Printed letters, May 1, 2013
Well, it’s good that Mesa County has a new county administrator, even though the county commissioners never explained why they fired the previous administrator.
I imagine the contract negotiations were tough, as the new administrator was the only qualified candidate to apply for the job. I guess the county and the country are out of recession, with full employment for all.
According to the April 23 Daily Sentinel article, the new administrator, Tom Fisher, will receive a boost in the salary for this position, in addition, to 10 extra days of paid vacation and 15 extra days of paid leave so he can deal with his other job as a colonel in the Utah Army National Guard.
If I add in the number of paid national holidays to the total number of paid vacation and guard-duty days, the number comes to about 65 workdays or 13 workweeks. That’s one-fourth of a year.
Wow, an increase in salary, a second (part-time?) job and Fisher only has to be at his county administrator desk 39 weeks out of the year.
What a sweet deal the county supervisors made for Fisher, and what a bad deal for the citizens of Mesa County, who are stuck with the bill, a full year’s pay for only three-fourth’s time on the job.
One can only wonder at what the additional perks might be in that contract with Fisher.
All Coloradans exposed to Rocky Mountain radiation
I hope that Eric Rechel was misquoted at the Department of Energy Uranium Leasing Program meeting, when he stated that “there is no safe level of radiation.” State and federal agencies do regulate radiation exposure as though every little bit is harmful, but there is no clinical evidence of harm at low levels.
The lowest level for which clinical effects are seen is roughly 80 times the rate of natural background radiation delivered all at once.
We are all exposed to radiation from our natural environment. Coloradans, on average, receive approximately twice as much natural radiation as someone living at sea level.
We have more naturally occurring uranium in our soils that decays to radon gas and more cosmic radiation because we live at altitude. Given that, if radiation has no safe level, why does Colorado have a lower incidence of most cancers than the national average?
There is also a good bit of animal evidence that a little radiation is even good for you.
The truth is that radiation is a weak carcinogen and exercise and good habits defeat the negative effects, if any, of low levels of radiation exposure.
If you’re concerned about potential cancer from radiation exposure, the best thing you can do is to test your home for radon gas. If the level of radon in your house exceeds 4 picocuries per liter of air, mitigate it down to 2 picocuries per liter or less. That is considered to be the safe level.
Test kits are available at hardware stores or from non-profit radon.com, which sells them for $14.95 each. For best statistics, buy three for $36, follow the directions on the package and place them in three locations in the lowest living space of your house.
Oh, and quit smoking! Smokers have at least 10 times the risk of lung cancer from radon, compared to non-smokers in the same radon environment.
CRAIG A. LITTLE, PH.D.
Sequester cuts hurt air travel but government perks fly high
In years of failed budget talks, President Barack Obama has threatened to cut military, Social Security, border control and disability payments. His “sequester” furloughed air traffic controllers, is causing flight delays and reducing safety.
But he has never said that he would stop payments to illegal immigrants, eliminate the “Obamaphone” program (now $2.2 billion/year), fire any of the thousands of unnecessary federal employees that he added or reduce his family’s vacations ($20 million so far).
The president has also not threatened the food stamp program, foreign aid or the pensions of members of Congress or himself.
While many of us have cut expenses and gone without vacations in this recession, the Obamas are living the high life with our money.
People who make bad decisions are rewarded by having their mortgages paid and their families’ food and medical expenses covered by the government — and they become the Democrat voter base.
Unfortunately, as the late Margaret Thatcher noted, “There is no such thing as public money. There is only taxpayer money.” Yet government treats our hard-earned money as a never-ending source for handouts.
Now our government wants to legalize illegal immigrants, proven law-breakers. Businesses want their cheap labor. Democrats want their votes. If it happens, liberals will be in power for decades. We tried amnesty once, and all we got were more illegal immigrants.
If you believe people should provide for themselves and government should be limited to constitutional principles, you’d better start becoming politically active. If you wait, it may be too late.