Printed letters, Sept. 22, 2010

As a fast-growing and reliable source of jobs on the Western Slope, the renewable-energy industry should be our focus. Job growth continues in solar design and installation — and these jobs are more sustainable than those that rely on fossil fuels that will not be around forever.

The recent “Rally for Jobs,” sponsored by the oil and gas industry, was nothing more than an effort to avoid regulation. Those jobs are, and have always been, limited.

Most of us want to be energy independent and want jobs that will last for our children and grandchildren. Fossil fuels can’t make that promise. Renewable sources like solar can.

In the solar industry, we are continually learning more and making this resource more efficient and affordable. That means more growth, more jobs and a future that is cleaner and more sustainable.  Not even the best public-relations machine can produce that for the oil and gas industry.

HEIDI IHRKE High Noon Solar

Grand Junction

Urge Gov. Ritter to opt out of federal anesthesia rule

Gov. Bill Ritter is considering opting out of a federal rule that requires certified registered nurse anesthetists to be under the supervision of a physician when sedating Medicare patients. I support this change.

As a CRNA at Delta County Memorial Hospital, I administer anesthesia care under the supervision of a doctor who has little or no training in anesthesia. Anesthesia has been delivered safely, for many years, by CRNAs.

However, because of the additional liability associated with supervision, physicians are becoming more hesitant to supervise CRNAs, making it nearly impossible for hospitals to comply with the federal requirement.

At this point in time, the surgeons and physicians at Delta County Memorial are comfortable working with CRNAs. But, the recruitment of new surgeons could be difficult. This means that patients in our community may go without needed care.

In rural Colorado, CRNAs provide 70 percent of anesthesia. Without CRNAs, areas of the state like ours would not be able to provide access to most surgical services. That means our community could lose access to vital services like surgery, pain management, obstetrics and even trauma stabilization.

It’s frightening to think we could lose precious moments in emergencies as we transport patients all the way to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.

For the health and safety of our community, it’s essential that Gov. Ritter opt out of the burdensome requirement. I encourage our community to unite in support of this vital opt out that will ensure we all maintain access to high-quality health care.

KATHY AKERS, CRNA

Delta County Memorial Hospital

Delta

Canal roads should be open for recreation

In the past few months, both large canal companies have placed green, padlocked gates at several locations, blocking non-motorized traffic. In particular, they are on North Seventh Street (Little and Big Grand Valley canals) and just behind my back fence about 100 yards north of 12th Street and H Road (Highline Canal).

Since the canals were built 100 years ago, they have been used by walkers, runners, cyclists and horsemen. For the past 40 years, I have run and cycled this stretch of canal from 12th Street and H Road west. There is, then, an established common right of use.

The canal companies have said we are in the way of their maintenance. This is a sham.

It is said that there is no liability protection for the landowner and canal companies. This is also overblown. Under Gov. Roy Romer, in March 1997, HB 1132 was passed that makes available liability protection.

A court confrontation should not be necessary. For example, a simple solution behind my house would be to remove the padlock on the smaller west gate. A chain-link fence could then be slipped vertically in the gate notch to open and close it. This is the method used by the BLM at the mountain-bike trailhead to Rustler’s Loop south of Loma. It works well.

The issue needs to be addressed responsibly as non-motorized traffic on the canal roads is not going to stop.

PAUL WUBBEN

Grand Junction



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