Printed Letters: April 11, 2014
Excessive federal regs drain water companies
I read with interest Gov. John Hickenlooper’s comments regarding water at the Club 20 gathering March 28. As he stated, it seems so logical to raise the height of the dams in Colorado so that we can retain and have more water available. I’m probably not the first to point out that would be nearly impossible.
Hickenlooper said his critics about starting a brewery/restaurant were proven wrong. But had he wanted to expand his brewery/restaurant the first time and been faced with more than nine years and hundreds of thousands of dollars and untold dedicated man-hours constantly attempting to comply with mandated federal government regulations, where would his brewery/restaurant be today?
Water companies in Colorado that have infrastructure on federal lands (that’s where most of the water comes from) that wish to expand their facilities (i.e., raise their dams to store more water) face years and years of unbelievable government bureaucracy and red tape attempting to meet federal requirements from multiple federal agencies. They often have to give up because the effort is too time-consuming, too costly and too frustrating to continue.
If Hickenlooper’s office really thinks storing more water in Colorado is going to add value and substance to his state water plan (which, of course, it would), perhaps he should have his appropriate staff talk to and provide assistance to the personnel at the Overland Ditch and Reservoir Company in Delta County.
The Overland has been attempting for years and years to raise its dam just three feet to store pre-1922 decree water, which is the most valuable water to Colorado stakeholders.
Overland Ditch and Reservoir Company
Poor stewardship of Earth creates dangerous weather
In my allotted three-score-and-ten-plus years, I have seen weather cycles. I believe, however, due to our poor stewardship of Earth over which we have been given dominion, we have managed to make these cycles lose equilibrium. This accentuates the extremes of each cycle.
One result of this situation is an increase in sea level over much of Earth. Many poor people live in areas close to the ocean. Every time there are record typhoons and storm surges in these areas, many lives are lost. Shouldn’t we feel some culpability for the loss of lives?
Some people believe climate change is a hoax. I ask they at least consider what if they are wrong. I’ll examine my hands for a red hue the next time one of these events occurs. Will you join me?
West Star’s private financing a lesson for public officials
We are very pleased to hear that West Star will be moving forward with a privately financed paint facility. West Star is a respected employer and a vital part of the aviation infrastructure in the Grand Valley. Good for it!
Its announcement should also serve as a reminder to public officials to approach public funding requests for private projects more cautiously in the future.
Eleven months ago the former Grand Junction Regional Authority Board represented the following to the public: A commitment to issue bonds had to be quickly made, as other unnamed communities were competing for the West Star project, and private funding was impractical.
The rush to provide public money was so extreme that a special board meeting convened last May to approve the project. This meeting violated the airport’s own bylaws as to notice and was an illegal meeting.
Public funding luckily foundered on the shoals of Tippettsgate and an FBI raid. Now we discover that private money was available. That’s great news for the community and also a reminder that when people ask for public money to fund private, for-profit enterprises, it is wise to slow down and critically challenge representations.
Fortunately, the new airport board has dramatically raised its game. We’re observing the new board members deliberately and carefully cleaning up the mess they inherited and instituting appropriate internal controls. All of us owe these citizen-volunteers our thanks.
President, Grand Junction Airport Users and Tenants Association
Let’s worry less about Crimea, more about domestic problems
If Texas had a referendum and the majority of the voters chose to secede from the United States and rejoin Mexico, would the European Union, Russia, China or any other country get involved?
The only country that might and probably would object would be Mexico. Let’s mind our own business and tend to our own troubles.