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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Being a news junkie, I read and heard media reporters write and exclaim that a rig had exploded in the Gulf. Rigs don’t explode. What the operation experienced was an old fashioned blowout that caught a spark.

Some of you have seen the old films of wells that “hit oil” and it spewed over the crown of the rig and soaked the wildly celebrating owners and drillers. That was in the days before, by necessity, blowout preventers were invented. Also, invented were automatic shut-off valves that stopped oil flow in the event of mechanical failure on producing wells and pipelines.

In this case it would appear that, in the absence of sabotage, there was a duel equipment failure started by failure of the blowout preventer and subsequent failure of the shut-off valve to stop the production flow. This doesn’t lessen the threat to the environment, but does make one wonder why lawyers are flocking to New Orleans to get a piece of the action and sue everyone involved in the Gulf operation, instead of waiting for professionals to determine whether or not required equipment specs were followed by manufacturers. Well yes, that would result in no income for what we used to call “ambulance chasers”.

Further, one has to wonder why Salazar, Napolitano and the President felt the need to sightsee the spill at taxpayers’ expense. First to seek the limelight in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s territory were the cabinet heads then the President. Was it political, or do they have knowledge of the oil drilling business and mitigation of spills we don’t know about? Still I wish that we, the taxpayers, had some control to require expenses and fees be paid to people with the expertise needed. We would pay for them to go on site to put their heads together and solve problems. To “site” see, not just to “sight” see.

Seems I read this morning about a weather-related threat to life and property in other areas of the South. Will the sightseers mentioned above have to fly into that area as well or will it be another government sightseer’s turn?

Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa

Mr. McKinney, I sincerely would like to thank you for your letter to the editor dated on April 30, 2010. I must say that I agree with you. Too many times it is forgotten that we are all humans. I think that Ms. Harris may have missed the memo that no matter what color, creed, or language we speak, we are all the same and we all have the same rights! Though, I must say that I do disagree with you about Ms. Harris being comfortable in Arizona. Perhaps she would be more comfortable in the Antarctic where she doesn’t have to deal with those of us she does not approve of!

If you ask me, hateful people are only perpetuating the sad cycle in which we find ourselves. Our world is one consumed by war, famine, and intolerance. I wish that people such as Ms. Harris would think twice before spewing hatred for all to read. The intolerance that Ms. Harris portrays only discounts the differences that make our world wonderful. Instead of hate and intolerance we should be encouraging acceptance.

So with that being said, I would like to say that while I respect Ms. Harris’ opinion, I do not agree with it. Ms. Harris, please rethink your outright disrespect for those of us that you have offended and lets all try to make our world a tad bit better.

Lissa Pabst

Old Snowmass

After several recent visits to Garfield County Social Services I am convinced that one does not need to be proficient in English to be employed there, but Spanish only. The young lady behind the desk could not understand simple English and the intake coordinator was also struggling with understanding me.

I have fallen on hard times, as many of us have, and as I search for a job, I find that the education and training I’d once thought so desirable as an employee have been passed over time and time again for those who are fluent in Spanish. After years of studying Spanish at the college level I am still working on my Spanish skills. At one time I believed that having an excellent grasp of the English language, a bachelors degree, and being an honorably discharged Veteran would put me in a position to find a good job. I have instead witnessed the opposite in this valley.

Young women who have been brought up speaking Spanish have been able to secure many of the front desk and/or office jobs in the area as we cater to Spanish speakers. I think that any person working in customer service in any government job should first and foremost be fluent in the language of the country they are serving. Secondly, as government employees working with the public, an English proficiency test should be administered and the potential employee should be able to speak at least at a high school level.

English classes are given free of charge at the local college. Why do I have to pay for my classes? Isn’t this discrimination? I worked very hard to put myself through college and serve my country in the military and know that the work ethic and dedication required has made me better able to solve problems and deal with stress than had I not done these things.

I feel that as a light-skinned American, I have had to defend myself to racism for so long that I have now become the recipient of reverse discrimination.

Janelle Gross Ortiz

Glenwood Springs

I find it disgusting that the President of the United States is traveling around the country criticizing the state government of Arizona for taking action on a problem ignored by his administration. Additionally, he has a lot of gall predicting racial profiling, which may never happen.

This coming from a man hailed as being the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. Poor Abe. He’s probably rolling over in his grave right now.

Dick Prosence


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