Printed letters, March 25, 2010

Most ‘historic’ thing was arrogance in health vote

The Daily Sentinel’s “Historic health vote” editorial had surprisingly little that was of substance to say on the issue. The editorial failed to even pay lip service to the corrupt procedure that won the passage of the legislation in the House, and failed as well to raise the issue that, largely shrouded in secrecy as it has been throughout the process, not even policy wonks well understand the bill. No wonder such a distinct minority of Americans supports this health care reform.

In fact, it is impossible to know when, or if, such significant legislation has ever been passed in this country that was so unpopular with its citizenry. True enough, it is tough to disagree with the editorial’s assessment that “it was a victory for President Barack Obama, who refused to give up on health care reform,” but it is equally impossible to dispute that it was an arrogant victory, not over the GOP, but in this case over a clear majority of the country’s citizens.

That being the case, I would argue that the rallying cry of the opposition in the 2010 and 2012 elections is far more likely to be “Arrogance!” than simply “Repeal it.”  

VAUGHN PARK
Grand Junction

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April is Child Abuse Prevention month

The tragedy of a husband killing his wife in front of their 2-year-old daughter is horrific. The occurrence of domestic violence with child abuse is much more common than any of us want to acknowledge, and this story epitomizes how extreme family violence can be.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. In anticipation of that, several groups, including the Family Violence Prevention Project, the Domestic Violence Task Force, the Partnership for Children and Families and the Department of Human Services have worked together to bring Denise Brown, sister of Nicole Simpson, to Grand Junction. 

Ms. Brown will be speaking about the issue of family violence and what concerned community members can do to help prevent domestic violence and child abuse.

Ms. Brown will be speaking at the Avalon Theater at 7 p.m. on April 22. There is no charge to attend.  Further information is available at 683-4303.

Family violence is a community problem.  Let’s each do what we can to help prevent it. Join us on April 22.

DONNA BENNETT
Fruita

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Wagner mischaracterized bill and fight with Amazon

I am writing in response to Rick Wagner’s March 18 column, which I believe mischaracterized aspects of House Bill 1193.

HB 1193 is a pro-Colorado business bill, and it is about fairness for our local merchants.

For example, if Mr. Wagner decides to shop at the Twice Upon a Time book store in Grand Junction, he will be charged a state sales tax of 2.9 percent, which will help fund Colorado’s schools, roads and emergency services. If he buys the same book through Amazon.com, he should be paying the same amount of tax due to Colorado use-tax regulations, although most people aren’t aware of that.

HB 1193 requires Amazon and other retailers that don’t collect a sales tax up-front to notify customers that they owe the use tax.

One of the key premises of Wagner’s column was that people manipulate the meaning of words, yet he wrote, “What makes them (progressives) most upset is when a victim fights back.” Seriously, a victim? As states and Main Street retailers suffer through a prolonged recession, Amazon has seen skyrocketing sales and profits, with net income climbing to $902 million in 2009. To call them a victim is a real stretch.

I believe that Amazon’s move to sever its partnerships with Colorado affiliates was unwarranted. As we deliberated on HB 1193, we listened to a number of Amazon associates and intentionally removed all references of affiliates from the bill. They let go of their affiliates anyway, saying that they still plan to do business in Colorado. Meanwhile, businesses such as Barnes and Noble, Borders, Apple and Lands End all collect tax without problem and without punishing Coloradans. Why can’t Amazon?

Despite what Mr. Wagner said, this bill preserves fairness for local merchants in Grand Junction and elsewhere in Colorado. During deliberations, we heard from Main Street merchants who rightfully complained about the tax inequity. HB 1193 will help maintain a level playing field between Colorado businesses and out-of-state retailers, and by doing so, we strengthen our state and local economy and, among other things, provide funds for our schools and infrastructure.

STATE SEN. ROLLIE HEATH
Boulder



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