Printed letters, Feb. 16, 2010

Historic zone will lose protection under rules

On Feb. 17, the City Council will no doubt adopt a new zoning ordinance that will strip the North Seventh Street Residential Historic District of all local historical reference.

Historical or preservation language was not used in the new ordinance. The rezoning has no criteria for decision-making based on history. That basically means the district is the same as all others in the city.

The fact that the district is listed on the National Historical Registry seems to be unimportant to our local officials. They seem to be only interested in additional tourism, bed-and-breakfast lodging, business and denser-mixed family housing.

The new ordinance will void and replace the 1984 ordinance that strongly supported preservation and the residential historical value of the district.

The signage at the north and south entrance of the district will be the last reminder to future generations that these four blocks once had historical significance to our city. The founders of our city built and occupied these homes. No doubt there will be an end to the home tours hosted by some of the private residents, which gave the public a chance to experience a piece of history. The current residents fought to preserve a piece of history and lost.

People like Moyer, Goodwin, Bull etc. were no more important than any of us, but the reminder of their hard work and dedication to make Grand Junction what it is today should be valued, not discarded for a new city plan.

Successful politics is obtained through compromise. The residents and citizens were not given that option.

SHARON SNYDER

Grand Junction

Land and Water funds are critical for area wildlands

For 45 years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has provided critical dollars for enhancing and protecting public lands, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Since the LWCF has only once been funded to the full level authorized by Congress, and recent appropriations have been at record lows, a proposed increase in the fund, derived from royalties from offshore drilling, shouldn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.

The president’s new budget asks that more than $2.5 million be allocated for expansion of Canyon of the Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado. In previous years, $1.5 million in LWCF funds went to the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area and another $440,000 to the Colorado National Monument. More than $9 million has been allocated to the White River National Forest and in excess of $6 million has helped preserve critical habitat in Gunnison County and assisted programs in the Black Canyon National Park and Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area.

All of western Colorado benefits from these expenditures, which not only improve our quality of life, but assist in attracting businesses and creating and retaining jobs in our outdoor, tourism and hospitality industries.

With leadership from the administration and our elected officials in Congress, we can ensure that this investment continues to produce economic and recreational benefits for our communities, and most importantly, for our children and grandchildren.

TOM BURKE, past chairman

Colorado Wildlife Commission

Grand Junction

PERA retirees worked hard to obtain benefits

To the people complaining about PERA, let me fill you in on some facts.

As a retired Colorado state employee, I pay $545 a month for health insurance. I was not given a choice of retirement funds to pay into.

PERA is probably not in any worse shape than Social Security, so with the attitude about PERA that some have, maybe I should hope theirs goes broke and no one will help them out.

I’m sure we can count on Congress, to help since they don’t pay into Social Security and get a great retirement after serving for as little as four years. They also don’t pay for their Cadillac health insurance plans. We do.

There was not a day in the 30 years I worked that I wasn’t spit on, bit, kicked, hit, shoved or worse, but I did a job that others probably wouldn’t have done. I started out making $350 a month and was glad to have made that. Most PERA retirees worked just as hard or harder for their retirement as anyone else.

LORIE CULLUM

Grand Junction



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