Letters to the Editor: Oct. 25, 2012

Thank you, thank you
Dear Editor:
Two weeks ago, I fell down while walking the dog and broke my hip. This is how I found out how wonderful Rangely really is. My friends, neighbors, the garden club, all rallied around me so that I could be taken to and away from the hospitals. They fed and walked my dog, cleaned my house, visited me and gave me such loving care that I am in awe. The Rangely District Hospital staff is great, too. They pampered me so much.
Thank you, thank you all,
Jackie Meese
Rangely

Eventful summer
Dear Editor:
This summer has been very eventful. Some events were good. For the bad ones, my Meeker family sure gathered around. I want to publicly thank several people: Dr. Kellie Turner for taking good care of Patrick when he blew his knee open. Where would we be without Dr. Krueger’s “tsk tsk?” To Sheriff Si Woodruff and ambulance crew members Bill Smith, Stanley Crawford, Bob Ruckman and EMS director Chris Walling for getting Patrick to Dr. Turner and then hauling him to Denver to his specialist. Thank you Howard Kilduff for stopping to tell Ron Palmer that you thought my travel trailer was on fire. Thank you Donna Palmer for calling me (and convincing me that you weren’t joking!). Thanks Ron, for grabbing some fire extinguishers (instead of hot dogs and marshmallows) and going over to try putting out the fire. And thanks for the hug! I was pretty freaked out. And thanks to Fire Chief Allen and all the firefighters who responded. Thank you Deputy Michael Reist, and Deputy Travis Mobley. Thanks so much for the phone calls, FB and email messages of support. There was something wrong with the electrical system, the fire started there. I didn’t lose anything of sentimental value, or irreplaceable. My American Family Insurance Agent Jim Lord (Rifle) is taking good care of me. I’ll get little more than what I owe on it, but at least I can pay it off!
Sheryl Myers
Meeker

Support for Rankin
Dear Editor:
As a local business owner of Glenwood Springs Ford, I encourage you to vote for Bob Rankin for House District 57. As an outdoor recreation enthusiast I appreciate that Bob is encouraging access to public lands. He has taken the time to listen to the needs of small business owners and has been one himself so he understands what we need to revitalize our Colorado economy. The Colorado Automobile Association joins numerous organizations in endorsing Bob to work for us in Denver. Help ensure the health of businesses throughout the Western Slope by joining me in voting for Bob Rankin.
Zach Carlson
Glenwood Springs

Scam
Dear Editor:
Please take notice when you get a cold call that you have a virus on your computer and they are with Microsoft or whatever and can help you, these companies do not make cold calls and the minute they start getting information from you, you stand to lose money and much personal information.
Most usually these smooth talking people are from India — so beware and give them nothing but a hang up.
Sally Wilson
Meeker

Support for Baxter
Dear Editor:
JoAnn Baxter of Craig, retired secondary school teacher and dean and former president of the Moffat County School Board, is campaigning for the Colorado House District 57 seat that would represent Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties.
JoAnn received public attention in 2005 and 2006 when, as School Board leader, she was able to represent consensus and trust to Moffat County voters who passed a school bond initiative in November 2006. JoAnn, a Democrat in a Republican-dominated county, in that important request for public support, listened to citizen groups, even individual citizens, answering their questions of whether increased public money (bonds) could be trusted to be spent wisely and could be seen to bolster students’ safety and learning. The passage of the bond issue was a victory for all the county’s people.
JoAnn showed she was more than just a collaborator. She was what a public representative should be in a democracy — someone who, faced with a public legislative issue, searched out facts, then other facts that might inform the first or second set of facts, listened to varied citizen positions, refrained from choosing any one position that required denying crucial facts, and finally settled on a balanced solution that would serve the general public, the people seen as a community reliant upon broad legislative decisions that guided them to safety and thriving.
I recently asked JoAnn three questions: 1. What does “choice” mean to you, other than just having a second name on a ballot position? 2. What does the Democrat Party represent? 3. Why, after decades of life as a private citizen, do you wish to be in publicly elected government? Here are her answers? “Voters in the district deserve choice to hear/discuss various views on issues. I hope that voters, hearing different views, will realize the value of having to make a choice.” Her second answer was, “The values of the Party are that all people matter, all should have a role in our society, and those without a productive role must be supported and offered opportunity to succeed to whatever level they choose. The Democratic Party believes in a bottom-up structure, hoping to get everyone on board. If not, we can’t continue to be the egalitarian society we espouse to be.” Her third answer was, “I’m really hoping my candidacy demonstrates to former students and our grandchildren that participating in government is important. I also now have the energy, time and expertise to participate — it’s like being ready. Our government is our way life, in a republic, and we’ve contracted to be a part of it as citizens, and we should each participate at whatever level we choose.”
Jane Yazzie
Craig, Colo.

Rankin supporter
Dear Editor:
It is my pleasure to take this time to support Bob Rankin for House District 57.
Bob has shown a genuine interest in our county and our way of life. He is supportive of oil and gas, of small business, the retirement community as well as education and agriculture. This across the board base shows Bob Rankin will be a voice we can count on in the Colorado House.
Bob has been endorsed by the following: National Federation of Independent business, Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (Chamber of Commerce), Colorado Farm Bureau, Associated Builders and Contractors, Colorado Association of Realtors, National Rifle Association, Colorado Contractors Association, Colorado Medical Society, Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, Colorado Chiropractic Association, Spokes (Bicycle Association).
With the support of so many respected associations, voting for Bob Rankin is the clear choice.
Respectfully yours,
Ginny Love
Meeker

The truth about the DA’s race
Dear Editor:
Who’s running? Sherry Caloia and Martin Beeson.
Who votes on this? Everyone in Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco County.
Who cares? You do. People are affected enormously by who the DA is, even when they think they won’t be. You’re a taxpayer and Beeson has tripled the budget. You, or more likely, a family member or friend may be charged with a crime, or be victim, or you may have a divorce or child support or contract case in court but you can’t get there because the court is tied up for months with unresolved criminal cases.
I’m Tom Silverman, a lawyer and former prosecutor and judge and past president of the Colorado Municipal Judges Association. I know both of the candidates very well and have for many years. Sherry Caloia is the far superior choice, by a huge margin.
I’m concerned others don’t know what I know about the candidates.
“What does Beeson claim and how do you disagree?”
Beeson says he’s financially responsible and stayed within budget. Actually he started with $1 million and turned it into $3 million. Could you stay within your budget if the taxpayers tripled your income?
“Beeson says he’s gotten 400 years in prison for dangerous criminals.”
No responsible DA measures performance by years in prison. The American Bar Association sets standards for the prosecution. Here’s Std. 3.6-1; (a) “The prosecutor should not make the severity of sentences the index of his or her effectiveness.”
“Has Beeson violated other prosecution standards?”
Yes, many of them. The prosecutor is supposed to seek justice, not just convict. The DA is not supposed to make public statements that could influence active cases. The DA should consider non-criminal dispositions in appropriate cases. The DA should not rubber stamp police conduct. The DA must provide discovery to the other side and quickly obey court orders to do so when ordered. I don’t have enough space to detail all the failings.
“Beeson says that he has gotten convictions in many cases.”
Yes, every DA gets lots of convictions. The DA gets to choose which cases on which to proceed. Statewide the prosecution has a more than 94 percent trial conviction rate on drug cases. What Beeson leaves out is all the times the jury or judge has rejected his charges or found the defendant guilty of lesser charges. He also doesn’t admit or understand that many cases have been influenced by sanction by the judge or potential sanctions for failure to do the job right.
“What about the term limits issue?”
The Colorado Constitution limits a DA to two consecutive terms. Beeson is running for his third consecutive term. This will be challenged and every act he does will be questioned as to whether a legal DA performed the act. This issue won’t be resolved until it gets to the Colorado Supreme Court months or years later. Beeson’s claim is yes, I was elected to two terms and this is my third, but the first one shouldn’t count because it was three years, not four.
The problem is the Term Limits amendment doesn’t define term as full term or partial term, so it will be an issue until resolved by the courts. The amendment’s purpose is to expand participation in government, his interpretation goes against the plain language and purpose of the amendment.
“Beeson says he’s a proven prosecutor, wouldn’t that be a good thing?”
Unfortunately, Beeson has only proven that he doesn’t understand the nature of the job, let alone understand how to do it. He has made public statements so outrageous he has been criticized by other prosecutors here and across the country.
“But I like Republicans over Democrats.”
Political party for this office doesn’t matter any more than it would for coroner. You want someone who is a good prosecutor. Someone like Caloia.
“Why do you think Beeson is running?”
Because he has always wanted to get a government check. This one is about $180,000 a year. He tried to be a judge and was rejected. He tried to be a congressman and was rejected. He’s fallen into this position because of the recall of his predecessor.
“But Beeson says that he is only opposed because he doesn’t coddle criminals.”
Honestly, it is in my strong financial interest that he be re-elected. Our firm does bankruptcy, family law and divorce, and lots of other representation, but by criminal defense practice will benefit from over-zealous and poor judgment prosecutions.
I served many years as judge and prosecutor, as well as a defense attorney, and my opposition comes from my very strong belief that he is not the right person for this position.
He actually told me once that it didn’t matter whether someone went to prison because, “It doesn’t matter what happens in this world, it only matters what happens in the next.”
Be a smart, informed voter and please vote for Sherry Caloia.
Thomas Silverman
Glenwood Springs

Rankin knows how to create jobs
Dear Editor:
We need a representative like Bob Rankin in Denver who can help get our economy on track and also solve some big issues facing our state. Our legislators have to deal with a myriad of technical issues and difficult budget. Hundreds of bills pass through the Colorado Legislature every year but we still don’t have solutions to school financing or a way to fund our roads and bridges. Health care alone can break the state budget. We have structural problems brought on by constitutional amendments that need to be addressed. Bob will be a unique representative for our district. He has been a corporate president responsible for thousands of employees. He has founded and operated several small businesses in Colorado. He works hard to understand our western Colorado industries of agriculture, tourism and energy. His efforts have earned him endorsements from the Colorado Contractors Association, the Colorado Farm Bureau, the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, the National Federation of Independent business and the Associated Builders and Contractors. These business endorsements add to those from the medical community, automotive industry and others. These endorsements are not given lightly and they indicate that Bob Rankin is trusted to create jobs and help get our economy moving. He knows that private sector job creation is the only way to develop the revenue to pay for the services that Colorado citizens expect. And while he’s helping private sector job creators, he can look at the big picture of Colorado’s future, providing much needed leadership for the state. I support Bob and look forward to working with him.
Greg Rippy
Glenwood Springs

Best interest of voters
Dear Editor:
Sometimes it is in the best interest of voters to cross party lines when a special candidate clearly represents the needs and concerns of those voters. For the first time in a long time we are fortunate here in Moffat County to have one our own running for a seat in the state legislature. The winner of the race for HD 57 will be decided in November, and the best candidate for the job is a Moffat County resident. That candidate is Jo Ann Baxter.
Jo Ann has lived in Craig for 38 years. She taught school in Moffat County for 29 of those years while raising three children, serving in a variety of local leadership roles, and obtaining a Ph.D. She went on to become a respected member, and then president, of the Moffat County Board of Education. Jo Ann spent six years on the Colorado School Board Association’s Legislative and Resolutions Committee, and was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to participate on the State Council for Educator Effectiveness.
If elected, Jo Ann will represent the citizens of Rio Blanco, Garfield and Moffat counties. This is an incredible opportunity for Moffat County residents to have their voices heard in the legislative halls of the Front Range for the first time in over 50 years.
Jo Ann understands the importance of a strong educational system and the need for economic development in Northwest Colorado. She will work for our best interests whether we are Democrats or Republicans. We will all benefit if we vote for a candidate who knows and loves northwest Colorado. Let’s send Jo Ann Baxter to Denver to represent House District 57!
David Morris
Craig, Colo

Support Baxter
Dear Editor:
I am writing to ask you to consider voting for me to be your state representative. Redistricting has opened this seat to the possibility of having a long time resident of this area to represent you on matters of education funding, water resource management, economic development and the environment.
My opponent and I have very different values on a number of issues important to this district. With education funding, for instance, I am a strong supporter of our public schools and will work hard to find ways to bolster the state’s financial support for education. My opponent on the other hand has called for committing your tax dollars toward vouchers for private schools that do not have to accept all students the way public schools do.
On energy, economic development and the environment, I am committed to help our diverse communities and economies thrive. I support energy development both below and above ground, but I also recognize the need to protect our environment and the economic activities such as agriculture, outfitting, tourism and recreation that depend on a healthy backcountry and access to clean water resources.
I am a native Coloradan and a 38-year resident of Moffat County. I taught at Moffat County High School for 29 years and served on the Moffat County Board of Education for 8 years, four as president. Recently, Governor Hickenlooper re-appointed me to serve on the State Council for Educator Effectiveness. My husband and I raised our children in Moffat County. I love this part of the state and I understand the issues that are important to people in this area.
I am a Democrat, but I have worked with people with different political views throughout my residency in Moffat County. I have worked hard to collaborate with my fellow board members and teachers and I know what hard work that can be. I commit to continue to represent all of the citizens of H.D. 57. I believe participation matters, that government matters and that democracy matters and that is why I am running for the state legislature.
For more information about me and my stand on several issues, please visit my website:www.joannbaxter.com.
I would appreciate your vote on Nov. 6.
Jo Ann Baxter, PhD
Candidate for House District 57
Craig, Colo.

Colorado Medical Society endorses Rankin
Dear Editor:
As a general surgeon serving the Roaring Fork valley, I encourage you to join me in voting for Bob Rankin for House District 57. He has taken the time to understand the complicated healthcare environment of the Western Slope. The Colorado Medical Society, representing more than 70 percent of all Colorado doctors, joins me in endorsing Bob because we know we can trust him to represent our profession and those we serve.
Doug Yajko
Glenwood Springs

Vote for coal
Dear Editor:
Over the past few years I have come to know Bob Rankin as both a friend and a political activist. I find him to be very bright and engaging and I am convinced he would represent the interests of northwest Colorado very well in the Colorado state legislature.
Bob is a fiscal and constitutional conservative and a strong supporter of our coal and electrical generation jobs. He is an engineer and business man and has spent time at our coal mines and power station. He has a history of creating jobs and meeting payrolls. He talks about increasing state revenues through private sector job growth to pay for the services that our citizens need.
Rankin is steadfast in his support of teachers and public schools, and he wants to go further to help improve public education. But while he is supporting our schools, he will also be a very strong advocate for the energy industry and our jobs.
I support Governor Romney who has said “I like coal,” and I also support Bob Rankin.
There are signs in yards all over Craig that say “vote for coal.” A vote for Bob Rankin is a vote for coal. A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for cxoal.
Luke Forrest
Craig, Colo.

Caloia asks for vote
Dear Editor:
I am Sherry A. Caloia and I want to be your next district attorney. Most of you do not know me even though I have been in your courts many times. I have practiced law in Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties since 1988. I have been a lawyer for over 30 years now. I grew up in a very practical hard working family. I bring my practical working style and judgment to my legal practice. If a client comes in who thinks they’ve been wronged and I can see that pursuing an expensive legal case is not warranted or provable, I advise the client to look at other options. I’ll bring this common sense and good judgment back into the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office.
Many people have been asking for changes in the Ninth Judicial District Attorney’s office. My opponent makes it clear that he has no intention of listening to his critics. There is no place for this type of arrogance in government office.
I have heard from people in your county that they are dissatisfied with the current DA. I have heard that some who served on the jury for the recent murder trial from Rio Blanco County were very unhappy with the case that was presented. A prosecutor’s mission is to be fair and do justice, not to just be heavy handed with charges to show he is being “tough” on “crime.” My opponent’s main focus is the “400 years of prison” imposed for his convictions. His decisions on other cases that were filed and were not provable or warranted are not mentioned.
Poor decisions waste DA and court time. The costs of prosecution are paid by your taxpayer dollars. Discretion and careful review of the facts and the law must be made early in the process. The DA needs to evaluate all aspects of a case before filing charges. Being tough on real crime is a must. Recognizing when a case lacks merit or provability however cannot be forgotten.
Since assuming the DA’s office in 2005 Martin Beeson has doubled his budget. The cases filed in the 9th judicial district, while fluctuating over the years, have not increased over that seven-year period. Yet the cases are moving at a slower pace than ever and the court’s dockets are clogged. Efficiency is the key to ensure that the right cases and charges are being filed and pursued in the most time effective way possible.
I have heard complaints that cases in your county are not moving through the system expeditiously and that your police departments are frustrated with the lack of attention given to these cases by the DA. I believe that justice delayed is justice denied. Assigning a couple of deputy DA’s to your county and letting them control the case load and prosecution is not the way I would handle the cases filed in Rio Blanco County. There are many intricacies involved in every case as well as differing facts in each matter to consider. The ninth judicial district is a combination of three counties and allows the DA to pool resources and have a team of lawyers available. Let’s use that team and the individual talents of each to confer advice and continually review matters. Attorneys work in firms to be able to have that oversight, insight and assistance to provide a better product to the client.
The court in Rio Blanco holds sessions just a few days a month allowing for me or other senior members of staff to be present. It is a short 1 hour and 15 minute drive to your county seat and I do commit to being present (in person and at times by other staff) in the county courts and DA office every month.
We need a person with varied experience and the ability to ask tough questions to recognize when and if to file charges or even if filed to proceed ahead with prosecution. I am committed to listening to the sheriff, the police and the witnesses and victims in filing and prosecuting charges. I will bring back good judgment and common sense to the 9th Judicial District and for the taxpayers.
I hope to be working with you soon.
Sherry A. Caloia
Candidate for DA
9th Judicial District

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