Printed letters, Nov. 22, 2011

Salazar is protecting too much federal land

There is an upcoming bill in the Senate that would end dedicated funding for the Recreational Trails Program, which has helped off-highway vehicle riders.

The RTP program money went to states to develop and maintain trails. This bill, S 1813, “Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st Century” was approved by the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee 18-0 on Nov. 9.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has identified 18 backcountry areas in nine western states, that he says deserve protection as national conservation or wilderness areas.

Salazar hopes his report is incorporated into an omnibus public lands bill similar to another public lands bill passed in 2009. Congress used rare parliamentary tactics that changed the designation of 2.1 million acres of public land in 2009.

Isn’t it great to have Coloradan Ken Salazar working for us in Washington with a plan for more public land closing? With his grand vision, perhaps all of Colorado will be wilderness. I’m certain that the Sierra Club would endorse that.

Contact our senators and tell them we don’t want any more areas closed to multiple use.

JOHN JUSTMAN

Fruita

Our international policy recalls Chamberlain

Over 3,000 innocent Americans were killed during the attack on 9/11. There was millions in property damage. What are we doing now to prevent this from happening again? Nothing really. We are inviting a repeat by allowing a symbol of the event to be built with taxpayers’ money commemorating the occasion with empty words.

Insulting our friends, wasting taxpayers’ money on useless projects, greasing some big corporations’ pockets in return for campaign contributions and tax benefits not available to all and, finally, cutting our defense budget when we are facing a rogue government that is building an atomic bomb. Is this the change you were voting for?

It looks and feels like the late ‘30s with our own Chamberlain and “peace in our time.”

We need to alter the course.

JOHN O. SPENDRUP

Grand Junction

Opponents out to destroy Herman Cain’s reputation

It is heartbreaking that any Americans could be misled by the so-called fair-and-balanced news media. And it’s sad to think that people would believe that someone would appear after many years of silence to slander and attempt to destroy an obviously honest person of considerable stature and ability — one who has come forward willing to serve his country in response to an obvious need.

Do you wonder why someone would wait so long to suddenly recall something so damaging? Why would several women suddenly turn up at this particular time? Why would we, the people, believe that the motives of such a person or persons were honest and pure?

It seems that there are those who would stoop to any evil to gain and maintain their position. It is hard to imagine that even good people prefer to retain the establishment rather than risk losing their positions or because someone above them has exerted pressure.

We have seen this before: A corrupt political machine ruining a reputation to preserve its own power, fearing the consequences of having someone who cannot be corrupted or controlled. Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Robert Bork are examples of attempts at political character assassination.

Some who have been elected to trusted positions actually seek to divide the people of this nation by creating class warfare. We see our constitutional freedoms steadily eroded, we notice that truth is twisted or withheld altogether.

Herman Cain, a good man, has emerged at a period in history when the United States is in great need of such a man. The tea party showed that a majority of Americans love their country. I believe that honor and justice will still triumph.

BROOKS M. POWELL

Grand Junction

Drilling on Grand Mesa could affect soil, water

FRAM Operating LLC plans to drill 108 wells (down from 500) below Grand Mesa along Highway 50 and it will affect our area in many ways. A big concern is drilling in our watershed and near the city’s reservoirs.

Several years ago, when I learned Grand Junction had no watershed ordinances, I approached the City Council and was told they did not have one nor did they think it was necessary. We volunteers gathered and collected enough signatures on our petition to force the council to write one. I was invited to sit in on a last session to add my views to this ordinance.

The Grand Mesa area now has landmen knocking on doors to get residents to sign contracts to drill on their property. When the new owners of Powderhorn Mountain Resort become surrounded by gas rigs and truck traffic runs 24/7 on the roads on the Grand Mesa, this will have a major effect on plans to make Powderhorn a year-round resort.

Drilling will come. But people should be careful what they sign. Obtain an attorney who specializes in this field to try to protect yourselves from operators unconcerned about you or your property.

The damaging effects of contaminated water and soil are permanent.

PEGGY RAWLINS

Grand Junction



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