Printed letters, January 15, 2014

This is in reference to Rep. Ray Scott’s recednt op-ed piece, “Western Slope residents must fight Air Quality Control Commission.”

Scott urges this action because the rules are based on Denver’s air problems, not those of the Western Slope.

The implication is that we do not need regulations that will harm the local and gas economy. Our air quality is fine. He must not be spending any time in this area and breathing the foul air we have to breathe. Running for higher office must fog one’s brain.

If Scott thinks we have good quality air here on the Western Slope, I would ask him whether he is spending too much time in Denver.


Grand Junction

Front Range pols indifferent
to scarcity of fire districts

It is time to call out Gov. John Hickenlooper’s attack dog, James Davis, executive director of Colorado Department of Public Safety, for what he is: a political hack fronting for Democratic politicians.

More than a year ago, I wrote Hickenlooper about the lack of fire districts in Colorado. In rural Hinsdale County we applied for inclusion in both the Lake City Fire District and, because it is closer, Mineral County’s Creede Fire District. Both districts summarily turned us down for being too isolated (30 minutes away from Creede). When we applied, we made it very clear that we were willing to pay to join.

When I contacted Hickenlooper, Sen. Gail Schwartz and Rep. Mike McLachlan, I got nothing but an auto-reply. They were too busy working on their social agendas to bother with rural Colorado problems. Now that it is an election year they profess much concern for our well-being.

What Davis fails to add when he parrots Hickenlooper’s solution, which is to include ranchers and farmers in the firefighting force, is that adjoining states such as Wyoming and Idaho, which are much more isolated, have 100 percent of their residents in fire districts. In other words, it is just more lip service from Front Range politicians with no real solutions attached.

I have been working with Sen. King for the past year, and he is the only politician who has responded with anything other an auto-reply. He has been working with me attempting to find solutions to our safety, due to the devastating loss of our Engelmann spruce trees.

King does not represent my district, but he is working for all of Colorado. I just wish my representatives from the governor on down would do the same.



S.M. Stoller employees may wish to reflect on a motto

A recent piece in the Sentinel reported that Matt Mulherin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding, a part of Huntington Ingalls Industries, was in Grand Junction for a visit. 

He told employees of the recently purchased local business S.M. Stoller Corp. that their jobs are safe: “Nothing is going to change.”  His words sound reassuring but an interesting bit of history may give one pause.

A family business established in 1887 was the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company; it was situated on the James River adjacent Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.  It thrived for many decades, building ships for the U.S. Navy.  The shipyard was also known for building commercial ships as big as the famous and long-retired passenger liner S.S. United States.

Perhaps the best-known of the modern ships was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Enterprise originally designated CVA(N) 65, launched in 1960.  I was aboard that impressive warship when it returned to Newport News for refueling of its reactors in 1969.  This arrival wasn’t long after lengthy negotiations had concluded between the owners of the shipyard and Tenneco Corp.  A merger was formed.

Along the historic street which the shipyard’s administration building faced was a utilitarian, old but well-maintained sign identifying the NNSB&DD, a huge handful of letters, telling of an admirable tradition. 

Immediately below that placard, separately exhibited, was the company motto established by its founder, Collis P. Huntington: “We will build good ships, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but we will build good ships.”  Truly a fine sentiment.

Not long after the merger, one ambling along the sidewalk outside the administration building couldn’t help but notice that, curiously, signage of the once-proud motto had been removed.



Keep on using ‘gallons’ 
in energy industry stories

It was truly exasperating to read Gary England’s letter complaining about the Sentinel’s headline policy.

England looks agenda-driven to give the energy business as much cover as possible for its well-known belief that it is cheaper to pay for cleanup than to spend adequately for maintenance.

Of course, he would prefer spills be expressed in barrels, an amount not as easily conceptualized by many of us. those of us who may breathe, drink — and in the case of the unfortunate lady mail carrier in the Twin Cities some years ago, maybe incinerated by mistakes of this industry understand gallons readily, whereas barrel volumes are not part of our normal experience.

Isn’t it always amazing how easily we perceive someone else’s truth as bias? Please, Sentinel editors, keep using gallons, which are easily pictured from cartons in our refrigerators and gas cans for our mowers.


Grand Junction


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