a long way toward ensuring Americans have access to health care, but without a mechanism to provide affordable coverage to people with high-risk medical conditions and others whom private insurers either won’t cover or will charge exorbitant premiums, there will not be true reform and costs will continue to escalate.

One need look no further than Anthem’s pending threat to raise rates up to 39 percent in California as evidence that private insurers will respond to any kind of reform by price-gouging to ensure profits. That’s their job. They exist to profit.  But unlike other industries, they do so without regulation and without true competition.

A public option would provide that competition and allow people to choose an affordable option for their family.  This does not take away anyone’s choice to stay with private insurance, it simply offers those who can’t afford, or have been turned away for high-risk and chronic medical conditions an option.

That public option already exists for seniors in the form of Medicare — government provided, low-cost hospitalization and medical insurance. Imagine how untenable and unaffordable health care for seniors would be without it. We can thank those who had the courage to finally sign it into law in 1965, after 30 years of effort and major opposition by conservatives and the insurance industry who warned of “the dangers of socialized medicine.”

The immediate backlash from Senate Republicans that Bennet is “abandoning bipartisanship” is comical considering they have routinely, in lock step, refused to be part of any kind of discussion or effort to work towards a bipartisan solution for the American people, or even offer any meaningful legislation to address costs and coverage for the majority of Americans.

And please note, tort reform and association health plans are fine ideas but they do nothing to address private insurance companies ability to exclude millions of high risk individuals, deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, cap policies to ensure profits and raise rates without any fear of competitive or regulatory reprisal.  That will take a public option, which has already been cited by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to potentially yield a cost savings of $25 billion.

So Bravo to Sen. Bennet for having the courage of his convictions, though he may pay the price at the polls.  But I would ask yourself what Republican candidates running for the Senate seat are offering the American people as a true means out of the health care dilemma.  As even ranking Republican’s note, they have to deliver something, at some point.  The question is what and when.

Ted Gillespe

Grand Junction

There’s little substance behind much GOP talk

In several fairly recent editorial articles, The Daily Sentinel called it correctly, in that several Republican candidates running for state office do not understand the issues facing this state.

Those include Rep. Steve King and former Congressman Scott McInnis. While they may do a great deal of talking, they actually do nothing but criticize others, yet have nothing of substance to offer.

Mr. King seems to believe that young adults, even at institutions of higher learning, should be living within a locked down compound, and isolated from the real world.  So, he appeals to their fear and that of the parents for their “little darlings.” At which stage in their lives are those young people supposed to grow up, if ever?

As to Scott McInnis, he is a professional politician in search of an office. Columnist Dennis Herzog was correct in pointing out that, while he and others have a so-called “Program for Prosperity,” those are mere words.

Programs, some of us have learned, have clear objective, and distinctive steps. Anyone who puts forth a so-called program, needs to have more than noble or high sounding phrases.

Hopefully, The Daily Sentinel will keep the feet of every candidate for any political office to the fire, and do so equally. Those who have something to offer should be considered and those who do not should not be. There is too much at stake.

Talk and words are cheap, in whatever from, written or spoken. If they are used to say something meaningful, they need to be listened to and seriously considered. If they say nothing, or consist of nothing but puffery, they are mere pollution and a waste of time and resources.

Robert I. Laitres



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