Printed letters, April 25, 2012

As an employee of Rio Grande Federal Credit Union, I would like to respond to the story headlined, “Protesters air concerns about credit union.” Let me start with Jim Burkey, since his name was plastered on most of the signs. Jim is highly respected and a man with unquestionable morals and business ethics. He also holds his employees to the same standards.

In 2005, the credit union was struggling and under extensive scrutiny by regulators and examiners because of unsafe and unsound practices. This scrutiny was by the National Credit Union Administration (which routinely examines the credit union and scrutinizes loans to ensure no preferential treatment has been given). Had Rio Grande continued down this path, it is highly likely it would not have survived.

This was the shape the credit union was in when Jim Burkey became the CEO. With hard work dedication, expectations, accountability and service to our members, the staff, led and guided by Burkey, the board of directors and the supervisory committee have turned the credit union into being one of the premier financial institutions in the state, if not the country.

If the alleged violations claimed by the protestors were based in facts, there is another avenue to voice these concerns and an investigation would ensue without doing damage to the credit union’s reputation by playing it out in the media — if one truly had the best interest of the credit union in mind.

The last few years have been tough on all financial institutions. The board of directors, management and staff have guided this credit union through this treacherous time to help ensure it will be here for our members now, their children and their grandchildren.

Rio Grande’s vision and mission statement, which all employees and volunteers believe and strive for, is to be a financially sound and progressive credit union that provides personal service and current technology to earn the privilege of being our members’ primary financial institution. We seek to be an organization of and for our membership, dedicated to building individual relationships by providing superior financial products and services.


Executive Vice President

Rio Grande Federal Credit Union

Grand Junction

Jury verdict isn’t sign we’re heading to communism

I read a recent “You said it” comment welcoming us to “Communist America.” The writer was obviously frustrated at the jury’s verdict in the Lawyer trial. I disagree that the verdict was unjust and would like to point out that the system worked exactly the way it was designed back in 1776.

The state brought charges in accordance with due process of law. The accused defended himself, the jury acquitted the defendant in accordance with their instructions and due process of law and its ability to divine the truth.

This is not communism. The defendant was held accountable, but the state did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. That isn’t how things are handled in Cuba, which is communist.

The United States may, however, be on the road to communism, judging by the advent of Obamacare, the EPA and other such over-regulations. Other forms of limitations on the pursuit of happiness are exercised by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. Let us not forget national parks, monuments and recreation areas.

One of the reasons the Pilgrims left Europe was their inability to hunt, prospect, grow food or otherwise use and enjoy lands without fear of losing their freedom. It was an aristocracy at the helm in those days. It may be an aristocracy these days, too. Whether one labels it as elite-ism, nanny-ism, socialism or communism, there isn’t much difference in the end result.




People should demand justice for Jason Kemp

The Daily Sentinel editorial about the ancillary nature of our constitutional rights was correct, but politically mild. Untold thousands of our servicemen and women have died in combat protecting our freedom, as guaranteed under the Constitution. To have these rights set aside because a jury felt they were less important than the state of mind of rogue State Patrol officers is unsettling.

Justice has thus far been denied for Jason Kemp and officers have yet to be held accountable for their illegal actions. I do not know the Kemp family, but I encourage them to set up home in the lobby of the FBI and the U.S Attorney’s office and demand these officers be brought to justice for their violation a citizen’s right attempting to be secure in his home against a warrantless entry by law enforcement officers.

The civil courts will do little to help find some justice for Kemp. Colorado government immunity has a statutory limit on what it can pay out and punitive damages against Officer Lawyer will most likely be huge but uncollectible.

As responsible citizens, we should be picketing the streets of our valley to add our voices calling for justice for Kemp and respect for all of us who hold our rights dear. We rightfully demanded justice for a beloved pet that was dragged to death on the Colorado National Monument. Are we willing to sit back and do less for Jason Kemp?




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