Printed Letters: August 31, 2017

Debris in community is an urgent problem

The debris littering our community is an urgent problem. Trash presents numerous public health and safety hazards, including but not limited to:

1. Crime. Trash is a direct cause of violent criminal activity — the “broken windows” theory.

2. Disease. Debris collects rain water, presenting opportunity for disease-spreading insects to breed; other debris festers disease: diapers, bottles and cans filled with urine or chew tobacco, for example, harbor dangerous bacteria that freely enter our canals and other open waters, are spread by insects, and are directly exposed to children and the public.

3. Pollution. Plastics, batteries, and other artificial materials break down with sunlight and precipitation into dangerous components that poison the land and water for hundreds of years.

4. Hazard. Some trash presents sharp edges that can cause damage and injury.

5. Ugliness. The debris is unsightly.

The quantity of trash far exceeds any ability of the government or private individuals to clean. We must therefore:

A. Ban or tax plastic bags. Bags collect water, and become sources of disease — as well as are some of the most difficult debris to clean. They break down into pollutants in the presence of sunlight and precipitation. They are extremely unsightly.

B. Tax bottles and cans, for redemption. Redemption programs are effective in motivating litter cleanup. Bottles and cans collect rainwater, are used as depositories of chew tobacco, urine and other human waste that can cause disease, and are hazardous.

C. Strengthen and enforce litter regulations to hold landowners accountable for the accumulation of trash on their private property. Commercial lands especially are increasingly dangerous depositories of debris, where the drainage and winds result in trash accumulation. There is insufficient market incentive for these commercial landowners to reduce litter, and there are insufficient legal penalties to reform behavior.

AARON BRACHFELD
Grand Junction

Fireworks are not 
allowed on public lands

A suggestion was made in a recent You Said It to “please take your fireworks to the desert.” I’d like to remind folks that fireworks are not allowed at any time on public land, regardless of whether fire restrictions are in place.

The desert may not look like it would carry fire, but our firefighters responded to more than 15 fast-moving grass fires there this summer. Please help us out by not using fireworks on your public lands.

KATIE STEVENS
Field Manager, BLM
Grand Junction

Is sales tax increase a crime prevention measure or not?

It looks like I won’t be voting for the law-enforcement sales-tax increase. According to The Daily Sentinel, apparently about 67 percent would go to the sheriff’s office, and about 17 percent more to the prosecutor’s office. And then about 15 percent more divvied up among 14 other county offices?

Is this a crime prevention measure or is it not? How about the sheriff’s office and the prosecutor’s office split the entire tax increase?

Why the extra 14 percent to be split up among other county offices? Have the county’s voters been made financially whole since the 2010 slowdown?

And when you draw up a ballot measure, county commissioners, how about including a sunset provision? You know how tax increases without one tend to become forever things.

Once the sheriff and prosecutor offices have been properly taken care of and the sunset provision has brought the tax rate back to 2 percent, then let’s consider what to do about the other 14 county agencies.

And a parting thought. Did commissioner Justman really ever think that marijuana legalization would work out well for anybody except stoners?

RICHARD RININGER
Grand Junction

City and university shouldn’t change our history

I have lived here all my life and don’t like the way the city and university want to change history. When Grand Junction was founded, it was surveyed in a one-mile square from 1st to 12th Street, South to North Avenue. Please keep some sort of history in Grand Junction and a feather out of Tim Foster’s hat.

JEFF BROWN
Grand Junction

Employee defends Fram’s 
environmental standards

I have been working for Fram Operating LLC ever since they purchased their holdings from Aspen Operating. To my knowledge, Fram has never not done everything needed to protect the environment.

I take care of their storm water and weed control. I would not work for a company that didn’t take care of the land, air, water, and the neighborhood. I live here too. They would not pollute the watershed or disturb the wildlife, as much as mountain bikers’ impact on the Palisade trail.

MIKE BERRY
Whitewater


COMMENTS

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
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While Mr. Berry may be well intended, the key to his position is “I would not knowingly”. But, does the gentleman know everything that FRAM is doing and why?  I would submit that, like all too many, he does not, and has really never made any effort to do so. Therefore he judges by the limited amount of knowledge he has, primarily by what he does in his own “job”.

While Mr. Brachfeld may be correct about the problem with trash, and that the problem must be addressed, he gets carried away with himself on certain points.

The first is that “trash” and run-down structures are a cause of crime. They are not. Crime (any crime) is caused by a lack of respect for one another. Those trashy, or run-down, frequently abandoned buildings, merely provide a place for criminals to exist.

The second problem I see in the gentleman’s letter is that in his statement that there is no “market incentive” for commercial and/or industrial facilities to maintain their properties.  I wonder if he needs “incentives” to take a shower or to clean up his own property?  “Sweetheart, do this and I will give you a reward”, even for things that one should do in any case, and is really not a favor to themselves or anyone else.  It is just being civil, civilized, and facing up to one’s own responsibilities and obligations.

The gentleman points to the danger of plastics, a relatively new product on this planet.  But, the greatest danger is not from what we personally see.  The greatest danger is from what has entered our oceans and seas, where vast tracts of them have become covered with what can only be considered a “plastic sludge”, something which experts in the field of oceans, have expressed serious doubts it those can ever be “cleaned up”.

Yes, by all means, let us clean up what we see (but not only what we see), but also pay attention the larger problem which is world-wide and global.

The question as to taxes, whether for law enforcement or the office of the district attorney, must take into account who is in charge of those agencies and are part of what?  They are both part of county government, and the county and community. Therefore, the community and its citizens are responsible for them, as part of their role as citizens. Therefore, any taxes to be levied to support them has to be a county-wide effort and not allow any of them to seek taxes for their own benefit;  i.e.  separate taxes to be used for their purposes alone.  What is unfortunate is that far too many cannot think beyond the very narrow scope of “me”, and see nothing beyond that.

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