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Jaden McGoey: Development: Hypocrisy on Old Tale Road

Recently, I was riding my bike and saw a curious sight: Nearly every home on Old Tale Road in East Boulder had a prominent yard sign that read, “Oppose 5801 Arapahoe Avenue Development.”

This confused me — why would each of these homes, which on average sit on an acre of land and are generally valued at more than $1.5 million — be so opposed to a not-yet-built affordable housing development that is separated by a six-lane state highway?

I decided to do a little bit of research, and saw that the large lot owners on Old Tale were resorting to a number of scare tactics, such as claiming that cyclists would be endangered. This claim, incidentally, was appropriately found to be not plausible by Community Cycles, Cyclists 4 Community, the City’s Transportation Advisory Board and the Transportation Department.

I encourage everyone to walk or ride down Old Tale Road. Check out the beautiful homes and large lots. And then ask yourself whether these million-dollar valuations and lot sizes will somehow be impacted by affordable housing for front line health workers, teachers and other essential workers.

COVID-19 has reinforced the need for us to house our essential workers, and to provide them with affordable and convenient options. Surely Boulder is big enough to allow the Old Tale residents to enjoy their side of the street while also allowing desperately needed affordable housing for our heroes.

Jaden McGoey

Boulder


Eleanor A. Hubbard: Divided U.S.: Let’s try counseling first

When things get tough in a marriage, emotional and physical separation may be required. Many couples, however, have found that through counseling they are able to love again the person they married. In 1776, despite huge differences, the colonists decided to stick together for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. This “marriage” has survived wars, famine, pandemics, poverty and riches beyond compare.

What are the costs if we don’t find a way to maintain this marriage? The Civil War gives us horrific examples: families torn apart, mass migrations, areas of the country devastated, enslaved people freed but still living with the damage caused by slavery, institutions destroyed sometimes beyond repair, and the long-term consequences of war, violence, division.

If only there were a marriage counselor for the left and right in these separate states and territories, to remind of us our commonalities and help us to work on our differences. There is not. Instead we will need to work on our problems ourselves, individually and together.

One step forward is to begin living out of agreements that could recognize our differences and common goals.

• Do treasure the relationship with those on the “other side” of the political divide.

• Do listen to each other with open hearts and minds.

• Do discuss hot topic buttons one-on-one in a safe environment.

• Don’t discuss hot topic buttons in public places, like Facebook.

• Don’t call each other names.

We’ve had some good times together and some real rough patches, particularly the last 25 years. Twenty-five years out of the 225 years we have been together, so maybe we can still make it work.

Let’s go into this counseling committed to each other as Americans; I’m ready.

Eleanor A. Hubbard

Boulder


 Amy Allen: Stimulus: Direct relief funds to those most in need

At a time when workers, families and small businesses across America are struggling, the Trump administration is continuing its insidious efforts to bail out the fossil fuel industry with taxpayer dollars. The Trump administration has already acquiesced to demands by the oil and gas industry to change the eligibility criteria for the Main Street Lending program, a $600 billion fund intended to support small and medium businesses that were in “sound financial condition” prior to the pandemic, to suit their needs.

The Trump administration is also pursuing efforts to reduce the royalties paid by companies who are mining coal or drilling for oil or natural gas on federal lands, a decision that would also adversely affect state governments. The state of Colorado, currently facing an acute budget crisis, was forecast to receive $120 million in royalties from oil and gas drilling on federal lands in  fiscal year 2019, according to a report by the Colorado Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee.

The U.S. Congress must fulfill its critical oversight role in ensuring that taxpayer funds allocated for coronavirus relief are directed to those most in need. The recently introduced Resourcing Workforce Investments, Not Drilling (ReWIND) Act would do just that, by stopping efforts by the Trump administration to change criteria for the Main Street Lending Program, the structure of royalty payments on federal lands and preventing other attempts for a taxpayer-funded bailout of the fossil fuel industry. The Boulder area’s member of Congress, Joe Neguse, should be commended for cosponsoring this legislation. Colorado’s U.S. senators and other members of Congress should follow suit.

Amy Allen

Boulder


Don Tocher: Stimulus: Create public works effort

The next salvo in an attempt to stimulate the economy was fired by some ultraliberal Democrats. It is sufficiently ridiculous that it was an obvious ploy by its promoters to create a reflexive “dead on arrival” response by the president and his supporters.

One of the main elements of this proposal is another payment to every middle-class adult and many offspring. It will include illegal aliens and many families who have never earned as much money in their lives. So, although billed as a bargaining chip, it is really not a prudent offering.

An oft-quoted saying, and one full of social wisdom: “Give a man a fish, and he will be hungry again tomorrow; teach him to catch a fish, and he will be richer all his life.”

What does make sense is to create a public works effort that targets the many dimensions of our infrastructure that need attention. This too will hit snags. Remember the dearth of “shovel-ready” projects that President Obama’s program suffered from. However, many people can be put to work just planning and designing the projects as well as building supporting temporary infrastructures. I am reminded of the great Hoover Dam project during the 1930s. The project required a railroad be built to support it. Wind and solar array installations require new power lines to make them productive. These are fairly straightforward projects.

In Boulder’s case I note that our “pothole quotient” is getting pretty high and we are in dire need of a “Muni Off-Ramp.”

We have an opportunity to turn this need for restorative stimuli into something much more productive and less likely to render many people wards of the state.

Don Tocher

Boulder

 

 

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