CORRECTION: A July 29 story, “The return of Alfalfa’s,” incorrectly spelled the last name of Horizon Organic Dairy co-founder Paul Repetto. In addition, the article said that Alfalfa’s co-founder Mark Retzloff helped create Greenmont Capital in 1969. Greenmont was founded in 2003; Retzloff ’s Eden Foods was formed in 1969.
(Re: “Boxed in,” cover story, July 29.) I have seen this man perform. I know people who know him. He is a person who has been in the U.S.A. for a long time. He should abide by the rules placed on all other people.
If he pays his taxes on the approximately $50,000 he makes and his kids are not in a government system, then he should get the typical slap on the hand. If he does not do what he is supposed to do as a responsible working person in this country he is visiting, then he should be deported.
We all know he is a pothead. Do not think it is a spiritual thing … he does know how to meditate, doesn’t he?
Wayne Bogatin/via Internet
Hell Fest after all
I’m one of the left-wing progressives that did attend Heaven Fest. I went out to see for myself what all of the hubbub was about. I arrived at 2 p.m. and left at 9 p.m.
There were not 40,000 people there, perhaps there were half that.
While I was concerned about the environment, I am more concerned about the long-range effects that so many right-wing believers will have on Boulder County. ... Citizens of Boulder should take note.
Most of these folks vote Republican, hate taxes, hate big government, hate open space, but love building on every parcel of land that becomes available to them. Take note of Rocky Mountain Christian in Niwot and LifeBridge in Longmont. They believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, which stands at odds with everything a free society should support. They also vote their values, and they do vote.
Boulder sits in a bubble, liberal, proud, kind of stupid, really. One of these days the tax increases for open space, environmental causes and social causes that you hold so dear will be put to the test by the growing conservative power to the north.
The progressive candidates that you support will find it more difficult to be elected.
Those Christians at Heaven Fest are such nice folks. ... this is a battle of ideas, not just the environment … wake up!
Micky O’brien/via Internet
Customers who carry Humana insurance have just been given notification ( July 6, in my case) that Humana has decided to terminate its contract with Boulder Community Hospital (BCH), to be effective as of Aug. 22. Humana members who live in Boulder will be subject to higher out-of-pocket costs and penalties if we choose to receive care at BCH. For those Humana members who live in Boulder this essentially means we cannot use our local hospital even if Humana covers the doctor — and this is going to be a major problem as well.
Humana has also terminated its contract with the Boulder Valley IPA (the organization which assists physicians with their contracts with insurance plans), and plans to negotiate individually with doctors. Most doctors in the Boulder area belong to this organization. Historically, if they have negotiated individually, physicians have tended to receive lower rates of reimbursements, which may not cover overhead costs, or they chose not to bother with the company at all. Now the Humana customers in the Boulder area will need to find a new doctor who is covered by Humana and who has admitting privileges at the other three hospitals that are now in Humana’s network: Good Samaritan, Avista and Longmont United.
I know people are really tired of hearing about health care reform, but this problem goes to the heart of one of the most deplorable pieces of this complex puzzle. Payment for the cost of health care is provided by a “middle man” (insurance companies) that not only must make a profit, but a substantial enough profit to pay dividends to people who have absolutely no interest in health care — and the profits are never enough. It’s always in the best interest of insurance companies to collect large premiums and pay providers as little as possible. Many hospitals and providers will testify that reimbursements rarely cover actual costs, so they try to negotiate a better rate. We really don’t know the actual “cost” of our health care, and it becomes a vicious circle, with patients continually at the mercy of these rate negotiations.
Humana’s profits increased 61 percent in 2009 (Boston Globe, March 9) and, according to the Wall Street Journal (April 27), Humana has increased its first-quarter earnings this year by 26 percent. Their first-quarter profits were $258.8 million. They have also dropped five hospitals in the San Antonio area, adversely affecting 35,000 people. And, of course, there are the folks at the top. CEO Michael McCallister is reported to have made $6.5 million in 2009 (Boston Globe, March 9).
The investment machinations of these companies are beyond understanding, and nowhere is it mentioned that people are healthier or better cared for. And these issues are beyond the scope of this letter and the immediate problem.
So to all Humana members and care providers — let Humana know that denial of access to our local physicians and excellent community nonprofit hospital is not OK. We would like to keep the revenues in the city, among other things. You can also contact the Colorado Division of Insurance at 303-894-7499 or go to the website and file a complaint.
More on white guilt
(Re: “Not guilty,” letters, July 8.)
Regarding Sue Anderson and those who do not believe in white guilt, Sue began, “Your white guilt article is more like white trash-talk. Racism is not only the disease of the white man.” The fact that some people from every race are prejudiced does not mean we should ignore institutional discrimination. A statistical privilege that you “take,” like most people would, when you’re more likely to “achieve success,” “stay out of prison,” “afford and find good health,” “not die a violent death,” and so on.
When people recognize they are receiving benefits others do not, the “ego” protects oneself from guilt. One way to think about “ego” is to measure your selfishness. Big ego, selfish. Little ego, high compassion and desire to help a fellow human being. Anger towards the fact that genocide, theft of land and destruction of culture affects people’s economic and social status for generations is narcissistic. To be educated and unable to understand the concept of “ego,” one must dismiss empathy.
I agree with most of Sue’s understanding behind [Pamela White’s] logic.
“According to your logic, we should every one of us bear unimaginable shame due to the reprehensible actions of others who are of the same skin tone.” I disagree in two ways. One, I believe the offense and shame are imaginable. We have lived through humanity’s most murderous century. When shame is unthinkable, human kind often allows its darkest reality to continue. And two, people should feel some responsibility to help change the effects of reprehensible actions of anyone. That is how humanity creates peace.
As the child of a Caucasian mother and African-American father I have been, as Sue partially guessed, “doubly burdened.” I also felt socially alienated because of my national, cultural and gender (raised by mother and grandmother) diversity.
I learned early on that communication relies heavily on background, generalizations and stereotypes. The jargon enables cruelty and misguidance, as seen in our media, politics and school playgrounds. We use terminology that cannot tell the story of simple people or events.
Most people and events in the world are complicated. Many Americans have intractable beliefs they understand as practical. [White’s] compassionate focus for the oppressed does not tell the whole story. But Sue can not claim Truth, stating that the “white guy” is responsible for “providing an infrastructure that is the envy of the world and precisely why people want to live here.” Various Americans’ intelligence and effort made this country’s infrastructure great and is why people everywhere want to live here.
I agree with Sue that “the white guy is under attack.” Her letter is a perfect example. The strategy is called divide and conquer. Sue called Washington and Jefferson a “noble group of white guys,” but did not mention that their nobility excluded Native Americans, African Americans and women.
And despite 150 years of terrorism, millions of lives sacrificing freedom and breath to obtain more civil rights, Sue writes, “The society they [the Founding Fathers] envisioned is being destroyed. It failed.”
Sue continued, “Articles like this [white guilt] make me shudder and fear the worst. It’s just more white-bashing trash talk.” She then concluded that white guilt is not worthy of constructive dialogue. People who are too outraged to engage in honest discussion of painful realities create refuge for violent extremists that are found in every corner of our world. For democracy to succeed, all people must come to the table, take another human being for their word, and transform themselves in some way.
I wrote this letter for a few reasons.
One is that throughout my 41 years as a minority in Boulder, I have mistaken passivity for peace. I wish I had spoken up more often and can find value in Churchill’s frankness. Two, to illustrate how difficult it is to express feelings and full meaning. Language is a blunt tool when it comes to the complex experiences and needs of an individual. I am sure my words convey a message I did not intend, still, I believe this letter is a truthful expression.
My main point is justice begins when everyone is heard. Dialogue produces democracy, and our Founding Fathers, among others, fought for it. The colonists’, slaves’, women’s and others’ civil rights were ignored for decades, while no treaty has been kept with natives of this land. Americans fail when they refuse to dialogue.
No climate change bill?
The U.S. Senate finished its session this month without finishing its job.
In poll after poll, Americans have shown they want action on climate change. The Senate is out of touch with America.
To slow climate change, the United States needs an effective climate and clean energy bill.
We need to replace carbon-intensive fuels with clean, renewable sources of energy. And yet senators failed to deliver on this most vital of issues, in many cases because their re-election is being funded by fossil fuel industries.
A “Tackling Climate Change” report by the Colorado-based American Solar Energy Society (report on www.ases.org) found that if U.S. policymakers fully supported the renewable energy and energy-efficient industries, we could generate up to $4.5 trillion in revenue in the U.S. and 40 million new green jobs by 2030.
Colorado citizens: We need to press our legislators to introduce a strong climate and clean energy bill.
A clean energy bill needs a firm cap on carbon emissions, across the economy, and a robust national renewable electricity standard.
These steps will help protect our environment and move us toward a renewable energy economy and a sustainable lifestyle.
Take action with your voice and your e-mail.
Neshama Abraham/BoulderBoulder Weekly welcomes your e-mail correspondence. Letters must not exceed 400 words and should include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Addresses will not be published. We do not publish anonymous letters or those signed with pseudonyms. Letters become the property of Boulder Weekly and will be published on our website. Send letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for Boulder Weekly on the World Wide Web at: www.boulderweekly.com.