Printed letters, May 10, 2011

How much time do Grand Junction Planning Commission members put in on their planning or how seriously do members take their jobs?

An April 26 article by Amy Hamilton, “Vehicle storage near trail OK’d,” stated the Planning Commission unanimously voted to allow a towing company to continue to store wrecked vehicles, better known as derelict rusting oozing hulks, near the river trail.

The Planning Commission has latitude to interpret regulations as it sees fit. But why are we are faced with people on it intent on taking the riverfront back to a refuse site?

How hard this community worked and how much it spent to clean up our riverfront. Remember Van Gundy’s? Brady Trucking is still being contested, and now we have Western Towing.

Despite the intentions of Mike Knowles, owner of Western Towing, to finally comply with beautification of the property as part of a conditional-use permit, the fact remains that Grand Junction had a vision for its riverfront. That vision is being eroded by the short-term view of the Planning Commission. Planting trees to obstruct the view from the riverfront walk does not stop potential chemicals from oozing into groundwater.

Western Towing may have 177 employees. But it should be responsible to its employees, its community and the future and do it with honor and pride.

BENITA PHILLIPS

Palisade

Haggerty column was historically inaccurate

In the April 24 article, “The Cloud Forest,” written by Bill Haggerty, it was reported that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was “assumed” to be a descendant of William Walker (who had been executed in Honduras in 1860).

It should be noted, the William Walker referred to in the article never married and had no children (at least none bearing his last name). Many books and articles have been written about his life and exploits. Also, his brothers accompanied him on this operation and did not survive (no evidence exists they ever married or had children). All of this could be easily checked.

Furthermore, (according to the 2000 U.S. Census) the last name Walker was the 28th most common name.

Haggerty should do better research on historic political events or just stick to being an outdoors expert. This cheap shot against Gov. Walker was unnecessary, inaccurate and inappropriate for an “Outside” feature article.

I am familiar with this William Walker because my direct ancestor (Captain Frederick Chatard-USN, commanding the USS Saratoga) was instrumental in his arrest in 1857 during his first “filibuster” in Central America. Also, I have many Walker ancestors.

Please edit your articles more carefully for accuracy.

LORI PARROTT

Grand Junction

Interest on our debt costs more than many agencies

Most of us are aware that we have a huge national debt ($14 trillion and rising). I hope we can get our elected officials to stop their careless spending sprees at the taxpayer’s expense.

A number that you don’t hear much about is $413 billion. What is that number, you may ask? If you borrow money from someone you have to pay interest on the outstanding balance. $413 billion is what the U.S. government paid in interest in 2010 alone.

Unfortunately, most of that is going to foreign countries such as China, Japan and Russia, and the oil cartels.

That $413 billion spent purely on interest is more than was spent on the following departments combined: Health and Human Services, Transportation, Energy, Veterans Affairs, HUD, Justice, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Commerce, the Small Business Administration and the Department of Labor.

Just think how all of our lives would change if we could keep that money in this country and not pay it out for interest on uncontrolled debt!

BRIAN LANGFITT

Grand Junction


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