Printed letters, November 18, 2012

In the Nov. 10 story regarding the BLM’s adoption of a plan restricting oil shale development in the American West, federal bureaucrats and Colorado’s Democratic senators seemed to try to outdo each other in making misleading statements.

First, BLM Colorado State Director Helen Hankins said that this plan “lays a strong foundation to explore oil shale’s potential.” This plan, however, does no such thing. On the contrary, the sharp reduction in land available for potential oil shale leasing opportunities removes any foundation to explore those potentials by removing the possibility to capitalize on any research — not to mention that even much of the land available to conduct research has been taken off the table.

Incidentally, the media release was in response in part to a well–timed bone tossed to the industry by finally approving a few leases for Exxon Mobil — a cynically calculated move to try to paint the agency as being dedicated to oil shale research, despite its not-so-veiled agenda to prohibit any oil shale development.

Colorado’s senators decided to quickly weigh in with some Orwellian doublespeak of their own. Sen. Mark Udall, for example, said that he welcomed “measured steps” — then went on to praise a proposal that removes the staircase.

He came close to the truth when he said he had “concerns about the potential impacts of commercial oil shale development,” such as the threat that it would succeed and further marginalize his campaign contributors in the “renewables” industry. But he relapsed when he then said, “I look forward to seeing this technology explored further,” knowing full well this plan will preclude much further exploration. Sen. Michael Bennet echoed the same.

Once again, federal bureaucrats and Democratic senators are subordinating the best interests of western Colorado and the nation to the indefensible and purely political concerns of a handful of special interests.


Grand Junction

Citizens must join efforts 
to prevent child abuse

The recent “Failed To Death” series in The Denver Post and on 9News created an important opportunity for dialogue regarding the real issues of child protection.

It is as imperative that my department is as accountable to the community in responding to referrals of child abuse as it is the community’s responsibility to join us in addressing this issue.

The articles focused on system deficiencies and fatalities since 2007. These are issues that Mesa County Department of Human Services, other Colorado counties and the state have been aggressively addressing for the past five years to deal with the entire spectrum of child protection well before a fatality occurs.

While extremely tragic, focusing solely on fatalities misses the majority of the opportunities we have to impact child safety.

We have undergone significant, positive changes to better detect, identify and prevent further abuse and to intervene earlier child abuse or neglect are suspected. This progress is largely attributed to a team of hard-working, dedicated staff.

Despite this effort, government alone cannot keep every child safe. To further improve the challenges facing the child welfare system in our community, everyone in Mesa County and across the state should play a role in preventing our most precious and vulnerable population from being abused or neglected.

I challenge everyone to become involved when you feel that a situation is unsafe, to care for those who work for or with you and may be struggling with young children.

We ask you to join us in our efforts to reduce child abuse and neglect in our community. We welcome your input, criticism, opinions and engagement in addressing this issue in Mesa County.

For more detailed information on the changes we have made within our system, visit our website at or call 248-2703. If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call our child protection hotline at 242-1211 or call 911.

Together we can prevent child abuse and neglect.


Executive Director  

Mesa County Department
of Human Services  

Grand Junction


Petraeus scandal is evidence 
of our ‘pornified society’

Mickey Shanabarger was dead wrong in his Nov. 14 letter opining that Gen. David Petraeus was not unfaithful to the country, only to his wife.

We do not live in isolation. No general, president, athlete, priest, pastor or any of us is an island. How we live and the choices we make, personal or private and especially if we are well-known persons, highly influence others.

However, such actions of infidelity, and the constant stories of promiscuity and unfaithfulness in mass media are merely the fruit of the contaminated seeds of moral bankruptcy being constantly sown in the soil of our society through myriad forms of entertainment, fashion, music, advertising, etc.

Petraeus’ actions a “sex scandal”? The word “scandal” implies an abberation from the norm. In our pornified society, the real scandal is how our culture has come to embrace moral degeneration as ideal — and thus the norm.




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