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Thursday, October 7,2010

Letters | Why can’t I stop?

Why can’t I stop?

(Re: “The devil and Lenin in Delaware,” Danish Plan, Sept. 23.) I wholeheartedly sympathize with Paul Danish in his effort to defend Christine O’Donnell against the depredations of the likes of Bill Maher.

To think that I have been a longtime fan of Maher’s show! I mean, sure, O’Donnell had an adolescent obsession with “witchcraft,” but one should not dismiss her just because she still thinks it’s real and that it’s something she thinks she has to seriously apologize for. And how could she be more dangerous than some guy who called himself a Marxist in college, being that she doesn’t believe in global warming or evolution, and thinks that America should quit having sex?

I mean, c’mon, who are we to judge? I would like to say that I quit watching Real Time, but I just can’t pull myself away and stop myself from laughing hysterically whenever Bill plays tapes of when he got her to say “politically incorrect” things. Why can’t I stop? What’s wrong with me?

A. Villarreal/Thornton

Vote yes on 3A

We have an opportunity this election to stand up for Boulder Valley Schools!

Funding for Colorado K-12 public schools is complicated and complex.

There are overlapping formulas, constitutional mandates and local restrictions in figuring out local property taxes for public schools. But one thing we do understand: Boulder Valley Schools are subjected to recent cuts in funding for K-12 education at the state level. The time is now to take back our future and vote yes on 3A to provide the local support to restore funding to the classrooms, to the teachers and to broaden early childhood education.

Why? Because it is simply the right thing to do. We owe our current students and our next-generation students all the resources we can provide to enhance the quality of their education. Stability in funding year after year is necessary and essential to executing on the vision of our school board for all our public schools. Continuous cuts in funding erode the foundation to provide innovative instructional programs and competitive salaries for our teachers, staff and administrators. We value education! We value our teachers! We value our staff! We value our administrators! Eroding our foundation cuts right through our values … we have an opportunity to stop it!

Vote yes on 3A! You can have an impact on education!

Fran Ryan, CEO of Impact on Education/Boulder

The impact of tax measures

Though many people understand the detrimental effect that initiatives 60, 61 and 101 will have on their lives, many are angry at having to pay such high license fees for the old heap that rarely leaves the driveway.

It is not obvious why the $35-per-license fees were initiated, so I would like to tell the story of the FASTER bill put through the Colorado legislature in 2009. The federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) was established in 1956 to build and maintain the U.S. interstate highway system. By 2007, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) was receiving $500 million for maintenance and safety programs from the HTF, but then in 2008 the fund became insolvent due to changes made in 2004 in how the fund could be invested and spent.

CDOT found itself going from week to week, getting capital infusions from the state general fund to just keep basic services afloat. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s stimulus money became available, and CDOT embraced it fully, using it to do any projects that were shovel-ready and in the pipeline. But still CDOT needed to find an annual funding source that could replace the $500 million HTF, and requested the FASTER legislation from the legislature. FASTER was projected to supply $225 million yearly. The license fee passed, and now affords CDOT $165 million a year for its safety projects.

If Proposition 101 takes this away, it will further deteriorate CDOT’s ability to maintain its already dismal schedule of safety upgrades for bridges around the state.

As for Amendment 61, most people understand that the public bonds held by towns and municipal districts will all need to be collapsed from their current 25- to 30-year amortization to 10 years. But few understand that this will include the full 30-year interest accumulation, so that a $2 million, 25-year bond with a debt service of $127,000 a year will then be liable for $390,000 a year. This will bring many municipalities, fire, school and library districts, already on tight budgets from the weak economy, to a critical juncture.

Vote thoughtfully. John Hoffmann/Carbondale

Republican traitors

I am writing to express great concern and disappointment in certain elected Republican state legislators. As a life-long Republican and current precinct leader, to find that these Republicans have abandoned the party and their constituents to support a third-party candidate is intolerable.

The party expects loyalty, which is required to advance the cause of conservatism and policies best for our state and country. These Republicans violated our trust and abandoned all loyalty for party and are directly contributing to the election of John Hickenlooper. The consequences of this betrayal will be the lost opportunity to establish a more conservative state Supreme Court, the likely turning over of redistricting to the new Hickenlooperappointed liberal progressive Colorado Supreme Court and the inability to make any inroads on illegal immigration through bills to be introduced in the coming legislative session.

Also, I want to inform you that thousands of voters in Colorado will be watching very closely the voting records and behavior of all GOP officials. The party cannot stand if it refuses to stand together.

John Hickenlooper will be a disaster for the people of this state. These party officials are enabling that disaster to take place. He can be defeated with party unity, but it is obvious that his election and all the negative consequences it will bring is of small matter to these House and Senate members.

I respectfully ask that the members be contacted and asked to reconsider their inappropriate and damaging decision. Actions have consequences. For the good of the party and future of Colorado, action must be taken.

Joseph J. Balas/Colorado Springs

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