Jan. 18, E-mail letters

Money going to Haiti should have gone earlier

It is commendable that the United States, and other countries, including the United Nations, can mobilize their resources so quickly and at great expense to rescue and rehabilitate the unfortunate people of Haiti.  It is a shame and perhaps unconscionable that these same powers, including the governing body of Haiti could not have pro-actively eliminated the inadequately designed and constructed buildings prior to this catastrophe happening.

Had the resources now being applied so generously to rescue these people been used when warning of this earthquake was predicted several years ago, the entire island could have been scraped clean of the hovels, shacks and insufficient public buildings and replaced with earthquake- and wind-resistant structures.

The cost now will be excessive financially, with 50,000 lives lost, and hundreds of thousands of lives wrecked physically and mentally.

Had there been a government for the people with foresight, integrity, and moral responsibility, Haiti could have been spared this hell on Earth, as was the Dominican Republic, which shares this same island.

Until mankind figures out a way to interact humanely, we cannot claim evolvement much beyond our brute forbears.

Robert A. Tallarico

Grand Junction

Who would want to work for sheepherders’ wages

When looking for a job, as many of us are, we tend to look at things like wage, hours, and how much it cuts into our daily lives. That’s why I find it shocking, when I read that Colorado sheep rancher’s employ H-2A guest workers to work for $750 a month. Some herders even reported working 91 plus hours a week. That’s $2 an hour.

They’re on call 24/7, can’t leave their post on the ranch. Half of them didn’t even get a chance to read their employee contracts. Would you take that job?

I don’t want to see the sheep industry harmed, I want to see it flourish. I’d like to see fair wages and good treatment for our guest workers.

I’m sad to hear that Mr. Alvarado felt he had to work anonymously for 2 years. We need more Tom Ackers and Ignacio Alvarados in this world. The work these two men took to uncover these working conditions to the public falls nothing short of heroic.

Daniel Talavera

Grand Junction

Science and religion aren’t disconnected

Recent letter writers stress the importance of teaching evolution and decry the possibility of “old myths” undermining scientific research. Evolution is proclaimed as scientific fact and we’re encouraged to adjust our religious beliefs to fit science. The apparent disconnect between science and religion stems from a misunderstanding of both

evolution and faith.

There are two kinds of evolution. Micro-evolution is change within species. There is overwhelming evidence for this and the Bible affirms it. Macro-evolution is change that eventually results in new species, which the Bible denies.

There are also two kinds of faith. Biblical faith is based on observable, material evidence, which proves the existence of something that has not been observed. Blind faith, conversely, is based on strong feelings and often requires that material evidence be ignored.

Yes, some Christians think it’s impossible to prove the existence of God, believing he can only be known by (blind) faith. But the Bible clearly states that the existence of God is obvious, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

We have two possibilities as to how everything came into existence. Something has always existed, or nothing somehow became something. Evidence, science, and logic point to the former.

In the August 1954 Scientific American, evolutionist George Wald stated, “When it comes to the origin of life, we have only two possibilities as to how life arose. One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no third possibility.”

Either life has always existed, or the components of life, which somehow eventually became alive. Evidence, science, and logic lead to scientifically proven biogenesis and so far away from spontaneous generation that some of the world’s most prominent scientists have concluded that life on Earth must have had an extraterrestrial origin. And here, science and religion reconnect.

Gary Yeager

Grand Junction

Elected officials have little concern for voters

I believe it was Will Rogers who said, “We have the best government money can buy.” One can only wonder what he would think of the one we have now. He also said, “If they are only going to vote along party lines, we need to only send one Democrat and one Republican to Congress.”

Doesn’t it seem strange that our elected officials have little or no concern for what the voters who elected them want. It seems that the only time they want to hear from the public is when they are running for office or requesting campaign funds. After that we don’t exist and if they do respond to our correspondence, it is in some form letter about what wonderful things they are doing, not about our concerns.

Our current president and Congress remind me of the old story about Marie Antoinette before the French Revolution, when she supposedly told them to eat cake when they had no bread. I personally believe the president and Congress are totally out of touch with the American people. There was an old statement in Britain that I believe is totally appropriate here: “The asses rule the masses for the classes”

Neal A. Ward


Telling commentary in Jan. 17 Sentinel

The Jan. 17 edition of The Daily Sentinel presents a telling picture of life in this burg.

Letter writer and County Commissioner Janet Rowland claims that her buddy and mentor, Josh Penry, single handedly brought down the governor and caused him to decide to get out of Dodge. Right. Trash talking by an obscure politician to the rest of Coloradans is powerful stuff. Nothing like a free political shot.

Another letter writer opines that evolution is nonsense and offered up as proof a quote from the Bible. True, it is one man’s perspective, but does it add anything at all to the bogus controversy?

But the topper is a “twofer” from — who else, but the paper’s resident uber-partisan, reactionary combination reporter and columnist, Gary Harmon. He takes the president to task for his choice of words in expressing concern and sorrow over the plight of residents of Haiti, whose everyday life is not a bed of roses but who now face monumental additional hardship after a horrible earthquake. And they were warned in advance in the 1990’s, he says, so you might assume Harmon is implying it was their own fault for lack of preparation.

His second jewel is an article about how pollution controls might upset local businesses. With our air quality in summers becoming more and more polluted and in the midst of an unending inversion full of pollution causing discomfort and health threats, the thrust of the article is about potential business threats without any mention of the health of actual human beings. Yes, the article was in the business section and it is factual. Thousands of people in this valley are increasingly affected by the increases in pollution and some businesses might have to spend some money and pass on the costs to the public?

When it comes to business versus people, it’s business, of course.

John Borgen

Grand Junction

Obama’s comments were not hard to comprehend

Mr. Harmon was rightfully indignant regarding Pat Robertson’s and Danny Glover’s comments concerning the disaster in Haiti. However, he let his political leanings get the better of him when he scraped the bottom of the ink well to take a cheap shot at President Obama.

Any reasonable reader of the president’s comments would have understood him to be referring to the cruel and incomprehensible “effect” this earthquake had on the lost souls of this impoverished country.  What’s so hard to comprehend?

David Eisner

Grand Junction

Sheepherders’ plight a shame for Colorado

In the Jan. 14 article, “Survey stirs debate over treatment of foreign sheepherders,” Dennis Webb highlighted one of the hidden shames of our region.

Thank you to Colorado Legal Services for trying to bring some dignity to these desperate workers.

In his article, Webb quoted Colorado Wool Growers Association Director Bonnie Brown saying that ranchers generously pay for herders’ travel to the United States.

Page 19 of the Colorado Legal Services report shows a herder’s actual payroll statement, detailing that the worker is being charged $1,112.35 in payroll deductions for his travel expenses. Clearly the situation is not as rosy as some interests would have you believe.

Brown was also quoted as saying that herders have ample recreational time to read, fish or visit other sheep camps.

I have personally visited a handful of the herders’ camps in northwestern Colorado, and my husband has been visiting them regularly for more than two years. Neither of us has ever seen a single book or fishing pole in a sheepherder’s camp.

What I did see was a population of very lonely workers, bathing in streams, using a shovel instead of a toilet, forbidden to socialize with visitors or other herders, and living in fear of their employers.

There are certainly ranchers who provide their workers with adequate housing, food, pay and a positive work experience.

But when the Colorado Legal Services report shows that the vast majority of herders are being denied their basic human rights, we have a problem.

Would you work 365 days a year in complete isolation and without basic services for $2 an hour?

Laurel Ripple-Carpenter

Grand Junction


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