Printed letters, Jan. 27, 2010

Uranium mining still poses health risks

Do people move to Grand Junction to be a part of “energy alley” or to be immersed in the on going legacy of boom-and-bust uranium mining and milling?

We moved here because Mesa County was promoted as a fruit-growing region with great natural beauty and a friendly community offering recreational opportunity and diversified employment. During the 10 years we have lived here, I have learned that most of this advertising is true. It is also true that in a book titled “Warm Sands,” Grand Junction’s story of involvement in uranium milling unveiled a legacy of health problems and concerns that continue to plague our citizens. Note the advertisements in The Daily Sentinel to apply for recompense for uranium damage.

When Grand Junction’s water was tested in the 1970s, it was considered unfit to drink. When Colorado Avenue was renovated in 2009, the tailings from yellowcake milling found in the roadbed had to be removed and carried away for protection of the people because it was highly radioactive. Colorado taxpayers have paid over $1 billion in cleanup costs for past uranium operations and there is still need for more.

Now, Energy Fuels wants to open a new uranium mill in the Paradox Valley that would likely transport yellowcake through Mesa County. Gateway recreation area could be affected by concerns with air and water pollution causing sustainable economic opportunities to be seriously hampered.

Hopefully, people from Grand Junction will attend the public hearing on health and economic issues regarding Energy Fuels’ intention to open Pi&#241on Ridge Uranium Mill. It will be held Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. in the Montrose Pavilion on the Montrose County Fairgrounds.

FRAN DIDIER

Story on petitions only showed one side

The Jan. 18 article about the three citizen petitions on the November ballot was disappointing, but predictable.

The Daily Sentinel reporter didn’t even give supporters one whole sentence for their side, nor did she verify the self-serving claims by the city bureaucrat, who naturally hates tax relief.

The reporter should have first read the Web sites for the ballot issue. At the very least, she should have listed them — COtaxreform.com, LimitPropertyTax.com and LimitCOdebt.com — so readers could see how distorted city’s claims and the Sentinel article were.

And whatever happened to the law that said governments cannot spend public money campaigning against ballot issues? Would some citizen like to enforce that with a complaint to the secretary of state? The city’s report was not only false, it was illegal.

I will bet the city bureaucrat her job against mine that the cost to Grand Junction in 2011 is not “more than 10 percent of its budget.” It will not even be 5 percent. It might slow the growth rate of city increases 1 percent or 2 percent. The Sentinel reporter repeated those bogus claims without verifying them, which shows her bias.

Claims made by the city are false. The measures guarantee debts will be paid. Amendment 61 prohibits voting on leases. There is no financial impact on any school district because state aid must make up the difference by law. The state, not the city, collects vehicle registration “fees,” and Proposition 101 would lower that fee back to the government’s true cost in processing the paperwork — $10 per vehicle for everyone.

The Sentinel won’t allow space to refute all the standard scare tactics the city used to threaten voters with loss of popular and basic services. If they’re screaming, “It’s the end of the world!” in January, how much more hysterical will they get by October?

Readers should simply go to the Web sites and read the home pages, summaries and analyses. It’s a shame your journalist did not do that simple research to write a truthful report.

MIKE MASON

Congress, Supreme Court hold the true power

It’s time to remind pundits, talk hosts and the people in a daze that Congress and the Supreme Court run the country, not the president.

The president can only suggest and veto. It’s not about politics or gotcha.  It’s about reminding the adults what their children already know.

RICHARD L STOVER



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