Printed letters, July 8, 2011

President Obama is proposing that the auto industry strive to achieve 56 mpg vehicles by 2025. My question is: Why wait so long?

The industry acknowledges (finally) that it has the technology to do so now but is “afraid” the consumer will not pay the price. That’s a bunch of hooey. The vehicles do not need to be expensive. That is just a gimmick so they can charge more and increase the bonuses to the higher-ups.

I owned three vehicles in the 1990s that had already met these proposed standards. I owned a ‘92 Geo Metro four-door, five-speed-on-floor that averaged 55 mpg. I had a wreck and replaced it with a ‘94 Geo Metro four-door with five-on-the-floor, again averaging 55 mpg. I wore it out commuting (60 to 300 miles a day) and replaced it with a ‘97 Metro four-door, but it only averaged 40 mpg. That must have been because it was only a four-speed automatic. I wore it out commuting.

My uncle has a ‘94 Metro — the same model as my ‘94 — and he is getting 60 mpg, but he does not drive it as hard as I drove mine All four of these vehicles cost less that $10,000 each. They all had AM-FM radios and air conditioning. They all would run the speed limits without any trouble and accelerate as needed. All used 85-octane fuel and I did not have to plug them in at night.

These vehicles were assembled in Canada from various foreign parts, but sold as “American” through General Motors. GM took the name “Geo” off and put “Chevy” on them, and quality and performance went down, price went up, then they discontinued to sell them. Guess the Geo was just too good a car. They were built as a throw-away commuter vehicle, but they ended up as very low maintenance and going 250,000-plus miles.

The gist of this is that the whole auto industry’s “sad” tales are a bunch of hooey. The auto companies cite studies that meeting the stiffer regulation will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a new vehicle. I would bet these “studies” were conducted by the auto companies themselves and tweaked to suit their own wants.

The National Auto Dealers Association maintains that to meet the proposed standard, more that 50 percent of the fleet must be hybrid or electric.  That goes into another area that takes volumes of pro-con discussions.

Just very briefly: Why do we have to be dependent on “foreign” oil or on electricity from non-coal sources?

LARRY M. HEAD Hotchkiss

Coloradans understood TABOR when it passed

Once in a while, someone will open a window on his true agenda, as did Arn McConnell when he personally attacked Americans for Prosperity and Kelly Sloan for their support of TABOR.

Although his message is muddled, McConnell made a word-twisting argument that equates prosperity with taxation. His assumptions rest on the claim that the interests of constituents are best served when government has unlimited access to your bank account. The implication is that Colorado residents can’t be trusted to make rational economic decisions.

What McConnell seems to really want is more money — more money for a state-run education monopoly that can’t effectively educate our kids;,more money for a legal system that preys on citizens trapped in the statutory/regulatory maze and more money for social-engineering schemes. In other words, more money for the constituencies listed in his letter.

Colorado taxpayers aren’t stupid. When they passed TABOR, they were well aware that spending discipline would limit the growth of government. To this day, TABOR remains overwhelmingly popular among the people of Colorado and represents an effective constraint on state power.

I applaud our local elected officials who stand with taxpayers by affirming their support of TABOR.

MARTIN CHAZEN

Grand Junction

St. Mary’s staff provided excellent care after wreck

Friday, May 13, began as a beautiful sunny day with friends and loved ones riding our mountain bikes on the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park. A fluke crash on arguably the widest and flattest part of the whole road changed my life.

I would like to thank the wonderful staff at St. Mary’s Hospital for their professionalism, kindness, expert care and sense of urgency. I was treated with respect, empathy, calmness, cool and cheerful support over my six-day stay in the hospital.

The Care Flight staff, plus everyone in the ER, Radiology, OR, ICU and the orthopedic ward provided the best care I could have ever imagined.

Every doctor, nurse, aide, therapist and support staff member treated me as if I were the only patient in the building.

I wish I could thank everyone individually, but there were so many of them whose faces I didn’t even see who were there doing what they do so well. Please accept this letter to all of you as the best way I can show my gratitude for your wonderful care and giving me a good start on my way to recovery.

JOSEPH SPRICK Glenwood Springs


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