Printed letters, May 4, 2010

As Gary Harmon pointed out in his April 25 column, the debate goes on regarding a Grand Junction public-safety center. It’s time to consider an alternative to our fragmented local governments and service providers.

Why not combine the Grand Junction Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department into a metropolitan police department? Combining the two departments would immediately reap efficiencies. A single patrol unit, detective group, combined administration and labs and forensic operations would save the taxpayers dollars.

Such a metropolitan police department would follow similar patterns to the cooperative efforts that have already been created with the Grand Valley Regional Transportation Organization, the Grand Junction Drainage District and the Cooperative Planning areas (“buffer strips”) between Grand Junction and Fruita and Palisade and Grand Junction.

Future Grand Valley metropolitan services could be expanded to include a metropolitan parks, recreation and open-space district, metropolitan road-maintenance district and other metropolitan services. These services could be more efficiently managed on a metropolitan scale rather than our current fragmented service districts, each providing their own service, which often is overlapping and duplicative.

How would such a metro district be funded? Each local government could contribute an annual amount proportionate to its population and the district itself could assess its own tax, allowing the local governments to lower or eliminate their taxes for these services.

The Grand Junction area qualified as a Metropolitan Statistical Area after the 1990 Census, based on the area’s population of over 100,000 with a central urban population of 50,000. Now is the time to provide metropolitan services for its population.

BENNETT BOESCHENSTEIN

Grand Junction

Sage grouse protected better than some homes

According to a recent news article the state and local officials and politicians in Wyoming are attempting to protect thousands of acres of the habitat of the sage grouse from the effects of energy drilling. The article also stated that even some of the drilling companies had agreed not to drill in this habitat.

Compare this with Colorado where our state and local officials and politicians are complicit with the energy drilling companies who are intent on drilling in or in close proximity to the habitat of approximately 5,000 people in the Battlement Mesa PUD.

Apparently the sage grouse have not invested any money in infrastructure such as roads, water etc. that can be utilized by the drilling companies which makes their habitat much less attractive for drilling in than the Battlement Mesa habitat.

I would move out, but I believe that it is impossible to recover my investment in my property because of the drilling activity.

GARRY EVENSON

Battlement Mesa

There’s nothing funny about MSNBC broadcasts

My friend, Denny Herzog, likes watching the Comedy Channel’s Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report for the way it highlights the hypocrisy of FOX News in its reporting.

We do, too. FOX News, as self-anointed spokesman for the extreme right, is a laugh for a bunch of us.

Denny goes on to say that he hopes the Comedy Channel or some other television program does the same to MSNBC as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have done to FOX News.

Denny, my friend, you cannot make a funny story of the truth. The success of MSNBC is also based upon the hypocrisy of FOX News and its constituents, the tea party right.

As to MSNBC, there’s no funny there.

DENNIS BAKER

Grand Junction



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