Printed letters, February 4, 2014

The League of Women Voters of Mesa County has historic, established public policy positions about protecting air quality and supporting industry growth.

Our position is in line with the league’s statewide position to support measures that reduce air pollution from stationary sources and ambient toxic-air pollutants, as well as trans-boundary air pollutants.

Oil and gas development is not expected to disappear from Mesa County. In fact, the proposed Fram Whitewater project, with its addition of 108 wells in four years, will substantially increase pollution in Mesa County unless protections are put into place before the project begins.

The cost-saving recommendations compiled by responsible oil and gas companies, concerned environmentalists and the state division will serve to capture emissions that will enhance industry profits and protect the health and welfare of residents.

The recomendations are especially important for those who are hit the hardest by the degradation of our air: children, the elderly and those already suffering from respiratory ailments. We support stronger protections for those living and working close to oil and gas operations.

Although we have not yet been classified as a non-attainment area, we have exceeded the national air quality standard for ozone enough times to indicate a decisive trend toward reaching non-attainment status in the near future.

Such a label for this valley will not only reflect negligence on the part of government leaders who are directly responsible for public health, it will greatly influence our tourist industry, our reputation as a national outdoor sports destination and our well known agricultural interests, including the fruit and wine district.

It is time for Colorado to lead the way. The League of Women Voters of Mesa County strongly urges the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission to act responsibly to protect Colorado, including the highly vulnerable Western Slope, from harmful ground-level ozone and methane pollution.


League of Women Voters

Grand Junction

Police department truly does 
endeavor ‘to serve and protect’

The Grand Junction Police Department is sometimes called on the carpet for what it has or has not done. More often, its personnel are taken for granted as public servants with little additional thought given.

I had the opportunity for a “ride along” (from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.), and my eyes were opened to not only what our police “really” do, but to the genuine kindness and concern that define how they do their job.

They see their role differently from what I imagined — prevention of crime/mishaps and providing citizens with security by being visible take precedence over responding to an incident. They work very hard to make our community safer in ways far more subtle than responding to a 911 call. They demonstrate a clear focus on their role in our community.

Like many, I probably watch too many police programs. I saw for myself what it takes to make a traffic stop and not know what may be in store for an officer when approaching a driver’s window. These officers have spouses and children to whom they want to return at the end of each shift. Read, “Gulp.”

Many thanks to Commander Matt Smith and Cpl. Clint Newton for making this citizen more appreciative of our police department’s strong commitment “To Serve and Protect.”

With a respected police chief and a state-of-the-art Police Department facility, we are very fortunate to have these men and women (and their civilian support) doing what they do each and every minute of each and every day in Grand Junction.

They deserve our respect, admiration, support and gratitude.


Grand Junction


Valley offers treasure trove 
of ways to make, hear music

“Music speaks what words cannot express.” We may not know who first said this, but we do know it is true. Making and listening to fine music transports our souls and clarifies our emotions.

The Grand Valley is exceptional in the opportunities it offers residents to both hear and make wonderful music. Our symphony concerts, the Rockestra concerts, the CMU “Music at Mesa” and “Guest Artist Series,” the “Live from the Met” simulcasts at the Regal Theater, the Western Slope concert series, the Mesa County Concert Association and the Classic Arts Showcase channel (available from Dish network and C-band television) all provide wonderful opportunities to hear exceptional performances.

The High Desert Opera, Centennial Band, the Western Colorado Chorale, the Schumann Singers, the Bookcliff Barbershop Harmony Chorus, the Sweet Adelines Grand Mesa Chorus and the Messiah Choral Society provide not only opportunities to hear wonderful choral music but also to join in and make music.

Music has the capacity to elevate our lives and transport us to new uplifting experiences. I am writing this in the hope of stimulating currently idle music makers to join in and make some music. If you are not a music maker, it is to encourage you to seek out and attend a local live music concert. The list above is a treasure hunt roadmap to explore the myriad of wonderful music opportunities here in our local area. Good luck and good listening.


Grand Junction


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