Printed Letters: Oct. 9, 2016

Tipton misleads on Delta devastation
Incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton’s YouTube campaign video is titled: “Gail Schwartz’s War on Coal devastated Delta.” At the end, there is a distant photo of three lonely concrete silos. They show how coal mine closings have “devastated” Delta County. 

There’s one little problem. Those silos originally held sugar beets. For the past 30 years they’ve held grain to feed Delta County’s many chickens. Sugar beets went its way; Delta County adapted. 

The rest of the video is as phony as the silos. There’s a shot of the old Armory near the Delta Post Office — shut decades ago for nothing having to do with coal. There’s a photo of the old City Market building in Delta, closed because City Market built a larger store years ago. Progress, not “devastation.”

While funeral music plays, Tipton’s video says: “Housing values in the area are falling.” In Paonia and Hotchkiss, where Delta County’s mining was concentrated, real estate is booming. People are coming here in part because Paonia is only the second town in Colorado to have gigabit-speed broadband. Sixty ex-coal miners are helping to wire the area. Transition, not “devastation.”

Delta County and its North Fork Valley have been hurt. You don’t lose 800 mining jobs and just shrug it off. But overall we are doing remarkably well even though our 3rd CD congressman is kicking us.

The storm cloud on Delta County’s horizon is natural gas and its champion: Scott Tipton. If he gets his way and drilling lays waste to our back country, we will lose what brings people here.

Tipton personally slandered (“I approve this message”) an entire rural county to attack his opponent.

Shame on you, Congressman! There must be honorable ways to run for public office.



Candidates could do for county what they’ve done for towns
The upcoming election for Mesa County Commissioners in Districts 1 and 3 is critical. Fruita has become a destination city for outdoor enthusiasts rivaling the likes of Moab for cycling, hiking, photography, and its quaint town core. Palisade has become known nationally for its wineries, peach and lavender festivals showcasing some of the best in Colorado agriculture. All this came under the watch of Mel Mulder in District 1 to the west and Dave Edwards in District 3 to the east. Both men took advantage of showcasing the best of Mesa County by supporting issues over the last 20 years that have led to the development of Fruita and Palisade.

Now, both men have set their sights on the future of Mesa County as one of the great signature counties of Colorado. It is time to turn over the responsibility of bringing Mesa County to the fore of Coloroado in business opportunities, education, tourism, the outdoor experience, and the arts and culture. Please support Mel Mulder and Dave Edwards for county commissioners.

Grand Junction

Mulder and Edwards will clean up Mesa County’s mess
We recently returned from a trip to the Midwest. Everywhere, we could see everyone loves government parks and campgrounds.

Even the smallest towns had parks, often large enough to fit every resident. Many towns and counties had tenting and RV campgrounds. Midwesterners welcome visitors. There were busy private campgrounds with municipal and county ones supplementing them. Government campgrounds, with fewer amenities and lower prices, don’t directly compete with private ones.

Compare that to Mesa County. Recently Commissioner John Justman selfishly said he doesn’t want tourists to come because it would crowd the Monument.

To Justman, lands owned by all Americans are only for local residents.

The commissioners seem to dislike public land and recreation. They want the state or maybe even counties to take over public lands, but who would pay maintenance? How much would they charge to go to Grand Mesa, Bangs Canyon or the Bookcliffs? Would these lands be sold for development?

Mesa County has an RV campground at the fairgrounds, but it only opens briefly. Can’t an area with so many recreational opportunities support more campgrounds? If RVers can’t find a campground, they keep driving.

The Monument campground was usually full last summer. The campground near the fairgrounds is very busy. The county campground would not compete with it.

Economic development experts recommend attracting visitors, recreational equipment manufacturers and retirees. When commissioners say “go away” or pay to enter public lands, will visitors or retirees come? Will they tolerate deteriorating county roads or the lack of decent and affordable broadband?

Justman and ethically challenged Commissioner Rose Pugliese are running the county into the ground. How many scandals and failures can Mesa County endure? There are good alternatives—Mel Mulder and Dave Edwards will work hard to clean up the mess.

Glade Park


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