Let's all go pro-snow
According to meteorologist Brian Bledsoe in Thursday's article "High Fire Danger Persists", "time will tell if Colorado residents need to be concerned about a more active fire season."
How much time and evidence do we need?
According to analysis of large wildfires (larger than 1,000 acres) on U.S. Forest Service land in Colorado, the average year in the 2010s saw 30 times more acres burned by large wildfires in Colorado as the average year in the 1970s.
I can't prove that the Waldo Canyon fire that torched my trails and came yards away from destroying my home is related to hotter temperatures and greenhouse gases. Nor can I claim definitively that the fires plaguing our nation are due to the "Warmest February in the U.S. since 1954" and a "freakishly balmy February that broke more than 11,700 local daily records for warmth in the U.S." (Also from Thursday's paper.) But communities like Park City, Utah, and New York ski resorts take the threat seriously enough to commit to 100 percent renewables. Groups like "I am pro snow" are lobbying the city of Denver to follow suit.
The evidence is in. The time to wake up to the current climate reality is now. Clean energy is more available and affordable than ever before. The longer we wait for "time to tell", the fewer our options.
Bledsoe said, "there's only one thing that will fix this right now, and that is snow."
Let's all go pro-snow and commit to clean energy.
Meryl Runion Rose
Lay blame where it belongs
In all fairness to Ron Lopez on his "observations" that people are disparaging the work ethic of illegal immigrants, frankly I like most like-minded folks, who are immediately branded "racist or bigots" for even expressing our First Amendment opinions, have the most issue with the employers who take advantage of them. Not with the illegal immigrants who perform the work. What I think most of us would like to see is proper reporting and work visa registration so we can finally stop the whining about status and put the enforcement mechanism to work on strict punitive measures and penalties for illegal hiring practices. Let's lay blame where it belongs - on the employers. Not on the workers. In typical fashion, Lopez immediately jumps on the 'they want all of my compadres and their families banned from the United States'. No. Most Americans want illegal criminals and drug dealers out of, or banned from the United States. Finally.
Most of us have clearly observed that many national fast food establishments, local roofers, dry wall and construction crews and landscaping companies band together to work in the same place. The employers hire them for their "work ethic" and cheap labor costs. Most don't even speak English. Let's put their resources in getting them together to have a national work Permit Registration Day and put the financial burden on the employers to fund English language classes and costs to submit their workers for work visas. Maybe then, once the financial playing field is leveled and the cost per laborer rises, they can start paying a wage that attracts more legal American workers.
We are a nation of laws
Rod Lopez' letter about "immigrants" misses the whole point of the current debate. All of us come from someplace else, making us immigrants. We all welcome those who want to legally come to the U.S., learn to speak English and become proud Americans. All he has to do is add the word "illegal" in front of the word immigrant and he'll understand why his comments are flawed. Nobody disputes many illegal immigrants are hardworking, but the fact is they are illegal.
We are a nation of laws and should not choose which ones to follow and which to ignore.
Trite, strawman arguments
Like other registered voters in Colorado Springs, I received the "Notice of Election on a Referred Measure" with for-and-against arguments on an additional $6 million per year from the surplus for stormwater projects. I found the "For" arguments factual and clear. Conversely, the "Against" argument read like a verbal blunderbuss of pejoratives: "scam," "rain tax," "hush money," "gullible," "drain the swamp," "tax grab," "greed" - you get the picture. When I read this argument, I thought, this looks like something Douglas Bruce would've written.
Then the voter guide appeared in the March 5 Gazette, and there on page 7 I read the same vapid stuff with many of the same libelous, tired expressions - this time with a by-line: Douglas Bruce, the felonious father of TABOR. Another mystery solved. Here's a truth to consider: Trite, straw-man arguments don't (or shouldn't) convince thoughtful readers and citizens. But they should convince us to ignore him.
Government should serve everyone
Scott Pruitt's belief that global warming is not a result of carbon dioxide, combined with his record of lawsuits against the Environmental Protection Agency, makes him unfit to lead the EPA. Donald Trump's selection of Pruitt, along with unqualified heads of other cabinet departments and regulatory agencies whose views conflict with those offices' missions, is disgraceful. There are still important high-level government offices that have not been filled. People with expertise in those areas don't feel welcome in the Trump administration. Trump doesn't want them.
The president needs to learn that the government exists to serve the people, not just the rich, not corporate lobbyists. The EPA, as with all government agencies, was created for the purpose of improving the human condition by preventing misdeeds. That doesn't happen when the people he appoints to run those agencies won't do the jobs they're supposed to do.
David J. Baker