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Thursday, January 6,2011

Letters | Body artists targeted



Body artists targeted

During this time of recession/depression, many cities, counties and states are broke, too. It has become evident that Boulder County Public Health Department (BCPHD) is using body art businesses as a cash cow to supplement revenue. Body artists are not wealthy people and have little recourse to “fight the system.” Many businesses will struggle to pay $1,000-plus per annum for a body art business license. Financially ruining people equals no revenue for BCPHD. That’s a no-brainer.

Inspections per year went from two to one. Does this reflect a problem with communicable diseases and public health concerns? BCPHD failed to produce an epidemiology report to prove the need for stringent regulations and fees. Scratchers who operate out of their home, however, are a huge problem. They don’t care nor know about protecting the public. So, BCPHD, go after them! That would benefit the public.

BCPHD wants you to be afraid of getting a tattoo. The body art page of the BCPHD website has a picture of a tattooed arm sporting an outbreak of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The article focuses on jailhouse tattoos, and the tattoo wasn’t even done in Colorado. BCPHD wants you to look at the picture, assume it is some poor guy who was infected with MRSA in Boulder County and think, “Wow … good that the health department is on top of that!” To be fair, then place a picture of diarrhea on the BCPHD restaurant webpage with a caption that reads, “This could happen to you if you eat out!” Despite the request from 20-plus body artists, BCPHD will not simply remove a picture that hurts our businesses.

Proposed 2011 regulations set body artists up for failure. The inspector has set precedence to cite a civil penalty because her definition of “nice” wasn’t met. She has even cited businesses for not having toilet paper on the dispenser and another for not liking verbiage in old copies of after-care instructions. My favorite? A citation for disposing of disposable razors. Fines (as traffic tickets) help increase that revenue, too! The coordinator, Lane Drager, has already made it clear that he can charge whatever amount he chooses to fine us. More bureaucratic abuse prevails!

At least our “battle” has resulted in the development of a coalition of body artists in Boulder County. We all want to do body art for you, the public, and practice safely. We do want to partner with BCPHD to dismiss the “us-them” mentality and be of benefit to each other.

Public education by utilizing knowledgeable people in the industry is a start to keeping diseases under control. Put an end to the scratchers. Now that will really help. Micro-managing and charging outrageous fees results in lose-lose. That, for sure, will run people underground.

It is painfully evident that we as a people need to pay attention to what our people in positions of power and authority are doing on behalf of us. It isn’t all very pretty. Authority is not the truth. Truth is the authority.

Wolf Wolfstar, Enchanted Ink, LLC/ Boulder

Obama Derangement Syndrome

(Re: “Ratifying START was insane,” Danish Plan, Dec. 30.) Paul Danish has ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome). I disagree with most everything Paul Danish has to say in his weekly perspectives. Most of his positions are disagreeable to me on an intellectual and factual basis. However, his latest rant regarding the START treaty was as clear an example of ODS as I have seen, even close to the birther crazies. Let’s see, Paul Danish is against President Barack Obama signing the START treaty because … ?

Because he is Barack Obama and everything that Barack Obama is for, Paul Danish is against. Despite that fact, almost every Secretary of State in the past 40 years is for signing the treaty, including such notable lefties as Henry Kissinger, James Baker and the former Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell. Mr. Danish attempts to give reasons for his objections, too numerous to debunk here. Needless to say, I would seek advice from the above-mentioned dignitaries as opposed to the rantings of a man who uses “insane” and “delusional” in his missives often enough to give one pause. I cannot and will not subscribe motive to Mr. Danish’s ODS. Only he knows what is in his heart. I will suggest that wherever Mr. Danish’s hatred for this president comes from, it is unbecoming to a man who was once a pillar of the Boulder community and has now been reduced to a laughingstock among many.

David Segal/Boulder

Good luck, GOP

I’d like to begin the new year with congratulations to our Republican brethren in their victories in the 2010 elections. As we know, they have their work cut out for them, and Americans everywhere are anxious to see them succeed in solving our many problems. Good luck with all your ideas about cutting the spending and reducing the tax burden on us all.

Well, to be perfectly fair and balanced, the Republican Party hasn’t been exactly forthcoming in the idea department, and we will certainly hope that the Tea Party will be of assistance in helping Republicans make the hard choices that will placate the older voters who have been the recipients of Social Security, Medicare and the myriad of programs that have helped them make ends meet. The Department of Defense will need attention, as well, and of course we can’t forget quality education of our most valuable resource, our children. Homeland Security will need to be addressed, and I have all the confidence in the world that our borders will be secure, as that in particular seemed to be one of the top priorities of both Republicans and the Tea Party. And to that, I say buena suerte.

And, by the way — no crying. It’s time to man up and work to solve problems. While talking tough and casting blame may have been the fun part of being the “Party of NO,” complaining and whining don’t feed the bulldog.

Tommy Holeman/Longmont

The power of pop culture

I knew it! I just knew it. ABC news aired a report on Dec. 8 that pointed out that American media, television in particular, and it’s almost ethereal and all encompassing “soft power” has had an effect on the average middle-class Arab. That is to say that they’re much more positive about a lot of the images and stories we manufacture and that they see as reality, from David Letterman, et al., talking back/making fun of government and public leaders, to the independence and individual verve of the Desperate Housewives, which, if we think is exaggerated fantasy here, one can only imagine what must go through the minds of women in Third World countries upon seeing all of this, real or not.

This seems to reinforce my continued obsession with American “soft power” as being in the end what will win over those hearts and minds people talk so much about. I remember a time not so long ago that, next to military weapons and aerospace, one of our largest exports has historically been our instructive media production. Although India produces 50 billion movies a year, it’s still America that’s “on top of da world,” as James Cagney would say. Let’s keep putting out as many well-crafted films and as much other constructive/instructive/relevant information as we can. I’m betting we can win this war of propaganda. How dare they challenge the world’s most brilliant marketers? And myriad comedians, musicians, what have you? Absolutely nothing on Earth touches our music.

Grant D. Cyrus/Boulder

Farewell, Andrea’s

On Jan. 1, we drove up to Lyons for our last lunch at Andrea’s Homestead Café. We had homemade cream of tomato soup, sauerbraten, spatzle, red cabbage and strudel. It was our last meal at Andrea’s because the restaurant will be changing hands this month and Andrea Liermann will be beginning a well-deserved retirement.

We figured that we have been coming to Andrea’s for delicious German food for more than 20 years. We often drove up on weekends to hear the live music at Andrea’s and to have prime rib on Saturdays. We especially remember Maria and Karl, who sadly have died in the past 10 years. Maria in a dirndl sang along as Karl in his lederhosen played his button box. We also enjoyed the entertainment provided by Jürgen, who played the spoons and bells and did a mean Schuhplattle, and Dieter, who sang and played his guitar.

Along with several Oktoberfest dinners, we celebrated a number of special occasions at Andrea’s, including birthdays and graduations, and we often brought out-of-town visitors to the restaurant. The food was invariably delicious, especially those homemade soups and desserts. We got to know many members of the wait staff by name, and Andrea always greeted us warmly when we arrived.

We shall miss Andrea’s Homestead Café. It is the end of an era in Lyons, and we wish Andrea and her family all the best.

Susan and Richard Jones/Boulder

Tax cuts work

It is amazing that the Democrats and Obama, who won in 2008 by demonizing the Bush tax cuts as only for the rich, are now proclaiming that we have to keep them to help the middle class. Isn’t relative truth amazing? Someone once said that you are entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts. Here are some facts.

Fact: Kennedy led us out of recession with, you guessed it, tax cuts for everyone!

Fact: The Carter Administration drove us into recession with tax increases. Reagan cut the tax rates massively, which led to almost 20 years of sustained national prosperity. Specifically the top rate went from 90 percent to 29 percent, and those people made the boom by investing in American business and private productivity.

Fact: The Clinton recession was caused by, yes again, increased taxes, which we came out of because of, yes again, the Bush tax cuts! They brought us out of recession almost immediately and for eight years we prospered.

Fact: Almost all economists not on the government’s payroll agree that booms are a result of investors and citizens investing in the economy far more productively then government bureaucrats and that is done with, yes again, tax cuts.

When you get past the left’s deception, misdirection and outright lies about history and facts, you see that they have no interest in freedom and liberty or prosperity. They are in the total control, subversion and subjugation business. And that, too, is a fact!

David Cook/Loveland

Our state religion: greed

What would make our elected representatives ignore the electorate they’re supposed to be representing? What would make them insert pork barrel spending into every bill, thus crippling the U.S. taxpayer over time? What has become of the things that we, as a people, once cherished — things like liberty, honesty, the belief that all people are created equal, and that all people have certain inalienable rights endowed by their creator? What has become of our government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”?

The United States has become known for its support of the belief that a separation of church and state should exist and be honored. Yet it appears that religious services (of a sort) are regularly held within the halls of Congress. What were once hallowed halls where legislative genius was practiced have become what could be seen as a Cathedral of Avarice ... a cathedral where Power appears to have become the “Religion of State,” with Corruption the hymn that is sung, and Lies the prayers that are chanted. The lobbyists who represent special interest groups make up the congregation and gladly fill the collection baskets. Every collection goes to feed Greed — the ultimate deity they worship.

Robert M. Collinsworth/Harrisville, N.H.

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