Printed Letters: Aug. 31, 2016
Column about Clinton foundation not factual
Charles Krauthammer’s editorial in the Aug. 28 Sentinel cannot go unchallenged. The issue of Clinton Foundation donations while Clinton was secretary of state will continue to be controversial as long as the campaign lasts, even though their practices are not uncommon with other charities.
However, Krauthammer’s charge that the foundation is a “massive family enterprise disguised as a charity” is close to libel. Charity Watch gives it an A rating, indicating 87.2 percent of the funds actually went to the charitable recipients in 2014. GuideStar gave it a platinum rating. David Borochoff of Charity Watch said, “If Hillary Clinton wasn’t running for president, the Clinton Foundation would be seen as one of the great humanitarian charities of our generation.” CNN ‘s web page says it provides HIV/AIDS “medication at 90 percent lower cost – more than half the adults and three-quarters of the children getting treatment in the world today.” Paid staff listed on the foundation’s website do not include any of the Clintons.
Thus Krauthammer, a Fox News commentator, makes charges about the foundation channeling funds to “maintain the Clintons’ lifestyle,” and “employ a vast entourage of retainers, ready to serve” that seriously resemble the right-wing hyperbole that has culminated in Truthless Trump and his vitriolic campaign.
While it is good to hear both sides of any story, arguments as un-based on truth as this one seriously discredit the source, and make one wonder what other liberties with the truth this column contains.
Let’s eliminate nighttime burning in residential areas
Oh, the welcome cool nights of fall! Throw open the windows and breathe in the smoky air. I don’t live near any agricultural properties; I live in the heart of downtown Grand Junction where houses are a mere 100 feet apart.
I have lived in the same house for 26 years, and have noticed a steady increase in this pungent smoky odor that invades my home beginning in the spring, and continues to be sucked in through my swamp cooler during the hot summer nights. One night it was so bad our smoke alarms went off. Neighbors are burning anything they please outside at all hours of the night. When I call 911 at midnight or 1 a.m., the dispatcher wants to know if the burning is in a fire pit, how far away from the house the fire pit is, what is being burned, and which neighbor is burning. How should I know? It’s 1 a.m. and all I can tell you is that I have been awakened by the odor of smoke coming in through my swamp cooler vent or windows.
Why is the City Council dragging its feet in presenting some regulations that would address this issue? It seems to me that some black and white regulations would also help 911 dispatchers and the fire department address the issue more simply. Why not eliminate outdoor burning between the hours of dusk to dawn in the older, historic parts of downtown Grand Junction? In addition to odor concerns, this is a tragic accident waiting to happen when an entire block of houses goes up in flames.
Environmentalists keen to lock up public land
What are environmentalists? I think of a long-haired hippie who doesn’t dye or cut their hair and lives completely off the land in a shack made completely of wood with nothing modern. Nothing modern. We all know this is not true. They drive cars and live in homes run with propane, natural gas, freon, plastics, rubber, coal and oil. Why do think they have a better understanding of the world than I do? I would consider myself an environmentalist in most circles. I don’t throw my trash out the window. I recycle when I can. I reuse when I can. I love the outdoors — fresh air, hiking, camping and sitting on my porch, as much as they do.
I am a realist though. I have a natural-gas furnace. Self-proclaimed environmentalists do too. I eat and drink from plastic cups and bottles. I use a lot of plastic. Self-proclaimed environmentalists do too. I would challenge anyone who wants to call themselves environmentally friendly and “green” to try to make a living and support our families futures without using any product made from the places they think need to be protected.
It seems to me over the past 30 years that the environmentalists want to lock up all land. We have huge amounts of land tied up in Utah already under the guise of “protection.” Our lands are already being protected by the EPA, Antiquities Act, natural historic areas and many others already. The land is being used responsibly. The mining processes and directions are constantly being improved to be safe and to beautify.
Why then do we need more protection? I feel like this is just someone’s project and a way to leave some kind of legacy. I would ask the president to please be his own man and not just another “yes” man. That would leave more of a legacy than another monument. We just want to live in San Juan County, Utah and make a living and be able to have a future for our kids here in. Environmentalists live, have, and want the same things we do, so why are they attacking our way of life? It seems a little hypocritical. No Bears Ears Monument! No more monuments.