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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I would much rather see tax monies that I have already sent in go towards feeding the homeless children in our state and across the nation. My priorities are with the children, not with public broadcasting and not with environmental protection agencies.

If you didn’t see “60 Minutes” on March 6, you missed a good interview with kids. These kids were in Florida, but I would bet anything there are kids in Colorado who are suffering in the same way. Their parents are out of work, they have no home of their own and they have gone without food as well.

Our president has pledged to send millions of dollars to Mexico to help fight the drug cartels, and money to foreign countries. We need to be fighting hunger here in the United States, not elsewhere.

If you are concerned about money for education being cut, remember it’s pretty hard to learn if you are hungry and worried about your parents and where you are going to live.

Just some food for thought, no pun intended.

Jane Spaulding

Carbondale

After reading letters in the March 7 edition, I had to respond to some of the assertions in them.

First, in response to Peter Westcott’s letter about the 30 percent cut to EPA funding. Since Mr. Obama took office, he has increased the funding of the EPA by 30 percent. Several other government agencies have also seen funding increases of 10 to 20 percent since 2008. The national debt load is unsustainable, members of both major parties claim. Why not cut the EPA back to pre-Obama levels? This is a way to start on reducing the deficit.

Second, in response to Mary Boland’s letter, why should funding for schools be increased? We have been presented with several articles over the last few months about 25 percent of high school graduates needing remedial classes before they are ready for college work. Why are the schools giving diplomas to students who can’t meet graduation requirements? If money were really the answer, then Washington D.C. would be producing some of the best educated students in the country, considering that they annually rank in the top five in per pupil spending. In reality, they rank near the bottom of educational achievement.

In regards to Michael Brown’s letter, collective bargaining for wages would continue. However the incestuous relationship between elected officials and the unions, in which the state collects dues, a portion of dues for political activity is used to elect state officials, who would then give sweetheart deals to the unions, etc. would end.

Have you taken a look at how little the union members would pay toward their retirement and health in the future? The big thing the union is protesting that has not been well reported is the fact that the government would stop collecting the dues, and the unions would have to approach members directly. The unions do not want this to happen. What are the unions afraid of? By the way, it was recently reported that one-third of Wisconsin eighth-graders couldn’t perform at grade level in math.

Sharon Brenner

Carbondale

It’s time to express your concerns, fellow citizens of Garfield County.

The second draft of the Battlement Mesa Health Impact Assessment has been released. Check it out online at Garfield County’s website. There is a public comment period until March 28 at 5 p.m.

Submit comments in writing to maperc@ucdenver.edu or write to The Battlement Mesa HIA c/o Roxana Witter, Colorado School of Public Health, 13001 E. 17th Place B119, Aurora, Colo. 80045.

The evidence will speak for itself. Let’s just hope the Board of County Commissioners listen to this unbiased report and protect the residents of this county.

This report is a baseline of the effects of gas and oil drilling near neighborhoods, the negative effect to our water, air and wildlife and adverse effects to our roads.

This is your time to voice your concerns that the HIA will show. We also have a new head of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Dr. Christopher Urbina. He has expressed great interest in learning more about the health and safety impacts from drilling.

We as concerned citizens need to be vigilant and protect ourselves and our neighbors. It is time to get involved.

Nikki Fender

Silt

In 1936, President Roosevelt signed into law the Commodity Exchange Act. Speculators had been caught manipulating commodities markets and causing artificial fluctuations in pricing.

Basically, the act defined participants as “physical hedgers,” the farmers creating the product, and the manufacturers purchasing the product. To ensure continuity for the buyers and sellers, the administration created a third party, the legal “speculator,” to ensure the physical hedgers could have a place to buy and sell their products.

This process was tightly controlled to protect against price manipulation and protect the physical hedgers. Only a small number of companies were allowed to be speculators, so true supply and demand and realistic pricing was maintained for over 50 years.

In the ’80s and ’90s, our friends on Wall Street, such as Goldman Sachs, decided that the restrictions that had allowed this process to function so well were, well, too restrictive. So, over time and with plenty of contacts in high places, they managed to get most of the rules rewritten.

By 2008, it is estimated that 80 percent of the activity on the commodity exchanges was speculative. Gone was the relationship between producers and users.

I suppose you are wondering why I am telling you this. The price of oil went from $50 per barrel in early 2007, to $147 on July 11, 2008, to $45 on Dec. 4, 2008.

Now, what external causes prompted this meteoric rise in oil prices? There were no additional international conflicts and no oil shortages. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s data showed an increase in production and a decrease in consumption.

Consider this: The influx of investment money into commodities had risen from $13 billion in 2003 to $317 billion in 2008. Wall Street had convinced pension fund and hedge fund managers that there was a new game in town. Commodities!

Who needs an international incident when on May 21 the New York Times quoted Goldman Sachs analyst Arjun N. Murti forecasting $200 per barrel oil?

That was 2008. Who needs Murti? Now they have Libya. We have a “greed market” economy. Five-dollar per-gallon gasoline is around the corner.

Craig S. Chisesi

Rifle

I’m not one of those “Republican extremists” alluded to in Mr. Westcott’s recent letter. I consider myself a staunch conservative.

If unions used good judgment in their demands for workers, then I would be supportive, as I once was. Everyone should recognize that excessively high pensions are bankrupting our cities and counties.

Many know that overlapping regulations, such as those imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, are strangling our country.

I’m waiting for the day when Al Gore is properly ridiculed for perpetuating the human-caused global warming hoax on our country. And the “Bush debacle” was actually the Dodd-Frank debacle.

Our country is heading for bankruptcy unless painful changes are made in the funding of many federal programs. This is an absolute truth about which all us should be concerned.

Dick Prosence

Meeker


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