Printed Letters: May 9, 2017

Gardner, vote to retain BLM methane rule

After a 25-year absence, I’ve returned to Grand Junction to hike, bike, and play again in a place I love. Instead, I find myself on the living room sofa weak and sucking supplemental oxygen all too often when our air quality is poor.

My heart aches for the currently healthy babies and growing children slowly becoming sensitized by toxic air. I think of the loving parents trying to do everything in their power to raise healthy kids — thinking the air looks good when invisible molecules permeate their playgrounds, backyards and bedrooms.

Thank you to The Daily Sentinel for a fine op-ed and to the letters written by many people concerned about the impending vote in the Senate, and Cory Gardner’s key role in maintaining the current BLM methane rule. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that to vote against this bill will make people sick.

Sen. Gardner, this is a no-brainer. Support the large contingency of Colorado voters who want to breathe clean air. As a bonus, put more money back into the public system that is currently being lost through wasteful flaring of methane. Vote to retain the current rule. Our health depends on it.

BARBARA LEE
Grand Junction

Tipton’s loyalty lies with his party, not people of Colorado

Rep. Tipton put his party before the healthcare security of Coloradans with his vote to repeal the ACA (Obamacare). He decided to gut the protections the ACA guarantees people with pre-existing conditions, and that means these people are at risk to lose their health-care coverage. The Republicans’ assertions that their underfunded “high risk pools” will protect anyone with a pre-existing condition is an empty promise. Colorado tried these pools a decade ago but it was a dismal failure. It would take more than $30 billion a year to cover everyone who qualifies, but the Republicans are only offering a small fraction of the true costs. This means many people who have medical needs could be left out in the cold.

What the Republicans have neglected to say is this is not really a health-care bill at all; it’s actually a tax cut in disguise to give billions of dollars to the rich at the expense of hard-working Americans. We deserve better than this; we deserve to have health-care protections against going bankrupt if we get sick. We deserve to have the peace of mind that we can get health insurance even if we’ve had an illness, but that seems unimportant to Rep. Tipton.

Rep. Tipton felt it was more important to go along with this political stunt to give President Trump a legislative win than to protect our health care, all on the backs of Colorado citizens. The only possible hope is this bill has little to no chance to pass the Senate. Perhaps Colorado voters will remember where Rep. Tipton’s loyalty truly lies in 2018. It certainly isn’t with the people of Colorado.

WILLIAM T. WILLIAMS
Hesperus

Sentinel shouldn’t 
sensationalize incidents

Echoing the sentiment of a previous letter to the editor, I too am concerned that the Sentinel has a tendency to sensationalize disturbing incidents occurring in our community. The May 2 article on the top of page 2 of the Sentinel headlined in big bold print “Woman accused of kicking, biting officers” is an example that should have been confined to the police blotter section.

Presenting the “news” story in this manner incidentally smeared the reputation of a young woman who obviously needed help and perhaps unintentionally incited further fear and loathing of an already stigmatized sector of the population.

The article cites several apparent mental health red flags presented by the woman, indicting she was suffering a psychotic breakdown. Whether an incident is drug-induced or a result of a mental illness, there is often a reciprocal relationship between the two.

Criminalizing afflicted persons in lieu of treatment is a muddied response, yet apparently local courts are constricted under the law to few options. Other communities in the nation are implementing innovative strategies proving cost-effective results that serve the best interests of the individual, police officers and benefit society. In Grand Junction we too should be inspired to a new approach.

I, for one, appreciate that the Sentinel has become a more politically balanced paper of late. I also recognize the abundance of do good/ feel good stories generated. Yet it is the challenge of editors and journalist to discipline themselves not to sensationalize cases of inappropriate behavior as breaking headline news of egregious criminal acts. A balanced article with something that brings to light the deeper and broader issues beneath the surface which might provoke discussion of ways to improve understanding and renovate outdated practices might serve the community better while improving our image to readers.

PATRICIA JUSTICE
Grand Junction


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