FAA controls airspace
The point is, it's federal law that governs airspace, not the City Council
I have lived in Longmont directly under the flight path of Vance Brand Airport, west of Airport Road and south of Nelson Road, for more than 13 years.
I do not find airplane noise to be too loud, although I can hear it. I love watching the skydivers, and I am proud that Mile-Hi Skydiving is one of the skydiving operations that has world records. My kids love seeing the skydivers too, and we feel it's a positive for the city of Longmont to have such a safe operation that offers a great sport to our residents.
Also, as far as airspace, it is governed by the Federal Aviation Administration, not the Longmont City Council. I believe that many council members were very sympathetic to residents' noise complaints, and even to complaints from unincorporated Boulder County residents (Gunbarrel). But City Council does not represent unincorporated Boulder County. And City Council does not govern our airspace.
Please stop blaming the City Council for what amounts to a federal issue. Please do call the FAA with your noise complaints. But understand that safety comes first. So the pilot in Mile-Hi's twin-engine plane is a human being, and he is going to do what is safe for him and the skydivers. He is not concerned with your noise complaint; he is concerned with operating a sky-diving operation safely.
Rodriguez right on photo ID
I am proud to be one of Chris Rodriguez's "liberal/progressive/socialist friends." I am also honored to respond to his letter, "Anti-photo ID is pro-fraud."
Even though Mr. Rodriguez pokes a stick at the hornet's nest of hydraulic fracturing and global warming, I am afraid I'm going to have to agree with him on his opinion about voter fraud and polling places requiring a photo ID.
When my local draft board sent me greetings informing me that my services were needed to help lose the Vietnam war, I don't recall being asked to present an ID. to anybody.
Voting is a privilege that many people better than I fought and died for and is not something to be taken lightly. Nor should fraud, such as fake ID's, multiple voting, gerrymandering, electronic tampering and just plain dishonesty be tolerated for such a precious privilege.
I have been asked to show two forms of ID for several things, probably due to the thriving fake ID industry. I realize that this may be difficult for some people, so maybe fingerprinting, Social Security card, birth certificate or some other official document would help to deter voter fraud.
When I began to pick up my special-needs grandson, I was asked for a picture ID. I am so glad the school required that. So if it is something as important as the things Chris Rodriguez and I mentioned, it is worth a little inconvenience.
on drilling in Erie
Since I live much closer to Encana's Canyon Creek well site than either elementary school in Erie, I read with great interest the June 3 article about the approximate 300-person protest in Erie (population 20,000). I occasionally hear a little noise from drilling, but it is not "on top of my home" and none of my three children have been ill since school has been out.
While it was no surprise that so few people would bother to protest, it was interesting that it needed to be front-page news. What was even more extraordinary was what the article omitted: The natural gas drilling will be over before school begins in the fall. Encana donated part of the park where the protest was held. The company employs many residents of Erie and surrounding communities, and in Colorado where unemployment is approaching 8 percent, is offering many well-paying professional jobs in the Denver area.
The article also cited "local group Erie Rising." According to their website, the address for the group is in Lafayette, not Erie.
Ironically, Erie began life as a coal mining town. Coal, although a much less expensive fuel, is being phased out in favor of cleaner-burning natural gas. I doubt Erie Rising would like to open any coal mines, but what alternatives do they suggest once they eliminate production of natural gas? When our fuel prices rise this winter and during the next decade because Ms. Palazzolo felt inconvenienced by Encana's drilling more than 350 feet from her home, to whom will I protest? When local restaurants and businesses must close their doors after Encana no longer employs their customers because Mr. Gellatly, whose medical credentials are never questioned, blames Encana for his son's illness, will he offer anyone a job?
Save the whales
I'm sure there are plenty of fellow animal-lovers who would be as shocked as I was that Japan took over $29 million of tsunami aid that many countries (like the U.S.) took out of their financially strapped pockets and spent it on security ships to protect their illegal whale hunts in the Antarctic. Protect them from who? A small, underfunded group of conservationists who've had no help from our government.
This group, the Sea Shepherds, is headed by an American named Paul Watson. They have been struggling against these whale hunts for years and finally thought they had stopped them when last year the Japanese called off the hunt after one of the Sea Shepherd ships got behind the processing ship so no further whales could be slaughtered.
But, thanks to our misguided generosity, the Japanese are hell-bent to kill a thousand whales and the U.S. has no plans to protect the Sea Shepherds from whatever "security" can be bought for $29 million.
This is a scary proposition, and the newspapers have not covered it.
Since the show "Whale Wars" began showing on the Discovery Channel last Friday, the crews of the small opposition team are rightfully afraid of what they will be up against. They have just three ships and a helicopter to go up against whatever happens, and I wish them well.
Please say a prayer for them, and donate money if you can. No one knows how long the whales can hold out against these heartless hunters. The Japanese claim they are doing "research" but, come on, a thousand whales? Get real.
Big difference between two parties
How many times have you heard someone say "There is no difference between the two political parties"? Although it is true that some Democrats are beholden to some special corporate interests, basically all Republicans are, and they have given their wealthy contributors the Supreme Court they asked for.
A couple of examples of the damage to our democracy the Supreme Court has done: 1) voted 5 to 4 on the Citizens United ruling in 2010, allowing corporations to spend unlimited funds to elect candidates who will do their bidding; 2) interrupted our cherished democratic election process in 2000 to stop the vote counting in Florida and elect George Bush president. A subsequent vote count put Gore as the winner. Bush proceeded to start two wars, increased government debt by $5 trillion and left office in 2008 as the country fell into the greatest recession in 60 years.
The right wing-dominated Supreme Court is now playing politics during this election year in determining whether it will find the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) constitutional, with thousands of Americans waiting to know if they will live or die.
If you think there is no difference, think again!
Wisconsin vote not a bellwether
The news media and Republicans are making more out of the Scott Walker victory in Wisconsin than that debacle deserves. I am one of those independents who are likely to determine the outcome of the national election in November, and I would have voted to retain Walker despite my usual Democratic leanings.
For a couple of decades, unions representing municipal workers have squeezed obscene pension and health care agreements out of cities and states by threatening to disrupt government services. Elected civil servants gave in to these demands rather than have their tenure besmirched by the dysfunction strikes would cause. The unions, seeing how readily those with the purse strings caved in to demands, sought bigger and bigger rewards for its members until their pensions and lifelong health care agreements appeared ridiculous to the population at large.
In Wisconsin, there was a recognition that these municipal unions had abused their power. This may have been the fault of those who were supposed to represent the taxpayers' interest during negotiations, but instead found it politically expedient to write an IOU that would be difficult to live up to. Wisconsin voters simply reaffirmed that unions bargaining for taxpayer dollars should be held to a different standard. Since they could not police themselves, their power will be curtailed. Simultaneously, voters in San Diego and San Jose looked closely at those union contracts, and recognized them as outlandish and that they should never have been agreed to.
The voters realized this was all politics gone awry and it needed to be corrected. This is not an indication of how independents will vote in November.
It became official after the recent dismal job creation numbers were released, and the subsequent rise in unemployment rate, that our economy remains in the ICU and is still in "critical" condition.
Neither George Bush nor Barack Obama put us there. It was greed from Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, war spending, growing entitlement budgets, and out-of-control consumer spending.
One thing we should know by now is that no one person knows how, nor are our elected officials willing to heal our "financial coma." If someone tells you they know what will solve the problem, run -- they are suffering from "delusional" thinking.
We have thrown every known drug and procedure to help the patient, our broken economic system. While the patient is still alive, thanks in part to the government's ability to print more money, the economy remains in critical condition.
While we are all still hoping for a true recovery, we also need to decide when enough is enough. What is better, cut overall government spending now, try to balance the budget now or continue to print money, more monetary easing, and spend our way out of our the sickness in hopes that another new wonder drug will appear? Sounds like a Hobson's choice to me.
Isn't this is what election 2012 is all about? It may also be about when "illusions" become "delusions."
Be for, not against
When you are for something, rather than against, you tap into creative power. And the more you are for (people, the environment, etc.) correspondingly greater creative power flows through you. When you are against something, regardless of how justified, you constrict the flow of this creative force. For example, think not of being against those who neglect children but rather be for responsible, loving adults caring for all children within the community, not just their own. One could take this further when considering the effects of humanity's out-of-control population growth and demonstrate support for communities whose rational population growth factors in the well-being of all and is globally, environmentally sustainable.
Demonstrations against anything (again, regardless of how justified) are not wholly effective. For example, the Occupy Wall Street protests will not produce long-term change for the better, nor will the social/political revolutions in the Middle East. These protests would be more effective if they were not so much focused on what and those whom they are against but rather reformed into mass expressions of that which they are for ... everyone, seemingly good and bad guy alike.
And the intentions of those involved must be sincerely for the good of all, otherwise no, or very few and short-lived results will be achieved. In other words, if the people involved are seeking to satisfy their own egos in any way, the conduit will be narrowed to the extent that little or no creative power will be accessed, thus producing substantive results. In fact, it must be recognized that any individual's involvement in the producing of a solution to a problem, great or small, must be accomplished without the desire for any personal recognition that they are the source of the solution for, in truth, they are not the source.
Insight into paranoia
In response to Chris Rodriguez's letter "Anti-photo ID is pro-fraud," here is the straight answer you asked for. The facts are that the incidents of voter fraud, without photo ID, are negligible, a fraction of a percent at best and as determined by advocates of photo ID.
Mr. Rodriguez presented a list of the things conservatives like to accuse liberals of advocating, things like "the sky-is-falling attitude on fracking and man-made global warming," where he claims the debate is over. Sorry, Chris, it is just beginning .
But the real issue is that all of the things he lists that may require photo IDs , such as driver's license renewals and food stamps (OMG) are privileges.
To be able to vote is a right. Big difference. To put a requirement on a privilege is certainly appropriate, but the right to vote is a constitutional provision and in the Constitution there is no photo ID requirement.
Dealing with rights, how about we require a photo ID to own a rifle or gun? Would you support that?
Thanks for an insight into the paranoid conservative world.
OK, here's the secret to our town: It's Janis and the 326. It's Brian and No. 324. It's Bridgett and the LUH coffee wagon. It is folks like these, out in the public, who smooth life's bumps and care about us by smiling and listening.
I've been smiling all day today because I did not avoid them. Brian drives the city's blue bus No. 324 and can't suppress his contagious grin. Janis drives the No. 326 bus and looks out for her passengers. She pulled to the curb dozens of yards past the bus stop to pick me up when I was running late. The bus coordinator must be OK too, because he didn't fire her for running behind on her schedule (just to help me.)
Bridgett mixes love and caring into the meanest cup of coffee in Boulder County. Most people going in and out of the city hospital need a caring cup of coffee, and she offers them at least three minutes of peaceful interlude that is so important in today's medical stresses. Even the medicos stop by to get a taste of some sanity and joy.
None of these folks wanted praise or publicity. This was my idea. They are just happy being happy -- in Longmont.
There are thousands more like them and none get paid extra for being who they are. All of these smile ambassadors remind us without flash or fanfare that life is good in our town.
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