Act now to save the Colorado River for future generations


Act now to save the Colorado River for future generations

Re: “A lifeline dries up,” July 24 news story

Your article is excellent and should be in every newspaper and magazine in America, including the Wall Street Journal and The National Review.

However, we have known for over a century this tragedy would happen, and we (especially we Boomers) have not acted to prevent it.

And now?

Nothing will be done by our government to stop this apocalypse — see the infamous Republican Party.

The beliefs and attitudes of the rapacious capitalists toward climate change was best expressed by Stuart Kirk of HSBC when he said, “Who cares if Miami is six meters underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six meters underwater for ages, and that is a really nice place. We will cope with it.”

And, he went on, “At a big bank like ours, what do people think the average loan length is? It is six years. What happens to the planet in year seven is actually irrelevant to our loan book. For coal, what happens in year seven is actually irrelevant.”

Tom Schnickel, Littleton

As stated in the article, for 100 years politicians, business people, and the average citizen have chosen to ignore warnings by experts, as supported by objective observation, that water is a limited resource. Pursuit of the almighty dollar and pursuit of pleasure reign supreme, as demonstrated by the unabated approval of new housing developments and constant pressure to open more public land for recreational use.

New developments require water, and eyes tend to turn first toward the headwaters of the Colorado River. Recreational use too frequently means abuse by the ignorant and uncaring, which affects vegetation and, in turn, water retention and runoff.

It appears that an increased cost of living is inevitable, as predicted in this article. Only when development becomes unprofitable might we hope for respite from the population explosion in the West. One wonders whether the attractiveness of the West might diminish when there is no longer snow for skiing, no irrigation for golf courses or lawns, insufficient water depth for rafting or to support fish populations, when fire danger requires severe restrictions on camping and hiking, and when there is too little water to support game populations that allow hunting.

Such a smack in the face may be the minimum necessary to get people’s attention enough to derive a paradigm shift since we continue to write checks on the future that are already being returned marked “Account Overdrawn.”

Howard Williams, New Castle

Why not copy and distribute Conrad Swanson’s excellent and alarming article to the Clark County, Nev., commissioners and the Las Vegas Valley Water District who, “Citing worries about dwindling drinking water allocations,” voted last week to limit the size of new residential swimming pools.” This move illustrates our unwillingness to seriously deal with the reality of dwindling water sources by continuing to consume and utilize beyond our needs. It is just another charade in the guise of addressing the problem.

Sheila Karpan, Wheat Ridge

Re: “Johnstown is in the thick of northern Colorado growth,” July 24 news story

Two headline articles in the Sunday Post appear to contradict one another. First, the Colorado River is out of water. Second, Johnstown and the nearby area are expecting thousands of new houses and residents. This reminds me of the comment of a student of deforestation on Easter Island: What were they thinking when they cut down the last tree? Note to Johnstown and other Colorado planning officials: Where do you think that you will find the water for all those households?

Russ Keeler, Arvada

Re: “Colorado River: As critical deadline nears, only ‘upper’ states have a proposal,” July 23 news story

My family and I just returned from a vacation on Lake Powell that we hadn’t seen since 1998.

I couldn’t believe my eyes and was shocked to see such an extremely low water level. My immediate reaction was to question why and who allowed this to happen. This situation is not directly the result of climate change but the mismanagement by the government and the selfish greed of those downstream. I also saw this same situation last year with Lake Navajo in Southern Colorado.

Just like the government’s rhetoric debates and failure to control guns, energy, drugs, immigration, crime, etc., the lack of proper governmental oversight and actions to protect Lake Powell and Lake Navajo will cause these lakes to disappear. Then what?

Garry Wolff, Highlands Ranch

My suggestion to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which is responsible for reviewing the conservation plans from the seven western states of the Upper and Lower Basins, is to require each state to cease all efforts to add to their populations, including advertising by city or state governments, activity by economic development departments to invite companies to settle here and bring their own employees, and building residential developments without including ironclad rights to water usage.

And if there were a way to ban the purchase of water rights from farmers, that would be a good move too.

Even as current residents do their honest level best to conserve water, the governments turn around and wave in new residents to use up those savings. This must stop. The choice is to curb the usage now or endure some really ugly water wars in the near future.

Susan Williams, Lakewood

Refunds are not equal, nor should they be

Re: “Explaining TABOR refund,” July 24 news story

The article starts off as more a Republican editorial than an impartial news story. It emphasizes how people and families with low incomes will get relatively higher refunds than those in higher brackets. (These refunds are required by the state constitutional amendment known as the “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.”)

What the article does not acknowledge is the economic principle that dollars are not equal. Money needed for food, rent or transportation to jobs are more valuable than that spent on luxuries.

My wife and I are in one of the higher brackets; by Alex Burness’ reporting, we’ll lose some of what we’re “entitled” to. We’re OK with that; it won’t make a difference in our budget.

Poor people spend a higher percentage of their incomes on basic necessities than rich people; they need that little bit of extra money more. Hopefully, it will help someone more than it would us.

Ralph Taylor, Centennial

Media no guardian of democracy

Re: “Support JCPA to save local journalism,” July 24 editorial

The “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act” is currently in Congress for consideration. The JCPA bill pits Google, Facebook, Amazon and others in social media against an assemblage of U.S. news groups. This political contest between big business and big business is of little concern to me. The great majority in our country values freedom of speech and rejects censorship; that’s what matters.

The recent editorial on this subject asserted that “democracy depends on a reliable set of shared facts.” The editorial claims this allows the public to exercise control over government and determine its future.

The source that we are supposed to look to for trusted facts isn’t mentioned in their editorial, but by default, it must be them.

It is clear to me that the mainstream media is made up of mostly left-leaning activists who see their job as misinforming, disinforming, distracting and covering up. As a result, the establishment media relinquished any claim to be guardians of our democracy long ago.

Possibly in an effort to gain the confidence of potential supporters for their JCPA cause, the editorial included a totally unsupportable claim in its messaging. Their curious comment was about the media “holding the powerful to account.”

I’m personally not seeing that in an across-the-board way, but I am certain the left, including its media, will be held fully accountable for Biden-Harris, over the short and longer term.

Forrest Monroe, Aurora

Hearing loss while serving U.S.

Re: “How can we learn to listen again? Perhaps our veterans can help,” July 24 commentary

I read with particular interest the column by Patty Limerick and Domenick DeMartini. The observations speak to an important need in our society, namely not just to hear but to listen.

The authors are right to call our attention to the high noise levels that our military personnel were subjected to in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I would respectfully point out, however, that those of us who served in earlier conflicts also were subjected to high noise levels, without, I might add, the benefit of hearing protection.

I served in the artillery in the 1st Marine Division during the Korean War and have a hearing impairment today as a result of the noise from those big guns.

Jerry Keenan, Longmont

Geothermal energy — a state matter

Re: “Geothermal energy — Citing 100% renewable push, Polis leads effort by Western governors,” July 28 news story

The article about Gov. Jared Polis’ promotion of geothermal energy in the Western states failed to mention that the state Capitol and the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion have been heated and cooled for years by geothermal energy, a fact Coloradans should be aware of and proud. As a former tour guide at the Capitol, I enjoyed mentioning this to our visitors.

Marjorie Clark, Denver

Bombardment of Ukraine

One recent night, as I was waiting for sleep to overtake me, I heard thunder rumbling in the sky. I suddenly thought, what if that sound was not thunder but a bomb or missile detonating? What would I do? Where would I go?

Then I thought of the citizens of Ukraine, many of whom are under almost constant bombardment for no reason other than the delusional thoughts of a ruthless sociopath who believes he can rebuild a fallen empire. He cannot.

The Greeks, Romans, Persians and Mongols were not able to reconstitute their empires, and neither will the Russians be successful.

So what happens now? I don’t know. Diplomacy isn’t working, military response is limited, and it is highly unlikely there will be an internal coup in Russia. However, being somewhat of an altruistic optimist I have a few thoughts:

The glass is half full.

Somewhere in the vast universe, there may exist intelligent life that lives in peace. Perhaps via some unknown contagion that peace can spread to our planet (better chance to hold the winning lottery ticket).

To quote Alexander Pope from his “Essay on Man”: “Hope springs eternal.”

Harvey Micklin, Broomfield

Please, move the scooters

To all riders of electric scooters: Please do not leave them in the middle of the sidewalk. Many people in Denver get around in wheelchairs, and an abandoned scooter can be a barricade. I’ve even seen a scooter left in the middle of the curb-cut that wheelchair users need to cross the road. Please show some consideration for your fellow citizens.

Patrick Leach, Denver

Thank you for the corn

Here at our house, this is truly the best time of year — the time we look forward to each summer — Olathe sweet corn and Palisade peach season. With all the negative news, it seems a good time to give thanks for the wonderful tasty goodies we get from our underappreciated Colorado workers of the soil. Thanks to them for making our lives a bit happier. It is one of the perks of living in Colorado.

George Krieger, Parker

Echo Lake Lodge worth preserving for all

Re: “Echo Lake Lodge to close for good,” July 21 news story

I’m disappointed in Denver Mountain Parks’ decision, their treatment of the long-term operators, and of the thousands of people (not only tourists) who love this restaurant and gift shop. What’s the big hurry?

Is Mountain Parks looking for disruptive and expensive projects to work on? In fairness, our Mountain Parks system is respected nationwide and well maintained, but how about a little public input and discussion about this sudden historic change?

I understand the need for upgrading and eventual change, but this seems rushed and unfair to the public and to the operators who had a year left on their contract. The lodge is an amazing example of the “old Colorado” I grew up with and is a rare treasure that can’t be replaced. Please reconsider.

David Ruterbories, Denver

I truly hope that the city of Denver and the Denver Mountain Parks director Shannon Dennison make every effort to keep this open to everyone and not turn it into a remote office or training center available only to a select few.

I, and many others, visit the lodge multiple times yearly and truly love the break and lunch after riding our bikes up and over Juniper Pass from Evergreen. And of course, there is always the trip or two during the fall we take when the colors are changing. During these visits I always talk with lots of locals who are also out for a day trip. The lodge truly is a special place with spectacular views overlooking the lake, and I sure hope the lodge stays open to the public.

Do your updates, but please don’t restrict access to this treasure!

Bruce Butterfield, Broomfield

Treat RTD stops and stations like concourses

Re: “Future plan may rest on a tax hike,” July 24 news story

Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet said it best when she said RTD should prioritize “making the existing system safe, clean, inviting and reliable.”

RTD can find such an example in the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, MARTA.

The principal way MARTA achieves this is through “ticket/pass-only” points of entry. Think airport concourses — “no ticket or pass, no entry.” Function follows form. The form of the MARTA stations (patrolled, clean, and inviting only to the ticketed) begets the function of MARTA (safe, clean, inviting, and reliable transportation). Loiterers have no function in MARTA because they are kept out.

The underground RTD Terminal at Union Station is a terminal when it should be a concourse reserved for ticketed travel. Imagine an RTD with refurbished stops where only ticketed customers gather to board trains and buses. Only then will we have a fighting chance to have a transportation system that is “safe, clean, inviting and reliable,” one that receives more revenue because all pay fares, and one that can attract existing and new riders because RTD can be cleaned-up from the inside of its trains and buses, outside to the stops and stations.

Mike Mohrman, Columbine Valley

Help fix the housing crisis

Re: “Affordable housing program will cut into your TABOR refunds,” July 22 commentary

Natalie Menten, of the TABOR Foundation, writes that the affordable housing petitions currently being circulated are not fully informing people about the impact the proposed bill would have. She cites a California rule banning single family housing development.

Just so we are clear, the proposed initiative wouldn’t ban building new single family houses, it bans single family zoning, opening the way for mixed-use neighborhoods — single family homes, duplexes, and apartments in the same development.

Menten writes we would lose some of our TABOR refund if the bill were to pass. Right now we are facing a severe housing shortage, especially for those with medium to low incomes. Young couples are having trouble finding a place they can afford to buy. Older people who are thinking of selling their homes realize that they couldn’t afford to buy another place. That refund doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things at that point. It’s really just an ego point for small government folks. People need homes more than TABOR needs to score points.

Beth Heinrich, Colorado Springs

Funding for affordable housing, which will likely be a ballot issue this November, would cut into our TABOR refunds in coming years. But Colorado desperately needs affordable housing for young families, teachers, firefighters, retail store employees — people who would like to live in the community where they work rather than commute from Greeley or Erie. And, of course, we need housing for the homeless, which could include any of the above.

As long as the metro-Denver area keeps growing, we will need somewhere for people to live affordably. I, for one, don’t mind that any refund I might receive would help people find a decent and affordable place to live. And as far the expressed intent of the bill is concerned, I find nothing nefarious in the wording.

Jeannie Dunham, Denver

Reform judge selection

Recent events have shown the American people that genuine judicial reform is necessary. It is time that America removes the politics and bias of political parties from the courts. It can begin with the U.S. Supreme Court and the entire Federal Courts system by focusing on how judges are selected. First, America ought to amend the U.S. Constitution to remove the powers of the executive and legislative branches (Senate) when it comes to the nomination and approval of judges.

Simultaneously, the U.S. can establish an independent select and approval committee within the judicial system to oversee this process. In other words, if the U.S. wants to remove “politics” from the courts, especially party politics, the first step is to remove the two major political agents from the equation altogether. This change, in addition to term limits for Supreme Court Justices and Federal Court judges, will help ensure a more independent justice system free from political bias.

If we cannot or do not envision new ways to govern ourselves, then the country will turn into a “zombie state” at best or a “failed state” at worst.

Andrew Jarrett, Aurora

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