Letters to the editor: Dec. 7, 2023

On criticism, disdain and recommended reading


On criticism

It is not anti-Jew to criticize Israel for human rights violations.

It is not anti-Buddhist to criticize Myanmar for human rights violations.

It is not anti-Muslim to criticize Saudi Arabia for human rights violations.

It is not anti-Hindu to criticize India for human rights violations.

It is not anti-American to criticize the United States for human rights violations. 

— Seemanta, Boulder

Recommended reading

In 1989, John McPhee published The Control of Nature. Akin to your description of Over the Seawall by Stephen Robert Miller (“Sea Change,” Nov. 16, 2023), though without the urgent backdrop of carbon-fueled climate change, it documented three challenges to human infrastructure — the course of the Mississippi River, lava flows in Iceland and debris flows from the San Gabriel Mountains above Los Angeles — and the massive engineering projects undertaken to mitigate them.

Readers curious about Miller’s book may be interested in McPhee’s as well. The latter is available at the Boulder Public Library, and the former is on order.

— Matthew Messner, Boulder

Disapproval doesn’t warrant disdain

“We don’t need no stinking public amenities,” is how Longmont Council woman Marcia Martin characterized her constituents’ rejection of three local ballot initiatives as quoted in Boulder Weekly (“Ballot Breakdown,” Nov. 16, 2023). In the section entitled “Longmont Hates Taxes,” Martin was quoted as saying, “… everybody’s mad, everybody’s nostalgic for the Longmont of 1980.”

There could be several reasons for Longmont voters — even those who support the arts, libraries, recreation and lower-cost housing to not support the measures. The proposed arts center, at an undetermined location, seemed to get a lot of press from realtors; Martin and other supporters who promoted the Sugar Beet site, which could open a can of worms as the site and adjacent buildings could require demolition, remediation and, perhaps, even some toxic waste mitigation. The Y/Centennial Pool land swap to accommodate low-cost housing was never sufficiently explained to voters. A new rec center, pool, ice rink and library on the west end of town could each appeal to a segment of voters, but a plurality is required for any ballot approval.

Voters generally seemed to express that the three measures would increase taxes at a time when those same voters will be facing record tax increases due to rising home valuations.  Those anxious homeowners are still awaiting the cost on their coming real estate tax bills.

Whether the individual measures could pass if spread over several election cycles or if presented during a general presidential election remains to be seen. The only certainty is Martin’s condescension of her own constituents.

— John Loughran, Longmont


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