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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  All eyes are on us
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Thursday, October 22,2009

All eyes are on us

Letters | Week of Oct. 22

Innovative initiatives like Boulder County’s 1B and 1C, on the upcoming November elections, are leading the way toward the creation of a sustainable energy future, and in doing so, have piqued a lot of interest worldwide. Bond Issue 1B is an extension of ClimateSmart, last year’s very successful Bond Issue 1A, which enabled hundreds of Boulder County residents to share in the responsibility of creating that sustainable future by reducing their carbon emissions through energy conservation measures and/or the installation of clean, renewable energy equipment. This opt-in opportunity was accomplished without any increases to utility rates or to taxpayers. Boulder County’s 1C will bring public buildings into the mix. It is going to take a lot of similar initiatives worldwide to make our energy future a sustainable reality, so all eyes are on the citizens of Boulder County.

Vote YES on 1B and 1C. The world is watching!

Mike Morton/Westminster

The megachurch mindset

(Re: “The gloves come off,” Cover Story, Oct. 1) Back in the 1980s, I lived in Colorado Springs, a smaller city undergoing big changes. More and more evangelical groups began to make the Springs their headquarters, to the point the evangelicals now consider the Springs to be their own “Vatican.” Evangelicals tend to be patriarchal and martial, which fits in well with the military culture of Colorado Springs. They also believe in a free-market capitalism and embrace the marketing tactics of capitalism.

The New Life megachurch in Colorado Springs boasts large, swordwielding statues of angels in the main building, a testament to God’s avenging power. Several large video screens bombard the Sunday crowds with a steady beat of fundamentalist messages, complete with Christian rock bands that work together to whip the faithful and unfaithful into a spirit-filled frenzy. Never mind the Ted Haggard scandal, the church continues to grow. It also overlooks the Air Force Academy and sports the same color scheme of silver and blue. Colorado Springs has become an urban sprawl of cheap tract homes, strip malls, tax-starved public schools, with open arms towards tax-free developments and businesses. Every time a tax increase is advocated, it is voted down to the point that the city is losing many of its basic services. It may be the fundamentalist Vatican, but it looks pretty shabby while the crime rate continues to go up.

Turn now to Niwot and Rocky Mountain Christian Church. Already a megachurch, it wishes to grow even larger, fighting Boulder County to do so. Rocky Mountain Christian is on Longmont’s southern border and is a close cousin to Longmont’s own megachurch, Lifebridge. Lifebridge desires to build a 300-acre development on Longmont’s eastern border. Lifebridge also has satellite churches and schools in Frederick and Johnstown. These schools teach a fundamentalist view of civics, history and science.

Evangelicals and fundamentalists (really no difference, they both consider the Bible as the inerrant Word of God) see this as a spiritual battle between good and evil. They are good, the world is controlled by Satan and his minions. Many evangelicals consider Longmont councilwoman [Karen] Benker and other council members as a spiritual enemy. Developers, some fundamentalists and other just free-market capitalists see most of the current council as a roadblock to unfettered growth. Some food for thought. This is why the mayoral and council elections in Longmont are so important to me.

Chris Maidl/Longmont

Get over Darwin

(Re: “Evolution Revolution,” Buzz, Oct. 8) Evolution, really? Evolution is so over. Haven’t you heard of DNA? DNA specifically prohibits the “evolution of species.” Which, by the way, brings me to the continual lack of editing in this subject. “Evolution” is not a proper noun in this case. It is a fragment of a phrase, “evolution of species,” which is what Darwin wrote about. The public has been encouraged to believe dog breeding is an example of the evolutionary process. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dogs cannot migrate into cats. DNA explains why not. DNA is a specific design for each species. By the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, species cannot change into another species by chance. Period. End of argument. Let’s move on.

How do these designs work? How did the designs come to be? But for sure, bury Darwin. He is so Victorian ...
Michael Maish/Boulder

Editor’s note: “Evolution Revolution” did not use “evolution” as a proper noun and only capitalized the word when grammatically necessary.


Print computer models

The two million people of India and China are convinced that global warming due to carbon emissions is a sham by the Western world to limit their economic development. They do not believe what, to them, is fear-mongering. We need to show them computer modeling of what to realistically expect from their expansion of the use of fuel.

Boulder Weekly should print the results of each of the computer models so we can anticipate the changes to our world. Hopefully the models will include the obvious physics that melting, floating ice does not change the water level, and the reports from the scientists living on the Antarctic continent that the south ice cap is growing. We must be careful to understand all the major causes of climate change, not just carbon oxides.

Tom Mueller/Broomfield

Oppose Erie question 2A

Regarding your Vote 2009 article, “Don’t ignore your ballot, your say” (Oct. 8) in which you say, “For ballot issues, we researched the pros and cons and looked at who supports or opposes each issue and why. … Erie Ballot Question 2A — Vote Yes,” I disagree with your biased endorsement of this ballot issue.

The voters need to have all the information before making a decision, and I encourage you to consider and share the following information.

For over a year we have been in communication with Mayor [Andrew] Moore and the Board of Trustees to look at all possibilities and opportunities for the Arts Coalition of Erie (ACE) to obtain a suitable building in Old Town Erie to create a Cultural Arts Center. ACE has collected signatures of over 500 townspeople who want to see an Arts Center in downtown Erie that will include not only the visual arts, but little theatre, poetry, dance and small-venue concerts. We have presented this petition to the Board of Trustees and continue to collect signatures. The old fire station was our number one goal to obtain, however the town officials have decided to put the building and land on the chopping block, on a special November ballot for voters to give the town the power to sell it. (Rumor has it that Wolfgang will purchase it for $200,000.)

Is Motherhood, Town Government, once again thinking of the real needs for its citizens and Erie? Do the voters really know what will happen to this vital location in downtown Erie or that old town Erie restaurants, shops and merchants are struggling to stay afloat? Is “Four Corners” Erie’s only future? The Arts Center of Erie, in conjunction with ACE, would bring needed traffic to Old Town Erie. We will provide a professional setting that fosters creativity, quality art, classes, theatre and interaction among artists, patrons and the public.

We urge Erie voters to look into this ballot item and vote “no” in November to sell off our Old Town Erie land, and show our town officials what the citizens of Erie want with our meaningful vote to encourage future growth in Old Town Erie. Has our town government gone disastrously awry? Has Erie’s political system lost all ethics of responsibility and courage to meet the challenge and possibilities of the moment in history? What’s the bottom line, and who’s profiting from this sale of our Old Town Erie buildings and land?

Vote “No” on Question 2A. Sale price equal or greater than the market value of the real property at the time of sale, but no less than $200,000 cash?

Dave Johnson/Erie

Letter to Katie Witt

Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Longmont City Council candidate Katie Witt.

My neighbor and I attended the candidate forum sponsored by the Longmont Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 30. Someone asked you about the push-poll phone calls that pose blatantlyfalse information about your opponent, Karen Benker. My husband, and many of our friends, have received these calls.

You stated that you do not know who is making these calls, and I was pleased that you asked members of the audience who might be involved to stop doing so. That was wise, since nasty campaign methods reflect badly on you.

So I thought you might want to know that the callers are not local citizens, but rather are from Virginia, and the organization is the Institute on Voter Attitudes and Public Policy, an affiliate of the Free Enterprise Institute. Their phone number is 571-308-7951. Now that you have this information you should be able to contact them and tell them, as you did the forum audience, to stop using such nasty tactics.

I look forward to the rest of this campaign being a straightforward, honest debate about issues, without misinformation.

Padma Wick/Longmont

Act on Climate Day

Oct. 24, International Day of Climate Action, is an amazing opportunity for our community, nation and world to rally together for strong climate action. With the Boxer-Kerry bill in Senate and the Copenhagen climate talks in December, the time is ripe for making a real difference in the fight for climate justice. Here in Boulder, Oct. 24 is filled with a number of action events. A clean energy bike ride kicks the day off; all bikes will take off from the Boulder Band Shell at 10 a.m. and ride to Valmont Coal. A Climate Rally then follows; it will begin at noon at the Boulder Municipal Building and features a number of speakers, including Congressman Jared Polis. Our time is now, and the opportunity is here. I hope to see the Boulder community out this weekend in support of a sustainable future, clean energy, and climate justice. For info, go to www.350.org.

Amy Guinan/Boulder

Improving our children’s diet

Just in time for the observance of National School Lunch Week, the Baltimore City Public School system became the first in the United States to offer its 80,000 students a weekly break from meat and associated chronic diseases. It’s a welcome start on a long road to improving our children’s and our nation’s health.

Traditionally, the National School Lunch Program has served as a dumping ground for the USDA’s surplus meat and dairy commodities. Not surprisingly, the USDA’s own surveys indicate that 90 percent of American children consume excessive amounts of fat, and only 15 percent eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Consequently, nearly half of American children are overweight, 25 percent have high cholesterol and blood pressure, and 30,000 suffer from Type 2 diabetes, once limited to adults. Their early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, contributing to the escalating public health crisis.

But change is on the way. Hawaii, California, New York and Florida legislatures have asked their schools to offer daily vegan/vegetarian options. According to the School Nutrition Association, 52 percent of U.S. school districts now do. President Obama is likely to call for similar measures when the Child Nutrition Act is reauthorized by Congress later this year.

Parents and others who care about our children’s health should work with PTAs and school officials to demand healthful, plant-based school meals, snacks and vending machine items. They can get additional information at schoolnutrition.org, schoolmeals.nal.usda.gov, healthyschoollunches.org and choiceusa. net.

Stanley Silver/Boulder

Mitchell for council

I recently met candidate for [Boulder] City Council Valerie Mitchell. She impressed me as someone who could substantially improve the way our city is run. She is smart, creative, vivacious and a respectful listener. Best of all, she seems unwavering in her values and is willing to work to see them implemented. Which values? The concept that every member of our community matters and should have a voice (even if they cannot afford to buy a house in Boulder). And the concept that our quality of life is enhanced by the healthy ecosystem that surrounds us.

She also had some great ideas to improve our city. For example, the municipal court could offer community service opportunities in lieu of fines and fees for tickets, while inspiring more citizens to participate in community service.

Valerie also brings a great deal of integrity and experience working directly for community nonprofits. The council coordinator for the Boulder chapter of MoveOn.org, Valerie has organized and participated in political demonstrations, including the group’s recent push for a public health-care option. She has also volunteered at Sinapu, Mission:Wolf and Just Between Friends, among others, as well as having worked for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

Valerie is a strong advocate for the environment — don’t be fooled; the decision-makers at the Sierra Club were off the mark when they neglected to include her in their endorsements. A strong supporter of community-supported agriculture, Valerie would seek to continue to find ways to integrate food production into our neighborhoods to help build a healthy community.

Overall, she is a great candidate and has earned my vote.

Daniel Ziskin/Boulder

Do your part

We’ve done a heck of a job depleting, polluting and destroying our home, the Earth. I believe we’re on the proverbial “fence” right now.

Please, hush the chatter of your mind for a moment and take notice of what your gut is indicating: “If you continue on this road, you will be the cause of possibly your, and your children’s and your grandchildren’s demise.”

Please use your influence to curtail all that’s being done to create incurable environmental imbalance. The extinction of animal and plant species is only the tip of the iceberg. Money and power won’t make a bit of difference if we all end up dead and gone. This is not a joke, nor a bad dream. This is our present-day reality. We, the people, depend on you.

Mindy Eckhardt/Longmont

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(Re: "Get Over Darwin", Buzz Oct 22) The gentleman who responded to "Evolution Revolution" indicated the "Evolution is so over. Havent' you heard of DNA? DNA specifically prohibits the 'evolution of the species."  Darwin's publication of the Origin of Species went through 6 major editions, with the 6th being the definitive edition. What Darwin could not explain was the origin of the natural variation in every population of organism, either plant or animal. Gregor Mendel's publication in 1866 clarifying inherited variation in sweet pea populations was published in an obscure journal shortly after Darwin published his work, but Mendel's work was lost for nearly 50 years. But once rediscovered in 1900's, his gene theory, now greatly expandedy by our understanding of DNA, has not contradicted Darwin's evolution of species. Mendel's early work and modern DNA research further supported Darwin's evolution of new species by natural selection. Darwin's "Origin of the Species by Natural Selection." plus  modern DNA/gene studies have produced an even more powerful "Neo-Darwinian" view of the evolution of species throughout geologic time.

Mr. Marsh is correct that DNA is the template that determines our inherited characteristics, but how scientists define a biologic species is critical to understand before we go any further in evolution of a new species. A biologic species has unique morphologic and behavior characteristics and cannot interbreed with another species to produce fertile offspring. Scientific studies show that DNA does undergo mutations or variations in timing when a particular DNA node acts on the developing organism. DNA is not immutable as Mr. Marsh states, nor do populations of any species have precisely identical DNA. This is the natural variation that Darwin wrote about in his books. Yet, he couldn't explain how the traits that prvided a higher survivability could be transmitted to their offspring. If isolated geographically, part of a population can have their population morphology or behavior changed by natural section. If this population shift takes place over generations, it can change the population's dominant morphology or behavior so that they could not interbreed and produce fertile offspring with the earlier population if that isolation barrier is removed - a new species.

Truly scientific work provides a replicable test and can be refuted with additional scientific study; however, it can often be strenthened and supported by subsequent research in even divergent fields.

 

Fred Behnken/Midland, Texas

 

 
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