Printed letters, June 21, 2013

I ‘ve read the recent letters to the editor calling for a tax increase to fund the Colorado Firefighting Air Corps with great interest. I wonder if these people know that Democrats in the General Assembly passed a $21 billion budget for the year and voted to defund C-FAC so they could allocate that money elsewhere.

Life is about priorities. Democrats chose not to fund the fleet. Yet, I can understand people’s concern about funding such an important program. As we creep out of the worst recession of our lifetime, I suggest my colleagues in the Legislature show some leadership and courage by working within our existing resources to prioritize spending to address this clear and present danger.

Funding pet projects over priorities is wrong. They shouldn’t tell the people we don’t have the money to address wildfires when we clearly do. I certainly hope that this administration wakes up and smells the smoke in the air. How many more precious lives must be lost and how many more of our forests and homes have to burn before we consider this a priority?

I cannot be more brutally honest in saying that, as tragic as the last two years have been for wildfires in Colorado, we have not seen a truly “catastrophic wildfire” yet. But it is coming.

It is time we funded the fleet and prioritized the safety of the people of Colorado.


Grand Junction

Planning officials, citizens
held productive OM meeting

City and county officials held a successful meeting with the public last week to explain new developments for the new Orchard Mesa Master Plan.

What does it propose? Concerns for zoning of parcels of vacant lots, high-to-low density, neighborhood parks in subdivisions, preservation of historic places and buildings, proposals for homeowners’ associations, a new middle school and the dissolution of O.M. Sewer District.

Leaders of Grand Junction’s planning department and officials of Mesa County’s planning department answered questions from citizens to educate them on suggested improvements to create a high quality of life, safe neighborhoods, adequate medical care facilities and good schools for Orchard Mesa, as the population increases in zoning areas. Also discussed was the preservation of agricultural lifestyles in outlying areas of the county.

Neighbors exhibited good rapport with the friendly and open officials to work for much-needed improvements as they displayed many boundary maps, completed survey forms and looked at plan maps.

Here’s hoping that more meetings are held to further citizen cooperation.


Grand Junction


Obama heads to Africa while
military hospital lacks staff

So, the president, the first family and the usual entourage are soon headed to Africa. The projected cost to U.S. taxpayers for this adventure is $100 million.

On the other hand, I read where hundreds of staff members at Walter Reed Hospital are being furloughed due to the sequester cuts. Walter Reed Hospital provides care to some of our most critically wounded service members.

This is beyond outrageous and sad. It is madness!


Grand Junction


Sierra Club and others use 
lawsuits to dictate policy

I saw in a recent Sentinel story that the national director of the Sierra Club, Michael Brune, made a trip to western Colorado to fly around Garfield County and moan about how awful it was to see all those drilling rigs and gas wells, and gush about how the Roan is “one of those places that you typically see on a Sierra Club calendar.” I wasn’t aware that the Sierra Club included pictures of areas crisscrossed with roads and that proudly display the signs of the energy development that has been occurring on and off for about 100 years, but more power to them.

I don’t really care much about Brune or his organization. If they want to worship the sun and wind and weep for endangered beetles, let them go right ahead.

What I take issue with is when groups like this use the courts to inflict their primitive worldview on everyone else. Good heavens, those leases on the top of the Roan were sold almost five years ago, and we still can’t put people back to work developing them.

Why? Organizations like the one this guy heads up are using lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit to force an agenda on us that just so happens to destroy our way of life – all financed by our tax dollars.

Worse, the BLM, Forest Service and even our own governor go right along with the scheme, handing these extremists whatever they want.

I hope that it was a solar powered plane that Brune took his little flight in and that he only uses about 20 percent of the electricity that the rest of us do and heats his home in the winter exclusively with logs.

Otherwise he would simply be an overpaid hypocrite.




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Sen. King, you bill yourself as a fiscal conservative, but everything you want to do costs a bloody fortune.

Senator King, please be specific at to where the funds to operate this fire fighting fleet will come from. Are you advocating a tax increase? What programs would you cut? Criticizing the Democrats without a plan of your own is not showing “leadership and courage.”

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