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Thursday, October 28,2010

Letters | Pass open-space measure



Pass open-space measure

There are many reasons Boulder County citizens should support open space by voting yes on 1B. One big reason is to support our local economy. Make no mistake about it — investing in open space is key to our local business climate. It is a big part of the reason that Boulder County has been so successful in attracting employers.

I built my two high-tech companies in Boulder County because, like me, the talented people I need on my team to succeed are drawn to this place by the natural beauty our open space programs preserve and the access to outdoor recreation they provide. I have also invested in 10 startups, most here in Boulder County. If you look at the companies that provide primary employment in Boulder County — high-tech, biomedical, natural foods, clean tech and the outdoor industry — they all are drawn to places that have open space and a high quality of life — that is one big reason that the jobs are here.

It is also clear that open space protection is good for our real estate market. While we are not immune to the national trends, our local market has been far less impacted than the rest of Colorado. Please join me in support ing

our quality of life and our economy by voting yes on 1B.

Andrew Currie/Boulder

Vote yes on 61

Is Amendment 61 a blunt instrument? You bet!

When the horse you thought was taking you to a better place is charging off a cliff, the “horse whisperer” won’t work.

When your family, the beauty, the very state of Colorado is being dragged into oblivion it’s time to unload the shotgun.

Shoot that horse — end this ride.

We can always get another horse — we will never get another Colorado.

Everyone needs to vote yes on Amendment 61.

The lesson? Dead horse saves Colorado. Vote yes!

Tony Burg/Broomfield

Send me stuff about Colorado

I am sending this letter to you from Rhode Island. You see, I am doing a project for my geography teacher, Mr. Gilmore. We have to pick a state and do a project on it. Could you please publish this letter in your paper so that your readers could help me on my project?

My teacher explained that firsthand information from citizens of our chosen state would be much more helpful than information we gathered in books or off the Internet. If readers could send me info, pictures or tourist information it would help me so much with my project. Your readers could send the information right to my school. Thank you for helping with my project.

Michael O’Sullivan Goff Junior High School 974 Newport Ave. Pawtucket, RI 02861

Wakefield wronged

Dr. Andrew Wakefield, quite possibly the most controversial doctor in the world, has just returned from Brussels where he addressed the European Parliament on vaccine safety issues. He recently spoke in Boulder.

In 1998, Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues published a clinical case study in the Lancet that reported inflammatory bowel symptoms in 12 children with autism, eight of whom began experiencing symptoms after receiving the MMR vaccine.

In the paper, Dr. Wakefield, who has published more than 140 scientific articles, book chapters and invited scientific commentaries, suggested the possibility that the MMR vaccine could be a factor in the children’s illness and called for more research.

Accused of scientific fraud by a journalist with powerful ties to the vaccine industry, Dr. Wakefield was brought to trial in the U.K. Charges of “fixing the data,” conflict of interest, improper funding and unethical behavior, although parroted constantly by the British medical establishment and the media, were never proven.

Despite this fact, Dr. Wakefield was found guilty of scientific misconduct and “callous disregard” for the alleged distress and pain suffered by

the children involved in the study and stripped of his license to practice in the U.K.

Notably, the parents of the children in the study had no complaint against Dr. Wakefield and have issued a statement in support of him saying their children’s health vastly improved under his care.

Since it was published 12 years ago, the significance of Dr. Wakefield’s research, which has now been replicated in five countries, has been overshadowed by misunderstanding, misrepresentation and a concerted, systematic effort to discredit his work.

As Dr. Wakefield, who is not anti-vaccine, points out, “in this relentless and misguided effort to distract attention from vaccine safety issues, agenda-driven journalism has once again made a mockery of medicine.”

Shelly Benford/Boulder

Hooray for smart women

I woke up this morning to more banter and analysis of Sarah Palin and her ultimate trainee and political “daughter,” Christine O’Donnell. These are a couple of intellectually depressing women if ever I’ve witnessed one ... or two. Neither seems very well versed, much less studied or competent, in the basics of the Constitution and/or American jurisprudence in general, much less in touch with an extremely complex contemporary American political and social scenario (where their “aw shucks” and cute little winks to their “man up” nonsense comments — as if they even know what it is to be a man — just doesn’t work when confronted by the least bit of serious inquiry).

But, OK, smart people know this.

So why, one might ask, do I seem to be so happy about it? Because the silver lining is that it’s beginning to bring out the truly politically serious thinking women in America, from the extremely astute Rachel Maddow on the left to the always challenging and charming columnist Kathleen Parker on the right, to challenge them. And female critics don’t play around. Think NBC’s Ann Curry’s incredibly rough and unexpected searing interview of Rajiv Gandi just before she was blown up on her return to Pakistan.

Most smart men know you don’t fight women period, because even if you win, you lose, as the saying goes. My point, gentleman in particular, is that yes, you don’t fight women, you have other women, who seriously know their stuff, fight them.

And that is the silver lining ... that

the educated, hopefully mostly liberal, women will continue to begin to come out to challenge these colorful “characters.”

My point is that these “momma grizzlies” are gonna have their “grizzlies momma’d” by the vast majority of intelligent American women.

They aren’t coming out of these colleges — hell, these grade schools to grad schools, actually — in droves and beginning to outnumber the men for nothing. And these are not stupid women. I’m fortunate to know more than my fair share of them, gratefully. They will be our salvation vs. this inane onslaught, is my belief.

Grant D. Cyrus/Boulder

RMPJC’s election picks

Here is the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center’s (RMPJC) take on some of the 2010 ballot issues.

In Boulder, we support 2B, which will replace the funding lost when the Boulder City Council decided not to sign a franchise agreement with Xcel. 2B will help make renewable energy Boulder’s major source of electricity in the future, while protecting the city’s ability to deliver essential services now.

The RMPJC supports Boulder County Ballot Issue 1A, which will increase the property tax to provide greater support for human services. This funding is urgently needed because many people need more help as a result of the recession.

The RMPJC also supports Boulder County Ballot Issue 1B, which will impose a sales and use tax to acquire or preserve open space. Open space is crucial for our well-being.

It is critical to acquire certain parcels of open space before they are developed. The county must ensure, however, that open space is available and accessible to all people, not just to the privileged.

The RMPJC opposes state ballot measures 60, 61 and 101. These measures would result in drastic cuts in funding for education, human services and physical infrastructure, which will negatively affect almost everyone in the state. For more details on “the 3 bads” go to www.donthurtcolorado.com.

Vote. Your well-being and the community’s well-being are at stake.

Carolyn Bninski/Boulder

Racist standardized testing

I spoke to the state Board of Education and the Denver school board about standardized testing and “Colorado’s New Assessment System” last week.

For years, students of color have been made to feel inferior by “standardized,” invalid, culture-bound, scientifically racist tests that were designed to maintain the Anglo-“minority” achievement gap.

Since Colorado is about 37th in the United States in state K-12 public school funding and last — or about last — in state funding for public higher education, the new “World Class Assessment System” proposed by the state Board of Education and the Colorado Commission (Department) of Higher Education will increase the Anglo-“minority” achievement gap unless significant funds are found to coach, tutor and intensively educate students who, historically, have not played the testing game well.

The loss of $175 million in “Race to the Top” funds was a disaster, and if public local and state funding is as close to the bone as we have been told, a moratorium on new, expensive testing should be called. World-class testing/assessment, ethically, demands world-class funding.

George Walker/Denver

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