Letters | Measuring municipalization


Measuring municipalization

(Re: “Municipal power is cheap in Longmont, but not Boulder,” Danish Plan, July 28.) Mr. Danish may be correct in his analysis of the Boulder municipal power plan. But his essay is just another volley in the back-and-forth debate, which can be fairly accurately summarized as:

“It will be more expensive.” “No, it won’t.” “Yes, it will.” “Won’t!” “Will!” Instead of just he said/she said, how about if the plan’s proponents offer some contingency options if it does turn out to be more expensive? Will it be feasible to undo it and invite Xcel back? Will anybody actually lose their jobs if it’s a fiasco? Are any of the politicians supporting the plan willing to bet their seats on its success? At exactly what price point do we bail out? Or will we just give a collective shrug and pass the costs on to citizens, as usual? “Oh, well, yet another expensive disaster. Anybody up for a tofu frappe?” The most maddening aspect of Boulder politics is the tendency to jump into poorly considered schemes without any metrics for success or any contingencies if targets are not met. How about those unique crosswalks we have? Clearly nobody ever suggested we link their continued existence to accident rates. (Seriously … who exactly thought it was a good idea for a city with as many visitors as Boulder to invent their own traffic signals?)

What about BuildSmart and other new building regulations? Is anybody measuring the impact on the local economy, or the adverse environmental impact of the unintended consequences? Even if it met its objectives, anybody do a cost/benefit analysis on the price per ton of carbon dioxide reductions? Or is it all just another plan that “sounded good” to the starry-eyed academics who came up with it?

In the real world, expensive plans are measured and cancelled if performance targets are not met. But in Boulder we put unemployed environmental lawyers into decision-making roles, and the result is failure and waste. Symbolic resolutions opposing the personhood of corporations? I’d love to see a cost-benefit analysis of that one. Maybe there’s some measurable value to provincial smugness.

There’s a saying in the business world: “Anything not measured is optional.” Boulder City Council and county commissioners apparently take this as a good thing.

David Rea/Boulder

Obama is controlled, too

(Re: “Breaking corporate control of politics,” The Highroad, Aug. 4.) Your article on “breaking the corporate-control of politics” was spot on. You stated, “America could use a dose of this cleansing tonic, and I have no doubt that Americans would throw out all of our corporate-controlled politicians — if only that possibility was put to a vote.”

I agree that Americans, like Latvians, would end corporate control of politics by voting out all of our corporately controlled politicians with the power of the vote.

If we ever have the chance to vote out corporate controlled politicians, we would vote out John Boehner, Mitch O’Connell, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and, most importantly, Barack Obama, who in 2012 will be taking over $1 billion from corporate interests to run his presidential re-election campaign.

Again, thanks for your honesty and lucidity.

I want to see if you have the honesty to run my response, because our senators, our congressmen and our president are all controlled by big money. If not, where is Obama getting $1 billion for 2012? From $10 individual donations? No, sorry, the math does not add.

John Parsons/via Internet

Ban GMOs from public land

Please enact legislation that will ban the planting of GMO vegetation, raising GMO-fed livestock and future GMO livestock on Boulder County public lands. There is plenty of evidence that this form of agriculture is dangerous to the public health, the environment, our economy, politics and security.

Please promote organic agriculture that is dedicated to feeding the people of Boulder County and keeping us safe from economic, political and natural disasters that inflate food prices and impair nationwide food distribution.

Please commit yourselves to stopping Boulder County’s contamination of ground water with agricultural chemicals and the degradation of Boulder County soil from chemical intensive monoculture.

Tom Groover/Boulder

Rocky Flats still toxic

We need to bring more focus and clout to stop the proposed development around Rocky Flats. The original DOE report in 1995 stated that to clean up the site it would take 65 years and cost more than $37 billion. In 2005, only 10 years later and costing only $7 billion, it was declared cleaned up.

The job went to the lowest bidder, clean-up was minimal and, to seal the deal, it was declared a wildlife refuge. That means that by more lenient standards set by the U.S. Division of Wildlife, the site needs only to be covered with three feet of soil and the buried contaminants can be left in place. How can we get Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt on board with the current issues and have another demonstration? The proposed development around the site by Candelas is ridiculous.

Please help with public awareness.

The RMPJC and LeRoy Moore can do only so much.

Tony Zubricky/via Internet

Going green

If nuclear energy is to be categorized as “green,” it should be qualified as “day-glo green” or, even better, as “day-glowin-the-dark green.”

Robert Porath/Boulder

Meat and potatoes

Who would have thunk? Meat and potatoes, basic staples of the American diet, now held responsible for our growing obesity epidemic.

A federally funded Harvard University analysis of data collected over 20 years from more than 120,000 Americans found that meat and potatoes were the main culprits in weight gain, while fruits, vegetables and nuts prevented weight gain. The analysis was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

So much for the meat industry’s claim of high-nutrient density for their product. It’s more like high weight density.

So, the next time the fast food clerk asks if “you want fries with that,” tell him to hold the greasy hamburger and give you a nice salad instead.

Stanley Silver/Boulder

Fill the pot with pot

At this point in time in 2011, all levels of government in the United States, including the federal government, are financially strapped, caused by a four-year recession. Our collective governments’ usually reliable sources of tax revenue have either plummeted downward or dried up all together.

Solution: Legalize and tax America’s largest agricultural cash crop — marijuana. If we legalize and tax marijuana, nationally, via an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, thereby bypassing the U.S. Supreme Court, all of America’s local, county and state governments, as well as the federal government, will get out of debt and into the black, overnight.

Marijuana is the key to getting America out of this crippling recession. All 50 states are chafing at the bit to legalize and tax the one as-yet-untaxed commodity that we have, in place, ready to go. Not one single state among the 50 does not produce marijuana. To continue to keep America’s largest cash crop illegal and untaxed is positively irresponsible.

David Hornberger/St. Petersburg, Fla.

Keep up the PACE

PACE programs provide long-term private funding for solar power and energy efficiency, with no burden to taxpayers or ratepayers. Homeowners make repayments for the installations in their homes through property tax assessments over many years.

Twenty-seven states have passed enabling legislation for PACE.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) effectively killed PACE last year because of concerns over seniority of liens.

The newly introduced PACE Protection Act (HR 2599) seeks to restore these innovative and wildly popular programs, while satisfying FHFA’s concerns.

There’s no downside to PACE. We hope our congressional delegation will restore the PACE revolution by voting for HR 2599.

Caleb Willis/Denver

Stupidi-Tea Party

For this whole debt-ceiling mess I squarely blame the Tea Party — Stupidi- Tea, Duplici-Tea and Infantili-Tea! — and the Republicans they’ve dumbed down, Boehner, McConnell and Cantor. With no revenue, only cuts, and  none for the rich, how is that “balanced”?

Here are two balancing ideas: 1) The Americans First Tax: When Big Business ships jobs overseas, which is “unpatriotic,” tax them those jobs’ American salaries plus all benefits. 2) Gabrielle’s Tax: Hike taxes on guns, bullets, clips, etc., but make gun safety devices tax-free.

J. Andrew Smith/Bloomfield, N.J.

Save the rainforests

We should all write or email our elected officials about the need to preserve rainforests.

They are vital to convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into the oxygen we inhale. Their loss exacerbates the global warming crisis. They are essential for finding cures for pandemic diseases. Preservation for certain uses is better for the teetering world economy.

We need to partner with experts to show countries such as Brazil and Indonesia how they can profit from sustainable practices, as discussed at www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm. At the same time, the world’s lumber companies should be assisted in learning to use sound practices of selectivity without clear-cutting.

Elbert Schroiner/via Internet

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