Printed Letters: April 20, 2017

Bluster about weapons will only escalate things

So far, I’ve managed to survive the first three months of the Trump presidency and that’s probably because he hasn’t yet started a nuclear war. Just remember that it only takes one nuclear bomb to ruin your whole day. Trump is full of bluster about North Korea having nuclear weapons.

The problem with that stance is that the USA lives the Great Hypocrisy of nuclear weapons when we ourselves possess nuclear weapons and have actually used two atomic weapons in Japan, and then we expect the rest of the world to not have nuclear weapons. When the U.S. opened this can of worms with the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, it frightened other countries into thinking they had to possess them as well.

We were close to pursuing the elimination of nuclear weapons when Reagan and Gorbachev met in the 1980s and that would have been a much better solution to make the world a safer place then all the bluster we see now.

If Trump were to invite all the nuclear powers to the negotiation table and an agreement were reached to eliminate nuclear weapons, we would have a much stronger position when demanding that North Korea stop their nuclear quest. We wouldn’t have to go it alone and we could be part of a coalition of nations to monitor North Korean activities with possible military action if so required.

But this go-it-alone-chest-thumping bluster is only going to escalate things when escalation is the last thing we need and it may lead to a disaster where none of us win.

JIM DENTON
Grand Junction

A true local leader will proffer a vision to change the cycle

The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, when questioned about the proposed unbalanced budget of the current administration, said something all of our local politicians need to understand. He said the budgeting process if about much more than numbers — it is part of the road trip for fulfilling a defined vision over time.

When have we heard local politicians offer a positive vision for our community/region and a viable plan to move forward? Focusing solely on cuts in services is the antithesis of being a leader. Everyone knows that there is not enough money to fund what needs to be done. A leader will proffer a vision to change the cycle. Cuts, cuts, and more cuts. Cuts do not herald a better future, and really, where have they taken us? How have we moved forward? Where is the vision? Who can offer a plan beyond treading water?

A successful business wants to be part of a progressing community. Unless and until momentum shifts and a viable path to a brighter tomorrow is articulated, we will continue to attract little. We have many positive assets, but are sorely lacking a plan for growth.

Telling us what we cannot do does not offer hope. Offering a vision of the possible and a plan to get there does. Leaders of all stripes are so defined only because their vision strikes a positive chord, not a pessimistic one. Leaders lead!

The budgeting process is not just about numbers. It has no long-term value unless linked to the opportunity for a better tomorrow. When will it change?

JOSEPH E. BREMAN
Grand Junction

WATER Act helps maintain access to clean drinking water

Water utility consultant Floyd Ciruli correctly points out in his guest column (“Will federal funds flow to Colorado water projects?” April 9) that Colorado, like most states, has a dire need to upgrade its water infrastructure. Yet it overlooks the mention of a bill in Congress that lays out exactly how to rebuild the country’s local water infrastructure with federal dollars. The Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act would reverse the decades-long decline in federal water system funding. It would create a dedicated source of funding to improve and update sewer lines, replace aging lead pipes and help ensure that every household in the country has reliable, affordable water service.

The Trump Administration’s as-yet-undefined infrastructure plan would give massive taxpayer-funded handouts to corporations and encourage the privatization of essential public water services. The WATER Act would create nearly a million jobs nationwide while supporting public water providers. What’s more, it would benefit rural communities that often struggle to maintain and upgrade aging infrastructure. These projects would be funded by closing a tax loophole on offshore corporate profits.

Clean, affordable water should be a bipartisan issue. It is clearly an issue that would benefit all Coloradans and is more important than ever in this era of deregulation.

It is time for Colorado representatives, including the West Slope’s Scott Tipton, to protect Colorado’s precious, and limited, water resources by signing on to co-sponsor the WATER Act — a critical bill that would help residents maintain access to something we all deserve, clean drinking water.

LAUREN PETRIE
Rocky Mountain Region Director
Food & Water Watch
Denver


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