Printed letters, September 16, 2012

As a member of the City Council that initially ruled on the Brady Trucking zoning request, I must rise in defense of the current council’s decision to ask the community’s opinion. Public input on important issues is always valuable, and this issue is worthy of a citywide discussion.

As a community, we have spent tens of millions of dollars cleaning up a riverfront area and envisioning a restoration of wildlife habitat and expansion of recreational and commercial activities along the river.

The issue is not about the landowner, but rather the land use. Brady Trucking will be a fine steward of the land.

Unfortunately, if and when Brady ever moves on, the land will carry forward whatever zoning is established. A new owner will have the ability under certain conditions to reopen a rendering plant, store hazardous materials, start a junkyard or engage in many other non-compatible uses along the river.

The choice is whether we wish to return to the profitable industrial uses of the past or honor the clean-up efforts and require uses compatible with parks, recreation and wildlife.

The discussion is about what we want our community to look like 20 years from now. The council is correct in asking the community that very question.

GREGG PALMER

former mayor

Grand Junction

Search out the facts 
before casting a vote

Registered independent voters and independent-minded Republicans and Democrats should not be swayed by the crush of TV ads paid for by huge bundles of money from unions and especially corporations (now “individuals”) and by the mega-rich.

They have no accountability due to the conservative Citizens United decision. Also, think of all the bridge repairs (jobs) and college scholarships going down the tube.

At least the candidate-endorsed commercials give us a face. But how much basis in fact do any of these ads have? Some are close to slander and others little more than half-truths. We all need to check these ads out and separate truth from lies to make an informed vote.

But look where? Tough to choose a source that leaves its bias at the door. Try Politicfact.com. It seems well respected and has short synopses and longer versions on each topic and claim and cites respected sources. Snopes.com is good and interesting on “myths” and garbage that float around on the Internet. Factcheck.org is also good.

To decide what parties and candidates will do if elected, voters should make lists of what legislation each party has adopted since the market crash of 1929. At the very least, start in Clinton’s presidency and after 1995, when Republicans gained the House, then from 2001 to 2007 when they had the presidency and Congress and could pass whatever they wanted. Now answer the question. Were the budget and debt addressed? These were the “good old days” to which Republicans want to take us back. Is this where you want to go?

Now do the same for Obama and what Democrats were able to pass from 2009 to 2011 while battling a severe recession and before a Republican House arrived in 2011 to block every effort to move the country ahead, as Obama and most economists requested. Their only plan was to win in 2012. Now the question is: Is what has been passed and proposed for passing by Obama the direction you want to go?

Also, remember that politics has been defined as “the art of successful compromise.” Which candidates are most likely to do this best? Enough of the stonewalling. We have problems in need of a solution by leaders of both parties working together.

Do your research and vote.

LARRY INGRAM

Grand Junction

 

Amid Mideast uproar, media 
blame everyone but Obama

Embassies under attack. Americans being murdered. Our only ally in the Middle East not welcome to meet with our president. And yet for three days, all the mainstream media and liberal talking heads wanted to talk about was Mitt Romney’s comments.

They obviously have determined that when all else fails, blame Romney or Bush or anyone else who dares to criticize the administration. Disgusting!

L.W. HUNLEY

Grand Junction

 

Uravan’s centennial picnic 
deserved more attention

I was very disappointed that The Daily Sentinel and the Colorado governor’s office did not attend the 100th anniversary picnic Aug. 25 at Uravan.

I think this would have been the best human-interest story of the time for the Western Slope and the state of Colorado. Uravan Company and its people went into the Manhattan Project in 1942 to give us the freedom we have today.

ROBERT FREEMAN

former mayor

Nucla


COMMENTS

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Gregg Palmer says, “The issue is not about the landowner, but rather the land use.” Having absolutely no connection to Brady Trucking whatsoever, I beg to differ. From all the stories I’ve read in the Sentinel on the subject, the issue is that the pro-park contingent simply wants to change the zoning (which Brady relied on in good faith when purchasing the property) while leaving Brady to absorb the attendant huge financial loss. Relatively “free” riverfront park while Brady gets financially screwed, right?
Surely everyone has heard of “eminent domain” and of the 5th Amendment’s crystal clear “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” language. If a majority of the community sincerely wants Brady’s land for a park, then quit shilly-shallying around hiding behind misleading and manipulative political language and compensate Brady fairly and IN FULL for his property. That compensation would need to include replacement costs for the buildings, which would presumably be demolished to build the park and couldn’t be sold for replacement value.
Mr. Palmer’s opinion notwithstanding, it seems to me the real issue is the U.S. Constitution, the principle of private property, and a bunch of wannabe-clever political manipulators (including a conveniently pro-bono lawyer) trying to get out of paying Brady just (fair and full) compensation for his property while disregarding the law of contracts and changing the zoning to suit their otherwise obviously worthwhile agenda.
If the community can’t afford to compensate Brady, then let him keep his property and forget the park, at least until the money is available. If the community can afford to compensate Brady, then shut up, pay the just compensation forthwith, build the park, and get on with life.

Larry Ingram may have forgotten that Republican obstructionism began well before the Tea Party “Monkey Wrench Gang” arrived in 2011. (In Edward Abbey’s 1975 novel “The Monkey Wrench Gang” fictional eco-terrorists’ sabotaged equipment.)

After President Obama took office in 2009, Senate Republicans began invoking the “cloture rule” – i.e., the filibuster – to stymie his recovery initiatives and/or extract “compromises” contrived to deliberately render his “stimulus” less effective.  Since then, Republicans have filibustered more often than in the preceding 90 years since that rule was adopted.

While economists urged that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 should inject at least $1.3 trillion into our economy over two years, President Obama – under threat of filibuster – reluctantly agreed to substitute more tax cuts for more-needed infrastructure investments, even though the latter are far more effective “job creators”.  Consequently, only some $800 billion went into the economy – and gleeful Republicans now disingenuously claim that “Obama’s stimulus” failed to fulfill “his promises”.

The Tea Party House threatened the entire international financial system by irresponsibly manufacturing the “debt ceiling” crisis in Augist 2011—resulting in our lowered credit rating and interrupting ongoing employment expansion by purposely introducing pervasive uncertainty into the business and investor communities.

On September 8, 2011, President Obama proposed the American Jobs Act to a joint session of Congress.  This second phase of the original stimulus called for injecting $447 billion – primarily for infrastructure and re-hiring 300,000 public sector employees (i.e., teachers, etc.).  That bill has never been brought to a House vote – lest some Republicans responsibly support it and President Obama earn credit for bipartisan success.

Economists estimate that – but for Republican obstructionism – from 1.3 to 2.1 million more Americans would have jobs today, the economy would be expanding more robustly, and unemployment would be below 7%—likely assuring President Obama’s re-election.

Thus, Romney-Ryan are but the fraudulent frontmen for cynically unpatriotic Republican domestic “econo-terrorists”.

                Bill Hugenberg

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