Printed letters, May 24

I am so sick and tired of the repeated claim by the secretary of state, the attorney general and the president that they were not aware of decisions being made in their departments or administration. Fast and Furious, Benghazi, AP investigation, IRS audits, and on and on, ad nauseum.

They are, according to the people in charge, bad decisions by low-level employees. Seriously?

These are not decisions on whether the office should have a “casual Friday” or how long breaks should be. These are major decisions that affect lives and policy. The next time a response to why a decision was made is “I don’t know” the follow-up questions should be, “Why don’t you? Is the department not under your direction? Why are major decisions being made in your department without your knowledge? If you don’t have control over your department, then why are you in charge?”

Now the attorney general is playing some kind of Clinton “it depends on what is, is” response by declaring that he had recused himself from the Associated Press fiasco? Unbelievable! This is a major investigation that he himself said had the highest national security implication he has ever seen and he has the cajones to say that he had nothing to do with the investigation?

What exactly is he responsible for? Apparently, as little as the secretary of state and the president.

GLENN MENARD

Grand Junction

Sentinel’s headlines indicate 
paper’s political preference

The Daily Sentinel is the only major newspaper on the Western Slope, so it is very important that news articles published are impartial enough to give its readers two sides of an issue. It “ain’t necessarily so,” as the old saying goes.

It’s no secret The Daily Sentinel is a conservative publication and favors the Republican Party. I will admit some favorable articles about the Democrats, aka liberals, aka President Obama, do get published, but the majority of the time articles are placed in the back of the paper, sandwiched between advertisements with very small headlines. This is the way The Daily Sentinel keeps positive news coming from the White House very hard to find by readers. For an example, see the article headlined “Health centers get $150 million to help uninsured,” which was on the bottom of page 6A Friday, May 10.

On the other hand, any news by the GOP that criticizes the Obama administration has large bold headlines and are placed in the front section of the newspaper, guaranteeing they will be seen. See the front page on Thursday, May 16, and three articles on page 5A directly across from the editorial section. This is not impartial news reporting: it’s sneaky reporting.

It’s a good thing readers today have access to other news media for the “big picture.” If The Daily Sentinel were their only news source, they would be stuck with only the conservative way of thinking, and that’s not impartial.

JUDITH CHAPIN

Fruita

 

Plant flowers, lay off pesticides 
to build honeybee population

Many news stories this spring have concerned honeybee losses. Commercial losses for the 2012-2013 winter are expected to be 40 to 50 percent. This is a global problem that affects Colorado.

Beekeepers have to make up these losses through extra management, expense and time. Imagine what the impact would be if 40 percent of the livestock industry was lost in a year.

The Western Colorado Beekeepers Association encourages every citizen to help the honeybees and other important pollinators by doing some simple things.

1. Plant more flowers. Bees and other pollinators love flower and flowers bees! Each is integral to the success of the other. Around here, most of the flowers that bees love are also drought tolerant, which is a bonus. Consult your local nursery or garden center for advice on seeds and plants.

2. Use pesticides sparingly and carefully. Bees fly up to three or four miles from their hive and, as a result, are exposed to lots of these products. It is a contributing factor in these staggering losses. Put away those pesticides and, while you are at the nursery, talk to them about bee-friendly practices and products for your lawn and garden.

3. Swarm season is here! Swarms are extremely important to Colorado’s beekeeping community as they represent “survival stock” — the bees that have survived a Colorado winter. Swarms are quite gentle but can be quite disconcerting due to the sheer number of bees within them (on average, about 10,000). Do not hurt a swarm. Call the Tri-River Extension agency to report a swarm and have a beekeeper come and retrieve it.

4. If you can’t keep bees yourself, encourage others to do so and encourage municipalities to enact bee-friendly regulations. Part-time beekeepers and hobbyists tend to maintain their colonies in a more natural way and often have better survival rates than the commercial growers.

Thank you for your help. Encourage your neighbors and friends to participate, too. Together, we can improve the health of bees and pollinators in our own communities.

GARY MCCALLISTER, President

Western Colorado

Beekeepers Association

Grand Junction



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While Glenn Menard is not alone in bemoaning the unsurprising fact that government bureaucracies often prevent public officials charged with overall responsibility from anticipating and proactively responding to “crises” based on timely and accurate information (“Leaders don’t plead ignorance of decisions”, May 24, 2013), Menard’s lame lament betrays his own irresponsible ignorance of relevant details.

Thus, the “Fast and Furious” fiasco began during the Bush Administration, but Bush’s outgoing and fully-informed Attorney General did not brief Eric Holder about it.  Thus, President Obama and his AG remained unaware of the DEA’s failed operation until previously seized weapons turned up at a Border Patrolman’s murder scene.

As to “Benghazi”, both the President and Secretary Clinton necessarily relied on the best intelligence then available – which was more accurately refined over time.  We now know that Ambassador Stevens twice declined security support from our military, that his contract security detail was lounging around away from their automatic weapons when the attack began, and that – even though Secretary Clinton was apprised while the attack was still in progress – it was already too late for anyone to do anything about it.

As to the “AP investigation”, since Watergate, the President is legally prohibited from any involvement in on-going DOJ/FBI criminal investigations.  Because AG Holder was privy to the leaked classified intelligence and thus was interviewed by the FBI as a potential “suspect”, he properly recused himself from the AP matter.  Had the President been “informed” or Holder remained “involved”, inquisitors of Menard’s ilk would be asking “what did they know, and when did they know it” – implying political influence.

This predictable outcome is confirmed by the “IRS audit” matter, wherein underlings in Cincinnati haplessly created a political firestorm that is now exposing widespread abuse of tax-exempt status by – particularly – “conservative” groups seeking to conceal their donors’ identities.

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