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Letters to the editor: City doesn’t mention harm from lead; I cry for people of Russia; open Boulder’s pools; Republicans voted against baby formula bill

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Anne Wilson: Boulder airport: City doesn’t mention harm from lead

Finally, the Boulder City Council has awakened from its torpor to deign to suggest that just maybe the noise from having an airport in the middle of our city might be a problem for residents, including the residents-to-be that will live in the new East Boulder subcommunity of which the CC is so proud.

However, in this “landmark moment, years of work by staff and the community,” they don’t mention the harm to residents from the use of lead in piston engine aircraft, despite being clearly informed of the risk.

The 2021 Reid-Hillview Airport lead study (Google it) has already established a connection between an airport like ours and blood lead levels in children. Compared to the Flint Water Crisis, with its fixed duration, one author said, “the release of lead into the lived environment is a continuous, nonstop, daily unabated flow of an undeniably harmful toxicant.” For this reason, that airport is now set for closure.

Lead erodes brain cells, breaking down the myelin sheath around axons and prevents the release of neurotransmitters. Lead exposure can cause permanent learning disorders and behavioral problems.

Lead does not break down over time. It does not vaporize. It never disappears. It remains in the soil, air, and water, where it is taken up by living organisms.

How about a lead study, City Council? Or maybe you don’t want to know?

Boulder residents pay property taxes and attempt to preserve what is lovely about our city in good faith.  And yet we get no seat at the table when decisions are made about the airport. And now we know that includes continuous lead exposure.

How is this not negligence? As the damage and inequity from lead exposure is now understood, perhaps the city will be held liable for knowingly exposing its citizens to this neurotoxin.

Anne Wilson

Boulder


Juan Roederer: Ukrainian war: Why I’m crying for Russian people

Here is what I am sending to my colleagues and friends in Russia:

Dear Friend: I don’t know if this email will reach you, and if it does, whether you will read it before deleting.

I am crying for Russia. I am crying for the Russian people, who are befallen by an informational pestilence emanating from a leader-turned-madman.

My feelings are not a mere reaction to what I see in the media — they are triggered by the memory of personal experiences.

I was only a boy, but old enough to remember and understand now how thoroughly I was brainwashed into becoming a fanatical little Nazi after the “special operation” by Anschluss, Germany, to welcome Austria back “home into the Reich.”

And years later (leaving aside what I experienced during several Argentine dictatorships), the chance of gaining unparalleled insights into your country during 20-plus science-related visits to the Soviet Union between 1958 and 1991.

Specifically, it is what I witnessed in terms of the rapid rise of freedom, democracy and economic development between the dissolution of the Soviet Union and my last visit in 2003, which makes me cry for you now.

It demonstrates that despite all that societal development, knowledge, science, culture and technology, humans still are herd animals prone to just “follow the leader” whenever uncertainties arise.

For your own “comfort of mind”: Are we any better in this respect here in the United States? No. We are just waiting for the appropriate leader to emerge. Or reemerge. Is this a Darwinian curse? My only hope is that good people like you will miraculously prevail.

Juan Roederer

Boulder


Don Koplen: Pool restrictions: Maybe we don’t need so many lifeguards

Spruce Pool closed, Scott Carpenter and North Boulder limited pool hours. South Boulder Recreation Center possibly closed. Because of lack of lifeguards?

The Rec Department’s excuse last year was that COVID-19 had limited training opportunities, but we haven’t been in lockdown for quite a while.

So what happened to lifeguard trainings?

I’ve been a swimmer since 1950. I’ve swum at swim clubs private pools, lakes and even oceans without a lifeguard — rarely heard of anyone drowning. I never expected a lifeguard and was willing to take my chances.

If I ever swam with my young children, and now my grandchildren, I made sure that they were taught to swim and was/am present when they did.

Do we really need so many lifeguards? Why can’t we as a society accept the tiny statistical possibility that someone might drown? Why can’t we sign a waiver before going into a public pool or just a “swim at your own risk” sign?

Perhaps we have one lifeguard at the kiddie pools. I, and I think many others, would volunteer to keep an eye on them for a few hours a week. I mean, the pools are only a few feet deep, and there are always parents’ eyes all over the place.

Jeez, I’m scaring myself with my condemnation of overregulation — maybe I’m becoming a Republican. So be it in this case! Enough with this over-protection.

It’s getting hot, our population has exploded, we have a budget surplus — and somehow the Rec Department can’t figure out how to keep our pools open.

Open the damn pools!

Don Koplen

Boulder


Carl Heck: Baby formula: 192 Republicans voted against bill

Voters should remember — 192 so-called Family Values Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives voted against providing monetary aid to the FDA for supplying more baby formula.

Carl Heck

Aspen

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