Municipalization is a financial disaster
The inability of Boulder to admit the true costs of the muni is well matched with a deceptive online spreadsheet that masks a financial disaster that's simple to see. In previous letters and online YouTube presentations ( tinyurl.com/BoulderMuni), I provided reasonable estimates of startup, assets, stranded, separation, and going concern. The city's spreadsheet starts off with poor estimates of separation, startup and assets, but more importantly, it completely forgets to include stranded costs that could be $300 million and going concern costs that could easily be over $200 million. Boulder's initial estimate for assets and separation is beyond ridiculous at $150 million. A truly honest and transparent spreadsheet would provide a way to enter all the inevitable costs; the current spreadsheet does not.
Using reasonable estimates of the costs, the total is at least $830 million, not $150 million. Guess what happens to all the evaluation summaries in the spreadsheet when true costs are included. Everything turns red or orange, indicating that the muni is a mega money loser.
But there is one more deceit hiding within the overall deceit, and that is exemplified by the few patches of green that are left behind in the spreadsheet of deceit. This demonstrates the capitalized interest deceit. Capitalized interest is a loan to just pay interest. Let's look at what the capitalized interest does in the background when we change the costs from $150 million to $830 million. We'll have to spend $82.1 million just to cover the interest in order to make the muni seem viable, until it collapses financially in two years.
I suppose the plan at that point is to just say, "Oops, we made a mistake."
Boulder is divided by the muni. The past and future true costs are just some of the reasons why. Times up. When's it gonna end?
By Patrick Murphy, Boulder
Gun violence a direct result of lax laws
The National Rifle Association and their allied lawmakers, who routinely oppose gun safety laws under the phony guise of protecting a perverted interpretation of the Second Amendment, have become a cancer on our society. The gun violence epidemic in the U.S. is not a random coincidence. Rather, it is the direct result of lax laws aimed at protecting and promoting the gun industry.
In 2003, Colorado state lawmakers passed an NRA-backed firearm preemption law (CRS 29-11.7-103), which prevents local governments from adopting gun laws. Today, more than 40 states have passed similar preemption laws. Fortunately, Boulder is considering stricter gun laws under a Colorado Constitution provision that reserves to home rule cities the right to legislate on matters of local concern.
In 2013, the NRA paid about $360,000 toward a recall effort to oust two Democratic state senators who supported a package of gun safety laws — Morse and Giron — and replace them with Republicans. The laws passed despite intense Republican opposition.
Currently, several gun-related bills are under consideration at the Colorado General Assembly, including two today: the Democrat-sponsored SB18-051, Prohibit Multi-burst Trigger Activators (ban bump stocks) and the Republican-sponsored SB18-052, Repeal Ammunition Magazine Prohibition (repeal 15-round ammo limit to allow high-capacity magazines). Repealing the 2013 high-capacity magazine ban has been a primary focus in recent years, led by Republican senators Holbert, Cooke, Marble, Neville and Republican representatives Saine and Humphrey.
Let's not sit on our hands while our family and friends are sitting ducks for the next gun rampage wherever people congregate. We must demand that lawmakers adopt sensible gun safety laws — including a ban on assault weapons and ammo — and remove from office any lawmaker who fails to get on board. Learn more at ColoradoCeasefire.org.
By Kimberly Gibbs, Gunbarrel
Another generation alienated by government
Members of Congress need wake up to the likelihood of another generation losing faith in the American political process and establishment. It is intolerable that students today live in fear of gun violence in their schools, but gun ownership remains a cult status symbol of strength in the American imagination, and the gun and armaments industries hold incredible power in the halls of government. This combination, much like during the protests against the Vietnam War in the '60s and '70s, holds the possibility for yet another generational disillusionment across America.
By Robert Porath, Boulder