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Letters to the editor: Community Choice Energy; open West Pearl; uniforms are bad luck; libraries are going digital


Steve Whitaker: Energy: Community Choice offers climate-friendly alternative

In Boulder, the price of Xcel’s electricity is increasing and based on their requests for rate increases and plans for capital expenditures, the price will only continue to increase. Xcel is a for-profit, investor-owned, monopoly utility. Increasing rates increases profits. In general, the investors expect a return on their investment and the more the better. And since Xcel is a monopoly, maximizing profits is easy compared to other enterprises: They only need to convince two of three Public Utility Commissioners to approve their rate increases. Even though we are the ones who must pay, we have very little influence over the decision. And it’s not like we can readily choose another supplier; there is no competition. Yet.

At the behest of the legislature, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is currently studying a new option for electricity users that are served by investor-owned utilities: Community Choice Energy (CCE). This option would allow cities and counties to choose alternative wholesale electricity suppliers on behalf of their residents and businesses. This would introduce competition: a marketplace for electricity. As envisioned, CCE would give Boulder the option to choose a supplier that provides up to 100% renewable electricity. And unlike municipalization, would not require Boulder to go through a condemnation process to buy the poles and wires; Xcel would continue to own and operate the power lines and do the billing. CCE would be just an option, a community would not have to implement it if it did not want to change its electricity supplier.

However, CCE is only being studied by the PUC who will deliver a report in December. To enable CCE will require legislation. If CCE seems interesting, let your legislators know you want the option to choose.

Steve Whitaker, Boulder

Charlie Hoffman: West Pearl: Closing street permanently could hurt businesses

I’ve enjoyed having Pearl St. closed from 9th to 11th, and it has drawn large crowds. My sense is that a good portion of that crowd has been drawn from Pearl St. between 13th and 15th. Those two blocks provide shady attractive, shady, pedestrian-friendly areas that are now underutilized. The pedestrian mall is longer than it should be already. Adding two more blocks will result in the east end becoming even less used and ultimately blighted with transients and other visitors that don’t have money to spend in the local shops. More businesses on those blocks will close, and a downward spiral will start that is difficult to reverse. The goal should be to revitalize that end, and opening the western blocks of Pearl St. for traffic and parking will move toward that goal.

Charlie Hoffman, Boulder

Brandon Copeland: CU sports: Buffs’ alternative uniforms are bad luck

I’ve been a Colorado Buffalo fan for 40 years, and one thing I’ve noticed is that wearing any other uniform besides gold helmets, black or white shirts, and black or gold pants has been bad luck, from the powder blue days, to the toss up uniforms they wear today. Colorado has been embarrassing to watch.

Every time I come to a game and see any other color besides what is traditional has been disappointing. It already sets a negative tone throughout the stadium before they even kick the ball off. Which I feel has an effect on the game itself.

Almost all of the amazing Colorado Buffalo football players who have been amazing to watch, all did it wearing the traditional uniforms of old.

I’d rather the team focus on the team they are getting ready to play, instead of wondering what uniform they should wear this coming weekend.

Frustrated Buff Fan.

Brandon Copeland, Arvada

Roz Lynn Dorf: Libraries: Brick and mortar locations are becoming obsolete

In the digital age, bricks and mortar libraries are not as necessary, as when I worked at Norlin Library as a grad student. I filed German language cards in card catalog drawers. The cards and drawers have been obsolete for years.

Libraries are digital. Books are digital. People download books to their devices. Boulder’s bricks and mortar libraries will probably be used by fewer and fewer people in the coming years. I only have an in-person library experience when I pick up a book I put on hold, using my computer.

Roz Lynn Dorf, Boulder