Printed letters, April 15, 2011

My thanks go out to Trooper Jeffrey Vrbas of the Colorado State Patrol for attempting to perform the duties he was assigned, by upholding the laws of the state of Colorado to the utmost of his abilities, as he swore to do when he became a state trooper.

On Nov. 6, 2007, Trooper Vrbas attempted to stop and arrest a driver who was violating the laws of the state by speeding in a reckless manner, endangering the lives of others. It ended tragically.

A local law firm sued the state of Colorado claiming that Trooper Vrbas unreasonably escalated the risks and was the “proximate cause” of a victim’s death. That was after the criminal who was driving illegally and dangerously pleaded guilty in causing this tragedy.

The cause of this tragedy was solely the fault of the violator, absolutely none of this was the result of Trooper Vrbas’ actions.

Trooper Vrbas could have decided to ignore this situation when the violator refused to stop. This would have been in violation of his sworn duties. Would this have saved the life of the victim? Maybe. Would the violator have slowed down and continued in an orderly manner? I doubt it.

How would the trooper have felt if the violator had continued in his recklessness and crashed into someone else or run off the road, injuring or killing himself or another because of Trooper Vrbas’ non-action? We will never know.

I am a 28-year career police officer in the state of Colorado. My prayers go out to the victim’s family in this and other similar tragedies. However, let’s place the blame for them where it belongs.


Grand Junction

Writer spoke for herself, not Mesa Land Trust

Last week, The Daily Sentinel published a letter which I submitted as a private citizen. I want to make clear that the letter was not authorized by Mesa Land Trust, nor does it reflect the opinion of the organization. It was my opinion and that of my co-author alone.

The Land Trust is governed by a volunteer board of directors that includes educators, businessmen, farmers, real-estate developers, wildlife biologists and an oil-and-gas executive, to name a few. This diverse group brings many different perspectives to our organization and makes it both more representative of the community and stronger.

I am very proud to serve Mesa Land Trust as a board member and want to clarify my views as an individual, separate from the organization.


Grand Junction

Sentinel provides needed news of Montrose issues

I would like to commend The Daily Sentinel for its coverage of the city of Montrose. Recently I have noticed that the Sentinel is doing a much better job of keeping the people of Montrose informed than our own local paper.

Had it not been the Sentinel’s article of the citywide pickup this past week, a number of us would have missed it. There also has been no mention by the local paper of the pending hearing for the takeover of Montrose Memorial Hospital by a large corporate type, or finalization of a new dog park. But the Sentinel has jumped in to inform.

I believe these are some of the things the citizens of Montrose want to know. Thanks again for the great job.



State still analyzing diesel fuel and fracking

I am writing to clarify a misconception that may have been created by an April 11 story related to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s investigation of the use of diesel in hydraulic fracturing between 2005 and 2009.

The commission’s investigation follows a recent finding by a U.S. House of Representatives committee that diesel fuel or fluids containing diesel fuel was used in Colorado fracturing jobs during that time period. This is a serious matter, and we determined it warranted further investigation.

At this time, we are still compiling and analyzing data, and have drawn no conclusions that question the findings of the House committee.


Colorado Oil and Gas

Conservation Commission


April 10 Commentary section was a good read

Bob “Silvernail” (aka Silbernagel) and staff provided an excellent Commentary section in the April 10 edition of The Daily Sentinel. The editorials were spot on. The columns were all great, including the Civil War history and Denny Herzog’s, who is definitely not one of my favorite columnists.

However, Herzog was defended by letter writer Vera Mulder for his earlier penning of “what he feels are true points about Palin.” I guess that includes the juvenile, fifth-grade, playground taunt that Palin is “not bright enough to spell cat, even if spotted the c and the a.” Well, as long as he believes that, it’s OK.

And thank you, thank you for allowing Gary Harmon to return to the Commentary page, even if only for an annual column. We all, in my age group anyway, have faced that fateful offspring milestone of 18 years of age and the angst that accompanies it.


Grand Junction


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