Vote for Valerie Mitchell

Letters | Week of Oct. 15


CORRECTION: In our Oct. 8 VOTE 2009 edition, a checkmark ended up in the wrong box. For the Boulder Valley School District race for District B, Boulder Weekly endorses Lesley Smith.

Vote for Valerie Mitchell

With all the endorsements and coverage of Boulder’s candidates for the five seats available on City Council, not enough attention has been paid to Valerie Mitchell. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Valerie is running a different kind of campaign.

Valerie has not focused on fundraising and is running on a small, green budget: a few homemade lawn signs and little campaign literature to clog our recycling bins.

A stay-at-home mother of two and a member of Boulder’s working class, Valerie wants to leverage the valuable workforce comprising our parent population that stays at home. Valerie will bridge the gap between this untapped workforce and our local employers to benefit the community, our environment and our tax revenue.

An activist at heart and in practice, Valerie was inspired to run for council in order to represent the underrepresented in Boulder. Like 50 percent of Boulder citizens but unlike virtually all of the sitting council members, Valerie resides in a rental property.

She offers a perspective from a significant segment of our community that historically has not been represented on council: students, apartment dwellers and low-income families that can’t afford property in Boulder.

It’s easy to recognize the importance of introducing a voice on council to speak for this underrepresented population. Our city has designed and implemented an affordable housing program without anyone who qualifies for it even serving on the council!

Valerie brings incentives for landlords to upgrade their units to increase energy efficiency while saving renters money, increasing property values and decreasing Boulder’s carbon footprint. Valerie’s even-keeled nature combined with her principled, common sense approach and fresh ideas to strengthen landlord-tenant relations and community service offers exactly the type of leadership Boulder needs now and in the years to come.

To learn more, please visit

Jill Bielawski/Boulder

Muckle for Louisville Ward I

Voters in Louisville’s Ward I have an opportunity to re-elect someone who has been an outstanding representative for his constituents during his first term on the Louisville City Council. Bob Muckle understands the factors that have led to Louisville being repeatedly selected by national publications as one of the best places to live in America and has fought to keep things that way.

Bob has been a tireless advocate for historic preservation and for retaining the character of Louisville’s historic downtown, thus helping keep it the vibrant attraction that brings so many people to dine, shop and live in downtown Louisville. He understands that the character of our town is a major reason why we have such a great quality of life in Louisville.

Bob was instrumental in the drafting and successful passage of Louisville’s Historic Preservation Fund, which gives voluntary incentives to property owners to rehabilitate and preserve historic properties. He supported citywide curbside recycling and is a strong advocate of open space and trails and supports building height restrictions.

Louisville is at a crossroads, and now more than ever we need leadership that respects the character of our town and will fight to retain the things that make our city one of the best places to live in the nation. Please join me in supporting Bob Muckle for re-election to City Council in Ward I.

Mike Koertje/Louisville

A real path toward peace

President Obama received the Nobel Peace prize. Now, all he needs to do is try to create peace … as he promised.

I suggest that he begin by bringing our troops home from the Middle East. His political adversaries will no doubt have a field day of criticism and cynical comments, but he should not let that deter him. There will always be those who oppose whatever he attempts.

As we have seen during the last administration, calling enemies of America “terrorists” is, at best, non-productive and has resulted in using Bush’s hubris as a tool of recruitment for “terrorist” factions.

The fact is that the Muslim world has seen America and the U.K, led by right-wing ideologues, wage a failed “Holy War” pitting Islam against Christianity, and it’s time to show that we recognize the futility in that approach. How about letting Muslim countries step up and solve their own problems? Saudi Arabia can certainly afford to foot the bill with petro-dollars (and petro-pounds, and petro-yen, etc.). The presence of “Christian” armed forces in Saudi Arabia was one of Osama Bin-Laden’s reasons for his jihad against America. If we remove the troops, we eliminate one justification for terrorist activity.

We can certainly keep monitoring activity via satellite imagery and drones. We have the technology, so let’s use it and take our troops out of harm’s way.

Right-winged factions here and abroad should not have a problem with keeping our troops alive and well unless they have a financial stake in war profiteering, that is. It’s time to see just who would object to peace in the Middle East and why.

Our support of Israel should be examined from a common sense approach, as well. Why are we sending billions in military foreign aid to another country with nuclear capabilities? Muslim countries already know that Israel will do whatever is necessary to protect itself, and they also know that the USA will have their backs, if necessary. They also know that, sadly, the USA has been the only country to use nuclear weapons, so, for better or worse, that is a fact that has kept us “safe” for more than a half a century.

We’ve tried it their way, and we know the results of “cowboy diplomacy.” It didn’t work. It’s time for the “change” the world needs, and that Americans voted for.

Tommy Holeman/Longmont

Protect Hidden Gems

There is a lot of speculation concerning the Hidden Gems expansion of wilderness areas. We are afraid of losing precious trails for our bikes, sleds or dirt machines. Our time in the wild country is our most precious experience. This is our mountain homeland, and we want to keep it.

I look in our valleys and see the change from my 50 years here. I am stunned, yet I know that only a hundred years ago these were all wilderness lands visited by the Ute most summers and left to creation during the winters. I see the last 10 years growth, compounded by what is coming before commissioners now, and then I imagine that logarithmic leap in density for the next 100 years! Take a drive up Piceance Creek out of Rifle, and look into our future!

We owe it to ourselves and our children to actually look at the maps and work with Hidden Gems to secure the pristine areas we love. Chances are, our runs are not affected by any wilderness designations being proposed. Chances are better that the Forest Service or BLM has already closed the area. The ones I have walked are miniscule. It barely takes an hour to cross into wilderness or another road and pipeline.

Let’s know for sure before we halt this preservation effort because of misconceptions! The maps are naturally complex. Please study them. Ask for a presentation to your group. Help the Gems help us.

John Hoffmann/Carbondale Colo.

Clear thinking on Iran

Recent letters and “reports” respecting Iran have wanted basic facts. The International Atomic Energy Agency has accounted for all of Iran’s nuclear material. No one accuses Iran of diverting any. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, facilities must be declared six months prior to operation. The facility in Qom is a year from being operational. Parties to the NPT have right in law to enrich uranium.

Natural uranium is 0.8 percent U235. Light water power reactors require uranium “enriched” to 5 percent. A bomb requires 80 percent to 98 percent pure U235. Iran cannot achieve this in less than five years. Ten to 15 years is more realistic. The U.S. supplies enriched uranium to India, in violation of the NPT.

When George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan, the president of Iran sealed his border against the Taliban and offered to negotiate and settle any disputes with the U.S. Bush responded by declaring war on Iraq, Iran and Syria. The rise of Ahmadinejad was an outcome of this. If Ahmadinejad can link his domestic opposition with Washington, he can legitimize his government.

U.S. and Israeli jets have been rehearsing a massive attack on Iran for months. Israel has the F-15 E, intermediate-range ballistic missiles, and 250 H bombs. Israel never signed the NPT.

The U.S. overthrew secular democracy in Iran in 1954, and founded SAVOC, the secret police who destroyed secular opposition to the U.S.-backed dictator. The eight years war where Saddam Hussein bombed Iran’s cities and used poison gas with the assistance of the U.S. enabled Islamists to ram through amendments to the constitution gaining power they had not had.

The U.S. is tightening the economic noose and paying Iraqi Kurds to raid across the border before “talks.” When the EU talked to Iran, they were not interested in economic rewards. They wanted security guarantees.

Gary Erb/Boulder

The global warming debate

As a geologist, I investigated the “fact” of anthropogenic global warming after reading the “Climate Change, it’s China’s Call” (Danish Plan, Sept. 24). I found scientific research in peer-reviewed geological and meteorological journals over the last 50 years presenting reproducible evidence of global climate change throughout geologic time. Change is the norm. Diverse research demonstrates global climate from approximately 250 BCE [Before Common Era] to 600 ACE [After Common Era]. This time has documented temperatures 2 to 3 degrees Celsius warmer than the warmest temperatures today. It is the Roman Warm Period.

From approximately 600-900 ACE, global temperatures dropped, causing shorter, cooler growing seasons, earlier freezes and longer winters. This climate change coincides with the Dark Ages, the Black Death (the Plague) and the breakdown of civilization.

A milder climate from around 900-1200 ACE permitted crop harvests to reach epic levels. Abundant harvests permitted taxation and labor to construct castles, cathedrals and public buildings. The period of climate change from 1300 to approximately 1850 ACE is the Little Ice Age.

An overall warming trend continues from the 1850s until the present. Pay close attention to the fact that the Roman Warm, Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm occurred long before a significant human contribution of “greenhouse” gases. Global warming is a fact, but we as humans are not the primary causative agent of that change. Unlike the glacial periods of the Pleistocene, the globe doesn’t have a huge mile-thick ice sheet covering North America and Europe, which upon melting caused sea level to rise by as much as a hundred meters. We are indeed very poor stewards of our globe, but not the contributors to the doom of our planet due to global warming. Go to www.CO2 for links.

Fred Behnken/Midland, Texas