Printed letters, February 15, 2013

It is totally ironic that the Federal Highway Administration has added thousands of miles to the so-called “National Highway System” when it is currently unable to properly fund modernization of thousands of miles of obsolete roads.

The only highway of “national interest” on the map with Sunday’s Sentinel article is Interstate 70. The others are primarily of local or regional interest.

The Highway Administration is a federal agency that should be abolished, or at least drastically reduced in authority. When I went to work for its predecessor, the Bureau of Public Roads, in 1948, its staff members played a valuable role in highway development. They were leaders in research, development of highway standards and coordination between state highway departments.

Now FHWA’s major role is dispensing federal gas tax money, collected in the states, back to the states and spending billions of dollars in the process. Its responsibilities should be limited to research and advice.

The time has come to abolish the federal gas tax. States would have the prerogative of raising their gas taxes to make up for lost revenue. State transportation agencies are staffed with professionals capable of directing highway design, construction and maintenance in their state. They do not need a federal agency looking over their shoulders.

Apparently, adding many miles to the national highway system would beef up the role of FHWA and allow it to continue the waste of taxpayer dollars.


Retired CDOT District Engineer


Eliminate the bottlenecks 
on critical local streets

Now that the feds have stepped in and designated more major roads in Grand Junction as part of the National Highway System, maybe we can finally fix Horizon Drive and 12th and 7th streets. Horizon Drive feeds into 12th and 7th streets, and all three are major arteries into the city.

Somewhere during the planning process, some genius thought that it would be a good idea to narrow all three down from four lanes to two where they intersect, creating a bottleneck. Horizon Drive, 12th and 7th Streets need to remain four lanes the entire way.

Why is it a good idea to create a traffic bottleneck on some of the major arteries into the city?


Grand Junction


Design for Avalon’s addition 
degrades building’s character

I am rather appalled every time I see the exterior view of the proposed Avalon Theatre addition.

I thought the No. 1 priority of an architect when adding on to an attractive historic building was to replicate the materials and lines of the existing structure. The elaborate brickwork and vaulted windows of the Avalon are what gives it such a spectacular character.

Wasn’t this what prompted everyone to desire an addition instead of tearing down the structure and putting up a contemporary-style building? The Avalon Foundation, city officials and the architect need to revisit this design.

If not, I hope our community never gets a tour of masters of Renaissance art. Local officials would change all the frames to shiny aluminum.


Grand Junction


Rogue cop did not want 
citizens to have ‘assault’ guns

I have read killer and former LA cop Christopher Jordan Dorner’s manifesto. In it, he has several sections in which he shows his hate for the NRA and its leadership. Then he also goes on a rant against regular citizens of this country owning semi-automatic, military-looking rifles with 30-round magazines. Yet these are the guns with which he killed folks and with which law enforcement hunted him.

This is the exact reason why our Founding Fathers created the Second Amendment — so that citizens could have firearms. As a one-time cop in California, Dorner had these guns (restricted by California law), but he said ordinary citizens shouldn’t have them. He also apparently was a fan of major media liberal commentators such as Chris Mathews.

Anyone can see the twisted and sick logic in his manifesto, which is nearly identical to that of various laws and bills of politicians who want to ban citizen firearm ownership — like what is going on in our state right now.


Grand Junction


Catholic Church ignores 
plight of abused children

I was sick when I read the Associated Press article in The Daily Sentinel regarding the sex scandal in Los Angeles churches. I commend Archbishop Jose Gomez for his strong stance against this unforgiveable evil. These sex offenders are not priests. They are pedophiles pretending to be priests.

These predators have found a niche in the Catholic Church. What easier way to prey on innocent and trusting children? They are truly wolves in sheep’s clothing, which makes them the ultimate child predators.

The pope and the Catholic hierarchy know all about pedophile priests. They have a list of pedophile priests that is in the thousands, yet they refuse to excommunicate them or even turn them over to the proper authorities.

They need to do it now. No more politics! Our children are at stake here. There are more voices for animal rights than for innocent victims of pedophilia. Catholics need to speak up and fight this despicable evil. We all do!


Grand Junction


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