Printed letters, Feb. 21, 2010

Future generations have the right to know about the nuclear legacy handed to them and the right to protect themselves from it. Recent letters from folks promoting the proposed Pi&#241on Ridge uranium mill haven’t provided us with a complete perspective on our nuclear past or what nuclear legacy we might be creating in the present.

We are a practical people on the Western Slope, we remember and analyze the past, look at present situations realistically and know that our decisions become our legacies.

Let’s remember there’ve been four uranium economic booms and busts and no uranium mining or milling on the Colorado Plateau for over 30 years. There have been Superfund sites, U.S. government compensations and class-action lawsuits which prove the uranium health legacy of diseases and deaths. There was $86 million spent to decommission the uranium mill at Naturita and the site is still leaking radioactive wastes into the San Miguel River. Colorado has spent $1 billion to “destroy” dangerous mill sites.

In the United States today, there is only one uranium mill at Blanding, Utah. It isn’t processing uranium ore. It processes and stores “alternate feeds” — highly radioactive wastes. And yet, there’s 5,000 tons of unprocessed uranium ore and countless tons of waste lying unattended in this area.

There is a court challenge against all uranium leases in the Uravan region until the Department of Energy further studies the effects of uranium jobs and socioeconomic impacts. We know that regulations don’t change the inherent 4.5 billion year nature of uranium. The stigma and realities of the uranium industry will destroy present and future sustainable jobs and economic developments in this agricultural region.

A new uranium mill operating for 25 years will quickly become the nuclear legacy we’ve left our grandchildren — $86 million adjusted for today’s rate for 85 short-term jobs? That’s not my kind of legacy.

JANET JOHNSON

Grand Junction

Communication needed regarding the body farm

As I read The Daily Sentinel article about the planned body farm and the angst of neighbors, I couldn’t help but recall the key to a successful development of any kind — communication.

In previous years, I worked for two developers. The last, in Pasadena, Calif., was very successful due to his realization that prior to starting any project he needed to gather together neighboring property owners. The intent was to explain the company’s vision for the property and then to listen to concerns and suggestions from those nearby. Thereafter, he would consider changes and implement them — or he might decide that his vision was not the right “fit” for the parcel.

When I first heard of a proposed body farm (no location first mentioned), I thought it was a good idea and valuable for research, etc. However, I presumed it would probably be located north (or south) of the city, away from any commercial or residential areas.  So I, as were so many, was astounded when I heard the proposed location, now referred to as a “temporary” location.

Also, I was surprised by the fact that the planning was ongoing without hearings or approvals. While Mesa State College is an asset to the community, it should not have the power to make these kinds of moves.

I lived in Grand Junction for over 18 years and now reside in Montrose. My heart always has a place for Grand Junction and its citizens.

JUDY FRANTZ

Montrose

Bennet shows he is out of touch with state

Sen. Michael Bennet’s insistence on continuing to ignore the wishes of Colorado voters is absolutely pathetic and infuriating. Poll after poll shows the majority of Americans, including Coloradans, do not want the Democrats’ so-called health care reform, especially the public option.

It boggles the mind that a so-called representative can be so blind and deaf to the will of the people. It is plain that Bennet, along with his friends Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Salazar just do not care what the American people think. Their liberal clique believes it can shove its agenda down our throats and convince us later that it tastes good.

Come November, send Bennet, Salazar and their ilk to the unemployment line.

HOMER GREGORY

Grand Junction

Recognize the good at Central High School

We are writing to you from our 10th grade AVID college-prep class at Central High School. Due to recent events, our school’s reputation has been cast in doubt. We feel that the few students involved in the gun incident here do not represent us as a school.

We think that focus should not be placed on those five students who made mistakes, but instead on the positive things here at Central, such as our speech and debate team that is ranked 6th in the state, or that our marching band is one of the best 5A bands on the Western Slope.

No one focuses on the fact that Mr. Scott, our choir director, was recognized as one of the top five choir directors in the nation, or that our head boy Axel Urie was selected as one of two state student leaders in Colorado.

In addition, Amy Kame got a full-ride scholarship to San Diego State for basketball, and Holden Reed received a scholarship to Mesa State for football. Our drama club put on a successful production of “Treasure Island,” and is working on “Singing in the Rain” for this spring.

We would also like to mention our AVID program, which prepares our specially selected students, through application, and interview, for college with the skills they need to succeed in college and in life. These students are pushed to take honors and AP classes and be involved in our school community.

Thank you, and we hope you will see the light that shines from our school.

GARY W. JOHNSON

and AVID students

Central High School

Grand Junction

Program is important for financial literacy

I want to take this opportunity to commend Karen Troester for her work in bringing an exciting program to Grand Junction, coming on April 17.

“Money X Live” is an award-style show that brings together sports stars, celebrities, DJs, live bands and financial education experts to give today’s youth real-world advice on how to manage their finances. The goal is to inspire and educate the participants so they can achieve financial success.

This program is geared for the youth, but is a family event. Volunteers are being trained to visit classrooms throughout the school district during the month of April. They will share their personal stories about money management, spending, credit, savings and investing.

Financial literacy is badly needed. This exciting event and follow-up training will be a wonderful experience for our community.

Ms. Troester has worked many months to organize this and should be recognized and thanked for her efforts.

As The Daily Sentinel is a donor for the print media, your readership will read more about the event in the coming weeks.

REP. LAURA K. BRADFORD

House District 55

Collbran



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