Printed letters, March 6, 2011

Making more cuts doesn’t make sense

Paul Nelson and Jeff Wendland’s Feb. 27 column made some good points about the beauty of Mesa County’s abundant natural resources and discussed the importance of outdoor recreation here.

However, they failed to address the scope of our country’s budget crisis and recognize that in order to get our fiscal house in order, we must make cuts to all programs funded by the federal government — regardless of what fund the money is coming from.

Over 10 percent of Mesa County’s population is currently unemployed, oil is trading at just under $100 a barrel, our economy is still recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression and our annual deficit is at an unprecedented $1.5 trillion.

Cutting spending and working toward balancing the federal budget should be priority number one for our lawmakers, and that means making cuts to funding across the board. All programs must be looked at and cuts must be made if we are ever to get our budget back in line.

Rep. Scott Tipton should continue the fight to balance the budget and restore fiscal responsibility to our country — even when it means cutting some funding to the federally sponsored programs we love. I applaud his efforts thus far and say keep up the good work.

RUTH EHLERS

Grand Junction

Monument has been used for bicycle races in the past

Apparently, the concept of precedence does not resonate with the superintendent of the Colorado National Monument or the Regional Director of the National Parks Conservation Association. Both, we have recently discovered, are opposed to the use of the monument for a stage of the Quiznos Pro Challenge bicycle race.

The precedence in question is the previous use of the monument’s Rim Rock Drive for the 1980–88 Coors Classic bike races, as well as a location site for the 1985 movie, “American Flyers.” Search the Wikipedia website for the “Coors Classic” and you will access the following excerpt:

“The Coors International Bicycle Classic had many storied stages, including the world-renowned Morgol-Bismarck circuit. The site of the Grand Junction, CO, road race, the Colorado National Monument, was so exotic in appearance that the stage became known as ‘The Tour of the Moon’ and was even featured in the Warner Brothers movie American Flyers.”

There is no doubt that the U.S. Park Service authorized approval for the use of Rim Rock Drive for several Tour of the Moon stages and as a location shoot for “American Flyers.” To the best of my knowledge, there were no adverse impacts from the bike race or the movie.

So why, then, are supporters of another local stage race, perhaps as early as 2012, being told that the monument is now off limits, other than as a route for a celebratory victory lap? That is what the organizing committee, as well as U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and Gov. John Hickenlooper would like to know.

DENNIS PRETTI

Grand Junction

Act-of-kindness recipient promises to pay it forward

I am the recipient of another act of generosity by an unknown Grand Junction/Mesa County benefactor.

On Feb. 27, I ate dinner at the Clifton Dos Hombres Restaurant after visiting my wife at the Colorado Veterans Cemetery. When it came time for me to pay for my dinner, the waitress told me that someone had already paid for my dinner.

I do not know who that was, and I do not know why that person chose me for their kindness, unless they saw me arrive in my car with a disabled veterans tag, or because they saw a single, old, white-haired codger eating alone. In any case, I did appreciate this act of kindness toward someone they did not know. And, I promise to pay this act forward.

BOYD M. HOLT

Grand Junction



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