Letters to the Editor

Letter: Personhood is very little about embryos

October 30, 2014 — 

Regarding personhood: Enough with legislating women’s bodies; it’s time to make male masturbation illegal. Every time a male does this, he is slaughtering millions of potential humans.

Let’s be honest, this is very little about embryos, a lot about power. All you men who believe in “pre-conception murder” need to keep it strapped down. If it’s an itch you must scratch, there’s a simple solution. No, no, I mean vasectomy.

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Letter: How is Jankovsky a ‘moderating influence?’

October 30, 2014 — 

I read with interest your Oct. 20 editorial in which you endorse Tom Jankovsky in the county commissioner election. You mention the differences between Mr. Jankovsky and his opponent in the election, Michael Sullivan, regarding the oil and gas industry. You say that Mr. Sullivan has some good ideas and that “Sullivan is right that commissioners don’t pay much heed to the substantial voices in the county seeking more gas industry oversight.” You agree with Mr. Sullivan’s ideas on a clean and healthy environment. But then you shape-shift and say that Mr. Jankovsky “is a moderating influence” on the commission and “does a fair amount to promote health …”

A paragraph or two later you admit that Mr. Jankovsky supports oil and gas development and that “no reasonable or realistic person, including Sullivan, believes gas production can stop in the region in our lifetimes.” And that is certainly true if we believe these opinion pieces, written in a local paper that seems to have abandoned the concerns of local people, and in a county, such as Garfield, in which the board is stacked with officials of the same political persuasion and ideas about industrial development. How would we recognize Mr. Jankovsky’s “moderating influence?” And are we simply to accept what you seem to be describing as helplessness to control the destructive industrialization (euphemistically called “development”) of our neck of the Western Slope woods? “This is it. Nothin’ we can do. Might as well give up and vote for Jankovsky.”

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Letter: Jankovsky fought ‘resort’ designation

October 29, 2014 — 

I endorse Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County commissioner. As a citizen of Garfield County, our health-care premiums were set to skyrocket just because we happen to reside in the same part of the state as a lot of wealthy people. But I’m not one of those people.

Our government, under the mandated Affordable Healthcare Act, was prepared to saddle the citizens of Garfield County with a “resort region” designation that would make our health-care premiums not only the highest in Colorado, but the highest in the country. Just because we are geographically close to the privileged enclaves of Aspen, Vail, Beaver Creek and Breckenridge doesn’t mean we should bear a greater financial burden, especially when the majority of people living in Garfield County are working hard just to make ends meet.

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Letter: Attend 4-H Achievement Night

October 29, 2014 — 

The Garfield County 4-H Council would like to invite current, past and future 4-H members as well as volunteers and businesses to attend our Garfield County 4-H Achievement Night.

Garfield County 4-H Achievement will start at 6 p.m. Saturday. This is a night where the Garfield County 4-H Council along with Colorado State University Extension in Garfield County recognize 4-H members, leaders and other volunteers for their hard work and accomplishments throughout the 2014 4-H year. This is also a celebration time of closing out the 2014 4-H year and beginning the 2015 4-H year.

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Free Press Letter: Benita Phillips for Mesa County Sheriff

October 29, 2014 — 

The sheriff position requires a proven administrator, but not a “street law enforcer.” After 35 years of nursing experience, I have had a varied experience base that gives me the credentials to “administer” and lead the Mesa County Sheriff Office (MSCO.)

I have been a director of nursing (nursing home administrator licensed) in two large, long-term care facilities with over 180 beds and 200-plus nursing/support staff. Both facilities were out of compliance with their respective states. Both were back in compliance in less than three months. I wrote, administered and taught the first childbirth/childcare program for Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world. I was in the first Gulf War as a civilian nurse. My husband, a chemical engineer, blended war jet fuel. I was the only U.S. RN with ICU and ACLS certification that stayed behind in the war zone, developing a team of multi-national nurses. Our priority was to develop a HazMat protocol for chemical weapons and triage unit based on U.S. standards. I spent almost a decade working at Veteran Administration hospitals. Here, in Grand Junction, I was supervisor of ICU/medical/surgical when my units were instrumental in the acquisition of the Carey Award, for the top level of care of all veterans nationally. Working with Federal agencies is not a pretense to a dilemma.

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Letter: Spend some money to fix our roads

October 28, 2014 — 

I can’t believe you guys [copied to city leaders]. You talk about jobs and developments for GWS. Now you don’t like Fedex moving into town.

You want to build the South Bridge and all the traffic that would bring, but Fedex traffic is not OK.

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Letter: Questions remain about bridge project

October 28, 2014 — 

After reading letters to the editor, articles in the PI and talking to people about “The Bridge,” I have some questions. First of all, is this plan before us the final plan from CDOT or are there other options still in consideration? Is the railroad right of way even available for a bypass right now or will it ever be a possibility? If the bridge is built as per plan, is there any opportunity for a bypass in the future, be it the railroad or other means?

Right now the current plan exceeds the $99 million CDOT budget allowed and they have not even put it out for bid. Who has to make up the difference if it comes in more than the allotted money? It seems as of now we the people must make up the difference, be it from Garfield County commissioners, other counties’ contributions or upvalley residents. What happens if the money falls short of the bids? Will CDOT find the funds, will value engineering of the project bring into budget or will CDOT go back to the drawing board?

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Free Press Letter: Vote ‘no’ on Amendment 68

October 28, 2014 — 

Proponents of Amendment 68 would like you to believe that, by adding another gambling venue in Colorado, there will be such a tremendous increase in new gambling that taxpayers will recognize over $100 million in additional tax revenue, all to be directed to our schools. Of course they do not mention the much larger profits and revenue that will go to a private corporation.

Personally I believe the entire premise is a myth, and I do not believe there will be much of an increase in gambling, only a redirection of where the gambling money is spent. Instead of the money being spent in our three Colorado towns (which, by the way, Coloradan voters approved years ago) the revenue will simply be coming from four sources, not three, and just as probably be about the same as it is now.

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Letter: Let’s understand debt versus deficit

October 27, 2014 — 

I think that Mr. Grant is confusing two different numbers. Debt is the total amount owed by the federal government. Deficit is the difference between income and expense for a fiscal year. When the federal government has a deficit for a fiscal year the amount is added to the debt. I am not trying to defend or support our government’s fiscal policies, but I do think that understanding the numbers is helpful.

Ted Edmonds

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Letter: Consumers kept in dark and fed manure

October 27, 2014 — 

Monsanto and their kind cornered the market on genetically engineered seed over 30 years ago. Since then, many farmers have had no choice but to buy genetically altered seeds, and as much as 70 percent of processed food in America contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The right to know Proposition 105 highlights what these giant companies have been playing down publicly all these years: American consumers are being treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and fed manure.

Objections about labeling are groundless. These multinational giants already label and store products being shipped to the 64 countries that require GMO labeling. Colorado Public Radio has reported that Monsanto, General Mills, ConAgra and their cronies are spending over $11 million to protect themselves. Haven’t you wondered who paid for the four glossy full-colored slick mailings we have all received recently? And the TV ads? And they claim they can’t afford to add “produced with genetic engineering” to a label without raising prices?

As far as the price of food, when you think about it, among all the hundreds of products you buy, food is the only one you actually put inside your body. You might want to seriously consider what you are putting in there. Why? Not just because “you are what you eat.” There are at least two other good reasons.

First, what will you say when God asks you, “Why did you do nothing when they tampered with the food I created for you?” Second, what will you say to your grandchildren when they ask you, “What did you do to protect my food when it was being genetically manipulated and mutated, not for my health, but for the sake of profits?”

Vote yes on Proposition 105, and claim your God-given right to know.

Dee Jaquet

Grand Junction

Letter: Why set low bail on drug defendants?

October 27, 2014 — 

It’s heartening to see TRIDENT removing these purveyors of “misery by the gram” from among the decent folks in our community. But I was equally dismayed that all but one of the Mexican cartel reps was able to make bail and walk.

Who the hell set this ridiculously low bail? Does anyone actually expect even one of these foreign nationals to show up for their day in court? They’ll get a new ID and go on working for the cartel in another location.

What a waste of public resources and law enforcement’s time. TRIDENT busts the social pariahs and some liberal, progressive-minded bail setter sets them free.

I will eat my Border Patrol hat and burn all my “Deport All Illegals” T-shirts if even one of the Mexican miscreants out on bail shows up for their day in court.

What counterproductive idiocy.

Bruno Kirchenwitz


Free Press Letter: Vote ‘yes’ on government accountability

October 27, 2014 — 

The recent League of Women Voters’ Ballot Initiative/Proposal forum in Grand Junction had but one deficit — no opportunity to rebut the claims of my opponent, Darren Cook.

I represented the pro-Proposition 104 position, while Darren Cook, president of the local teachers union, Mesa Valley Education Association (MVEA), represented the opposition. Proposition 104, designed by the Libertarian think tank, Independence Institute, and placed on the 2014 ballot by the people of Colorado via the petition-gathering process typical to our direct-democracy initiative system, calls for our Sunshine Laws to be extended to school boards and collective bargaining agreements.

With endorsements from the Denver Post, Durango Herald, Pueblo Chieftain, Eagle County Times, Greeley Tribune, and other newspapers, Proposition 104 is gaining popularity as citizens learn more about its equitable measures to ensure that taxpayer-funded processes of government are open to those whom government exists to serve, in this case, parents, students, and everyone else interested in the quality of public education.

However, Mr. Cook, during his six-minute speech — making the case against transparency in school board contract negotiations — warned the League of Women Voters’ audience of all manner of ills that would follow should Prop 104 be enacted: “Hallway conversations,” “chaotic meetings,” dogs and cats living together in sin! BEDLAM!

The question that came to my mind as Cook recited his litany of Prop 104 woes was: When someone starts listing all the doom and gloom “unintended consequences” of government transparency, what does he have to hide?

I believe that Mr. Cook, and the teachers union he represents, are afraid of the intended consequences of Proposition 104: Transparency and accountability.

I noted as I walked into the forum, held at the Grand Junction City Hall auditorium, that a member of the Mesa County Valley School Board, Greg Mikolai, was conducting a tête-à-tête with Darren Cook. This briefing confirmed what I’ve long suspected — that some members of the local school board are vested in the actions of the MVEA teachers union. Mikolai won reelection to his seat in 2013 largely due to the get-out-the-vote efforts of the MVEA and funding from the state teachers union. This, folks, is why teachers unions and some school board members want opacity in their meetings.

Teachers unions support Democrats by an overwhelming margin. Democrats such as Greg Mikolai, elected to positions on school boards benefit from the opacity of collective bargaining with unions. Think about it: School boards determine contracts for teachers, dues from teacher paychecks go to the local union, the local unions funds the campaigns of Democrat candidates for school board.

According to Mr. Cook, the MVEA has 900 members. That is a small fraction of the personnel who serve nearly 23,000 students in the district. However, the MVEA constitutes a powerful political PAC whose support typically goes to candidates who represent no more than 50 percent of the parents and taxpayers of MCVSD 51. In conservative Mesa County, the percentage of Democrats is about one-third of the population, with Independents and Republicans making a pretty even split between the three factions. I’ve always found teachers union involvement in school board elections a little incestuous. Teachers unions fund campaigns to elect Democrats with dues from the teachers whose contracts are negotiated by the very people they elect! When applied to any other sector of government, phrases such as “conflict of interest” and “money laundering” would be applicable.

According to Mr. Cook, Proposition 104 is opposed by the Colorado Association of School Executives and the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB). He also indicated that after a great deal of consideration, that he, as president of the MVEA, also opposes transparency in school board negotiations — which makes perfect sense! All the above organizations oppose transparency because they have never been subjected to the scrutiny that Colorado’s Open Meeting laws require for other governmental bodies! Why do school executives, school boards, and teachers unions oppose Proposition 104? Because, secrecy is their friend, opacity is their shield from accountability.

Finally, the opponents of Proposition 104 have complained that its passage would “take away local control.” That’s nonsense. School boards would still conduct meetings and negotiations as they have always done, with the only difference being the requirement to do it in the open. Case in point:

Douglas County and Jefferson County school boards, with new representation, over the past few years have attempted to exert local control by opening their collective bargaining agreements to public scrutiny. These efforts by local entities to break away from opaque dealings involving elected officials was opposed by the teachers unions! No folks, it’s not about local control, it’s about union control.

Mr. Cook spoke of all the horrendous “intended consequences” of open school board meetings, but I believe what he and the union he represents fear are the intended consequences of transparency and school board accountability to the people.

Vote “yes” on government transparency and accountability. Vote “yes” on Proposition 104.

Marjorie Haun is a former public school teacher, having spent many years in special education in Los Angeles and Grand Junction. She’s the author of the children’s historical non-fiction series, “The Heroes of the Vietnam War: Books for Children” and currently makes her living as a freelance writer and contactor in western Colorado. She’s an unabashed Reagan Republican, Tea Party agitator, and fire-breathing Capitalist whose goals are to save the country, and bake the perfect blueberry pie.

Free Press Letter: Don’t support Cory Gardner this election

October 27, 2014 — 

With just a few more days until Election Day (Nov. 4), I think most people will be glad that we won’t have to endure the television political ads much longer.

Of course we are somewhat fortunate here in Mesa County as most statewide candidates don’t spend a lot of money on campaign advertising here. They have come to understand that the majority of folks in western Colorado don’t put much thought into their political selections and simply check the name of the candidate with “Republican” next to the name, up and down the ballot; for whatever reason, that may or may not seem logical.

However the big money organizations from outside Colorado that are backing Cory Gardner still purchased TV ad time, seemly just to stir up their political base with the traditional conservative scare tactics. According to those groups’ distortion of reality, the senatorial incumbent is coming for our guns and will eliminate energy sector jobs.

The most annoying and aggravating thing about political commercials is that the people behind their creation seem to believe we are extremely gullible, if not down right ignorant. Fortunately most voters are aware enough to know that Representative Gardner is a member of a congress that has a dismal 10 percent approval rating, mostly due to the extreme partisan politics that have grid-locked Washington. Gardner has participated with a bunch of political hacks that have been so obsessed with undermining the president that they have stopped doing any work for the citizens of this nation and even have taken the extreme tactic of shutting down the government, as just one of many desperate attempts to discredit the president of the United States.

Congressman Gardner isn’t a solution to a problem. He is the problem in Washington D.C. today, and he sure doesn’t deserve to be a senator from Colorado.

J.C. Winters

Grand Junction, Colo.

Opinion: Proposition 68, an amendment rife with problems

October 27, 2014 — 

You might think 40 casinos already operating in Colorado might be enough.

Then along comes constitutional amendment Proposition 68, with the lure of reviving a dying sport and getting tons of free money for schools. Yea, rah rah!

Like most other political promises, this one is certainly a doozy.

The idea is for Colorado’s only horse racing track, Arapahoe Park, in Aurora, to get 2,500 slot machines and 65 gaming tables. If it wasn’t so transparently shady, there could be a reason or two to support it.

The company that promoted the idea, and got it on the impending ballot, is the Rhode Island owner of Twin River Casino, once upon a time a race track with some other betting allowed.

That was Lincoln Downs, opened in 1947. Its history says “beware of Rhode Islanders bearing free money.”

The Lincoln Downs lost money as a race track and in 1976 was shut down. It went to greyhound racing, which in turn shut down. It became Twin River Casino and is not doing well, thanks to new competition closer to Boston.

Twin River came about, because (Wikipedia) “in 2003, Lincoln Park and two executives were indicted on federal charges related to an alleged scheme in 2000 and 2001 to pay up to $4 million to the law firm of Rhode Island House Speaker John Harwood to gain support for an expansion of the track’s slot parlor, and to block a rival casino proposed by the Narragansett Indian Tribe.”

The state ordered the track sold. But along the way the new owner wound up owning Arapahoe Park in Colorado. Even the late cable TV giant Bob Magness, as state racing commissioner, couldn’t keep that money pit afloat.

Folks across this great land understand pretty well that thoroughbred horse racing is a dying sport. California, with nearly 40 million citizens, can barely support its only three remaining tracks. Dozens of others have become shopping centers or subdivisions.

So we have some slick operators from Rhode Island writing language into our constitution that guarantees them a casino on 400 acres of Arapahoe Park, no guarantee of horse racing, and a guarantee they will be the only casino in Metro Denver. They say Pueblo and Mesa counties can have casinos, too, when that proverbial hell freezes over happens.

Sweet, deal, for them! Oh, and that free money for schools sounds oh so good. But it amounts to less than $100 a student if it pays off as promoted — which it won’t.

Jim Spehar said it best recently: “Amendment 68 is rife with potential problems, not the least of which is prohibiting a community from saying ‘no’ to a casino/racetrack if impacts warrant or local residents object. To an overeager and short-sighted chamber, Amendment 68 may be ‘pro business.’ It certainly can’t be called pro-community.

And why is a casino good, but a national park bad for the local economy? The latter might have actually happened. The former we might aptly name “The Mirage.”

Folks taking their smart pills will vote “NO” on 68.

GJ Free Press columnist Ken Johnson is founder of the Grand Junction Free Press and former owner/publisher of The Daily Sentinel. He spends his time between the Grand Valley and California.

Letter: Vote Jankovsky for business and jobs

October 25, 2014 — 

Tom Jankovsky’s opponent is running on the same old agenda of dehumanizing the local energy business at the expense of the actual employees. My family and I work in the energy industry but also care deeply about the area in which we live.

I am proud to support Tom Jankovsky. As an energy worker, community supporter and steward of the environment, my family and the thousands of other employees in the energy business understand our jobs are only as secure as the thoughtful leaders who allow us to responsibly development our energy resources.

Vote Jankovsky, vote for business and jobs.

Letter: Convention of states needed

October 25, 2014 — 

Our U.S. Constitution, the ultimate legal restriction on all three branches of government, designed for the purpose of protecting the unalienable liberties defined in the Declaration of Independence, has been increasingly decimated since the days of Theodore Roosevelt.

Congress has become a dynastic ruling class that recognizes no limits on their authority to regulate, tax or spend, often forcing the states to relinquish their constitutional rights. The executive branch is illegally issuing endless overreaching executive orders, is unwilling to secure our borders, refuses serious counter terrorism and discourages domestic energy. The Supreme Court has repeatedly misinterpreted the original intent of the Constitution.

The only solution to restoring government to its constitutional limitations and restoring the rights that states, communities and individuals have lost to the government Leviathan is the remedy provided by the Constitution itself. That solution is the entire purpose of Article V. Your state senator and representative do not have a more important priority than to draw up a convention of states application to Congress.

The nationwide convention of states movement is led by one of the co-founders of the tea party, the founder/leader of the extremely successful Homeschool Legal Defense Association and the pre-eminent legal expert on Article V.

State legislatures are sworn to uphold the Constitution and are obligated to defend the rights of the people and protect the sovereign authority of the states.

A convention of states could propose and vote (one vote per state) on amendments to severely limit government on three fronts: Terms of office, jurisdiction and fiscal policies.

Everyone is invited to a town hall on the convention of states at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Montrose Fairgrounds, Pioneer Room. Contact Jeff Hogan, convention of states district captain, at 970-417-4165 or deltanorthfork@gmail.com with any questions.

Letter: Thanks, Sen. Udall, for insurance mess

October 24, 2014 — 

I would like to thank Sen. Udall for having my family’s health insurance canceled. I received my cancellation letter a couple of weeks ago. I called up my insurance agent and he confirmed that as of the end of the year my policy will be canceled. Even better, I cannot even start to find replacement insurance until the middle of next month. Legally, no companies can offer my family a new policy.

There are millions of others who received the same letter. Enough of the career politicians. He has been one his whole career as are his two cousins who are also U.S. senators. Please vote for anybody else.

Letter: Code versus tradition in Carbondale

October 24, 2014 — 

At a recent Carbondale council meeting I, and maybe several council members, learned that when it comes to code enforcement, sometimes there seems to be a split between code versus tradition.

I brought up an issue I had with the usage of public right of way. The town has a code on this that says vehicles can’t be left more than 72 hours on public right of way. Our neighbor had a very large RV completely on the right of way for a month with a person living in it. Unfortunately when we tried to talk to her, she wasn’t receptive to find a potential solution.

When I went in front of council with the issue, Chief Schilling explained that he treats improved right of way in a different way than unimproved right of way. Our particular issue is in an unimproved stretch. He said he doesn’t apply the 72-hour rule to the unimproved ROW. Several council members were quite surprised and seemed as confused as I am about this.

Also the chief told council that he is OK with letting RVs park on ROW for four weeks with people living in them, even though existing code says it isn’t OK. Again, several council members seemed a little shocked, and most said this should be changed, since the town now has a perfectly nice RV park.

So this is the part I called the tradition. There is a code, but it has been interpreted by town staff and therefore it isn’t consistent and is confusing to residents and potential developers.

The town manager told a Sopris Sun reporter that “there’s always a level of gray area” whenever issues of code compliance are raised in such situations. The reality is a property line is pretty much black and white and it doesn’t take a lot of work to figure out where it is.

The town is spending about $100,000 on the new town code and comprehensive plans. What will happen with this new code? Will it also suffer the interpretation of town staff and then change in time to whatever they think it should be, becoming a new tradition?

I find there is a double standard that is unfair to neighbors who play by the rules. This has nothing to do with the town being “funky.” Does been funky mean it’s OK to break the codes? Then maybe we shouldn’t spend anymore money in changing the existing ones.

Letter: Dodging Carbondale’s orange cones

October 23, 2014 — 

I love Carbondale’s new sport, “Orange Cone Dodge.”

Seriously, a big thank you to the planners and workers making massive improvements to Highway 133 in such a timely manner. No easy task juggling our daily traffic around huge machinery. It is starting to look really good and will be worth all the “dodging” when it is done.

p.s.: Simple Green works great to get those orange marks off your car bumper.

Letter: Don’t believe the deficit figures

October 23, 2014 — 

It is always problematic to talk of federal spending using figures supplied by politicians. The official federal debt as of Sept. 30 was $17,824,071,380,733.82 (from the Treasury’s “debt to the penny”). A year before, it was $16,738,183,526,697.32, for a difference of $1,085,887,854,036.50. How the politicians get from $1.085 trillion to a $486 billion deficit you cited is the question.

James Dale Davidson writes that using GAAP-based figures (generally accepted accounting principles, to which every legitimate business and public company must adhere), the deficit hit about $6.2 trillion for 2013 alone.

We are now being deluged by all sorts of hand-picked statistics about the wonderful state of the improving economy. Except more and more people realize that the media spins the statistics to favor their favorite Democratic candidate.

Letter: Veggies are good; processed foods aren’t

October 23, 2014 — 

In his article this week praising the health benefits of meat and dissing tofu, Steve Wells did a disservice to his readers who, despite his disclaimer, see Steve as an expert in nutrition.

All experts I have heard or read agree that eating lots of vegetables and some fruits is the healthiest thing you can do, in regard to prevention of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, heart attacks and strokes, and many forms of cancer. However, they also agree that processed food of any kind, including plants, is bad for you. So unadulterated tofu is good for you, but if processed, as it often is in the U.S., it has the same problems as any other processed food.

When eating a plant-based diet, it is important to eat a variety of plants, so eating too much soy is counterproductive. (In Japan, people consume 10-30 mg. of soy a day, whereas in the U.S., some people consume as much as 80-100 mg. a day).

Regarding meat being good for you, experts also agree that all the above-mentioned conditions are more prevalent in societies with a higher meat and dairy intake (also when there is a higher intake of simple carbs such as sugar).

If your readers want some unbiased information about all this, they might consider subscribing to Nutrition Action, published by Science in the Public Interest, or the Berkeley Wellness Letter.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Views on candidates and ballot issues

October 22, 2014 — 

Surveyor should be a nonpartisan


I am a long-term resident of New Castle and have owned and operated my land surveying business in Glenwood Springs since 1991.

I moved to the Glenwood Springs area to work on the Hanging Lake Tunnel project from Colorado Springs in 1986. I decided that this was the best place in the world to raise a family and have enjoyed being here ever since. I have previously served one appointed term and two elected terms as the Garfield County surveyor, from 1992 through 2002, and I am looking forward to serving the folks of Garfield County again.

I strongly believe that a non-political position such as surveyor should be held by a person who has no political party affiliation. I am an independent, standalone and politically unaffiliated candidate.

I am on the ballot by petition and that right is tenured by hard work and effort. The petition process is by no means a casual way to nominate a candidate and I believe my effort shows my genuine desire to fulfill this position for the citizens of Garfield County.

If elected, no claim of partisanship politics would ever have any affect on a decision made by the surveyor.

I have served in this office previously with the belief that it is a requirement to be of character of one who is willing to be of service to the public with any land surveying issues. I am easily accessible and understanding of question by the general public. As always feel free to give me a call 970-945-5945 or email survco@gmail.com.

Samuel Phelps

Candidate for Garfield County surveyor

Jankovsky knows public land

use policy

Tom Jankovsky gets my vote for Garfield County commissioner. Like a lot of residents of Garfield County, my family and I are avid outdoor enthusiasts. Exploring the wonder and beauty of the nearby backcountry is part of the reason we live here. The federal government and extreme environmentalists would like to close or at least limit the access you and I have to our publicly owned lands.

Tom offers the people of Garfield County an informed stance on public land use policy. With his experience in ski resort management, Tom not only understands the importance of responsible stewardship of public lands for recreational use, he possesses decades of experience working with regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service. Over the next four years the fate of our public lands will likely be determined to some degree at the state and federal levels. It’s vital that Garfield County has a seat at the table when the decisions are made regarding public land use and access.

Tom Jankovsky has the skill set, drive and character to bring people together and advocate for the residents of Garfield County. If you like to camp, hunt, backpack, mountain bike, ATV, four-wheel drive, snowmobile, horseback ride or fish on Forest Service or BLM land in Garfield County, cast your vote for the candidate who will fight to keep our public lands public. Vote Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County commissioner.

Ross Terry

Glenwood Springs

Let’s not gamble for our kids’ future

After reading the PI’s front page article presenting educators’ opinions about Amendment 68, I feel somewhat assured that cool heads will prevail. That is if they are listened to. For those who are leaning toward “yes,” I would like to express my thoughts on this issue from another angle.

I am not opposed to recreational gambling, but I think there is something almost immoral about financing the education of our children with games of chance. There should be nothing chancy about taking consciously determined responsibility for seeing that our kids learn and grow through schooling.

If Amendment 68 passes, it will be the result of exploitation of many of our citizens’ knee-jerk reaction to that supposed monster, taxation. Perhaps there is room to question the necessity and/or amount of some taxes. However, awareness seems to be lacking that this is how we pay for our roads and bridges and government provided services that we all use — and that includes public education.

Should we pay for any of these through luck? Or should we recognize that what we pay in taxes is taking our share of responsibility for the future of our children and the quality of life we enjoy and want to sustain?

I’ll pick the latter and I hope all you voters will too.

Pat Girardot

Glenwood Springs

Hickenlooper will take your guns

Please vote responsibly.

We voted this morning at our kitchen table. Have we been watching and listening to the pros and cons on people? Yes. Have we been on the Internet and checking what these people that we are voting for, what their records stand for? Yes. Have we noticed that Hickenlooper continues to tax us on the Western Slope and still is flip-flopping on gun control, is Hickenlooper just waiting to stick it to us on gun control again? Yes he is.

Do you want a governor who threatens your safety by changing what happens to Nathan Dunlap? I don’t. I don’t even live in Denver, but Hickenlooper is anti-gun and he will try and take them away if he gets in again.

I don’t base my thoughts and actions in voting by what Hickenlooper claims, I base it on what he has done as a governor. I base it on the fact that he won’t even write you back and tell you why he is against us having guns. He is an Obama supporter.

Jane Spaulding


Can 64 countries be wrong?

According to the Center for Food Safety, there are currently 64 countries around the world that have requirements to label foods containing GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The USA is not one of them. On this fall ballot, the states of Oregon and Colorado and Humboldt County, California, and a county in Hawaii have GMO label laws to consider.

Colorado ballot Proposition 105 asks that food, when appropriate, have a label that says: “Produced with genetic engineering.” How can such a simple statement cause such an outcry and such a flood of television ads and postcards warning of us a complete disaster?

I have to ask the question: After billions of dollars of research by the state of the art chemical, biological, agricultural and food production facilities in the world, why should they not be overjoyed to have notice given of their fantastic work? Where’s the pride? Instead, the industry opposes every effort to have the fruits of their labors even identified. In Colorado alone, in recent reporting, the industry was spending some $11 million in comparison to the “pro label” group’s $400,000. What are they afraid of? What aren’t they telling us?

One of the claims is that labeling will cost consumers a ton of money. An independent scientific research company looked closely at the Oregon proposition and the available scientific peer-reviewed literature and found that the cost might be approximately $2 per person per year. The other studies varied from about 30 cents to $15 per year. It’s not nothing, but it’s not much.

The research company ruled out studies that included a cost to food producers to develop two lines of food for the consumer. The new law does not require any such thing. That is strictly a marketing choice. Again, this begs the question: If there is nothing wrong with the GMO-containing food they are producing, which ought to be even more nutritious after all their research, why the big deal?

I think the bottom line is that modern industrial agriculture, as developed by the big chemical companies, depends heavily on: fossil fuels, herbicides and pesticides, fertilizer, chemical resistant genetically modified and patented seed, copious amounts of water and huge government subsidies. These are the folks putting up $11 million to defeat a state proposition.

What is at stake here is not only finding out how healthy the GMO food is, but how healthy for us is the whole GMO industrial system. Are 64 other countries wrong?

Patrick Hunter


Gardner has passed the

Kochs’ muster

Are you undecided between Cory Gardner and Mark Udall? Even if you have made a decision, you should read the Tim Dickinson article in the Sept. 24 Rolling Stone, “Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire.” The comments section included this from a Republican supporter: “The Kochs are not angels, but their sins are not their toxic empire. It is that they support Republicans and must be attacked.”

This is nonsense. Their sins, well-documented in the piece, are that they have co-opted the Republican Party to maximize their profits by skirting and eliminating regulations on their “privatize the profit, socialize the cost” method of doing business. The Koch Enterprises newsletter and some right-wing apologists rebut the article, but the re-rebuttal by Dickinson exposes their “attack the reporter, not his facts” nature. The Birch Society-principled agenda of the Koch family from grandfather to 1980 Libertarian vice presidential candidate David is presented convincingly.

And what about Rep. Gardner? Gardner was awarded Flip-Flopper of the Year by the Huffington Post for his interesting obfuscations on climate change, immigration and birth control/(personhood). He was among the top three most-polluting members of Congress.

More to my point, he was a key “guest” and participant at the annual top-secret Koch summit of billionaires in California in June, along with Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, and Reps. Tom Cotton and Jim Jordan. Gardner participated in a discussion session entitled “The Senate: A Window of Opportunity for Principled Leaders.” One might ask, “Whose principles?”

I think the answer is obvious from the Koch-generated support for our would-be Principled Senator.

The platform of vice presidential candidate David Koch included:

Repeal campaign finance laws, abolish the FEC, abolish Medicare and Medicaid, oppose tax-supported plan to provide health services, repeal Social Security, abolish the EPA, repeal usury laws, repeal OSHA, eventually repeal all taxation, abolish the FDA, abolish the Consumer Product Safety Commission, oppose a minimum wage, etc., etc.

David Schroeder

New Castle

Letter: Winter’s coming; that’s what matters

October 22, 2014 — 

With irrational exuberance and a sense of guileless immortality, the fall colors are once again tumbling downvalley like a tie-dyed rabble of late ‘60s festival-goers. A few are quite subtle and more are sublime, but all are more likely to burn out than fade away.

As seen from our town’s noble recycling center along School Street, the thirsty willows are taking on a burnished luster, shifting from green to gold then finally to a leafless burnt orange. The pungent sage is shimmering and flickering toward a silvery flameout.

The great river oaks, the cottonwoods, just weeks ago bathing and blurring our urban edges in reassuring incanescence, have now become resolute golden standard bearers, unflinchingly resigned to glow on and soldier through the season’s first wet snows.

The scrub oaks, our native ground cover, as always, were quick out of the gate and eager to please, but now, duty bound, have selflessly woven their muted earth tones into the headlong hillsides.

And lovely to see yet somewhat annoying, the foppish, non-native fruit trees and hardwoods shamelessly flaunt their store-bought colors like a troupe of Kansas City river dandies.

Thankfully, all of this temporal foolishness is suffered with unwavering indifference by the green, dark forest and timberless high country far above — where the only season that truly matters has already arrived.

Letter: Why not add a siren on the hill?

October 22, 2014 — 

What sort of idiots approved or will approve Steve Beckley’s three and a half miles of Christmas lights above Glenwood Springs at the Glenwood Adventure Park? Someone has forgotten the magnificence of these high-altitude skies or is willing to trade them for a few more dollars in their dank wallets?

Why would anyone want to see this lighted mess on top of the skyline coming into Glenwood any night of the year? You can bet they will run this silly expenditure of power any time it’s dark next year and all the years after and petition for longer summer hours as well. The roller coaster’s roar and the screams scare the game off the heights already — you can hear this way too well all the way up the trails. Now lights? Why not a siren?

I find what has been done above and around the splendid Fairy Cave since its opening so offensive as to stretch my imagination and mash my indignation button. Its just embarrassing. Cheap Trick is a better name for the place.

Dear Lord don’t bring it down to Iron Springs.

What’s next up there?

Letter: Many consumers like to read labels

October 22, 2014 — 

To buy or not to buy, that is the question. This GMO food labeling issue seems just like MSG, peanuts, high fructose corn syrup, etc., etc.. Many consumers like to read food labels before they choose to put the item in their cart, or not. I am voting yes for GMO labeling because I simply want information to help me choose.

Letter: Vote ‘yes’ to support GMO Proposition 105

October 22, 2014 — 

My husband and I are farmers in the Fruita area. We support the GMO Proposition 105 and will be voting YES to have products labeled. We understand the importance of quality food. Don’t be fooled by the agriculture’s big business greed for profit and the government’s lack of concern for the health of its citizens. GMOs have no place in our food chain either as feed for livestock or food for humans.

Holly & Mark Cremeens

Fruita, Colo.

Letter: Jankovsky respected for business and leadership skills

October 21, 2014 — 

I have known Tom Jankovsky for over 25 years and respect him for his business and leadership skills. Over the last three and one half years, Tom has demonstrated, time and again, these attributes as our County Commissioner.

 Garfield County has an annual budget in excess of $120 million, and currently employs almost 500 individuals. These two facts alone, dictate the need for someone with proven business experience and in-depth knowledge of both the budget and financial review processes.

 It would be a mistake to entrust this responsibility to someone that lacks the necessary experience and management skills this position requires.

 Please join me in supporting the re-election of Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County Commissioner.

Letter: Elks seek hides to help veterans

October 21, 2014 — 

Well it’s that time of year again when Elks around the country ask hunters to donate the hides of animals they harvest during hunting season. The hides we collect are sent to tanneries to have them turned into leather, and after that they are made into gloves (fingerless and full-finger) for disabled vets who need them to protect their hands due to having to use wheelchairs or crutches. Some of the leather is also used for craft kits that are used for occupational and recreational therapy. Many fine pieces of arts and crafts have come from these kits.

The best part of this program; this is given to the vets free of charge. All costs, after the Elks receive the hides, are borne by the Elks Association. This is something not budgeted by the Veterans Administration and therefore would not be available if not for this amazing program.

So if you are a hunter, or know a hunter, we would appreciate the donation of any animal hides collected during hunting season. Last year the Colorado Elks Association collected over 1,000 hides. Locally, we collected over 100. I think we can beat that this year, so help me get the word out. If you have any questions, need more information or want to help collect and salt the hides please contact me at (970) 948-9127 or at team-regan@hotmail.com.

Thank you for your past and continued support of this important program.

Letter: Dupuy should feel embarrassed

October 21, 2014 — 

This letter is directed to Tina Dupuy, author of the column titled: ”On the Internet there’s no such thing as a true science denier,” on Sept. 26.

Ms. Dupuy describes science as rigorous and unemotional but the later misleads her readers with regard to climate change by skipping key portions of the scientific method, applying her own bias and taunting those who don’t agree with the conclusion. Ms. Dupuy presents no hypothesis and then claims there is no controversy surrounding the topic the reader must infer. Using the words she closes the column with, she is the one who should feel embarrassed.

Using the context she provided, I assume Ms. Dupuy’s hypothesis is that Earth is warming unnaturally (be it man caused or otherwise). Rather than emphasize that we cannot test many of the theories behind global warming, I prefer to indicate that we do not have the data she refers to on the topic. There is no controversy about the fact that climate varies from year to year, and that it’s completely normal.

Application of statistics could tell us if the temperature of any given year was abnormal if we had enough data. The Earth as been warming and cooling for billions of years and we have just over 100 years of yearly data from which to draw conclusions. The data we do have (sampled at a much lower rate) has shown that there can be periods of warming and cooling spanning tens of thousands of years. What does one hot summer or 10 hot summers tell us with regard to the “average” global temperature? Virtually nothing.

The column presents no hypothesis, no evidence of data showing accurate prediction of the Earth’s temperature nor test data showing proof of her missing hypothesis. Denying the Earth warmed to end the ice age with natural causes must create internal controversy for Ms. Dupuy. Is it a problem that we had a warm August? Nu-huh! Enjoy the warm weather, we need a few more thousand years of it before we can draw any meaningful conclusions.

Letter: Recreation and tourism fall short

October 21, 2014 — 

I read about Tom Jankovsky’s challenger in the Post Independent. How is it some people think recreation and tourism can come anywhere near the revenue generator the oil and gas industry brings to our community? Do they not understand numbers? If anyone has doubt, I encourage them to ask our Garfield County Assessor’s Office for a tax revenue report.

Re-elect Tom J. for Garfield County commissioner.

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