Hypocrisy in Boulder
(Re: “Unzipped,” cover story, May 17.) I read your interesting article about Seth Brigham. I would like to share with you the following information about my own restraining order by CU-Boulder.
Boulderites have a nasty habit of freezing out of dialogue those whose opinions and viewpoints they cannot easily dismiss or logically refute.
It is the classic behavior of the bullying coward. But God will get the last laugh. Boulder: the city that fancies itself liberal and hip, but that has a heart of stone and a reptilian brain.
Laughing at the Emperor-city without clothes,
Michael Korn/via Internet
I find it puzzling and sad that Paul Danish appears to have acquired some irrational and unreasonable attitudes since the “Danish Plan” was produced for Boulder.
His impressions regarding oil and gas production (“Boulder’s lifestyle depends on the use of fracking,” Danish Plan, May 17) have some basis worth considering, but overall his opinion of those who oppose his ways of thinking do him no credit. In fact, they belittle him far more than he has belittled others who want a safe, unpolluted, peaceful and, yes, warm life.
If Mr. D. is so enamored by fracking and modern petrochemical exploration, production and distribution processes, then why does he not move to take advantage of his swoon? Buy a farm where the mineral rights have been leased to Big Methane, move your family to Cushing, Okla. (home of the largest natural gas storage facility this side of Greenwich), or build a home just across Dry Creek from the Suncor refinery down Commerce City way, Mr. D. Or has the “good” and comfortable life in Boulder gotten under your skin?
What’s that? You’d like your lifestyle to be maintained in perpetuity? You would like to have your cake and eat it too? And are you not afraid of killing the golden goose?
Get in line.
(Re: “It’s time to talk about rape,” Uncensored, March 29.) Dear Pamela White, I have enjoyed your columns since the first one. Share your survivor status. Thank you for turning pain into passionate journalism and other good things I imagine you do in the world.
Wondering if you would be interested to research and write an article on who in the world is effectively helping rapists and potential rapists heal themselves.
Over and over I read unreadably horrendous stories of crimes committed on people, usually young people, and too often the unthinkable was committed by someone who had been themselves a victim of the unthinkable. Would give me hope to read about people who know how to actually help.
We have had a very positive trend toward supporting rape victims in my lifetime, but it will never ever stop, or even decline, until we can help the offenders with help that actually heals. Only then will they get help, or want to.
Love to hear your take on this subject.
Farm concerns addressed
(Re: “Local farm loses the battle against local government,” Boulderganic, May 17.) Boulder County Land Use is aware of the problems in current regs for agricultural land. They have been working since late last year on a major overhaul of regulations. So far they’ve done a very good job of listening, gathering concerns, and putting forth reasonable proposals for really modernizing county ag regs. Topics addressed include not only demonstration farms (per the Boulderganic article) but farm camps, wineries, farm-to-table dinners, farm stands, hoophouses/greenhouses and more.
Senior Planner Abby Shannon held eight community meetings on these topics earlier this year. I attended several of them, and found that planning staff were honestly listening. The notes which came out were favorable to progressive ag and made good common sense. On May 16, a voluminous report on all of the issues and ideas was reviewed by the Planning Commission. Their reaction overall was very favorable, particularly toward simplifying, modernizing and recognizing diversified uses that it takes to keep small farms viable. See http://bit.ly/BCagregs and the May 16 docket document.
If Land Use stays the course and doesn’t get caught up in what-ifs or NIMBYs, it will be a major step by allowing sensible diversified-ag practices which seem obvious but are currently prohibited by outdated regs.
For good or bad, land-use enforcement in Boulder County is complaint-based. This can be good if neighbors and community agree that what’s going on makes sense, isn’t hurting anybody, and differences get resolved amicably, even if regs are unclear at best.
It can be bad if there’s one cranky misanthrope in the community who wants a picturebook farm, not a real one, as a neighbor. Simplified and modernized regs would help a lot in equalizing the treatment farmers receive.
Vote for Sanfaçon
On June 26 the people of Boulder County will elect a new county commissioner for District 1. I am voting for Garry Sanfacon.
Why Garry? On his first day in office he is committed to: making a motion to ban GMOs on open space; proposing a Community Rights Ordinance to end corporate and state interference with our right to local self-governance and to protect our environment, health, safety and quality of life, including a ban on fracking.
He will also propose a resolution in support of overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens’ United ruling and stating that constitutional rights are for people, not corporations.
He will put the citizens of Boulder County at the center of his decision-making, represent the will of the people and ensure transparency.
One in four children in Boulder County under the age of 5 is living in poverty. This, to Garry, is unacceptable. Part of his vision for Boulder County is to strengthen our safety net, invest in early intervention and help people to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency.
This election is critical to all citizens, especially for our childrens’ future. I encourage all of us to learn about the issues and be well informed before voting.
Selling out for a bike race
I rode up Flagstaff Mountain for the first time in May 1971 on my first 10-speed bike purchased at the High Wheeler bike shop on the Hill.
There wasn’t much traffic on Flagstaff Road then, or many people biking past Chautauqua on Baseline Road. On the way up I had time to stop and try the crack on Cookie Jar Rock, fall off the Monkey Traverse and savor being on the Little Flatiron. Most of the time I was alone, just the bike, the road, the rock and me. I lost track of how many times the Flagstaff Trail crossed the road, but I rarely saw anyone on it as I pedaled by. The CU ski team famously used the Flagstaff Trail in its dry land training, and I knew a bunch of people who routinely used the trail to gauge their fitness level. It was a good trail, built a long time ago, steep but purposeful and true.
Over the years more cyclists, hikers and climbers came, but it was never really too crowded except on the occasional weekend in the summer.
Now the city wants a bike race to go up Flagstaff Road, ending on top of Flagstaff Mountain. Thousands of spectators along the road — estimates range wildly between 30,000 and 140,000 — will watch the racers climb the mountain. There is a lot of community support and enthusiasm for this race and its world-class ending. The race will reaffirm Boulder’s standing as an outdoor recreation mecca, hosting cool events rivaling the Tour de France, we are told. The bike race will shower worldwide attention on Boulder, fill our hotels and restaurants and bring a lot of revenue for local businesses and city coffers. Many assert the bike race will be a win-win any way you cut it.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though. This bike race and its attendant features are simply about economics.
But there is something else that is important to understand. Open Space and Mountain Parks lands are sacred. Make no mistake about this. These lands define what Boulder is today. They represent the community’s essence and spirit.
Preservation of these lands began more than a century ago by visionaries in the community, and that effort continues right up to the present. These lands should not be treated cavalierly and disrespectfully, for if the spirit of the community is truly for sale, there is no community. This spirit, this sacredness, cannot be for sale. Sacred has no price. If sacred does have a price, then its meaning and value is lost.
Oh, but the road is paved and the impacts will be miniscule, we are told. Remember the cautionary adage that the road to hell is also paved. We as a people should have something that does not have a price, is not for sale, no matter the intentions. That is the foundation of community. The community message should be that these lands are inviolate. End the bike race somewhere else.
Boulder has changed in many ways since 1971. Most profoundly when, through its actions, the sacred has a price.
Maybe Boulder has lost it way. But the land remembers.
Make my day
Life in Boulder at the University of Colorado seems very far away from the Trayvon Martin case both in terms of distance and relevance. Boulder has a small minority population and there are probably no armed vigilantes patrolling our neighborhoods.
But the experience of my friend who was formerly a student at University of Colorado illustrates some dangerous parallels. Rather than the “stand your ground” law, Colorado has something that is known as a “make my day” law. Instead of exhibiting racism against minorities, the Boulder police act with a great deal of disdain to students. My friend was beaten up badly on the Boulder campus, resulting in a large gash on his head. Rather than pursuing the aggressors, the police pursued my friend because the people who beat him up didn’t violate any law, as Colorado has the “make my day” law. When my friend questioned the police, they threw him in jail and filed multiple charges against him after he dared to talk back to them. The district attorney aggressively pursued him even though he was obviously the only victim, and his life is now in shambles.
The case of my friend demonstrates that the type of system — including laws, police and DAs — that allows the killer of a young man to not be arrested can affect anybody. It is time take a serious look at Colorado laws as well as behavior of the police and the state’s attorney.
David Fisher/via Internet