- Erika Stutzman: Changes to our online letters policy
- Susan Marine: House Bill 1140 to help prevent suicide
- Tim Hogan: Free birth control and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Andi Jason and David Simon: Support House Bill 1140 for hospitals to provide information about suicide
- David R. Guilinger: Contraception controversy
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Monthly Archives: April 2011
The new Colorado River Cooperative Agreement between western water interests and Denver Water is laudable and a great step forward, but lost in the hoopla is the simple fact that Denver Water still plans to build an unnecessary $576,000,000 expansion of Gross Reservoir in Boulder County. A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that installing low-flow shower heads for every resident of the Denver metro area would be cheaper, would save more water, and would have the added benefit of being environmentally sound.
The projected shortfall in Denver by 2030 is only 18,000 acre-feet of water, but let’s be generous to Denver Water and assume the shortfall is double that value at 36,000 acre-feet or about 12 billion gallons. Using 2.5 versus 6 gallons per minute, low-flow shower heads save about 35 gallons in a ten minute shower. At one shower per person per day with 2.5 million residents in the Denver metro area, that saves about 32 billion gallons per year. Of course, many folks in Denver have already installed low-flow fixtures, but these figures show that only about a third of the residents would need to install low-flow shower heads to make up the projected shortfall. And remember, we were being generous to Denver Water, so the real value is closer to one-sixth of the residents.
The cost? Forget that only a fraction of the households need new shower heads. Instead, let’s buy all 2.5 million people very nice $100 shower heads and allow an additional $100 for installation. Total cost: $500,000,000. This rather magnanimous payment is still cheaper than the proposed Gross Reservoir expansion.
Nederland Continue reading
To The Editor:
The Boulder City Council agenda for Tuesday. May 3 includes Council’s
support for the Jefferson Parkway. This 10 mile long project is to be built
partly along the eastern perimeter of a defunct nuclear weapons plant, a
previous Superfund site, now called the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge.
Weapons production ceased at Rocky Flats after an FBI raid on the site
because of violation of environmental laws, such as the incineration of
radioactive materials, the spraying of toxins and carcinogens. Much of the
waste from plutonium bomb production was dumped into huge unlined pits.
Rubble from many extremely contaminated buidings was buried underground to
be brought up by burrowing animals Many sprayfields, retaining ponds and
some underground piping remain, mostly near the eastern side of the site.
During my time on the Rocky Flats Citizens Advisory Board it became clear
that this that this was not a cleanup, it was called “remediation”. Others
call it a cover-up. Independent scientists, even the DOE’s own science
laboratory at Oak Ridge were critical of the process which was not that
which was approved by EPA, NRC and DOE for radioactively contaminated
Building this road will expose those working on it and the people living
downwind to airborn plutonium dioxide. This finely divided particle is a
carcinogen when inhaled. The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics lists
plutonium as THE most dangerous element.
Those of us living in Boulder should ask our City Council to support the
cities of Golden and Superior and the citizen groups in opposition of this
unnecessary and dangerous project.
Boulder Continue reading
Steve Pomerance’s column on Sunday, It’s Time for Chautauqua Transparency, is a malicious missive, unencumbered by fact. He paints a picture of the Colorado Chautauqua Association (CCA) that is unrecognizable from the years I was a City-appointed representative to the CCA board.
He sets the stage by stating that “[a] few years ago the Colorado Chautauqua Association board proposed putting a hotel on open space near Chautauqua. This absurd concept only emerged into the light of day because one board member had the courage to actually speak about it, breaking the ‘code of secrecy’ that seems to surround much of what goes on at Chautauqua.” These allegations and insinuations are demonstrably false; the CCA board never proposed putting a hotel on open space and there is no “code of secrecy” surrounding CCA’s operations. CCA is a Colorado nonprofit corporation that is run transparently and in accordance with its bylaws, which require that its monthly board meetings are open to the public and that its minutes are posted to its website.
CCA recently released its 2020 Plan, a blueprint for CCA’s efforts to assure relevance and success in its second century. While Mr. Pomerance lauds CCA’s work preserving its historic infrastructure and some of the proposals in the 2020 Plan, he is unwilling to consider why a new building may be integral to CCA achieving its mission, that it would allow for more appropriate uses of historic structures, or that it may be necessary to generate revenue to fund the site improvements and preservation he desires.
Mr. Pomerance wants the City to have greater influence on what happens at Chautauqua. However, in addition to the fact that his prescriptions (dissolving or restructuring the CCA board) are not within the City’s power, he doesn’t acknowledge that there is already an extensive, positive, and collaborative relationship between CCA and the City. The City is CCA’s landlord and appoints 2 members of the CCA board (including the current board president). CCA reports annually to City Council about CCA operations and CCA staff regularly works with City staff on a wide variety of issues. Implementation of components of the 2020 Plan must be approved through the City’s development review processes which allow ample opportunity for public involvement.
Rather than simply making unfounded allegations and saying “not in my back yard,” Mr. Pomerance and other community members should seek to participate productively in the public processes related to potential changes at Chautauqua, including listening to CCA’s interests, so that the initial concept proposed by CCA can be improved.
Boulder Continue reading
The Camera among others persists in reporting that the Jefferson Parkway, if approved, will complete the beltway around metro Denver. More realistic reporting says it’s a step towards completion of the beltway. The Jefferson Parkway will neither complete the beltway nor be a substantial step towards its completion. On it’s northern end the parkway terminates at Interlocken, seven stop lights away from the Northwest Parkway. On the southern end it terminates several miles from Golden on Highway 93 well north of the part that’s notoriously congested at rush hour. Proposed plans for the Jefferson Parkway recognize that the most likely access for Boulder County residents to the Jefferson Parkway will be McCaslin Boulevard. McCaslin is a residential street next to numerous homes. Superior residents strongly oppose any plan that relies on our streets to solve a developers problem of how to access their parkway. Superior is seriously discussing how to calm traffic on McCaslin in the event the parkway is approved. Likewise Golden is strongly opposed the parkway, rightfully fearing a torrent of cars rushing through the constricted valley at 6th avenue near Golden.
I imagine the proponents of the parkway think if they build it, there will be political will to complete the next little bit making the venture successful. Who do they think will build the required seven interchanges on Interlocken, or mitigate the noise in Golden’s narrow valley, when the people at both ends of their little road are so opposed to it?
As humans, we like to plan and like to see those plans completed. Psychologically we want to see the completion of the circle. The Jefferson Parkway is yet another attempt to complete a circle better left broken. I encourage everyone to google Jefferson Parkway to see what is being proposed.
Louisville Continue reading
I’ve read several letters to the editor indicating the need for a downtown Performing Arts venue in Boulder and encouraging support for a new facility. I too believe this need exists in Boulder, but not necessarily in the form of a new project subject to the uncertainties of new development.
eTown, the Boulder based non-profit organization focused on creating community through music, is well on its way to completing construction of this much needed community based music and performing arts venue.
Located on the corner of 16th and Spruce in downtown Boulder, eTown Hall is being created out of a former church. eTown Hall is expected to be completed later this year and will include a 200 seat theater, a community hall, and state of the art recording studio; designed to be gathering places for the local community and for local and visiting musicians representing many styles and disciplines.
For those of you familiar with eTown, you are likely to understand and appreciate the benefit of eTown Hall for eTown and the community. For those of you unfamiliar with eTown, visiting eTown Hall will be an opportunity to learn about an organization that has been promoting community and music through live performances and radio shows for 20 years, right here in Boulder.
eTown Hall is a reality. eTown Hall is located in downtown Boulder. eTown Hall is the community based music venue for Boulder. Before exploring a new project at an undetermined location, perhaps the Boulder community can focus on supporting a project that has been 20 years in the making. eTown has a Challenge Grant and is approaching 80% of its fundraising goal. eTown Hall is coming, and with support from Boulder citizens, it will be a cultural treasure that will benefit the community for generations to come.
Michael L. Kruteck
eTown Board member
Boulder Continue reading
A comment on your editorial Wednesday on legal, lethal drugs.
The USA is the only developed country in the world, with the sole exception of New Zealand, that permits prescription drugs to be advertised on television. You can hardly watch a popular television program without being subjected to drug pushers. Now if a person sees a TV ad and goes to their doctor and badgers him for a prescription should the doctor spend his precious time to talk this person out of it and have him leave disappointed or should he take a minute to write the prescription and chalk up another office visit? I know from experience that there have been drugs on TV that were later taken off because they caused heart attacks and other “side effects.”
The trouble is the drug companies have billions of dollars for TV drug ads and for a swarm of lobbyists in Washington D.C., with their portfolios crammed with campaign contributions and other “perks”. The lobbyists are experts at pushing the buttons of representatives since, according to investigative journalists, nearly three quarters of senators and congressmen who are defeated for re-election become lobbyists. Maybe that is why a drug company like Pfizer was permitted to have a monopoly on the glaucoma drug Xalatan, $4 a drop, even though the drug was developed with government funds.
It is all very depressing, but hey, no problem, there are plenty of drugs for depression.
Lafayette Continue reading
For those believers in reincarnation it must provide them great pleasure in listening to the ultimate showman, huckster and self promoter…Donald Trump. P.T. Barnum must be nodding his head knowingly having first stated “There’s a sucker born every minute” as he watches certain pollsters showing Mr. Trump (his protégé) edging towards the top of the Republican Presidential leader board.
Longmont Continue reading
Kudos to Robert Shapiro for building a successful business and contributing to the prosperity of our country (letters, Apr. 27). But he seems to misunderstand supply-side and Keynesian economics.
Modern day supply-side economics has the simple goal of lowering taxes on the wealthy. Whether or not this creates jobs or helps the economy is irrelevant, as is balancing the federal budget. Witness the debt accumulated by presidents Reagan, Bush and Bush, none of which ever submitted a balanced budget, and the Ryan budget recently passed by the House which adds $6 trillion to the debt over the next decade, and doesn’t predict a balanced budget until about 2040.
On the other hand Keynesian economics calls for fiscally responsible government that runs a budget surplus during boom times so that it can run a deficit to help spur the economy during busts. Witness the Clinton surpluses that helped the economy boom and had us on track to retire the national debt by about now.
In short supply-side economics calls for low taxes and never ending deficits and ever increasing debt, no matter the cost, while Keynesian economics calls for fiscal responsibility and budgets that are balanced over the long-term.
Broomfield Continue reading
Now that the birther controversy is settled by the president’s release of his birth certificate, (surprise!), the next big issue is his college career. My youngest son also transferred from Occidental College to Columbia and I can assure you, no one will question his credentials. This continuing sniping at the president is pure racism!
Niwot Continue reading
Two thirds of Republicans question President Obama’s native birth, most call climate change a hoax, many still cling to the idea that “trickle down” economics works not to mention the belief that tax cuts increase government revenues. A better argument for improving our schools I cannot imagine. Makes me proud to be a Democrat since someone has to provide a counterbalance to this craziness.
Boulder Continue reading
In 2010, when Attorney General John Suthers filed a lawsuit against the federal government to prevent Colorado citizens from being forced to purchase health insurance, I thought he was against overreaching federal intrusion into Colorado patients’ health care issues and, I was hoping, against the government from obtaining health care records. I stand corrected. On 4-28-11, the Daily Camera reported about a letter from the federal government sent to Colorado stating that they will not try to harass “seriously ill” medical marijuana patients. And by showing the letter to the media, it appears that John Suthers is grandstanding for the anti-marijuana crowd. I am not certain; but it seems that John Suthers may be in line with the idea that the federal government has the job of determining which Colorado medical marijuana patients are “seriously ill.” If this is the case, let me remind him that patients have the right to choose a doctor and to have a private doctor-patient relationship with said doctor. It is the doctor’s job to determine who may or may not benefit from the use of medical marijuana. Government at all levels should keep it’s nose out of private patient affairs.
It is time for federal law regarding medical marijuana to change; and it is time for John Suthers to be the attorney general for all Colorado citizens, not just the ones whose health care decisions he approves. Is John Suthers a servant of all of the people of Colorado? Let the voters decide.
Boulder Continue reading
“The Donald” has finally succeeded in getting our President to release his “full” birth certificate (Do any of the rest of us have one of these?). Here’s my two questions: #1: What do Carter, Reagan, (both) Bush, Eisenhower, Truman have in common? Answer #1: no one ever asked to see their birth certificate. Answer #2: They are white. Come on, let’s all agree to never listen to “The Donald” again – on any subject – for any reason. Give me a break!
Boulder Continue reading
Recently the Peter Boyles talk radio show has morphed into the antithesis of what has become popular in television and entertainment: an unreality show. Not too long ago Pete was talking about/implied how guns in the hands of Jews would have thwarted/impeded Hitler’s atrocities and if Blacks were armed they somehow would have prevented much of the White hate crimes and murders in our earlier history. Over the past year(s) he seems to have been non-stop with the “birther” issue linking hollow dots to solid dots to prove that Obama is some type of alien born anywhere but in the United States. Then I chimed in and heard that Obama’s autobiography was borderline “a big lie”. The talk/chatter is beginning to move towards challenging his academic achievements and records. When things don’t go Pete’s way as when Bill O’Reilly and other right wing talk hosts accepted Obama as a citizen he seems to call them out as “traitors” or “sell-outs” to his and his American Constitutional Party buddies agenda. Pete, at what point do you come back to a sense of reality and begin discussing more relevant issues like you did in the past such as “Rolo” the biting dog that preoccupied you for a time. Opps, I guess your show is consistent with frivolous and imaginary tales that play to your audience.
Littleton Continue reading
I contacted Rep. Robert Ramirez – a
Republican member of the Colorado House of Representatives
from Westminster after I read in the Boulder Daily Camera (4/26)
that as a member
of the Education Committee he
voted against legislation that would have enabled
students who attend Colorado high schools (with
academic qualifications) to receive
in-state college tuition if their parents brought them
here illegally. His vote and those of other Republican
House members killed the bill in committee. The
Colorado Senate had approved the bill.
I am terribly disappointed in his vote. It was an opportunity
to do the “right thing” and enable these children to have
the opportunity to go on to higher education. They do not
need a civics lesson – they are bright enough to understand
all the hardships that have been inflicted on their lives
and those in their families by their parents illegal
immigration and they should not be penalized for trying
to attain a higher level of education which in most
cases they cannot remotely afford.
Twelve other states including Utah, Kansas, New Mexico
and Oklahoma have passed laws enabling children
of illegal immigrants to receive in state tuition for college.
I am a retired librarian and first generation
American whose parents came here as children in
the early part of the 20th century when this country
was welcoming of the “poor and huddled masses
yearning to be free.” It is a American tragedy that these
young people do not have the same opportunities
that my generation had in the 20th century.
Boulder Continue reading
Dear Open Forum:
I am concerned about Boulder Leaders wanting to spend $15,000 to perform a blight study on the Diagonal Plaza. I first would like to know what would happen if they deemed the Diagonal Plaza a blighted area. Would it mean eliminating/moving all of the businesses currently located at the Diagonal Plaza?
I am a member of the thriving 24 Hour Fitness Club in the Diagonal Plaza. With a gym that is barely over three years-old, they are doing extremely well. Their parking lot is always packed, and the gym is bustling with active members and employees. I have asked, and their employees know of no plans to vacate this location. They have told me they have a 20-year lease.
I joined this facility as a lifetime member because it is within walking/cycling distance from my home. I know many people would be more than upset if this 24 Hour Fitness location were forced to move or close so that some big developer could profit by appeasing Boulder’s need to “Boulder-style” and micromanage everything in town.
We don’t need yet another food store, at least not one that’s right across the street from another one. That would create a seventh grocery store within a two-mile radius. People are not spending and eating machines. We also don’t need more high density housing with all the current projects out there, and all of the vacancies.
If they want to enhance this area of town, (and cut carbon emissions in the process) how about putting in a branch library in the empty Petsmart? It would benefit everyone. We don’t need a study for that. Oh, wait, libraries don’t generate tax revenue…..
That’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Money……
Boulder Continue reading
I have some doubts about the airplane noise complaint letter from Ms. Mars over the 4/20 event. First, banners are usually pulled by small, single engine planes which are pretty quiet. I have never even seen one pulled by something like a jet that can be really loud. Next, the pilot of the tow plane will be aiming to stay over the area so people can read the ad, not just speed through. Therefore the pilot will be flying slowly and using low power, thus making very little noise, unlike if the plane were climbing with a heavy load or flying at top speed. He will be using low rpm to save fuel and fly slower and this also keeps the prop noise low, unlike a few planes that can be noisy when first taking off due to vibrations from the prop turning at high speeds.
I just had lunch in the terminal at the Boulder airport, and there was a small Cessna practising landings. I was so quite that with the widow closed we could only hear the sound when it was directly in front of us, and then barely.
There are many other noises in Boulder like the train that are louder than any light plane. And remember that this event was in the middle of the day, not late at night. I very much doubt that any small plane kept anyone awake. I have heard noise from the football games, the crowd and the band many blocks away, and especially the July 4th fireworks.
My guess is that the lady’s real problem is with the subject of the banners, the pot sales, more than how the banners were displayed. That is another subject. Had the banners been advertising a cause she agreed with I doubt if there would be the same take.
To be fair, I was not at this years 4/20 event, but I am speaking as a pilot and as a person who has many times seen banners over the stadium as well as Mile High or Coors Field, etc.
I don’t think the tow planes came from Boulder, but if anyone is curious about small airplane noise, come on out to the airport and take a look.
Aspen Continue reading
I was interested in the way that Robert Shapiro describes how business works. He states he was an entrepreneur who created jobs by providing a product that enough other people wanted to allow him to run a good business. Notice that he needed people to work in his business and also people who had money and could buy his product. You will then understand that he needs an infrastructure that provides all of this: a government that creates and stabilizes money, schools that provides productive workers and good citizens,
security that enables society to function in a stable manner, legal systems that provide contractual and other protections. Robert Shapiro makes it seem so simple when it is actually very complex.
Let me show some other ways that business works. There are businesses which have developed within a society that becomes so interdependent with that society that the entities become a unified whole. If that business suddenly decides to move the jobs overseas, the people who have cooperated to build that business are left high and dry.
If a company uses government money for the defense industry and distributes the manufacture of components country-wide so that the people become dependent on the jobs provided, then that company will try to use that dependency to avoid the obsolescence that would otherwise require them to meet market requirements.
Businesses have plundered the planet in mining and drilling, leaving toxic wastes on the surface where we live and finally destroying the life that depends on the land and waters in which it evolved. They have allowed unsafe practices that have killed many miners and workers. They have robbed young people of their childhood until child labor laws were established. They have treated workers as commodities to be bought at the lowest price possible before minimum wage laws were put in place.
We are supposed to be living in a world that puts people first. When people become the pawns of corporations everything is backwards. We do need entrepreneurship that seeks the way into our future. We also need the vision to perceive that future. We are beginning to see the limits of our planet and its life-support systems. We need to keep the planet fit for life in general. We need to design society for meeting the needs and desires of people. That requires good government, government of, by and for the people. The corporations have proved how they can destroy our planet, our people and our lives. It’s time to take our country back and put people and the planet first. The corporations can stay if they can prove we need them. Otherwise they must go.
Boulder Continue reading
Looking at what is happening during the flowering of democracy in the
Middle East, maybe it is time to re-think how Colorado is represented
in the US House of Representatives. Instead of relying on the
artificial boundaries drawn by power hungry politicians from either of
only two parties, why not move to a system of proportional
representation such that everyone in Colorado has a chance to vote to
be represented by the particular party of their choice.
It would be the responsibility of each party to present their
preferred representative team such that the people could make an
informed choice based on the party’s platform as a whole as opposed to
one specific person. After the ballot, based on the percentage of
votes received, each political party that took part would be allocated
a proportional number of representatives to be sent to DC.
Since many people do not vote because they feel that their vote does
not count this system should improve voter turn-out and hence, would
more accurately reflect the will of the people, unlike the two party
system we have today.
Boulder Continue reading
The Humane Society of Boulder Valley is incredibly grateful for the generous support of our community for our Puttin’ On The Leash “Under the Sea” gala this past weekend. Together we raised $340,000 toward our annual $4.7 million budget which will ensure as we enter into our busy summer season that we have the resources needed to shelter and care for thousands of animals in need. We are so inspired by this community’s commitment to our organization and our mission of saving the lives of homeless animals. We also thank the Daily Camera for its ongoing support and sponsorship of this event by providing advertising space to help us promote Puttin’ On The Leash.
Puttin’ On The Leash is a very special event for the Humane Society, as it is a wonderful celebration of the bond so many of us share with our pets. Proceeds from the event will directly fund lifesaving programs such as our behavior modification and shelter medicine programs and will allow us to continue reaching out to overcrowded shelters to transfer their animals into our adoption program here in Boulder.
This community is the reason we can do what we do and provide for more than 9,000 animals who come through our doors each year. The animals we serve are truly fortunate to have your generosity, advocacy and dedication. Thank you so much for helping us to save animals and improve lives.
Lisa Pedersen, CEO
Humane Society of Boulder Valley
Boulder Continue reading
Steve Pomerance got it right in his Sunday editorial piece. Chautauqua used to be a part of our Boulder community. This began to change in 2003 when the leadership focus changed to attracting a greater volume of customers from beyond Boulder.
Chautauqua’s 2004 Historic District Cultural Landscape Assessment features a plan to significantly expand the parking next to the tennis courts into the meadow below. You may recall the Daily Camera article a few years ago where it was revealed that the Board was discussing building a hotel/conference center near the Bluebell shelter. This was laughed off by Chautauqua leadership as a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)” which should not be taken seriously. Well, the BHAG is back, only now it is named Arbor House and it is located at the Enchanted Mesa/McClintock trailhead. They are being silent about their solution to the need for additional parking, but I don’t think it is coincidental that the McClintock trailhead is to be relocated next to the site of the 2004 proposed parking lot expansion.
Commercially developing Chautauqua while pushing the impact into the surrounding neighborhood is elitist, at best. It is time for the City of Boulder to step up and determine whether the proposed future of Chautauqua is in the best interests of its long time residents.
Boulder Continue reading