Letters: 9/22/16

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Best practices required for a successful relocation
Kudos to Boulder City Council members who did the right thing by authorizing county-owned grassland to save the Boulder Armory prairie dog colony. Sadly, the relocation plan offered by the city ecologist and Open Space and Mountain Parks wildlife staff is seriously flawed.

The draft plan recommends using only five nest boxes for the entire colony. I have assisted with several relocations, and I know from field experience that a minimum of 20 to 30 nest boxes will be needed in the receiving site. Failure to install the appropriate number of nest boxes will result in the death of 70-90 percent of the relocated animals, especially with winter approaching.

It would be a shame and a waste of everyone’s time and resources to relocate this colony only to have the same result as lethal control: dead prairie dogs.

If weed control is an issue here, the land can be re-seeded with native grasses around the nest boxes and burrow entrances next spring. Volunteers are willing to help with this effort — just ask and we’ll be there to seed and weed!

We must not let these animals die due to careless and incompetent relocation practices! Please email the Boulder City Council (council@bouldercolorado.gov) and Open Space Board (OSBT-Web@bouldercolorado.gov) asking that when relocating the Armory Prairie Dogs (and any future prairie dog colonies), enough nest boxes are used.
Yemaya Thayler/Lafayette

Bennett’s mysterious TPP position
Why won’t U.S. Senator Michael Bennet tell us his position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP? It is not a free trade agreement; it is a corporate heist of government oversight.

More than 200 prominent economists and professors have come out against the TPP, such as Jeffrey Sachs, an economist and professor at Columbia University. Mr. Sachs explains that, “The most egregious parts of the agreement are the exorbitant investor powers implicit in the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system as well as the unjustified expansion of copyright and patent coverage.

Corporations are already using ISDS provisions in existing trade and investment agreements to harass governments in order to frustrate regulations and judicial decisions that negatively impact the companies’ interests. The system proposed in the TPP is a dangerous and unnecessary grant of power to investors.”

My fear is that anyone serving as Senator during the lame-duck session could vote in favor of the TPP. Voters deserve to know where Bennet stands on this agreement. I have continued to stand strongly against the TPP. I am deeply concerned about what the ISDS provisions will mean for us. People on both the left and right understand that this is a corporate power grab.

I believe that Bennet is serving his corporate donors, who have given him more than $14 million in donations. I am here to represent the voters, not the donors. I will continue to stand against the TPP. But we have to ask, will Bennet?
Arn Menconi/Green Party U.S. Senate Candidate for Colorado

My plan to stop airline gouging
Jim Hightower [Re: The Highroad, “Here’s my plan to stop airlines from gouging us,” Sept. 15, 2016] wants to get rid of airline fees but someone has to pay for services and why not ask the users of the services to pay for them? If the users don’t pay, then its most likely that the non-users will have to make up the difference.

A better way to stop the airlines from gouging us is to fly less. Every time you consider flying ask yourself, “Do I really need to make this trip?” And if the answer is no, then don’t fly.

This approach will not only force the airlines to compete for fewer travelers, but more importantly it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions that are the likely culprit for the emerging climate change crises that’s hitting us now and will have a larger and larger impact in the years, and generations, to come.
Cort Shurtleff/Longmont

Trump vows to scrap Clean Power Plan
Speaking at the Economic Club in New York City, Donald Trump vowed to not only scrap the Clean Power Plan, federal protections of water sources, but also promised to lift all restrictions and regulations on energy production starting “day one” of a Trump presidency. In response, Greenpeace USA spokesperson Cassady Sharp said:

“The only people that would benefit from Donald Trump’s economic proposals would be the billionaire executives and lobbyists that make up his energy and economic team. Trump claims that he is a candidate of the people yet he fails to listen to millions across this country who are dealing with the damage that the fossil fuel industry has done to our climate. Instead, he swallows whole the talking points of fossil fuel tycoons like Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm who promises to put oil and gas drilling on steroids.

Donald Trump will never put America first. He will put himself and his one percent cronies first, no matter what.”

Judy Lubow is the RTD candidate to best address our transit needs
This year we have three candidates vying for the RTD board for our District I. The clear choice should be the incumbent, Judy Lubow. The transportation challenges in both Boulder and Broomfield Counties are significant. Judy is knowledgeable about addressing these challenges through multimodal means including bus, rail and the new on-demand mobility services.

By working collaboratively with local government leaders, Judy helped organize the advocacy group promoting the analysis of BRT on Highway 287.

RTD has applied for two grants and has already received one to explore the new on-demand transportation technology to integrate with RTD’s transit services. Judy passionately supports the study of this new technology knowing that it is the wave of the future.

The NorthWest rail corridor is the largest unfunded section of FasTracks and still needs to be completed. Judy realizes the importance for our communities that the 2004 vote for FasTracks be fulfilled. She has devoted her tenure as director towards looking for a faster turnaround for funding and construction of the North West Corridor.

The other candidates do not have experience or success in these areas. One of the candidates has never worked on transit issues. She shows a lack of understanding of the complexity of RTD’s challenges. The other opponent is a past RTD Chair. He ignored the buildout of the NW corridor while promoting funding for the other corridors. This resulted in Boulder and Broomfield Counties being last for getting their rail.

Let’s not lose the momentum Judy has gained for us by voting for one of the other candidates.
Pat Davis/Longmont

  • ernie_oertle

    JudyLubow. Rail? What rail? JudyLubow has been the RTD-commissar during the period of time when rail was promised, but she didn’t deliver. But here we have the leftwingers again, urging retention of the commissar – rewarding failure.

    • Véronique Bellamy

      Exactly. Judy’s stans have been hard at work sliming me in the letters to the editor of every paper (whereas, I have been pointing out the truth about Judy, truth that is backed by evidence that I’ve cited on my website), but when I talk with the people – everyone agrees that we need big changes to the way RTD does business and I’m committed to deliver AND to keep our community in the loop.

  • ernie_oertle

    Hate On Trump. This time it’s Greenpeace taking a cheap swipe. However, ecologist PatrickMoore, a former Greenpeace >founding member<, is a critic of the organization nowadays. He writes "Greenpeace is wrong — we must consider nuclear power". He argues that any realistic plan to reduce reliance on fossil-fuels or greenhouse-gas- emissions need increased use of nuclear energy.
    Additionally, Greenpeace is accused of being a hierarchical & undemocratic organization which allows very little control by its members over the campaigns the organization embarks upon. For example, criticisms given include: Greenpeace has a strictly bureaucratic & borderline authoritarian internal structure; a small group of individuals have control over the organization in both international & local levels; local action groups are totally dependent on the authoritarian central-planning body; & the rank-&-file are excluded from most decisions.

    Fitting in w/ Greenpeace's (green-pieces?) scope of authoritarian elitists top-down manner, is Obama's (NOT)CleanPowerPlan. It's not about `clean' electricity-generation, it's about a method to increase singular control of the individual – a Power plan! Obama's plan was a massive, massive tax increase. Here's what happened. SCOTUS placed a temporary halt on a wide-reaching plan to curb carbon-emissions from power plants, in a major setback to theHistoric O Regime’s plan to shift theUS to `clean' energy. In a 5-4 decision, the court granted a stay to opponents of theObama EPA's CleanPowerPlan — Now, get this, which aims to cut carbon 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.
    That's not possible. Not without going back to the Stone Age. It literally is not possible. You couldn't do that without shutting down the engine of theUnitedStates. You could try. You could start raising taxes. You could punish people for carbon. You could start getting into the phony-malarkey act of trading carbon vouchers & permits, & you could create all kinds of new `revenue streams' & taxes in your objective to get to that, but you could never succeed. It couldn't be done. Thirty percent below 2005? It's not possible. It simply isn't possible. For one thing you'd have to stop human beings from exhaling. This is just mind-boggling.