McDaniel will help sustain city's momentum

Our city has made great strides in recent years, pursuing a variety of economic growth strategies to improve infrastructure and the livability of our community. This momentum for Grand Junction will be left in the hands of new council members, elected Tuesday.

The candidate best equipped to maintain our economic momentum is Chuck McDaniel. Chuck is a proven business leader who will listen well and decide carefully the tough issues the city will face. Chuck is tough and reasonable. Chuck McDaniel is the best choice for City Council, and I urge my friends and neighbors to cast their ballots for Chuck.

Sincerely,

LINDE MARSHALL

Grand Junction


Grand Junction needs a place where all belong

Recently as I was having coffee with a friend, I mentioned the Community Center proposal and was quite stunned to hear that she thought there were “enough gyms in town” and thought Grand Junction was “too big” to have a center make much difference. Since she comes from a small but well-endowed part of the Western Slope, her view propelled me to write to encourage voters who default to “no new taxes” or have their recreational needs satisfied at a private facility to support this referendum.

Having made our life in Grand Junction since the early 1980s and watched it grow (and shrink) and bloom into the truly magical place that it is, we believe that a community center as proposed by those working diligently at the grassroots will provide a hub of wellness and joy of life for citizens of all ages and developmental stages far beyond what a gym, health club or pool alone could ever provide.

Having visited the Delta Rec Center at the peak hours after work, we saw that community was buzzing with a wide range of activities and felt a deep longing for this kind of healthy setting for our city.

As we are surrounded by magnificent natural beauty on all sides and have enhanced so many places, we also need a central place, the heart of our small city, that provides a safe place for children, teens, parents and grandparents – all of us – to play and enjoy our favorite activities in community. We all belong. With your vote on a small new tax, the far-reaching effects will be a legacy of belief in the inclusion of everyone and the generous desire to provide a space we will all be proud to call our own.

Sincerely,

TERESA and WALID BOU-MATAR

Grand Junction


Carbon fee is a market-driven innovation that can secure America's future

I attended Congressman Tipton’s Energy Roundtable as a Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteer and Club 20 member. Energy is one of the most dynamic and divisive areas of public policy. There are so many things at stake, and they’re the things we hold most dear: jobs, reliable electricity, economic stability, and a livable climate for our children and grandchildren. No single interest group should decide how we balance competing needs. We have to work together if we want a prosperous, sustainable future.

We need forums like Rep. Tipton’s roundtable where a variety of stakeholders can learn from each other and listen to each other. We share common goals. Tipton supports market-driven innovation and technology to reduce environmental impacts. I support HR 763, a market-driven federal bill with bipartisan co-sponsors that addresses the risks of climate change by charging a fee on fossil fuel emissions. Net revenues are returned to Americans in monthly dividends to spend as they see fit.

If it costs money to emit carbon dioxide, energy providers will develop ways to reduce or eliminate emissions. The dividend protects low- and middle-class budgets and acts as an economic stimulus, boosting local businesses. Fees are phased in, giving communities a generation to adapt, and cleaner-burning natural gas plays a key role in that transition. That’s market-driven innovation in service to a noble goal.

Responsible energy development means taking responsibility for the pollution it creates. A Yale University study estimates that 79 percent of Americans believe carbon dioxide should be regulated as a pollutant. HR 763 is a market-driven bipartisan way to drive down carbon emissions while promoting free enterprise and protecting our economy.

KATHY FACKLER

Durango


City election and SB181 could be devastating in tandem

What are the chances the following could happen?

City of Grand Junction voters may approve one or more of Referred Measures 2A/2B/2C just as the Colorado Legislature approves SB18, driving the oil and gas industry out of Colorado and into more oil-and-gas-friendly states. The two could even happen on the same day!

Will anybody care? Not the Denver-Boulder axis which supports the bill. But Grand Junction will. The oil and gas industry and its well-paid workers will depart Mesa County, leaving the city with newly-approved authority, but no way to pay for any of the referred measures that pass. The City will go into debt anyway.

Let's wait and watch.

RICHARD RININGER

Grand Junction


Green New Deal puts the cart before the horse

”Liberal” has become “literal." History is therefore irrelevant. How dishonest. The term “Make America Great Again” baffles people who only see in one direction and judge history by today's terms ... be it religious or political. In other words, historical hypocrisy.

”Making America great” was fueled by a spirit unrestrained by the past: Overcoming man and nature with new possibilities … railroads, steel, oil, cars, airplanes, radios, television, defeat of fascism and Nazis, DNA, integrated circuits, etc.

The “Green New Deal” gets the cart before the horse. It's a step in the right direction, but can't be shoved down people's throats. Who pays? If it works out, with 700 mph trains, one could commute 500 miles in 42 minutes.

America is not a lifeboat, it is a beacon. May American dreams remain unrestrained, practical and great.

FRED STEWART

Grand Junction


Fix gaps in health care for those incarcerated

Seventy percent of all people released from Colorado Department of Corrections qualify for Medicaid. Yet, many of them do not have an established primary care provider when they re-enter society. Having continued primary and mental health care when entering and leaving the criminal justice centers is imperative to ensure the best possible outcome for these vulnerable individuals.

Privacy laws and the health care system prohibit easy access to medical records across health care settings. This includes jails and prisons. When a person is detained in jail, it may take a few days for medical records to be obtained and reviewed. In our observations, people who are incarcerated may not be properly medicated during this delay. This can cause a deterioration in a person’s mental or physical health. Suicide is a leading cause of death in jails. This tends to occur less than 1 week from entering the facility. It is crucial for people in jail to have timely care and medication to maintain their physical and mental health.

People stay in jail for a shorter amount of time than prison. Because of high turnover in jails, there needs to be additional attention to ensure that people are set up for success when they leave. This includes ensuring that people have access to proper behavioral, mental and primary care when they leave the facility to prevent the revolving door of recidivism.

Mortality rates are high during the first few weeks of release from prison, and tend to be fatal opioid overdose. In 2015, only 20 percent of Medicaid-eligible people who were released from Department of Corrections sough primary care within the first two weeks from release, only 6 percent received behavioral and mental health care. In fact, 28 percent of that population did not receive any primary care, and 64 percent did not engage in behavioral and mental health care in the same year.

We propose being more proactive to ensure prompt evaluation and access to medication when people are entering the criminal justice system, and when reintegrating into society upon release. We believe more effort can be made on behalf of our mental and physical health providers to support these individuals in receiving the assistance they need to remain healthy in society.

Assuring that an individual being released from a detention facility be immediately connected with a medical home would benefit the individual and the community as a whole.

Sincerely,

JANA BAUMAN

Grand Junction


Recreation, 'just for fun,' has many health benefits

A community center would provide young people a low-cost (or even free) place to have fun and build friendships outside of school. It would provide them with not only access to physical recreation, but also safe, social recreation.

Years ago in Grand Junction, my friends and I struggled to find fun and safe ways to spend our leisure time. Organized sports were great for some, but not “making the team” alienated many and sent the wrong message that sports were only for some, not all. In a time when there is too much emphasis on how sports can leverage college and career, I hope that the voters of Grand Junction see that recreation just for fun has far more physical and mental health benefits. Even though the athletic clubs do just fine for adults, they are made for adults. Young people need a place!

I currently work at a community center working with youth who come because it is safe, fun, affordable, and social. The young people of our communities need a community center.

Montrose and Rifle have community centers. It’s time for Grand Junction! Please vote yes on 2C!

DANNY HERR

Denver


Taxpayers holding the bag for Mueller report

Start a Go Fund Me account for me. I am broke. My tax dollars were taken and the money spent by the Democrats and the two-year, $25 million Mueller report. No one asked me what cause I wanted my tax money to support. I am taxed everywhere I go.

ROBERT LUCERO

Grand Junction


City's taxing scheme is unfair to non-residents

Some people of Grand Junction want a community center, increase for fire and police (which they should because they put their lives on the line for everyone) and road repairs.

That is great — just don’t ask people in the outlying areas of Grand Junction to help you pay for these services. Put the increases where they belong, in your property taxes.

If the rest of us buy a big ticket item for $30,000, we already pay over $2,400 in sales tax. Most auto dealerships are in Grand Junction. If all three measures pass, that is an extra $300 which is better in my pocket than your coffers.

Pass all three and I will probably shop for my next car, RV or any other big ticket items elsewhere where the sales tax is lower than Grand Junction. Please take responsibility and pay for your own wants and services, we already pay more than our fair share for police, fire and roads for your community.

DAVID CHRISTENSEN

Clifton


Tax measures on ballot should have tighter sideboards

The present ballot questions should have some added provisions before receiving a yes vote.

First, that the present funding must continue at the level of at least the average of the past three years. As it is the city will be able to do as the county is doing with the sheriff and district attorney's budget. They reduce the general fund portion of the budget to be used as so desired so the new tax has to make up the difference first before any added benefit is realized. It is the old dangling carrot in front of the farmers plow pulling mule to get what you are really after.

Next it has to have a time limit. The way it is now you pay, your kids pay, your grandkids pay and so on. That exorbitant "trillion" dollar may be the most truthful part of the ballot.

Lastly I firmly do not believe in a tax for a want. How can you inflict more pain on people already hurting for a party? If you have a few dollars you just have to throw away, I have some hobbies you can contribute to. Thank you for reading this.

DOUGLAS LAWYER

Grand Junction


Biden is a threat to socialist wing of the Democratic Party

Joe Biden is the most experienced Democrat from that whole group that’s running for President. He is from the old school when the Democratic Party was doing good for the nation and the working class people. They had common sense in those times. I would hope Joe Biden hasn’t been corrupted by working with Obama and with the Clintons. I can see that he is a big threat to Democrats running for president. That’s why someone is stirring up some trouble for him already. It’s probably from his own party. That’s their style of attack.

RAFAEL SALAZ

Grand Junction


High five to Trout Unlimited

As a fisherman and outdoor enthusiast, I value clean waterways and unpolluted ecosystems.

Trout Unlimited, a national grassroots organization made a big endorsement last week for a bipartisan climate change solution — The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood explained it best:

“Just as we learned in the 1990s that we had to move from the stream to the watershed scale to recover trout and salmon, we must reduce carbon emissions to slow climate change. For this reason, Trout Unlimited is supporting passage of common sense legislation such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act… The time for band-aids is past. Nothing less than the future of trout and salmon; the future of fishing — the future for our children is at stake.”

I salute Trout Unlimited for their leadership and commitment to restoration, conservation, and their foresight about our climate change predicament.

SUSAN ATKINSON

Durango

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