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August 14-20, 2008 email@example.com
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• See Danish Plan
• See Stew's Views
A fair report
(Re: “Home, sweet mobile home,” cover story, Aug. 7.) I am a 10-year resident of Orchard Grove and just read your cover story in the Aug. 7 Boulder Weekly.
Your positive, fair-minded narration of our situation here in Orchard Grove leaves me feeling grateful for being heard and accurately represented.
I especially appreciate your inclusion of many viewpoints — Orchard Grove residents, John Pollak of the City of Boulder, members of the City Council, and the developer, Jim Chanin.
I happen to believe that good reporting does what you did with this story — listens to many sides impartially and lets the chips fall where they may. Because you did this, Orchard Grove’s story shines through on its own merits, untainted by the suspicion of a biased reporting job.
In the end, this approach is the most convincing, and I believe it will help convince my fellow Boulder citizens that saving Orchard Grove is a truly righteous cause.
Ava B. Goodheart/Boulder
The bottom of Pickens’ Plan
(Re: “A viable energy plan,” Danish Plan, July 31.) I was sort of shocked at Obama’s pseudo-endorsement of the Pickens’ Plan last week. Plus, like many of you, I was curious to see what this smiling grandpa of a Texas oilman really had to say. So I did my due diligence and watched him plug away on Larry King last week.
Now, to set the context: I am not an anti-capitalist, tree-hugging chai-drinking Boulder extremo. But in listening to his responses and watching his expressions, my instinct was that this guy’s plan was only to benefit himself and was simply playing on our emotions concerning the environment, climate change and terrorism.
I did a little more research (apparently a little more than Paul Danish) and got to the bottom of the Pickens’ Plan. It turns out he wants to suck the Ogalalla aquifer dry, selling this water to the Texas suburbs and is using eminent domain to build a pipeline between his ranch and Dallas.
Well, he has gotten lots of resistance for that one. But what if he were to piggyback his pipeline along an alternative-energy transmission line in the name of national security, the economy and the environment? Hmm.
Milos Novotny/via Internet
The foresight thing
Many vested politicians say that offshore oil drilling is the most urgent answer to skyrocketing gas prices. Drilling for oil offshore will eventually put more barrels on the world market to be sold to the highest bidder, but there is no certainty that it will benefit the American driver.
More certainly we can reduce soaring gas prices by reviving the sinking dollar. This would mean reducing tax cuts for everybody, especially the rich, producing more exportable products, conserving energy, investing heavily in renewable energy and ending useless wars. Then we won’t need as much oil, and when demand-side economics kicks in, the person on the street will be in a better bargaining position. It’s the foresight thing.
Tom Lopez /Longmont
Sunshine Canyon tree cutting
Stealth Restoration Tree cutting is underway on a project designed to return the forest on Bald Mountain to a density equivalent to that of the 1860s. (Bald Mountain is a few miles up Sunshine Canyon, and a part of Boulder Open Space.) You can see images from the 1860s on the Web: photos of near-naked, stump-strewn hills. The goal is nearer 30 trees per acre than today’s 300.
You’d think for tree cutting of this magnitude that the neighbors would have been properly notified, an environmental impact study and complete environmental assessment made, or that at least the Sunshine Fire Protection Department would have been fully informed, but this was not the case. And now that it is underway, citizens have been told that because heavy equipment has already been leased, the project cannot be stopped.
It also turns out this is only one in a number of “research projects” Chad Julian of Boulder County Parks and Open Space intends to conduct on other public lands. While I understand the need for fire mitigation (and Julian said that restoration was a primary goal above mitigation) his project should have at least had a public hearing before it was begun.
I attended a meeting at which Mr. Julian finally spoke, and he addressed the assembled concerned citizens as if his projects were a done deal. I hope this is not the case, but if, on the other hand, his efforts result in improved ecosystems, surely he should be able to convince the mostly reasonable and well-educated citizens of Boulder County without operating behind their backs.
I hope Boulder County Parks and Open Space will see fit to evaluate these projects further and include the public in its decisions before so drastically altering our open space.
Stop the heart of Iran
Iran is a threat to the world. America and the other powers need to get tough with these criminals! A nuclear Iran will control the Middle East, which could lead to an oil crisis that we have never seen before. Iran has also threatened to send the first nuclear bomb to Israel. Israel is our friend and should take the Iranian threat seriously.
Iran has been buying time for years about dropping their program. If they continue to stall, it may be time to use military action against them.
Polis’ exemplary record
As I have been canvassing door to door for Jared Polis’ campaign, I have come to a realization. I had no idea how exemplary his record turns out to be. I found out from a teacher that he sends all the new educators a gift from Blue Mountain Arts when they are starting out. Another voter said Jared was on the Board of the Watershed School; someone else said he was on the Board of Eco-cycle. Yet another said they knew him from the League of Conservation Voters at a fund-raiser. His family was acknowledged as the sponsor of the 50-year Gala Celebration of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, when I went to hear an eloquent and insightful reading by his brother, Jorian.
Jared is on-point in the core issue of resource diversion to Iraq. Funding streams are needed in this country to convert to a renewable-energy economy before we have lost critical bridging resources to get there. This will enable basic human services to be restored and economic stability to return. His plan to get out of Iraq is endorsed by 50 other democratic candidates and 10,000 citizens, covers equitable resolution of complex effects of our intervention there, and is ready for prime time January 1.
I think it is noteworthy to reflect on the fact that Jared’s experience in the field of education, like that of his friend and candidate for Federal Senate, Mike Miles, is significant. He sat as Chair of the State Board Of Education in 2000, the first democrat in 30 years. From providing access to computers for school kids to starting charter schools with night-time hours, childcare and English as a second language to meet the needs of stressed populations, he has taken on the challenge of needs unmet by pre-existing institutions. This leads him to call for systemic comprehensive reform in all the other key issues like energy and environment, foreign policy, health care, election reform, media, banking and mortgage industries, land use, transportation and preventative natural disaster management.
He seems to know how to engage in the kind of collaboration to actually get things done. Key to this is his sense of curiosity — he asks the right questions, he listens, he usually has the right answers and appears to be exceedingly well informed from the specific to the broader aspects of issues and interdependencies. He’s been successful in starting his own internet-related business. Integrity guides the dispensation of his personal wealth. It is rare among progressive Democrats to have access to these kinds of funds absent of influence peddling. His wealth combined with ideas that actually reflect the true sentiments of the majority serves as a formidable threat to many heretofore thought “mainstream’’ political operatives and ideologues of either party.
The point has come that we have little more time to waste. Len Barron/Albert Einstein said time was invented so we can change our minds.
Climate change effects dictate global co-operation in creative efforts to solve much more imminent dilemmas than the negative and fear-based ones of wars over resource extraction, which only serves to accelerate depletion of those very resources. Jared will be a driver on the leading edge as the inevitable evolution of political thought shifts. His voice and influence is critically needed on each and every one of those 435 individuals comprising the Federal House of Representatives. He is a real leader.
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