Printed letters, June 26, 2014
Two weeks ago approximately 64 percent of “active” registered Colorado voters received primary election ballots. Although I am “active,” I did not receive a ballot. As one of the 35 percent of Colorado voters “unaffiliated” with either major official party, all I received was a letter stating that I need to “affiliate” in order to vote.
The U.S. Constitution and the Colorado Constitution both guarantee “freedom of association” – the freedom to associate with whom we please, which necessarily includes the freedom not to associate or to decline to associate with certain persons or organizations. Both constitutions also provide for such rights as “due process” and “equal protection,” which guarantee the right of citizens to participate equally in the political process.
Colorado law, however, requires me to be a member of a political party to vote in the primary election. In order to exercise my right to participate in the political process, I must give up my right “not to associate.” In effect, I must choose between First Amendment and 14th Amendment rights.
Compounding the problem is that the primary is funded by the state of Colorado using tax dollars. While those of us who are “unaffiliated” are not allowed to vote in the primary, we are required to help pay for it. We are first-class taxpayers, but second-class voters.
Recently, a lawsuit was brought in federal court in Newark by a coalition called End Partisanship on behalf of eight New Jersey voters, IndependentVoting.org and the Independent Voter Project. The suit challenges state funding of closed primaries and demands that every voter have an equal and meaningful vote at every stage of the state-funded election process. Independent or unaffiliated voters throughout the country are watching the case closely.
Coalition of Independent Voters
in Colorado (CIVIC)
Noisy motorcycles ruin ambience of downtown
It’s time for the city of Grand Junction to enforce whatever noxious noise ordinances it has against the incessant blast of Harley Davidson motorcycles with no mufflers in the Main Street downtown corridor.
Recently, my wife, a friend and I had hoped to enjoy a leisurely Sunday brunch at an outdoor restaurant at the corner of 6th and Main.
Our meal (and I’m sure other patrons’ dining experiences) was interrupted by the unwelcome roar of engines being revved at the traffic light while the cycles were stopped.
The riders then accelerated away to no other purpose than to get to the next intersection and have the whole block take notice of their big, bad Harleys. This was repeated several times with different riders, all on Harleys.
“Loud pipes save lives,” they cry. My opinion: “Loud pipes prove you are an idiot.” Anyone can make noise with no mufflers through two gear changes.
My solution: Warn them, ticket them or simply ask them to go play elsewhere on the open road. That, however, may spoil their need for attention, wouldn’t it?
Plus, we’d violate some “constitutional rights” that they might profess they have in violating others’ tranquility.
We saw two bicycle officers on patrol, but observed them taking no action. (Thanks to both the law and the scofflaws for playing their roles so well.)
For the record, we rode our motorcycle to and from Grand Junction for our breakfast.
I’ve been an avid rider for 45 years and counting.
As hospitals squabble, valley’s patients suffer
I read with dismay Sunday’s article regarding the squabbling of Grand Junction hospitals. The question that immediately came to mind was “What about us, your patients and customers?”
Despite all the ballyhoo about our great medical community, touted by President Obama several years back, I feel its relationship with its customers is nothing of which to be proud.
Many doctors refuse new Medicare patients and/or do not accept new patients. They hide behind “interview” forms, thinly veiled peeks at prospective patients’ insurance. Many appointments are made weeks out, similar to veterans’ waits and woes. At times, sick and injured people suffer nearly endless waits in emergency rooms.
Community Hospital plans to build its new facility on the far-west edge of town, without a thought to doubling the distance of emergency care for residents of Palisade, Clifton, Orchard Mesa and Fruitvale.
It would be wonderful if these dueling hospitals would consider the needs of their clients. Then perhaps they would discover those who are the real losers in this feud.
Government should quit fiddling with numbers
Can anyone truly explain why every time the government releases unemployment claims or the unemployment rate those figures are always preceded by the phrase “seasonally adjusted”? Just give us the “unadjusted” numbers.