Letters to the Editor

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Letter: Officer was holding gun properly

October 21, 2014 — 

This is in response to the letter from Ed Colby regarding how the police officer was holding the gun that was shown in the picture on the front page of the Post Independent.

Obviously, Mr. Colby has not taken a gun safety course, as he would have known the officer was holding the gun in the proper manner that is the most safe in any situation.

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Letter: Why did I pay so much for gas?

October 21, 2014 — 

Headline Oct. 14 in the Grand Junction newspaper: “Gas prices dip below $3.”

Huh, I would swear I just filled up at New Castle and paid $3.34 9/10. Couldn’t be, because that would imply we are back into the Good Old Days of being abused by our local fuel industry. And they assured us they would never do that.

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Letter: Seeking other bridge opponents

October 21, 2014 — 

In the Tuesday, Oct. 7, issue of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, you printed a letter to the editor from Dale Reed saying that he, “among many others,” would like to have signed the letter on the Highway 82-Glenwood Springs bypass signed by 12 people.

If, indeed, there are many others who would like to have signed that letter, please let us know who you are and how we may contact you. You may write, email or call me, as follows: Jim Breasted, 678 Sopris Ave., Carbondale, CO 81623, 970-963-4190, jamesbreasted@Q.com.

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Your opinions as Election Day nears

October 20, 2014 — 

Sullivan would represent District 1

There is a clear choice for Garfield County commissioner this year. Michael Sullivan brings with him not only several years on the County Planning Commission, participation in the writing of the Comprehensive Plan and a solid plan for economic growth (that is compatible with Rep. Rankin’s focus on attracting tech companies to Garfield County), but he brings a different and important perspective to the commission.

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Free Press Letter: Water & energy intimately tied

October 20, 2014 — 

Many of us feel that water issues, especially in a bio region such as Mesa County, are intimately tied to energy-use conservation, and cooperation among ourselves in a stigmergic fashion.

Oil extraction has hit its peak, and corporate think tanks know natural gas fracking produces carcinogens and issues with aquafers. Revitalization of an aquafer that is damaged takes a long time, and it includes care for other species; it is a very, very slow natural process that occurs so that healing can take place.

So carpooling and vehicle entrainment actions are assumed necessities, as is public transportation. What also might be good is more community effort at maintaining our core-area trees and vegetation. The community gardens are great, and are models for self sufficiency.

Definitely pruning could help, and I wish the business of ethanol production from wood chips, yielding good soil building charcoal, was still around.

David Hays

Grand Junction, Colo.

Letter: GMO violation could lead to fine, jail

October 19, 2014 — 

Until I read the fine print in Proposition 105, I was ready to support it, as it sounded like a good idea: to know whether the food I buy has genetically modified organisms in it.

However, according to the analysis published by the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly in the State Ballot Information Booklet, Research Publication NO. 639-7, it appears there is more than a simple decision whether to require labels on food products that contain GMOs at stake.

Under “Penalties for violations”:

“The penalty for a violation is a fine of not more than $1,000, six months imprisonment in a country jail, or both. Subsequent violations are punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, one year in country jail, or both. Proposition 105 prohibits a person from suing a manufacturer, distributor or retailer for not properly labeling foods produced with genetic engineering.”

Unfortunately, such penalties are hardly significant enough to deter big companies who would rather violate the statute should it be passed. Also, it appears it will remove the right of people who are harmed by failure to label foods properly that contain GMOs to seek restitution in our law courts. It appears passage of the Proposition 105 will strip the public of the right to sue for damages resulting from consumption of GMO products, which may be the biggest threat facing those who claim GMOs are harmless and no different from any other food products on the market today.

The way the Proposition 105 is currently worded, its passage would fail to support the government bureaucracy required to monitor and enforce it. We the people would have to absorb the shortfall. The proposition almost appears to have been written by the corporations and organizations who would stand to benefit from its acceptance at the polls. It appears as a gift that will protect consumers, when it actually may leave them unable to seek compensation for damages that recent research indicates GMOs can cause to general health and well-being, both of animals and humans.

For these reasons, it may be better to rely on boycott pressure by the public against GMOs and to continue to support third-party organizations that certify food products that do not contain GMOs such as the “Non-GMO Project” (nongmoproject.org).

Fred Pulver

Carbondale

Letter: Road investments help region

October 18, 2014 — 

In the midst of highway construction season, frustrated area travelers have much to be thankful for. As owner of an eclectic fleet of vehicles, it is a mixed blessing to be paying higher Colorado vehicle registration bridge and road safety FASTER surcharges (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery). With these higher fees there has been investment in area infrastructure, jobs and businesses. Many have benefited from projects such as two lane on and off ramps at the I-70 Glenwood Springs interchange. Imagine the congestion if there were still one lane for westbound I-70 travelers starting on the Grand Avenue bridge. Hopefully with foresight, continued shared funding and completion of other FASTER projects such as SH 133 improvements in Carbondale, our patience will be duly rewarded.

With the completion of wildlife fencing projects in our area, I extend my appreciation to those involved in these and other beneficial, albeit expensive FASTER projects. Challenges related to such investment include accident reduction, mortality and impacts to herd size and migration patterns. Also important is correlating seasonal speed-reduction zones to accidents, wildlife mortality and tickets issued to whether these zones are truly effective or if future planning, funding and installation of wildlife fencing is a better alternative. There remain areas around Aspen, Basalt and Glenwood Springs lacking needed big-game accident mitigation. Hopefully the possible “offensive aesthetics” opposition and other design challenges can be overcome and these high kill count locations can be funded and constructed. Motorists, hunters, wildlife watchers and big game animals can all benefit.

Finally, thanks on a much smaller scale go to whichever entity was responsible for the creation and installation of the “pedestrian push button is behind you” signs installed in downtown Glenwood Sprigs intersections on SH82/Grand Avenue. For years I have observed many frustrated pedestrians waiting in vain to cross the highway due to not pushing the crossing buttons located in incongruous locations.

With patience, shared funding and the commitment of resources to our region, many projects large and small mark significant investment and continued improvements for travelers, wildlife and many others.

Letter: Time to Replace Jankovsky

October 17, 2014 — 

We desperately need a change in the Board of County Commissioners in Garfield County. The current board, of which Tom Jankovsky is a member, approved a solid waste transfer station on 100 Road outside of Carbondale despite overwhelming opposition at numerous meetings by area residents. Petitions against the facility signed by hundreds of voters, concerns of increased fire danger, ground water contamination, danger of increased truck traffic, etc. were ignored in the decision to approve this use. Improvements in the bridge over the Roaring Fork at a cost of perhaps millions of dollars will be paid for by taxpayers so that this private enterprise can make a profit.

Was it because some of the main supporters of the commissioner’s campaign were principles in the station? Or was it because the commissioners almost always support business over the concerns of their constituents? For whatever reason, if this facility is built, it will be a blight on the rural nature and the recreational use of this neighborhood.

Michael Sullivan is a great choice as a representative of the people and not of the oil and gas business. He is in favor of protecting the Thompson Divide and has the experience in public service to do the job.

Please vote for Michael Sullivan.

Letter: Same old liberal garbage

October 17, 2014 — 

I read with sadness that Gardner and Beauprez are behind in some polls. Coloradans are being so badly fooled. Udall and Hickenlooper both are simply Obama clones, and voting for them will get you the same old liberal garbage.

This country is going down fast, and both congressmen and voters have allowed it to happen. Udall fills the media with fluff about how he is preserving Colorado resources — just a smokescreen to cover his 99 percent voting for everything that has been rammed down our throats — amnesty, gun control, partial-birth abortion, outsourcing jobs, raising taxes, Obamacare, allowing illegals college tuition over American citizens, and enjoying the benefits of being one of the Washington, D.C., elite. Big money is doing the electing and it’s not the Republicans. Look up the funding record of George Soros.

Young people have been brainwashed into thinking that they are getting more freedom with liberal policies — oh, goody, legalized pot, same-sex marriage, reliance on food stamps, etc. Well, in a few years you will find out how fast you have become government slaves.

A few lures and you are hooked. Just like the wild pigs that were gradually led into a pen with a trail of corn and then, the gate slammed shut. The widespread ignorance today in this country is inexcusable. Vote for “same-old” and that’s what you get.

October 17, 2014 — 

Letter: Commissioners subvert laws they dislike

October 16, 2014 — 

We are a nation of laws and our representatives enact laws to govern the people at all levels of government. Regulations are then instituted by elected officials to implement and enforce the laws. In Garfield County, the triad of elected officials on the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) have continually worked to subvert the laws they don’t agree with by doing away with existing regulations and refusing to enact needed new regulations to meet new situations. The BOCC also practices corporate discrimination by exempting certain industries from the laws and regulations, namely, the gas and oil drilling industry, at whose altar they all worship.

A case in point is the new comprehensive development plan, which not only exempts the oil and gas industry but makes the provisions optional, which means that it cannot be enforced. This can only lead to a further deterioration in property values and quality of life in Garfield County.

I feel that the present members on the BOCC are violating their oath of office by failing to implement and enforce all laws that have been passed by the people’s representatives, and therefore none of them should be retained in office, especially Jankowski, who has made it very clear that he is a champion of deregulation.

I urge the voters to abandon the habit of voting only on the basis of who has a “D” or “R” after their name and vote for the candidate who will truly represent their interests. As an Independent voter I believe that Michael Sullivan will best represent my views on the BOCC, and he will get my vote.

Letter: Prop 105 gives consumers a choice

October 16, 2014 — 

I found Congress’ reasoning for not labeling GMOs infuriating. To actually watch a congressman state that he didn’t think the American people were intelligent enough to make decisions on their own food supply is insulting.

Prop 105 does not ban GMOs, it allows consumers the opportunity to make their own decision about what they want to ingest. When GMO labeling was mandated in 64 countries throughout the world, there wasn’t a spike in food prices and the corporations that export to these countries already label their product. If Colorado’s produce was already labeled, that would alleviate the need to do so for exportation.

Hybridization is a practice farmers have used to cross-pollinate specific strains of existing seeds to get the best results for their crops and shouldn’t be confused with genetically modified organisms. GMOs are implanted with DNA from totally different organisms (bacteria, virus, etc.), some of which have been found in those who ingest these products.

Although the FDA deems GMOs safe, some might think that the jury is out on this as the products are constantly evolving. Some might feel that there might be a conflict of interests when Michael Taylor, the deputy commissioner for foods at the FDA was the former VP for public policy at Monsanto, along with others that have worked in both sectors.

Lastly, why is Monsanto and others spending over $8 million dollars just in Colorado to stop this bill that only requires labeling? After watching Agent Orange ravage people I loved after Vietnam, I’m more than dubious when Monsanto claims something is safe.

Letter: What’s the specific bypass question?

October 16, 2014 — 

First, I have to say I don’t live in town or have a business in town and wouldn’t even be able to vote. However, I have been following the bridge/bypass/traffic issue (for decades). I keep earnestly trying to figure out what the smartest thing is to do. I tend to waffle as I read each well thought out and passionate letter.

Initially, I thought the bridge design was a horrible monstrosity, but now I think that once we get used to it, it could be a good thing. Having lived in Southern California decades ago, I remember the huge flyways back there, and to be honest, they were dramatic and beautiful. I never pictured that for Glenwood, but maybe ... At any rate, all this to say I don’t have a “dog in this hunt,” just a genuine desire for a good traffic solution and a love for this special little town.

Something that I couldn’t put my finger on about this issue has always really bothered me. And finally, while reading the paper Monday, about the governor being in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, something finally gelled for me. Here’s the quote that sparked it: “He (the CDOT director) told the Post Independent later that no route for a bypass has ever been established, and no cost estimate has ever been made, but the project would be expensive and contentious.” Then I “got it.” Here’s what’s bothering me: If there were a vote, what would I be voting on? What’s the question? Wouldn’t we be voting for the concept of less traffic, which is not a workable solution? Wouldn’t getting consensus for the location, to figure out how to word the question, begin more decades of debate? What would the vote be, i.e., the wording? Without specific information, like location, cost, impact, how could one even vote? What’s the specific bypass question?

I still don’t know what side I’m on, other than for Glenwood Springs and for less traffic. What am I missing?

Letter: Road investments help region

October 16, 2014 — 

In the midst of highway construction season, frustrated area travelers have much to be thankful for. As owner of an eclectic fleet of vehicles, it is a mixed blessing to be paying higher Colorado vehicle registration bridge and road safety FASTER surcharges (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery). With these higher fees there has been investment in area infrastructure, jobs and businesses. Many have benefited from projects such as two lane on and off ramps at the I-70 Glenwood Springs interchange. Imagine the congestion if there were still one lane for westbound I-70 travelers starting on the Grand Avenue bridge. Hopefully with foresight, continued shared funding and completion of other FASTER projects such as SH 133 improvements in Carbondale, our patience will be duly rewarded.

With the completion of wildlife fencing projects in our area, I extend my appreciation to those involved in these and other beneficial, albeit expensive FASTER projects. Challenges related to such investment include accident reduction, mortality and impacts to herd size and migration patterns. Also important is correlating seasonal speed-reduction zones to accidents, wildlife mortality and tickets issued to whether these zones are truly effective or if future planning, funding and installation of wildlife fencing is a better alternative. There remain areas around Aspen, Basalt and Glenwood Springs lacking needed big-game accident mitigation. Hopefully the possible “offensive aesthetics” opposition and other design challenges can be overcome and these high kill count locations can be funded and constructed. Motorists, hunters, wildlife watchers and big game animals can all benefit.

Finally, thanks on a much smaller scale go to whichever entity was responsible for the creation and installation of the “pedestrian push button is behind you” signs installed in downtown Glenwood Springs intersections on SH82/Grand Avenue. For years I have observed many frustrated pedestrians waiting in vain to cross the highway due to not pushing the crossing buttons located in incongruous locations.

With patience, shared funding and the commitment of resources to our region, many projects large and small mark significant investment and continued improvements for travelers, wildlife and many others.

Letter: Police should set example with guns

October 15, 2014 — 

Saturday’s front page of the Post Independent story about a Rifle High mass casualty drill included a photo of a Rifle police officer, drawn gun in hand, with an index finger right next to the trigger.

We assume that gun had an empty chamber. Police can set an example for the community by treating every weapon as if it were loaded, and keeping handguns holstered around kids.

Letter: Wrong to blame GOP for slide

October 15, 2014 — 

RE: Craig Chisesi’s criticism Oct. 10 of Jane Spaulding’s letter:

Craig, I guess stating correct facts would be a lot to ask. Here’s what I remember: The Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in January 2007, with Nancy Pelosi being elected the speaker of the House. The Democrats took control of the Senate in January 2007, and elected Harry Reid as majority leader. President Bush had to deal with the big-spending Democrats and their great programs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac his last two years in office.

Where did that get us? This is when the economy really began to slide downhill as you so aptly mentioned, when the Democrats were in control of Congress. So blaming the Republicans for those two years is incorrect. The GOP did not have a majority in the House of Representatives until January 2011, when Americans realized the country was on the wrong track.

Letter: Please vote to help Silt water district

October 15, 2014 — 

This letter is to the citizens of Silt and Rifle asking you to vote yes on ballot issue 5A. The Silt Water Conservancy District (SWCD) operates Rifle Gap Reservoir, Harvey Gap Reservoir and the irrigation systems for most the farmers north of the Colorado River in the Rifle and Silt areas.

For several years now, the district has been struggling to try to replace and refurbish an aging infrastructure. Since SWCD is a quasi-governmental agency, it falls under Tabor. There are grants from the Colorado Water Board, the Colorado River District, Garfield County and the NRCS that are meant to help irrigation districts with these projects; however, because any funds from these grants must be put into the SWCD’s water fund, it automatically triggers Tabor. This means that the fees that the farmers and others have paid must first be refunded before accepting the grants, thus defeating the purpose of the grants and thus leaving the district only one option — long term borrowing, which further indebts the farmers.

Please vote yes on 5A so that the district can accept these grants for the purpose for which they were intended and begin to make much-needed infrastructure improvements.

Letter: Jankovsky has us on the right track

October 14, 2014 — 

As a guest at the Glenwood Springs Realtors Association’s Candidate Forum, I was fortunate to hear both candidates for county commissioner detail their vision for the future of Garfield County. After hearing both men articulate their positions, I believe the choice is clear and Tom Jankovsky should be re-elected.

Jankovsky’s understanding of the challenges facing Garfield County as well as his record of promoting the economic diversity of the county make him the right man for the job. His ability to bring business credentials to the position of county commissioner four years ago, brought a unique and truly needed set of skills just as the county faced the darkest days of the Great Recession. We have not fully recovered, but Jankovsky’s leadership has us on the right track.

This is not to say that he is perfect. Commissioner candidate Sullivan does make a strong point when he says that there are people in this county whose views are underrepresented. He points primarily to our more liberal friends in the eastern part of the county who would favor a tourism-based economy and believe the commissioners are too cozy with the gas industry. Sullivan’s campaign, however, is single-minded in its approach by merely opposing current policies.

Sullivan says he hopes to serve as a cheerleader for the Roaring Fork Valley, but as commissioner he must serve the entire county. Our leaders need to work to bridge our current factions and bring not just a sense of balance but true collaboration to their policies. I will admit that the current commissioners can and should do a better job of this, especially in western Garfield County, where Democrats find themselves frustrated and unheard on natural gas development and environmental issues. Sullivan’s approach would exacerbate existing divisions.

I believe that Tom Jankovsky is working toward greater collaboration. He understands that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for a county as diverse as ours — different parts of the county need different solutions. He has shown he works for the good of all the citizens of this county not just District 1. Re-elect Tom Jankovsky county commissioner.

Letter: GMO labeling proposal provides choice

October 14, 2014 — 

Proposition 105, which requires labeling of genetically modified organisms, will help us, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have the right to a choice about what we eat. Contrary to a mailing I received today funded by No on 105, the point of labeling our foods is so that Coloradoans can be aware of what they are purchasing and preparing for their families.

Letter: Bear Management

October 14, 2014 — 

I read with interest John Stroud’s article in the Oct. 6 issue regarding Glenwood’s increased bear troubles this year — possibly exceeding even Aspen’s. In the Meeker area, bear sightings, incidents — one sow with cubs had to be destroyed as repeat offenders (very unusual for us) — and hunter reports have increased significantly, too. Many area ranchers believe strongly that increased bear numbers have had a significant impact in reducing our mule deer numbers. Moffat County sheep ranchers report losses 100 times greater than they were 15 years ago. Compensation for these losses is paid by deer and elk hunting license fees.

I was especially struck by the suggestion made in the article by Glenwood City Councilman Steve Bershenyi that state officials seek to repeal Amendment 10 passed by voters in 1992. The amendment was initiated by the Sierra Club. The measure eliminated the spring bear hunt, which was a more effective and better targeted method of bear harvest. At that time, wildlife conservation groups such as the Colorado Wildlife Federation opposed the amendment.

As Bershenyi was quoted, he would rather see bear numbers controlled through spring bear hunts than by euthanization when they get into trouble in town. I couldn’t agree more. Our state representative Bob Rankin, R-Glenwood Springs, should take this up as a direct action by the state Legislature. Tell him so. Times have changed.

Letter: Climate change is proven and real

October 14, 2014 — 

Yes, Virginia, there is climate change. It is called the four seasons, summer, winter, spring and fall.

Opinion: We should get our own grizzlies

October 14, 2014 — 

Drat.

The idea floated about the nation’s grizzly bear population getting back into its original mountains seems so sweetly innocent. Then along comes a young bear to say “whoa.”

It seems a 4 to 5 year old was pigging out on chokecherries in Grand Teton National Park and should have left the area some time ago. Instead, the little glutton stayed around to bulk up more, getting ready for his winter’s sleep.

So who but tourists, in their cars, clogged the road to get pictures of him and get closer to him. Park rangers tried to keep things moving, since a big traffic jam is inconvenient for all, but do you think anyone listened? Probably a few, but you knew those were likely foreigners.

The Moose-Wilson Road is an eight-mile scenic drive between Teton Village and Moose, Wyo.

Anyway, the harassed bear felt a bit put upon, what with those humans coming closer and closer and interfering with his chokecherry buffet. He became a little agitated, sort of well, grizzly.

Being a well brought up kid he didn’t eat anyone, but the rangers finally had to close the road, clear those lingering, and keep it closed for a while ... because Junior was getting seriously worked up.

This little tale, I think, validates my premise that if grizzlies were re-introduced into the Colorado Rockies and the San Juans, we would have a huge tourist boom. And that means lots of money gets spent in our state; if Grand Mesa became home to some, the money would also flow into Mesa County and even Grand Junction! Seems like there are plenty of moose on Grand Mesa for bear food, too.

We know that sometimes grizzlies, being big and having huge fangs and claws, can maul humans, but it’s a rare happening. Parents probably shouldn’t let the kids try to pet them and so on, but folks in Alaska, Montana, Canada, Washington, Wyoming and Idaho get along with their grizzlies just fine.

It might be bad press to have a tourist eaten around Grand Junction, but what if it led to a boom?

Ah well, I was amazed to see that we already have at least one bear in Grand Junction already! You can see him for yourself.

Just follow my trail. I was walking from Fourth Street, on the south side of Main Street, heading to the Avalon Theatre. At the corner of Fifth and Main, a GRIZZLY (sure could be one!) suddenly appeared, rearing on its hind legs under a tree on that corner.

WHAT A SHOCK!

When my racing pulse slowed, I saw that you can have this guy in your very own yard if you want. It’s a huge bronze, displayed by Art on the Corner.

You’ll be the only kid on your block with one, particularly since the price is $48,000!

Go see it before the exhibits change.

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: Fried Rice gives us a smile each week

October 12, 2014 — 

Thank you, PI, for bringing Heidi Rice’s column back. I was so bummed when her column stopped in the paper.

For years, my mom and I would call each other every week when Heidi’s column came out. It would make us laugh and always put a smile on our faces.

Funny how people bash on people that they don’t even know. I feel if you don’t like something, don’t read it. Thank you, PI, and thank you, Heidi, for bringing back the laughter, and putting the smile back on our faces every week.

Valerie Imondi

Rifle

Letter: Humans pretending to be as good as Mother Nature

October 12, 2014 — 

The real reason that we are having so many bears in town this year is because of the late and cold spring that destroyed their natural food sources in the high country this year. Why is it that humans always think that they know better than Mother Nature when it comes to controlling wildlife numbers? The reason that we are forced to kill animals to “control” their numbers is because we screwed up the balance ourselves to begin with.

Classic example: Yellowstone. Man thought he needed to control the wolf and grizzly populations because they interfered with his ability to make money in the animal’s territory. We then proceeded to “control” the wolves and bears until their numbers were either erased or decimated. What followed? An overpopulation of deer, elk and coyote, the destruction of natural flora and fauna due to overgrazing, no threat of predators, etc.

Then in our ultimate wisdom we decided to protect and reintroduce the top predators, and the transformation back to a natural balance was amazing. Overpopulations of animals were brought back into check, plants that were threatened made a comeback, animals that relied on the wolf and grizzly started to make a comeback.

The notion that hunting is needed to control the wildlife is ludicrous. No one is better than Mother Nature at maintaining the natural balance of plants and animals. The only reason that we have the need to meddle is because we screwed it up to begin with. Overpopulated animal species will balance their own numbers out with the lack of food and needed habitat. The weak will die, the strong will reproduce as needed. Too many cougars? That’s because there are sufficient deer numbers to sustain them. When the deer numbers decline so will the cougars. Stop meddling.

I am not opposed to hunting to put food on our tables, only opposed to the reason that it is “needed” to begin with. Don’t want bears in town? Stop giving them food to eat, it’s that simple.

Ross Woodward

Carbondale

Letter: Having a road without potholes aids safety

October 11, 2014 — 

I am sorry that Mr. Gibson was upset by the new blacktopping at Horseshoe Bend in the Glenwood Canyon bike and walking path. I am more concerned about the unfortunate accident of my assistant coach at that exact spot this past summer. I am thankful that some action has been taken to improve the safety of this popular section of bike trail.

My coach hit a pothole this summer, going at a reasonable pace, with a group of other cyclists, all with helmets and appropriate safety training. Yet, nothing could prevent her from blowing her front tire as she struck a pothole in the crumbly pavement, sending her headfirst over her bicycle into the rocky ground. Fortunately, our team members, several of whom are first responders, were able to stabilize her and call an ambulance. She had a concussion but is in full recovery at this time.

Safety is important for all of us. Walking our dogs on leashes in this area would improve safety. Cyclists riding slowly and with focus in this area would improve safety. Wearing helmets would improve safety. Pulling off to the side of the trail when stopping would improve safety. Having a road without potholes will improve safety.

I want to thank those involved with the improvements on this section of the road with the hopes that more folks can safely enjoy this magical playground in our community.

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