Printed letters, Dec. 6, 2011

Military flights welcome to some in this region

I really do try to bite my tongue when Daily Sentinel articles and commentaries are way off base, but I cannot stand by for this one. Andrew Gulliford and the always-wrong Bill Grant either have never served in the military, or are just plain unpatriotic.

If the military wants to fly 50 feet over my house or park a jet in my back yard, “Yes.” Our military is the only thing keeping us from Sharia Law.

It certainly is not our politicians and environmental fools who are protecting us. Just look at what Obama has done to aid all the radicals in the Middle East. It is almost a given that all the countries he has helped to liberate will fall in to the hands of the radical factions waiting for this opportunity.

I would do away with the EPA in a heartbeat. The agency has cost the taxpayers more money than any other agency except the IRS. People do not realize that every time a do-good environmental group sues the U.S. government, we foot the bill.

I believe every time a frivolous lawsuit is lost by one of these do-good organizations, they should pay all the costs and not the taxpayers. Mostly I just wish they would go away. Saving all this government land for our grandchildren is a bad deal, as they will not be allowed access it.

Anyone who has not flown over the western United States has no idea how much wild lands there are here. To top that off, only about 10 percent of the population hunt or fish — and we are saving all this land for them? What about the other 90 percent? And what about the handicapped folks who need a road to go into a wild area to enjoy all that preserved real estate?

Goodbye EPA and environmentalists, and welcome military jets.

DAVID SHRUM
Grand Junction

Birth issues are important for Grand Valley residents

BirthSmart is a local, grassroots non-profit dedicated to empowered birth through education. As BirthSmart finishes up its third year of programming, I want to send a letter of thanks to our Grand Valley supporters for another amazing year. With our dedicated board members, volunteers and sponsors BirthSmart was able to run a film festival, a birth-story gathering, a guest-speaker discussion series, a radio episode and a maintain an online community.

Birth is a volatile political topic in our country, with people coming down hard on both sides of the hospital-versus-home birth continuum. But, in the Grand Valley, BirthSmart received support from OB-GYNs to family practitioners to midwives, from lactation consultants to doulas, to everyone in between who offers a good or service to pregnant women.

Because of this support, BirthSmart is a neutral space for women to come and make their own decisions about what empowers them for their births. We are so grateful to our community for creating this powerful resource for birthing women.

Even The Daily Sentinel has been a supporter of sorts: Whenever a birth-related article appears in the Health section of the Sentinel, a lively Facebook discussion usually follows. Thanks, then, must also go to the Sentinel for its continuing coverage of pregnancy topics.

LEAH PABST, Executive Director BirthSmart
Grand Junction

Strict fracking rules needed for drilling near people

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rules are beneficial, but federal exemptions must be lifted for genuine public health protection. Exploration involves hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and cannot be excluded from regulation. All BLM, EPA and state rules and laws should reflect and ensure continuity.

Strict enforceable rules are needed for fracking planned near people, towns or any water supplies. Plans continue for drilling in and near the Western Slope retirement communities, golf courses, recreational areas and Grand Mesa watersheds, and near Grand Junction’s water supply, which could be in violation of the Grand Junction Water Ordinance.

Disclosure of some fracking chemicals on fracfocus.org is a huge step forward if entries are honest and complete. Health safeguards should be developed, based on sound research by state and federal public health authorities, to assess health risks for all disclosed and undisclosed fracking compounds. The new draft rule still allows for trade secrets. Trade secrets cannot exist when pitted against the health and well being of our families and communities.
Like the EPA, the state oil and gas commission should consider the entire fracking cycle from planning, to transportation routes, to air emissions, to produced frack-water, to worker and community safety and total remediation costs through bonds by the drillers, and not by the taxpayers. If this is not done, then the taxpayers are essentially paying the companies to take the people’s resources.

Water, sun and soil are the sources of life given to us. We have a dearth of water. Financially unstable people are selling their water and surface rights to live. This is unfortunate and only a short-term solution. A long-term sustainable extraction plan is needed for the health and safety and continued existence of the lifestyle we want for our Colorado.

BENITA PHILLIPS
Palisade


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