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Thursday, May 27,2010

Letters | Watch out for Carr

Watch out for Carr

I see your fine city has hired Tom Carr as the new city attorney.

You should do a little research about Carr in Seattle. He lost an election here in Seattle after trying (unsuccessfully) to kill nightlife in Seattle and pretty much shut down and roll up the sidewalks after 8 p.m. Also, any Boulderites have promarijuana ideas like medical marijuana, or less focus on prosecuting small possession? They better watch out, because Carr has their number — he’ll be rolling up any of those types of ideas, as well.

His staff may have loved him (90 percent were let go by his replacement), but the citizens of Seattle didn’t. We gave him the boot.

Also, Tom Carr failed to do enough when a slumlord broke the law and harassed tenants at 12 rental properties over the term of Carr’s time as city attorney. Tenants pleaded with Carr for assistance, and he turned them away, saying simply, “Call the police. If they want to call me, they can.”

At the same time, he conducted a personal vendetta against bar and tavern owners. Be prepared to watch your favorite clubs and nightlife disappear. This guy ran so many clubs out of town. Seattle is a ghost town at night now, filled with more homeless and criminals because of this guy.

He didn’t represent the city, and he certainly didn’t represent the people of the city. Rather, he represented himself. He insulted the term “public servant” by his actions. Peter Holmes is a 180-degree change for the better. Boulder has no idea what it’s gotten itself. But they’ll learn, soon enough.

My condolences to Boulder. Have fun, Artie Ziff.

Joseph Bottero/Seattle, Wash.

Best ignorant editorial

(Re: Best of Boulder County, April 29.) The staff of the Boulder Weekly has selected as their “Best example of dirty politics” the supporters of Longmont City Council member Katie Witt.

BW seemed to decry the fact that the candidate they apparently preferred to win the Longmont City Council race, Karen Benker, got hammered by Ms. Witt. Contrary to what they may have thought they read somewhere, Western Tradition Partnership (WTP) did not “bankroll” Ms. Witt’s or anyone’s campaign. They made “independent expendi tures”

for candidates (and not just Ms. Witt), which BW knew several months ago. They also, along with other plaintiffs, won a federal lawsuit against the City of Longmont.

What BW failed to mention in their “best of ” piece is what brought on this lawsuit: a misguided change to Longmont’s campaign law that was spearheaded by none other than Karen Benker. She also tried to use this poorly written ordinance against WTP and others as her main campaign tool. While she did squeeze a few hundred dollars out of them during a kangaroo court proceeding, they eventually got back tens of thousands of dollars out of Longmont in federal court. I was part of that lawsuit. I wasn’t backed by WTP, nor did I fight the lawsuit for money (nor did I receive any). The “Benker Bloc” was warned that the amended ordinance was seriously flawed for several specific reasons — yet City Council made it even worse than written by the task force. These changes led directly to the costly court loss for the city, and the changes that are being made currently in the ordinance. We beat the U.S. Supreme Court and the state to the punch on similar changes to campaign laws.

As much as Ms. Benker’s supporters in and out of Longmont would like to believe otherwise, what cost her the race wasn’t WTP, mailers or any push-polls. She ran a terrible campaign, including a weak to non-existent ground game, a less-than-popular voting record to run on, less than half of the campaign contributions than her opponent, and no “likeability” angle working for her. She made too many people in the city angry, and she was part of a Democratic Party machine that was becoming increasingly unpopular. To assume WTP ran the show and that all of Katie Witt’s supporters engaged in “dirty politics” is disingenuous, ignorant and an insult to supporters and volunteers who are still probably unaware of who or what WTP even is. Her contributor list is open-records information; it’s by far made up of small contributions from people, not organizations or corporations. The miles of walking door to door were done by volunteers, not some faceless organization. Ms. Witt won fair and square (and overwhelmingly) using traditional campaign techniques. If she was the beneficiary of outside influence she had no control over, it couldn’t have been any greater than the built-in advantage of running against an inferior candi date.

Chris Rodriguez/Longmont

Pecker checkers

(Re: “The (nearly) lost art of sportswriting,” Buzz, April 29.) Alex Karras didn’t call sportswriters, individually and collectively, “pecker checkers” for nothin’.

Holds up to this day when it comes down to what they’re worth journalistically and as writers.

Bob Diddlebock/Denver

The politics of oil

“This accident has reminded us of a cold reality, that the production of energy will never be without risk or environmental consequence.”

[U.S. Sen.] Lisa Murkowski’s quote shows how few people in Congress have the foresight to change from using a finite resource, oil.

To say we will “never” be able to create reusable energy which minimally impacts the environment condemns our children and future generations. The transition to use green energy on a large scale will be difficult. Still, people know how to produce energy that has little environmental consequence today! Rep. Murkowski’s words ignore science, technology and human ingenuity.

Murkowski’s denial also undermines the danger to life and elements essential to our survival. I am not opposed to drilling, but oil companies must invest in, test and greatly improve safeguards. They must be self-critical. The three companies involved in this case seem to have only been forthright when they blame one another. No successful team points fingers; they must share responsibility for this tragedy.

I agree with Murkowski in one respect, there is a “cold reality.” We will continue to create massive amounts of poison. In a democracy, leadership begins with the people. We must all track and limit oil consumption in our daily lives. Recycle, cut back on use of plastics, drive a more fuel-efficient car, less often and not as far. And invest in energy and products that have less of an impact on the environment.

Eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, the first leaders who provide renewable energy will become heroes to all of humanity. I hope Murkowski and her supporters would consider life beyond quarterly profits, the next one or two election cycles, and America needing many times the resources used by happy people around the earth.

Curtis Griffin/Boulder

I have been watching with horror as one of the worst oil spills in American history continues unabated, and millions of gallons of crude oil now threaten our nation’s vital Gulf Coast ecosystem. This latest national environmental crisis reaffirms the oil industry’s history of consistently underestimating the risks of drilling.

In light of the crisis, President Obama recently called for a timeout on new offshore drilling, but didn’t specifically include the Arctic Ocean. Despite the fact that there is no way to clean up a major oil spill amid the Arctic’s broken sea-ice conditions, exploratory drilling is slated to begin in the Arctic Ocean in less than 60 days.

If the oil industry can’t even stop a spill in the Gulf of Mexico, surrounded by all of its infrastructure and technology, how will they ever stop one at the top of the world?

Rebecca Springer/Longmont

We are seeing one of the most devastating consequences of oil addiction in the Gulf of Mexico as the British Petroleum disaster worsens every day. If we remain dependent on oil, it leaves us open to spills that destroy our local economies and environment.

Our over-reliance on oil for our transportation needs is also perhaps the single greatest, under-appreciated threat to U.S. national security today, giving leverage and money to potential adversaries, and risking embroiling the United States in endless conflicts abroad to secure access to oil.

Improving fuel economy standards for all vehicles, electrifying vehicles of all types, investing in rail for freight and commuting, creating livable communities where transit, walking and biking are important — these are all real and oil-free choices.

We should strive to understand the connection between national security and energy and start working on solutions here that can end our oil addiction.

Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, has claimed its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is “relatively tiny” compared with the “very big ocean.” Unacceptable!

Linda Williamson/Erie

Take Iran leader’s cash

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not interested in anything but his own selfish interests, which include social suppression and injustice against the Iranian people.

So, yes, in my opinion, something must be done to curb his Husseinian control over the Iranian people! The world has seen and is still watching his barbaric treatment of the Iranian people.

The only thing that seems to affect him is his money, so we need to somehow take his money away from him, and watch him crumble like a house of cards.

Martin Tippmann/Loveland

Abortion contortion

Focus on the Family spent $2.5 million on a 30-second Super Bowl spot featuring the Heisman Trophy winner and his mother, Pam, who say how glad they are that she didn’t follow her doctor’s advice and abort him 23 years ago.

There is an underlying message that to abort is a sin, a violent act, a message that can bring a devastating blow to spirit.

For the woman who has aborted, and was judged by others, she most likely would have experienced the pain of disempowerment, of her trust in her self being taken away by another.

This is a violent act! David Krest/Paonia

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