Printed letters, November 29, 2012

In 1987, the average cost of a new car was $10,300 and the price of a gallon of gas was 98 cents. In 1987, desktop computers were just taking off (anyone remember the Radio Shack Tandy?) Cell phones were rare, and you could still find rotary-dial pay phones on street corners.

In 1987 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 1,938. In 1987, the BLM Uncompaghre Field Office published its draft resource management plan for the Uncompaghre region.

Today, 25 years later, the BLM insists on using the 1987 plan data as a basis for decision-making for a proposed lease sale of more than 29,000 acres of public lands that surround the North Fork Valley. These proposed lands for sale include rangeland and prime hunting and recreation areas adjacent to water sources, schools and private farmlands.

In 25 years the communities of the North Fork Valley have changed. The unique make-up of our communities — the farms, orchards, vineyards and wineries, recreation opportunities and hunting areas interwoven between public and private lands — is quite simply incompatible with industrial-scale development. But a 25-year-old plan doesn’t reflect that.

The BLM should get its own house in order by finishing the long overdue resource management plan revision that recognizes and protects the North Fork Valley as it exists today. The previous plan couldn’t even imagine what today’s North Fork Valley or today’s drilling technology would look like. So, why should we use this foolhardy “management” plan to lease lands for 10 years?

You wouldn’t buy a car or a computer today using 25-year-old specifications.Why should we jeopardize a unique agricultural community such as the North Fork Valley with a 25-year-old BLM plan? It is a very bad idea.

ELAINE BRETT

Hotchkiss

Local chamber supports 
responsible energy work

As the voice of business for the Western Slope, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank The Daily Sentinel for its timely editorial, “A Market-Driven Energy Revolution.”

The Western Slope has a vested interest in seeing that the energy industry continues to be developed, as energy production is an economic driver for our area. We are proud of our energy producers, who have used best practices, market-driven exploration and research and development to create new methods of extraction such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

We laud The Daily Sentinel for including the fact that the “energy boom isn’t guaranteed. Too much government interference and regulation could kill it or significantly slow it.” Especially since the U.S. government has continued to express energy independence as a critical national goal, the chamber continues to encourage long-term, responsible energy development without the over-regulation of government.

DIANE SCHWENKE

President/CEO

Grand Junction Area

Chamber of Commerce

 

 

Seniors relying on Medicare 
become second-class citizens

On The Daily Sentinel front page Nov. 25 was a pretty concise article about medical care in the Grand Valley. One high point was how the usage of emergency room visits was on the high end for the state. The reasons stated made sense and, I believe, were factual. But one reason was not addressed.

I moved to the Grand Valley a little over a year ago. I have enjoyed just about everything the Grand Valley has to offer, with the exception of health care provider access.

I tried for more than a month to get a physician’s service to accept me into its practice. The reason for the denials was that Medicare insures me. A majority of the practices I contacted were not accepting Medicare patients. The fact that I had very good supplemental insurance did not matter.

As a retired Marine, up until I was 65 I was covered by Tricare. Once I turned 65, I was required to go to Medicare as my primary, with Tricare as my supplemental. I never felt that was a bad thing, until I got here.

I now understand why a lot of seniors are confused and have the opinion that they are no longer good enough. I bet a lot of those who are going to the ER are there because they have no primary care, but are well-covered. The other options for care are fine, but they lack the comfort of a primary care physician.

When the greedy, primary care services here start to treat those of us on Medicare fairly, you will see the number of needless ER visits drop.

ROBERT McCULLEY

Grand Junction

 

Cable firms are unfair 
to their loyal customers

I can’t understand why the cable companies constantly offer fabulous deals to new customers and never offer long-term, loyal customers an occasional incentive to keep subscribing. Instead, the prices keep inching up.

This is not only the local companies, but has happened everywhere I have had cable service. It is very poor business practice, in my estimation.

SHIRLEY GREEN

Grand Junction



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