Printed Letters: August 16, 2017

It’s time to provide FRAM drilling permits

The energy project proposed in Whitewater is one of the most studied and thoughtful drilling programs in Western Colorado. In Texas, a company can acquire a drilling permit in a week. In Ohio, a permit takes a month.

In Western Colorado FRAM has been trying to acquire their permits for over 10 years. And despite a decade, the BLM process still drags on.

Local activist groups like Western Colorado Congress are now bringing activist groups into the fight in an attempt to keep our nation’s energy in the ground. But at some point, one has to ask, if 10 years of study weren’t enough, what amount of time would be? From storm water protections and cactus conservation measures to the fact that the entire project has been removed from the city of Grand Junction’s watershed, FRAM has gone above and beyond trying to address the concerns of Western Colorado Congress Activists. But the organization never has and never will support any drilling project because they are opposed them all.

So its time, after 10 years, to provide FRAM the drilling permits they paid for over a decade ago.


Reminders of past atrocities keep us from repeating history

In the news today was an issue that concerns me and I think us all, not directly but indirectly. It has to do with our country’s history. We cannot erase our history, the past, or what happened generations ago. However, we can remember it and try not to repeat it.

I’m not an “alt-right” or an “alt-left” person — if there is such a thing. I’m more a center kind of person, which allows me to look at all sides and make decisions on issues that work for me.

After the Civil War, the Confederate states and the Union states built statues and memorials in remembrance of their military leaders and heroes. The very thought of slavery — black slavery, white slavery, child slavery, any act that would put another person in harm’s way — is repugnant to me.

That brings me back to history. Many southern states are in the process of removing any and all symbols of the Civil War — the flag, the statues, and the commemorative memorial — in the mistaken belief this will erase the history of what each of those symbols represent. We need those reminders; we need the reminders of all atrocities, the same as we need the reminder of Hitler. We need those reminders not to celebrate the memory, but to let next generations be aware that this really did happen so that we don’t repeat those horrific actions our countrymen did to one another.

I think an injustice is being done by not giving our Southern citizens enough credit or benefit of the doubt — there’s that center thought speaking — that they’re not supporting an evil but supporting an historical fact. These things did happen, and removing, deleting, and not speaking of it will not make it go away. History happened and it can be repeated.


MarillacHealth embraces role in stemming dental disease

Thank you for promoting the importance of dental care in your editorial, “Get thee to a dentist.” Based on dental visits, Colorado ranks 11th in the nation for children’s dental care and 18th for adult dental care. There is room for improvement. According to Mesa County’s 2015-17 Health Needs Assessment, the percentage of residents not seeing a dentist in the last year is significant: 31 percent of children and 48 percent of adults 21-64 years old. Lack of access to dental care and poor self-care contribute greatly to unnecessary pain and suffering, tooth loss, worsening of chronic health conditions and ultimately, higher costs. Delta Dental’s new insurance policy for children and their investment in training more registered dental hygienists are steps in the right direction.

MarillacHealth is a long-time partner with Delta Dental. Our most recent project is a resounding success. With grant funding from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, MarillacHealth has placed registered dental hygienists in the busy pediatric practice operated by Primary Care Partners as well as our own county clinic site. These hygienists placed at Western Colorado Pediatric Associates/PCP and MarillacHealth-County perform brief visits with children to examine their teeth, apply fluoride varnish to prevent decay and offer valuable reinforcement and education. Embedding hygienists on medical teams has allowed MarillacHealth to serve approximately 2,200 additional children over the past 18 months. In addition, children who do not have a dentist are urged to visit Marillac’s dental program or get started with another local dentist. Naturally, the sooner a patient develops a relationship with a caring dentist, the more likely s/he is to seek routine care. This is especially true for youngsters.

MarillacHealth has long accepted Medicaid and also has a pediatric dentist on staff. As Mesa County’s only federally qualified community health center, MarillacHealth embraces its role in stemming the rampant dental disease in Colorado’s youngest population while welcoming patients of all ages.

Chief Dental Officer, MarillacHealth
Grand Junction


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Judith Chapin’s Wednesday letter (“Reminders of past atrocities keep us from repeating history”) offers one more dubious justification for the Confederate statuary in the South.

First, the intended purpose and effect of the statuary is to “erase our [true] history” from the consciousness of unrepentant Southerners – the treasonous ancestors of whom were defeated in a bloody war to save the Union – and replace their seditious “States rights” and murderous pro-Slavery motives with a patina of “honor” and “tradition”.

Second, even if we need statuary as “reminders of past atrocities”, it does not follow that the perpetrators of those atrocities should be honored in the public square.  Rather, their statues should be relegated to cemeteries, battlefields, and memorial sites – and replaced (if at all) with statues depicting lynchings and honoring slain civil rights workers.

Third, Chapin herself needs a history lesson.  Contrary to her implied revisionism, the statuary at issue was not erected immediately “after the Civil War” – but rather years later, after the end of Reconstruction when White Supremacists regained political control of the South.  Indeed, the proliferation of Confederate statuary was deliberately intended to signal to locals that Whites Power had been restored – leading to decades of lynchings, Jim Crow laws, forced segregation, and now voter suppression efforts.

Fourth, while “the very thought of slavery” may today be “repugnant” to Chapin, it was not so “repugnant” to those honored by Confederate statuary – including Robert E. Lee (who was formally charged with treason but saved from public trial and possible hanging by the intercession of General U. S. Grant) and Nathan Bedford Forrest (whose troops massacred hundreds of Black Union soldiers and white Union sympathizers at Fort Pillow, Tennessee, and who later founded the KKK).

Fifth, even so, Chapin’s illogic collapses on itself.  Thus, just as we don’t need statues of Hitler in public places “as reminders of [his] atrocities”, neither do we need statues of Confederate war criminals to remind us of the depredations they inflicted on the Nation.

Thus, “an injustice is being done by not giving [some] Southern citizens enough credit” for actively supporting the removal of Confederate statuary – based on their accurate understanding of history and its main lesson:  the failure to oppose evil is to condone it.

The “study” for the “FRAM” project is well founded.  If you have done any research into FRAM, a Norwegian based company that can no longer drill and frack on their leases in Norwegian waters due to lack of compliance, and as of their last publicized financial statement, had no money.  No conditions have been placed on the permit, as these Commissioners see that as a deterrent to “business.”  The bottom line as far as “jobs” is this company is a fly by night nobody.  They will extract and frack near and around the major water sources for Grand Junction.  They have no money for a disaster clean up and the extraction process OVER 20 YEARS will extract enough oil to run this country for less then 12 hours.  So how do you justify that kind of risk of your drinking water for so little?  There is no logic in it.

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