Printed letters, November 12, 2013

Now that the recent election has concluded, the votes have been counted and the feelings of both county and state voters are known, lots of folks have at least one cause for reflection.

On Sept. 18, The Daily Sentinel editorialized its support for Amendment 66, stating initially, “There are a multitude of reasons to support Amendment 66.” We now know of its resounding defeat.

As a career-long Colorado educator (now retired), I voted against the amendment for a multitude of reasons. This is not an “I told you so” effort — not at all. Any thoughtful voter always asks, “Who is behind such an effort?” One didn’t have to look far.

As it turned out, our governor supported it, but of all things, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg poured $1.3 million of his own money to support it. Now, why would he do such a thing? What were/are his motivations?

The Daily Sentinel did an excellent job of revealing Ed McVaney’s motivations. I do sincerely hope we learn those of Bloomberg. Perhaps the Sentinel can help.


Grand Junction

Outsiders’ perception of valley 
is not all peaches and cream

What might come to mind when you mention Grand Junction to a big city dweller? Peaches. Recreation. Good wine. So-so public schools. Unbreathable air in the winter. Hotbed of tea party conservatives. That is the image of our valley in the eyes of many outsiders.

You have to admit that some of the attitudes here are a bit isolationist. Many want our town to stay small. If it got too big, too many “foreigners” would move in with newfangled attitudes and that would just ruin everything. Our local politics would shift to the left. The established power structure would change, and those who are now “in” would be “out.” That’s a big threat to some in our valley.

Poor (so-so) public schools reflect the view that “we don’t need no educating.” Learning just makes you question authority and start believing in things like evolution, global warming and alternative energy. The Taliban don’t like education either.

Poor air quality lets everybody know we don’t like regulations that might force us to burn wood cleanly, or quit burning our fields or even have our vehicles inspected. It reflects a no-regulation attitude of “I have a God-given right to burn whatever I want, when I want to, and as inefficiently as I want, regardless of what harm it does to you.” Maybe that is not the best basis for a large, thriving, robust and attractive community.

So, put it out there: “Come to Grand Junction, home of some really conservative, small-government, no-regulation values, with some of the worst air you’ll see this side of Beijing in the winter, with mediocre schools, but we got some really good wine, food and recreation.”

Not a good idea? Well, maybe we should change a few things around here.




Scott Gessler should 
now pick up the tab

I assume the expenses caused by Scott Gessler’s election witch hunt will be deducted from his paycheck.


Grand Junction


PERA team prudently 
manages state pensions

I am a retired public employee. I invested six years to earn two college degrees because advanced education was necessary for me to do my job. I saved 16 percent of my meager salary for 30-plus years, and the investment team at Colorado PERA successfully managed my retirement money and the retirement money of many other Colorado public employees.

Now, public employees and our retirement programs are being attacked by investment firms, banks, so-called think tanks and politicians nationwide.

I am told public employees are a burden to the taxpayer (as if I am not a taxpayer myself) and our retirement plans are the cause of the country’s economic hardships. From my perspective, I was in a never-ending struggle to do my job, while at the same time managing numerous fundraisers for the programs I was being asked to lead.

Teachers, corrections officers, state troopers and other public employees are being told that we need to change our successful plans to plans with individual retirement accounts. Don’t be fooled into believing that this approach saves taxpayers money. It does not. For more than 80 years, the not-for-profit PERA investment team in Denver has prudently invested for the retirements of one-half million Coloradans.

PERA is one of Colorado’s best investments, returning Colorado dollars to the Colorado economy many times over. PERA retirement payments ultimately support local businesses, generate tax dollars and ensure that Colorado’s public employees are secure in retirement and able to avoid burdening our already strained social safety net.

I would like to see the day when all Coloradans have an opportunity to invest in a plan like PERA.




Colorado should gear up 
car culture on Sundays

Isn’t it about time for Colorado to grow up and allow dealers to sell cars on Sunday and citizens to make appointments at the Department of Motor Vehicles?


Grand Junction


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Well done Mr.Phillips.  Why should we support the future taxpayers’ education of our valley? We want to attract ONLY retired wealthy that believe they got that way with no one else’s help. Make the public poor transported now by bus, walk…hey Chazen?
Why should we care about the ability of someone else’s kid or poor grandparent to breathe clean fresh air? They got sick because they are poor….the proverbial “other side of the railroad tracks” attitude…. let ‘um walk miles in the cold…..hey Chazen? 
What is wrong with this country? Well its not a Half-black/Half-white President. 
It is propaganda that too many people watch on TV and listen to on radio.  It is the spiraling trend of the wealthy people and corporations, that have no loyalty to what is best for the WHOLE country or a multi-generational future. They are not responsible to pay, or feed or educate for the future. No expectations on them for their countrymen….they are too wealthy to be touched by such.  Taxpayers, wake up, taxpayers are allowing the rich and corporations to tell taxpayers they don’t deserve to dream anymore.  After all, the taxpayer is only a dumb, uneducated, propaganda-filled mule not able to make informed decisions except to pay into the system that coddles and caters to the rich and corporations. We now have a “royal” class of rich and corporate executives.  Taxpayers don’t get to have a living wage. Taxpayers only get enough to hope for “just a little more” as my 87 year old aunt said as her food stamps are decreased by $47 a month.  At $15/hour that is $31,200/ year.  Is that a living wage for a family? Emphatically NO!  But taxpayers can walk…hey Chazen?

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