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.
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.
Field Manager, BLM
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?
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.
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.