Rifle, CO Colorado

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September 19, 2012
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Letters to the Editor - Sept. 20, 2012

I'm a retired Garfield County 911 dispatcher and had the misfortune to be working the night (Steven) Michael Stagner terrorized Rifle.

I took several 911 calls from innocent, terrorized people that had been shot at or had seen other people shot and killed.

These people, or anyone else for that matter, should never, ever have the fear of this man being given the chance of escape during a "supervised day trip."

How quickly the "powers that be" forget the horror that occurred that night. How can the "powers that be" even consider taking that chance?

Tom Ukele


Throughout his administration, Obama has spanned the globe expressing apologies for our great nation, as if America had much to be regretful about. There are many of us who take issue with these insinuations and exaggerations; however, our views fail to get any degree of exposure or publicity that matches the president's "bully pulpit power," along with a liberal national media performing as his cheering section.

So, on behalf of the proud American citizens who love this country for its exemplary history and its extraordinary humanitarian track record, I am compelled to express apologies for the many unnecessary and unwarranted apologies Obama has needlessly expressed.

Let me make this perfectly clear, I am apologizing "about" him, not "to" him, nor "for" him or all his heedless words and actions. My apologies are "about" a president that is not expressing the "will of the people" who he was elected to represent.

Although he may not be sorry for his actions, we are. Our great nation deserves praise and recognition, not apologies, for its historical role of protecting the world against tyranny and aggression.

We have every reason to be proud of our country, as well documented in Tom Brokaw's book, "The Greatest Generation." My generation "gets it." Unfortunately, many of our citizens in subsequent generations have been misinformed and misled, not only by the media, but by the omissions and spin that has been put in the teaching, or lack thereof, of American history in our school systems.

Fellow Americans, let's ignore the Obama apology rants and take pride in our country by praising its virtues and being thankful for our blessing of citizenship.

Let freedom ring. God bless America.

Richard Doran


I am delighted and honored to announce the Advocate Safehouse Project has been awarded a grant of $20,000 by the Aspen Community Foundation.

The mission of the Advocate Safehouse Project is to promote healthy relationships free from violence through education, advocacy, empowerment and safe housing.

The grant will give us additional resources to provide services to survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence in Garfield County. Over the past six years, we have received $135,000 from Aspen Community Foundation's unrestricted and field of interest funds, and $42,000 from donor advised funds. We recognize the importance of community support through unrestricted grant making, field of interest funds, and donor advised funds.

The Advocate Safehouse Project is the only program in the county offering comprehensive and confidential services for survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence and their children. We also provide educational outreach on healthy relationships.

It should be noted the Advocate Safehouse Project is one of only 11 domestic violence safe house programs on Colorado's Western Slope and the only one in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Julie Olson

executive director

Advocate Safehouse Project

I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this. The proposed center on Catherine's Store Road outside of Carbondale to deal with the trash and recycling this area creates is not a bad idea, it's a necessary evil.

This trash is OUR trash and recycling, produced by the citizens of this town (Carbondale) and neighboring towns. If we don't create the ability to deal with our trash locally, where should we? Is it OK that our trash is sent somewhere else to deal with? This stinks to high heaven of NIMBYism. There is no "away."

Want to really stop a place where trash and recycling has to go? Stop making it. Reduce, reuse, then recycle. Stop making trash. Really. It's simple.

I don't want a trash and recycle center close to me either, but I'm willing to own what waste I create. We need to see just how much of a hassle it is to deal with trash and then, maybe then, we'll see the light and stop creating the mess in the first place.

Mark Burrows


According to the federal government's Census and unemployment web site, we have a total work force of approximately 154 million in America. There are 19.4 million employed at the state and local government levels. There are approximately 4.5 million employed by the federal government. That means somewhere around 23.9 million people are directly employed by some level of government, or 15.5 percent of the total work force.

According to a Wall Street Journal article (May 26) the percentage of the U.S. population living in a household receiving some sort of government benefit drastically rose to more than 49.1 percent. An even bigger contributor to government influence is the large and unaccounted millions of public sector jobs that are a direct result of government contracts. Think stimulus package trillions.

At virtually every level of government, much of the work is a direct result of jobs that are categorized as "public sector," but benefits from tax-funded government coffers. We are indeed, as Ross Talbott asserted, in a precarious place, where the words of Alexis De Tocqueville seem ever more poignant:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years."

Russell Talbott

New Castle

Anyone remember the Summitville disaster? The people of Rio Grande County do.

Twenty years ago, the Canadian mining operation at Summitville declared bankruptcy and walked off, leaving a moonscape with piles of cyanide-treated rubble draining acidic, mineral and cyanide-laden water into streams and ground water, rendering the Alamosa River lifeless and the downstream users and well owners out of luck.

Two hundred and fifty million taxpayer dollars later, the site is somewhat remediated. A $16 million water treatment plant, provided by the 2009 stimulus, is allowing the river to recover, a process the Environmental Protection Agency estimates will require 100 years. The mining company paid not one penny of the $250 million in gold it extracted to the citizens of the United States, thanks to the archaic mining law of 1872.

Under this law, mining proposals cannot be denied, and provisions of the Clean Water Act do not apply. Some environmental review does remain in the permitting process.

Now comes HR 4402, masquerading as a "strategic and critical minerals" (like sand and gravel) bill. It effectively eliminates environmental review and greatly limits mining-impacted communities any recourse. Scott Tipton sponsored this bill. Why? The environment should not stand in the way of private profit. This is progress, and those downstream users should know that.

An amendment was offered to the bill that would provide for a small royalty, the proceeds to be set aside for the cost of future inevitable cleanups. Scott Tipton voted no. Why? Privatize the profit and socialize the damage. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a congressman who represents his constituents instead of his extreme ideology?

Sal Pace will represent the people of the third congressional district with moderation and rational thought, not ideology.

Christopher Isensee


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The Post Independent Updated Sep 19, 2012 06:04PM Published Sep 19, 2012 06:01PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.