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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Is there any explanation or excuse for Garfield County’s influx of those who can’t speak English, as reported in the Post Independent April 30 and May 1?

Second, is there any reason to grant voting rights to people who can’t speak the language, and therefore can’t read or understand media reports or verbal proposals by candidates?

Third, why do groups and individuals aid and abet illegal residents to get here and to continue their stay in the area?

Fourth, what is wrong with a requirement to prove citizenship to vote? Even getting on an airplane requires ID including a picture. Is electing governmental representatives less important?

Finally, are towns and areas of Garfield County now sanctuaries?

It is admitted that local law enforcement’s hands are tied by federal mandate, so even repeat law breakers can’t be deported. Those who enforce the law must beware the ACLU.

Does “illegal” have a new definition and if so, to what formerly unlawful actions does it apply? Does the new lack of enforcement apply only to those who sneak into our country or is there a broader application, say, for shoplifters?

This is not written exclusively about south-of-the-border immigrants, but applies to all who fit the category, even though the Post Independent articles highlighted people from south of the border.

Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa

The Garfield County Energy Advisory Board meeting on May 5 was quite revealing.

For the first time in more than a year, the Williams Production representative was present. At the end of the meeting it became clear why: to challenge anyone thinking the county commissioners’ terminating the Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment had anything to do with industry.

Her challenge was very intense, as if the mere strength of her voice would cower any dissent and convince all. Luckily, the citizen group representatives were not convinced, and expressed their valid thoughts.

Williams admitted they were responsible for the first delay and the first report rewrite. More recently was Antero’s delay, until the commissioners fumbled the political football, leaving the study unfinished. Antero’s silence in the meeting on this issue spoke volumes.

The commissioner present was all dressed up to present their explanation, which really isn’t one based in the “science and facts” always demanded by industry, but rather in politics. What theater!

However, “Methinks thou dost protest too much.”

All it demonstrates is that public health is trumped by industry influence and taxpayers are stuck with a quarter-million dollar study the current commissioners no longer want to hear.

Marion Wells


From a March 3 Post Independent article, I first became aware of the Colorado School of Public Health’s draft of the Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment addressing health and welfare issues relating to an expanded natural gas development in the area of those communities.

The school is a teaching collective of Colorado University at Denver, University of Northern Colorado and Colorado State University. A copy of their study is available on the Garfield County’s website.

There absolutely are concerns that must be addressed with gas development. I was, however, surprised at how a college level report could be so unprofessional.

The primary goal of the school more than likely was to produce an endless parade of dangers, illness, fears and degradations that we will face with additional gas development. I yellow-lined the report’s chapters and appendices, and noted well over 100 contaminants, illness and negative outcomes that might be expected.

This report, along with previous Post Independent new articles and letters on the devastation that could be upon us as a result of gas production, should frighten anyone.

Did the professors in their discussions with students ever mention a very real illness not mentioned in the report? Could a small number of citizens exposed to a “nocebo effect” come down with a sociogenic illness like hypochondria? We all know what a placebo is; if you believe something will make you better, it often will. Nocebo, also a medical term, is the opposite of a placebo, meaning if you believe something will get you sick, it often will.

For each of the multitude of potential negative outcomes described in this report, will there be one chance in one that it will occur, like a truck driver speeding in a cloud of dust running a stop sign? Or will it be one chance in 20 million that a man or woman will get breast cancer because they were working in the natural gas industry at night under artificial lights? (See the report’s page 54.)

I repeat. Yes, there will be problems to address, but someone needs to ask the researchers why they produced such a presumptuous report. Within its 100 plus pages, the report’s list of benefits due to natural gas development can be expressed in a sentence of less than 30 words.

Floyd Diemoz

Glenwood Springs

The recent decision by the Garfield County Commissioners to discontinue the Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment is a prime example of how dysfunctional and corrupted the two-party political system has become.

This decision was apparently not made on the basis of facts or scientific knowledge, but on the basis of the personal opinions of the commissioners and Antero Resources’ lawyer. They presented no evidence or expert testimony to back up their claims or reasons for the decision.

One of the more interesting reasons given was Commissioner John Martin’s comment that the cost of the study was unfair to the taxpayers. Since the study was done to determine how to protect the health and environment of all the residents of the county from the effects of gas drilling, it is not difficult to determine just which taxpayers he was talking about.

It is time that the public send a strong message to all elected officials that since their salary and benefits are paid for with tax dollars, they are in fact public servants and have a duty to serve all the citizens equally and not just their corporate masters who donate huge sums of money to their election campaigns. The only way to do this is to immediately recall them from office when they breach that duty.

Garry Evenson

Battlement Mesa

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