Common-sense health protections threatened

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and the Trump administration are launching a direct attack on yet another environmental standard that keeps us and our fellow Americans healthy and safe. The New Source Performance Standards, which Wheeler has proposed rolling back, are essential for limiting dangerous methane and other toxic pollutants from being released into our air. Keeping these current standards strong and in place is a huge priority in order to protect Colorado communities.

Without these standards, companies will have no obligation to develop cost-effective and common-sense solutions to detect and repair leaks or reduce their pollution output. Its been found that the oil and gas methane standards would achieve significant reductions of methane and other harmful pollutants at a low cost. There is absolutely no responsible reason to roll back these standards.

In a year full of record temperatures and devastating ecological disasters, it must be made clear to the administration that Coloradans care about our environment. That’s why I volunteer with the student-led climate action group Defend Our Future. It is essential that we elect environmentally responsible representatives this November to ensure that the EPA begins prioritizing our health and the health of our environment.

Megan Thompson, Denver

Better safer than sorrier: Vote yes on Initiative 112

Colorado Proposition 112 “Safer Setbacks” is simple, direct and clear. It mandates a buffer zone of 2,500 feet between fracking operations and homes, schools and water sources.

Safer Setbacks seem sensible to me. Local incidents, research and personal experience continue to raise stronger and stronger concerns about the dangers of fracking operations. With the current administration’s actions and plans for relaxing multiple national regulations designed to protect our health, it seems that business benefits are valued above the health of our people and our land. We have a chance in this election to pass the safer setbacks initiative to protect ourselves in Colorado and to set an example for other states at risk.

I believe in the precautionary principle that “when an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures must be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not yet scientifically fully established.”

This is the common-sense idea behind many wise sayings: “Be careful.” “Better safe than sorry.” “Look before you leap.” “First, do no harm.”

Let’s decide that Colorado should be safer rather than sorrier. Vote yes on Proposition 112.

Cedar Barstow, Boulder

Publicize mental health services

In college, there are always events that can cause anxiety: tests, papers, work deadlines and relationships can all have an impact. College students are experiencing one of the hardest times in their lives.

Depression and anxiety rates among college students have increased by about 20 percent in the past five years (Rankin, Paisley, Mulla & Tomeny, 2018), but most students are unaware they are even being affected. Many academic institutions offer mental health care but do not advertise these services to students. In my own institution, I would not have been aware of the services provided in my tuition payments if I were not in the field of mental health. Publicity of counseling sessions available to students could greatly increase the amount of appointments being made.

Students that struggle with mental health problems often do not seek help because of the stigma associated with mental disorders. Many refuse to seek help to avoid being labeled crazy or unstable. We must create a more accepting societal view on receiving mental help so more students would feel comfortable seeking it out. If the services offered were more widely publicized, awareness would increase and students could receive the help they need.

Darian Pflugrath, Fort Collins

The importance of love

Everyone has many relationships throughout a lifetime. It is important to foster the relationships you are creating.

Our relationships start as soon as we are born. From birth, an attachment with a caregiver is created. There are four attachment styles: secure, insecure avoidant, insecure resistant and disorganized. Children with a secure attachment are confident that their attachment figure will meet their needs (McLeod, 2018). Children with insecure avoidant attachment will be independent of their attachment figure, and children with insecure resistant are clingy and dependent (McLeod, 2018). Children with a disorganized attachment don’t fit into the other categories.

All children create this attachment based on the relationship from birth. As this relationship continues, the attachment style continues throughout the lifetime. This is the basis for all relationships that person creates. All relationships look different and will depend on how much nurturing is needed. It is up to you to decide how much is needed to put into your relationships to make sure they will thrive.

The majority of our lives consist of being part of different kinds of relationships. We live in a world where social media is the norm. It can be tremendously harmful if it’s not used in an appropriate way. Stories are being spread like wildfire that are not even true. People believe anything they see on social media without doing their own research. We almost need to take a break from social media to be able to come back to reality to understand what’s really going on in the world. A cleanse might be needed to get back to loving each other again to their face and not over social media. People can be so absorbed in Twitter or Instagram that they forget that they have relationships around them that need to be nurtured.

Mariah Jordan, Fort Collins

Talk about safety nets instead of trashing Trump

I seem to find myself in the minority in today’s national Democratic Party.

I disagree with the tendency of most Democrats (including political candidates for Congress and those in the news media) to constantly bash Donald Trump over his obnoxious personality and his divisive comments.

As very conservative “Morning Joe” Scarborough has said on his MSNBC show, when Democrats talk about Trump, it just makes his supporters angrier and more protective of him while corroborating their paranoid belief that the Democrats and liberals in the media are out to get Trump. Rather, as Joe suggests, Democrats need to focus on their values and telling the people how the federal government can make life better for all Americans.

They don’t seem to realize that most Americans agree that we need to protect the safety-net programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, college student loans and unemployment insurance benefits.

These are winning issues that we should constantly be talking about, not trashing Trump.

Stewart B. Epstein, Rochester, N.Y.