Printed letters, April 11, 2013

Now we find out that the mental health consultant for James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, knew a month in advance of Holmes’ heinous act that he was “homicidal.” She is purported to have reported this to law enforcement, who did nothing.

The so-called “smart people” in the state House (to say nothing of our “smart” governor) should have known this. So, all these so-called smart people enact a bunch of meaningless, onerous “common-sense” anti-gun laws that will not save one life, and our smart governor signs them. All these pointless anti-gun rules will do is abrogate our Second Amendment rights under the Constitution.

The smart people in our state government are letting the act of one totally deranged person influence the lives of millions of peaceful, law-abiding folks, who would never even consider doing what Holmes has done.

Hopefully, the voters of Colorado will remember these smart people in our state government at election time and turn them out.

NEWT BURKHALTER

Grand Junction

School finance reform
requires bipartisanship

The conversation regarding GOP support for the school finance bill should begin with the subject of bipartisanship. Every major education bill in the past 15 years has been bipartisan.

Gov. Bill Ritter’s education reform bill, SB 212 (carried by Sen. Josh Penry), SB 163’s accountability legislation and SB 191, the teacher quality bill, had bipartisan sponsors in both houses.

They would never have passed had that not been the case.

The current legislative leaders have chosen to spend more than half of the session on social legislation and job-destroying gun legislation.

In education, they passed a sex-education bill that removed authority of the Colorado Department of Education in favor of the Health Department. The “Breakfast after the Bell” bill is a feel-good bill,  but it gives not even a nod to local control. Instead, it dictates the manner in which schools must serve free breakfasts to low-income children. 

Is this the first step on the slippery slope of eliminating our constitutional requirement for local control?

As for the school finance bill itself, I highly respect Sen. Michael Johnston and the tremendous amount of work he has done on this bill, which is intended to fix the problems Sunday’s editorial in The Daily Sentinel described.

But, upon introduction, those “wealthy” districts that had been doing well complained bitterly. Resulting amendments wouldn’t subtract, only add on, for everyone (and increase the amount from $900 million to $1.1 billion). There is still no real reason to believe the money will benefit the students.

Is it any wonder that Johnston searched in vain for a Republican cosponsor? Lacking bipartisanship, is it any wonder that the GOP was reluctant?

Voters might feel better about voting for the increased funding if we were not facing a loss of hunters, both local and national; gun manufacturers who brought $40 million-plus to the state now leaving the state; and the continuing efforts of environmental groups to shut down the state’s energy and tourism income. Nothing exists in a vacuum.

MARCIA NEAL

Grand Junction

Outrage is warranted
over cuts to veterans’ benefits

I am questioning President Obama’s mindset when he is now asking for cuts to Social Security and veterans benefits. This is an outrage.

This is especially an outrage when federal budgets waste billions of dollars each year. Part of this waste has been spending tax dollars on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Veterans are having a hard time now getting help, let alone getting more benefits cut. It appears that this is a political favor to the wealthy 1 percent for raising their taxes. It is also a way to protect future Pentagon cuts from the sequester cuts. This is also a teaser bargaining chip for the Republicans in Congress.

Obama is making these cuts to Social Security and veterans’ benefits so he can gain political hay at the expense of hard-working Americans. The American people who fall into the 99 percent, the middle-class or lower-income levels, should be outraged. This is what happens when we have Democrats and Republicans controlling our government.

I am outraged; I hope you are, too.

Calling the White House or members of Congress is OK, but I doubt if anyone there will listen. At least a number of online petitions are protesting these cuts. Please sign these petitions or start your own.

RANDY FRICKE

New Castle

 

Delta burdens residents
to maintain golf course

About two years ago the city of Delta received $140,000 in a grant for red gravel to be spread around the trails down at Confluence Park. We certainly did not see very much out there.

My other gripe is the way the city keeps raising our electric rates to help support the golf course. It takes a half million dollars or more every year, since it has been built.

It’s like pouring sand down a rat hole. As long as our people can keep paying our electric bills, it will continue.

Maybe there could be some help on sidewalks and streets.

KENNETH STONE

Delta



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