Monday letters: riparian setback, QAnon, white supremacy, Colin Wilhelm
Riparian proposal would hurt property owners with mobility challenges
The American with Disabilities Act does not apply to private property, but one would hope the City Council would pass Ordinances that would not specifically prohibit the accessibility of those with special needs to one’s own property.
The proposed Riparian Ordinance would limit access to 20 percent of one’s property, leaving 80 % unusable. My 83 year-old mother has limited mobility and would need a wheelchair ramp to access the river. With a river bank of 20 feet, the ADA would recommend a ramp of 240 feet in length (one foot length for each inch of height), the Riparian Ordinance would limit a ramp to 32 feet, such a ramp would be extremely dangerous.
The average width of river properties on Midland is approximately 120 feet leaving 24 feet of usable width. The elderly need not worry, as long as their riverbank is not greater than two feet, they can have ADA compatible, safe access to the river with the Riparian Ordinance.
It is ironic that if the City owned my mother’s property, they would have to follow ADA guidelines and allow Disability access. However, since the City is merely taking my mother’s property rights away without her permission: The City does not have to allow her wheelchair access to her own property.
The elderly are on fixed incomes, property restrictions such as this ordinance have been shown to negatively affect property values. The elderly also would be unable to trim trees to protect their views of the river and Mount Sopris, further destroying property values.
The City has been unable to identify a problem, has been unable to show that this ordinance will fix a problem, hasn’t done anything about the problem that exists (the 95% of polluted water that runs thru city streets), has poured tons of concrete on their projects (Two Rivers and Veltus Parks, 27th and Highway 82 bridges), but won’t allow the elderly to trim trees or access the river. Such disregard for property rights could affect the City’s ability to have people retire in our great town or recruit or retain professionals here.
Dr. Joel Dickens
Riparian setback a solution in search of a problem
City Council is voting on Thursday to restrict 80% of private land along the waterways in Glenwood. This severely restricts a riverfront homeowner’s use of his most prized possession: his riverfront. Planning and Zoning had recommended a 50% restriction, but Council seeks to increase it to 80% or 90% for no stated reason and without any science to back them up. Any restriction takes property rights and degrades property values, but 50% is tenable to most riverfront owners.
Consider that there are 50-odd homes along the 4 miles of the Roaring Fork in Glenwood. Proponents fear that whatever is not restricted will be cleared by homeowners, but this fear is completely baseless. Homeowners have never been restricted in any manner yet virtually no meaningful clearing has occurred in decades. But let’s assume that these 50 odd homeowners do in fact suddenly clear 50% of their riverfront. They won’t, but assume they do. If each homeowner has 120 feet of river frontage (some have more, some have less) this would amount to 3,000 feet of clearing, about 0.56 mile of the 8 miles of riverbank. This amounts to 7% of the riverfront along the Roaring Fork through town. The math is simple. Seven percent will never be cleared, but even 7% would leave 93% of the riverbank untouched. That should be enough for everyone including the River Commission and the Roaring Fork Conservancy.
The figure of 50% proposed by P&Z is a balanced figure and does essentially no harm. Fifty percent should be applied to homeowners. I, as most riverside residents, want to keep our river in pristine condition and feel that Council, the River Commission, and the Roaring Fork Conservancy should steer clear of taking property rights and divert their energies to addressing the pollution that enters the river through our storm water drains. This amounts to 95% of the storm water – and virtually all of the water pollution – generated by the City. This would actually do some good. Theft of private property rights will not.
‘Don’t take property rights without proper deliberation’
Mayor Godes, your behavior at the City Council meeting on Aug. 20, 2020 needs to be discussed. There were several versions of the Riparian Setback Ordinance in front of Council at that time, each requiring careful consideration by our elected officials. Council voted to continue discussion until September 3, 2020.
When the discussion did not go your way you recounted a comment from an unnamed citizen whom you claimed “threatened to bulldoze his entire riparian zone … to grandfather his personal property.” I have since spoken to that individual and he recounts a much different conversation.
After using this hearsay to incite panic you tried to pass your version of the Amendment after a motion was made to continue discussion to Sept. 3. Thankfully Karl Hanlon prevented your attempt to circumvent Council procedure. Karl was diplomatic. I would have used a switch. Rules aside, you don’t take property rights without proper deliberation. And you don’t attempt to panic Council with inflammatory hearsay.
I repeatedly offered to help you intercede if the threat was real. No one wants to see a bulldozer by the river. If the threat was anything other than benign I should have heard back from you. What I heard instead was a dog whistle to those looking for river villains that don’t exist. All of this after you hosted a “Lunch and Learn” featuring the Roaring Fork Conservancy to build support for the Amendment. Too bad the Hatch Act doesn’t apply here.
You may be inspired to restrict 90% of our waterfront and return the Roaring Fork to wilderness, but there is a City here. If you want to experience wilderness do what I do: get a permit and go. That’s why wilderness areas exist. The banks of the Roaring Fork are lush and are not being destroyed. Our pristine rivers provide the next best thing to a wilderness float trip that you can find anywhere. There is no numeric science to support your cause, and you have no right to change our settled valley. You certainly can’t grandstand, make up your own rules, or take property rights without justification.
Just how much demented tripe are we being asked to normalize?
Most sources agree that QAnon is a conspiracy theory that teaches Donald Trump is battling “deep state” satanists, comprised of Hollywood figures, the media and, of course, Democrats. These alleged actors are said to be cannibals and pedophiles that engage in sex-trafficking of children whose blood they drink. Mr. Trump has said those who subscribe to such nonsense “love our country.” (White House Press Conference 8/19/20) On the other hand, the FBI has called QAnon a “potential domestic terrorism threat.” (NYT, 8/15/20) And Lauren Boebert, CD3 Republican candidate, was quoted in a July 1, 2020 article in The Guardian as having said she is “very familiar” with the QAnon conspiracy theory. Indeed Ms Boebert pontificated in a June interview with Steel Truth, a podcast that supports QAnon, as follows: “Everything I’ve heard of Q — I hope this is real, because it only means America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values, and that’s what I am for. And so everything that I have heard of this movement is only motivating and encouraging and bringing people together stronger, and if this is real, then it could be really great for our country.” (CBS News, 7/1/20)
While Boebert’s campaign spokeswoman, Laura Carno, understandably is anxious to close the book on her boss’s flirtation with QAnon, Boebert keeps opening it up again. On Aug. 17, 2020 Boebert tweeted that Tom Hanks was “a newly minted Greek citizen” in support of the QAnon social media theory claiming Hanks became a citizen of Greece because “it classifies pedophilia as a disability.” (Colorado Times Recorder, 8/19/20) Ha ha. Boebert may now try to distance herself from this fringe-iest of radical rightwing fringe groups that is QAnon, but the damage is done. Her embrace of Q does not speak well of her judgment or character. The CD3 deserves a serious person as its representative. The CD3 deserves an experienced, reasonable, competent public servant. That person is Diane Mitsch Bush.
Democracy vs White Supremacy
This is the choice we have in the election in November. It is so very clear if you have watched the DNC last week and the RNC this week, the stark difference in the choice we need to make. It is the choice between faith or fear, truth or lies.
It would be humorous if not so serious, the lies and fear-mongering coming from the RNC. We have tolerated the corruption, over 20,000 lies coming from Trump himself, the total nonsense of injecting bleach into our veins to kill the virus, Trump inviting the Russians to interfere in our 2016 election, Trump’s closest allies in his administration indicted, Trump siding with Putin in Helsinki, and announcing ‘good people’ on both sides in Charlottesville. We are no longer the ‘shining light’ for the rest of the world to look up to. Trump has made America the laughing stock of the world and we now lead the world in virus cases and deaths.
Of all the destruction that Trump has inflicted on us, the caging of children and separating them from their parents is the worst. We now have over 180,000 lives gone from the virus, thanks to Trump’s deny and delay tactics, black men are being killed by the police almost every week, and Trump is touting his successes at the RNC. The hypocrisy is unbelievable. I am praying for the Soul of America to be restored.
Vote for Colin Wilhelm
Today, more than ever, leadership, opportunity, and equality have become three words that
every person in our country should be focusing on in significantly greater ways. As a U.S. Army
Infantry veteran, my beliefs align with the fair treatment of others as well as the protection of
the rights of the people of this great country. Recently, we have all been able to see that this
nation requires a change. We need politicians who are incorruptible, working to help those who
need our collective support more than ever, and people who desire to promote equality above
I have known Colin for some time, and what drew me to him as a decent person and friend, before I even knew he was considering running for political office, was his desire to be there for the people around him. His embodiment of the old-fashioned American adage, “placing the people first” This I can, and do, truly respect.
Policy-wise, Colin wants to adapt to what America currently needs. Economically, we need diversification in terms of industry. His desire is to keep jobs while simultaneously creating opportunity for economic expansion means that we will maintain our economic stability while still providing a greater level of opportunity for the future.
In terms of health care, Colin is leading the charge towards providing better and more affordable health care for all. It is time for America to catch up with the rest of the world, and this policy goal of Colin will take a lot of physical, mental, and economic strain off the average American.
Lastly, his devotion to water and environment rights means that our community will remain healthy and naturally beautiful for much longer.
All of these considerations speak to me, as a veteran, and as a human being who supports the elimination of injustice and inequality. I served this country to support people who were unable to support themselves. Colin Wilhelm fights the injustices and inequalities, fights for the rights and betterment of the community, and fights for a better future for us all.
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