Printed Letter: Sept. 4, 2016

Debates should include all candidates
Why do American voters have to choose between the two most unpopular presidential candidates in the last 10 presidential election cycles? Because the Commission on Presidential Debates says so.

The Commission on Presidential Debates sounds like an important public entity, but is, in fact, a private corporation hired by the Democratic and Republican parties. It defines the “minimum polling threshold” of 15 percent that third-party candidates must reach before they are allowed to participate in the presidential debates. The polls that the CPD uses for that purpose don’t always include the Libertarian and Green parties.

We urge the CPD to suspend these arbitrary rules and include all four presidential and vice presidential candidates in all of the upcoming 2016 televised debates.

The right to vote doesn’t mean much if we don’t have the right to know who we can vote for!


Let’s adhere to words in our Declaration of Independence
I don’t want to live in any other country, but I cannot say that this is the “greatest country in the world.” What makes it that? That we brought African people here to make them our slaves and lackeys? That we drove the Mexicans across the Rio Grande and claimed all of California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and parts of Colorado for ourselves? That we took this country from the Indians by force and drove them to reservations where they have languished for years? We marry a person and we don’t love them every minute of marriage. We love them in spite of their foibles and weaknesses. Are we proud of everything our spouse does or says? I think not. We can love this country and still find reasons to be critical of its actions.

I understood what Michelle Obama said eight years ago. She is a black woman who experienced discrimination, hatred and isolation simply because of the color of her skin. She had to fight to become the woman she is today. For her bi-racial husband to be elected president of the United States of America made her very proud of this country. I don’t think the far right, radical Christians think about walking in another person’s shoes. They are perfect the way they are and their God is looking out for only them, but He created all of us, didn’t He?

When we actually adhere to the words in the Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of Allegiance, our country might become the “greatest country in the world.” Just repeating the words, “all men are created equal” and “liberty and justice for all” is hypocrisy. We repeat them without thinking about their intrinsic meaning. Let’s live them and mean it when we say them.


There are viable alternatives to open and ag burning
There needs to be a response to two items in the “You Said It” column of the Sunday, Aug. 28 Sentinel that supported open burning.

First, one commented that burn season was three months long. That is incorrect. Burn season is five months long — three months in the spring and two months in the fall. (This only covers burning affected by the need for burn permits. Agricultural burning can take place at any time, even as we saw this summer during a fire ban). And these five months also coincide with some of the most desirable times to be outside.

Second was the suggestion that we all could stop driving during the winter months and they would stop burning. Perhaps it escaped the contributor, but it should be noted that all cars and light trucks built after 1995 have between $2,500 and $4,000 worth of pollution control equipment. We all have already paid a significant price to reduce vehicular pollution. There was a statistic that I saw that one agricultural burn of one hour in duration creates more pollution than a current vehicle driving about 10,000 miles. If you do the math, open/agricultural burning creates a lot of pollution.

The other contributor noted that wildfires are a significant source of visible smoke. And that is correct. What is not correct is that they stated that the Grand Mesa was only made not visible during wildfire season. There are often times during burn season that the Mesa is not visible. And those burns are done willfully, not like a wildfire.

There is one sad note to be added to all of this. Our county health department and the state health department can’t tell us what the components of our air pollution are. This is truly an unacceptable state of affairs and needs to be changed.

There are viable alternatives to open and agricultural burning. If we want to grow our businesses in the Grand Valley, we must make this a desirable place to live. Open burning doesn’t really fit into that equation.

Grand Junction


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MANUEL and ROZ De LIZARRITURRI, like many, want their vote to be determined by a few events, waiting to be convinced by others, in only a few hours as to how they should vote.  I would submit that this is not the correct thing to do.  Anyone who is truly serious as to the civic obligations and responsibilities, will have done their homework well ahead of time, and on all the issues as well as what the particular party or candidate stands.  He/she will then carefully weigh all of those, whether a particular candidate has sufficient grasp of all issues, instead of basing his/her candidacy upon one single issue.  The voter, on the other hand, must be prepared to listen to and consider every idea put forward, no matter where it comes from, even if they don’t vote for that candidate. 

As to the “popularity” or “unpopularity” of any candidate, that is really nothing but “personal feeling”, something which the mature individual has learned to “put aside” in his/her personal deliberations and decisions.

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