Printed letters, January 26, 2011

Gessler deserves
kudos for initiative

The Daily Sentinel sure likes to pick on some people whenever possible, such as new Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

A front-page headline above the fold on Jan. 22 announced that Gessler “plans to moonlight” “20 hours a week (my emphasis)” for supplemental income. The article then goes on to say that Gessler hopes to work 20 hours a month — that is 5 hours a week — doing legal work that does not interfere with his official duties. He has asked the attorney general’s office whether he can do so.

Is the Sentinel not editing its own headlines?

The secretary of state’s job is not a 24/7/365 proposition as the Sentinel implied. If Gessler can legally put in a few hours a week to earn extra income for his family, so much the better. I applaud his initiative.

Would you rather see Gessler urge the Legislature to raise his salary at taxpayer expense? Or perhaps you would prefer all office holders to be independently wealthy?

CHRISTA TAYLOR

Grand Junction

Gessler should try to live on a retiree’s income

Poor Scott Gessler. He cannot live on $68,500 per year!

He should come out here to the boonies and try to live on one-fourth or one-third of that amount, like the old fogies who are on a fixed income, dependent on the economy’s rise or fall (mostly fall), must do.

LARRY M. HEAD

Hotchkiss

Stiffer sentences needed for animal abusers

No one supports inhumane treatment for animals, but there’s a lot more that could be done to support humane treatment of animals. There are too many people treating their animals or other people’s animals inhumanely. This is not fair to the animals.

In the United States each year the number of animals being euthanized is going down. The rate of euthanized animals in the 1970s was about 25 percent. Today, the percentage is about 3 percent. Still, 3 percent is equivalent to 4 million sheltered dogs and cats being euthanized each year or about 80,000 dogs and cats put down per week. In addition, there are about 12,000 dogs and cats that die from animal abuse each year.

Even though we have made a dramatic change in the percentage of shelter animals being euthanized since the 1970s, improvements still need to be made. What needs to be done is that we all need to work together and stop animal abuse. We can do this by generating funds to support all the animal shelters so that they can better care for the abused, neglected and abandoned animals.

Another way that we can prevent and/or decrease the number of cases of animal abuse, neglect and abandonment each year is by putting the people convicted of these crimes behind bars for a longer amount of time.

In 2010, Steven Romero was convicted and sentenced to three years in jail for dragging a dog named Buddy to death. If he would have done this to a human, he would have received a life sentence for murder. We need to work on extending the jail sentences for those convicted of animal abuse. We need to stop abuse and figure out a way for society to work together to save these animals and put them with loving families.

BRANDIE E. SPENCER

Grand Junction

Old energy receives significant subsidies

Renewable energies like solar and wind have a right to a fair playing field.

Hans Croeber’s letter on Jan. 13 is an unfortunate example of the all-too-common sentiment in our region that renewables are not cost-effective.

While solar systems do get a 30 percent federal tax credit, the myriad subsidies given to the coal and gas industries far outweigh what is given to renewable energy.

That’s right, our tax money has been directly and indirectly increasing these profitable industries’ bottom lines since their inception, over 100 years ago. There is no reason to keep these industry entitlements other than corporate greed. Yet somehow they still get us to agree to them year after year — and blame the fledgling renewable energy for our ever-increasing cost of energy. What suckers we are for propaganda.

There is little to no maintenance and replacement cost to a well-designed and installed solar system over its 30-year lifetime, certainly far less than what would be associated with the same amount of energy coming from other sources. And, as we encourage this industry to grow, we increase the ability of renewable energy manufacturers to recycle and make products in an increasingly environmentally responsible way.

At the same time, as we increase our energy independence, we buffer our economies from the constant boom and bust culture of oil and gas, we reduce the huge amounts of mercury belching from coal-fired power plants and the desire to flatten the Appalachian Mountains wanes.

While we haven’t found the perfect energy source yet, it’s not hard to see that renewables offer better outcomes on all sides of the issue, to those who believe fact, not fiction.

ANTHONY HUFF

Palisade



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