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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Having criticized some of Ross Talbott’s past columns for poorly organized content hatefully expressed, I wanted to say that I admire and enjoyed his July 27 offering.

Mr. Talbott effectively described Grand Mesa as he sees it. He lovingly expressed his feelings for that land and the ways in which humans are managing it.

With equal clarity, he offered his view of human responsibility in the matter – God wants man to exercise stewardship over his earth. This is a religious belief – a matter of faith not amenable to empirical argument.



My own belief is that God is a human fiction resorted to because we are afraid of living in a world too complex for us to fully understand. We are, I believe, merely one of its many life forms, struggling to survive as comfortably as we can and consuming our environment at an unsustainable rate.

The human stewardship Mr. Talbott described on Grand Mesa is exceptional. The stench of factories, I think, the wholesale removal of mountains for cheap coal to power them, the beautiful and poisonous cloud that often floats over our cities and the Gulf spill are the rule.



Capitalism, whether private as in the USA or government controlled as in China, is a poor system for stewarding anything except its own profits.

In my view, if we leave Grand Mesa at the mercy of private enterprise it, too, will soon be ruined. We ought to preserve the Hidden Gems and almost anything else that’s left, because there are already far more of us than “God’s creation” can support.

Preserving as much as possible may delay (but probably not prevent) the end of our civilization and perhaps even our species within the next few hundred years.

Mr. Talbott’s Christian view apparently leads him to different conclusions. I hope he can appreciate that in our democracy his view is but one of many that policy makers are obliged to account for, that those who hold other views love the Earth no less than he, and that we preservationists are not his enemy.

Ron Kokish

Carbondale

We conquered Adolf Hitler in World War 11 but can’t seal the border? We put a man on the moon but can’t stop a leaking oil well in less than 90 days?

While Janet Napolitano says the border is safer than ever, Chapo Guzman (look him up, there is a website) and others pack billions of American dollars south to invest in a tax free market with one of the largest cheap labor forces on the planet at his disposal.

Muslims are now blocking the streets of Manhattan, to pray. Six Flags, Jackson, N.J., is having the largest outdoor Muslim gathering on Sept. 10.

This isn’t about a few Mexicans wandering around looking for a job. This is about American civilization going into a time of tremendous change. If we don’t wake up soon, we are going to “politically correct” ourselves right out of our own country.

Instead of immigration enforcement law, we could have securing America enforcement law. Is America the only country that is not allowed to enforce its immigration laws? Mexico definitely enforces its.

How sad that the rights of the criminals and those who wish to ignore a country’s laws are given priority over its own citizens.

Nell Conklin

Parachute

Although entitlements are by far the biggest funding problem facing our country, we should not overlook other opportunities for reducing the cost of operating the federal government. Reducing the size of agencies or offices won’t do it. Over the years they simply creep up to be bigger and more expensive than ever. The best approach is elimination of organizations having limited value. Here are two we could all live without.

The Federal Highway Administration had an important function in early development of a national highway system. It coordinated the efforts of various state highway departments, many of which did not exist until the late 1920s. It developed standards, many of which are still in use today, and, of course, it monitored the development of the interstate highway system. I am personally proud of the role it played, since I started my civil engineering career with the Bureau of Public Roads, the forerunner of FHWA.

This agency should be eliminated, its $42 billion budget – the federal gas tax – canceled, and its 2,900 employees put to work at something more useful. The states would have the prerogative of raising their state gas tax to replace funds being passed through by the feds. Minor offices, considered to be vital, should be added to the Department of Transportation.

When I was going to school, the federal government was not involved in education at the local level. Education was and should be the responsibility of local school boards with some oversight at the state level. Therefore, elimination of the U.S. Department of Education makes good sense, along with its $161 billion budget, which includes authority over $97 billion of stimulus funding. This change could be transitioned over a five-year period to allow adjustments to local budgets.

Some of you have experience working with or in other federal agencies, and should be able to come up with other ideas of reducing waste in government.

Lay it on us!

Dick Prosence

Meeker

Before voting in the Aug. 10 primary, I urge you to check out andrewromanoff.com to help you make an informed decision. You’ll learn of his past accomplishments and his vision for Colorado and the country.

While elected to four terms in the Colorado Statehouse (two as Speaker) he was able to reach across the aisle to then-Gov. Bill Owens, authoring Amendment C that kept the state solvent. Traveling throughout the state, he listened to and worked hard for the diverse people of Colorado. In that he’s not taking any corporate money in this election, he’ll only be accountable to you and me, the people of Colorado.

His opponent, Michael Bennet, speaks of not being a career politician and how he’s going to clean up Washington. As a politically appointee of Gov. Ritter he’s never been in an election and has only a short time in the Senate in which to judge his record.

I question some of his votes for Wall Street while being on the Senate Banking Committee. After the Congress bailed out the banks, a bill was put forth to make banks try to negotiate with people whose primary homes were in foreclosure (Colorado ranking seventh ). Senator Bennet voted against the cram-down bill negating Senator Udall’s vote.

At this time he’s accepted more than $6 million in campaign funds from the banking industry making him one of the top 10 candidates to do so.

Please make this election about the candidate and not the war chest.

Respectfully,

Mary Robertson

Carbondale

Dear White River National Forest,

I am a current resident of the Four Mile area and am a fourth generation Colorado resident. I am very concerned about oil and gas leasing and its impacts in this area. My primary concerns are:

1) The Four Mile area is a Class A-1 Air and Watershed. It is obvious from the events that have taken place in other parts of Garfield County that drilling will affect this in a very negative way.

2) The movement of large heavy industrialized vehicles will severely damage the roads and newly built roundabouts, and cause major safety issues for others. These include not only cars, but also bikes, recreational users such as those traveling up to Ski Sunlight or accessing the area with snowmobiles. Most importantly large oil and gas vehicles put children waiting at bus stops at risk.

3) There are currently hundreds of privately owned houses, ranches/farms, bed and breakfasts, and basic infrastructure worth hundreds of millions of dollars in this area. There is no doubt that these will also be impacted by oil and gas leasing in a negative way financially.

In conclusion, as has been the case in the past, the oil and gas companies will make a profit from drilling while the rest of us will take a financial “hit” from drilling. Who will compensate us for our loss?

There are places where oil and gas drilling can take place and there are areas where it should not. Four Mile/Thompson Divide creek is one area where it should not.

Sincerely yours,

Joe Mollica

Glenwood Springs


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