E-mail letters, March 9, 2010

State helmet law can help protect kids

The on-line editorial, “Over the Top,” by Bob Silbernagel ignores the propensity of

teenagers to sometimes disregard parental guidelines.

My 17-year-old daughter was required to wear her helmet when roller blading. Unfortunately, she chose to ignore that, unbeknownst to either me or my wife. She suffered a severe head injury from which she has almost, but not quite, fully recovered. I would have appreciated any assistance from the community that

would have helped us require helmet use.

While I agree that there are other injuries possible when riding, seldom are they as serious as a closed-head injury.

I applaud the common sense of the Legislature rather than, in this case, the misguided political beliefs of Mr. Silbernagel.

Charles Stonehocker

Grand Junction

Sarmo and Arts Council give much for the arts

Thanks to The Daily Sentinel for the article on Allison Sarmo’s retirement.

I made a presentation to the Arts Council this year for the Western Colorado Writers Workshop, number 14 out of 23e people on the agenda in a long afternoon.  lison, as coordinator, and the commissioners listened at length and asked careful questions, keeping a stack of projects in their heads: sculpture and painting and art studio tours, chorals and concerts and opera, after-school arts, poetry, radio, library, museums, and theatre, for example

The elephant in the room:  How do you fund all this extraordinary art when you’ve about half the money requested?

Somehow, they did. Up to now, I’d had no idea that 11 people, as busy as everyone else, gave so much time to make art possible in our town

A standing ovation to the commission members for their work, and to Allison Sarmo, a beacon who will be much missed.

Sandra Dorr

Grand Junction

Harmon’s column served little purpose

Exactly what purpose was served by Gary Harmon’s column March 7 titled, “More evidence government entities often perform badly”? Do we really need cynical commentators pointing out shortcomings in the activities of people. People also are involved in non-governmental activities and their foibles are legion.

So, if government is so incompetent in the eyes of Harmon, what is the alternative? Get a different political party in control and that will solve everything? Forgotten most of the 2000 decade?

Democratic government is designed to try to take into account the wishes, health and welfare of at least the majority of the people and hopefully all of the people. That’s an impossible task and leads to inefficiencies that private organizations and businesses can avoid. Then there’s that old bugaboo that governments are run by real people, with all the failings and blind spots we all have.

The point is, we live in a time with extreme, bitter partisanship that is exacerbated by mindless columns, as Harmon column doing what, exactly, to point to a better way? What is that way? No government? Different people to run government? We’ve tried people from both parties without perfection resulting.

Turn governmental activities over to the private sector? What is the reputation of government contractors? In fact, isn’t that what we have already with the representatives we elect more beholden to business and moneyed interests that only pull the strings and don’t have to dirty their hands with actual nitty-gritty, down-in-the-trenches operations?

Just once I’d like to see a Harmon column that tries to build, not tear down. If he “recognizes” dysfunction that implies that he knows a better way, doesn’t it? Lay it out there, Gary. Otherwise you’re nothing but a clownish waste of column inches, and not very entertaining, at that.

John Borgen

Grand Junction

Colorado leads the way in clean-energy solutions

Gov. Bill Ritter and Xcel Energy’s landmark Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act (March 5: “Demand for natural gas could grow”) serves as a model for the type of substantive clean-energy solutions that our country and other states can achieve through broad-based coalition-building.

It is remarkable to witness such collaboration between policymakers, utilities, environmentalists and the energy community to advance our clean-energy future.  The effort to retrofit coal-fired power plants to natural gas and other low-emissions fuels will result in meaningful air-quality improvements that will not only improve Colorado’s environment, but create jobs and boost the economy.

The proposal encompasses all types of low-emission fuels, including natural gas – an energy source that already plays a key role in Colorado’s clean-energy economy and serves as one of the state’s leading job creators and drivers of economic growth.

Colorado has the third-largest reserves of natural gas and is the seventh-largest producer of natural gas in the nation. According to an IHS Global Insight study, natural gas supports 137,000 Colorado jobs and $18.3 billion in annual contributions to the state’s economy.

Colorado is showing its leadership by example, and we encourage Congress and other states to follow. We, the natural gas industry, are proud to be a part of this historic collaboration and to play a significant role in reducing emissions and improving air quality here in Colorado, while supporting economic growth and job creation

Regina Hopper

President, CEO

America’s Natural Gas Alliance

Washington, D.C.

Medicare patients face tough times with Obamacare

Help me out, here.  The over-65s are on Medicare. If you cannot find a doctor that takes Medicare patients, what can you do?

I was told that we could not pay out-of-pocket to make up for the Medicare compensation difference. So, along comes Obamacare. I understand that partial payment for this government program is to come from Medicare cuts and elimination of “waste, fraud and abuse” to the tune of several billions of dollars.

So why is that “waste, fraud and abuse” still there? And Medicare cuts? The current cuts, if finally taken, will apparently cause many, or at least some, doctors to close practices.  How will further cuts, now or in the future, provide any incentive to take on the oldsters as patients?

But wait — everybody not in Medicare will be forced to buy medical insurance, without any pre-existing condition exclusions. Thus business should then be booming, with all the newly insured.

So, is our Congress now to be the so-called “Death Panel?” If no one will take on the Medicare patients, then open-heart surgery, transplants, knee or hip replacements and such may have to be rationed or eliminated for the older folks.

But wait, again!  Maybe the all-knowing and caring government will raise the age before Medicare kicks in, thus creating a huge increase in insurance sales for the older population, assuming they can afford it.

Someplace out there in Obamaland, there will be some forced choices, made by bureaucrats, as to who gets what, when, or if. Now that is a change I can believe in.

Creighton Bricker

Grand Junction

Fair Tax does not raise taxes for us

It is unfortunate that Colorado Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak has no understanding of what the Fair Tax consists of. Instead of attacking Scott Tipton with falsehoods about the Fair Tax, I would recommend that she and other Democrats study the Fair Tax and then work to get it implemented.

It does not raise taxes. It eliminates the federal income tax, payroll taxes, corporate taxes and several other taxes, along with reimbursing people for the basic necessities while implementing a fixed set tax rate on purchases.

I have written Rep. John Salazar numerous times about supporting the Fair Tax and all I get back are condescending e-mails that exposes his total ignorance about the Fair Tax and his lack of interest in learning about it.

Richard Blosser

Grand Junction

Sentinel deserves credit for editorial on officer

I would like to compliment The Daily Sentinel for its honest presentation in the opinion section of the Grand Junction Police officer being found not guilty in his domestic violence trial.

In the editorial, you referred to the fact that the Sentinel did report a great deal of information regarding the allegations in the opinion section as well as information about his family, the police department’s statements regarding its investigation of the allegation and his suspension. It was refreshing to see that you presented an objective and professional statement explaining both sides of this case.

The essence of the article is the presumption of innocence; reporting news is just that, and is not intended for trying a person in editorials or opinion sections. Too many times the person is tried by newspaper, based on reporting, and the public too often does exactly that because of subjective or inference in reporting.

I was quick to criticize the Sentinel for not being objective and failing to give equal time to Steve King in the opinion section. So my compliments to you for doing it right.

Finally, now that he has been found not guilty will he be reinstated to his job as an officer by the police department? Also should he be entitled to loss of pay and benefits?

Alexander A. Vara

Grand Junction

Democrats hide because they can’t answer questions

I wonder why it is that we do not learn of a visit to the Western Slope by Sen. Mark Udall or any Democrat for that matter, until weeks after they have gone? Is this by design?  Who are they avoiding?  Is this to keep from having to listen to those of us out here who have comments for them?  It would seem so.

They provide no answers when written to. I followed a link to a GJSentinel.com article written by Charles Ashby on Feb. 17, about a visit, “Udall-Hickenlooper visit Western Slope” provided in a newsletter published by Sen. Udall’s office. I found it of interest and tried to respond to comments at the bottom of the article, but was denied access

One thing that was clear from the two comments that were there, was that Mesa88 clearly doesn’t have a clue, that under the health care reform Democrats are trying to “ram through” Congress DOA. Finito. Gone. Nada. Dead.

I wonder how many of readers understand that with the passage (if Obama can “buy enough votes,” a constitutional violation!) and the health care reform bill passes, Medicare will be no more, as the reform bill will strip Medicare of the majority of its funding, thereby killing it, for those who have paid into it for most of their working lives.

Just look at your pay stub and see how much the government has taken out and realize your not going to see it again, if this bill passes.  I personally have paid a lot of money into Medicare, as has anyone who has worked and paid taxes in the last 30-plus years.  That is why everyone has a “vested interest” in Medicare and should not want to see it destroyed by Obama and the Democrats, who have thus far refused to tell the truth, that under Mr. Obama’s healthcare reform, Medicare is history.

Another thing they don’t want to answer questions about is the fact that if health care reform passes, people will still have to pay for Medicare, but will pay a huge and “new tax” for health insurance.  If people would just read this legislation, they would be outraged.  It’s not just “highway robbery,” This health care reform bill is financial rape and it’s not just on the wealthy.

That is why, in my view, Mr. Udall and other Democrats don’t want to “openly” talk to the citizens. Mr. Udall has done his best to deceive the public on this point (and many other issues as well).

Larry Butler

Delta



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