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Madelyn Wynne: Fire danger: Bear Creek is a blaze waiting to happen

For several years we have been trying to get our Boulder city government to regularly mow and trim Bear Creek between Broadway west to Lehigh Drive, as was being done for many, many years.

For the past two or so years, this area has been allowed to grow wild with weeds over 18 inches high, volunteer bushes and trees, which, of course, are bone-dry most of the time.

On my most recent email in mid-November, asking that this be mowed low for the winter months, I included our Boulder Fire Chief Michael Calderazzo. We received only the standard reply about being in Mile High Flood District from Josh Meck’s office.

I have been told Boulder joined forces with Mile High Flood District and uses their “standards.” This area has been declared a riparian zone.

Is it more important to regulate this area for a 50- or 100-year flood or bone-dry weeds and bushes that occur on a perpetual basis?  A lot of flood mitigation work was already done on the northwest corner of Broadway and Table Mesa Drive in the 1980s to correct the flooding of this creek.

Since the Dec. 31 Marshall Fire and the March 26 NCAR Fire, I would like to think that our city would reconsider and get this area mowed and trimmed to avoid what could be a similar wildfire in the area. This stream, just a trickle most of the time, is between two heavily traveled lanes of traffic and is a fire waiting to happen.

Our house is several blocks south of this area, but seeing what happened so quickly Dec. 31 and March 26, we feel vulnerable, as should a large area of Table Mesa. City contacts are, utilities manager, or, Boulder fire chief.

Madelyn Wynne


Ira Chernus: Antisemitism: Jews who criticize Israeli policy have deep concerns

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, recently said, “The wise Jewish people say that the biggest antisemites are the Jews themselves.”

That seems silly on the face of it. But Israel’s top leaders did not find it any laughing matter. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said, “The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of antisemitism.” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid agreed that such words are “the basest level of racism.”

Years ago, in the Camera’s Letters to the Editor column, I, a Jew, was more than once accused of being antisemitic. Back then I knew it was silly.

Now I learn, from the highest Israeli Jewish authorities, that these accusations were the basest level of racism. The irony is that it was other Jews hurling this racist charge at me.

Why did they do it? Because I was publicly criticizing the way the Israeli government treated the Palestinian people.

Today more American Jews than ever share my critical view of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians, because Israel’s policies remain harsh and inhumane barriers to peace and security.

Yet we still hear these Jewish critics being labeled antisemitic, often by other Jews.

Hopefully the words of Israel’s top leaders will put an end to this unjustified and hurtful name-calling. Because now we know that when anyone, Jewish or not, calls another Jew antisemitic it is the basest level of racism.

We should also know what I knew back then: The large majority of Jews who criticize Israeli policy have a deep concern for the security and well-being of the Jewish as well as non-Jewish people of Israel. That’s obviously not antisemitism.

Ira Chernus


Ellen Wagner: Abortion: Acknowledge thinking behind total ban

So Colorado gubernatorial candidate Greg Lopez says he’d ban all abortions — no exception for the mother’s life — if elected? Let’s uncover the real basis of that view.

Imagine a pregnant woman in Colorado under that law. She’s diagnosed with uterine cancer and needs a hysterectomy, but no: She cannot have one because her fetus would die.

So she takes her chances, her baby — let’s call her Amy — is delivered early, and the mother dies.

Fast forward 30 years, and Amy herself is pregnant. Unfortunately she, too, is diagnosed with uterine cancer.

She can’t have a hysterectomy or even chemotherapy because that would kill the fetus. So Amy now takes her own chances and, of course, she dies of cancer.

What’s going on here? When Amy was a fetus of perhaps one ounce of tissue, her life had infinite value, or at least substantially more value than that of her mother.

That’s why her mother had to die, so that Amy could live.

But now that Amy is an adult woman, her life has substantially less value than that of her own fetus, so Amy must also die so that her fetus can live.

Here’s my question: How is it that a female life loses so much of her value from the stage of a fetus to the stage of an adult? How is it that a grown woman’s life can be thrown away as worthless compared to her worth when she was merely a gathering of molecules in her mother’s uterus?

We need to acknowledge the thinking behind a total ban on abortion: It’s based on the complete devaluing of women, period. Even two molecules of a nascent fetus are worth more than an adult woman in the eyes of some persons, and that is cruel, stupid and inhumane.

Ellen Wagner, Ph.D.

associate professor emerita, University of North Florida Department of Philosophy


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