E-mail letters, March 1, 2010

Think traffic congestion is a problem in Mesa County?

Tired of bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-70B as you drive to the Mesa Mall area?

Just wait.

Without adequate planning it will only get worse.

Despite the economic downturn, the State Demography Office expects Mesa County’s population to increase 67 percent by 2035. This will affect everyone in Mesa County—whether you drive, ride the bus, ride a bike or walk.

What can you do to prevent stop-and-go traffic from becoming a daily event?

Due to the projected growth in Mesa County, the Grand Valley Regional Transportation Committee is sponsoring the development of a Regional Comprehensive Transportation Plan.

The plan will identify regional goals and improvements to transportation infrastructure and services. All of Mesa County will be included in the plan.

The most important component of the project is public input.

What do you consider to be the highest transportation priorities? Your answer is critical to the plan’s development.

In the coming months, a series of meetings will be scheduled in locations around the county.

We’ll notify people of these meetings through various means, including our plan website: http://www.2035RTP.com. Please join us and provide your ideas and comments.

What do you think about the condition of our current transportation facilities? What are the most pressing priorities: new roads, adding lanes to existing roads, maintenance, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects?

While the community can’t afford every transportation improvement it desires, by working together we can maximize the use of the dollars available to provide a transportation system that works for all our citizens. You can help us prioritize.

In the weeks ahead, please participate in planning the future of transportation in Mesa County. It’s easy to complain about traffic. Fixing it is the hard part. Please join us in finding solutions.

Ken Simms

Senior Transportation Planner

Regional Transportation Planning Office

Jody Kliska

Transportation Engineer

City of Grand Junction

U.S. economy needs oil shale

It was interesting to see that Shell has abandoned the water rights application for their oil shale project in Rio Blanco County. Shell cited many factors, including the global recession and regulatory uncertainty. Fortunately, they are continuing their investment into this massive resource. Unfortunately, many industries are leaving Colorado and the U.S., citing regulatory uncertainty. The regulatory and political environment often just makes it too risky for them to do business here.

America remains highly dependent on foreign oil and extremely vulnerable to oil price spikes and supply disruptions. The fact is that America is does not produce enough domestic oil to insulate ourselves from global economic and political forces. In their 2010 Outlook, the Energy Information

Administration predicted that world oil consumption will rise significantly by 2035, despite major investments in renewables. In addition, the EIA predicts that the price of oil will climb to $224 per barrel by 2035. Along the way, we will see increasingly wild fluctuations in oil and gas prices, like what we saw in 2008. This kind of price instability is highly detrimental to the U.S. economy. In fact, some economists believe that energy price spikes, like what we saw in mid-2008, actually cause

recessions. Four of the past five recessions were preceded by energy price spikes.

Part of the solution could be oil shale. A reasonably sized oil shale industry in the United States could help insulate the U.S. economy from worldwide instability. Continued research is essential. Let’s see if we can balance water use and oil shale production. We’re on the cusp of commercial viability. Most of all, our elected officials need to establish a fair playing field in energy, not favoring one source over another. The dynamic U.S. economy needs all the energy we can get.

Curtis Moore

Grand Junction

Hislop’s prank suggests he is not trustworthy

Trust and honesty are the main focal points many of us angry voters are looking for in our political candidates. I am disappointed in the actions of Bob Hislop, Republican candidate for House District 54.

Here we have a candidate who feels it is okay to lie to further his agenda, a candidate who revels in the dishonesty of being the “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

He sees nothing wrong with playing a practical joke on the opposing party, a party that makes up a large minority of the people he wants to represent.

His juvenile prank calls to question whether he has the maturity to hold any office.

We are now left with two viable choices in the Republican Caucus in District 54. David Cox, a young fruit farmer and native of the Grand Valley, and Ray Scott, a businessman who has spent the last 30 years growing his business and family here in the Grand Valley.

Neither candidate would denigrate themselves by playing practical jokes or lying to further their agenda.

I call on all candidates for office to forgo the politics of dishonesty so inherent in Mr. Hislop’s actions.

Kevin McCarney

Clifton

Locals made difference

In Valentines for vets

We would like to thank the schools, companies, and caring citizens of Mesa County for helping with the Valentine card drive. KEKB and Operation Interdependence collected nearly 5,000 handmade and store bought cards for the VA hospital, veterans and troops.

One teacher recently said her school received a letter. Here is part of what it said: “I was at the VA hospital on Valentines Day and saw all the people reading cards. One man looked at me and said, “You look sad here have some cards.” I read the cards and took them with me when I left. I want to let you know how much joy your cards have given me, thank you, from a veteran in Alaska.”

We live in a very patriotic part of the state and we applaud your help.

Karon Carley

National President and Area Manager

Operation Interdependence, Inc.

Grand Junction

Americans don’t want costly health care bill

After reading the letters to the editor on Feb. 25 by Meg Cooper and John Borgen, along with Bill Grant’s normal left-wing lunacy, one could come away with the idea that most of the people in Colorado are in favor of the federal government adding another entitlement program. Bill Grant even pulls out a poll from the New York Times, not exactly an unbiased publication, which says that there is bipartisan support for the public option with numbers that are at complete odds with almost every other reputable polling company that I have seen.

So what is stopping the Democrats from passing the bill?  The Republicans don’t have the votes to stop them. The Democrats had a big majority in the House and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate and a socialist Democrat in the White House and yet they couldn’t pass their holy grail. Why?

The American people have put a stop to this by speaking up and calling our elected officials and letting them know that they don’t like this bill or all of the underhanded stuff used to buy off votes (Think the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker kickback).  Almost every poll I have seen has shown that the American people reject this plan by about a 2 -1 margin.

Meg, John and Bill, in case you haven’t noticed, the United States is almost $12.5 trillion in debt. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all going to be broke in a few years.  Yet you are giddy with the idea that the federal government, which has proved over and over that it cannot run any of the existing programs efficiently, will have another entitlement to run. I guess somehow to liberals that makes sense.

I know that the anointed one has said his bill will be deficit neutral, but he has said many things that have turned out not to be true like: closing Gitmo, having open deliberations on C-Span, unemployment not going above 8 percent if they passed the stimulus, and on and on and on.  It now appears that the true cost for this will be somewhere between $2.5 and $6 trillion. I guess it has something to do with collecting taxes on it for 3 or 4 years before the bill actually goes in to effect.  I don’t see how anyone can honestly say that they can expand health care for 31 million more people without our taxes going up and the country going further into debt.

Meg, John, and Bill, here is what most people want and expect from their government.  First of all they want our elected officials to understand that they work for us. They do not rule over us, they are public servants, which means that they shouldn’t exempt themselves from the very programs that they pass. We don’t want to pass mountains of debt to our children and grandchildren. Sorry, John, it doesn’t make any sense that we can spend our way out of debt.  They shouldn’t mandate people to buy insurance at the risk of going to jail.  A sleeping giant, the silent majority, has awakened.  There is a political tsunami coming.

Michael Higgins

Grand Junction

Keep Cameo plant open and jobs local

In the not too distant past, the Western Slope was self-sustaining, we had Gary Refinery to refine our fuel, we had the Skyland packing plant, we had Louisiana Pacific producing building materials, all of which the EPA helped close down. What’s next?

The Cameo Power Plant is slated for closure at the end of this year. We will loose a plant capable of powering the Grand Valley and will be dependant on outside sources for our electricity. How many jobs will be lost: About 35 at the plant, 35 who work at the Douglas Pass Coal Mine and 10 who haul the coal, just to name a few.

Thank you Gov. Bill Ritter, the state Legislature, U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and President Barack Obama. Why do you politicians want to continue to destroy the economy of Western Colorado?

When XCEL commissioned and started up the coal-fired Comanche 3 plant in Pueblo,

the deal made with the environmentalists and the EPA was that Cameo is not only to be shut down and mothballed, but completely and entirely demolished as a trade-off for the new Pueblo Plant, in order to minimize the carbon footprint!

Our coal is clean burning, among the best in the country. How much pollution have you observed the plant at Cameo producing.

The science of global warming is a joke, at best, and has been fixed for a very sound reason, to steal your affordable energy and make wind and solar seem affordable at a

price five to 10 times more than coal and gas-fired plants. When the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, where do we receive power? When the power doesn’t flow across the high power lines from the Front Range, we will be left in the dark.

Comanche 3 already suffers start-up delays from sub-par or defective equipment imported from Asia. If future issues exist, it will be acold day when the Cameo Power is gone.

Be vocal, contact our representives and let’s keep our power here. Let’s keep our jobs and power plant here!

Jeff Leany

Fruita

Rangel can’t be trusted if he can’t control staff

Quoting House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-NY:  “Common sense dictates that members of Congress should not (my emphases) be held responsible for what could be the wrong doing or mistakes or errors of staff.”

I always thought a boss, supervisor or employer was responsible for actions of his staff.  The term is called vicarious liability. But maybe Rep. Rangel’s staff operates independently of his control. If that is true, how can we trust Rep. Rangel, as chairman, to be in control of House Ways and Means Committee?

Larry M. Head

Hotchkiss

Health care is not a free-market item

Still we argue about free market versus socialism. Unfortunately, health care insurance is not a free market. It’s destroying business competition and jobs.

If Xcel Energy worked the same way, only Denver would have heat and electricity.

The free market and government are a partnership, with the government providing infrastructure that helps the free market grow. Medicare is such an infrastructure.

There are millions more jobs in health care than in 1965.

The most interesting point during the healthcare summit is that public employee health insurance is the majority contributor to the health insurance free market.

WOW!

While Republican legislators cuddle in that warm blanket of socialism, those of us who actually live the AynRand philosophy of “free markets” have to pay for them AND up to 50% of our income for insurance.

We don’t want FREE healthcare. We want FAIR healthcare.

If the insurance industry is not willing to insure an additional 30 million people at a fair price then why is it wrong for those people to pay the government to compete with them?

They are driving us all into Medicaid.

And if the “free” public decides to quit paying for government health insurance the health insurance industry would collapse.

Almost every major social reform passed in our history has benefited the free market.

The free market above all needs people who spend money. The Tea Party wants to move backward to before Teddy Roosevelt.

What a shocker for them. The old “free market” — sweatshops, 7-day work weeks for a $1 a day — would stun them.

Glen Beck, bragging about his addiction recovery, would be in a gutter.

Going back to 1900 would be a much different Tea Party, the kind where people die for the right to unionize.

Eileen O’Toole

Grand Junction



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