Printed letters, July 15, 2010

Rep. Salazar is aggressive in his community outreach

I’d like to respond to Rick Wagner’s recent column in The Daily Sentinel.

Congressman John Salazar considers the time he spends with the people of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District the most important and most enjoyable part of his job. It is through face-to-face meetings with people in those 29 counties that he hears their ideas, concerns and hopes for our nation’s future.

On health care alone, the congressman held a roundtable with individuals and health care organizations from the Mesa County area at St. Mary’s Hospital. Following these meetings, he invited President Barack Obama to visit Grand Junction and to join him for a town hall meeting to hear the insight of the Mesa County community. The president accepted that invitation and visited Grand Junction last August with Congressman Salazar and several-hundred area residents.

In addition to these and other recent visits to Mesa County, Congressman Salazar has also reached out to those who are unable to attend meetings with new tele-town-hall technology, which enabled 34,000 constituents to join in a discussion about important issues right from their own home.

Through these efforts, the congressman has heard that folks are tired of being denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition, that families were outraged at having to declare bankruptcy because of health care bills.

He also heard from people who like the insurance they have, and didn’t want to lose it. The health care reform bill he supported preserves those options for those who want to keep what they have. He also heard from people who didn’t want the government to take over the health care system. The bill he supported preserves existing patient-doctor choice, while keeping in place the role of private health insurers in providing policies to consumers.

So the next time you hear false assertions coming from the congressman’s opponents, just remember the truth, that Congressman Salazar’s door is always open to you.  The congressman is not a career politician. He’s a working farmer and rancher who knows how important it is to keep his boots on the ground with those who live and work in rural Colorado.

RONNIE CARLETON

Chief of Staff

Rep. John T. Salazar

Washington, D.C.

Numbers show Democrats didn’t kill the gas business

I just read in the July 9 edition of The Daily Sentinel that Colorado tops the region and is among the national leaders in oil and gas drilling permits. It seems as though those Democrats failed at slowing or stopping the proliferation of drilling in this state by imposing environmental regulations.

What were Ritter and the Democrats thinking? Now we have the short-term drilling and production jobs, but we also have some assurance that our drinking water will not be undrinkable forever because of shoddy completion jobs on holes.

Josh Penry, Scott McInnis and the rest of the near-sighted right won’t be able to blame Ritter and the Democrats for the downturn on the economy last year. It wasn’t the regulations, it was the drop in the price of natural gas. If either one of them were more experienced in the real world, they’d know that drilling contractors often take shortcuts (look at the Gulf).

We can’t gamble the long-term health of our environment for the short-term gains of temporary jobs. Thanks to Gov. Ritter and the Democrats, we have both jobs and environmental protections.

The people of Silt and Rifle and Parachute and Collbran and Craig and the rest of the state can thank Ritter for looking after their homes and those temporary drilling and completion worker’s jobs. Yippee!

GARY CONKLIN

Grand Junction

Family thanks those trying to develop park

On behalf of the elder Burkey brothers and wives who have passed away, I want to thank Gregg Palmer and previous City Council members over the years who have tried their best to get the Burkey Park completed.

I am glad to know that others in our community are also wanting to have this and other parks developed. I know my brother, Lew Burkey, who donated the land for the Burkey Park, had no children and specifically wanted it developed so that young children would have a safe place to play and enjoy with their families.

BEN BURKEY

Grand Junction



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