Letters | Let Valmont series unfold


Clarification: A Feb. 2 story, “Valmont cemetery families say city in danger of digging up human remains,” said Western Disposal has a hazardous materials processing site to the west of the city of Boulder’s Valmont Butte property. The county’s hazardous materials drop-off site was relocated from the Western Disposal property farther south on 63rd Street last year. Western Disposal operates a transfer station directly west of the site.

Let Valmont series unfold

(Re: “How Reagan and the largest EPA scandal in history may explain why Valmont Butte is still contaminated,” The Ghosts of Valmont Butte series, Feb. 9.) Thanks for the excellent series on Valmont Butte. Today’s piece provides a whole new, much-needed dimension.

Carol Affleck and I both spoke about Valmont Butte at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. I urged Council members to read your series and, meanwhile, to get the city to slow down on the proposed cleanup, to give themselves a chance to become fully informed by what Boulder Weekly would reveal.

I told them they need to do what the city has never done, hold a public hearing on Valmont Butte once your series is completed.

LeRoy Moore, Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center/Boulder

As a doctor of natural medicine and a scientist, nutritionist and master herbalist, there are some really effective ways to deal with this contamination [on Valmont Butte]. Protandim is a fiveherb formulation, studied in over 25 universities, that increases glutathione in the body, the master anti-oxidant that is a million times more effective than any oral or supplemental anti-oxidant and the master chelator — ie., removes metal toxicity from the blood.

Holly Fourchalk/New Westminster,

British Columbia

Slow the fracking monster

(“Differing views on hydraulic fracturing,” Opinions, Feb. 9.) Thanks for the two articles regarding fracking. I was surprised at Danish’s relative lack of vitriol. He mostly stated the facts about gas and oil drilling in Colorado. His only misrepresentation was using the track record of conventional drilling to prove the safety of fracking, which is a completely different process. See the movie Gasland, in which it is shown that 40 percent of existing wells are leaking.

With this much money at stake, corporations, politicians and even environmentalists are highly prone to ignoring the dangers and plowing ahead. No matter what. See the Facebook page Colorado Frack Attack (j.mp/ COFrackAttack) for articles showing how this is happening here and now. We will need a huge mobilization of resistance to slow this monster down. Once our groundwater is polluted, it won’t come back for many generations.

E. Scott MacInnis, Longmont

Eat well

2011 was not a good year for the meat industry.

There were more reports of devastating health impacts. In May, The World Cancer Research Fund advised limiting meat consumption to reduce the risk of bowel cancer. The August issue of The Lancet projected that, on the current meat-based diet, half of the U.S. population will be obese by 2030.

Last August, Salmonella contamination forced the world’s largest meat processor Cargill to recall 36 million pounds of ground turkey. University of Florida placed the national financial burden of pathogens in meat products at $4 billion.

Then there were cruelty exposés. A March undercover investigation of the E6 Cattle Company in Texas showed workers bashing cows’ heads with pickaxes and hammers. In November, ABC News publicized atrocious egg production conditions at Iowa’s Sparboe Farms.

Bills attempting to criminalize such investigations were defeated in Iowa, Minnesota, Florida and New York.

Accordingly, the USDA projects that Americans will consume 12.2 percent less meat in 2012 than in 2007.

Every one of us can welcome this trend by resolving to cut our meat consumption in 2012. Entering “live vegan” in our favorite search engine brings recipes and tons of other useful information. Rudolph Helman/Boulder

I was delighted to read the new USDA guidelines requiring schools to serve meals with twice as many fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less sodium and fat, and no meat for breakfast. The guidelines were mandated by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act signed by President Obama in December of 2010 and will go into effect with the next school year.

The new guidelines offer a welcome change from USDA’s tradition of using the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for meat and dairy surpluses. Not surprisingly, 90 percent of American children are consuming excess fat, only 15 percent eat recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, and one-third have become overweight or obese. These early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

In recent years, Hawaii, California, New York and Florida legislatures asked their schools to offer daily vegetarian options, and most school districts now do. The Baltimore public school system offers its 80,000 students a complete weekly break from meat.

Parents should continue to insist on healthful plant-based school meals, snacks and vending machine items. They can consult www.fns.usda.gov/cnd, www.healthyschoollunches.org, and www.vrg.org/family.

Stanley Silver/Boulder

Political gimmickry

Yet again certain members of Congress say they want to “save money,” but their poorly thought-out transportation bill (H.R. 7) would not only cause permanent damage to the environment, it would also be a cash cow to oil and gas industries at the expense of the average citizen.

If big business has their wish, they’ll be doing in arctic coastal waters what BP did a couple of years ago in the Gulf of Mexico — with the same potential risks of disaster, except this time to the fragile, irreplaceable home of polar bears and other arctic wildlife.

The Congressional Budget Office said it “expects no significant royalty payments would be made until 2022” from Arctic Refuge drilling. Nonetheless, proponents are trying to sell the bill as a means of dealing with today’s transportation problems. Today’s problems? It’s obvious this plan is too little too late to fix what’s going on now on our congested highways.

America’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful, pristine wilderness that polar bears, arctic foxes and walruses call their home — and is also the nesting ground of hundreds of thousands of migratory birds. Do we really want to throw it away, making it just a memory that our grandchildren will only read about in history books?

Even the Competitive Enterprise Institute goes as far as to label this irresponsible plan “myopic political gimmickry.”

I can only hope Rep. Polis realizes the truth about this irresponsible plan, and votes no on H.R. 7.

Eris Brianna Caver/Westminster