Printed Letters: November 6, 2016

We need to respect our fellow citizens

My neighbors and I get along pretty darn well. Several are Democrats; several are Republicans. We don’t mud sling, argue, or bicker like the two candidates for president. We strive to live in harmony and we cooperate in a neighborly fashion to make this happen no matter what our political affiliation.

I am a documentary cameraman by trade, and was hired to shoot a video at the recent Trump rally in Grand Junction. Not being a Trump fan, I was worried about covering the rally. Would I be seen as the liberal media? Would I be greeted with fire and brimstone? I was warned to be careful stepping into the lion’s den. The divisive chatter on the internet and from friends paints a picture of ignorant, uneducated, and angry…deplorables.

What I found was families. Young children lifted up onto the shoulders of their parents joyfully waving an American flag. Octogenarians. Grandmothers. Grandfathers. All were there to support a candidate they feel will restore prosperity to this United States of America. I was treated with respect. I was even told I had nice hair by an older woman. Looking around, I saw my neighbors. Not from my subdivision, but from all over the Grand Valley — neighbors who love this valley, love this state of Colorado and love their country. Although my choice for president is not theirs, I respect them and their choice. They are not deplorable. They are my neighbors and your neighbors.

Remember who we are. As citizens of this great country we need to respect each other and stand together no matter what our differences. That’s a sour pill to swallow, especially during this election that has been so unpleasant. When the voting is over, no matter who is our new POTUS, it is we the people who make this country great again, by being good neighbors.


Vote for the candidates who 
support clean-energy economy

I am writing on behalf of The American Renewable Energy Institute and that of the AREI Board to express our endorsement and full support of national, state and local candidates and initiatives that are proactive on climate change solutions and have strong platforms and implementation strategies for the transition from fossil to clean energy in addressing the climate crisis. It is our opinion and that of the world’s leading scientific community that the window is rapidly shrinking to make the transition from a world-wide economy based on the extraction and burning of fossil fuels to a world-wide economy based on the rapid implementation of renewable, sustainable and energy efficient technologies at the speed and scale necessary to solve the problem.

We now know that renewable energy, along with utility scale battery storage, can provide the base load necessary to serve civilization’s needs for all of its electrical generating capacity. Coupled with the rapid decrease in the price of solar and wind technologies, along with the emerging electric vehicle market and the retrofit of the built environment, we now have the opportunity to move into a new energy efficient and sustainable world.

Therefore, I urge you, when going to the polls on Nov. 8 or when you mail in your ballot, that you vote for all candidates and initiatives that support a new, clean-energy economy for the sake of our children and all future generations to come.


Tipton seems like the obvious choice for Congress

The Schwartz campaign has decided to stick with their same old attack ad that has been proven false time and time again. Her campaign put out a cartoon this time, colorfully illustrating Tipton “selling off our public lands.” Her campaign knows that these attacks are not true so they resort to cartoons and colorful illustrations to detract from the lies they are pushing.

I could list all of the articles that have now de-bunked this claim, but that would take up a whole letter. Even in The Daily Sentinel, their endorsement of Schwartz stated, “There’s no evidence to support Schwartz’s TV ads that he wants to sell off public lands.” These types of baseless attack ads are exactly what is wrong with politics in this country. Tipton’s ads accuse Gail Schwartz of killing coal jobs. The Denver Post rated that claim “mostly true.”

So while Scott Tipton is not responsible for selling off public lands, Gail Schwartz is in fact responsible for the loss of jobs in our district. Scott Tipton seems to me like the obvious choice for Congress.


Consideration must be given to quality of roundabout

Weighing in on the question of installing a roundabout at the intersection of the Redlands Parkway and Highway 340, consideration must be given to the quality, efficiency and aesthetics of the roundabout. My thinking is that if the roundabout is designed to standards that exceed the minimum traffic standards in use today and is of such quality as to be a thing of pride, then I favor a roundabout at that location.

What this means is that the design must be large enough to incorporate a landscaped center with a sculpture of high quality in the middle. Something similar to what was done at Interstate 70 exit 31 with the beautiful horse sculptures.

If done properly, it could be a beautiful entrance to the Redlands and in which case I would be highly in favor of it.

Grand Junction

Traffic flow on 1st Street should take precedence

Regarding the city of Grand Junction’s decision to finally purchase the Mesa Pawn Shop property, I’ve said it before and I will say again: The most important project for that parcel of land is to realign the death curve where 1st Street becomes Pitkin and Ute Avenues. And while they are at it, they need to remove that eyesore of a K-Rail wall right there, demolish the current barely used and ugly blighted Amtrak station, and refurbish the existing historic station as they should have years ago into a jewel the city can be proud of. That whole corner is a blighted eyesore.

As for the arena/convention center that the city wants to build, there is still plenty of room at that location to do both projects. There is plenty of vacant land all around there. There is a large dirt lot immediately to the east. Or there is the City Market overflow lot that they never ever use just to the north, or the adjacent unused Well Fargo drive through just across from Mesa Pawn. Or, maybe if they really want this thing, then they should partner with Colorado Mesa University to build one elsewhere, perhaps on all of that land the school is purchasing along 7th Street or the huge property at the corner of Business 70 and 28 Road.

But whether they ever decide to actually build this monstrosity or not, the death curve needs to take precedence. 1st Street, Ute, and Pitkin are part of the Business 70 corridor and traffic flow through that area is much more important than a new arena. That’s new two cents for what it’s worth.


Doody plans to raise taxes, bring marijuana sales

The Sentinel’s endorsement of Jim Doody was based on the fact that he has a serious plan to spare the county budget cuts. His plan is to pull the county out of TABOR and bring marijuana sales to Mesa County. I’m not sure if it was The Sentinel’s plan to help or hurt Jim Doody. But any person who can’t cut a budget, and who wants to raise taxes and bring marijuana to the Grand Valley to spare the pain of cutting budgets, is more aptly a candidate for county commissioner in Boulder.

I’m voting for John Justman — a conservative and a leader.


Closing of Life Center a cold, calculated financial decision

The closing of the Life Center is sad for those of us who have benefited from it over the years. But what is even sadder is St. Mary’s attempt to defend the closing with an indefensible story. It could possibly be true that to maintain the pool is an immense expense. However, closing the cardiac rehab and general gym because the building has not been properly maintained does not have a ring of truth to it. I question how a building that has been deemed as unfit for use can continue to conduct physical rehab classes a few feet from the general gym. I am also curious how the second floor of this dangerous facility can maintain all of the speech therapy classes.

We were told that when the Life Center began it filled a need that was not provided for anywhere in the community. Now, however, pools, general gyms for seniors, and cardiac rehabs abound in our town, or so we are told. Well, guess what, so do physical rehabs and speech therapy classes. The only difference I can find is that the pool and gym and paid for by members and the physical therapy and rehab are paid for by insurance companies.

This speaks to St. Mary’s desire to feed its bottom line. There is nothing wrong with that in a profit-driven society, but please don’t say that this decision was done with compassion and tears. It was done with a cold and calculated decision for the future of St. Mary’s.

I would be happy if, in the future, St. Mary’s would learn to tell the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, instead of insulting our intelligence.

Grand Junction


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