| CraigDailyPress.com

John Pogline: Say ‘no’ to recreational pot in Craig

It seems someone is wanting the taxpayers in Craig and Moffat County to finance another vote for recreational pot. The best way to save the taxpayers' money is to not sign this petition. We have already said "no." There is an old saying, "Why flog a dead horse?" It seems someone wants to rake in the money.

Personally though, I do agree that if pot is legalized, a portion of the proceeds should go to law enforcement. It would help the Craig Police Department hire another officer or two to patrol areas where nefarious pot smokers have been seen in great numbers.

People I have talked to are not a bit upset that recreational pot has not come up for another vote. They say no means no. What part of no does some people not understand?

Just because recreational pot would be legal, it does not mean it would be less sinful, less ethical, or less evil. If it were legal, it would make it more accessible to our young people. Because making it legal would not guarantee people would smoke responsibly.

We do not need rec pot in our community. The best way to keep it out is to not sign this petition. And if it were to get on the ballot, vote "no."

John Pogline

Craig

Dave Wallace: The cost of consent

Reading the Craig Press article from Dec. 28 headlined "Cost of compliance," I can't help wondering exactly how many residents are actually aware of the city's plan for water treatment modifications. The engineered system from SGM will replace the present chlorine treatment with a system that will introduce chloramine into the city's potable water distribution.

The design modifications will replace the chlorine with a mixture of chlorine and ammonia as the treatment disinfectant. This is not the only modification. The city fresh water distribution network will also undergo numerous modifications, which will add mixers to the holding tanks along with valves, piping, and additional controls. The distribution modifications are practically the same as what would be recommended to bring our current system into compliance and possibly eliminating the need for a chloramine modification. We must ask ourselves, are we using a systematic identification, modification and evaluation process, or are we using the typical CAB's blanket approach?

Let us look at some concerns that typically accompany a chloramine treatment.

• In reality, chloramine exists as three different forms, or species: monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine. The three species of chloramine constantly and rapidly shift from one form to another. All forms are respiratory irritants, with trichloramine being the most toxic.

• Chloramine does not control the pathogens in water as well as a straight chlorine treatment, thus requiring those with compromised immune systems to boil their drinking water.

• Studies show your exposure to the toxic byproducts of chloramine is much greater while taking a hot shower than drinking the water, for toxic gases will be released, exposing the individual to respiratory health concerns.

• Chloramine will react with certain metals used in water distribution, not only in the city distribution system, but also in homes, releasing harmful metals such as lead into the drinking water, as well as corroding pipes and seals.

The list of health hazards associated with chloramine goes on and on, and many of these issues can be found at, chloramine.org, as well as Science Daily.

Flint, Michigan, was not the only community that experienced tremendous amounts of lead leaching from the water pipes after their water supply was switched to a treatment facility using chloramine. Washington D.C. also experienced elevated amounts of lead in their potable water supply after switching to chloramine, forcing them to switch back after several years. Many municipalities have detected elevated levels of lead after switching their water treatment from chlorine to chloramine and are now forced to add additional corrosion inhibitors to the water supply to reduce the leaching of toxic metals. I, personally, am not very keen on drinking the Kool-Aid.

Unfortunately, humans are not the only species exposed to the harmful effects of chloramine treatment. Water containing chloramine that finds its way into the natural runoff and river drainages has a deadly effect on aquatic life, since chloramine retains its composition long after chlorine would have dissipated.

I am not saying chloramine would not ultimately be necessary to keep our community in compliance. The point I am attempting to make is, knowing that our water storage capacity and some low flow conditions are impacting the residual chlorine values, why have we not previously addressed this issue in a systematic IME approach? Why have we not solicited opinions from additional engineering firms, and why has SGM become the sole provider of information on this project, as well as others? Have we handed over the keys to the city? Is this really the "cost of compliance," or might it be the price we pay for consent?

Dave Wallace

Craig

Kassi Saeger and Jill Hafey: Sunset’s Winter Wonderland a huge success

Sunset Elementary hosted our first Winter Wonderland, Dec. 14! Our goal was to bring our parents and students together for some good old-fashioned fun! We would not have been as successful without the wonderful support of our community, our parents, and our wonderful students!

I'd like to give a huge thank you to all the local businesses and volunteers who helped make this event such a success! We truly have a great community that comes together for the good of our kids!. Thank you for being a part of our first Winter Wonderland!

Kassi Saeger

Sunset PAC president

Jill Hafey

Sunset Elementary principal

 

Paul James: Let the people vote

I’m in charge of running the petition to get a recreational cannabis measure on the municipal ballot, and I want to clear up a few misconceptions.

First and foremost, we are not petitioning just to allow recreational cannabis. As a lifelong Craigite, I’ve grown to love the area, and I love when people start getting involved with the community. For this reason, we are not filing this petition in an effort to force the city council to allow recreational cannabis, but merely to allow the ordinance to be on the municipal ballot in April, so everyone can have their voice heard in the voting booth. Should the measure fail there, I will put my energy elsewhere, but until we make it to the ballot, I will continue this fight, particularly considering our local economic climate and the dire need to diversify an economy we all depend on.

Another concern I have been hearing is from people who want to ensure the additional revenue is allocated properly. This is a concern I share. We’re moving at a good pace with our petition drive, and so far, we are on schedule to get the 739 signatures needed to make the ballot. Should we successfully complete this, the city council is guaranteed to add its own excise tax measure to the ballot to be voted on alongside the Committee to Grow Craig’s proposed ordinance. The best thing we can do, as a community, is attend those city council meetings and tell the Craig City Council where we want the money to go.

A few of us from the committee have been mulling the idea of writing our own tax proposal, though even if we do it, it would be a suggestion to the council and nothing more.

Personally — and several committee members agree with me — I would like to see a portion of the proceeds go to law enforcement. With all the thefts and break-ins (seriously, what kind of monster breaks into the Community Budget Center?), I believe it would be wise to direct some of the funding toward the Craig Police Department, possibly to hire another officer to help patrol areas where nefarious characters have been seen in high density.

However, I, either by myself or with a handful of people, probably wouldn’t be enough of a voice to make this happen, which is why we need to come together as a community to make sure the additional revenue gets to the place we believe Craig could benefit the most.

The third highest concern I have heard is that people who live in the county are upset they can’t vote on the matter. I agree completely. Unfortunately, I didn’t set up the government or the rules for elections. I also understand that, given the nature of the county we live in, decisions made in Craig have a tendency to affect the entirety of Moffat County, whether that’s raising taxes or trying to build a rec center.

I wish it were different, but this is the only channel we can go through to ensure that us getting the signatures puts this measure on the ballot; anything else is just asking permission or wishful thinking. I’ll close by saying this; signing our petition does not voice support for recreational cannabis — it voices your support for the community’s right to vote on the matter.

If you’re vehemently opposed to cannabis, your best bet to stop listening to me is to sign the petition and get to the voting booth in April. If you recognize the need to diversify our economy before a third of the Craig Station closes down in 2025, sign our petition and get to the voting booth in April.

I want to thank everyone for the huge showing of support we’ve received already, and I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Paul James

Craig

Brett Dearman: PI offers perspective on Folley case

I am a private investigator in the Houston, Texas, area. I am also a former resident of Craig and Meeker. My area of expertise is in digital forensics, and I have been a licensed private investigator since 2011. I started my career in digital forensics in 2001 as the in-house forensic investigator for a large energy company and have participated in nearly 700 digital forensic examinations, which included desktop and laptop computers, as well as many mobile devices.

My reason for writing is in response to the recent editorial regarding the trial of Justin Dean Folley. I don't know much about the case beyond what was mentioned in the editorial, but I felt the need to write about a case I worked on in 2004 and, in doing so, I hope to give some insight to what may seem a negative outcome of this matter.

I was approached by a colleague who asked if I would be willing to help his wife's sister (who I'll refer to as my client) by performing a forensic examination on their family computer for any signs of infidelity by her estranged husband. I agreed to do a "by the numbers" exam on the computer, which was delivered to my lab by my colleague's wife (my client's sister). What I found was not what I expected. Within the first hour of the examination, I discovered a plethora of pornographic images, many of which appeared to be children. By the end of the exam, I had cataloged more than 54,000 pornographic images. This was the hardest case I had ever worked. Some of the images were absolutely nauseating … so much so that I temporary left the field of digital forensics.

By law, I was required to report my findings to the FBI. As it turned out, the FBI decided the individual in question did not appear to be "trafficking" in child pornography, but was rather a "collector." Because of this, I was instructed to turn the matter over to the local law enforcement agency. I presented the evidence to the police department for the city in which my client lived, which, in turn, turned the evidence over to the city's prosecuting attorney, who decided to pursue charges against my client's soon-to-be ex-husband. He was subsequently arrested and charged with multiple counts of possession of child pornography.

The prosecutor ended up dropping the charges only days before the trial. Not only was I shocked, but also incredibly frustrated. The charges were dropped because of a technicality involving chain-of-custody of the computer I examined, and the prosecutor determined the integrity of the evidence was indefensible.

I spent a number of years lamenting the outcome of this case, but a fellow private investigator helped me put into perspective. No … the case did not go as we hoped it would, but there was a measure of good that came from the effort. Though the man in question was not convicted, he was inextricably thrust under the spotlight. I found out later that, when he left his wife, he got an apartment across the street from a local junior high school. I was also informed he had lost his job as a result of the arrest. He may not have been found guilty by a jury of his peers, but his peers were all now aware of the potential of guilt. He was now on the radar of local law enforcement and would be watched with scrutiny going forward.

I hope my story helps bring a little perspective to those close to the Folley case. He may not have been convicted of the crimes he was charged with, but he is clearly on the radar screen of law enforcement, and if he tries anything like this again, someone will take notice, and if he does, hopefully, it will be acted upon before there is another victim.

Brett Dearman

Montgomery, Texas

Arlan Moore: Solutions needed for climate change

Diane Mitsch Bush is a supporter of finding solutions to the climate change issues we are facing in this day and age. Nearly one out of fove voters in Moffat County voted for her in the Nov. 6 election.

She lost the race to be our representative to Congress to our current representative, Scott Tipton, who, in 2015, voted for a resolution that "Nullifies the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule published on October 23, 2015, that requires states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGUs)."

Rep. Tipton won with a little under 52 percent of the vote in his congressional district. He is now, again, our representative in the U.S. House of Representatives — our man at the table.

I would imagine that some of the people who voted for him are aware of the changes that are happening to our climate.

The change in our global temperature and the related changes to our climate are now recognized by our government in the newly released Fourth National Climate Assessment as a condition that is contributed to by our human activities.

I'm certain that most of the people who voted for Diane Mitsch Bush are aware of the climate issues we are facing and would like to see efforts being made by our government to find solutions to this problem.

I would believe it is safe to say a large portion of the population of our congressional district is concerned about seeing these efforts being made — in Washington D.C., where it really, truly matters.

Our representative there needs to understand that actions must be taken, and he is one of many who must be taking them. After all, it's his job, and we are his employer for the next two years.

Our representative needs to hear the voices of the thousands of intelligent, globally conscious, and socially responsible people in his district who are aware of the looming crisis that is right before our eyes.

Rep. Tipton's offices may be reached via his website contact page, tipton.house.gov/contact/offices.

We need to let him know how we feel about our world and the climate conditions we all live in, as well as how we feel about the legacy we will be leaving to generations to come.

The longer our collective head remains buried in the sand, the warmer our collective hind-parts are becoming.

Arlan Moore

McCoy

Allen Hischke: Support recreational marijuana petition

Recently, the Craig Press ran a story about a petition to place recreational marijuana on the 2019 municipal ballot. There was also a recent “Letter To The Editor” by Mr. John Kincaid that spoke of the tighter rein taxes and fees are placing on all of us because of the lowering tax base from energy sources.

If there are others of you that feel the way Mr. Kincaid does, then I urge you to seek out this petition and sign it. Then, when the recreational marijuana issue comes to a vote, cast your vote in favor of it.

With the recent and future reductions in energy taxes to fund our city and county, we must find another source of cash.

At the present time, Steamboat Springs rakes in about $40,000 per month in marjuana sales (steamboatpilot.com/news/recreational-marijuana-sales-in-steamboat-surpass-10m/). Many of the costumers who go to Steamboat live here in Craig. Some come from Meeker and from Baggs. It is time for Craig, to step up and grab some of this money.

If we had stores that sold recreational marijuana here in Craig, we would surely get all the business from any area west of Steamboat.
This is not a sinful, unethical, or evil thing to do. It might, in fact, end up being what saves our area from a slow death.

I urge everyone who wants to stop higher taxes and fees while supporting the city Of Craig to support the recreational marijuana petition and possible vote.

Allen Hischke

Craig

John Kinkaid: Reader feels ‘squeezed’ by fee increases

If the Craig City Council votes to implement the proposed water and sewer rate hikes, in five years, we will be paying 10.4 percent more for water and 15.9 percent more for sewer. And, city is also asking for an increase in landfill fees.

When you add in the city sales tax increase that passed and the possible addition of mill levy initiatives for the school district and a recreation district, things start adding up. Living here is getting more expensive, and affordability is one of our area's economic strengths.

It's a little like the old saying, "A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon, you're talking real money."

Feeling squeezed.

John Kinkaid

Craig

Rick Holford: Kudos to KRAI Holiday Drive volunteers

Having participated in the KRAI Holiday Drive over many years, I was especially pleased to see the new owner of the radio station so actively involved.

When Frank Hanel initiated the drive, it was designed to help as many people as possible during the Christmas season when people were struggling. Marcy Marimoto did an outstanding job with accomplishing a difficult task of putting everything together, basically on her own — gathering volunteers, feeding all of us, and generally keeping things running smoothly.

Probably, many people here in Craig didn’t think we would have the drive since KRAI Radio is now located in Steamboat. But now, many people, including children and seniors, will get to enjoy Christmas because of the work by Marcy and the volunteers and those who donated money, brought food, toys, clothing items, etc.

I had the impression that the current owner of KRAI, Don Tlapek, was impressed, as he spent the entire day on Friday with us in front of the Centennial Mall. Hopefully, the drive will continue far into the future so we can help make Christmas a joy for everyone.

Thanks to all involved, let’s do it again next year.

Rick Holford

Craig

 

Robin Schiffbauer: Community Kitchen in need of volunteers

To the community:

Thank you always for your support of St. Michael's Community Kitchen. We are in need of volunteers. If you have the time and heart to help, we would love to have you join us. We need drivers to deliver to the home bound, cooks, prep-cooks, servers, and cleanup for both Tuesday lunches and Thursday dinners. Our normal hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

If you have an extra hour or more to give us on either day, please contact me, Robin Schiffbauer, at 970-824-7148 or Kandee Dilldine at 970-824-6314. Or, leave a message at St. Michael's Community Kitchen, 970-826-2895. We will work with your schedule.

Thank you for your consideration, searching your hearts, and checking your schedules.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

Robin Schiffbauer

Craig