Printed letters, Feb. 24, 2010

Many in Colorado want public option

The Feb. 17 Daily Sentinel headline read: “Bring back public option, Bennet urges.” That was an extremely heartening piece of news in the midst of the usual bad news we see daily.

Unfortunately, I read the article and was astonished to read Jane Norton’s comment indicating this move on Sen. Bennet’s part seems to her out of step with “Coloradans’ wishes.”

I must ask which Coloradans Mrs. Norton is talking about, for my experience with Coloradans has indicated a positive desire for the public option. To clarify, “my experience” consists of talking with local friends, but, even more importantly, I have participated in three of the recent conference calls with Sen. Bennet. These calls involved people from all over Colorado. Their basic message is: We want health care reform and we want a public option.

In the current economic situation, should we turn our back on an action which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says, “could yield cost savings of at least $25 billion”?

Perhaps Jane Norton needs to talk to a broader base of Coloradans.

Thank you, Sen. Bennet, for participating so graciously in the conference calls and for listening to and acting on what you hear from Coloradans.

MEG COOPER

Clifton

Deficit cutting can come after economy is fixed

I saw the first campaign ad I’ve seen for Jane Norton’s run for the Senate recently. There was a distinct fuzzy look to the ad, as often happens with certain actresses and TV personalities, but Jane looked great.

Unfortunately, her message attacking the president was pure lunacy. She was advocating immediate efforts to cut the deficit and balance the budget. That, for sure, has to eventually happen, but emphasizing that right now is purely counterproductive, and massively so.

Most states have to balance their budgets. They are scrambling to do that in these tough times and the result is putting people out of work. Our own state is up against that very problem. How does putting more people out of work decrease the unemployment situation that is hindering economic improvement? How can increased unemployment encourage growth when the effect is to further cut consumer spending, the engine of the economy?

The federal government can have deficits, and our situation now is a classic case, demanding deficits to try to get more employment. Cutting deficits now is a recipe for putting millions more out of work. What is Ms. Norton thinking, beyond pure politics of criticism not based on reality, but appealing to people who have no concept of how the economy works?

We absolutely have to get spending under control and work toward balanced budgets. But, first things first. Get unemployment reduced and get more money circulating in the economy and start doing what has to be done when we are economically healthy.

There is a time for deficit reduction and that is when the economy is healthy, not now, in near-depression circumstances.

JOHN BORGEN

Grand Junction

Despite assurances, body farm will stink

Regarding The Daily Sentinel’s Feb. 16 editorial “Body farm is not a stinker,” obviously neither the editorial writer nor Tim Foster lives in the vicinity.

Although Mesa College is not legally required to abide by city zoning, that does not make it right.

They say this is only two-year temporary location. We all know what “temporary” meant.

We hope as they investigate other body farms, they will note these body farms are not located in or near residential areas. The four other states took that in consideration. People don’t want to be subject to the smell of decomposed bodies.

The “ick” factor is not being able to turn on our air conditioner or have a barbecue outside on a summer day.

Now, I ask the people who live in Grand Junction, would you want to live close to a body farm? A body farm does stink!

BOB CARPENDALE

Grand Junction

Salazar takes key action to protect Western water

Global climate change is appropriately fueling concerns about the quantity of water available in the Colorado River basin to meet the needs of people, fish and wildlife. How we address the challenges of global climate change now will dictate the sporting opportunities for future generations.

Recently, former Colorado senator and current Interior Secretary Ken Salazar requested funding from Congress for $30 million for climate change mitigation programs and $9 million for Water Smart projects across the West.

This is an important step toward identifying and taking common-sense, collaborative actions that conserve and protect the Colorado River — lifeblood of the West — for all of our needs. And it is especially good news for those of us who enjoy the great fishing that protection affords.

GARY BERLIN

American Fly Fishing Trade Association

Louisville, Colo.



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