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Letters: Was Griswold, Williams ad public service or campaigning?

All that was wrong with that Griswold, Williams ad

Re: “All that is right with that Griswold, Williams ad,” Aug. 21 editorial

While The Denver Post editorial board covered all that was right with the Jena Griswold, Wayne Williams election misinformation ad, it turned a blind eye to all that was egregiously wrong with it. When Griswold burned through $2.8 million in publicly-funded TV ads featuring herself in 2020, the blowback against the Democratic secretary of state was fairly light.

Fast forward to 2022, when Griswold spent another $1.2 million in federal money on an ad that boosted her ID before her November re-election. This time she appeared with Wayne Williams, her predecessor, to warn against misinformation.

The Post editorial board thinks that’s a good thing. But the ad should come from campaign dollars and not federal money earmarked for improving elections.

That ad is not going to sway anyone. Believers of the Big Lie aren’t interested in facts about safe and secure elections.

In 2012, then-Secretary of State Scott Gessler ran TV spots encouraging Coloradans to register to vote. The Denver Post supported Gessler’s message but warned, “As a rule, we’re not crazy about politicians using public money for ads that burnish their appeal — even for bipartisan, good-government causes such as voter registration — but at least Gessler doesn’t try to hog the stage.”

When I served on the Denver City Council, The Post would never have turned such a blind eye to self-promotion billed to the taxpayer. Hopefully, Coloradans won’t be so easily fooled this November.

Susan Barnes-Gelt, Denver

Editor’s note: Barnes-Gelt served on the Denver City Council from 1995-2003.

Hats off to Jena Griswold and Wayne Williams! For a Democrat and a Republican to appear together in a TV spot to serve the Colorado electorate with a timely message about the safety of the state’s elections, is more than heartwarming. It is a giant leap in the right direction.

In this day of dirty, destructive partisan politics, to watch two politicians rise above that to serve the people of this state is an affirmation of what politics is supposed to be about. Thank you, Griswold and Williams, for so clearly pointing that out.

Elizabeth Moffatt, Denver

How to best support students in Adams 14 schools

Re: “Students in Commerce City need community schools,” Aug. 21 commentary

Amie Baca-Oehlert was correct in her commentary. For children to succeed in this world, they need much support, starting with basic needs such as shelter, safety, food, clothing, and health care. Students then need caring adults who can help support them both in and out of school. Only then can learning take place when basic needs are met.

A community school does just that. It helps to meet basic needs. The more we invest in our young children, the better the education outcome.

We also cannot ask students who are learning English to be taking the same tests as those who grew up speaking English. We must even the playing field before we can even begin to compare students on state exams. It is time to step up for our children in the U. S. and provide the much-needed resources in Title 1 schools so that all our children can succeed. They are our future.

Beth Michieli-Grote, Broomfield

Amie Baca-Oehlert has the answer for Adams 14 District students in a recent op-ed piece. Sadly, but as expected, this union representative won’t use the word “accountability” to leadership in her prescription. I think her answer is “more money,” which has been proven time and time again to be the false narrative from union representatives. The real issue is holding teachers and principals accountable by removing them from the school or classroom if they are unable to effectively improve the performance of their students over time. No union representative would dare suggest that even if, in the end, that is required to solve the shortcomings of current public education.

Craig Bakken, Golden

The cost of ozone-reducing gas is worth it

Re: “Special gas to cost more,” Aug. 21 news story

Your article relating to using oxygenate in gasoline to reduce ozone along the front range contained the standard scare tactic from the oil industry: a person who said that it wasn’t the time to raise gas prices (as if it ever is), and comments from a spokesperson for our governor who apparently considers it better for his reelection campaign to save people money instead of improving the quality of air that they breath.

The governor also holds out the prospect that more zero-emission vehicles would fix the problem without having to resort to reformulated gasoline. So governor, what percentage of vehicles on the front range would need to be zero-emission to have the same effect as the treated gasoline?

The EPA doesn’t make up the goals for pollution reduction, pardon the pun, out of thin air.

Why did you not tell us how many lives would be saved or how much health care costs would be reduced through the use of special gas? The broader point is that humans have been dumping their garbage into the air for too long. And yes, it will now cost money to clean it up.

Guy Wroble, Denver

Approaches to water shortages, climate change

Re: “Colorado River: Upper-, lower-basin states each want other to make first move,” Aug. 21 news story

Thank you for your in-depth article on the Colorado River. It was well written and explained the complexity. We, of course, are hearing a lot about inflation and some try to blame President Joe Biden even though the oil and gas industry is raking in billions of dollars in profits.

Many cattle have died in Kansas and elsewhere from heat and stress. The drought already has caused farmers and ranchers to reduce the acres of crops and sell off cattle to survive. This results in less food and increases in prices, which are about to get worse. So those politicians who ignore and/or deny climate change, another big lie to their list, are at least in part responsible for inflation.

It would be interesting to see how much in campaign funds they receive to ignore climate change.

If I didn’t want my home or business, or crops and cattle lost from drought, floods, wildfires, or other climate change issues, I would sure look to vote for someone who addresses these issues truthfully, no matter their party affiliation.

Wayne Wathen, Highlands Ranch

Re: “Feds impose deeper water cuts amid drought, overuse,” Aug. 17 news story

The front-page story was especially alarming. Drought. Climate change. Natural habitat. They have a common contributing cause: Overpopulation.

With all the ingenious engineering ideas that have been implemented for managing these problems, the most important thing we can do is to control our population growth. A scientific article entitled “Reproduction and the Carbon Legacies of Individuals” by Paul A. Murtaugh and Michael G. Schlax in the journal, Global Environmental Change (2009), has made this clear. If we do all the other good things that environmentalists and engineers recommend for controlling our environmental problems but let world population grow uncontrollably, the damage to our water and air resources will still continue to worsen. Therefore, it is crucial to develop human population targets in our country and across the world.

Further, the world would likely need population targets for trees as well so that forest land can increase to a level that will continue to sustain the environment.

Although the population problem in our country is not as serious as in many other countries, the U.S. can set an example with goals and tax incentives that specifically address it.

Theodore Vorburger, Highlands Ranch

Putting money in the hands of the helpers

Re: “Give to charity, not panhandlers,” Aug. 21 commentary

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve agreed with Post columnist Krista Kafer, but her support of Aurora’s resolution to encourage folks to give to organizations rather than panhandlers is right on the money.

This is the same reasoning that
led our family to split our entire TABOR refund between Urban Peak, Step Denver and The Action Center; just three of many local organizations with proven track records helping people who are ready to help themselves overcome homelessness, addiction and

R. Norman, Wheat Ridge

Heartbroken over killing of bear and her cubs

Re: “Momma bear, four cubs put down after breaking into Five Trees home in Aspen,” Aug. 25 news story

I am at a loss for words about the euthanizing of a mother bear and her cubs.

Why, oh why, if no one was harmed and she was not disturbing anyone, why would authorities put them all down? It absolutely breaks my heart.

Something should’ve been done to relocate them; this is horrific! My heart is aching and my tears are falling.

Karen Clark, Lakewood

I’m a gay grandfather, and I am not unmentionable

Re: “Debate on what to teach in state,” July 17 news story

I’m a retired, married, grandpa living quietly in semi-rural Douglas County tending my tomatoes, abiding all the laws and getting along fine with all my neighbors.

I am also gay.

It’s 2022, I’m neither a threat to anyone nor about to go back into the closet because some homophobic biddies on some state board of education are afraid my existence can’t be safely acknowledged to children.

Hogwash — my own grandchildren had no problem with knowing I’m gay from the get-go.

We’re not talking sex education here.

I’ll suggest it’s the board members’ own prejudices and ignorant fears that makes them want me to be an “unmentionable.”

Please knock it off. We hardly want our children to grow up with the same prejudices we did.

Richard Opler, Parker

Did Trump follow the rules of declassification?

Re: “Same rules should apply to Trump as to Clinton,” Aug. 21 letter to the editor

In brief response to a letter writer, there is a procedure for declassifying documents.

It can be found at Executive Order 13,526.

The order establishes the process through which secret information can be appropriately declassified by the president while he holds his office.

After Jan. 20, 2021, President Donald Trump no longer had the power to declassify anything.

More to the point, he was not the owner of the documents he took.

We are.

He worked for us.

James Fiest, Manchester, N.H.

A letter to the editor expressed a theory about our government, to the effect that “only one person in the executive branch — the president — has any power.” Judging from the tone of the letter, I received the impression that the president’s authority is absolute.

That theory is wrong. The Constitution was designed specifically to prevent absolute power being invested in any single person.

The laws, rules and common practices that have developed in the past 250 years indicate that the president can direct classifications to be altered.

But those same rules and common practices dictate that he accomplishes that process through appropriate channels.

That is done to promote a record of transparency and integrity on the part of our political leaders.

Rehashing the litigation and decisions about Hillary Clinton from more than six years ago does not change the facts about former President Donald Trump’s behavior.

The various current investigations are based on credible accusations that he violated various laws. No citizen, not even the president, should be able to use his office to conceal wrongdoing.

Greg Fedorchuk, Lakewood

CU can protect its students from sexual assault

Just days before fall classes began, University of Colorado students received notification of a sexual assault in a dormitory. Alcohol-drenched frat parties, a known breeding ground for sexual assaults, are about to begin. According to the American Association of Universities, 25% of female students will be assaulted sexually. This is a serious and widespread issue impacting the physical, mental and emotional health of students. In short, an epidemic.

Epidemics require a well-coordinated approach with education, buy-in and accountability at all levels, with funding to match. COVID-19 proved that CU could address epidemics. But will CU ever acknowledge the likelihood that more than 4,000 of its students will be sexually assaulted? And will it ever devise, fund and implement a comprehensive plan to address this public health threat?

In an open forum on the Boulder campus last semester, in response to a question asked by my daughter about fraternities and sexual assault, CU President Todd Saliman stated he took sexual assault seriously. Yet, months later, there still is no comprehensive, well-funded plan to prevent the thousands of devastating sexual assaults that are likely to occur.

Is this failure the result of having yet another male president? Is it because he, like all the other presidents save one, will never know what it is like to live with the knowledge that you have a one in four chance of being sexually assaulted as part of the CU community? What a devastating result of long-standing sexism.

Carol W. Napier, Arvada

A forgiveness mistake

Re: “Is Biden’s student loan forgiveness fair?” Aug. 25 commentary

Please! Justify how because bad financial decisions have been made in the past, we should proceed to make another one again.

I didn’t co-sign on to any loan to be responsible for its payment if the taker fails to comply with repayment requirements.

Bad policy decisions on top of bad policy decisions do not make this idea “good.” Bah! Humbug!

Douglas M Monsoor, Spring Hill, Fla.

The logic behind your editorial regarding Biden’s forgiveness of student loan debt is incredible — literally.

Because you believe money has been doled out to private enterprises in the past, even though you say: “Yes, the justification for the bailouts was sound,” it’s OK to dole out $300 billion to forgive student debt.

Further, you state, “Government is in the business of picking winners and losers.” Really? Is that the function of our government, for which we pay tax dollars?

The students who took out student loans signed a promise to pay. Now we’re telling them they really don’t have to. Are we teaching these students the value of integrity and honoring one’s obligations?

Forgiving these student loan debts is nothing other than an unadulterated attempt to buy votes. The logic used in justifying it is just as unadulterated — we’ve used taxpayer dollars in the past, so let’s use them to buy votes. Incredible, indeed!

John Griggs, Evergreen

Police shooting downtown will leave scars seen and unseen

Re: “LoDo police shooting: Body cam video released,” Aug. 18 news story

Police violence is gun violence. This isn’t just a hashtag but a statement of the real trauma and harm to people and the community.

On July 17, Denver police shot into a crowd of people in Lower Downtown, wounding six bystanders. According to some definitions, this qualifies as a mass shooting. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, “research makes it clear that Colorado in particular is severely impacted by fatal police shootings.” We are one of the five states with the highest rate of fatal police shootings in the country, according to the organization. Its research also shows that Black people in the U.S. are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white people.

In 2020, Colorado passed legislation in the wake of — and less than a month after — the murder of George Floyd, removing qualified immunity as a defense in actions against law enforcement for misconduct. Yet the instances of police violence and gun violence in Colorado over the past month have highlighted the need for further action to protect communities from gun violence.

The injury, pain and trauma of the survivors from the downtown shooting do not fade with the headlines, and they will live with the impact for the rest of their lives. In the complex landscape of gun violence, we must include police gun violence in the conversation to achieve the ambitious goal of ending gun violence and ensuring safety for all communities.

Abbey Winter, Denver

Editor’s note: Winter is the leader of the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action.

Mixed feelings on Cheney

Wyoming is home to a national heroine, Congresswoman Liz Cheney.

Wyoming is also home to a lot of sheep, not all of the four-legged variety. Bah-bah-bah humbug to the Trumpist Republican Party of Wyoming.

Allan Ferguson, Denver

Re: “The Cheney legacy,” Aug. 24 letter to the editor

In response to the letter writer’s question regarding Liz Cheney and Donald Trump: “Aren’t there far more pressing issues facing our nation that should be immediately addressed?” The answer is no.

There is no far more pressing issue facing our nation than the preservation of our democracy. And the key to that is making sure Trump never serves as president again. Those who shrug their shoulders or close their eyes to this glaring truth are ignoring Trump’s envy of dictators around the world and his belief in authoritarian ways. He has made many statements in this regard, including, according to a book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser, telling John Kelly that he wished his generals were more loyal like German generals during World War II.

So if Rep. Cheney’s legacy is “only” ensuring that Donald Trump can never again hold elected office, thanking her for her “target fixation” is the least we can do.

Linda Harris, Denver

Like the letter writer, I have reservations about Liz Cheney, but for different reasons. Her work to prove that Trump doesn’t deserve another run for president has been remarkable, something I’ve admired and thank her for.

However, Coloradans, before you jump totally on her bandwagon, please be diligent. Look up her record as a Republican who voted more with conservative policies than not. Just for starters, she has never been a supporter of a woman’s right to choose, and this, for me, is a non-starter.

Candy Markley, Broomfield

Riding my bicycle is an important source of joy and self-care. The places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met while riding my bike are some of the highlights of my life. Heartbreakingly, the reality of trying to move about this world outside of a car took a cruel twist for my family last year when a driver killed my life partner as she was trying to walk across the street leaving her job.

Her death led to my relocation to the Denver area. Despite the horrible circumstances, I was grateful to at least be coming to a city where active transportation was prioritized, protected and valued. Or so I thought.

Now that I’ve been here a while, it’s terribly discouraging to see the marginalization of transportation modes that offer alternatives to the private automobile. It’s clear from the plans and goals for the area that officials know what needs to be done and how to do it. It’s also crystal clear that these plans and goals are being actively undermined to maintain the status quo.

To the governor, legislature, mayor, council, CDOT, DOTI, etc.: Please properly fund and support active transportation because it’s the right thing to do, despite it being temporarily uncomfortable politically.

Dealing with a senseless loss like mine is horrible, and it breaks my heart to know so many others will have to endure it simply because changing the status quo is hard. Colorado deserves better. Our lives depend on it.

Keith Reed, Aurora

Independent force is needed

Once again the country is being forced to put up with the two-party battle to see who controls Congress.

I am glad I am a member of the majority of registered voters here in Colorado, an independent. This puts me in the unique position of not being called a Communist or a Nazi.

I am just an American able to think for myself and not be led around with a ring in my nose and hating everyone affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties.

I do know that being a registered voter is doing my civic duty so this great country can continue to be the world leader for all others to emulate. Please, if you are registered to vote, do it. November is just around the corner.

Barry Nielsen, Denver

The Cheney legacy

Absent all the media’s wailing and gnashing of teeth that have accompanied the demise of Rep. Liz Cheney, can anyone name a cause or legislative accomplishment for which she was known?

Might “target fixation” (on former President Donald Trump) be the only item that would define her legacy? Doesn’t such fixation often lead to death or destruction?

Aren’t there far more pressing issues facing our nation that should be immediately addressed?

Russell W. Haas, Golden

New fan of e-bikes

I’m 69 years old and have never been a serious bike rider. I didn’t learn until I was 12 and have always felt intimidated by bikes. Our daughter encouraged me to give e-bikes a try. I had a total hip replacement in August 2021. This made me even more scared. But, I did try and have found that e-bikes have made biking fun and accessible.

My husband (72) and I get our groceries and go to all our close-by appointments by riding our e-bikes. My friend and I take a 15-mile ride every week to stay connected and explore our city via the bike infrastructure. I always feel better physically and emotionally after a ride. I encourage everyone to give it a try. We’ve also decided we only need one car!

Betsy Depersis, Denver

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