Letters: 11/23/17

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Combat fracking

The people of Boulder County must unite and utilize every conceivable option available in order to combat the existential threat of fracking to our community from the sociopathic oil and gas industry. In the evening of Nov. 17, 2017, I along with my wife and 9-year-old daughter joined other outraged parents and children in Erie to protest against the leaking fracking well right next door to and less than 50 feet from Aspen Ridge Preparatory School. The State of Colorado cited Crestone Peak Resources for improperly plugging the oil and gas well; however, it is a little late now because the adverse health effects on the children and damage has already been done. There is no way that the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) should have ever approved an application to frack next to an elementary school. The quality of life in Broomfield and Erie are ruined with fracking wells next to schools and homes. We cannot allow that to happen in Lafayette or Boulder County; consequently, oil and gas cannot be allowed to gain even a foothold in our community. Fracking must be kept out of Lafayette and Boulder County at all costs. The fact that Crestone Peak Resources filed an application to put a fracking well next to Pioneer Elementary School in Lafayette demonstrates the oil and gas industry’s dishonesty, misdirection, bottomless bad faith and willingness to endanger the safety, health and welfare of the people of Lafayette to make a buck. There is absolutely no way that fracking can be done safely, and it cannot be allowed within 20 miles of schools or homes. For the oil and gas industry to argue that there are no proven health dangers to fracking is like the tobacco industry saying there are no health dangers to smoking. I am reading the book Frackopoly by Wenonah Hauter, which should be required reading by all City Councilors, County Commissioners, legislators or anyone else concerned about reigning in the power of this ruthless, sociopathic industry.

Andrew J. O’Connor/Lafayette

Boulder voters: Forward on local power

Once again, by passing 2L, Boulder voters have made clear their commitment to taking the kind of serious, complex action required of us in the fight against climate change. And this year, the Utility Occupation Tax extension passed by a larger margin than it did when it was first on the ballot in 2011.

Boulder has been a critical leader in the climate crisis — with voters behind the wheel. We’ve shown once again that we’re not willing to wait on the sidelines hoping that Xcel Energy will change at the pace required to maintain a livable planet. At New Era Colorado, we’ve consistently seen that young voters want bold action on climate change, and they’ll show up in local elections to help make it happen.

We look forward to working with this City Council in enacting the will of the voters on municipalization, and we’ll continue to hold Xcel accountable to their commitments made on the stand at the Public Utilities Commission. We’re thrilled with the results of this election, and excited for what’s next in the fight for a renewable energy future.

Lizzy Stephan, Executive Director of New Era Colorado

Don’t redeem Sand Creek Massacre perpetrators

The Sand Creek Massacre in November of 1864 was a mass murder far more horrific than any of today’s mass shootings. Old men, women and children were killed and mutilated, with fingers cut off to secure rings and scalps and body parts taken as souvenirs. John Nichols and forty other Boulderites were participants in this slaughter.   Paul Danish [Re: “CU’s roots: Tales of the founders,” Oct. 26] asks us to look past this in his desire that Nichols be honored for his civic (and commercial) role in securing the siting of the University in Boulder. The same seems to hold true in Denver for John Evans, the Territorial Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs removed from office for his part in facilitating the attack, and Jacob Downing, whose widow, perhaps unaware that her husband had testified that he had seen no scalps being taken, later donated a scalp to the State from his possessions. The commercial honors remain but there can be no redemption from the events of that day.

Robert Porath/Boulder

Who is taking care of us?

Normally we elect a president to care and defend America from danger whether it be foreign or local. The president usually appoints a man with impeccable moral character as his attorney general to defend America against evil threats and use his/her prosecutorial powers to quickly enforce justice upon those who have harmed us. These obligations always include defending our freedom of speech, freedom of the press and, of course, freedom from corruption in our elections.

Clearly the Russian government under mobster Vladimir Putin invaded our 2016 election and now we know that clearly they had attempted coordination with some of our own citizens. When Obama, in his roll as our protector, learned that our 2016 election was being penetrated by Russia, he quickly announced it and retaliated.

Today, we are living with a president and an attorney general who remain conspicuously silent when they should be enraged as new facts arrive almost daily concerning the Russian cyber-attacks. Trump recently has said that he has no real evidence that Russia affected our elections, even after publicly asking Putin “if you are listening” to commit espionage and expose Clinton emails. Is he really that stupid or does he expect that we are? Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions are shirking their duty by ignoring their sworn oaths to protect us. Could it be they are hiding behind their lawyers for more sinister reasons? 

Vladimir Putin must be ecstatic. He has succeeded to divide Americans as a people and pit our judicial against our executive branches essentially handicapping our ability to govern. Most importantly, by helping to put a narcissistic conspiracy theorist in the White House Putin’s dream of seeing America’s credibility in the world reduced to that of a rogue nation has come true. Is it time to drain the swamp again?

Tom Lopez/Longmont

#MeToo is not enough

Raised by my mother and grandmother and being a father of a 6-year-old girl, I’m happy to see a movement that’s empowered women to speak out against men who treat them poorly.

Still, it should be noted that before this potentially watershed moment, our president (who gleefully boasted immature “locker room talk” of criminal behavior with a reporter when he was in his 60s) and his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (who said an excellent example of educational free choice was blacks who started black colleges when they weren’t allowed into white ones — she later apologized) — rescinded Obama legislation that made it easier for young women to speak up when they get harassed or assaulted on college campuses across America.

In canceling legislation many feminists have spent decades asking for (and that may have inspired this movement years ago), DeVos touted the end of Obama’s oppression, and said that once again men across America would get a fair shake. Remember, this was before #MeToo.

DeVos and Trump promised to take sexual harassment and assault seriously.  Perhaps their goal was simply to fulfill the Republican objective first stated the day after Obama was elected in 2008 — discredit and dismantle everything Obama does and make him look like the worst president in American history. Still, even if DeVos and Trump were just playing politics, they annulled a law that empowered women. 

Like administrations in universities nation-wide (including the University of Colorado) — who say they’ll maintain standards set by Obama despite those given by DeVos and Trump — I hope people everywhere ignore leadership that struggles to talk the talk and has yet to prove they’ll walk the walk. (Has he tweeted about this?) And, give voice and power to women who speak out against men who abuse theirs.

Curtis Griffin/Boulder