Printed letters, June 30, 2013
It is unfortunate that in a recent column in The Daily Sentinel, state Rep. Ray Scott characterized Gov. John Hickenlooper’s support for a balanced, middle-road solution to protect the Thompson Divide as siding with the “well-financed environmental lobby against the people of western Colorado.”
We appreciate Scott’s concern for our interests. We have no reason to believe it is not genuine, which is why he should rest assured that the governor’s support for the Thompson Divide puts him squarely on the side of the citizens, ranchers, sportsmen, local governments and counties in our region.
The Thompson Divide supports nearly $30 million in annual economic activity and nearly 300 existing jobs in this rural area of the state. That is exactly why a broad, bipartisan coalition of community members — farmers, ranchers, outdoor enthusiasts and small business owners — supports efforts to protect these economic interests in this very special place.
Furthermore, the bill Scott refers to as the cause for his consternation is far from the environmentalist pipe dream he claims it to be. It is a balanced, middle-of-the-road solution that respects private property rights and existing rights while acknowledging local concerns about the long-term economic needs of our communities.
Scott may claim to speak for the “people of western Colorado,” but when it comes to the Thompson Divide, we must submit that he does not speak for us. Hickenlooper and Sen. Michael Bennet have taken the time to listen to our community, and we deeply appreciate their decision to stand with us.
MAYOR LEO MCKINNEY
MAYOR STACEY BERNOT
First Amendment guarantees panhandlers’ speech rights
As we are on extreme ends of the political spectrum, I seldom read Rick Wagner’s column. However, the headline on his June 20 column caught my eye. After reading his vitriolic diatribe, I felt the need to respond.
Wagner shouldn’t blame the City Council (past or present), the city manager (past or present) or the chief of police (past or present) for the lack of a strict panhandling law. Put the blame where it really belongs, on the First Amendment of United States Constitution that guarantees freedom of speech. This has been upheld by many Supreme Court rulings.
If Grand Junction City Council members were to consider a law to ban panhandling, it had better be one that is within the framework of the First Amendment or I am sure there will be a lawsuit brought against the city.
As long as the panhandler does not accost you, touch you or get in your face and is on public property, the panhandler has every right to fly his or her sign or extend a hand and/or hat for an offering.
I am sure there are laws in the Grand Junction law books that cover this sort of thing. So, if people are disturbed or frightened by noises in the night or offended by someone asking for a handout, call 911. The response time is excellent.
WILLIAM S. ROBINSON
Supreme Court’s decision may put us into ‘Brave New World’
With last week’s Supreme Court ruling regarding California’s Proposition 8, in which the court essentially said no citizen (aka subject) of a state has legal standing to defend a portion of his state’s Constitution, have we entered a “Brave New World” of so-called law? In this new world, can any group with a bee in its bonnet now attack any section of a state’s constitution, up to and including its bill of rights and, with the collusion of a single federal judge, the state’s governor and its attorney general, delete the desired section (maybe even retroactively)?
Is this “the broad path cut through the law” of which Sir Thomas More (in “A Man for All Seasons”) warned, or is it an expressway?
RUSSELL W. HAAS
Putting women into combat subjugates American honor
World War II, unleashing American soldiers everywhere, startled world citizens over the respect we gave our women. We honored our culture this way. We were farm boys saying goodbye to Mama, proud to represent America. American females anywhere near the frontlines would be cause for war.
Dedicated hearts of fighting soldiers still exist. In his letter to the editor June 23, Robert Tallarico cringes over the horrifying aspect of endangering our women in combat.
It’s a natural instinct. The driving force of protecting families, defending principle and defying the playground bully cannot be subjugated to equality.
Honor cannot be subjugated. Either we is, or we ain’t honorable.
HAROLD V. BLACKMAN