Printed letters, January 22, 2014

Without going into all the details, there is a great gulf between sportsmen and “hunters.”

Sportsmen respect the animals they hunt and their fellow sportsmen. They adhere to the fair-chase concept and follow the rules. When there is a merger with both concepts, it is a beautiful thing. However, I have to believe there are more “hunters” than sportsmen today, with some merging of the two.

A sportsman understands animals’ protective instincts (smell, sight and hearing) and hunts appropriately. A sportsman also respects and considers other sportsmen in their quest. A sportsman realizes that any of the three will send the game elsewhere.

I hunted Unit 62 for elk, and let me describe my exposure to “hunters.” We camped about one mile north of the Dominguez Canyon on the access road, along with what were obviously a number of “hunters.” At 5 a.m., the generators kicked on. No more sleeping for anybody. At about 6:30 a.m., all the ATV’s kicked on and headed out with enough noise that you’d think you were at the Indianapolis Speedway.

As we hunted about three miles south (as the crow flies), all the elk sign indicated they were leaving the area. That was a mystery until we heard gravel popping under tires (the only graveled road was near where we were camped) and then we understood. The generators awakened the elk, as they did us, and when the ATV’s took flight, so did the elk.

In addition to the elk tracks (what there were of them), there were ATV tracks (a mile or more inside areas where they were not permitted to be). We also spotted an ATV and realized the hunt in that area was over.

I also hunted deer in the next season, with the same impact from “hunters.” If all we (sportsmen) are going to get is exercise, it can be had in the summer when there is some peace and quiet.


Grand Junction

Counties banning pot sales 
don’t deserve state funds

Watching a Colorado political program on PBS recently, I was stunned to hear that representatives from Montrose, Delta, Ouray and Mesa counties are going to request their “fair share” of state monies set aside to deal with the “impact” of legalization of recreational marijuana.

In light of the fact that all these counties have banned recreational marijuana businesses from doing business in those counties, I find this action repulsive and typical of conservative politics. These counties should not benefit from any funds involved with the new marijuana laws unless and until they stand up and allow these businesses to operate in their counties.

Republican politicians and conservatives should not be allowed to enjoy the fruits of this new industry unless they are willing participants and share in the risk.




Southwest Colorado hospital 
hopes ACA will cut bad debts

This is in response to a letter to the editor that appeared in The Daily Sentinel recently titled, “Obamacare creates Catch-22 for now uninsured couple.”

According to an article titled, “Obamacare may cut hospital bad debt,” published in The Dolores Star Jan. 9, “Southwest Health System said patients were unable to pay about $4.6 million in medical bills during the 12 months leading up to October 2012.” Southwest Memorial Hospital “also found through a survey that not having health insurance was the No. 1 health concern for the community.”

The article also noted, “The Colorado Health Institute estimates that 20 percent of the people in Montezuma County are uninsured. In preparation for Obamacare, the hospital became certified in the fall to sign people up for Medicaid, another form of insurance. ‘The hope is that people will seek out preventative care and make fewer trips to the emergency room when they have insurance,’ said Kent Helwig, CEO of Southwest Memorial Hospital.”

In the letter in The Daily Sentinel, it did not state the reason that the couple’s insurance was canceled. Was the reason their insurance was canceled because it did not meet the criteria for Obamacare?




Veterans given apologies 
for under-planned event

I would like to offer my personal apologies to the veterans and veterans’ widows who attended the outreach event at the Veterans Art Center Jan. 8.

Many either had to wait several hours to be seen or had to leave before being seen because of other demands on their time.

As the primary coordinator for these visits, I vastly underestimated the demand for veterans’ services at an early evening event and the number of veterans who had complex issues needing to be addressed.

I will take the lessons learned from that evening and apply them to future outreach efforts in the Grand Valley and across the Western Slope.

I sincerely apologize to the veterans and their families who attended this event and did not receive the services they were seeking.


Chief, Customer Relations

Grand Junction VA Medical Center

Grand Junction


Sentinel’s Rick Jussel is 
a fine teacher of football

Everything I know about professional football and the Denver Broncos, I have learned from Rick Jussel. Thanks, Rick.


Grand Junction


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