Letter: Hunter, HSS Library is 3.9 percent of the budget
June 15, 2016
HSS Library is 3.9 percent of the budget,
This letter is in reply to the article by Stephanie Ralph and Kim Jensen of the Grand County Library District. I have no argument with the stated need to reduce library district spending in 2017. I would like to see fair cuts to all library branches and the administration office rather than completely closing one small branch. The Hot Sulphur Springs library provides incredible service to the citizens of Hot Sulphur Springs, to the employees working at the county buildings in town and to clients of the social services and public health offices. The Hot Sulphur Springs library provides these services for a fraction of what the large branches cost. In looking at the 2016 budget, the Hot Sulphur Springs library costs only 3.9 percent of the entire library district budget. Does it really make sense to close this small library, eliminating all of the services, to make the big library branches bigger? No! The article mentions shifting some financial resources away from the support of buildings. This has already been done in Hot Sulphur Springs since the library building is rent free. The article says that the Board has chosen to meet customer preferences outlined in the 2014 GCLD Community Survey. The number one preference by far (85 percent of respondents) was "More library open hours." That customer preference is impossible to meet by closing a library branch. Cuts shared by all five library branches and administration is the only right solution.
Hot Sulphur Springs
Let me tell you who to vote for,
This is Norm Benson from Fraser. The Primary elections are upon us and I have a few thoughts about certain candidates. It is no secret that I vote Republican. The County Commissioner race is the race that will have the most direct effect on the readers of this letter. I am not going to favor either Republican Rich Cimino or Chas McConnell because I believe either one will be a good Commissioner. I sort of wish I could vote in the Democrat primary where I would vote for Jane Tollet. I believe that she is more even handed than Andy Miller. I am just going to leave it that I have known Andy too long and I know where he is coming from. I will ask voters to vote for Merrit Linke. He is the longest tenured Commisioner at only four years, and I think that counts for a lot. He has been in Grand County for a long time, and I believe that there has to be some continuity in the Commisioners office. He solidly backs the Veterans Affairs office. When it comes to the Senate candidates, unfortunately I don't know much about any of them except sound bites or the internet. I have known of Ryan Frasier and I think he is a good candidate. If memory serves he ran against DeGette for Representative from Denver. I am voting for Darrel Glenn. None of the Republicans would be a bad choice and far preferable to Michael Bennet who is the hand picked democrat "YES" boy for Obama and Hickenlooper.
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If the democrats get the State Senate, Colorado will go the way of California and become unlivable politically! I actually don't know if there is a race for State Representative. I realize that is my failing, but since we are in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Boulder's district it doesn't really matter! They will manufacture enough votes to win! Vote no on all ballot measures!
DDT is not banned world-wide,
I am writing to correct some hopefully unintended misinformation published June 3 in the opinion piece "Mosquitoes: Humankind's deadliest enemy" by Bill Hamilton. DDT is not banned worldwide. In fact, it is still in use in many developing countries to control the spread of malaria and other diseases. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants banned the use of DDT in agricultural purposes, but created this important exemption. Just like bacteria can develop resistance to over-used antibiotics, mosquitoes can develop resistance to over-used chemicals and in some areas have developed resistance to DDT. Limiting the use of DDT to disease-control applications in developing countries can be likened to reserving antibiotics for the treatment of diagnosed infections: it helps to preserve the chemical's usefulness and effectiveness for as long as possible. In short, the restrictions in place assure DDT will be an effective malaria-control chemical as long as possible and that we don't kill our birds with over-exuberant chemical applications. To me, that sounds like a win-win.
Humankind's deadliest enemy is ignorance, fear and intolerance
As a physician and a scientist, I was very concerned about the message in Bill Hamilton's recent column, Mosquitoes: Humankind's Deadliest Enemy. In it, he charges the Obama Administration with importing refugees from the Middle East and Africa, allegedly with virtually no health screening, and placing them in locations all across the United States. He goes on to suggest that these refugees may likely infect our citizens with malaria, dengue fever or the Zika virus. Drawing from scientifically discredited sources, Mr. Hamilton discusses the banning of DDT as a deliberate design to endanger Americans. There are many inaccuracies in this piece, but overall it appears to be promoting yet another government conspiracy theory. I understand Mr. Hamilton is indeed the author of a number of conspiracy novels using a pen name.
Please consider the following:
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading public health agency of the United States, considers DDT to be a human carcinogen, as does the International Agency for Research in Cancer. Use of DDT is no longer permitted in the U.S.
• Refugees are the most scrutinized group of migrants, undergoing thorough health screenings and background checks which can take over 1,000 days. Any malaria, dengue fever or Zika virus would be detected in such a screening and would be health-related grounds for exclusion.
• To date Colorado has not had any Zika virus outbreaks except for those who have returned from a country where Zika virus is prevalent. Our climate does not support the mosquito which harbors the virus. Zika virus is best prevented by avoiding mosquito bites; using an insect spray with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or para-menthane diol and wearing protective clothing. As we have all heard, pregnant women should avoid Zika prevalent areas due to the risk if birth defects.
It is disturbing to see fear and conspiracy theories prevent America from protecting some of the world's most vulnerable people, refugees. Senator Lindsay Graham has said that "if the United States does not change course with respect to accepting refugees, the country might as well take the Statue of Liberty and tear it down". I would argue that Humankind's deadliest enemy is not the mosquito rather it is ignorance, fear and intolerance.
Michael Dobersen, MD, PhD