Police response to calls about fireworks lacking

I’m not mad at my neighbors for shooting off fireworks past 11:30 p.m. on the Fourth, even though they started within four hours after the BLM helicopter finally left the firework-started blaze that was within a half mile of our properties.

“Can’t fix stupid” is the old saying. What I am mad about is I feel we, the taxpayers, were sold a lie about needing new 911 call center equipment and more police to make our lives safer. I called, left my name number and address, to report these fireworks due to the sparks, explosions, and the flying through the air of these fireworks, something that is supposed to be not legal. I stood by the window watching these “Einsteins” celebrate with glee where just a few short hours before, we had a major wildfire. I waited and did not see one police car or get a call back all night.

In the days that followed, it was reported in the paper that the 911 call center received 130 calls on fireworks, and no citations for any of these. Which leads me to ask, why did we vote to improve the 911 system and add police to help make our little section of the world safer? With service like this, the call center could have sent out smoke signals for the police to ignore. No need to spend any more voter money on this group. With all the help we got from them, we better get used to living like we are back in the Old West and handle our problems ourselves, on the sly.

BILL WULFF

Grand Junction


A $15 federal minimum wage hurts those it intends to help

A $15 minimum wage has been a goal for many Democratic representatives. And all but three 2020 presidential candidates have endorsed the increase.

This week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report estimating the $15 wage mandate would eliminate up to 3.7 million jobs. The impact would fall hardest on the least skilled; CBO estimates that 50 percent of the job-losers are ages 16-19.

Job losses from a $15 state or local minimum wage are already proving the damage across the country. Harvard Business School and Mathematica Policy Research found a spike in restaurant closures as a consequence of San Francisco’s rapidly rising minimum wage. In New York City, roughly 6,000 restaurant jobs were eliminated last year following a steep wage hold.

A $15 federal minimum wage will only hurt those it intends to help, ending thousands of starter job opportunities and often wiping out the businesses that provide them.

SAMANTHA SUMMERS

Communications director,

Employment Policies Institute

Washington, D.C.


Why not use military to defend against ravages of wildfires?

The solution to forest fires is Congress passing an act, and the president approving it, that transfers the responsibility for fighting forest fires from the U.S. Forest Service to the U.S. Air Force.

The Air Force has the men, the pilots and the right aircraft — in sufficient numbers — to extinguish all forest fires very rapidly. The only added item is a budget to pay for this extra responsibility and other associated costs.

To clarify, the responsibility of the Forest Service is to spot and report all forest fires. After the fire is extinguished, they can transport a few firefighters to the site to extinguish any smoldering embers and make sure the fire doesn’t reignite.

The military are active duty personnel who will be responsible for all aspects of the aircraft involved. They are responsible for the infrastructure needed, the bays where the aircraft will be refueled and reloaded, including large water storage tanks — even quarters for the crew. All this will be at a normal military base that is not too distant from the forest that they are to protect.

The military will have extreme priority attacking fires with as much water as possible resulting in a fire that is extinguished quickly. This immediate action restricts the fire’s growth to fewer than 30 acres. This is far beyond any dream by the Forest Service.

The Forest Service must rely on a mixed bag of mixed aircraft, all with insufficient payloads provided by contractors. The Air Force can supply more than 100 large tankers, including many C-5As. A few bases near the West Coast and Canada should have the capability of extinguishing most fires in their first pass.

JOSEPH C. COOMER

Oak Harbor, Washington


To politically correct: Put your money where your mouth is

Dear Politically Correct Readers: Please do not use your one, twenty, fifty and one-hundred dollar bills, because they all depict slave owners (George Washington, Ulysses Grant, Andrew Jackson, and Benjamin Franklin). Instead, send them all to me and I’ll see that they are properly disposed of.

STEVE HAGERMAN

Grand Junction

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