Letters: May 18, 2023



I am a junior in high school and live in Boulder County. I, as well as many people I know, want to move back after college, but that won’t be likely if the current trend continues. Living here as a young adult, I will not have enough money to support myself in Boulder, will live in one of the surrounding cities while working in Boulder, and will need a form of transportation into and around Boulder. The major form of transportation into Boulder now is cars, which makes traffic, takes time and creates more greenhouse gasses. A form of transportation that was proposed in 2005 was the commuter rail line from Denver to Boulder to Longmont by RTD. This idea was advanced, and although RTD has collected more than $270 million in taxes for this and other projects, little has been done. The approximate completion date for it has now been pushed back to 2050 and the estimated cost for the project has gone from $66 million to $1.5 billion. Many people I know now love the Boulder area because of how environmentally friendly and clean it is. With the continuous addition of noise, light, and air pollution from the lack of effective public transportation, the Boulder area will cease to be the environmental haven it is seen as today, and I, as well as the kids I know, won’t want to return. We need to accelerate this slow process. Citizens of Boulder, is public transportation growing enough to keep up with the needs of your future family? Please voice your concerns with your elected officials to improve our future transportation grid.

— Imogen Kistner/Boulder


I came to Boulder as a bright-eyed freshman in 1964. Fifty-nine years is a long time. Time does fly by. In those years, Boulder and the university have changed exponentially. I recently had a small personal epiphany that CU and the Boulder of my memory and imagination no longer exist. Commerce completely rules the roost. As Kurt Vonnegut put it, “So it goes.” Change is inevitable, but I believe we can influence what that change can be. Such is the essence of democracy. As I see it, the impetus of change here simply boils down to gentrification, the power of money to dominate property transactions. I live in Martin Acres and we, and other neighborhoods bordering the main campus, feel under siege from the university’s constant expansion. Our current quality of life and community integrity are threatened by the influx of student rentals, “student-ification” if you will. The Council’s proposed changes to occupancy and ADU regulations will only make this worse. We are also inundated by queries and offers to buy from “pop the top” speculators and LLC landlord companies hoping to expand their hold on the neighborhood. Bye, bye single-family homes, hello multi-occupancy “landlord-ification.” This is what happens when money becomes a community’s driving force. That this is a Democratic Party policy initiative fronted by Jared Polis is beyond saddening, the lack of imagination staggering. Believing “affordable housing” will result from a libertarian land grab is a Don Quijote quest for fool’s gold. Rents will only come down when landlords reduce them, and that isn’t going to happen. Profit is ever the motive, however, community well-being should never be marginalized. Hard as it may seem these days, there are life considerations and concepts beyond the God almighty dollar. 

— Robert Porath/Boulder 


The past several years there has been a lot of talk about Donald Trump being a fascist. I’m tempted to use that word against any White capitalist who is also incredibly racist and uses racism to get support from the white working-class. But there are better definitions and part of one of them I think applies to Trump in a very damning way.

According to one source, one aspect of fascism is that the party and the state become one. In 2020 there was an article on the website Politico that exposed an aspect of the MAGA machine which is about doing just that. On April 21 they published an article about the federal workforce and the Office of Personnel Management (the federal government’s Human Resources office for civilians) and the Presidential Personnel Office. About halfway through it said of the then acting Director of the OPM:

“[Mike] Rigas has told colleagues that he questions the constitutionality of the 1883 Pendleton Act, which codifies using merit to pick government officials, and believes that all executive branch employees should be political appointees, according to a person who has discussed the matter with him. Rigas told POLITICO that he ‘denied ever saying or believing anything resembling that statement.’”

I believe that a lot of Trump supporters do agree with the sentiment Rigas is accused of expressing. As many people have pointed out, Trump believes that if he does something for people, they owe him, and I’m sure that includes federal employees during his presidency.

This should be pretty alarming without anything more, but there’s more evidence in the article and there’s also the fact that you don’t replace the entire federal workforce with political loyalists every four or eight years. If someone wants to do that, they plan to do it permanently and I think this might be some of the best evidence that Trump wants to be a dictator.

— Tom Shelley/Boulder


As many Americans cower in fear, defiance and boundless ignorance behind doors, they are finding flimsy excuses to use their Republican-inspired gun purchases on innocent strangers, like those who knock on the wrong door or pull a car into the wrong driveway.

Are Republicans trying to measure up to as much gun violence as the party founder Abraham Lincoln used against his countrymen in the 1860s, only with much less justification? Perhaps today we will see a second Civil War, this time a vigilante war, inspired by gun advertisements like “Clear the crack house,” “Ice the perp,” and “Save the hostage.”

Or perhaps the party of Lincoln is preparing for something even more sinister — absolute rule by the wealthy class and a hand-picked ruler. The more gun violence, the more chaos; the more chaos, the more jettisoning of debate and majority rule.

And who will be the best candidate for dictator in America? The one who talks “Guns and God” without the slightest knowledge of the historical place of either one in this democracy.

I wonder if Republicans can find such an unhinged candidate to support in 2024?

— Kimball Shinkoskey/Woods Cross, Utah