Printed letters, June 14, 2013

If you own property of any kind on Orchard Mesa, hold on to your hat. The relatively new federal bureaucracy known as the 521 Drainage Authority has taken it upon itself to commission a report by an independent water-engineering firm to determine the 100-year floodplain on Orchard Mesa.

The result of that study is that much of central Orchard Mesa is in that floodplain. This has nothing to do with the rivers, but instead refers to a possible 100-year “event” — in this case, two inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

What does this mean for homeowners, business owners and owners of vacant land in that designated area? Well, the impacts will be substantial and expensive. Homeowners may be required to have flood insurance at about double the cost, and property values will be negatively impacted in more than one way.

Higher construction and engineering costs on both residential and business projects are a given. Some vacant properties will have their densities reduced or possibly eliminated for future residential or business construction.

The city has already adopted this map of the 100-year floodplain and is using it for development applications and site plans. The new Autozone may have been the first victim, having to raise its elevation to accommodate the potential event. Perhaps the study is correct, but as engineers will tell you, there is no guarantee of that. It is a statistically driven educated guess.

As yet, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has not adopted this map, but that is only a matter of time. When it does, the impacts really kick in.

So, what is to be done? Property owners and citizens can sit back and accept the 521’s study as carved in stone. Or those so inclined can contact Rep. Scott Tipton and ask him to have the study re-evaluated to either confirm it or perhaps find that the educated guess is off the mark.

Considering the future financial and planning implications of this study, I believe it would be wise to take a second look.

MARK FENN

Grand Junction

Unfair castigation of Carno 
based on lack of knowledge

In her letter of June 9, Diane Wolfe castigates Laura Carno and her nonprofit organization as having “a political agenda and have no business being nonprofit organizations.” She accuses such organizations as being “parasites living off the good name of legitimate nonprofits such as the American Red Cross” and others.

It is apparent that Wolfe does not know the difference between 501(c)(3) organizations that are charitable, religious and educational groups barred from partisan political activity and 501(c)(4) groups that are nonprofit but are allowed political activity.

The 501(c)(4) organizations include labor unions, Priorities USA and other “progressive” groups. They certainly have political agendas, and they are decidedly leftist. Following Wolfe’s argument, these groups have no business being nonprofit either.

As for Republicans’ “hatred” of the IRS, they don’t object to the IRS determining the tax-exempt status of organizations, but the obviously political targeting and intimidation of conservative groups only. If both liberal and conservative groups were given equal scrutiny, there would be no problem.

Regarding her view of the recent “common-sense” gun control legislation, this would not have prevented Columbine, Aurora or Sandy Hook. The Congressional Research Service has concluded that essentially nothing can be done to prevent mass shootings.

Gun-control legislation only makes legislators feel better about themselves.

Those intent on committing crimes will not care a whit about gun laws, because they are criminals. Such legislation punishes the innocent for the crimes of the sociopath and the insane.

BEN ETHERIDGE

Delta

 

Perhaps BLM should 
deny access to everyone

After I read articles on the BLM travel plan for our public lands, an idea came to me. The resolution of this issue is simple. We must close all public lands to all access by all parties.

It appears to me the BLM has systematically, and very artfully I might add, divided our community over who should have priority of access on public lands we all own. The hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders are focused on securing an advantage over the four-wheelers, dirt bikers and jeepers for the next 20 years. Both sides can donate members who would run any profiteers such as oil companies, gas companies and miners off public lands for their own selfish causes.

Since the mid-1980s, all parties have co-existed on these lands under the current BLM plan. BLM, with the support of our leftist administration, has skillfully pitted these parties against each other to accomplish its own goal of securing more control over public lands.

Disregarding the likelihood of creating major divisions of people living in the Western Slope communities, damaging an already fragile economy, or God forbid, opening the wounds of the old Sagebrush Rebellion again, the BLM has decided the time is right to push for dominant control over our public lands.

In an attempt to reunite our community over this issue, I have to support a choice of two options for BLM. Either support the existing plan or close the lands to everyone. It is the only fair way to meet everyone’s demands.

JAMES O’MALLEY

Grand Junction



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