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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  Letters | Vote against Xcel’s 310
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Thursday, September 5,2013

Letters | Vote against Xcel’s 310

Vote against Xcel’s 310

This fall, Boulder will vote on Xcel-supported Initiative 310 using poll-tested “debt limit” language. Initiative 310 cripples Boulder’s access to low-interest capital and is intended to prevent us from forming our own municipal utility.

Why would Xcel go to the trouble of backing yet another initiative and funding another expensive campaign to pass it?

The simple answer is that Initiative 310 eliminates the city’s negotiating power. Colorado law limits Front Range communities to two options for running their local grid. First, communities can choose to form their own municipal utility. Second, communities can allow Xcel (through their subsidiary Public Service Co.) to run their grid for them. Note that there is no “free market.” Boulder cannot contract with another company to run its grid. The choices are only to negotiate with an Xcel monopoly or to form a municipal utility. Currently, Boulder is pursuing both options. In the negotiations with Xcel, our greatest leverage comes from the possibility that we will run our own grid. The Xcel-backed initiative is an end run that would eliminate the city’s municipalization option by making it practically impossible to fund, leaving the Xcel monopoly our only choice.

Whether or not you favor municipalization, we can all agree that it is in our interest to maximize our negotiating power with Xcel. The Xcel-backed initiative purposely undermines Boulder’s leverage. If Initiative 310 fails, the city will continue to have leverage to negotiate for better service. But if Initiative 310 passes, it’s nearly certain that our future electricity bills will continue to fund higher and higher Xcel profits. Vote no on 310, the Xcel-backed initiative.

Chaz Teplin/Boulder

Eracism series

[Re: “Eracism,” cover story, Aug. 29.] Warmest congratulations to Jefferson Dodge and Joel Dyer for so elegantly probing at the untold Latino history of Boulder County. Historiographers often note that “history is always written by the winners.” But in our culture — as in our fair city — there should be no losers.

I was deeply moved by this cover story and look forward to the rest of your path-breaking series on “Eracism.”

Diana Wilson/Boulder

Interesting article. I hope you spend more time in future articles on showcasing and talking about the rich history of Latinos in Boulder County and less time in self-indulgent patting yourself on the back for those who helped make this article possible. The story is the history and the people who made that history, not the researchers who compiled the information.

Also interesting that the writers chose not to examine nor even really mention the economic racism of the city of Boulder. Indeed only a passing mention was made of the more subtle racism in Boulder and at CU, which every minority student feels, versus the more overt racism in Longmont and Lafayette.

It would have also been appropriate to mention that while Longmont may not want a memorial for the two Latinos who were shot by police in 1980, it is not Longmont where there is so much sympathy for a dead elk. That is Boulder. Seems to be a not-so-subtle attempt to slam Longmont by comparing Latinos to elk. I doubt Longmont would be as self-indulgent as to shed many tears over the illegal killing of a big game animal.

Mike Crist/via Internet

Stop control burns

At the time of this letter, 41 wildfires are burning in the West. Control burns have become big business for the Forest Service, spending millions of our tax dollars. There could never be enough control burns performed in the whole West that would stop fires created by random lightning strikes. Control burns/wildfires create massive air pollution. Unfortunately environmental groups busy fighting coal-fired power plants have turned a blind eye to control burns and wildfires, our biggest source of pollution. It is a scientific fact that smoke reduces the quality and length of many peoples lives. It also puts firefighters’ lives at stake unnecessarily.

Firefighters know the three rules to controlling a fire. Number one is remove the oxygen source. In the case of wildfires this is not usually possible unless the fire can be smothered easily. Number two is to remove the fuel. Logging for fire breaks is the key to stopping wildfires in the Southwest. Also thinning and grazing are essential. Unfortunately, environmental groups are micromanaging the Forest Service’s attempts to log. Number three is to remove the heat from the fire or surround and drown. Air tankers are desperately needed to put out wildfires immediately. Yes, air tankers are expensive, but after the initial cost they will save lives, provide clean air and generate peace of mind. Ask yourselves how expensive repeated useless control burns are and how much it costs to battle these huge wildfires?

The Forest Service says wildfires are a natural event. The bubonic plague was a natural event, but we don’t want to experience it in our lifetimes. It’s time for our government to do something that makes sense. Invest in air tankers and log/graze our forest for fire breaks. Call your federal lawmakers today.

Marsha Honn/Snowflake, Ariz.

Pointing guns, fingers

[Re: “Taking aim,” cover story, Aug. 29.] The sheriff wants “more clarity from the county commissioners.”

“The commissioners are waiting for legal advice from the county attorney’s office.”

And the county attorney says it’s “a decision the board’s going to have to make.”

Boulder County’s “No Discharge of Firearms” resolution was adopted 33 years ago. It’s disheartening to see that after a period of over three decades, elected officials can’t figure out how to take action on an issue of public safety.

M. Bauman/Longmont

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