In case you missed it | A fracking petition

Boulder Weekly Staff | Boulder Weekly

A fracking petition

We recently caught wind of a petition on that was right up our alley, calling on President Barack Obama to ban hydraulic fracturing on public lands.

And the deadline for taking action is imminent, since comments to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on new draft rules for fracking on 600 million acres of public and Indian lands are due Aug. 23. The word on the street is that these rules are straight out of the oil and gas industry’s playbook, but don’t take it from us, check out There’s a separate petition to ban fracking in the state of Colorado at

Both petitions were created by Coloradan Mary Russell, and on the federal petition she says she recently sold her Glenwood Springs home because it was threatened by possible fracking and her property values have plummeted due to oil and gas development in the area in the past decade. She says she has developed asthma since moving into her home five years ago.

It’s a story we’ve heard more than once. And it’s also a story that oil and gas companies can easily refute. They simply say, “Prove it’s our actions that caused your (insert malady or pollution here).” The problem is, as the companies well know, it’s hard to track their chemicals to the cause of a particular illness or pollutant. And God forbid they use the tracers that are surely in their fracking fluids already to keep tabs on where it ends up, and make that public.

It’s time to turn up the heat on these frackers. Sign the petition, write to your elected representatives. Power to the people. Change is possible when the voices are numerous and loud enough.

Packing up the homeless

We got a note about a pretty cool event related to our ongoing coverage on the homeless population.

Apparently, an outfit called the CITYPAK Project will be distributing 1,000 backpacks to Boulder-area homeless people at 10 a.m. on Aug. 30 at the Bridge House Resource Center, at 1603 Walnut St.

This Chicago-based organization, founded by Ron Kaplan, the dude who was co-creator of music booking agency Monterey International, has teamed up with adventure gear company High Sierra to design this special pack to help homeless people organize and transport their belongings. It has distributed 2,000 of them over the past year. The intent is to provide a high-quality pack that empowers the homeless and meets their changing needs instead of calling attention to their condition. Among other features, the packs feature a hide-away poncho for those nights on the street when the weather is inclement.

The project is being done in partnership with the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, and apparently Kaplan was inspired to expand his outreach to Boulder after traveling to our fair city for business.

So if you see some fancy backpacks on some homeless folks, don’t jump to the conclusion that they’ve made a killing flying signs at the corner of Canyon and Broadway. They’ve just been the beneficiary of a new way to protect what’s left of their belongings.