Printed letters, October 30, 2012

Bonnie Peterson of Club 20 was spot-on when she said that the poll alluded to in Gary Harmon’s Oct. 16 article about Garfield County residents support for commercial oil shale development “misses the point.”

The poll apparently asked if residents favored research before commercialization. But it entirely missed the issue at question, whether 2 million acres of oil shale-rich land should be made available for application for leasing.

An environmental impact statement from 2005 determined that that amount of acreage ought to be made available. An EIS completed recently, following a lawsuit by environmental lobbyists, somehow came to the conclusion that the vast majority — more than 90 percent of it — should not.

At issue are three things, none of which have much to do with research and development: 1) Should prime oil shale land be made available for research and development and subsequent commercialization? 2) Should environmentalist lawyers be making public policy?  3) Should allowing private companies to pursue oil shale, representing 4 trillion barrels of oil and potential U.S. energy independence — at no cost to the taxpayer — be considered an appropriate public policy?

Let the facts of the matter dictate this important public discussion, not devious, agenda-driven firms that are bought and paid for by the radical environmentalist lobby.


Grand Junction

No more ‘practice runs’ 
for oil shale companies

So oil shale cuts are thought to be punitive in nature? Amazing.

Way back in 1982, I worked for one of the subcontractors at the Exxon project. When reaching Parachute one bright spring day, I was met with chain link fence surrounding everything. I could not even get to my workplace to get my personal items back.Worse, I had helped process four new hires on the Friday before, men with families whose jobs were gone before they even began.

The oil shale developers came into this area before. They hired many, pumped up salaries and destroyed land. When they found the profit from oil shale was not what they thought it should be, they picked up and moved on, leaving only a path of destruction. They left Grand Junction and Parachute in a deep financial crisis, and I’m sure it didn’t bother them one bit.

Are they being punished? I have no idea why the Obama administration would reduce federal leases. Maybe they don’t like what oil shale mining does to the Earth. Or maybe they read local history books.

I do know it is time the people and government of this area started taking a long hard look at what happens every time the oil industry comes to town.

If oil shale has not proved itself to be reliably profitable, let’s not let these companies destroy western Colorado with another “practice run.” Let’s start demanding the oil industry invests in an area instead of sucking out what profits it can and then running off.


Grand Junction


Coloradans should vote 
‘Yes’ on Amendment S

Forty years is a long time to hold on to anything, especially something broken.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is trying to modernize the decades-old state employee personnel system, and it’s way past due. Among other things, Amendment S would do away with strict standardized testing for potential state employees and allow for use of objective criteria much like the private sector. Amendment S will also give our returning veterans a deserved preference in state hiring.

At its core, Amendment S will allow the state to consider a broader pool of applicants and hire the best-qualified candidates for all positions. The best people will ensure our state government runs efficiently and effectively — benefitting taxpayers and ensuring the state attracts and keeps great companies.

Amendment S is one of those rare measures endorsed by Republicans and Democrats and employers and employees because it will streamline government and help Colorado attract and retain talent in both the public and private sector.

A lot has changed in 40 years. The phones we carry in our pockets have replaced computers the size of a Mini Cooper. We are competing with other states and other countries for the best people. We need an agile, modern government that delivers services effectively to its citizens. The reforms in Amendment S are the right change to keep Colorado competitive and one of the best places to grow a business.

I will be voting “Yes” on S and hope Colorado will join me to ensure our economic future remains strong and our state government is effective and efficient.


Chairman and CEO

DaVita Inc.



Pioneers met their needs 
without government help

Two quotes, so little space:

“I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America ‘s story.”

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” (This was later amended to

mean the government helped.)

So, to put it into perspective.

The rich history of “Islam” in America: Muslim slave traders supplied the slaves from Africa to worldwide destinations. ‘Nuff said.

“You didn’t build that”:

The real history is, the pioneers came west over rocky, uncleared trails. Many died on the way because of the dangers, sickness and accidents along the way. They made the roads as they went. No government involved.

They cleared the lands of trees, rocks and other obstacles to farm or build their homes on. No government involved.

They created local areas to meet that later grew into towns. The streets were in place; the buildings built before the “need” for government arose. People built the roads between towns before any government came into existence.

After governments were established, they only did that which was necessary for the needs of the people.

People needed better roads to travel on so, for the most part, they worked to improve the sections closest to their homes with help from their neighbors for big jobs such as dynamiting large rocks and bridging gullies and canyons.

When neighbors fell into bad times, the neighbors pitched in to help. A home or barn burned down, the neighbors were there to help rebuild. If the husband died, the widow and children were looked after and kept from starvation or being homeless.

I could go on, but this should be enough to point out that big government has destroyed the fabric of this nation. And the person in the White House knows nothing of this nation’s history or the culture that built the greatest nation on Earth.




Romney’s Red Rocks rally 
ironic, given site’s history

Red Rocks definitely served as a stunning backdrop for what will likely be Mitt Romney’s last large-scale rally in this state before Election Day. But as politically innocuous a setting as Red Rocks may seem, its entire existence represents a political philosophy in stark contrast to the Romney campaign.

The Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression-era, public-works relief program under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” that put unemployed men, ages 17-23, to work, built Red Rocks. Over a nine-year span, the CCC employed 2.5 million young men, providing them with shelter, clothing, food and a small wage.

Highlighting the irony of the Romney event at Red Rocks, Romney said at the Oct. 16 debate that he doesn’t believe government creates jobs. Red Rocks has created thousands of jobs, public and private, contributed to the local economy, and has been a source of happiness for millions of people over the last 70 years. It is a magical place for everyone who goes there.

Red Rocks was built with the people’s money and then given back to them to enjoy, the definition of public investment. It took believing in ourselves and believing in our national heart’s ability to build something big and something lasting that created Red Rocks. And that magnificent backdrop put lie to every small-minded word that came out of Romney’s mouth, breathing new life into the critique of the Republican National Convention’s day-two theme, “We Built It.”

Think about it: Hundreds of men were put to work by the government for five years to build ... a concert hall. So Dodge Trucks, another recipient of taxpayer bailout dollars, could sponsor the Red Rocks Summer Concert Series all these years later? Seriously, folks, is there a self-respecting modern-day Republican out there who would not have instinctively called the idea of using taxpayer dollars to build Red Rocks Amphitheatre a boondoggle?




Young Republican likes 
what he sees in Sal Pace

I am 23, and I was born and raised a Republican. I have been a Republican all my life, and I don’t foresee that ever changing. I believe in limited government, compromise among political parties and elected leaders who believe in their constituency. When a bill gets to the president’s desk, it should be some shade of purple, indicating compromise between the two political parties.

I recently graduated from college with an accounting degree and moved to the Western Slope. For some reason, I have paid close attention to the 3rd Congressional District race that is entering its closing stages. I have watched the television commercials and debates and evaluated each party’s stance, and I am convinced, for the first time in my life, that I will be voting for a Democrat this November.

Sal Pace has run a campaign that this country needs, with a little bit of compromise, pride and passion in it. Pace has told his story and what he believes without attacking his opponent. I believe Pace provides the opportunity to bring a new fresh face to Washington, not the same old games.

And, if he plays the same games and fooled me, I know it can’t be worse then what we have now.


Grand Junction


Many Clifton residents are 
proud of their community

I so enjoyed the article about Clifton in the recent real estate section of the paper. Thanks to Mesa County Commissioner Steve Aquafresca for his nice comments. It seems he is the only commissioner who believes in us.

Believe it or not, there are nice people here who take pride in their homes and their neighborhoods. Yes, we have some parts of Clifton that aren’t so well kept, but what town doesn’t?

As for the part about the people not wanting to be incorporated into Grand Junction, we didn’t get to have a say in it. No one came around with a petition. I, for one, would have gladly signed it. I would like to have more services such as streetlights, sidewalks, etc.

If Grand Junction residents don’t like us, why do they shop at our Murdocks, Uncle Nubs and Denny’s, to name a few?

It’s said the consensus was that the people didn’t want to incorporate. Well, the “consensus” didn’t have a say.




Band competition, bike event 
deserved paper’s coverage

I wish to express my unhappiness with the non-coverage of two large events in this area recently.

The first was the band competition at Stocker Stadium this month that included, I imagine, more than 300 Western Slope high school students. The second was the high school state championships in mountain biking that was held north of Fruita on BLM land and included some 400 high school students from all over the state.

The Daily Sentinel’s staff is able to cover a soccer game between two local schools, but misses the two huge events mentioned above. How can you accept that? I would hope that you never allow this to happen in future years.




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