Printed letters, Feb. 12, 2010

Forest Service already

fights spruce beetles

In response to The Daily Sentinel’s “Forest Service must act to save spruce forests” editorial, dated Jan. 26, I wanted to provide information on what the Forest Service has been doing regarding the spruce beetle on the Grand Mesa National Forest.

The Forest Service has been managing spruce beetle populations for many years. Spruce beetles have always been active on Grand Mesa within the spruce forests. However, several different wind events on the mesa during recent years have resulted in areas of blowdown. Many will recall that in 2005 at least two major wind storms occurred, resulting in a large amount of blowdown in the spruce below Grand Mesa’s Crag Crest hiking trail and across the mesa.

The spruce beetle is a native beetle that is specific to spruce. There is always some endemic level of beetle within every forest. Environmental conditions provide opportunities for the beetle populations to increase rapidly because spruce beetles seek out trees that are weaker, including older trees with large diameters, thick areas of trees and blowdown. As a result, the populations of spruce beetle have drastically increased. Approximately 80 percent of the spruce on the Grand Mesa is highly susceptible to spruce beetle mortality due to these factors.

For the past 10 or more years, the Forest Service has been removing infested trees within areas that are accessible, via existing roads or temporary road construction, and where the slopes are not too steep. Several projects are under way in the Scales Lake, Skyway, Skinned Horse and Ward Lake areas.

I want to reassure the public that the Forest Service continues to be pro-active in the management of the national forest regarding the increasing spruce beetle populations.

CONNIE CLEMENTSON Grand Valley District Ranger U.S. Forest Service Grand Junction

Bob Hislop proved he is more than a politician

On Jan. 29, my wife, age 69 and I, age 74, put ta stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave in the back of the pickup and headed for Moab, Utah, to deliver the appliances to our granddaughter, who is building a home.

Much to our amazement, the refrigerator, which was tight against the pickup cab with the stove and dishwasher against it, lifted out of the truck as if by magic and tumbled over the side of an embankment just before we reached Fruita. We backed up to retrieve it and found ourselves lifting and loading a side-by-side refrigerator into the truck without assistance. Many vehicles went by, paying no attention.

Finally, a man named Robert “Bob” Hislop found himself driving to Fruita where he could turn around, come back, find a safe place to turn around again and help us. He took the time to come back and lend us a hand in spite of his busy schedule. No one else made any attempt to stop.

Turns out Mr. Hislop is a very busy man, running for District 54 seat of the House of Representatives. His platform is economic growth, lower taxes and fees and less government and multi-purpose use of our natural resources.

How refreshing it is to meet a politician who would take the time out of a busy schedule to help a couple of senior citizens when no one else would.

We believe this man is sincere in his mission and hope he gets the vote of the people for this seat in the House.

BOB L. ARNETT

Parachute

Citizens should oppose taxes on candy, soft drinks

Are you all tired of taxes? Then you need to voice opposition to the legislation to unfairly levy taxes upon the sales of soda and candy.

Not only is this a discriminatory tax, but it will adversely affect Western Slope businesses such as Enstroms, Russell Stover, Coca-Cola and Pepsi Bottling to name a few.

The last thing we need in this economic downturn are more layoffs and closures in this state due to short-sighted and unjust legislation.

The next time you have the stomach flu and your doctor suggests soda to keep anything down, or your throat is hoarse and raw and you need to suck on a hard candy, I hope you aren’t paying more for this “luxury” because you haven’t taken the time out to contact any and all Colorado state legislators to ax this legislation. Get involved.

BRIDGET SMITH

Delta

Government is needed, but too much stifles freedom

I am writing in response to a recent letter to the editor by Eileen O’Toole.

Please tell me how business can be dictatorial and government is not? I can’t put my finger on it, but something is amiss.

Then there is Haiti. It’s totally capitalistic, with very little government. Capitalism requires both capital and some government protection to flourish. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti’s culture promotes corruption, not capitalism. The Heritage Foundation 2010 Index of Economic Freedom places Haiti number 141 out of 183 countries ranked worldwide for economic freedom.

Language can be misleading. A Republican may not be conservative. An environmentalist may not be a conservationist.  Either of these “conserve” folks maybe be interested in socialism. Progressives like to say Americans love their entitlements. It is true that we do not turn down Social Security, Medicare or cash for clunkers, but these actions don’t prove love for government programs.  They reinforce our tendency to act in our own self-interest.

The economy is either free market, totally controlled or somewhere in between. The healthy and wealthy live where markets approach total freedom. As the referee for business activities, government should only provide laws, courts and enforcement to allow free markets to work, nothing more. Government protects us from many unscrupulous business activities. It should protect us from our foes and consistently enforce our laws. What protects us from government?

As a member of the Tea Party movement, I say, “keep it small.”

BRUCE TAYLOR

Grand Junction

Random act of kindness restored faith in mankind

While waiting in a checkout line at the store recently, I saw a wonderful act of loving kindness occur in front of me.

Two ladies were ahead of me in line and the one who was in the process of checking out was $100 over on her bill. She had four, small children with her and proceeded to put items back.

The lady behind her said, “I will cover the balance for you.” The lady who was checking out said, “But I am over $100.” The lady behind her said, “That’s OK. I will pay for it.” The lady checking out could not believe what she was hearing and asked two more times for clarification, with the lady behind her each time stating the same thing, with no strings attached.

The lady checking out broke down, crying and explained that a relative had just died and that it had been a really hard week for her. Then she hugged the lady behind her and all those who witnessed this extraordinary event had tears in their eyes, including the checker, the lady who was bagging her groceries and me.

This gentle, loving act renewed my faith in mankind, that we can be kind and compassionate towards each other. If each one of us could remember to spread a little kindness wherever we can, even just small gestures, the world would be a happier and more peaceful place. It was wonderful to be a witness to this pure act of loving kindness from one being to another. It put a smile on my face for the rest of the day and warmed my heart.

MARIANN TAIGMAN

Grand Junction



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