J Roeder: Officer Eric Talley: Rename Table Mesa Drive in his honor
As a former employee at the Table Mesa King Soopers (1973 to 1977) the event and deaths of March 22 affected me more than 9/11 or other events like the Aurora Theatre or Columbine High School shootings. It just felt much more personal.
To the discussion I’d like to add my energy to any movement to rename Table Mesa Drive to memorialize Officer Eric Talley. My understanding is that although his effort to stop the shooting resulted in his death, it is his action that did stop the shooter from injuring or killing any more people.
Hopefully this renaming movement is already well underway but takes time to reach fruition.
Bob Yates: Library District: Women oppose library tax too
In her Wednesday guest opinion, Rachel Walker observed that three of the Boulder residents who have expressed concerns about a new, large library property tax happen to be men. In her piece, Rachel wondered “if their gender contributes to their dismissal of this very good idea.”
In fact, hundreds of people have written to the Boulder City Council this month, expressing concerns about the proposed library district and a new, large property tax to pay for it, a property tax increase of more than 4%. While I would not presume to assume a particular person’s gender identity based upon their name, out of nearly 300 people who have written emails to City Council this month in opposition to the library district and the proposed library property tax increase, more than 140 people signed their emails with names that are traditionally female.
In short, hundreds of people identifying as women, as men, and otherwise, have expressed concerns about how this proposed large library property tax increase will adversely affect low-income families, fixed-income seniors, and small businesses.
This is not a gender issue. This is an economic issue.
Member, Boulder City Council
Christel Markevich: Pesticides: We need to know what’s being sprayed
Residents of Boulder County invest time and money in their food to stay away from pesticides. But our bodies can also absorb these chemicals during a hike in an area treated with pesticides.
Are our Boulder County and Boulder City Open Spaces, where so many of us go to exercise, as healthy as we expect them to be?
Boulder County Open Space has not made the effort to inform the public in order to protect our communities and our ecosystems from pesticides. Without informing the public, using ground crews, tractors, and helicopters Boulder County Parks and Open Space is spraying toxic chemicals including Glyphosate (the active ingredient of Roundup) and Indaziflam (the active ingredient of Esplanade and Rejuvra) to control cheatgrass on its natural lands.
Glyphosate is associated with a wild range of illnesses including Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Indaziflam is a neurotoxin for mammals and an endocrine disruptor. Because of this lack of transparency, parents confidently take their kids on Boulder County Open Space assuming these lands are chemical free! You can sign and share this petition (https://sign.moveon.org/p/stopthespray) to demand full public transparency on the use of chemicals on Boulder County Open Space natural lands.
So far, unlike Boulder County Open Space, Boulder City has made major efforts to protect our communities and our visitors from the impact of pesticides on human health and our ecosystems. Almost all pesticides are banned on city property, including Neonicotinoids and Glyphosate. Before taking a walk on city property you can check a map to find the location of any pesticide treatments. Signs are placed at each application site.
I hope this information will help you stand up for your values and make informed choices.
Josh Schlossberg: Climate: Rep. Neguse must reschedule hearing
U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse calls himself a strong leader on climate action. So why did he, as chair of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, cancel a hearing originally scheduled for Feb. 15 on a bill that would do more for the climate than all his past efforts combined?
The simplest and most effective action Congress can take to address the climate crisis is protecting U.S. forests, our greatest climate buffers, storing 57.8 billion tons of carbon, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Yet a recent study in the publication Carbon Balance and Management concludes that logging these forests emits more carbon than wildfire and insects combined.
Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) — already introduced into the House with 58 co-sponsors, including Colorado’s Rep. Diana DeGette, and in the Senate with 11 co-sponsors — would protect over 23 million acres of our public forests across Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and Wyoming from degradation and destruction, sequestering mind-boggling quantities of carbon and making a huge dent in U.S. CO2 emissions.
Instead of following through with expert testimony on this historic and timely bill, Rep. Neguse scuttled the hearing without any explanation or transparency. Twenty-one leading conservation organizations recently sent a letter to Neguse demanding he reconsider this terrible lapse of judgment.
Indeed, if Neguse wants to retain his reputation as a climate champion, he must reschedule hearings for the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA).
Steering Committee member, Eco-Integrity Alliance
Chris Goodwin: Rent control: Let the debate begin
Let’s talk about rent control…again…a discussion that should have happened years ago but didn’t really.
Back in 1981, the Renters Rights Project, which I was part of, began a petition drive to place a rent control proposal on the city ballot. Not long after our campaign began, a statewide landlord lobby announced a crusade against rent control and a compliant Republican controlled legislature passed a statewide ban which a Democrat governor signed into law, refusing to use his veto power to kill the bill.
Not only did this short circuit a local initiative process that would have given Boulder citizens a chance to debate and vote on a local rent control ordinance, it also took away an important tool that any Colorado city could have chosen to use in dealing with what has become, over the decades, a critical affordable housing crisis due to skyrocketing rents as well as the constantly increasing cost of buying a home.
If we are going to renew the debate over rent control, and we need to, let’s make it about real issues and put aside scare tactics (like tales of crumbling apartment buildings and economic disaster) that misrepresent what rent control is, how it works, and what its benefits would be.
The ordinance we proposed, like others around the country we based it on, not only allowed landlords to raise the rent in accordance with their cost increases, it also had a provision that guaranteed them a reasonable rate of return on their investment. Our initiative also exempted homeowners who might want to rent out their basement and landlords who rent out up to three units.
Rent control is a practical, commonsense way of addressing Boulder’s rental crisis. Let the debate begin.