Monday letters: Clean air, Trump, COGCC, Tipton, presidential debate, Mitsch Bush, setbacks, dispassionate action, water, Trump, and law enforcement |

Monday letters: Clean air, Trump, COGCC, Tipton, presidential debate, Mitsch Bush, setbacks, dispassionate action, water, Trump, and law enforcement

More important than ever to have clean air

It is more important than ever to have clean air to breathe for Colorado when thousands have fallen into respiratory distress due to COVID-19. Delaying rules, including those in compliance with House Bill 1261, which are designed to improve air quality would have been detrimental to not only those suffering from respiratory issues — COVID-19 or chronic — but would also damage the Western Slope’s environment.

The effects of climate change (brought on by the greenhouse gases new laws seek to monitor) are ravishing our backyard. Three of the five largest wildfires in Colorado’s history have burned in the last three years, including the largest — the Pine Gulch fire. Coupled with the runoff from snow pack in the Rocky Mountains dwindling to 55% of its typical average, we are in danger of drying up and blowing away if we don’t act now.

It is for this reason we as a community should thank the Air Quality Control Commission for promulgating new rules now that require oil and gas companies to monitor carbon emissions and hazardous air pollutants released when operators decide to drill. It is important in our rapidly changing world that large companies are held accountable for complying with air quality standards so we still have a beautiful state to leave behind for future generations to enjoy. Using the data gathered to make better informed decisions for the future of our state, there is no reason why Colorado should risk falling behind the curve when we can set the standard.

Mary Carman

America suffers

200,000 dead. “It is what it is.” Words from President Trump. I now offer you the theory that explains everything.

The actions of Donald Trump and his regime are not what you think they are. For example: Trump has not failed to handle the pandemic. He did not intend to lead the fight against COVID-19. Trump has not failed to unite the American people. Even before he announced for the presidency, he was inciting racial violence.

Trump is hell bent on tearing this country apart! Take this as a thought experiment. Assume for a little while this is correct. Now look at the policies and actions. Why cut ourselves off from our long term international allies? Why would that help our defense or our business trade? Why deny climate change and pull out of the Paris climate accord? According to a news count, they are reversing 70 different rules that will worsen our air, water and health.

Why pull out of agreements to limit the chances of nuclear war? And then, talk about the U.S. making nuclear attacks on other countries. Why tell the country that there are good people in a parade of neo-Nazis that want violence against other religions and non-white people?

In every instance, America suffers. Why? His niece wrote a book to show us his defects as a person. Psychologists are writing evaluations. Trump obviously hates the country and hates most of the people in it. Part of the problem is that Trump is pretty damned clever. He saw the backlash against Obama from the latent racism in America and rode it into the White House. He won because of the greater turnout from white voters who didn’t show up in the polls before the election. This whole country needs a psychological evaluation. Why does Trump want four more years (or more)? One, he needs statutes of limitation to run out. Two, he likes the sound of “dictator.” Three, he hasn’t finished screwing the country over. Four, Putin has something on him.

We could easily see 500,000 dead, or more.“It is what it is.”

Patrick Hunter

Thank you COGCC for hard work

I just want to take a minute to thank the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, COGCC, for their hard work throughout the past year. Having lived in Garfield County for 17 years, I have witnessed the ups and downs of the gas industry locally. It has been a bitter experience to witness our local county commissioners appear to only have one mission: to allow the local oil and gas companies to develop and operate with minimal concern for the health and wellbeing of the community.

Now, for the first time, I feel a renewed hope in being able to take a breath of fresh air without worrying about inhaling toxins from the local gas wells. This hope stems from the redirected focus of the COGCC to include the health and safety of the land and humanity in its regulatory role.

So, thank you COGCC, for your willingness to expand the vision in western Colorado so our local oil and gas companies can continue to be a part of our economy in a healthy and sustainable fashion.

Evelyn Merritt
Battlement Mesa

Write-in vote for Tipton

I was pleased to see the article about Lauren Boebert in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel on Sept. 18. I had heard quite a while ago that she did not have a high school diploma, or even a GED. It is interesting that she finally thought it was important to obtain a GED only one month before the primary.

I hope the tea party folks that voted for her in the primary are happy. I don’t believe there is any way she will garner enough votes to beat her opponent. Moderate Republicans like me will not be voting for her. I cannot support anyone who does not respect the law and who can’t seem to manage her own business and personal finances. She and her supporters have only managed to make it very likely that our solid Republican seat will now go to a Democrat. The Democrats are laughing all the way to the polls.

It was suggested to me by one of Boebert’s supporters that if Scott Tipton would go along and throw his support behind Boebert now — that the tea party might be willing to support him in the next election if Boebert loses this election. I believe Scott has too much integrity to do that. It is my understandIng that he was asked to run as a write-in candidate. He is not willing to split the ticket. I personally plan to write in his name — would you like to join me?

Laurie Neilson

Candidates’ did themselves a great disservice in debate

In response to last Tuesday evening’s 2020 presidential debate, OMG are you serious!? I have never seen such an uninformative 90 minutes of television! Watching America’s major party candidates sparing and talking over each other took me back to the days of the Jerry Springer show, I was expecting to see chairs flying. Two grown men, both with ideas to lead our country, spent their evening arguing like a couple of bull-headed school boys over who gets to kick the ball first. I learned nothing about their individual plans for the next four years of the presidency, nor did I find any appreciation for their character. Their mutual disdain for each other and general disregard for the rules agreed to by both parties for that debate makes me wish there was another viable choice to consider, but alas we are basically limited to these two. When the rumble stops from the American populace’s rolling eyes I hope the candidates will realize they did themselves a great disservice by their performance and make plans to be “presidential” in the next debate.

Gary Kirchberg
New Castle

Insulted while viewing debate

Here’s the deal. With every fork of the tongue I was insulted while viewing the Bully and the Bozo Show last Tuesday night, ephemerally moderated by Wimp Wallace.

It is no wonder each election cycle more people cast their vote for alternative party candidates.

Michael G. Rosenberg

Mitsch Bush will represent us all

This year’s race for Colorado’s District 3 House of Representatives provides a study in contrasts; an empty and planless call for “freedom” from Lauren Boebert, or a concise and effective set of plans from Diane Mitsch Bush that will actually provide us with the freedoms expressed in our country’s long history of democracy.

Boebert’s website and campaign rhetoric have focused on maintaining an adversarial role to ensure that we are all free to live our lives without the interference of pesky governmental rules and regulations. Mitsch Bush’s website lists what she will actually support in a bipartisan manner to ensure that our government works for us. We are faced with a choice between using a big hammer to smash our support systems in the name of freedom or electing someone who will work to address issues that affect our long-term freedoms through focusing on our health, economy and climate.

Consider these vast differences between candidates when you vote. A candidate who takes an “us against them” stance, or one who is strongly bipartisan? Someone whose campaign states what she is against while ignoring what she will actually do, or the candidate with plans for each facet of her well-reasoned platform. The choice is clear. Please cast your vote for Diane Mitsch Bush. She will represent us all.

Susy Ellison

Setbacks will kill oil and gas industry

The global pandemic has continued to wreak havoc on our communities and our businesses. Uncertainty reigns supreme as families struggle to pay their bills, educate their kids and embrace a new normal. We all seek hope and stability to return.

As one of the many local oil and gas workers, I, too want a return to certainty, which is why I was appalled by Garfield County Commissioner candidate Leslie Robinson’s comments at a recent public meeting. As noted in this paper, Robinson told the sitting commissioners, “If I had the power to close down the oil and gas industry, that would be great.” If she wins for commissioner, that power could be hers.

While she and many other anti-oil and gas groups know that banning the industry is unpopular, they still push for greater setbacks, which has the same result. By taking away surface land for operations, the private property rights underground will be inaccessible. Robinson knows this, which is why she supported Proposition 112 in 2018. The same proposition that failed statewide by 10 points. The goal wasn’t for greater setbacks, it was to ban the industry and put me and my colleagues out of work.

This potential scenario is scary to me, my industry coworkers and our families. Robinson has been a consistent foe of my industry spreading non-truths and fear at the state and local level showing a callous disregard for our livelihoods. She fails to recognize innovations and technological advancements our industry has had in the past couple of years, not to mention the past few decades.

To make matters worse, she and her dark money lobbying group expressed fear that the industry’s economic challenges are hurting public revenue because tax collections are down. Somehow, she wants to take away our industry’s products but continue to enjoy the tax benefits it provides to our county and state. This misunderstanding alone disqualifies her for office.
Her opponent, Commissioner Mike Samson knows this reality and stands with workers like me. I hope you’ll stand with your friends and neighbors in the industry and vote for Mike.

Marcey Hodshire

Need now is for dispassionate action

Since 2000 I’ve been in hundreds of debates for county commissioner, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress and state Senate. I’ve watched untold numbers of debates since Ford vs. Carter. Not everyone’s going to like this but not participating in democracy beyond voting puts America in this week’s example of political terror.

I don’t think saying last Tuesday’s presidential debate was “unbearable to watch,” “awful,” etc. are appropriate responses if you haven’t been in a lot of political environments.

I feel like I’ve beaten this point to death: We are an empire in decline in late stage capitalism and climate change. Third parties are dead and ineffective. The Green Party in Colorado had 14,000 registered voters four years ago. Now there are 7,000. There’s on play: the inside game vs. the outside game.
There are U.S. Senate races, Congressional, state and local. It takes time managing democracy just like it does to raise a healthy family.

It’s not about just you, your vote. It’s about what kind of society we want to live in and whether one will participate, contribute and share in the messiness of democracy or be ruled by authoritarians like Trump.
Trump did America a favor in the first presidential debate. He showed everyone what he’s willing to do. There’s a possibility there won’t be a peaceful transfer of power, and tell the Proud Boys to stand by. This is reality; not reality TV.

Saying you thought it was stupid, disgusting or unwatchable is emotional, which I understand, but the need now is for clinical dispassionate action.
The debate was horrible, and Trump wanted you to be cynical and despondent, so you won’t get into action and practice civic duty. Now people and organizations are preparing for a sustained direct action to make sure there is a peaceful transition. That’s a sad reality.

Get involved in a campaign in the next month. It demonstrates you believe in the social contract.

Arn Menconi
Former Eagle County Commissioner

Next two debates should be town hall meetings

The presidential debate of Sept. 29 should be the last debate before the 2020 election. Since the current occupant of the White House acts like an elementary school child who can’t take turns speaking in class (aka a bully), the chance that American voters are going to gain any useful information from another debate is close to zero.

Candidate Joe Biden should insist that next two debates be transformed into town hall meetings where American voters can ask the questions. Each candidate would have a 45 minute segment to answer the questions from real voters.

Nancy Hess
Glenwood Springs

Protect Western Colorado water, way of life

Q. Is there a worse time to ask for a tax increase?

A. Yes! When it’s too late.

The Colorado River District requests a tiny tax increase in question 7A on this November’s ballot. To protect our water and by implication our way of life in Western Colorado, the District is requesting voters increase property taxes $1.90 for $100,000 of home value per year.

Less than $10 a year for most homeowners will assure we continue to have an agency fighting to keep Western Colorado water on the West Slope for Western Colorado’s use and enjoyment.

86% of the money will be used as a catalyst for local projects with local partners across the 15-county district. Projects will range from forest and stream health to water efficiency and conservation to reservoir and ditch improvements to ensure West Slope agriculture sustainability.

The remaining money — 14 percent — will be used to address the ever-increasing cost of operating. The District has already cut staffing and reduced expenses.

The River District is our David fighting the twin Goliaths of Colorado’s thirsty Front Range cities and the rapacious demands of California, Arizona and Nevada. Don’t send them into battle unarmed. Vote yes on 7A.

Chris Treese
Glenwood Springs

Trump will challenge results if he doesn’t win

At a Sept. 23 news conference, Donald Trump was asked if he would “commit here today for a peaceful transferral of power after the November election.”

Trump’s response was not reassuring. Rather than the “yes” answer that should have been given by any U.S. President, he said, “We’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”

One might hope that Trump would support expansion of mail-in voting in an effort to limit COVID-19 exposure at crowded polling places. However, without presenting any evidence he has repeatedly claimed that mail-in ballots are extremely vulnerable to fraud. His real concern may be the result of a well-documented phenomenon known as the”blue shift” because Democratic candidates often gain votes as mail-in ballots get counted after election day. That may be the reason that on July 30, as COVID-19 cases increased and it became obvious that huge numbers of mail-in ballots would result, he tweeted, “Must know Election results on the night of the Election, not days, months, or even years later!”

In addition to his mail-in ballot obsessions, he continues to claim that the only way he’ll lose “is if the election is rigged.” In short, it appears to many people that this President is laying the groundwork to reject any results that show him losing the election.

Clearly, if Trump refuses to participate in a peaceful transferal of power after the election, he will need to offer a reason. It should not be enough for him or anyone else to claim, without evidence, that the results were “rigged.” He and his supporters should bear the burden of proof that fraudulent mail-in ballots had a substantial impact on the outcome, or that votes were miscounted, etc, etc.

Personally, I’m not convinced that he will concede, even if his opponent receives an overwhelming majority of the popular vote. Indeed, unless Trump wins, I expect him to challenge the results, and whatever happens after that will be messy.

John Palmer
Glenwood Springs

Law enforcement are honorable, hard working women and men

Marco Diaz says to hire college educated cops because they’re smarter and less likely to be disciplined for misdeeds (Letters, Post Independent, Sept. 30). I see how today’s college kids got so smart they expect us taxpayers to repay their loans.

It’s sad that our protectors who do the most dangerous, difficult and thankless job in the U.S. are judged by arm chair quarterbacks with 20/20 hindsight.

The vast majority of law enforcement are hard working, honorable women and men. Let’s stop condemning them for being human, no one is perfect.

Bruno Kirchenwitz

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