Printed Letters: June 16, 2017

Reality is that COGCC serves oil and gas industry

The Sentinel’s editorial “Coffman to the rescue” starts to go off the rails with this unsupported assumption concerning the Colorado Appeals Court ruling that public health, safety and welfare must be given priority in the COGCC’s permitting process: “That’s a departure from the COGCC’s long-held approach to trying to strike a balance between oil and gas development and public health, safety and welfare.”

What?

While Hickenlooper did attempt to justify his not appealing the court’s decision with a similar assumption, that’s a far cry from there being any truth to it. If the COGCC was to any discernible extent already “balancing” public and industry concerns, we would have seen a substantial percentage of permit applications being denied. In reality, not only have we found no, as in zero, permit applications denied over the time frame covered by the available online records of thousands of permits, but a call I made to a COGCC official a year and a half ago to ask how many permit apps had been denied resulted in only surprise that such a possible disposition even existed. And that was after I quoted the COGCC’s own website which shows that permit apps may be “withdrawn, rejected (for attachment insufficiencies), denied, or deleted.”

The reality is that the COGCC serves the industry and feels that that is its one and only mission. For the Sentinel to presume that the COGCC’s mission is anything but that demeans the very worthy and important action of those brave youth who brought the original lawsuit, while the reality cuts the legs out from any subsequent editorial argument.

HARV TEITELBAUM
Evergreen

Recent column on incivility reveals a dash of wisdom

I write to commend Ruben Navarrette on his recent commentary on civility. His closing statement in the paper on June 1, “Until we start punishing bad behavior, we’ll get more of it,” reveals a dash of wisdom. It shows me that he was writing from a neutral observer’s perspective. I can appreciate that. I hope that in the future he continues with the same platform.

He did describe three situations where politicians were uncivil. I wonder why he didn’t include that one in which immigrants crossed into the country but did not contact the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service Department?

GEORGE GUSTAFSON
Fruita

We need to support and fund police and health services

A criminal can walk from their home to yours — quite as easily as disease spreads from person to person, neighborhood to neighborhood. Like a thief, disease passes through the walls of a house and through a neighborhood, hurting everyone. Even addiction and other psychological disease: when mental illness results directly (or indirectly) in violence, that violence spreads as easily as bacteria.

Criminologists concur, the solution to crime is difficult and complex — but this shouldn’t become a reason to neglect our duty. Every citizen relies on the security and safety provided by police and health services, which arrests the spread of disease and criminality, defends victims, and prevents victims. The difficulty of solving criminality should not become a cause for our own acts of injustice, for depriving our fellow citizens of the safety we ourselves demand.

When did we become so accustomed to criminality so as to tolerate its persistent presence, so callous as to turn our backs on those harmed by our underfunding police and health services and tolerate it in “those” neighborhoods so long as it isn’t in ours?

We should uproot criminality: if you provide for the higher education of those who cannot afford it so they may purchase the costs of living, they’ll be home at night teach their children the duties of citizenship. If you ask businesses to perform their duty by paying fair wages, rather than relying on the subsidies of public welfare to provide for their workers, they’d remember other duties neglected. If you volunteer, you relieve the burdens of your public servants.

The inability of Mesa County to adequately fund police and health services is our fault. We are “the government.” This is our problem. Provide for the public safety, for our safety. Support tax increases, encourage civil and business leaders toward responsibility, and volunteer for service!

AARON BRACHFELD
Grand Junction

Those rafting on river should wear life jackets

It’s interesting to note, looking at the picture on page A2 of your June 13 edition, with the caption “Rafters put in on the Colorado River at Riverbend Park in Palisade,” that none of the rafters appear to be wearing life jackets (personal flotation devices).

That’s a very risky activity with the rivers running as high as they are!

DAVE ROBERTS
Montrose


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