Printed letters, Feb. 8, 2011

Some members of Congress have declared war on some of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws that will be crucial in addressing global climate change. Among the most worrisome bills are those aimed at stopping the Clean Air Act from limiting dangerous amounts of carbon pollution that’s contributing to the dramatic warming of our planet.

Scientists have made it clear that if we don’t begin to make significant reductions in carbon pollution soon, we won’t be able to avoid some of the most catastrophic effects of global warming. We won’t be able to reach science-based limits without the Clean Air Act.

Already, we’re seeing the effects of global warming in the arctic: Polar bears are struggling as the sea ice they depend on for survival is disappearing.

And global warming stands to affect all life on Earth as we know it, including migratory birds, pollinators, plants, oceans, penguins, grizzly bears and reptiles — literally the entire web of life.

We can’t let members of Congress who are beholden to big polluters gut the Clean Air Act, throwing away one of our most important tools for creating a cleaner, healthier climate for all of us.



Steve King’s bills don’t reflect budget philosophy

Several years ago, Rep. Steve King’s No. 1 bill required all schools to devise a plan to advise students what should be done in an emergency. It just so happened that he could provide the expertise to the schools to do that.

This year, now-Sen. Steve King’s No. 1 bill would have required the state to set up a permanent committee (with attendant support staff) to work year round to review laws to see which should be repealed.

These are from a candidate who made “shrink government and lower taxes” the catchphrase of his campaign. Seems he forgot his promises once he got to Denver.



When did we start this downhill slide?

I am 60 years old. My wife accuses me of becoming a grumpy old man. That may be, but my conservative friends and I agree on some things and do not agree on others. However, we do agree that it seems our country is on a downhill slide.

I have been trying to decide on the timing of said trend. I think it started about the time Kroger stores began to hire staff to retrieve grocery carts from the lot as customers became too busy (lazy) to return carts to the store.

Or maybe it was at about the time city life became so attractive that millions of farmers left the fields and never returned, leaving our nation’s agriculture in the hands of few, and the wealth generated by farming in ever fewer hands, and many of those living in the cities.

Possibly it was when it became too cumbersome for some parents to teach children the ethics of work, responsibility and discipline. I could go on.



What are Tipton’s views on health care reform?

I read with anticipation The Daily Sentinel article on Rep. Scott Tipton’s views on health care reform. I have called his office twice and checked his website to discover his opinions on this topic, only to be disappointed.

His website has no information. When you call his office, his staff refers you to the website of the speaker of the House.

Unfortunately, The Daily Sentinel article just reinforced my concerns about Rep. Tipton. He reiterated the party line, almost speaking word for word Rep. John Boehner’s stance.

Health care is a complex issue. It needs to be approached in a comprehensive and thoughtful manner. Our elected officials should look at the issues and draw their own conclusions with the interests of their constituents in mind.

I would ask that Rep. Tipton give this issue a little more thought and not just be a rubber stamp for Republican legislation. Let us hear what his plans are for the health care system. We voters deserve it and my young patients deserve it. Their health is on the line.


Grand Junction

Waiters and waitressesdeserve to get fair tips

College students need jobs that have flexible, short hours. As a student, my job as a waitress is rewarding and I make a decent living.

However, at least once a shift, I serve customers who are rude, condescending and fail to tip properly. Many times these people act as if I do not deserve a tip.

I understand that gratuity is a way to show thanks for quality service, but I also know that I rarely give service that is so below par that I am undeserving of an appropriate tip.

One of the biggest problems is that many people have never waited tables and have never put their feet in their server’s shoes.

Most servers in Colorado are paid $4.26 an hour — three dollars under the minimum wage. Waiters and waitresses rely on tips from costumers to bring their hourly wage up to minimum wage.

If you do not have enough money to tip your waitress 20 percent, then you do not have enough money to go out to eat.

If your waitress gives poor service by all means, let her know that by giving a reduced tip.

Please keep in mind that unless she was down right rude to you, she probably made an honest mistake. And unless you have never made an honest mistake, give your waitress a break.

Grand Junction


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