Letters: 5/12/16

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

These really are Dyertimes
I’d like to thank Mr. Dyer for his excellent column on our State Supreme Court’s decision to overturn several citizen initiatives to limit fracking within city limits [Re: “What Now?” May 5].
I already knew that Governor Frackenlooper was in the pocket of big oil. Now the high court has shown its true colors as well. The Justices write, “The State’s goals are to optimize oil and gas recovery…” Really? When did “we the people” decide this was our state goal?

Yes to oil and gas profiteering, says the Colorado Supreme Court, the people and the environment be damned.
I hope you will join in the effort to continue the fight for our right to clean water and to gain some control over big oil and gas development. Sign a petition, better yet, circulate one — we need to change the current Colorado laws regarding fossil fuel extraction. Call or write your state representatives and demand they listen to YOUR voice or lose your vote. Oil and gas has money, but only WE have the numbers to determine an election’s outcome.

To quote the DyerTimes opinion, “Keep the political revolution alive!”
Yemaya Thayer/Lafayette

Rocky Mountain Greenway
It’s frightening to contemplate that our Boulder County Commissioners and City Councilmembers might choose to fund the building of the Rocky Mountain Greenway through the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. Such an action would be contrary to the precautionary principle and therefore not one based on concern for public health and safety.

The precautionary principle states that actions or policies should not be taken if they have even a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or the environment. In fact, this principle implies that, as policy makers, our elected officials have a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk.

Since the science is clear regarding the lethal dangers of airborne Plutonium 239, I urge them to act on behalf of the health and safety of all of us and not fund this project.
Marti Hopper/Boulder

RTD is a cheat
I don’t live in Boulder, but I spend a lot of time there. The people are interesting and the traffic is light (usually). When I first started driving to Boulder almost two years ago, I was bothered by the construction on U.S. 36. Little did I know that this construction would lead to a project like none other, the U.S. 36 Express Lane.

At first, I wondered if that highway needed an express lane. Alas, someone told me that highway was one of the only ones that operated at almost full capacity most of the time.
What I found out later was all of the details about the express lane, which involved the story of the light rail that might have been — the light rail from Denver to Longmont.

What I learned was a nightmare. Millions and millions of tax dollars were collected over a decade for a commuter rail from Denver to Boulder that is now estimated to be completed in 2040. And evidently those funds were used (at least in part) to pay for an express lane that seems to have become a passing lane for impatient Colorado drivers. I’m judging slightly, but I see it all the time. If you’re going to use it, don’t cross the double white lines! I digress.

In my research, I learned these facts. People of Denver: mildly angry. People of Boulder: angry. People of Longmont: downright LIVID. Now I’m not here to point fingers at whose fault it is that this project is becoming a perpetual cycle of letdown and disappointment. The RTD website says this commuter rail will be built to Boulder “when funding becomes available.” That’s awesome. I wish RTD nothing but the best of luck in their business endeavors, especially when it comes to dealing with the people of Longmont who seem to feel thoroughly cheated.

However, it is my job to say that this project timeline seems to be totally arbitrary. Why 2040? Is something special happening then? Additionally, wasn’t funding already made available in the millions and millions of dollars in taxes collected over the past 10 years?

Finally, speaking of that funding, if you were going to use the money to build an express lane couldn’t you have at least put in a couple of street lights so we don’t have to drive down U.S. 36 in total blinding darkness at night? One street light can’t be THAT expensive. Anyway, I just think the people of Boulder County deserve a more direct explanation than what they are getting now. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy our Flatiron Flyers and the new express bus to Longmont. That’s basically the same as a commuter rail, right?
Jessica Scott/Denver

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