Letters | Brilliant reporting


Thank you so much for the brilliant reporting in the Sept. 6-12 issue concerning barcodes/numbers on ballots (“Can your vote be traced?”, cover story).

Also, thank you for the fabulous graphics. The “barcode weevil” or “clerk snooping in the barcodes” is terrific!

We at Citizen Center and other friends of election integrity are working diligently to prevent the clerk from carrying out her plan to impose the barcodes/numbers and again make our ballots traceable as they were in the primary. The article has helped people understand the issue better than anything else that has been published.

I am highly impressed!

Mary Eberle, co-founder, Citizen Center/Boulder

Rare journalism

(Re: “Monsanto’s point of no return,” cover story, Aug. 30.) Fantastic job cutting through to the core of the issue I have spent the past 30 years trying to teach.

A more positive, follow-up article might now be appropriate. We are seeing hundreds of seed exchanges, seed libraries and a whole new wave of small bio-regional seed companies rising up to meet the challenge so clearly stated in your article.

We teach a six-day program here called “Seed School” as our response. Stephen Thomas and I wrote an article outlining some of this in an article in Acres magazine.

Feel free to use what you need. Let me know if we can help.

You are doing good work. I just wished this kind of journalism wasn’t so rare.


Bill McDorman, executive director of Native Seeds/SEARCH/Tucson, Ariz.

Danish, not so much

I wonder if Paul Danish, in his latest article, “Nixon’s negative campaigns,” may have spoken inadvertently about his own relationship with honesty and politics. In a fictional dialogue with Richard Nixon, Danish has Tricky Dick say about politics: “Honest smears are when you pick up on something your opponent said or did and spin it to fit your narrative. … They may be quoting out of context and spinning like whirling Dervishes, but they start with a kernel of truth. I’m cool with that kind of negative campaigning.”

Unfortunately, it seems that Danish is also cool with that kind of spinning of the truth in his writing. I’m still waiting for the Weekly or for Danish to acknowledge that some of his writing about climate change has been clearly inaccurate — such as when he took the “climategate” scientists’ quotes out of context and spun them to fit his general wishful thinking about global warming.

To refresh the reader’s mind, Danish wrote at the time of the Copenhagen climate talks: “The picture presented by the e-mails is one of corrupt scientists and corrupt science,” and the work of the scientists was “brazenly deceitful.” Furthermore, Danish prematurely claimed that “The e-mails revealed that the CRU scientists, who are some of the most influential in the field — and CRU Director Phil Jones in particular — sought to suppress the publication of the work of scientists with whom they disagreed, discussed blacklisting and boycotting scientific journals that published research and presented views that differed from theirs, and attempted to get the editors of such journals removed.”

Since then, several formal investigations in the U.S. and Britain cleared the scientists from unethical behavior and verified their research findings. In other words, Danish made wrong accusations, unproven conclusions, and spun misinformation about one of the important issues of our time.

The Mitt Romney campaign has been using similar tactics, such as distorting the meaning of the “you didn’t build it” quotation from President Obama when he argued that individual success also depends on the community. The Republicans even built their convention theme around this distortion.

Let’s remember — lying caught up to Nixon, and voters and readers should demand more from their leaders and journalists when they compromise the truth. Weekly readers should keep a close eye on Danish’s claims, and ask the publisher, Stewart Sallo, to demand clearer thinking from him, including retractions and corrections, when he gets it wrong.

Doug Dupler/via Internet

A good fracking book

(Re: “The toxic hell of fracking (children welcome),” Danish Plan, Aug. 23.) Anyone wishing to learn more about aspects of the fracking issue is likely to be helped along by reading The End of Country. The author, Seamus McGraw, grew up in a rural Pennsylvania community that attracted the interest of energy companies desiring to produce natural gas from Marcellus shale.

McGraw portrays numerous community members — ranging from multi-generational subsistence farmers to retirees escaping the big city rush — as only a home-grown person could. Some villagers opposed drilling. Others sold to the landman and became wealthy in small and big ways.

McGraw describes findings of a local college professor who analyzed the geology and size of natural gas deposits in the shale under Dimock, Penn. Interestingly, McGraw describes some aspects of the fracking process, including the use of huge amounts of water, the use of chemicals, and the use of tiny particles to wedge open microcracks in fracked shale.

Natural gas production changed the sociology of McGraw’s hometown. That far-reaching change is summed up in the title of his book.

Bruce Christ/Boulder

Review boosted my business

Editor’s note: The following is a letter to Boulder Weekly restaurant reviewer Clay Fong.

(Re: “Back to the basics,” Cuisine Review, Sept. 13.) I am the owner of Crane Hollow Cafe and I want to thank you for your recent article about us in the Boulder Weekly. I have read other reviews written by you and I know you have discriminating taste so I was pleased to see your favorable review.

We have had at least a dozen or more new customers come in specifically because of your article. As a relatively new owner and a local small business I greatly appreciate having had the opportunity of being featured in the Boulder Weekly!

I look forward to meeting you if you should drop by again.

Debbie Schlepp/Crane Hollow Café

Pearl Street smoking ban

The City of Boulder is leaning toward banning smoking on the Pearl Street Mall.

In case no one has noticed, committing suicide anywhere in the state is technically illegal already, no matter how long it takes.

Smokers are a tenacious bunch, figuring it is their right to be hooked.

OK, let ’em do their filthy thing on the mall, provided they swallow all their cigarette and cigar butts and never, ever exhale.

Now, there’s a deal!

Gregory Iwan/Longmont


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