Printed letters, Feb. 11, 2011

Kathleen Parker’s Feb. 8 column in The Daily Sentinel was a sobering reminder of the risks journalists worldwide take to report the news.

The recent attacks in Egypt on CNN’s Anderson Cooper, CBS’ Katie Couric, New York Times staff and other journalists from around the world were a reminder that “freedom isn’t free.” Repressive regimes historically try to stifle independent news sources.

According to statistics from The Committee to Protect Journalists, quoted in Parker’s column, 850 journalists have died in the line of duty since 1992. More than 500 of them were murdered. And 145 more are in jail around the world.

It’s fashionable to badmouth the media these days. But I, for one, am thankful to these dedicated reporters and photographers who are risking their lives to bring us the news.

KATHY ERBACHER

Montrose

We must urge Republicans to cut spending deeply

The GOP is proposing $34 billion in spending cuts. Already the vested interest, those who benefit from increased government spending are gearing up to fight these cuts. They’ll point out that cutting a light-rail project will cost thousands of jobs, or that defunding the Department of Education will cost thousands of jobs.

This is all smoke and mirrors or daytime melodrama. The deficit, not the debt, but what we add to the debt is now $1,539 billion per year. After the Republicans cut $34 billion, the deficit will be $1,505 billion. Tokenism at its finest.

Sen. Rand Paul has proposed and detailed a $500 billion cut in spending. But the newbie Republican congressmen are scared to death of it.  And Rand Paul’s proposal is still only 1/3 of the deficit.

The good times have hit the wall. There are rather dire consequences including a drastic reduction in the standard of living for every American if this out of control federal government isn’t reigned in.  Austerity isn’t fun, but the collapse of the dollar, the theft of trillions in retirement funds by runaway inflation and the economic collapse that follows are worse.

Please e-mail or call Congressman Tipton to insist on real spending cuts. Contact our senators and ask them to support Sen. Rand Paul’s $500 billion spending cut proposal.

MIKE MASON

Cedaredge

Oil and gas industry motivated by profits

The Daily Sentinel’s Feb. 8 report on Rep. Ray Scott’s effort and Sen. Steve King’s agreement to alter the makeup of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission leaves me in awe.

It is hard to believe that jobs and the local economy are in jeopardy because of the oil and gas regulations and the makeup of this commission. It is hard to believe that these political minions of the oil and gas industry still foist on the people of the Western Slope the necessity to sacrifice our environment and health for the sake of the petroleum industry’s profit. When did this industry ever lose money?

The health of the community and the environment on which it depends, the preservation of the surface and underground water supply, and the long term viability of the economy of the Western Slope is much more important than the inconveniences imposed on the oil and gas industry through regulations which are meant to preserve what is essential to us.

Let’s review. The oil and gas industry’s activity (and they will agree) is motivated by supply and demand, period. Not by our state regulations which are more liberal than most other places both in the west and east. Consider New York which has gone beyond regulations and absolutely outlaws any drilling in the highly productive Marcellus Shale which underlies the entire basin of their water supply.

The oil and gas industry is a boom or bust industry. It always has and always will be. No amount of regulation or de-regulation will change this.

Oil and gas industry jobs follow the above and not regulations which are meant to protect and preserve the well being of us, the people who live here.

Let’s get off this jobs and economy bit and face reality. The oil and gas industry will again flourish when it is economically feasible, read profitable, and not before. Jobs, the economy and the environment be damned.

ROBERT A. TALLARICO

Grand Junction

River in Sunday photo was Colorado, not the Green

The caption was wrong on the very nifty picture in the upper right on Page One of the C Section Feb. 6. It seems to me the view is to the southwest and mountains in top of picture are the Henrys, not the La Salles.

The river is the Colorado River, not the Green River.  The potash ponds are on the North side of the Colorado River.  The loop to the right (west) of the potash ponds in the picture is called “Goose Neck.”

NEWT BURKHALTER

Grand Junction



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