Letters: 6/16/16

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Polis statement on mass shooting in Orlando

The Orlando shooting was a direct attack on equality, diversity and freedom; it was an act of terror against all Americans.

Most tragically it snuffed out dozens of vibrant lives too soon, and darkened countless others. My heartfelt sympathy is with the victims as well as their families, friends and the city of Orlando.

My thoughts also remain with the entire LGBT community. Our community has been the target of hate and terror, and it is tragic that members of the community who want to give blood to help their friends are unjustifiably prevented from doing so despite the need.

While we mourn those lost, we must continue to be resilient. We, as a community, know that love will always prevail over hate.

Rep. Jared Polis is a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and the first openly gay parent to serve in Congress.

One Colorado on the Orlando tragedy

Our hearts and minds are with those in Orlando, Florida. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer night clubs have historically been safe spaces for people facing homophobia and transphobia, and it is within these spaces we have organized for civil rights and fought for equality.

This tragedy is a stark reminder that the battle to end violence against LGBTQ people is far from over.

We are shocked and devastated by the horrible shooting that occurred and our hearts are with the victims and families who have been impacted by this horrific act of violence targeting the LGBTQ community in Orlando. We cannot let this sensless act of violence drive a wedge between the LGBTQ community and our Muslim allies. The answer to hatred is love and unity, not more hatred.

We will not allow this to silence the LGBTQ community, or make us go into hiding.

Dave Montez, One Colorado

Guzman responds to Orlando murders

Our hearts are broken upon hearing about the tragic attack upon the LGBT community in Orlando. We in Colorado have dedicated many years towards passing laws which bring more respect and equality to those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

As a member of the LGBT community, I am deeply saddened at the unjust loss of brothers and sisters in Florida. May they rest in peace, and may their families be comforted and may we all continue working towards increasing safety, security and equality for all.

Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, D-Denver

Help native tribes protect wild lands

Just over the Colorado border in Utah — and it’s good to remember these borders are artificial, especially when it comes to use of public lands — leaders from five Native American tribes, the Hopi, Navajo, Ute Mountain, Pueblo of Zuni and the Ute Indian, have together founded the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition in an effort to conserve 1.9 million acres of ancestral land on the Colorado Plateau. This land is adjacent to Canyonlands and Glen Canyon and includes Valley of the Gods, some amazing canyon country, areas that still have wilderness character and more than 100,000 historic archeological sites. The tribes are urging President Obama to make this land a National Monument, especially crucial now as so much of the wonderful country in Utah is under threat.

This land is currently unprotected and Utah politicians are fighting to keep Bears Ears from becoming a Monument. Please support this cause by signing the petition to President Obama found at bearsearscoalition.org/action. I also urge all Coloradans who love wilderness and canyon country to join the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), and the Grand Canyon Trust, both of which are excellent organizations fighting a tough battle to preserve wild lands in Utah and the Colorado Plateau.

Joan Harvey/Boulder

101-word fiction review

Some people write because they like to. Some people write because they want admiration. Some people don’t write at all. I write to amuse myself. I almost always throw my work away because I already know the ending. The 101-Word entry I thought was the best was “The Receipt,” a perfect study of the realization of aging. It contained no cutesy metaphors, surprise violence or verbs that have no right to be verbs other than to appear clever. It didn’t depend on the last line to surprise or summarize. Sometimes I like to end my prose by just petering out…

Randy Niendorff

TPP will not protect oceans and sea life

Defenders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) say the trade deal will protect the world’s oceans and fisheries. Unfortunately, that claim fails to withstand a careful reading of the TPP text.

Supposedly, the TPP includes commitments to combat illegal fishing and prohibit harmful fisheries subsidies, both of which contribute to severe over harvesting. However, the TPP contains no specific binding provisions to ensure compliance. Worse yet, the TPP could stimulate trade in illegally caught fish such as Chilean sea bass by expanding market access to traditional transshipment ports in Singapore and Malaysia. Rather than obligating countries to abide by trade-related provisions of existing regional fisheries management organizations intended to prevent commerce in illegally caught fish, the TPP merely calls on countries to “endeavor not to undermine” the documentation schemes needed to ensure compliance.

International trade in shark fins and commercial whaling are major drivers of the rapid worldwide depletion of these populations. TPP members Peru and Mexico are among the world’s largest exporters of shark fins. TPP members Malaysia and Vietnam are among the world’s top shark fin importers. TPP member Japan has killed more whales than any other nation since the 1985 moratorium on commercial whaling, and continues to kill hundreds each year, allegedly for “scientific” purposes.

Although the TPP’s environment chapter says each Party “shall … promote the long-term conservation of sharks … and marine mammals,” the chapter includes no binding requirements to prohibit shark finning. Nor does the chapter mention commercial whaling, much less require any prohibitions on that practice.

Faith that TPP will protect endangered sea life seems to be misplaced.

Please tell Congressman Polis (303-484-9596) to vote “No” on the TPP.

Betty Ball/Boulder

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