County must take stand against COVID

The three Mesa County commissioners showed an astonishing lack of leadership and political courage when they sat and listened to the local ignorati complain about Jeff Kuhr and the vaccination campaign.

This modern day “Earth is flat” contingent should have been soundly rebuked and rebutted. If anything, Jeff Kuhr, as the head of the public health department has been too lenient in regards to masking and re-opening. Mesa County will remain in the throes of this epidemic far longer than necessary precisely because of these unvaccinated fools.

There is some irony here. The same ones who clamored for no masking and total immediate re-opening are now the ones responsible for the on-going outbreaks and hospitalizations. I just finished reading a letter to the editor from numerous health care professionals begging for people in Mesa County to take this COVID epidemic seriously. These people know; they see the devastation every day. It is time for the commissioners to take a stand. Do we want to stand with Mississippi in wearing our badge of ignorance?


Grand Junction

Public health director needs to get frank about virus surge

It’s time to remind Jeff Kuhr that he isn’t a politician

I was glad that KREX 5 sought comment from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment when reporting on the COVID-19 surge in Mesa County last week. If they hadn’t, we may have only gotten the watered down version of reality that we’ve gotten accustomed to from Jeff Kuhr, the Mesa County executive director of public health.

CDPHE says the high infection rate is a direct correlation to the county’s low vaccination rate. In the same website article, Jeff explains that he isn’t asking everyone to be vaccinated, only to wash their hands. He says the low vaccination rate is not what has caused the surge in our county, it’s the Delta variant.

It’s time to quit pandering to the commissioners and their Free to Choose initiative, Jeff. Why don’t you tell the public that if they find themselves in need of intensive care in this county, there isn’t a bed for them? And that they will have to be diverted to the Front Range because our beds are full of the unvaccinated Mesa County residents you’re pandering to? You’re a public health official and it’s time to act like one.

The COVID vaccine is effective in preventing infection and serious illness, even with the Delta variant. Every Mesa County resident that is eligible should be getting the vaccine.


Grand Junction

If you want our economy to bounce back, get vaccinated

All of Mesa County should be proud! We are the county with the worst COVID-19 cases in the state, perhaps even the country.

Robin Brown, Grand Junction Economic Partnership director, has reported that because of our COVID-19 rates, new businesses are not interested in Grand Junction. Well, I think the same might apply to tourists. Why would anyone choose to vacation in a place where they have the worst COVID-19 rates? Since Grand Junction relies so much on tourism for a strong economy, I suggest that people who have not been vaccinated yet, reconsider.

If you want our economy to bounce back, get a vaccination and wear a mask! Furthermore, those of you who appeared before the county commissioners claiming that your constitutional rights are violated because you are being required to wear a mask need to recheck your Constitution. If that were logical, then I should not be required to wear clothing when I go out in public. I should be able to run around buck naked in public if I choose to! You have all been living with the “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” requirement for years, which is, by the way, a public health order, so what’s the big deal about masks?

They called our World War II vets and workforce the Greatest Generation because those folks stepped up without question to do what was necessary for the greater good. What has happened to Americans? Let’s come together and end this pandemic!


Grand Junction

Virus or climate, being a ‘hot spot’ is bad for business

As we approach a week of continued drought, unhealthy smoky air, and extreme heat advisories, it’s hard not to compare our COVID vaccination situation with our warming climate.

GJEP is hearing that companies are reluctant to invest in Mesa County because of the low vaccination and high hospitalization rates. Similarly, because reports tell us that Western Colorado has already exceeded 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit warming, we may be approaching a time when businesses and tourists will be hard to attract due to our “hot spot” status.

Luckily, as with the COVID vaccines available to us, we can tackle this problem. I encourage Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. John Hickenlooper, and Rep. Lauren Boebert, as well as our local officials and business community, to join the ranks of those as disparate on the political spectrum as George P. Schultz, Rep. Joe Neguse, Colorado Ski Country USA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Petroleum Institute in endorsing an economy-wide price on carbon emissions.

One example of this type of legislation is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 2307), a small-government, market-based, and revenue-neutral climate solution that puts a price on emissions and returns revenue directly to American households as a “carbon cashback.”

By showing that our community backs a reasonable solution, we can prove that Mesa County is proactive, and not inactive, in finding climate solutions.


Grand Junction

Expect Haaland to make a thoughtful decision on BLM

At first read, I thought that Wednesday’s editorial, linking Secretary Haaland’s recommendation to restore two national monuments in Utah to her upcoming decision on the fate of the BLM’s Grand Junction headquarters was misguided. But after some reflection, I think the comparison is more apt than I initially gave credit, though I think the Sentinel drew exactly the wrong conclusions.

President Trump cynically downsized two Utah monuments to satisfy special interests who wanted to exploit those landscapes for profit and to curry favor with Utah’s political leaders. Secretary Haaland, after visiting the lands in question and meeting with stakeholders, made her recommendation to repair the damage made by the previous administration.

Similarly, the Trump administration relocated the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction in a reckless fashion, resulting in the loss of 287 headquarters staff and scores of empty cubicles at the Robert Buford “headquarters.”

Secretary Haaland has committed to visiting Grand Junction and meeting with stakeholders for this issue as well. I think her monument recommendation should give us confidence that she will also make a thoughtful decision on the BLM headquarters issue, one that will begin to heal this damaged agency and be in the best interests of the stewardship of our public lands.



Colorado Wildlands Project

Grand Junction

City on guard against growth that can strain water supply

Jim Spehar makes an excellent point in Sunday’s Daily Sentinel: rampant uncontrolled growth can soon deplete our water supply! Luckily Grand Junction has a recently adopted Comprehensive Plan which quantifies future growth areas and allows for proper planning and water allocation as the valley grows.


Grand Junction