Printed letters, Sept. 1, 2011

We don’t want to repeat

oil-shale industry collapse

The recent hearings on oil shale held in Grand Junction missed the point. This community was devastated by the oil shale crash of the 1980s, due to the lack of an economically feasible method of producing oil from rock, despite heavy government subsidies, extensive research and major private investment.

As a planner who worked here in the 1980s, I saw the oil shale collapse leave Western Slope communities in a state of decline for a decade. Major oil companies’ investments and heavy government subsidies couldn’t resolve the enormous costs, environmental hazards and negative local community impacts associated with oil shale production.

As Grand Junction Mayor Tom Kenyon, former Mayor Jim Spehar and congressional aide Audrey Berry stated in The Daily Sentinel, the oil shale collapse of the 1980s was something we do not want to repeat. Going slow on oil shale and emphasizing smart drilling for natural gas and use of renewable energy sources makes sense.


Grand Junction

Monument missed chance to host important race

This response is related to Scott Mercier’s Aug. 29 column, titled “Right from start.” I want to thank Scott for his words regarding the “colossal mistake by inexplicably failing to bid for a stage” in the USA-Pro Cycling Challenge.

The Colorado National Monument’s former superintendent had little to no appreciation for what the myriad cyclists riding on this pristine monument bring to the valley. Further, she clearly showed unilateral decision-making that cost this valley tourism income.

The hypocrisy is obvious: While denying the bike race to highlight our city, she allowed over 800 visitors to celebrate the anniversary of the monument. While asserting the challenge would cause some vague damage to the monument, she led the celebration’s lack of greenness as she stressed the monument’s vegetation and air quality.

Over 800 visitors, their feet treading over pristine areas of the monument; their vehicles spewing carbon monoxide over the wildlife; the human traffic stressing both flora and fauna; the noise adding to the mayhem.

No way did all those visitors in one afternoon leave no trace. I ride the monument frequently; I have never seen a trace left by a cyclist.

Sick and twisted is the theme of the monument’s superintendency. Now, we as a community will have to fight to win the Pro Cycling Challenge.

Thanks, Scott, for saying the obvious for fellow cyclists.


Grand Junction

Tipton should tell people he opposed clinic funding

Mountain Family Health Clinic recently opened its doors for business in Rifle, a new top-notch facility that will provide high-quality primary health care with special consideration for the medically under-served and uninsured in rural Colorado. My congratulations to all of the contributors to this project.

There were several foundations, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and EnCana that funded the construction of the facility. In addition to their funding, a significant amount of the money came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the stimulus package. Sounds great so far, right? Government and the private sector coming together to work for the common good.

Nothing political there, unless your current congressman campaigned vehemently against the stimulus package and encouraged constituents to write the governor not to accept the funds, as Congressman Scott Tipton did.

Tipton’s top district staffer, Scott Streit, attended the grand opening on behalf of the congressman — glad handing, schmoozing, working the crowd, not telling the constituents he represents, “I, Scott Streit, as a 9.12 patriot, worked to destroy the funding for this excellent facility, and my boss, Congressman Tipton, used his opposition of ARRA as the primary focus of his campaign.”

You can’t have it both ways. This project did create jobs, put in place much-needed health care infrastructure and made excellent use of taxpayer dollars. If this wasn’t a great project, an accomplishment for Tipton’s district, a job creator, why was his staff member there?

If Tipton opposed ARRA, he should be a man, look his constituents in the face and tell them when it matters most, importantly when they are cutting a ribbon on a beautiful facility like the one in Rifle.


Grand Junction

Scott Tipton represents all of his constituents

I too, want to voice my support for Scott Tipton. He is representing all his constituents, not just those in his own party.

This country is broke and tough decisions have to be made to get us back into solvency. Scott is prepared to make those decisions. The Democrats have to be really desperate to be running such character assassination ads in their attempt to defeat Scott Tipton.

Well, we might not have as much money as they do, but we have the will, the stamina and the desire to see that Scott Tipton goes back to Washington, D.C., to represent the 3rd Congression- al District in a fair and sensible way.


Grand Junction


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