Printed letters, June 10, 2011
Safety Academy was eye-opener on public costs
I have just completed the Grand Junction Citizens Public Safety Academy. It gives us citizens a great overview of public safety. It offers the city a chance to show off just what these fine police and fire personnel can do.
The academy covers police, fire, emergency medical, hazardous materials response, the bomb squad, the 911 communications center and many, many more aspects of public safety that most of us have never thought about. The presentations are given by those who have the hands-on skills and perform the job. The class is interesting, informative, and often entertaining. I personally recommend it
When I look back and ask myself, “what have I learned,” I come up with a number of answers. I am amazed by how technology has changed public safety in my lifetime. I am impressed with the new ideas introduced by experienced police and firemen. They become part of the training and, bit-by-bit, a totally new way of doing the job is developed.
I am struck by the vast services our city and county offer to all citizens. They are enormous, and they go to everyone. We all benefit.
It takes a wealthy country to keep these services flowing. There is the pay and benefit package for each man and woman on the force, and the obvious cost of a new fire truck or ambulance. But this is just the beginning. The amount, and expense, of the equipment needed for each specialized job, plus the facilities for work and training are unbelievable.
Perhaps it is time to teach economics in public school, now that our country is treading water on wealth production.
Local control needed for our federal lands
It is nice to see that the budget cuts in Washington D.C. are helping to keep the federal government out of Mesa County. Take Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s backing down from pushing federal-government designated wild lands areas on public lands due to lack of federal funds to implement the program. Instead, designation of wild areas will continue to be made by local governments, where the decisions belong. This is a huge win for Mesa County.
Defenders of federal government control say that under Salazar’s plan there would have been “community input.” Well, if community input equates to anything like the community input that we had in Mesa County on matters such as redistricting, then we would all be in trouble. It is up to local governments to designate plans for wilderness areas, not the federal government.
The other issue is what effect these wild lands designations would have on uses of our lands for our local industries, such as ranching, recreation and energy development. With the economy still slow and so many people still unemployed, can Mesa County really afford to have the federal government put more restrictions on our revenue-raising, job-creating industries?
Local control of our county is clearly a far better alternative to federal government control.
Palin’s strange lesson proves partially correct
Although Alaska’s former half-governor may not know why the Korean peninsula is divided, she does seem to know something about American history that most of us either didn’t know, or had forgotten.
In recent remarks, Sarah Palin contended that during Paul Revere’s famous “The British are coming” ride in 1775, he also warned a contingent of British soldiers that “the Americans are coming.”
According to knowledgeable scholars, Palin is correct.
It seems Revere was stopped by the British sometime during his ride and broke under interrogation. According to Revere’s own account, a Major Mitchell of the British 5th Regiment pointed a pistol at his head and said that if he didn’t answer his questions truthfully, he would be shot on the spot. At this point, Revere stated, “there would be five hundred Americans there in a short time, for I had alarmed the country all the way up.”
It’s a good thing Revere gave up his information to the British prior to the writing of the U.S. Constitution, or he could have been charged with committing treason under the “providing aid and comfort to the enemy” provision of Article III, Section 3.
It will now be interesting to see how long it takes Palin to claim she can see the Mexican border from the porch of her recently purchased, $1.7 million mansion in Scottsdale, Ariz. I’ll give her three months, tops!
E. MICHAEL ERVIN Grand Junction
National Football League is a private enterprise
I read the May 20 article about the public paying the NFL players who are being paid millions a year.
Doesn’t the author realize that the NFL is a private enterprise and has never received any taxpayer money? Nobody forces him to watch the NFL.