Printed letters, August 28, 2013

On behalf of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, I would like to publicly thank and acknowledge the work done by Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennett to help one of the Grand Valley’s job creators.

As noted in the Aug. 23 edition of The Daily Sentinel, small-business owner Tom Kliensntiz was faced with some very real threats to the future viability of Adventure Bound and the ability of that company to continue to operate rafting trips through Dinosaur National Monument.

National Park Service officials were placing some additional requirements on anyone wishing to continue to have a concessionaire license in the monument, without even the opportunity for public comment as to the appropriateness or necessity of these requirements.

The Grand Junction chamber, along with others, wrote our congressional delegation asking for help. Time was of the essence as the permitting process was about to close.

Both senators and their staffs responded quickly, and we truly believe that their intervention in requesting that these requirements be reviewed was instrumental in the subsequent cancellation of the process. The issue is still not totally resolved, but at least for now one small business that contributes to our economy will have some assurances that his business will be allowed to operate in the monument.

We truly appreciate that Udall and Bennett stood up for a job creator in our community. Well done.

MICHAEL BURKE

Grand Junction

GOP resistance to Obamacare 
will cause suffering for many

Some in the GOP want to refuse to raise the debt ceiling until Obamacare is defunded. In plain English, that means that they will not pay their bills until 30 million people are denied insurance, young adults cannot be on parents’ plans, insurance companies will not have to take those with pre-existing conditions (almost everyone over 40), insurance companies can drop those who get too sick, Medicare’s life is shortened by 10 years, free preventive checkups are gone, no more drug help in the donut hole for seniors, an end to state market places and no expansion of Medicaid for home care.

The Republican House voted 40 times to defund the Affordable Care Act. So, the gun to America’s head is either destroy help to millions or they will destroy what’s left of the American economy.

Republicans have already refused to end sequester, which takes about 0.5 percent off the American economy. They have refused to work with Democrats to improve infrastructure or do anything that might lead to jobs. Most are against an immigration bill that would add billions to the economy.

The GOP view of life is one where the wealthy do what they want while the rest work for as close to nothing as possible. They want to keep people from voting and make college for the privileged. Evidently to help someone other than the wealthy is “big government.”

The GOP has no solutions. Its members will not work to solve problems. They exist by exploiting fears, misinformation, prejudice and Obama hatred.

Enough!

HARRY MCDONALD

Grand Junction

 

Emphasize positive news 
to attract more tourists

The “Tackling Tourism” report in the Aug. 18 business section of The Daily Sentinel emphasizes that Mesa County lags behind the state in tourism dollars and tries to answer the question why.

Think about it. If you were looking for a place to visit, let alone bring a family to live or establish a business, would you select a place where the media, including this newspaper, spotlight a failed and bankrupt cop who is now a representative of the people, an elected councilman who beats up his woman, con artists, child abusers and sexual predators?

Want to find a panhandler? Refer to the local paper for a map highlighting the choice locations. This type of coverage may sell papers but it does nothing to sell this community.

Perhaps the answer to trailing tourism dollars lies in the lack of coverage of events that indicate what a grand place the Grand Valley is. Refer to the Aug. 19 edition of the Sentinel that pictures Gary Ambrosier leading the all-volunteer Centennial Band. Along with the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and the King N Trio, the band entertained more than 2,500 people at the Evening Under the Stars event in Lincoln Park.

What a nice break from the usual coverage of corrupt and salacious events presented as news. This is really a nice place to visit, live and do business in. Why not get the word out?

ROBERT A. TALLARICO

Grand Junction

 

Open burning season unfair 
to those with breathing issues

I am very upset that open burning starts next week. There are a lot of us who have breathing problems, and many even have to leave the area while others are burning.

This is so unfair that we can’t breathe when we go outside while this is going on. I don’t understand why burning is encouraged in Grand Junction.

RACHEL BUDMAN

Grand Junction



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Perhaps lost in the cacophony of real and fabricated consternation over implementation of “ObamaCare” – currently focused on individual/employer “mandates” and premiums for health insurance plans available on state and federal insurance “exchanges” – are its even longer-term benefits.

Because both health care providers and pharmaceutical companies have long operated as quasi-monopolies, they also enjoyed previously unchallenged pricing power in our profit-driven medical marketplace.

For example, the American Medical Association has effectively limited the supply of U.S.-trained physicians in order to protect its members’ enviable incomes, and hospitals routinely impose 1000+ % mark-ups on aspirins and saline solutions, so that a $600 artificial hip replacement ends-up costing $70,000 after being surgically implanted.

Likewise, the medical “arms race” prompts hospitals to invest in lavish expansions and plush private accommodations for their well-insured or (better yet) cash-paying patients – when the overall need for hospital beds is declining.  Similarly, even adjacent facilities are impelled to acquire the latest diagnostic devices in order to successfully compete – which requires that such equipment be paid for by maximizing the number of trusting patients whose insurers can be billed for its use, whether medically necessary or not.

Nevertheless, as of 2010, some 12,000 patients per year died from unnecessary surgeries in the U.S., 2.2 million suffered adverse reactions to in-hospital prescribed drugs (of whom 106,000 died), and the total number of medically-induced deaths neared 800,000.

The Affordable Care Act attempts to combat such excesses in two ways – transparency and “evidence-based medicine”.  Transparency is already being promoted by health insurers demanding both full disclosure and rational pricing; rigorous and systematic compilation of “evidence-based” results should improve quality – even as costs plummet.

Consequently, if “ObamaCare” can avoid a politically-induced “train wreck”, it will both prolong the actuarial viability of Medicare/Medicaid and lighten employers’ burden of providing health insurance coverage to employees.

Harry McDonald is right, but too polite—criticizing Repugnicans in general but not Scott Tipton in particular.

A veteran awaiting his prescription at our VA Medical Center opined that “they” should “shut down the government” to repeal “ObamaCare” – not realizing that doing so would close that facility, and/or not caring that the Affordable Care Act will provide millions with affordable access to health care—which he already enjoys, but takes for granted.

Now, as Gary Harmon reported Saturday (“Shutdown is unlikely, Tipton says”), the 3d C.D.’s “Tea Party” Representative—Congressman Scott Tipton – candidly admits (perhaps to the chagrin of his rabid supporters) that the irresponsible rhetoric of his cynical Repugnican “leadership” amounted to empty threats and partisan posturing.

Tipton also disingenuously asserts that “we do have two competing ideas:  one legislative body is intent on spending more and taxing more and regulating more”, the other . . .?

Actually, as the American public well-knows, the real “competition” is between leaders who offer constructive “ideas” to address tough problems and disingenuous “do nothing” lemmings like Tipton whose empty faux “ideas” are deliberately intended to make those problems worse.

Thus, Tipton would spend $30+ billion on “border security”, but would not reform our broken immigration system to help local growers and reduce the deficit by $173 billion over the next decade and $700 billion in the following decade.

Tipton voted to reward his cronies on the House Agriculture Committee with millions in farm subsidies, but opposes adequately funding Food Stamps and/or Head Start.

An admitted “climate change denier”, Tipton supports continuing subsidies to “big oil”, but opposes taxes and/or regulations on polluters that could fund infrastructure projects to “create jobs” and reduce unemployment.

And, like that sadly ill-informed veteran, Tipton would repeal “ObamaCare” and thereby revert to the “pre-existing condition” of ever-increasing insurance premiums and profit-driven health insurance company “death panels”.

November 2014 can’t come soon enough.

First of all I farmed this country for years, burning, well let’s just say you don’t know what you are talking about, breathing, farmers were here first, deal with it.How about chemicals to kill the weeds instead? I feel like yawl moved in and now it has to be your way or nothing, typical liberal, don’t work it, legislate it. As for chiding Republicans, even Massachusetts is thinking of repealing Romney care because it isn’t working. I read all 2700 and some pages of Obamacare online, it’s up to over 4300 now because of add ons, amendments, exceptions, and changes. Take the time to read the whole law, your eye will open, and you will see a whole long list of your freedoms restored. Da Svedanya commrade

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