Printed letters, January 26, 2014
John Justman’s statement that “Western Colorado counties generally are not plagued by the ozone and pollution problems facing the Front Range” is highly subjective, at best.
What Mesa County lacks is hard data. Monitors around the county do take some readings, but we lack the kind of concentrated data demanded by a study that would meet a peer-reviewed, scientific data collection and analysis. To eliminate any further misconceptions, we need to have such a program.
Using high school students to gather data, CU-Boulder is conducting an air-quality testing program in the North Fork area. This was reported Oct. 28 in The Daily Sentinel by Dennis Webb.
Because of this article, I pursued more information on the monitoring program and happened upon an EPA grant that would help support the effort to expand the monitoring into the Mesa County airshed. To initiate this program, I have been working with the people about whom Webb reported.
At this time, we need educational, governmental and/or nonprofit community or private entities to write letters of commitment for small matching funds and participation in the program.
This is an opportunity for hands-on education for fortunate students to participate and learn about air quality, the management of that air shed, use and care of the equipment, data collection and analysis, and problem solving with team building. What an opportunity!
Jewell incident was typical of Obama administration
I read The Daily Sentinel editorial on Jan. 23 with some amusement. The actions of Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell did not surprise me in the least. She is only mirroring those of her boss and others in his administration.
Interesting how this specific issue made the Sentinel front page. Unlawful and dishonest acts by Obama, some of which you did allude to in your editorial, have mostly received a pass from your newspaper or get a middle-of-the-paper cursory note.
This administration talks about transparency and openness when its actions have been just the opposite.
Maybe I could take your protests more seriously if there were a history of the Sentinel reporting the news rather than picking and choosing what to print. Citizens need to see the whole story and it’s your job to report, not just editorialize when your journalistic rights are threatened.
Environmentalists deserve blame for dearth of good jobs
Actions have consequences. Teachers and parents teach children that fact. Many adults today have seemingly forgotten that sometimes even well-meaning actions have dire consequences.
Environmentalists are having drastic and frightening consequences, as seemingly every day western Colorado increasingly resembles a community of the Depression era. Economics is a hard science and can’t be manipulated. Our well-paying jobs are disappearing along with the workers — workers who were good citizens, sent their children to our schools, shopped locally and paid property and sales taxes.
To be replaced by what? Tourism jobs for waitresses and maids, a gambling mecca in De Beque, and — my personal favorite — pot tourism? We watch the unemployment trend and celebrate that it hasn’t fallen further, ignoring the fact that, along with the jobs, the workers have departed, leaving low-paying and part-time jobs in their wake.
Public lands in western Colorado should benefit all, as they were intended. Instead PILT funds, which counties and school districts have shared, are being cut. The closing of the Vermillion Basin and other areas guarantee that school trustl lands, granted by our Constitution to provide money for school children, are no longer available for that purpose.
We are then constantly bombarded with tax increase measures and surprised when they are soundly defeated.
Energy companies today are vital to our communities. They have learned how to develop resources wisely, they are generous community members and their workers are vital citizens. So, let’s stop pretending that the drastic measures environmentalists are forcing upon us are not also drastic reductions to our quality of life. C.S. Lewis told us that good men, acting upon their desires, act as cruelly and unjustly as the greatest tyrants. I think his words deserve our reflection.
Continue to cut military to get more domestic funds
I’m glad to see our elected leaders in Washington have approved a plan to allow the federal government to spend money through 2014. I was particularly pleased to see that Congress has restored some money for Head Start and other investments in our communities and has refused to give the Pentagon all the money that it sought.
Congress now has an opportunity to use the regular legislative process to debate and pass a budget that reflectsthe moral priorities of our nation. Although the U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan is winding down, our country is still spending almost as much on war as we spent at the height of the Cold War or Vietnam.
I hope our senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, will work to support further cuts in the Pentagon budget and additional investments for our struggling communities at home.