Printed letters, Sept. 8, 2010

Fires a necessary tool for local agriculture

It’s the time of year in the Grand Valley to see plumes of smoke. To many, this sighting causes alarm. However, there is no need. These are controlled agricultural burns. It is necessary for farmers to burn their fields in order for them to be ready for the following year.

While the smoke is annoying, the burning is beneficial because it puts nitrogen back in the ground.

The burning also helps wipe out crop residue, harmful insects and weeds, makes seeding easier, reduces the use of chemicals needed for combating plant diseases and helps maintain crop yields. In addition, it also reduces the need for tiling, which makes soil less susceptible to erosion.

The farmers who burn their fields do not just burn negligently when they choose. They burn only when there is no fire ban and call dispatch before burning. Farmers also make sure that they have a tractor with a water tank or some sort of water source nearby in case the fire does get out of hand. Farmers are vigilant when burning in order to protect their land and the land of others around them.

Even though these burnings occur every year, there are still many citizens who call these fires in. Others show up to gawk. How would the fire department get to where they need to be when there are so many rubber-neckers in the way?

If you don’t like these burns, find somewhere else to live. This is still an agricultural area with these practices in place. The people who complain are more than likely the same people who forget about where the food they eat comes from.

So unless you are absolutely certain it is an out-of-control fire, don’t call it in and don’t drive around getting in the way. Save the fire department and the farmers the time and hassle.

SAM WATERS

Fruita

Ballot measures will hurt our quality of life

I believe all of us have an expectation that our state government entities be efficient and accountable in spending our tax dollars. We, as citizens, also have a responsibility to be mindful that our tax dollars are appropriately spent and to constructively challenge the process if we believe they are not.

At times we don’t do our part so well, our frustration leads to apathy and we risk giving away our choices to other who have no interests in contributing to finding practical solutions. I believe that apathy has allowed the caustic public policy positions in Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 to be on the ballot this fall.

For 20 years, I have enjoyed the benefits living and working in Colorado and I absolutely believe these three ballot measures will compromise our quality lifestyle. Before it’s too late, I encourage every voter to take time to read these measures and consider the resulting deep-impact consequences they have on Colorado businesses, schools, highways, judicial system, human services, every component of our infrastructure.

If, as I have, you find the measures compromise Colorado’s lifestyle, please vote “No” on all three measures.

LON CARPENTER

Grand Junction

Marijuana research lacking because of climate of fear

Before people vote “No” on medical marijuana dispensaries, please research the history of marijuana. Find the truth of who, how and why it was banned in 1937.

In a 1974 study by Medical College of Virginia, THC was found to slow and/or prevent cell growth of three cancers in mice: lung, breast, virus-induced leukemia. In 2000, researchers in Madrid destroyed incurable brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC that inhibited tumor growth in lab animals.

In 1944, Harry Anslinger went berserk, threatening doctors with prison if they dared carry out independent research on cannabis. In 1976, the Ford administration banned independent research and research by federal health programs on the use of natural cannabis derivatives for medicine.

Very little research has been done on marijuana and that won’t change as long as fear remains.

To the mothers of PACT, what if marijuana could save your teenager from cancer one day?

There has not been much research done on marijuana due to the atmosphere of fear and lies.What if it truly is a miracle plant?

SANDRA ALDERSEA

Parachute

Symphony Under Stars an awesome experience

My husband and I went to the Symphony Under the Stars a few weeks ago. This is the second time we have gone, since being here for 34 years. What a shame. The evening was beautiful. The bands were great, and the symphony was awesome.

I wish to thank each and every one who put on this great event. The only thing missing, I felt, was the World War II veterans. This was dedicated to them and I feel like at the symphony they were not recognized as well as they could have been. It would have been nice if they stood and we applauded, or if they sat and we stood and applauded.

The evening was wonderful and I thank you.

CAROLYN BRYANT

Grand Junction



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