Printed letters, February 10, 2013

I’m saddened that neighbors of Monument Baptist Church would attack the church for a project conceived and executed by Verizon Wireless.

True, the church is allowing construction and operation of the cell tower on its property. But, why not confront Verizon Wireless directly? Is it because Monument Baptist is smaller and seemingly more vulnerable?

Sounds a bit like bullying to me.

Angry neighbors accuse the church of being a bad neighbor for selling out to Verizon and lining its pockets. Hank Drake’s sign says, “It’s all about the money.” How would he know? Has he attended a meeting at this church regarding the use of these funds? Is he privy to inside information regarding this perceived lust for “filthy lucre”?

Most American churches are small and exist to worship God — directly and by being good neighbors — not only by spreading the gospel, which is an act of obedience to God and their constitutional right. They also pool their resources, offering health care, education, food, shelter and disaster relief locally and abroad. They seek to be the epitome of the good neighbor.

By the way, does a good neighbor post signs denigrating another neighbor? Would another neighbor be as gracious about it as Monument Baptist Church?

I urge Drake and others to get to know the people at Monument Baptist. I suggest that Drake take his sign to Verizon Wireless and a pot of coffee to Monument Baptist.

JIM MEALLER

Grand Junction

County planners incorrectly 
approved of telecom facility

I’d like to expand on Duffy Hayes’ article about the cell phone tower being built by Monument Baptist Church.

Several articles I’ve found online suggest that there is reasonable medical probability for health problems living within up to one mile from a cell tower. This probability grows exponentially the closer you are to one.

The cell phone industry has set what it says are “safe levels” of radiation exposure. However, there is a growing number of doctors, physicists and health officials who strongly disagree.

The Mesa County Land Development Code contains specific requirements for the approval of a telecom facility. Three of them have been either ignored or misinterpreted by planning officials.

The first involves a flagrant zoning violation, simply because the code prohibits telecommunication facilities in an RSF4 zone. The second requires the applicant (Verizon) to provide evidence of written notification to all property owners abutting the church property. None of the three of us were notified.

The third states that a telecommunications facility must be set back from residentially zoned property no fewer than 200 feet. This facility is being constructed 74 feet from the residential property to the north.

When the county planners were asked if there were any provisions in the code, or anywhere at all, that would exempt these requirements from being met, the answer was “no.” They said they proceeded on this by interpretation, direction and use. All I could say was, “Wow, it seems the code isn’t worth the ink it’s printed with.”

HANK DRAKE

Grand Junction

 

BLM’s preferred alternative 
would hurt OHV enthusiasts

You’ll find the Grand Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Area near the airport on all the national OHV websites. It’s a major attraction and known for bringing visitors from all over the country to Grand Junction to ride our desert.

Currently, we enjoy 11,400 acres in the Grand Valley OHV area. We’ve always had this access. The BLM’s new Resource Management Plan and its preferred alternative “B” would reduce the OHV area by nearly 60 percent, to a mere 4,900 acres.

So, in response to the growing demands for all forms of motorized and non-motorized use, from our children to our growing elderly population, the BLM is reducing recreation? Whitewater Hill OHV Area will be completely closed as an intensive-use OHV area.

The economic impacts revealed in a recent report by the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition indicate BLM’s Grand Junction Field Office provides more than $141 million in spending per year by outdoor enthusiasts and creates 214 jobs in our local economy.

Low natural gas prices and government over-regulation have caused a significant portion of the gas industry to exit western Colorado in the past five years. Now we will also see a mass exodus of our recreational dollars in the valley, as well. It’s not only OHV dollars. It’s hunting, fishing, trucks and SUV’s, campers, bikes, etc.

BRANDON SIEGFRIED

Grand Junction

 

Chamber is not true-blue 
to its buy-local program

It doesn’t speak well for the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce to use out-of-state travel agencies when it advocates using local businesses.

When problems arise, as happened on its recently scheduled Greece trip, no one wants to be accountable or willing to correct the situation. Dealing with an out-of-town travel agency has been very impersonal and disappointing.

Perhaps if our local chamber had chosen to work with a local travel agency, satisfactory results could have been achieved. And yet, the chamber is continuing to use the same company, Chamber Discoveries out of California, for its upcoming Spain trip.

PAT LACKEY

Grand Junction



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