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Monthly Archives: July 2010
I was not, and am not contemplating a conspiracy theory between Big Oil and Washington however I’ve heard people say that Washington allows Big Oil Companies free rain to do Whatever, Whenever, in the name of Capitalism and the almighty dollar…..
Facts are that this disaster was not addressed accordingly…..
Washington should of made BP stop the oil leak as soon as it began.
BP simply stated that everyone will be compensated for their losses and everyone to an include the white house seemed to be okay with that equation….
Facts are this oil spill is one of the biggest environmental disasters in recorded history.
Facts are countless numbers of wildlife have been killed in the gulf region.
Facts are Judges and Politicians cater to the corporate world which allows oil companies for the most part the opportunity to do what ever they choose….. For Profit and Gain…..
It would appear that Big Oil has a different set of rules / no rules to follow in order to supply the demand that we as consumers are wanting and needing on a daily basis…..
Facts are if we stop consuming oil then Big Oil will stop devastating the environment.
Lawrence J. King
Boulder Continue reading
Over the last few years, under the (mis)guidance of a prior board, Erie engaged in legal, financial and emotional warfare with numerous opponents. Under the guise of protecting the interest of Erie’s citizens, the board:
1. Supported Town Administrator Mike Acimovic to engage counsel to make land grabs from the Towns of Frederick and Broomfield. Lawsuits ensued.
2. In an effort to create his only legacy, Moore manipulated the prior Board through misrepresentation to abandon a runway at the airport. Lawsuit ensued.
The Frederick and Broomfield lawsuits were both extremely expensive for our citizens. In the Broomfield case, the alternative to litigation was negotiation (of which Mr. Acimovic seems to be incapable). In the case of Frederick, not only was Mr. Acimovic incapable of negotiation, his litigious style resulted in the Court’s rejection of the land grab, and subsequent appeal by Erie. Moore’s pompous public statement that “Erie doesn’t lose appeals” was obviously wrong, because not only were the taxpayers forced to pay exorbitant legal fees, but will also pay Frederick’s legal bills which may approach a half million dollars!
The Airport lawsuit, fomented by Moore’s insistence in routing the trail at the very end of the runway which, based on wind studies, is required for safety at the airport. Without referral to, or comment by, the Airport Advisory Board or other vested parties, the Moore administration removed this runway to facilitate the trail alignment. This lawsuit, initiated by pilots concerned about safety for local and transient traffic, has cost the taxpayers and those pilots huge money. In addition, part of the trail route appears to run through another land grab by the Town.
Without so much as a single public hearing, vetting by the AAB, or discussion with other interested parties, and in an effort to circumvent the ire of FAA, the Coal Creek Trail is proposed to be routed through the riparian waterway next to the airport, with no regard for cost, safety, wildlife preservation, or public input. This area is one of the only remaining wildlife sanctuaries in Erie! The alignment could easily be modified to work for all, as most want the trail, but the prior aministration refused to have any cooperative dialog. Where was OSTAB (Erie Open Space Advisory Board) when this was going down?
Nothing can be done about the sunk costs of the lawsuits, but the Airport suit costs can be very simply mitigated by realigning the trail to a better location.
In all fairness to the newly elected Mayor and Trustees, let’s make it clear that these awful actions weren’t their doing! Let’s also make it clear that holdover Trustees Ogg, Towner and Hauger have prior experience, knowledge and history with Moore and Acimovic, and therefore the ability to do the right thing and fix what they observed and, in some cases, voted for previously.
Under new leadership, our Trustees have the unique opportunity to move the trail alignment to:
1) a more wildlife friendly location
2) a safer location
3) a more airport friendly location
4) a much less expensive location, thereby allowing more amenities to be funded
5) a more scenic location
6) a location avoiding the stink of Lafayette’s sewer treatment plant
7) a location that does not create property rights issues
8) a location that will avoid more potential litigation
9) a location that will maximize the value of the GOCO grant for all trail users, by adding Broomfield to the system
Who doesn’t want all of the above?
Erie controls the GOCO grant money, and therefore the decision on alignment of the trail through Boulder County, Lafayette and Erie. This litigation insanity can be stopped by our Board of Trustees. They must exhibit the political will to listen to the open space stakeholders, airport stakeholders, wildlife stakeholders and trail stakeholders. The vote by our politicians for approval of a final trail alignment will come very soon. They must be decisive, and overturn the prior culture of decision making without the input of our taxpayers!
I think they’ll do the right thing by us.
Erie Continue reading
As a resident of Superior, it is extremely common for disconnect notices to be issued. I, myself, got a disconnection notice. My delinquency? I was late on one bill (as modest as it was). I was about to pay the past-due amount with the current bill – but there was already a disconnect notice in the mail. So for those of you who may pass judgment on this sad case, do not let such a notice be part of that judgment.
Superior Continue reading
To the Editors,
The way to spend less than we do now on health care is everyone payiing through a single system. This did not get mentioned in the article of 7/30/10 reporting the resistance in various states to the mandated purchase of health insurance. The Wall Street takeover of insurance reform has garuanteed business for insurance companies, but leaves the rest of us in a bureaucratic quagmire. The value of a single system to pay for our health care has been deligitimized or ignored.
Since 1970, while the number of physicians has doubled, the number of health care administrators has grown by 3,000%! The Insurance Exchanges, subsidies, and mandates ordered by 2014 will only add to this humpty dumpty mess.
We can’t avoid having at times to face illness. We don’t have to face financial ruin at the same time. In the many other countries that cover everyone in a single system, people do not go bankrupt getting medical care. The Wall Street driven insurance reforms will leave some uninsured and those with insurance will be facing growing premiums, copays, and deductibles to protect private insurance companies’ bottom lines.
We can spend less when we’re all covered in one system that’s secure, robust, and providing more choice of providers. Private insurance, propped up by multiple government programs is a painful, ineffective business model. We need this awareness as the current reforms prove unsustainable.
As a businessperson, would you hire a candidate who has no experience doing a job or who would possibly bring disastrous consequences to your business? Or would you hire someone who has comprehensive, distinguished, nationally-recognized experience doing the job and who will bring substantial rewards to the business? This is the choice facing Colorado Democrats between Michael Bennet and Andrew Romanoff. Bennet might turn out to be a capable Senator, but why would should Coloradans take a chance on this when he is no more qualified than dozens of others who have never run for office who could have been as arbitrarily appointed. Since his ability to raise money is his chief qualification at this point, he is more likely to be defeated by Jane Norton or Ken Buck. It is clear from Andrew Romanoff’s record that he is an unusually qualified candidate, already known for his personal integrity and experience solving critical problems in Colorado, such as devising, campaigning for, and passing Ref C. These facts are already known by voters in all corners of the state. Vote for Andrew Romanoff.
John M. Lee
Boulder Continue reading
Smart Grid City? The original “smart meters” installed by Xcel didn’t measure electricity produced from solar systems. I actually asked about this in front of the PUC last summer and Xcel admitted that their meters were not smart. All this hoopla is a very fancy way to electronically measure how much electricity you use and bill you for it without the meter reader.
Solar Gardens? Xcel was a big advocate for Solar Gardens — sounds like more solar. But in the details they counted the solar at 1.5 times which reduced the total amount of solar by 30 MW that Xcel needed. It was a sneaky way to do business as usual, but a group of solar companies noticed and killed the 1.5 multiplier.
Valmont coal plant. Yes, it is an eyesore but it is NOT high on the list of the most polluting coal plants in Colorado. It is not the first plant that should be closed for the sake of the earth.
So. Should Boulder sign a 20 year deal with Xcel energy? Absolutely not. The time of negotiating a new franchise agreement is the only time we have Xcel’s attention.
If I had a private meeting with David Eves of Xcel, like city staff and council members, I would keep him at the table for the next 5 years. And, I am certain voters would agree.
Boulder Continue reading
Educate Yourself Before Voting
Please don’t make the mistake of voting in favor of tax cuts without reading the fine print and understanding the ramifications. We should never take lightly proposed amendments to our state constitution.
I urge all voting citizens to educate themselves about Amendments 60 and 61 as well as Proposition 101, three ballot measures in the upcoming election. If passed, these measures will greatly change the cultural, educational, and infrastructural landscape of our state.
Amendment 60 cuts school funding by more than a billion dollars a year.
Amendment 61 shuts down our ability to build or expand our roads, schools, water facilities and the rest of our infrastructure.
Proposition 101 eliminates a major funding source for road and bridge construction across the state.
These three initiatives will devastate the state and cost us thousand of jobs. Please don’t fall for the less government and lower taxes argument. Vital programs like schools, roads and water treatment facilities are necessary for all Colorado citizens.
Check out www.donthurtcolorado.com for more information.
Boulder County Continue reading
Americans are disgusted with elected officials who rely on corporate donations. Those donations buy legislation that favors corporations rather than the people whose interests elected officials are supposed to represent.
As long as we, the people, continue to vote for candidates of any party who take corporate and special interest donations, we are complicit in the demise of our democracy. Big corporations donate money in order to get legislation that favors them but hurts the public.
Despite the deliberate attempt of the Bennet campaign to distort Andrew Romanoff’s stellar record, Romanoff is the only candidate in the Senate race courageous enough to NOT take corporate donations. He is beholden only to the PEOPLE of Colorado, as he was when he served in the Colorado Statehouse. For that reason, and others, he deserves your vote.
Visit the Federal Elections website, www.fec.gov, and find out for yourself where candidates get their money. Then support the person who represents you, not big money.
Longmont Continue reading
A letter in Saturday’s Daily Camera suggests that if residents don’t support the County’s plan for paving our county roads at $150 per year for 15 years ($2,250) per residence, we might have to pay $10,000 per residence to do the same job. This scenario seems little more than a scare tactic – residents must act exactly the way the County wants or be abandoned by the County to suffer the cost of acting on their own.
Most county roads were built according to County specifications and their construction monitored, inspected, and approved by the County. The County accepted full responsibility for their full maintenance and upkeep – collecting fees (taxes) from every resident for decades, toward that end. This was a contract between the County and the Residents that the County unilaterally, in a quiet and unconscionable manner decided to abrogate. What is next? Will the County take the same tact with our water lines? How about our waste water system (sewers)? How about pot holes and snow removal? In what other areas will the County surreptitiously increase our taxes by replacing tax paid services with direct assessments?
Should Residents really accept and reward improper fiscal practices, poor judgment, and lack of planning by County departments by paying again for things we have paid for every year for decades? Should Residents accept that the County can unilaterally abrogate it’s agreements with the Residents? Should Residents allow the government to increase our taxes in this manner? This issue is larger than who pays for the roads.
Why must we accept the County’s survey, predetermined and predicated on the Residents paying for road maintenance? Can Residents not demand the County do what is necessary instead of what it wants to do or what is easy to do? Is there no option by which the County can actually meet it’s commitments? What about a bond issue paid off by the County over time from funds they no longer spend on new, nice to have facilities? Why can we not demand that the County plan and manage not only for the construction/acquisition of something but also for it’s ongoing and long term maintenance, repair, and upkeep? As individual homeowners, we have to plan and budget for both an item’s initial cost and for the ongoing cost of ownership – maintenance, repairs, upkeep; why should we not expect the same of our government, especially when they promised to do just that?
Boulder Continue reading
As we witness the worst industry-caused environmental catastrophe in our history, the worst coal mining disaster in 40 years, and sweat through the hottest first six months of any year on record, it is it is unacceptable that the Senate has failed to advance comprehensive clean energy and climate policy.
The price of inaction is all too clear – a dangerously warming planet with terrible consequences over the next century, more oil spills that guarantee more livelihoods will be lost, and a missed opportunity to revitalize our economy by creating millions of new jobs in clean energy industries.
The Senate must show real leadership to address our climate and energy challenges. They must use every opportunity available to limit carbon pollution and invest in new clean energy sources that are made in America, including protecting the Clean Air Act’s ability to crack down on polluters.
Boulder Continue reading
I am a member of Citizens Against Runway Expansion. Several of our group attended the July 27 council meeting and spoke against runway expansion.
Our friend and neighbor, Wendy Conder, a Realtor, couldn’t attend, so my husband, Ken Wood, read her statement which read, in part: “At a Boulder Association of Realtors meeting with all the mayors of
Longmont, Erie, Louisville and Lafayette at the Erie high school in February or
March, Mayor Baum got up and announced he had good news, the Longmont Area
Airport was going to be expanded with lengthening the runway and adding a
nice terminal with a restaurant & new hangers on the south side. …”
You can go to the city’s website and listen to the reading and comments from Councilman Sean McCoy and the mayor.
This is a shortened version: Councilman McCoy – We have a charter to uphold. We can’t go out into the community and tell people that this is a done deal until it is voted on.
Mayor Baum – At Erie all mayors were asked to speak on what they would like to have in their community. Information was misrepresented. Comments that Mr. Wood made were not exactly accurate. The Mayor also referred to Mr. Wood editing some of the statement.
My husband did not alter Wendy’s statement. This response essentially called my husband and neighbor liars. We do not take kindly to such remarks. We could not respond to the mayor’s accusation. No one was allowed to give a rebuttal.
An elected official should be careful about calling people liars. We are talking about quality people and his comments were insulting.
Mayor Baum mentioned that he was elected because he had a vision, which includes the expansion of Longmont’s airport. This vision could be one of our worst nightmares.
Longmont Continue reading
Each library has limited funds, therefore limited resources in these times. Yet if the resources are pooled with other libraries in a consortium, then every community benefits.
The Prospector program brings 26 libraries in Colorado and Wyoming under the net of cooperation with each other, creating for each community involved, a volume of possibilities for everyone.
To delete this program in the name of budget cuts would bring research projects, extended reading/learning resources and efforts to a halt.
The free vital music and film programs, I understand, would be included in this cut, diminishing cultural opportunities for those who enjoy them. Schools already have minimized music and arts programs. I don’t want to minimize the whole communities’ access to creative and educational materials.
The Boulder Library, like most other libraries, has a limited budget for purchasing. With access to Prospector, any patron can dip into the larger pool of resources that Prospector provides in its interlibrary loan program amongst these 26 other libraries, and no purchases are necessary.
In a time of economic downturn, the library becomes an even greater resource for the community. I want the City Council to take Prospector and the small amount of cultural events that the Boulder Library presently offers, off the eliminate list, and find another way to cut the budget.
Please let the City Council know your thoughts about this.
Boulder Continue reading
Boulder citizens and Council are making one of the most far reaching and important decisions we will make with major implications for our local economy and our planet. The energy franchise will be worth billions of dollars over 20 years. How much stays in Boulder and what it is spent on is up to us. We need time and competition to get an energy deal that is best for our local economy, our quality of life, our health and our planet. Ideally, a free market would offer us our best choice, but we do not have a free market in energy. If we want competition, we have to create it ourselves.
Xcel is a regulated monopoly. While it may be investor owned, with a 20 year franchise, Xcel will be making our energy choices for a generation. We cannot fire them. With a franchise, your kids may be parents before we can do anything about the choice we make this year. Yes, we’ve chosen a franchise in the past, but never have changes in energy technology, environmental issues and fossil fuels been so dramatic or critical. It would be easiest not to think about our options, just to renew the franchise and tell ourselves we can get out in 10 or 15 years, but the choices then will only be harder, more costly and our position more difficult. Not thinking about our energy choices has gotten us where we are and played a part in some our worst problems, dependence on fossil fuels, toxins in our food and water, the Gulf spill, global warming, wars and terrorism to name but a few.
The time to get competition is now, but we need to be willing to let competition in and hear our options from Xcel’s competitors. The franchise fee replacement tax allows us the time to get competition working for us. Even if our best deal is ultimately a better franchise agreement, competition gets us there, because Xcel will have to win our business over the alternatives.
How do we get competition? Like water through stone, we need time and action. To get time, the franchise fee replacement tax costs us basically nothing by renaming a fee we already pay on our utility bill and gives us five years to allow Xcel and its competitors to compete for our business. Of course, this only works if the franchise renewal is delayed until Xcel improves the deal or a competitor beats that deal. To get action, the citizens of Boulder need to see this for what it is, a chance of a lifetime.
Boulder Continue reading
I am writing in reference to today’s article in the DC, “Depts. jockey for funds.” (July 28). Kirk Kincannon is showing his East Coast stripes again. Like Mr. Kincannon, I am a former resident of the Washington, DC area, and his response to the matter of double-parking at the North Boulder Recreation Center is exactly what I would expect from a relatively new resident of Boulder: “Build more parking spaces.” Just what we need: more automobile traffic. Perhaps a better way to serve the needs of the center’s customers would be to take some of the money that Mr. Kincannon wants to spend on parking spaces and mount an ad campaign promoting the buses that stop at the center. The easy way out probably would be to build more parking spaces, but is it the best solution for Boulder? I think not.
Boulder Continue reading
I know Andrew Romanoff’s stance on corporate funding and these are the facts. In this senatorial race he has accepted no corporate or PAC funds. It is true that when he was running for state offices in past years he did set up a PAC and collected $65,000. He did have low levels of corporate funding. That ended when he left state office because of term limitation statutes. He was not experiencing at that time the tremendously corrupting effects that subsequent revelations of corporate money in politics was having in Washington.
I resent ads run by the Bennet campaign that bring up Andrew Romanoff’s past funding
efforts making no reference to when that happened. I feel that deception in intended when the ads do not mention the time frame associated with past campaigns. Romanoff has never said that he never in his life has accepted PAC or corporate funds. He has always claimed truthfully that in this senate race, running for national office, he is accepting only private funding. He sees the corruption associated with corporate money in Washington as contributing to what amounts to a corporate takeover of our United States government. We can see the government of, by and for the people fading into oblivion if we don’t start taking steps now, one step being revolting at the ballot box by voting for Andrrew Romanoff.
Ward R. Anthony
Boulder Continue reading
I supported Andrew Romanoff in his political career in the Colorado House of
Representatives; however, I chose his opponent, Michael Bennet, to support
in the upcoming Democratic primary. As someone who knows both candidates, I
want to share the reasons why I believe Michael Bennet will make the best US
I first met Senator Bennet when he was Superintendant of the Denver Public
Schools. As a former President of the BVSD School Board, I understood the
challenges he faced. I was very impressed with Bennet’s ability to build the
relationships with teachers, parents, students and administrators he needed
to change the DPS culture of underachievement. Those are the same leadership
skills he used as Mayor John Hickenlooper¹s Chief of Staff and as the
Managing Director of Anschutz Investments.
I threw my support to Michael Bennet because of these impressive
accomplishments and his leadership on education reform. Bennet¹s positions
on other issues are similar to Romanoff¹s; he¹s pro-choice and progressive.
Yet, Bennet isn¹t a career politician; he¹s an innovative businessman and a
skilled leader with all the assets needed to help turn around a
dysfunctional institution like the US Senate.
Michael Bennet also knows what it¹s like to live in a busy modern family;
he¹s a dedicated Dad to three children and a proud partner to his wife,
talented natural resources attorney Susan Daggett.
Michael Bennet has already built important relationships in our nation¹s
capital that will help Colorado. He was appointed to Sen. Ted Kennedy¹s seat
on the prestigious Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
and is close to President Obama who seriously considered Bennet for
Secretary of Education.
Michael Bennet has already proved himself to be bright, insightful and
effective in the US Senate. Don¹t let that experience go to waste. Join me
in voting for Michael Bennet.
Linda Shoemaker, former President
Boulder Valley Board of Education Continue reading
I think that many people in Colorado District 2 share my frustration with politics and legislative initiatives going on now in Washington DC. There seems to be a growing sense of disengagement with elected representatives and a belief that we could find better people to represent us. I actually began to feel that no supportable candidate would surface; someone who was not a professional politician and not interested in building their own personal power, and who was willing to represent the people of the 2nd District with independent, common sense beliefs in individual freedom and less governmental control of our lives.
Then I met Stephan Bailey. Stephen has a record of accomplishment in the Armed Forces and business. He worked diligently in the Service, school and business to build a life for his wife, three children and himself. He is a principled person, intelligent, well read, very thoughtful and somewhat quiet, not the typical attributes of politicians today, but certainly the kind of person that we need now to represent us. He decided to run because he is committed to the values that built and will sustain America and believes that principled representation without motivation for personal ego gratification is needed at this time.
If you are a registered Republican, please consider voting for Stephen in the August Primary Elections. Stephen has the qualities and commitment to campaign effectively against the incumbent. He is by far the best candidate to carry the debate to the people and represent them. If you are not a Republican, but share the feeling that things could be better in Washington DC, I would encourage you to find out more about Stephen at his website at www.StephenBaileyforCongress.com. I am relieved to see this fine man come forward to serve in public office.
Longmont Continue reading
On July 18 around 4 p.m., my daughter stopped her vehicle at a railroad crossing for an oncoming train on Valmont and Wilderness Place. Unfortunately, she was slammed from behind by a car driven by young man who had looked down and failed to see her stop. The two of them were stunned. They sat in their cars watching the train pass, thankfully with neither of them in its way. The damage was significant, with both cars disabled. My daughter’s car couldn’t even be pushed out of the way because the frame was bent into the back tire. When the gates lifted, the traffic resumed. People drove around them, most likely looking at the two damaged vehicles. Not one person stopped or checked to see if either driver was harmed or needed help until almost 25 minutes later when two women stopped to ask if everyone was okay (thank you).
I’m obviously thankful they were unhurt, and I understand that when they got out of their cars they probably appeared okay. But when I learned that no one driving by them asked if they needed help or offered to call the police, I was sad. During the time I was there waiting with them for the police to arrive, more than 100 people drove by.
Anyone I’ve told this story to has had the same reaction – what a glum commentary on our community that no one asked if those two people needed help.
When did we become so distracted, self-focused, detached or whatever you call it that we don’t even check to see if someone might need a hand?
Boulder Continue reading
We’ve been living with roundabouts in Boulder for several years now but it seems most drivers still do not understand how to use them. A brief review is in order.
Right of way is given to any vehicle in the roundabout, not, as is common in Boulder, to the vehicle approaching the roundabout at the highest rate of speed.
Watch for turn signals; a turning vehicle in the roundabout has the right of way over those outside the roundabout. Refusing to make eye contact with a driver in the roundabout does not grant you right of way to enter.
Although the commonly held belief is that the larger of two streets intersecting at a roundabout has the right of way, this is not the case. This is, unfortunately, reinforced by drivers on the smaller roads stopping and waiting to enter the roundabout if they see traffic approaching on the larger street. Don’t sit on the side street like a martyr – get in the roundabout!
Finally, slow down. Although it is physically possible to hurl your vehicle through a roundabout, it does nothing but make our city a little more dangerous and a little less beautiful. Besides, count yourself lucky, you didn’t have to stop at a stop sign.
Reports circulating today indicate as many as half a million state-government workers will soon get the axe. I hope all the Tea-Party types out there are happy when they see this shrinking government, right before their eyes. I hope they are even happier when they see those 500,000 buying NOTHING. It’s not like 2004, when people could (and did) consume out of thin air. Tea Partiers who own a business or want to keep a job should be careful what they wish for.
Longmont Continue reading