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Scott Lundgren: Climate change: Close Comanche 3 to correct error

Boulder County experienced two winter wildfires in the first three months of 2022.

The devastating Marshall Fire started the new year, destroying hundreds of homes and shocking the nation. The recent NCAR fire forced me to pack up what would fit in my two cars and evacuate my home. My neighbors and I were lucky that winds died down during the NCAR fire, but we are left with a frightening new normal.

Fire season is now year-round. Climate change-driven drought, heat and high winds combined with fire are destroying people’s lives.

We know how to reverse this terrifying trend, and our city leaders are aware of the crisis. Boulder announced a climate emergency in 2019, and the city has bold goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2035.

That’s why many of us are left scratching our heads that last year, before all these wildfires, the city signed off on an agreement with Xcel Energy and the state Public Utilities Commission to keep the Comanche 3 coal plant open until 2035.

Comanche 3 is Colorado’s largest single source of climate pollution — at least when it’s working. Just this year, it’s already been offline for two months due to a generator failure. It was also offline for most of 2020 and has been significantly more expensive to maintain than expected.

Xcel has goals to significantly reduce carbon emissions this decade and closing its biggest climate polluter by 2028 is a cost-effective way to meet our climate commitments.

The PUC has a chance this spring to make Xcel retire this coal plant before 2030 and correct Boulder’s mistake.

As customers of Xcel Energy who don’t want to pay for climate devastation and toxic pollution in the Pueblo community, we need to demand Boulder and Xcel do better.

Scott Lundgren


Reese Starr: Civility: How to make technological communication more positive

The pandemic has caused communication through technology to become something that is done on the daily by a wider scale of individuals and the only way we are able to communicate with certain people.

Because of this, we tend to be more hostile with our communication and take messages in a negative way. The University of Alabama at Birmingham reports that we become more suspicious about a person and our relationship the less we communicate, especially if our communication is only through technology.

Even though most of the time the suspicions are only in our head, they are still there and then cause us to act in a defensive way.

I am guilty of thinking that a text or email was sent with anger behind it, or they have a problem with me because it has “too many periods” or the word choice they chose to use at the end of the message.

In reality, they most likely are not angry. They are just using basic grammar to get their point across.

Our defensive behavior, that is taken out through a screen because we are unable to communicate face to face, causes us to burn more bridges than need to be burned.

If the email you are reading were to be read out loud by the writer face to face when they are using body language and inflection in their voice, the message would come across differently.

I encourage you to take a step back and think if the person is truly upset or if it is just because of the loss of emotion.

Meeting in person or communicating on a more-regular basis helps to create a productive conversation.

Learning how to communicate through technology in a positive way is very important because of its relevance in today’s world.

Reese Starr


Susie Bozella: Youth leadership: Teens can apply for Girls and Boys State

There is a lot of rhetoric these days about freedom and individual rights in our county.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedoms and rights within the structure of our democratic republic form of government. It is important that our citizens be educated in how our government works and the responsibilities we have as citizens.

Fortunately, there is a program that offers hands-on training in government. It is the American Legion Auxiliary Colorado Girls State Program. Every summer about 15,000 young women participate in the weeklong ALA Girls State programs across the nation.

The program teaches government from the city to the state level. Using a nonpartisan curriculum, participants assume the roles of government leaders campaigning to become elected officials in their mock ALA Girls States. They write bills, debate and pass legislation while learning how to use parliamentary procedure.

The 2022 ALACGS program will be held at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley scheduled for June 4-9. Application to attend is open to all interested girls completing their junior year in high school.

Maybe, through this training in government, one of these young women will someday be active in finding solutions to our societal problems. The camp incudes opportunities to express patriotism through various activities and to learn how to share ideals, thoughts and concerns with young women of the same age.

This year all applications are due May 1 and will be done online at under Girls State. There is no cost to the students. The local ALA unit will pay for all fees.

Anyone who is interested in more information about this leadership program should contact their school counselor or the ALA website.

There is also a similar program for boys — Boys State. Apply at

Susie Bozella

American Legion Auxiliary

Colorado Girls State Committee