Printed Letters: Sept. 24, 2017
We must pay fair share for common good
Letter writer John Nadolny is reluctant to support the upcoming tax initiatives for District 51 and public safety exclaiming “What have you folks been doing?” when it comes to schools falling into disrepair or crime statistics going up. Has John been living in a cave most of his life?
Ever since George W. Bush took office and slashed tax rates, America has been taking part in the Great Austerity Program where people no longer pay sufficient taxes to fund important basic needs like education, law enforcement, national parks, etc. And as a result, there are consequences like schools falling into disrepair or not having enough officers to deal with crime. Mesa County voters haven’t voted for any District 51 funding initiatives since 2004! You get what you pay for.
I’m tired of the selfish attitude that people have when it comes to not paying a fair share of taxes for the common good. I myself am willing to pay for new tax initiatives because there is no way you are going to “Make America Great Again” if you are not willing to invest in the future. John Nadolny argues detailed accountability but that just sounds like an excuse to not pay more in taxes no matter what facts you put in front of his face.
It’s particularly galling that Mesa County voters have in recent years voted down money for local schools and the Grand Junction Police Department. They don’t want to pay any taxes, period. It’s an extremely selfish attitude to the detriment of anything worthwhile.
Representatives need to listen to constituents on health care
Are Senator Gardner and Congressman Tipton, really going to allow a vote on a new healthcare plan before it can be reviewed by the Congressional Budget Office and released for further study? Really?
Please quit acting like a couple of “lemmings,” following “in step” at the direction of your party leaders. Yours isn’t supposed to be a career that you are trying to protect. Yours is supposed to be a responsibility that responds to the best interests of your constituents.
If you really look closely at the wishes of the majority of your constituents, most want to give the ACA a chance. Trump, with your support, has done nothing but try to undermine its chances for success. This is appalling.
Again, please show some reasonableness and don’t allow a vote just to satisfy Trump and McConnell and Ryan’s mantra of “repeal and replace.” Thank you for your consideration of my request.
EPA ozone standards should be upheld
Perhaps there is a wall someplace where Dr. J. Winston Porter, “the national energy and environmental consultant,” can have his portrait displayed next to those of the consultants and officials who decided that the cost of providing safe water to the citizens of Flint, Michigan was “escalating out of control” and that the standards that protected safe-to-drink water were “unnecessarily costly and restrictive.” Flint’s citizens consequently endured years of polluted municipal water bringing illness and misery to the citizens of Flint.
Similarly, Dr. J. Winston Porter in his Sunday Sentinel op-ed argues that Congress should weaken and delay the implementation of the EPA ozone standard of 70 parts per billion to reduce the costs of compliance and to enhance job creation. For Dr. Porter, economic growth in cities and counties with ozone levels around 70 ppb is more important than people’s health. He argues that a House-passed bill to delay implementation of the ozone standard is a good thing and suggests that most counties will be in compliance by 2025 if the Senate passes a similar bill.
Unfortunately, ozone above 60 parts per billion harms human health, increasing bronchitis, asthma, hospitalizations, and heart attacks. In 2009 an 18-year study of 448,850 people, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrated a significant increase in the risk of death from respiratory causes in association with increased ozone concentrations. Long-term, low-level ozone exposure for some is lethal. This study confirmed the findings of other studies including a 2004 John Hopkins study that indicated that more than 5,000 people die in the U.S. prematurely every year due to ozone pollution. Because of these health impacts, Canada’s standard is 63 ppb and the EU standard is 60 ppb.
Energy consultants need to support, and public officials need to implement, the EPA 70 ppb ozone standard to protect today’s air we breathe. Pollution controls of tailpipe and smokestack emissions should be required when communities are out of ozone compliance, and new industrial development should only be permitted with strict pollution controls when ozone levels approach 70 ppb. One of government’s essential services is to protect the water that we drink and the air that we breathe from contaminates that we produce. The EPA ozone standard tries to do this. It needs public support. Hopefully Sen. Gardner and Sen. Bennett will vote to protect human health and will support immediate implementation of the current EPA ozone standard.