Printed letters, March 4, 2014

Kudos to Teresa Coons for her role in new air regulations

Thanks to the recent 8-1 vote by Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission, as well as the active participation of scores of concerned citizens, physicians, organizations and businesses from the Western Slope and around the state, a comprehensive plan to reduce air pollution from oil and gas drilling will provide long-overdue protections. 

The new rules are expected to eliminate 90,000 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the equivalent of what is produced by every car and truck in Colorado each year.  These protections are designed to effectively control 95 percent of oil and gas emissions through the use of vapor-recovery tanks and other technologies, as well as to require more frequent inspections for leaks and faster response to leak repair.  The cost savings for industry provided incentive in terms of methane capture is this: Instead of producers allowing their product to go to waste, it will be utilized for sale and profit.

Special thanks to Teresa Coons, the only state representative from this side of the mountains, whose support of these ground-breaking rules proved critical.  In addition, the new plan was backed by large energy producers and major environmental agencies. The measures will significantly reduce harmful ground-level ozone and will be the first in the nation to control methane, a major contributor to greenhouse gases.

Much remains to be done to address other sources of air pollution in Grand Junction, but the successful passage of new oil and gas regulations proves that change for a safer, healthier community is indeed possible.

Citizens for Clean Air
Grand Junction

Rob Kurtzman has earned high marks around state

I would like to offer my unequivocal support for Dr. Rob Kurtzman for Mesa County coroner.

I am the chief coroner for Pitkin County, and I have worked in our coroner’s office since 1987. In the 22 years that Kurtzman has been in Grand Junction, I have worked with him extensively. I have worked with many other forensic pathologists, as well, all over Colorado and in Oklahoma, where I originally worked as a state medical examiner.

Kurtzman has consistently been the most thorough, professional and thoughtful of any forensic pathologist with whom I have worked. His demeanor with the families of decedents is compassionate, and his ethical standards for dealing with law enforcement, the courts and other agencies are impeccable.

Kurtzman’s reputation around the state is excellent, and he has served many jurisdictions with his expertise.

Death investigation is not just about doing an autopsy or filling out papers; it is about the living. It is about those left behind and doing the job with the highest level of professionalism. It serves all of us who benefit from everything from understanding what happened to improving public safety, medical care and the future of our community.

I believe your community needs Kurtzman as coroner to achieve this. Thank you for your consideration.

Pitkin County Coroner

Dr. Dean Havlik richly merits another term as coroner

Our family would like to thank Dean Havlik for his seven years of service to Mesa County as coroner.

His intelligent application and skills of being American Board Certified in both forensic and general pathology, willingness to continue learning, conscientious reporting and respect for the people he serves have brought efficiency and cost-effectiveness to the position of Mesa County coroner as well as to law enforcement agencies and others in need of his expertise.

The active role and reporting Havlik has taken in suicide prevention and tracking is very eye-opening and needed.

As coroner, he has done an excellent job providing our community with answers to questions that are difficult to understand. He does this with a very caring but professional manner.

His generosity to the community goes beyond his office and his responsibilities as a physician.

We were fortunate to be recipients of his youth outreach to the schools, showing our children the effects of smoking and drug use as well as having him as a coach for youth basketball.

We are hoping the continuity of the past seven years of his service is extended to another term as Mesa County coroner.

To learn more about him, Mesa County residents are invited to visit



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