Letters: 10/11/18

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Supporting Sonya Jaquez Lewis

We are writing to endorse Sonya Jaquez Lewis as Colorado Representative for House District 12, Lafayette, Louisville and Longmont.

During her time as an activist and leader in Boulder County, Sonya has a proven track record of working for all members of our community, protecting our environment and being a voice for House District 12. She’s a true progressive, and she truly cares.

Sonya is not a single-issue candidate.

Sonya knows, as we do, that working families are increasingly unable to find and keep affordable housing. She served on the Boulder County Board of Health, where she coordinated emergency housing assistance for families who lost their homes during the catastrophic floods of 2013. She is the only HD 12 candidate with a concrete plan to help jump-start affordable housing in Boulder County.

No affordable housing plan can work without jobs that let current Longmont residents continue to live in the city. Sonya will always keep working families in the forefront. She is the only HD 12 candidate endorsed by the AFL-CIO and the Boulder Area Labor Council.

Access to health care is the third essential for healthy communities. Many working families experience homelessness because of an adverse health event. A licensed pharmacist, Sonya knows health care inside and out and is uniquely qualified to advocate for improved access to affordable healthcare. These qualifications have earned her endorsements by Planned Parenthood and other health care and women’s organizations.

And finally, as a Latina LGBTQ Coloradan, Sonya’s voice is needed more than ever today. She has a lifetime of experience in building coalitions and getting the job done. She is the voice our district needs today. We are proud to support Sonya Jaquez Lewis for for House District 12 representative.

Marcia R. Martin and Tim Waters of Longmont City Council

Reconsider school tax increases

Before approving any public school tax increase, the voters should demand that the following common sense reforms be implemented:

1) Prohibit paying anyone to perform union work. Public schools exist to educate children — not to benefit the union. Tax-funded union work is taxpayer abuse.

2) Abolish teacher tenure. Tenure protects low-performing teachers at the expense of our children’s education. Furthermore, protecting low-performing teachers is insulting to the average and high-performing teachers.

3) Slash the number of non-teaching employees. According to the Digest of Education Statistics, only 46.3 percent of Colorado public school employees were teachers in 2015, the latest year data are available. Colorado’s public schools have become insanely bloated with non-teaching employees. The focus needs to be put back on the classroom by capping the number of non-teaching employees, to at most one non-teaching employee for every three teachers.

4) Comply with the Colorado law against seniority-based reduction-in-force procedures, by removing the illegal seniority-based provisions from all union contracts. RIP the lowest performers first — not short timers.

If Colorado would implement the above common sense reforms, more than enough money would be saved to adequately fund public schools without any tax increase whatsoever, statewide or local.

Vote no on Amendment 73 (the statewide public school tax increase) and also no on any local school district tax increase, in order to help incentivize the public schools to implement discipline and prioritization in the spending of our tax dollars.

Chuck Wright/Westminster

In support of Phil Weiser

The role of the state Attorney General is to be the lawyer for the state, responsible for overseeing a large team of attorneys who are addressing areas of law from consumer protection to water law, as well as advising state agencies across the board.

Phil Weiser has an outstanding track record of leading complex litigation to protect consumers. For example, while at the U.S. Department of Justice, he managed teams of attorneys to get rural broadband to first responders.

Phil also served as the Dean of the CU Law School for five years. Again, showing his successful management skills. The Republican opponent wants you to believe that only trial law is the necessary experience to be the state Attorney General. In fact, knowing, understanding and making sure the law is followed is how our state Attorney General’s Office needs to operate.

It will with Phil Weiser. And that’s why I’m voting for Phil Weiser for our state Attorney General.

Barbara Stern/via internet

Against Ballot Initiative 6A

I oppose Ballot Initiative 6A and hope both the residents of the affected district and the Superior Town Board will do the same. We residents have tremendous respect for the professionals in the Rocky Mountain Fire Protection District (RMFPD) and the service they provide to all of us.

The inherent ambiguity evident in 6A suggests that all taxpayers (residential and commercial) will be subject to RMFPD’s own determination on their additional needs for funds. Less transparency will be afforded to the district residents regarding the trade-offs that should factor into any decision as it relates to service levels.

Operating expenses at RMF have increased by 11-13 percent annually since 2014 with personnel expenses increasing nearly 17 percent since 2015. Additionally, RMFPD has an enormous cash balance and does not charge for ambulatory services as done so by other emergency service organizations.

Opportunities for cost reduction through service changes must always be fully evaluated prior to asking voters to increase taxes. With the ballot language of Initiative 6A, RMFPD would not be required to do so.

Unfortunately, the RMFPD already has one of the highest mill levies in the state. Homeowners and businesses in Superior pay nearly three times more than our neighbors in Louisville. This asymmetry puts our businesses at a distinct economic disadvantage to those same neighbors.

Based on my own analysis, if the ballot initiative passes and assuming continued modest increases in Superior residential property values, the RMFPD mill levy would be increased from 20.445 to 23.9 in 2020 and then to 29.0 in 2022.

I urge the voters in the district and the Town of Superior Board to support a no vote on Ballot Initiative 6A. The RMFPD should not be allowed to change the mill levy on their own and without specific assent by the voters.

Neal Shah/Superior resident and Trustee candidate

In support of Sonya Jaquez Lewis

I am writing to endorse Sonya Jaquez Lewis as Colorado State House District 12. As a Lafayette City Council member, I care that Sonya has served our town for over 21 years. Sonya served on the Boulder County Resource Conservation Board representing Lafayette and served on the Boulder County Board of Health for seven years. Sonya helped initiate and vote for the first oil and gas specialist to audit and detect any toxic spills from drilling in Boulder County. This specialist position was the first of its kind in the state. Sonya does not just talk, she takes action.

Sonya Jaquez Lewis is an oil-and-gas-impacted Coloradan. She organized her neighborhood and worked with Erie neighbors and has assisted members of Lafayette’s TAND, Together Against Neighborhood Drilling. Sonya supports Proposition 112 and is against Amendment 74. She gathered almost 200 signatures at public events like the Lafayette Farmers market for Proposition 112. Sonya is the true environmentalist in the race. She is the only Democratic candidate with her support for Proposition 112 right on her literature. Sonya is also the only candidate endorsed by Conservation Colorado, the largest environmental group in the state.

Sonya is not a one-issue candidate.

She is endorsed by the national group Progressive Change Committee because she has strong stands on working families, affordable housing and universal health care. Sonya is a licensed pharmacist and has a concrete plan to decrease the rising cost of prescription drugs. Sonya will keep working families as a priority. She is the only candidate endorsed by the AFL-CIO and the Boulder Area Labor Council.

As a city council member, I want our state house representative to have experience, to be responsive and full of integrity. Sonya Jaquez Lewis is that leader.

JD Mangat/Lafayette City Council

Paul Danish and CU South

This is the second time in my 65 years I am compelled to write a Letter to the Editor. Agree or disagree with Paul, I feel he is an absolute treasured resource for Boulder County. His thoughtful columns are informative, entertaining and well-written. E.g.: his column regarding CU expansion to the old STK site in Louisville (Re: “CU should expand in Louisville,” Danish Plan, Sept. 27, 2018). As a cyclist, I’d add one more data point. The U.S. Highway 36 bike path. Usable most of the year in our climate, it blends very well with the desire to reduce congestion on our ever increasingly clogged roads. Keep up the great work, Paul!

Tom Shonka/Hygiene

On Trump voters

Trump voters, I am starting to understand your viewpoints. I know most of you are well-meaning people and I respect many of your viewpoints and feel that even though there are disparities in your camp that you feel satisfied with your choice for president.  Firstly, one faction votes for traditional GOP principles like economy, reduced regulations concerning, business, Wall Street and the environment. They also favor allowing undocumented immigrants to work in their hotels, factories and on their farms as long as they can’t vote. The second group, the hard core right, would be perfectly happy to not deal with the complexities of providing basic needs and opportunities for all 350+ million Americans. These white xenophobic leaning people feel that destroying our government with our laws and constitutional protections is OK no matter how it is done as long as their own rights and wishes are protected. Unfortunately it is becoming acceptable to them that a fascist leaning hopeful dictator who has no morals but gives deference to white Christian morals for their votes is OK even if they have to abandon those morals to put him in power. These, and other observations, make me understand that Trump didn’t inspire his staunch supporters. You folks were already inclined and you enlisted Trump to accomplish your objectives.  The problem is, your objectives and Trump’s real objectives don’t really coincide. Through his tax cuts to himself and the other 2% wealthy, his ongoing and ever increasing profits from his hotels and his nomination of Kavanaugh to the supreme court who will exonerate him from any wrong doing, Donald plans to leave the presidency a much richer man while his ax of destruction on the environment, healthcare, education, public safety and even our precious democracy will be buried in the minds of Americans for generations

Tom Lopez/Longmont

Radford wrong on geo-engineering

With great interest, I read “Geo-engineered crops may help — and harm” by Tim Radford in the Aug. 23 Boulder Weekly (Re: Boulderganic). Sadly, Radford, a former science editor at the Guardian, continues the myth that large-scale geo-engineering is a proposal for the future, not the present reality.

Mr. Radford tells us that to deal with the possible starvation caused by global warming, we might have to spray our skies sometime in the future. I’m surprised that Mr. Radford doesn’t know that countries around the globe have been engaged in Solar Radiation Management (SRM) for decades. There are 21.6 million links to SRM on Google, not exactly a paucity of information on the topic.

SRM is a form of climate engineering that involves spraying highly toxic heavy metal and chemical aerosols from airplanes into the atmosphere.  Although SRM is supposed to mitigate climate change by reflecting heat back out into the atmosphere, it is in fact fueling the overall warming of the planet due to the fact that the aerosols form clouds that trap heat.

You may have seen airplanes spraying these aerosols and the resultant clouds. These clouds are not regular jet engine contrails of water vapor, a myth that has been propagated by the government and the media to keep the public in the dark and to assuage their concerns.

We can see with our own eyes the trails left by the planes spraying the aerosols and the resultant clouds that linger for hours and hours. We all know from our own experience that when we breathe out on a cold day, the water vapor that forms does not linger for hours, but disappears very quickly. These clouds are not water vapor.

Eventually the metal aerosols float down to the earth and wreak havoc on the planet and its inhabitants. SRM is contributing to extreme drought, flooding, storms, forest devastation and forest fires. SRM also kills bees and causes health problems. In combination with powerful radio frequencies, the aerosols destroy the earth’s ozone layer,

Although the government denies SRM is occurring, available data confirms widespread deployment of SRM programs. Data includes precipitation tests from around the world that confirm that alarming levels of aluminum, barium and strontium (named in geoengineering patents) are saturating our breathable air column. Tests of blood, urine and hair confirm extreme buildup of these toxins in humans.

There are links to many government documents, including a 750-page U.S. Senate report, as well as other data at the highly scientific website www.geoengineeringwatch.org. I urge you to do your own research. Don’t assume you are getting the truth from the government or the media.

Is Mr. Radford ignorant or is he hiding something? You decide.

Carolyn Bninski/Boulder

On Trumpism

By any standard, Donald Trump is a chauvinist, sexist, racist, capitalist pig. That he has a sizable and avid following willing to overlook his blatant boorishness speaks worlds to the grasp white identity holds still in America’s self-image. White men and their dutiful wives made America the great nation it rose to be. Brown-skinned people were but riders on the train. Despite it being 82 years since Jesse Owens, in the 1936 Olympics, first shattered the myth of Aryan superiority, with sports now exemplifying successful integration, Donald Trump has been masterful in sensing and manipulating white anxiety over lost standing and influence, particularly as evidenced by the election of Barack Obama. His early embrace of the “birther” movement and his current railings at black athletes protesting racial injustices are rallying cries to his anxious base, and here the Republican Party, ever hungry for power with gerrymandering and voter suppression, has tagged along like a ragged street gang following the neighborhood bully. Overall, it is a disturbing phenomenon.

Robert Porath/Boulder