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Despite their best intentions, elected officials often get chastised for their decisions. In the midst of all the angry phone calls and letters, they deserve a word or two of appreciation when they go to great lengths to act in our best interests.

Mark Udall, our senior senator, for example, deserves a collective thank-you from the entire state as he publically recognized the safety of hydraulic fracturing earlier this week. Udall, a Democrat, broke ranks with his party and said the technology, which will uncover rich oil and natural gas resources as well as create jobs and produce revenue in Colorado, should be regulated at the state level.

Placing practicality over partisanship, Udall is not making the issue a two-sided contentious argument. Instead, he is encouraging Colorado’s natural gas industry to work with the EPA, be completely transparent with the materials used in the fracking process and do everything possible to assure the public that fracking is safe.



As reported by the Post Independent, Udall wrote in an email that “One well contaminated or one person made sick is one too many.”

I could not agree more.



I would not have my enthusiasm for this technology if it posed a hazard to the health of my families, friends and neighbors. To date, there has never been conclusive evidence that hydrofracking is harmful to human health. As the technology improves, we are increasingly confident that our work will not interfere with the safety of our wells or health of Coloradans.

This is an exciting opportunity for Colorado, since we are rich in shale formations, from the Green River Formation in the Piceance Basin in western Colorado, the Nobrara Shale in northeast Colorado and the San Juan Basin in the south.

Successful fracking in these areas mean new jobs and increased revenue for Colorado. Sen. Udall realizes our potential, and I thank him for his leadership on this issue.

Mariah Raney

Grand Junction

Why the flap over President Obama’s Cape Cod vacation?

This is simply standard operating procedure in a socialist society. It never even occurred to Obama not to go. In a socialist country the ruling class lives in splendor amidst great opulence and the people eat cake. Name one socialist country where this is not glaringly obvious. Really – list them.

Socialism provides equality, all right. The populace is all equally poor.

In the capitalistic United States (“America” no longer exists), our president is renting from a commoner who lives that way the other 50 weeks a year if the property is even his primary residence. What a concept.

In the U.S., the poorest of the poor are infinitely better off than “the people” in a socialist country. Who’s better off – a welfare recipient in, say, Harlem, or Obama’s half-brother in Kenya?

The saddest part of the entire scenario is that the socialist elite know this perfectly well. But they have prestige, power and a virtually unlimited supply of OPM (other peoples’ money), so their only concern is re-election, or maybe their next news anchor or movie contract.

By the way, the euphemisms for “socialism” are “liberalism” and “progressive” – easier to sell to all of us eating cake.

Thanks for listening.

Bob Richardson

Denver

With regard to the fee on plastic bags about to be imposed (on a struggling economy with many under-employed), why penalize the consumer?

Why not impose a fee on the grocery stores for purchasing goods with so much packaging? Surely this would be a more green approach.

Why does everything we buy have to come double-wrapped, stapled, vacuum-sealed and triple-boxed? You have to have a Sawzall to open half this stuff. Ever try to get into a CD case?

We, as consumers, have a choice whether to use our own bags, but we have no choice about the packaging on the items we purchase.

If government is going to interfere in this, let the government do what we cannot do: Create a law that affects the packaging of goods. That would have a real impact.

Secondly, is the environment the real motivation here, or are the local governments seeking another income source? What will they do with our fees? If this is for environmental reasons, why are all the funds not going to be used on the environment?

Giving the fee money to the local schools would not be my first choice, but if a portion of the fees do end up going to the local schools, I hope the charter schools will benefit equally regardless of whether chartered through the local districts like the Carbondale Community school or through the state as is the case with Ross Montessori where my granddaughter will attend kindergarten.

Oh, and if there’s any question, I take bags with me when I shop, and I always recycle so this law will have no impact on me. Hopefully, like the Vitamin Cottage and Sam’s Club, the grocery stores will put out their free empty boxes as an alternative to bags.

Barb Forrest

El Jebel

I will be unable to follow the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. I just fertilized the lawn and will be sitting on the patio watching the grass grow. At least I will be there when the barbershop is closed and I can’t watch haircuts.

Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa

I’m writing about Bruno Kirchenwitz’s thoughtful letter of Aug. 20, “Why restrict personal choice to use marijuana.”

It seems to me that the legalization of marijuana is about freedom: the freedom to be left alone in the privacy of our own home, the freedom for adult citizens to pursue their own happiness any way they want as long as they are not harming somebody else.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” So says Amendment 1 to the U.S. Constitution.

Hal Sundin stated in his Aug. 18 column that the Constitution speaks of “the people.” If he meant the preamble, he’s correct. If he meant the First Amendment, he’s wrong.

The First Amendment does not reference its application to any specific group except Congress, to which it lays prohibitions on certain types of legislation. Therefore, it applies to every individual and entity in the United States.

Mr. Sundin may not like it, and I may not like it. Heck, even Chief Justice Roberts may not like it, but his job is to decide cases on what the Constitution says, not what he would like it to say.

By taking that approach, he is, in fact, an originalist jurist, not an activist as Mr. Sundin claims him to be. If the Constitution is amended to exclude corporations from the protection of the First Amendment, then things will be different. Until then, we’ll all just have to live with the fleas that come with the dog.

Bryan Holloway

Glenwood Springs

Whoever stole the four-wheelers from behind Defiance Thrift Store on Aug. 17 is really thoughtless and selfish. Those four-wheelers were obviously made for the animal cages they were leaning against. They’re hardly any good for anything else, they’re made of plastic, and now we have to make do without our custom-made wheels. If the thieves get done trying to use them soon, we would really appreciate getting them back.

Mark Whittington

Defiance Thrift Store team

Glenwood Springs


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