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Letters to the editor

Dear Editor, I truly appreciate the attention and coverage you have given to the amazingly complex issue of immigration and illegal immigration these past several Mondays. It took me two years of informal study and experience with this issue to even begin to develop opinions about it. I hope this series will encourage others to educate themselves about our country’s population growth due to migration.I would like to point out one strange contradiction in the installment by Brady McCombs (Post Independent, Jan. 30). The interview with Francisco Montes, a Honduran citizen residing in Greeley under refugee status, has him admitting to entering the country illegally and spending much time in the country without permission, yet McCombs states Montes “has never had trouble with the law.” Was Montes flaunting that he has gotten away with a federal offense for so long? Was he advocating greater leniency in the requirements for refugee status? I invite you to publish the names, children’s names, cities of residency and occupation, as Mr. Montes offered, of anyone willing to admit to having committed a federal crime in the past other than illegal immigration. What other transgressions to the Constitution do we tolerate as flagrantly as our laws pertaining to who Americans are? Matthew MarranGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor,If you had any doubts about how this administration is managing our public lands, the recent “My Side” (Jan. 31 and Feb. 1) pieces by Maribeth Gustafson, Supervisor of the White River National Forest, should allay those doubts. “Extraction” is the name of the game now – using our national forests to help meet the nation’s ever-increasing need for more energy by drilling for gas and oil. Unfortunately, the articles by Gustafson gave little mention of other, equally important, uses of our national forests. Current United States Forest Service policy seems to fall short of meeting the stated mission of the forest service: … “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.” Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the forest service, summed up the mission as “to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run” (www.fs.fed.us). Yes, our nation has an energy problem that must be solved, but our energy policy should focus on greater energy efficiency, and alternative, renewable sources of energy instead of sacrificing our precious national forests.Although gas and oil development in our national forests may provide short term relief to our energy problems, it could very well parallel the previous boom and bust episodes we have seen here, and it is unlikely to provide the “greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run.” For those of us living in Western Colorado, the national forests are the engines that feed our economy and nourish our lives. They provide both the spiritual and recreational amenities that draw people here to visit and to live. (Few people come here to view the drill pads, roads, and drill rigs on our public lands). These lands are currently supporting a multi-billion dollar economy based on their beauty, solitude, and recreational opportunities – hunting, fishing, skiing, camping, snowshoeing, wildlife watching, and more. We must strive to protect our “Colorado way of life” and this valuable national heritage of ours.Bob Millette and Maggie PedersenGlenwood Springs

Dear Editor, Yesterday I received a letter from the Mail Branch of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They have confiscated a 90-day supply of Lipitor that I had purchased from a Canadian pharmacy. I completed a health questionnaire for the pharmacy, and a valid prescription was provided by my family physician. Lipitor is manufactured, bottled and labeled in the United States for sale here and in foreign countries. What I ordered is exactly the same product that is sold in the states.Regulation 21 U.S.C 381 prohibits American citizens from importing prescription drugs made in this country. This is a very curious federal regulation. In his State of the Union message, President Bush urged Congress to take action to reduce medical costs. Our representatives in Washington are in favor of the global economy when it reduces wage increases for American workers. Their legislation, however, prohibits our participation when the profits of American corporations are threatened.It is likely that the senators and congressman who voted in favor of this outrageous regulation received generous campaign donations from the corporate interests that have benefited from its passage. We seem to have “the best government that money can buy.” Apparently campaign funding takes precedence over the medical needs of older Americans.This incident highlights the corruption of the legislative process and also demonstrates the law enforcement priorities of the executive branch. There are not enough government employees to protect our forests or to stem illegal immigration. Taxpayer money is available however to inspect tens of thousands of small packages each day to make sure that foreign pharmacies do not do business with Americans. The little guy gets the short end of the stick. Think about this when you vote. Peter FreyBasalt


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