Monday letters: Blake Gate, First Amendment, Boebert, Polis, schools, and Bruno
Sacrificing an established neighborhood for the sake of the commuters is wrong
Like Paula Stepp, I do not have confidence that this City Council has the best interests of the whole community in mind while deciding the important issue of opening Blake Gate to two-way traffic without sidewalks and a bike path. It is completely discordant from the stated goals of the 2011 Comprehensive Plan of alternative modes of travel throughout our city. We have to find a way to keep cars parked. Two-way traffic on Blake with the gate open and no bike or walking paths will not accomplish this. Additionally, one of the selling points of the Bell Rippy project in this location was the goal to keep vehicles parked. How would this happen if there are no bike or walking paths on Blake?
I am appalled that the stated reason (if I underwstood correctly) by Councilor Davis in the last City Council Zoom meeting was his personal inconvenience of leaving his home on Midland and not being able to drive to WalMart on Blake. He would rather permanently ruin a vibrant walking and biking neighborhood by opening the gate to two way traffic without paths first, so he doesn’t have to drive on Grand? By so stating, he also inadvertently proved the point that Aspen Commuters will also avoid driving on Grand, as we have already painfully learned, and clog up the whole East side of Glenwood Springs.
Please, slow down this decision on Blake. One way or two way? Open the gate, leave it closed? As Paula stated, people on Blake know change is coming, but seriously, can’t we have some meetings with these creative and willing developers; with the P&Z Commission who all worked so hard to make the Bell Rippy development even better; and the residents of Blake and Palmer? We don’t want to pit two neighborhoods against each other. Surely, we can all come together and find the best plan, whatever it is, for the residents of Blake, Palmer and the greater community of Glenwood Springs.
Look, I get it. This is one of those decisions that no one will be happy with. Whatever the final decision ends up to be, everyone will be able to accept the outcome easier if we at least had some creative and visionary engineers look at this issue objectively first, include input from neighbors and the whole community, and come up with an intelligent plan. What’s the rush, it’s been in this deplorable condition for a long time. A little more planning won’t hurt or delay anything. Sacrificing yet another established neighborhood for the sake of the commuters is wrong. We still have an opportunity to get this one right.
On the heels of his June 26 executive order to protect monuments and other federal property, President Trump sent border-patrol agents to Portland, Oregon. However, in Portland, instead of deploying in some sort of perimeter around federal monuments and property, the agents, wearing only generic “police” patches on their camouflage uniforms, arrived in vehicles that displayed no markings identifying them as belonging to any law-enforcement element, and began actively confronting and arresting demonstrators who were lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.
Since then Trump has sent federal law-enforcement agents to Seattle, Kansas City, and Chicago, and has promised a “surge” of agents to other cities. Oregon’s attorney general has requested a restraining order against federal agents sent to Portland. In addition, governors of other states and mayors of other cities have denounced these deployments. In spite of such pushbacks, Trump has persisted.
Clearly, I lack the legal background to make informed judgments about these matters. Up until now I believed that, constitutionally, policing activities was reserved to state and local authorities. However, formation of the Department of Homeland Security appears to have opened new avenues for the President to get involved, particularly in light of his executive order to protect federal property.
That said, I believe that federal agents must still avoid violation of First Amendment rights to assemble peaceably and speak freely. And, I believe that agents must still adhere to Fourth Amendment provisions for reasonable searches and seizures. It is easy for brick-throwers to infiltrate a group of lawful demonstrators, but things get fuzzy in a hurry when federal agents move away from protection of property and move into law enforcement roles.
It seems clear that Trump now wants to campaign as a law and order candidate, but, as we have seen in other countries, in following that path it becomes easy to cross lawful boundaries. For example, DHS leaders might decide that they need to collect and protect ballot boxes, or need to tap phones in order to collect intelligence about monument destruction plans. Those would be slippery-slope decisions.
Boebert doesn’t inspire confidence as a candidate for U.S. House
Lauren Boebert, the Republican candidate for the U.S. House from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District has gained a reputation for herself, but it’s not one that should inspire confidence in the job she would do if elected.
Boebert is running against Diane Mitsch Bush, former county commissioner for Routt County and who served as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from 2013 until 2017. There she fought for family agriculture, sustainable water infrastructure, renewable energy, small rural communities, public health, women’s rights, equality opportunity and the natural resources that sustain us all.
Mark Udall, former senator from Colorado, has endorsed Diane. He writes, “Diane is a legislator dedicated to policy based on facts, not ideology. She is tireless in her work representing Coloradans, is always willing to listen to her constituents’ concerns, and is a champion for the environment.
Now consider Boebert’s resume: she has no legislative experience whatsoever, she owns a restaurant /bar in Silt called Shooter’s Grill where she encourages her servers to open carry loaded guns while serving customers, she re-opened her business in defiance of Colorado coronavirus public health orders, and she has expressed support for QAnon, a fringe conspiracy theory that posits the existence of a pedophilic “deep state” working against President Donald Trump.
If Boebert is serious about wanting to engage in politics, she might want to start by running for a local or state office and learning to legislate. She doesn’t hesitate to express her opinions, but it’s not clear that she’s willing to engage constructively with differing opinions. Diane has already proven herself more than capable of these skills. She will hit the ground running as the Representative of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
Please go to the two candidates’ websites (laurenforcolorado.com and dianeforcolorado.com) and compare for yourself their strengths and weaknesses.
Above all, remember to vote on November 3rd.
Polis deal means no more progress on O&G regs
The deal Governor Jared Polis made with Protect Colorado, an oil and gas industry political action committee, is bad news for the climate cause. As revealed in a Polis Op-Ed, the PAC agreed to pull two ballot issues they planned for November that’d weaken Senate Bill 181 and House Bill 1261, two measures that’d somewhat regulate the industry and prioritize public health and safety when considering drilling permits.
In return, Polis asked legislative leaders not to consider any further regulations. That means no fracking ban, increased setbacks, or hold on permitting while the rules of SB 181 are established. SB 181 and HB 1261 were good first steps, but they need to be followed up on. Now, that seems unlikely.
Protect Colorado: that’s the definition of a misnomer. Protecting Colorado isn’t even on their agenda. They’re the outfit that raised $40 million to defeat Proposition 112 which called for a 2,500-foot setback for all oil and gas operations from housing, schools, and fresh water supplies. Protect Colorado flooded the airwaves with commercials saying, without evidence, Prop 112 would ruin Colorado’s economy.
In 2014, then-U.S. Representative Polis withdrew his own setback initiative after a one-sided deal with then-Governor John Hickenlooper. Polis refused to endorse Prop 112 saying such restrictions should be established by local governments.
It’s clear in his Op-Ed Polis doesn’t like ballot issues. He probably thinks the electorate is trying to tell him how to do his jobs. We are.
Polis wrote he hopes “the ballot box wars” are over. Don’t count on it, governor.
Fred Malo Jr.
No logic behind reopening of schools
I don’t see the logic or rationale behind school administrators and school boards pushing to physically open our public elementary schools and high schools amid a raging COVID-19 virus pandemic. They are going against science. The evidence is still not clear how fast or how much children can spread the COVID virus to others, especially adults. If children go to school, they can contract the virus and take it home to their parents and other siblings. This creates another virus front that could overwhelm our health care system.
I find the theory that children are suffering mentally by not physically attending school totally false. Many school-age children have already adapted to their online schooling or home schooling. Children are fast learners and have adapted to this new lifestyle. I am beginning to see some new innovations for online learning from a few of our local teachers. These developments need to be a high priority right now.
It is good to see so many parents and teachers around the country objecting to this demand by the school administrators to open the schools this August. I have my doubts that the guidelines for masks and social distancing at any school will work effectively. Teachers will be too busy being nurses instead of teachers. Attempting to control young energetic children will be a huge challenge in this depressing environment. Overall, reopening our schools under these circumstances does not provide a good learning environment for any child or teenager.
Parents, keep your children safe at home. One or two more semesters at home is not going to harm the children. The death of one child, one teenager, or one teacher is not worth opening any school.
Fifty-six years of the same empty promises
I see “peaceful” BLM protests have reached Denver, only two people were shot. Mayor Hancock, like many Democrat mayors has allowed 3rd world-like refugee camps decorated with used syringes, empty liquor bottles and human feces to flourish in his city.
Back in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson said his “great society” would end poverty and racial injustice. Rep. Nancy Pelosi slathered those exact words just the other day. Wow! 56 years of the same empty promises.
Every leap year we vote and the Dems scream “racism”. They fought to preserve slavery, spawned the KKK, fostered Jim Crow and imposed voter suppression and segregation on blacks. Yet they have the chutzpah, the shameless duplicity to call anyone racist.
President Johnson birthed our great welfare state that has eroded the American family. We see the consequences in our Dem-controled, burning cities.
Lord save us from the evils of socialism,Democratic or otherwise.
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