Printed Letters: May 8, 2014

Western Slope native behind exhibit words
I wrote the title “Water Comes from the Western Slope (With a Grudge)” pictured in the May 4 issue with the story “Regional officials see fresh volley in war over water.”

This title is on a text panel that is part of an educational water-diversion interactive in Living West, an exhibit at the History Colorado Center that explores the relationship between Coloradans and their environment.

One of Living West’s themes is water — where it comes from, how Coloradans use it, and how we can better manage it for Colorado’s future. Called “Water through the Mountains,” the interactive is designed to show visitors how water diversions affect the Western Slope and the entire Colorado River basin. Visitors divert water from west to east using a simplified model of a water-diversion project. What they discover is that people in the east can only get water at the expense of the west. Our educators report that this interactive helps visitors and school children understand equity issues involved in water distribution. The interactive also points out, through maps and text, that the Colorado River supplies water to people downstream of Colorado.

I am a fourth-generation native of the Western Slope, from Grand Junction. I understand how important water is. I used the term “grudge” in the title not to trivialize the issue, but rather to acknowledge how intensely western Coloradans feel about water diversions. 

As visitors learn that, once diverted, water cannot go back from the east to the west, they have an opportunity to leave comments about water issues on a nearby bulletin board. The questions posed in The Daily Sentinel’s recent editorial provide us with excellent content for this bulletin board.

Denver Water sponsored Living West, along with the Gates Family Foundation. However, neither organization had input on the exhibit’s content. We did consult with scientists and historians from around the state on the exhibit’s content.

B. Erin Cole
Assistant State Historian
History Colorado

Extensive health services 
are readily available in valley
On April 29 The Daily Sentinel reported representatives from Community Hospital stated there were many health-care services – high-risk obstetrics, neonatology, cancer care, advanced cardiovascular care, neuroscience and trauma – frequently unavailable in communities such as Grand Junction.

This may be true elsewhere, but it is not true in Grand Junction, and the implication does a disservice to our community and the dedicated individuals who deliver exceptional care every day. The reality is that these services have been available in Grand Junction, some for decades.

St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Center has provided oncology care since the early 1940s. By investing in cancer-care physicians and staff, we have reduced the need to go to Denver or an out-of-state cancer center at a time when patients value their family’s and friends’ support. Without leaving Grand Junction, St. Mary’s patients may also be candidates for national clinical trials testing cancer treatments, which are promising treatments not yet available at other cancer centers.

St. Mary’s has a comprehensive heart and vascular program with three cardiovascular surgeons. St. Mary’s cardiac cath labs, opened in 1986, are still the only ones in Mesa County. We can provide our patients both minimally invasive and open-heart surgery.

St. Mary’s neonatal intensive care unit works with our pediatric specialty clinic to care for babies born early or with complex medical needs. The NICU has been caring for our smallest, most vulnerable patients for more than 20 years. St. Mary’s maternal-fetal medicine clinic, opened in 2008, cares for moms and babies in complicated and high-risk pregnancies.

Our stroke-trained and fellowship-trained movement disorder neurologists complement the brain and spine services provided by our staff neurosurgeons. And we are the only certified primary stroke center in the region. As the only Level II trauma center between Denver and Salt Lake City, St. Mary’s has trauma and specialty surgeons available around the clock to provide the region’s highest level of care for trauma victims.

The best health care is received in collaboration — the patient, primary caregiver and specialist working together. It is provided locally, close to support of family and friends.

We congratulate Community Hospital in its new venture; however, St. Mary’s philosophy has been to serve the needs of the region by investing in the personnel and technology that keep health care local and personal.

Vice President, St. Mary’s Medical Group
Grand Junction

Democrats in nation’s history responsible for acts of racism
Bill Hugenberg must be working from his own sense of guilt when it comes to racism. Conservatives and Republicans have long been the champions of freedom.

Hugenberg needs a quick review of history.

Democrats led the South out of the union over the election of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. Democrats manned the trenches and fought with the Confederacy to keep African-Americans slaves. After the war, Democrats in the South formed the Ku Klux Klan. Democrats in the South created the Jim Crow Laws and took away the freedom that thousands of dead Union soldiers had won for Southern slaves. Republicans were not elected in the South for 100 years.

Then there were Democrats like George Wallace and Robert Byrd, who fought the Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s. President Johnson would have never succeeded without Republican support to pass landmark civil rights legislation.

Fast forward to today. Donald Sterling is not just a racist. He is a died-in-the-wool Democrat who gave millions of dollars to the Pelosi and Obama campaigns. He was in line to win his second award from the NAACP for his service to the African-American community, when the reality came to light.

The local tea party members are racists? Did the Sentinel editorial board not read the article by Duffy Hayes? Last weekend’s tea party rally at Lincoln Park featured Derrick Wilburn, head of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives and American Conservatives of Color. Rallies in past years have featured Ryan Frazier, a prominent Denver-area conservative (also African-American) and Niger Innes, a prominent African-American who works with Herman Cain and is a Fox News contributor.

Hugenberg and Democrats can no longer defend the lies being perpetuated by the current administration and so turn to the tried-and-true tactic of obfuscation by spouting more lies. Shame on Hugenberg for writing a letter packed with untruths; shame on the Sentinel editorial board for giving it unwarranted publicity.



Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
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As Kevin McCarney properly reminds us (“Democrats in nation’s history responsible for acts of racism”), there has been plenty of racism and nativism in our nation’s history to go around.  Democrats were once the most virulent racists – while the “Party of Lincoln” had much to be proud of.

But that was then, and now is now. 

Since Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, the parties’ post-Civil War attitudes regarding minorities have gradually reversed.  Today, the Republican Party attracts unrepentant racists and nativists who may have once affiliated with the Democratic Party, while the targets of racism and anti-immigrant nativism mostly vote Democratic.  Those intended victims of Republicans’ anti-democratic voter suppression policies know full-well who the real racists are today.

Just this week, Florida’s former Republican Governor Charlie Crist (now a Democrat) affirmed that racism drove him from the GOP.  “I was a Republican, and I saw the activists and what they were doing; it was intolerable to me.”

Crist also aptly noted that Republicans are “perceived now as being anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, anti-environment”.  Meanwhile, I referred only to “like-minded local Tea Partiers” – not necessarily all of them.

Thus, while it is reassuring to learn that the local “Tea Party” is not organizationally racist, McCarney – by refusing to recognize the obvious – remains in a willful state of denial, and/or is apparently unfamiliar with the racist content of on-line anti-Obama comments and/or conveniently blind to the signage often seen at “Tea Party” events. 

Nevertheless, an overlay of maps depicting opposition to “ObamaCare”, support for voter suppression, average education levels, rural poverty, the “Old South”, and Republican-controlled “red states” suggests that President Obama’s elections re-ignited latent racism.

As Bob Dylan wrote in 1965, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”.  So, Kevin, if the shoe fits, wear it.

Mr. Hugenberg,
It is great to see you understand that the local Tea Parties in this town are not racist. However, your race baiting and stirring the pot about race is what progressives do to foment hatred toward their intended targets. Nice.

There are people that hate racially; they are present in every endeavor, including the Democratic Party. It doesn’t stop with one race or another; it’s about the color that they aren’t. Even our President has had his moments, accusing police officer James Crowley of racist motivation by asking for ID from a black man.
His portrayal of Zimmerman, and his judgment of guilty, even after the verdict;
To believe that racism in the Democratic Party has left, in nonsense, just open your eyes, let your ears hear the comments, let your intellect decide the real truth. Racism is never gone, it is just hidden. Blacks are disliked by some, but some blacks are also racists. Don’t you understand that? The thing in your argument and in most arguments like yours is that you only include the people YOU don’t like in your stunning revelations. Does that include the blacks in the Tea Party? Are YOU racist sir?

It is important for you to understand, the Tea Party cannot control the mindset of everyone, indeed, the Democratic Party cannot control the racism inside their party either. For you to say the majority of people in the Tea Party movement are racist is nonsense. The criticism of our President is deemed racist by those who can’t see the lies he has told, the cover-ups he has done without playing the race card. It is the easy way to explain every situation.
For you to say that the Tea Party movement is racist is not just wrong, it is an outright lie. Our President is a mixture of races, if he were also a woman; I suppose any criticism would also then be sexist. Geesh, quit spinning Bill, your making my hat go crazy.


Thanks for joining the discussion once again.

However, your predictable response is typical of those who accuse others of “race baiting” when called out and confronted with evidence of their own associates’ prejudices.

Perhaps I didn’t make myself perfectly clear:  not all Tea Partiers are racists; not all Democrats are immune from such prejudice.

However, the intended targets of racism have been voting with their feet and the apparent confluence of Republican governance and anti-minority racist policies (whether racist or nativist) is increasingly well-documented.

Thus, merely stating the obvious in response to the Sentinel’s equivocating editorial is not “race baiting”.  “Stirring” an already simmering “pot” can actually have a cooling effect by encouraging honest discussion.

Likewise, contrary to your misrepresentation of what I wrote, I did not “say that the Tea Party movement is [entirely] racist”—only that some “like-minded” Tea Partiers were.

On the other hand, you cannot deny that the Tea Party has obviously attracted adherents of that ilk—or you are being willfully oblivious to some of their reactions to President Obama’s election and reelection.

Meanwhile, I’m both pleased and gratified to learn that my letters are “making your hat go crazy”.  That is a symptom of the “cognitive dissonance” my fact-based “spinning” is fully intended to incite in fact-free bubbleheads.


Thanks for your furthering my suspicions about the name calling you are so use to doing in this paper. So, now I am a “bubblehead”, I gues it’s better than trying to get people to believe things by spinning the truth into such contortions that it is hard to tell north from south, (no pun intended from the original premise of the message from McCarney). Your implication that the Tea Party is filled with racists is hard to deny, yet you seem intent on distorting your own words to persuade others that your spin is correct, but, alas it is not. Keep spinning Bill, your President needs help!


Once again, you seem inclined to deliberately distort and misrepresent what I wrote.  Thus:

First, I didn’t call you a “bubblehead”, but fact-free bubbleheads do abound and are the usual responders (albeit totally devoid of any factual content)to my fact-based letters.

On the other hand, if you take offense at being associated with those folks, then all I can say is:  if the shoe fits, just wear it.

Second, if you are insisting that neither the Tea Party movement nor Republican policies are entirely free of racist taint and/or intent, then you are indeed a “bubblehead”.

Keep that hat spinning—it seems to be good for you!!


You seem to be skipping lines when I write things, slow down and read the words. Stop drinking the kool aid and try a nice cup of tea. It may bring you back to your senses and slow your metabolism down to a reasonable level. Re read what I wrote. If you would stop spinning, my hat would stop revolving, I’m sure.

Bill: Dude… Donald Sterling was only three weeks ago, even though the evidence of racism goes further back. Seems the Dems turn a blind eye when there’s millions involved.

Robert Byrd served in the Senate until 2010. Give me a break with your insistence of the Republicans being racist. I you look at the list of Race Baiters, and people furthering the racial divide in this Country, they are almost all Democrats.

The post Civil War attitude of the Democrats has never changed.
Divide the Country by Race by insisting that the Minority population can only get ahead with help from the Government.

Conservatives believe that everyone has the potential for success. All they need is the motivation and hard work to achieve it.  We believe in the hand up, the inspiration and mentoring necessary for success. You believe in the hand out and enslavement to the Government.

Donald Sterling was the subject of the Sentinel’s editorial.  I addressed a broader phenomenon – suggesting that Supreme Court rulings have given license to the racists among us (regardless of party label – but mostly Tea Party rabble).

Your historical references notwithstanding, the evidence is rapidly accumulating that the Republicans and their Tea Party brethren have become the racist Southern Democrats of yesteryear.  Charlie Crists’ observations capture the true reality of the present moment.

“Conservatives” only say they “believe that everyone has the potential for success”, but their actions speak louder than their rhetoric – enacting policies that favor only some, rather than promote the common good.  “Conservative” still say they are fiscally responsible, but Republican policies account for the bulk of our National Debt – and consider the financial downgrades of New Jersey, Kansas, and maybe Missouri.

Democrats believe that “everyone has the potential for success”, but occasionally need help from government – including equal protections under the law, unemployment insurance, a minimum living wage, and a robust economy.  “Conservatives” say they favor a robust economy, but oppose every proven fiscal policy known to promote it.

“Conservatives’ insist that “all they [minorities] need is the motivation and hard work to achieve it”, but then pursue policies that demotivate those at the margin and destroy jobs.  In fact, “conservatives” respond to racism, rape, poverty, and unemployment the same way – blame it on the victim.

Contemporary “conservative” policies prove that your tired mantra is a fraud.  “They [individuals and/or individual private sector enterprises] didn’t build that” [the highways, bridges, airports, and the internet] upon which their success depends.  Government did – which is precisely what the Preamble to our collectivist Constitution anticipated.

What “conservatives” really seek to “conserve” is naked political power.  What they do with that power is to redistribute even more wealth to those who don’t need it and away from those who do.  “Conservatives” subsidize “welfare cowboys”, millionaire farmers, and the oil & gas industry – none of whom need it..

While you say you “believe in the hand up”, your ilk opposes any programs that cost money to reach out that hand to minorities.  While you say you “believe in the inspiration and mentoring necessary for success”, your ilk opposes any programs that would deliver job training to urban areas (where minorities live).

“Conservatives” claim to be concerned about “poverty”, but oppose the very programs that have proven most effective at alleviating it – branding them as “handouts”.

To claim that I believe in “enslavement to the government” merely proves that you are a slave to a false ideology that continues to harm this country more than any enemy could.

Mr. Hugenberg,
I really want to thank you for your comment, it is now a matter of public record.

You say, “Conservatives” only say they “believe that everyone has the potential for success”, but their actions speak louder than their rhetoric –.”

Please, success is the very basis for our fantastic performance as a world leader, it is the American way of life. It is the very reason we have an immigration problem. If you work hard, harder, smarter, longer than others, you will succeed, whether it is in your own business or as an employee.

You say, “Democrats believe that “everyone has the potential for success”, but occasionally need help from government – including equal protections under the law, unemployment insurance, a minimum living wage, and a robust economy”

That may be a fact of life that everyone needs a hand up, but Mr. Hugenberg, when the hand up goes on for a lifetime, it isn’t a hand up, it’s a handout.

You say, ““Conservatives’ insist that “all they [minorities] need is the motivation and hard work to achieve it”, but then pursue policies that demotivate those at the margin and destroy jobs. In fact,
“conservatives” respond to racism, rape, poverty, and unemployment th same way – blame it on the victim.”

It wasn’t the Conservatives in Denver and Washington that blamed rape victims, it was the Democrats. They not only blamed them, they shamed them. If you don’t remember, I’ll find and forward the links.

Your interpretation and spin on what obama said about “You didn’t build that” is quite a spin, of course they built it. Do you think that people that are being paid from taxes alone built it? What if there were no funding from private sources to pay taxes, then who would build it? It is the private sector that built everything we enjoy.

You say, “What “conservatives” really seek to “conserve” is naked political power”. etc.”. The truth is, that true conservatives disdain the wealth derived from any and all political maneuvering, they truly believe in wealth derived from hard work, invention, sacrifice and a duty to mankind with a large dose of the 10 commandments and the Golden Rule.

You say, “you “believe in the hand up”, your ilk opposes any
programs that cost money to reach out that hand to minorities.”

True Conservatives believe in helping minorities to achieve beyond their wildest dreams, they are willing to provide assistance to do just that, but, NOT FOREVER.

Part one. please continue with part two due to limit on words.

Part two, blame it on the word limit and Hugenberg’s unlimited spiel.

You sir, have called me and my friends, my Tea Party affiliations, names that are unacceptable, your entire spiel is one to divide, diminish and cast dispersions on anything YOU oppose. I sir, am not a “bubblehead”, I am not a “racist”. Yet you prefer to continue to call me and my affiliates those names without proper proof.


I object to your accusations, and I call on you to withhold calling me and my friends such names.

I will in the future, post a link to these comments rather than argue with you again. You are a divider, a political antagonist, and would rather split America for your political gain, than try to unite us for the future that your president has set the stage for. You are not interested in arguing the points, you are intent on seperationism, antagonism, and upheaval of our Republic.

Now I truly know who you are.

I think this video on this site says it all.
The debate is over.

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