Printed Letters: May 18, 2014
Recent Sentinel articles particularly noteworthy
I hope readers noted two very fine pieces in the May 7 edition of the Sentinel.
The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees basically found legally and practically unacceptable several provisions that our local Chamber of Commerce has tried to graft onto proposed legislation creating a national park.
The coalition correctly rejects the idea that a local advisory board representing mostly commercial or extractive interests might control the new national park. If the monument is to become a park, it will have park rules and park powers not subject to local diminution.
An outstanding guest opinion by the mayors of Glenwood Springs and Carbondale eloquently took to task the Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s false rhetoric regarding illegal oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide. Having just spent recreational dollars in the area recently, I can attest that ranching, fishing, hunting and hiking most assuredly bring more money and fewer ugly footprints to the region than COGA would.
COGA, and not Aspenites, represents the billionaires anxious to exploit the great environment there.
Federal government overreach a major factor in stagnation
Ten years ago Mesa County was Colorado’s leading producer of energy, income growth, economic development and standard of living increases.
Today, western Colorado is fighting for its very life. Our sources of meaningful support are threatened by the ever-expanding overreach of government.
A republic is now producing more energy than at any time in our history. That increase comes from development of private lands, while our public lands go fallow. Burdensome regulations from both our state and federal governments have contributed toward economic instability within our Western Slope energy sector, eliminating thousands of meaningful energy-related jobs.
Loss of employment, loss of income and resultant tax loss for local government infrastructure improvements devastate our lives. Many workers have been forced to find employment beyond Mesa and Delta counties, while others, including ancillary businesses, have not been so fortunate. The latter are living on the edge.
Government’s overreach attacks us by taking away our lands, our access to those lands, our ability to prosper from those lands and our right to choose our own future without government hindrance.
Recent public hearings by the Bureau of Land Management on energy lease early terminations is testament to the very fact the federal government has targeted western Colorado for further eventual reduction of our livelihood by its suffocating regulations. Stagnation will lead to loss of population through emigration.
We don’t need additional laws and regulations, but, instead, a reduction of existing laws that threaten to destroy our prosperity.
JJ (JAMES) FLETCHER
Colorado House District 54
Wright praised as freethinker, invited to join Dems’ ranks
I’ve read with delight the change of heart that seems to have come over Rep. Jared Wright over the last few weeks. From his position as the only Republican supporting the necessary study of how harmful fracking is to our environment to his support for legislation protecting groundwater from the scourge of uranium mining, I think he’s demonstrated that he is a freethinker who’s dedicated to protecting the environment from money-grubbing industry.
While the good old boys in Grand Junction pushed him out of the Republican Party, I’d like to be the first proud Mesa County Democrat to invite him to join our ranks and run against the GOP this fall. Come on over, Jared.
Estate sale thief should make donation to Hospice
My brother, George Tracy, was a successful insurance agent in the Grand Junction and Mesa County area for many years. Our mother, Mabel Tracy, passed away in February and was under hospice care. George scheduled an estate sale at 7th and Grand Avenue for April 10-12. We all decided that anything remaining would be donated to the local HopeWest thrift store.
George had a very good sale on April 10. In the early morning of the next day, he was involved in a very bad automobile accident en route to the sale and was transported to St. Mary’s hospital. He was unable to contact anyone regarding the accident until later that morning. George told them to go pick up the items that were left and take them to hospice thrift Store. When that person arrived at 7th and Grand shortly after noon, all of the remaining estate sale items had been stolen. George even had a box of his personal things that he intended to take with him when the sale was over. He had surgeries on both legs and was hospitalized for two weeks.
So, whoever took it upon themselves to steal from us, please make a donation to the local hospice. That organization has a very special place in our family’s hearts.
CAROL TRACY BALDRIDGE
Fort Myers Beach, Florida