Letters to the Editor
Two recent correspondents to the PI, R.W. Boyle and Fred Stewart, have both decried the influence of fundamental Christianity in American society.
Mr. Boyle frantically protests Christians having any say in either politics or education (but of course, for him, enlightened, secular folks are under no such prohibition). And Mr. Stewart solemnly declares both Christianity and Islam are “cutting ties to our past.” (re: The expunging of the god Titan from Coal Ridge High’s foyer, as if Greek mythology is an important tie to America’s past).
Both men share the proclivity of comparing evangelical Christians with fundamental Muslim extremists ” a comparison that stretches the imagination and boggles normal, rational minds. Read on.
True Christians proclaim good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, share his love and truth with those wise enough to listen, and show mercy to the needy and forsaken everywhere. Radical Muslims terrorize and bomb or behead those seen as “infidels” not converting to Islam. Christianity proclaims a God loving his creatures so much, he gave his only son as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of fallen mankind, so we could be with him in paradise forever. Radical Islam instructs its followers to sacrifice their sons in horrific acts, slaughtering as many despised infidels as possible, promising paradise with 72 virgins to reward such noble behavior. Really similar, aren’t they?
Then Boyle ridicules creation science as a bad joke, not realizing many former secular, skeptical scientists are becoming teachers of said creation science, with some trusting Christ for redemption. (I recommend an excellent, scholarly resource, “The Case For A Creator” by Lee Strobel, if he’s open to views opposing his own; he may actually learn something.)
I would strongly advise both gentlemen: Stop your whining and act like adults in a free society. You people champion tolerance for every aberration and anti-American, anti-Christian practice; when it comes to evangelical Christians and our free speech, it is strangely withdrawn, replaced by fear, ignorance, and bias. Please grow up; your intolerance is starting to show.
This letter is in regards to the bike trail along the rail corridor east of Carbondale. I talked with the Department of Transportation and found out that in our district, we had about 1,000 deer and elk killed on the roads last year, including 159 on Highway 82. I also found out there were none killed by bicycle or pedestrian traffic. I talked with the forest service, and they said there are 14.5 million acres of national forest and 8.4 million acres of BLM land. Then you add in the millions of acres of private land that deer and elk have use of, and you come up with a majority of our state. I have hiked and horsebacked on the national forest and BLM land, and found that the deer and elk have adapted to our presence and will keep a safe distance from you. In my travels around Carbondale, I have seen deer and elk with their fawns and calves in the streets and backyards during the day and the night. Although it is not ideal, the deer and elk have adapted to our presence.
The comparison of my overfed and overweight flat-coated retriever to the packs of wolves roaming Alaska and Wyoming is absurd. I feel this is a case of “not in my backyard.”
I understand the feeling. I didn’t want any changes when I moved here in 1987. The Ute Indians didn’t like it when the whites came here, and I am sure the people before them said “The Ute are moving in, there goes the neighborhood.”
I think the benefits of a valley-wide bike path outweigh the inconvenience to the deer and elk along the path. If we can keep a few more cars off Highway 82, it will be better for all wildlife survival.
In response to the letter of Alan Maitland of Aug. 29, concerning our incumbent county assessor, Shannon Hurst, I, too, listened with great interest to her presentation to Kiwanis on Aug. 15. But unlike Mr. Maitland, I was quite favorably impressed. Ms. Hurst not only demonstrated knowledge and expertise regarding the duties of the office, but also projected non-partisanship and fairness in their execution. My perception is that she has done a great deal to modernize, and make more efficient, the property valuation process. This has been my only contact with Ms. Hurst, but I came away highly impressed with her openness and candor. She projects an aura of honesty and fairness.
Moreover, during her presentation, I was astounded to learn of the huge tax revenues being paid, through her efforts, by the extractive (gas, oil, soda ash, etc.) industries operating in Garfield County, and the very significant extent to which they have lightened the property tax burden of all residents of the county. Ms. Hurst “laid it all out” in great detail during her presentation. Thank you, Shannon Hurst!
Unlike Mr. Maitland who implied otherwise in his letter, I was left with the impression that Ms. Hurst has been “out front” and “plays no favorites” in fairly and efficiently valuing the producing properties, and the minerals extracted therefrom.
Following her Kiwanis presentation, Ms. Hurst accommodated a “question and answer” session. At the time I was surprised by the confrontational posture projected by Mr. Maitland. But his letter of today has prompted me to do a little investigation.
Far from being unbiased and objective, Mr. Maitland is on the Board of Directors of the Western Colorado Council, and is the representative of their Garfield County subsidiary ” the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance. Both of these are (IMHO) partisan organizations in opposition to much of the gas industry, which has brought so many jobs, paychecks and prosperity to Garfield County. Mr. Maitland apparently failed to disclose these associations in the letter published in the PI. How about it, Alan? ‘Fess up!
There seems to be a myth in Garfield County that the oil and gas industry is heavily taxed. A possible basis for this is that one of the components for valuing the oil and gas industry is that you multiply the value of the gas production by 871⁄2 percent to arrive at value. For commercial properties, you use 29 percent of the real property value. No correlation between the value of gas production versus real property.
The true test is how does Colorado rank with other gas-producing states? These figures were released by the Colorado Legislative Council, and published in the Daily Sentinel. Out of five states, Colorado ranks next to last in levying taxes. The ranking is a percentage of the total production value from state and local taxes: Wyoming, 11.2 percent; New Mexico, 9.4 percent; Oklahoma, 7.0 percent; Colorado, 5.7 percent; and Utah, 4.5 percent.
It is no myth that the oil and gas industry is in charge in Colorado.
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