Printed letters, February 14, 2013
Do not be fooled by the Grand Junction City Council’s slick wording of Measure B. It is not about giving you $4 back or prioritizing future city projects.
Measure B is another money grab by the council for hundreds of millions of dollars. The council should follow TABOR Amendment guidelines. Let us vote on each project. The council should not seek blanket approval to keep our TABOR money. And it should not use certificates of participation to do whatever it pleases, as it did on the Public Safety Building, costing $32.7 million. Bond measures to construct the building were twice voted down by Grand Junction citizens.
What’s more, every council member violated Colorado State Statutes defining acceptable methods of providing public notice when publishing the Jan. 11 retreat agenda, void of the actual topics discussed: tax increases on developers, avoiding TABOR refunds, indebting taxpayers, airport, Brady Trucking, Matchett property, marijuana outlets and more.
Is it a coincidence that the very next week after this retreat the council voted, with very little public input, to adopt Measure B?
Note to City Council: No more hidden agenda items. Leave TABOR alone. And, take on no more debt with certificates of participation after citizens say “No.”
If the council cannot live with answers from citizens, it should not ask the question.
BLM’s oil shale decisions reflect agency’s arrogance
In his Feb. 5 column, it seemed that even Jim Spehar (who, for the most part, defends the egregious overreaches of the BLM, or thinks it doesn’t go far enough) couldn’t elude the fact that that agency has refused to publish revised regulations for oil shale leasing, which it was supposed to have released May 15.
So, first the BLM removes nearly all of the land containing oil shale from any consideration for development. Then it does not tell anyone what the rules are for operating on the few slivers of land that are left.
This is not objective management of federal lands on the part of the BLM. This is pointed, vindictive persecution of a specific industry. This goes beyond the government merely picking winners and losers. It enters into the territory of the government forcing an industry to fail. The last time I checked, in this country that is the role of the marketplace and the consumer, not the government.
If oil shale is not viable, it won’t be produced. Oil companies will lose some investment money, and that will be the end of it. If it is, then it is a valuable resource that will provide jobs and other economic benefits, as well as energy security for decades. It is not the BLM’s job to make that determination.
The Obama administration happily caved in to a conglomerate of anti-oil environmentalist groups and rewrote the land-use plan to those group’s specifications. Fine, elections have consequences. But the BLM was also duty-bound to publish the rules under which oil shale research and development leasing was to proceed. Its failure to do even that smacks of bureaucratic arrogance.
If even Spehar realizes this is not right, you know something is very wrong.
BLM draft management plan shows responsible stewardship
I found two things hard to believe Feb. 1 when I read The Daily Sentinel. First, all you found to lead with was some guy complaining about the BLM information meeting and, second, the guy you featured didn’t know squat about that which he was discussing. Where was the balance?
Why not a feature on what really occurred and facts thereof? On the first item, there are so many, many better news items to lead with that your choice caused me no end of wonder, shock and awe. I mean, it was bewilderingly inept, amateurish and just flat-out bad.
As to the second part, the Harley-Davidson dude seemingly has been inhaling too many exhaust fumes. If he attended the meeting, he wasn’t there seeking objective information.
I went to the meeting, carefully viewed the displays, discussed several of them at length with well-informed BLM folks in attendance and came away very pleased with the BLM’s intelligent, professional, sensitive concern for the ecological, social, economic and, yes, political issues surrounding its current stewardship of our area’s public lands.
I no longer am able to ride my dirt bike, and I no longer have an ATV, snowmobile or Jeep or any other means of accessing the inaccessible, so alluring to us who enjoy the paradise of our area. So, I don’t really have a dog in this fight.
I’m as close, however, to a native old-timer here as you’re likely to run across, and I’ve left my footprints and tire tracks all over our deserts and mountains and canyons for more than 60 years. I have always supported both access to and preservation of our uncluttered lands.
I see nothing wrong with the BLM closing approximately 8 percent of dead-end roads to conduct its necessary studies and evaluations. Dead-end roads. 8 percent. Huge impact on our economy, right?
Wrong. I believe responsible users of the land will not be inconvenienced, nor will our economy suffer from the BLM’s going about the serious business for which we pay it so modestly.
Come on, Sentinel! The front page is for informative, important matters, not a forum for nonsense.