LETTERS | Week of Jan. 2


Whistleblower’s lament (Re: “City to spend $4 million cleaning up teahouse property,” News, Dec. 19.) The City of Boulder’s June 2009 Water Quality Strategic Plan (“WQSP”) outlined actions to protect and preserve the quality of water in Boulder Creek. The WQSP was responsive to the city’s environmental goal, “To enact and enhance city policies that cause the Boulder community to become a nationwide environmental leader among communities.”

Coincidentally, and in retrospect, ironically, also in June 2009 I provided the city with environmental reports warning that benzene and naphthalene were most likely emanating from the Dushanbe Teahouse site and moving through the groundwater in a southeasterly direction toward Boulder Creek. In June 2009 there were 14 monitoring wells between the teahouse and Boulder Creek that provided support for this warning; however, the city has ignored these wells in its own investigation. Instead, the city has limited its investigation to the teahouse site and taken the position that the site is not the source of the benzene and naphthalene down-gradient, even though these same two toxic wastes from coal gasification are the two pollutants that exceeded groundwater standards’ concentrations at the teahouse and down-gradient.

In spite of one city official’s statement to me in 2009 that the city would “resolve the matter in as expeditious a manner as possible,” little happened in the way of meaningful, much less expeditious, progress to resolve this problem until Boulder Weekly picked up on the story this year and published its series of exposés. While it is heartening that the city has finally decided to proceed with cleanup of the site, it is also disappointing that it has done so in such a slow and disingenuous way, wasting time and money on cloaking itself in plausible deniability of responsibility to down-gradient property owners, rather than obtaining contribution from Xcel, which should be paying the lion’s share for the cleanup.

Dennis R. Frohlich/Boulder

Danish’s latest flub [Re: “Total elapsed time: 80 seconds,” Danish Plan, Dec. 26.] Paul Danish’s piece on the recent shootings at Arapahoe High School in Littleton and the homage to Wayne LaPierre and the NRA was stunning, and not in a good way.

Danish seems to think LaPierre is a visionary for wanting to put armed guards in all our schools and arm the teachers rather than a well-paid shill for gun manufacturers purporting to support gun owners. Danish even cites LaPierre’s idiotic statement, “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” when, in fact, this situation was ended by the bad guy with a gun taking his own life.

Danish seemed pleased that “only” two teenagers were killed in this instance (the toll may have been larger had the disturbed teen managed to set off his bombs or entered one of the classrooms he had targeted) and somehow ascribes this outcome to an “armed officer present who had a gun.” Somehow he knows the shooter panicked and shot himself because of the officer’s armed presence rather than any other motivation. The only thing we know for sure is that two more kids are dead because one of them had access to a gun.

Danish cites a poll (unsourced, of course) stating that 64 percent of Americans agree with the NRA. I would guess a majority of those people (assuming a valid poll was conducted) have not read the Second Amendment and that most who have don’t understand a couple of simple facts. First, there is no guarantee of the right to own “guns.” The actual verbiage reads, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” We have regulated and banned many “arms,” including flame throwers, thermonuclear devices, and hand grenades, to name a few, so have already breached the Second Amendment. The two things we haven’t regulated are most guns and the less responsible people among us who own them and contribute to the 30,000-plus gun-related deaths per year.

I don’t know how many more kids (and adults for that matter) need to be sacrificed at the altar of corporate profit and misinformed ideology before we have the courage to do something about this abomination. We lost 3,000 people to the 9/11 terrorists (one-tenth of what we lose annually to gun violence) and as a result started two wars and removed many of our rights (as well as our shoes and belts at airports), and we can’t even get universal background checks on lethal weapons! Danish and LaPierre are both “dead wrong” on this issue.

James C. Bailey/Boulder

Let diplomacy work The nuclear deal brokered by the United States and Iran in Geneva is historic. Just as the agreement to peacefully disarm Syria of its chemical weapons demonstrated, diplomacy makes the world a safer place.

Now comes the hard part: U.S. diplomats are working to secure a final agreement to prevent war and a nuclear-armed Iran.

I hope my senators and representative will publicly support these efforts and oppose calls by some in Congress for more sanctions. As former national security advisors Zbigniew Brezezinski and Brent Scowcroft have pointed out, “additional sanctions now against Iran … will risk undermining or even shutting down the negotiations.”

Sabotaging diplomacy would jeopardize the unprecedented progress our diplomats have achieved to guard against yet another war and nuclear armed nation.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation has more on supporting this unprecedented deal: fcnl.org/iran.

Kyle Hall/Golden