Printed letters, March 12

Fruita is the only governmental entity in the valley that doesn’t have a marijuana dispensary. We must have done something right.

Yes, the city of Fruita has a legal avenue for a marijuana dispensary to operate in Fruita, but to date not a single shop is open in Fruita. Why?

The City Council crafted and passed a very strict set of parameters for those shops to operate in the city.

The council chose to protect the citizens’ interest by dealing with this issue head-on instead of waiting indefinitely for some type of guidance from the state that may or may not come.

Those parameters include allowing dispensaries by conditional use permit only. The business must meet the needs and desires of the neighborhood. There will not be an undue concentration of shops in Fruita, no businesses within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare facility, increased security measures approved and inspected by the Fruita Police Department, and background checks on all applicants. The proposed 5 percent sales tax is to pay for the increase in the police time required to manage such businesses.

The council adopted a legally responsible ordinance without banning dispensaries, as Centennial tried to do. It lost in court. Our job is to uphold laws passed by a majority of voters, regardless of our personal beliefs.

When one person or a small minority start to believe they know what is better than the majority of the voting public, then we lose the very foundation of what our country was based on. This is not a battle between liberal and conservatism. This is about finding a solution to a problem.


Fruita City Council


Council cannot reject legitimate business plans

The Fruita City Council approved a license for the new convenience store to sell 3.2 percent beer. Yes, the location does abut Fruita Monument High School. However, the applicant fully complies with the law.

State law restricts alcohol sales near schools, but it specifically excludes 3.2 percent beer from this prohibition. It is legal to sell 3.2 beer within 1,000 feet of a school. The location of such sales is not the issue. State and local laws prohibit selling any alcoholic beverages to minors. These laws are strictly enforced.

If you follow the exodus of vehicles from the high school parking lot at lunch, you’ll see many go to City Market, and the Loco truck stop. Both of these businesses sell 3.2 percent beer. (They also sell tobacco products, which minors cannot purchase.)

There is no justification to deny a legitimate business activity that complies with state and local laws, simply because it offends someone’s personal preferences. To do so could be seen as “arbitrary and capricious” and subject to lawsuit.

Following the law is neither liberal nor conservative. It is being responsible to our oath of office.


Fruita City Council


Sarmo and Arts Council give much to community

Thanks to The Daily Sentinel for the article on Allison Sarmo’s retirement.

I made a presentation to the Arts Commission this year for the Western Colorado Writers Workshop, No. 14 out of 23 people on the agenda that afternoon. Allison, as coordinator, and the commissioners, listened and asked careful questions, keeping a stack of projects in their heads: sculpture and painting and art studio tours, chorals and concerts and opera, after-school arts, poetry, radio, library, museums, and theatre, for example.

The elephant in the room:  How do you fund all this extraordinary art when you’ve about half the money requested?

Somehow, they did. I had no idea 11 busy people gave so much time to make art possible in our town.

A standing ovation to the commission members for their work, and to Allison Sarmo, a beacon who will be much missed.


Grand Junction


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