Another wake-up call
Power outages and rolling blackouts this past week should put every American on edge. It is unacceptable that the energy grid in the United States is fragile and lacks resilience.
The story in Sunday’s Gazette, “Storm batters U.S. power,” should act as another wake-up call and we should hold our state and national governments accountable. Given the recent weather across the nation, people’s lives were put in danger by our inadequate power grid.
Similarly, the rolling power shortages put our industrial capabilities at risk. This is not an isolated occurrence of the grid’s vulnerabilities. Recall that in February 2021 substantial power outages and rolling blackouts occurred in Texas due to inadequate power generation capacity. Notably, power companies cautioned about potential rolling blackouts last summer in anticipation of extreme heat.
The bottom line is that our energy grid must be restored to an adequate and resilient state. The richest nation in the world cannot allow power shortages to become routine. This nation has the capability and resources to build up and protect our energy grid. We need to hold the elected officials accountable at all levels. We need to demand a broad strategy relying on all forms of energy generation. Furthermore, we must stop the insane policies degrading our coal and natural gas capabilities and weakening our national security.
If we can’t adequately power our nation, then we become increasingly vulnerable to our adversaries. Make your voice heard now and help put the energy grid back on track.
Dangerous, violent behavior
Vince Bzdek’s column searching for answers about The Q shooting prompted me to write this. Gun violence has torn this country apart and when laws are in place to prevent gun violence, it is wrong for an elected official to decide not to comply or utilize that provision.
I have read about the intricacies of Anderson Aldrich’s life and how his violent behavior was allowed to manifest. Had the El Paso Sheriff’s office red flagged Anderson Aldrich, there is a strong possibility The Q shooting would not have occurred.
Sheriff Bill Elder, and therefore his department, chose not to utilize the red flag law that could have prevented this atrocity. Aldrich was clearly unstable and violent when he tried to kill his mother and barricaded himself. It was and is the duty of law enforcement to red flag individuals who exhibit dangerous and violent behavior.
Sheriff Elder’s failure to utilize every tool available to him to prevent violence means he failed in his job in protecting the citizens of El Paso County.
This teachable moment
I applaud Mike Rosen for his column, “The COVID pandemic is a teachable moment” in the Dec. 21 Gazette. However, I must disagree with him on one point. Rosen states, “Throughout the pandemic, public policy decisions were made by the president, congress, bureaucrats, governors, state legislators, mayors, and city councils. I don’t think this is true at all, at least not here in Colorado. In our state, the unelected state and county public health officials made the decisions, with only a nod or rubber stamp from the elected officials.
Again Rosen states, “Public health officials are, understandably, narrowly focused on their specialty.” That is true and is exactly why they should not make public policy decisions. These decisions should be reserved for elected governors, state legislatures, mayors, city councils, and county commissions. They can weigh all the factors: health, economic, spiritual, ethical, etc., and make the correct tradeoffs between public health and public wellbeing. If we citizens disagree with those decisions, we have our elective power to show our discontent.
If there is a lesson to be learned from this teachable moment, it is that our state constitution and city/county charters need to be amended to clearly state that public health officials are advisors only and that all public policy decisions, including those affecting public health, will be made by the appropriate elected public officials at each level.
Take time to say thank you
Another year is coming to a close in the United States of America. Across our great country, millions of Americans have celebrated Christmas with their families, and are now getting ready to bring in a new year. While we are doing all of this celebrating, we need to always remember the 24/7 dedication and service of the brave men and women in law enforcement. Stop and think for a moment what our country would be like without these brave heroes!
Without them our country would be in absolute chaos.
Thus far in 2022 there have been 226 law enforcement duty related deaths. While we have been hunkering safely down in our homes during the Covid 19 outbreak, the brave men and women of law enforcement haven’t had this luxury. Their battle against crime has never ceased. If you are a police chief or sheriff and the leader of these brave warriors, I hope that you will take the time to show and express your appreciation to each and everyone of them. And if you are a citizen and live next to a law enforcement officer..get up from that nice and tasty turkey dinner, walk over to their house and say, thank you for your service!
Guy M. Grace Sr.