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It doesn’t make sense to take water from our farmers’ fields - Energy And Water Development Corp

It doesn’t make sense to take water from our farmers’ fields

Doesn’t make sense to take water from our farmers’ fields

Re: “Need for water,” Feb. 27 news story

So here we go again with yet another proposal to drain water from the relatively poor San Luis Valley to augment population growth in a high-end community like Douglas County on the Front Range. Letting the Front Range buy rural San Luis water is like letting a drug addict buy the local pharmacy.

But the far deeper issue is how Colorado’s current obsession with promoting Front Range economic growth at any cost is destroying our state’s rural workforce economy, especially in areas like the water-scarce San Luis Valley.

In case we haven’t noticed, Colorado is in the midst of a long-term drought cycle beginning around 2002. Our average precipitation has been decreasing during the past two decades.

According to some experts, our drought could last well into the foreseeable future. Take away the water, and the workforce economies of many rural areas will “dry” up altogether.

In short, the economic forces making Front Range residents so rich are the same forces making rural Colorado’s workforce communities so poor. This situation is like Marie Antoinette saying, “Let them eat cake” — the cake being the $100,000 per year jobs and the $500,000 homes that those living on the Front Range enjoy and that those living in our rural workforce communities will never see.

Gary E.Goms, Buena Vista

Conrad Swanson and The Denver Post are to be commended for the in-depth article on the proposed San Luis Valley-to-Douglas County pipeline. This is but one of a series of misguided schemes to take water out of the valley.

Careful water management in the San Luis Valley has a long history starting with the development of communal “acequias” in the 1860s. Much of the water in the aquifers has been derived over geologic time, and pumping from them is essentially “mining” the water. Renewable water resources are limited and many irrigators have already voluntarily cut back.

Water is vital to maintaining the economy and culture of the valley. However, the issue goes far beyond the valley. If you enjoy visiting the Great Sand Dunes, seeing the sandhill crane migration and other wildlife, or appreciate the diverse culture of the valley, you have a stake in the outcome of this battle.

Many entities (including Denver Water) have documented that growth can occur while overall water use declines through the implementation of water conservation programs. The time is long overdue for everyone to recognize that our water resources are limited, that climate change only exacerbates the challenges, and therefore we must use water efficiently.

I hope The Post will continue to cover this proposed water-grab. Not only is the issue important in itself, but it documents that local journalism still survives!

Gene Reetz, Denver

The issue here is broader than this ill-conceived scheme. The big issue is growth and how short-sighted developers, and certain public officials, fail to consider that unchecked growth based on consumption of finite resources is not sustainable. Take a drive around the metro area, and in just about every direction you will see increasing concentrations of people. Growth in itself is not a bad thing. But when little thought is given to its consequences, all of us pay — in the form of higher taxes, fewer services, and a lower quality of life.

With reference to my agricultural heritage, and career, when a farmer runs low on irrigation water, he/she does not add more land. He/she cuts back on what has been irrigated. How can any rational person contend that the result should be different in the urban context? Further, while agriculture is focused on water conservation, there is appalling water waste throughout the metro area. I suggest that all of us need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we can do to conserve water.

Enough of these foolish schemes! Have we not learned lessons from history? Sustainability does not square with overuse of a finite resource.

Ben Palen, Denver

Fighting fentanyl requires focus on our southern border

Re: “Crack down on fentanyl to save lives,” Feb. 27 commentary

Doug Friednash brought up several important issues, including the reduced penalties for possession and more funding for prevention and treatment. He also comments, “Colorado needs an all hands on the deck response.” However not one mention of the porous borders that allow the drug cartels unrestricted access with their deadly products.

Columnists on the left seem to be uncomfortable facing the reality of what must be done to curb the tragic deaths of so many people.

Thomas Hertner, Lakewood

The first thing to do about fentanyl and to save lives is get rid of Democratic legislators. The biggest issue and drug distribution to start with are the “superhighway” of fentanyl, our open southern border, President Joe Biden, and blue state governors and mayors.

The Democrats in Colorado will not do or say anything until the Democratic Party in Washington gives blue states some directives or talking points. All is quiet. If blue states do anything on their own initiative to protect their children and tax-paying citizens, they will have to publicly address the border, drug cartels and distribution. This would be a direct slap in the face of President Biden and his anti-Trump wall-policy elimination.

The Democratic Party comes first — not safety or U.S. border laws protecting our citizens from criminal cartels, dealers, killer drugs, shootings, etc.

As reported by Friednash, four grams of fentanyl can kill 2,000 people. Thanks to our Democratic-led legislature, possession of four grams of fentanyl is now a misdemeanor.

In January, Gov. Jared Polis announced he would work to strengthen laws around prosecuting fentanyl dealers. The legislation has not “yet” been introduced, but Colorado is providing more funding for “harm reduction, prevention, and treatment.” Prosecuting criminal drug sales be damned.

When Biden and Democratic legislators are asked about our southern border, they become noncommittal, quiet, and elusive. Colorado is an example. There was not one word or hint about the China and Mexico manufacturing connections or fentanyl distribution through our southern border in Friednash’s column.

Hank Urbanowicz, Englewood

Clearing up source of PFAS

Re: “Makers of PFAS facing lawsuit,” March 1 news story

The article states, “the sources of PFAS across the country could be sewage treatment plants…” As the Chairman of the Board of Metro Water Recovery (Metro), the largest public wastewater treatment facility in the Rocky Mountain region serving 2 million customers, we share your goal to inform residents about the environmental and public health risks of PFAS.

However, we also believe it is critical to be accurate about the sources of these risks and the best path forward to address them. Public wastewater treatment facilities are not the source of PFAS in water, nor do they produce or use these substances. Also, it is important to understand that there is not a commercially viable treatment technology to remove these chemicals through the water recovery process.

For these reasons, we applaud Attorney General Phil Weiser’s efforts to take these chemicals out of commerce before they are introduced into the water cycle.

Metro’s system receives wastewater generated primarily by homes and businesses. PFAS chemicals are introduced into our water cycle through certain industrial processes and consumer products, such as non-stick cookware, cosmetics and food packaging. Source control is the only effective tool to ensure that our regional entity can continue its mission to protect public health and the environment by cleaning water and recovery resources.

Scott Twombly, Denver

Paying more at the pump

Does no one else remember that the price of gas was over $4 per gallon during the George W. Bush administration? Somehow, many craven cowards on both sides of the aisle had no trouble authorizing an unnecessary war 19 years ago on the flimsiest of contrived evidence.

Now, the brave people of Ukraine are suffering an unprovoked attack justified by blatant lies, and we should be doing everything we can (short of a full-scale war) to support them, even if it means tightening our belts and stopping sniveling about the price of gas.

God bless and protect the brave people of Ukraine and their heroic president, and God, please also drown out the accusatory, unproductive, inane babbling from Republican Monday morning quarterbacks.

Nicolett Darling, Kersey

Help homeless via charities

We, as a country, have created the homeless problem that every city struggles with currently. Various solutions have been tried to address the problem.

Some organizations have success turning lives around. When you see a homeless person and wish they had opportunities to change their lives, give to one of the organizations with a proven track record.

Highly rated organizations in the metro area are Denver Rescue Mission, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Hope Program, The Gathering Place, Volunteers of America Bannock Youth Center, Open Door Ministries and Urban Peak. There are many more that would welcome your contributions. If you don’t find yourself on the street tonight, count your blessings and share with the organizations that are working for change. We can’t expect the government to solve the problem. We all need to step up.

Cindy Robertson, Denver

Colorado State Patrol: Acting on what we know

Over the past few months, I have asked the public to join the Colorado State Patrol in driving down the number of fatalities on our state’s roadways. While I firmly believe this effort can only be realized through a majority of our drivers consciously participating through safe driving behavior, I also want to share how your State Patrol is taking action.

Law enforcement agencies across the nation are experiencing the same strain on their workforce that most industries are facing, so the State Patrol is working strategically to do more with less. We have leaned into what our agency’s crash investigation data is telling us, so we can focus our enforcement on the most predictable behaviors that cause serious crashes.

In addition, we are advancing our use of data to pinpoint where and when crashes are most prevalent. In late 2021, the State Patrol initiated surge operations in predictable, high-crash areas, and these efforts yielded the best possible result — no fatalities in those areas.

This complete approach allows our members to build a more impactful enforcement plan and remain visible.

Yet we will always need your partnership. Drivers collectively decide how safe or how dangerous our roadways are. Whether there are 100 state troopers or 10,000, there will never be a law enforcement officer at every mile marker,

Your State Patrol will commit to working smarter with every resource at our disposal. Join us in making Colorado a safe place to drive again.

Matthew C. Packard, Lakewood

Editor’s note: Packard is chief of the State Patrol.

New roof a major cost

Re: “Reform home insurance to protect Coloradans,” Feb. 27 editorial

While I appreciate most of what you put forth, I take issue with your including “a new roof after a hail storm” as a “minor” incident. It would have cost us more than $10,000 prepandemic to replace the roof on our very modest home in this area that has seen major hailstorm damage in recent years. I shudder to think what it would cost now. For most here, this would not be a “little claim.” Isn’t this exactly the reason we’ve been paying for home­owners insurance all these years?

Karen Pierce, Colorado Springs

Allow corkage fees, please

Re: “Don’t postpone repeal of last Prohibition-style laws,” Feb. 27 commentary

Krista Kafer provides cogent arguments in her article about repealing old laws. I believe the majority of citizens would agree that we should go one step further by repealing laws that forbid us from bringing our own wine to a restaurant and paying a reasonable corkage fee.

Too many establishments in our great state take advantage of having a monopoly on wine purchases while dining. Allowing customers to bring their own wine and paying a corkage fee will protect some amount of profit at restaurants and will most likely drive down the cost of wines.

Calvin Taylor Switzer II, Castle Rock

Have you already forgotten Speaker Pelosi’s bad behavior?

Re: “Sad State of the Union moment,” Feb. 3 letters to the editor

The Lauren Boebert haters are out in force. I guess bad behavior is OK if carried out by the left. I recall Nancy Pelosi’s terrible behavior when Donald Trump gave his State of the Union address. What faces she made — and then tearing up his speech in a grand manner. Rep. Boebert didn’t even come close.

May I remind people also that when Trump gave his inaugural address, some Democrats boycotted the event, and some vowed at that time to impeach him. They did — twice.

Kay Robbins, Denver

Not looking out for residents

Re: “Drilling plan put on hold,” Feb. 17 news story

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission just cannot ever say no even when it is clear it should. Once again it is ignoring the clear intent of the legislature regarding Senate Bill 181. Case in point — Kerr-McGee, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, wants to drill a massive 3,600-acre well pad with 26 wells within 2,000 feet of 87 homes in Firestone, where the closest well would be only 763 feet away. The state law says they cannot drill closer than 2,000 feet.

So the COGCC and the oil company are doing all they can to find a way around that pesky provision of the law by looking to widen a “loophole” big enough to shove a drilling rig through. And the town of Firestone? It says yes to this debacle as well. Of course the town claims the fact Kerr-McGee will give it a 78-acre parcel of land has nothing to do with it. Yeah right.

It surely does seem the COGCC and Firestone have lost any ability to just say no, even when it is clear they should for the sake of the safety and health of nearby homeowners.

Edward Talbot, Arvada

Comanche 3 a drain on Colorado

Re: “Troubled coal plant down again; regulators seek answers,” Feb. 24 business story

Judith Kohler’s excellent article on Xcel’s Comanche 3 coal-fired power plant was most illuminating and showed that the plant is an abject failure.

Comanche 3 has been offline a quarter of the time for its first 10 years of operation (2010-19) and almost the whole of 2020. And it’s out of service again!

Clearly Comanche 3 does not contribute anything to the reliability of the electric system. And it cannot be counted on to back up wind and solar. So all it does is make global warming worse whenever it happens to be able to operate. It costs us a pile of money whether it’s running or not.

It’s time for the Public Utilities Commission to do its job: Declare Comanche 3 an “imprudent” investment; recover from Xcel the tens of millions of dollars that we consumers paid Xcel while Comanche 3 has been offline (both the return-on-capital and the return-of-capital), and remove it from the rate base so it doesn’t cost us more money! And tell Xcel to shut it down now so we don’t get unnecessary pollution and CO2 in the atmosphere.

Steve Pomerance, Boulder

The reality of war

Re: “Street fighting begins as Russian troops storm Kyiv,” Jan. 26 news story

Thank you for publishing the picture of a Russian soldier killed and left in the open to be covered by snow. War is hell, and more people need to see this side of it, to understand that it might be their son or daughter tossed off like leftover garbage. It’s time for all people to see the bodies and maybe have a moment to grasp the insanity of going to war.

Brian LeFevre, Brighton

Sad State of the Union moment

Re: “Lauren Boebert outburst on Afghanistan jolts State of the Union,” March 2 news story

Not because of her political stances, but because actions speak louder than words, Rep. Lauren Bobert’s actions and interruptions during the State of the Union address serve only to solidify her ignorance and immaturity. She is not smart enough to know she should be embarrassed, as she embarrasses our glorious state. I don’t know if it is her generation or sheer lunacy on her part, but she needs to show proper respect for the office she holds and to represent Colorado in a professional manner.

Don Gonzales, Denver

I live in Pueblo. I love Pueblo. It has been my home for over 50 years. But I am so ashamed of the person elected to represent me in Congress. Her disgraceful behavior at the State of the Union Address has left me stunned.

I did not vote for her, nor did anyone I know. She does not represent the vast majority of the wonderful people in Pueblo. She and her cohort, MTG, have embarrassed the good people of Southern Colorado.

I used to teach middle school. Her behavior reminds me of my days of teaching tweens. The principal would reprimand them for much less offenses than what she committed.

We have to vote her out. Send her back to her bar in Rifle, where she belongs, and not the halls of Congress.

Bobbi Clementi, Pueblo

Not a desirable destination

Local media recently covered Mayor Michael Hancock’s plea to the broader metro area to not give up on downtown Denver.

This seems like a perfect example of reap-what-you-sow progressive governance. The mayor, and the rest of the city government, have succeeded in turning what was once a jewel of a downtown into a destination for homelessness, drug use and not-always-so-petty crime.

I am no stranger to the sometimes rough and tumble realities of the urban experience but downtown Denver has been trending toward unpleasant and unnerving for at least 20 years.

The city’s well-meaning but very poorly executed (and expensive) efforts to help the homeless have solved nothing and managed to ruin downtown for most visitors while creating a downward spiral of lost revenue.

As the city is very unlikely to alter its course any time soon, our return to downtown for dining would only contribute to the continuation of these misguided and destructive policies. See ya later, Denver. We will enjoy greener and safer pastures.

Douglass Croot, Highlands Ranch

Fueling decisions

Re: “Biden’s sanctions may let Moscow profit from oil, gas,” Feb. 28 news story and “Biden administration is halting new drilling,” Feb. 21 news story

In last Monday’s paper, President Joe Biden is quoted as saying preserving access to Russian energy would “… limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump.”

Recently, according to news reports, Biden was trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to increase their oil production to reduce the price of crude oil and consequently the price of gasoline. But on Feb. 21, a headline on the front page of The Denver Post proclaimed “Biden administration is halting new drilling.”

Excuse me, but am I missing something here?

William C. Rense, Estes Park

The U. S. is trying to back Ukraine (applause), sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin to get him off everybody’s back (applause), and keep gasoline prices from rising further (more applause).

Sorry, not possible.

The price of freedom will be at the pump and elsewhere until one dictator is ousted and Russia re-establishes a democracy. Germans just threw themselves under an economic bus for the cause; we will not escape the cost here. I’ll suggest it’s worth it but be clear-eyed — we will all pay a price.

Richard Opler, Parker

Relax building codes for the sake of Marshall fire victims

Re: “Economic realities, net-zero goals clash,” March 1 news story

The city of Louisville adopted the net-zero building codes a month before the Marshall fire. The forward-looking codes were meant for the handful of new homes being built in the city each year. This would have allowed for local builders to become familiar with the new codes and for the city and homeowners to evaluate their energy effectiveness and make any needed adjustments.

As it stands now, the cost estimates to meet the new codes vary widely, the efficacy of heat pumps in this climate is questionable, and interior sprinkler systems would not have stopped the damage in the Marshall fire. There is a lot of confusion around the cost and effectiveness of these new codes.

It seems that Louisville is forcing 550 families who have lost their homes and possessions to be part of a grand experiment during a time of accelerated construction costs and confusion.

The reasonable solution for the city would be to require that all replacement homes comply with the 2018 codes, which still require many energy upgrades, but make the 2021 codes optional for families struggling to get their lives back to normal.

Nita Bratt, Castle Rock

Keep the evenings lit later

I heard a news spot on a local radio station saying that the state legislature was considering a bill to eliminate the switching back and forth from daylight saving time to standard time. This is fine with me, although I don’t mind the switch like many people seem to.

However, the radio report indicated that if the change was eliminated, we would be permanently on standard time, making summer sunrises really early — their example was a 4:30 a.m. sunrise with a 7:30 p.m. sundown.

Why not daylight time instead? I would rather have the extra sunlight in the evening when it is more enjoyable, instead of 4:30 a.m. when I’m trying to sleep.

The winter sunrises and sunsets are a problem for those who have to be out either early or late anyway. My vote (if it matters) is to stay on daylight saving time.

Alan Thomas, Denver

Taking action against Russia

It’s really appalling watching the travesty of Russia attempting to force its will on a less militarily powerful but still sovereign nation. There seem to be so few ways that countries outside of Ukraine can respond without risking a worldwide catastrophe, given Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warning that suggests his use of nuclear weapons is not out of the question.

I’m glad the U.S. and other countries are implementing sanctions designed to isolate Putin and his cronies. It’s especially noteworthy given those sanctions are likely to drive up the cost of gas and other goods.

I’m just hoping that those of us decrying Russia’s actions are willing to make some sacrifices in light of those rising costs. Perhaps we could forego some of the trips that we’d normally take in our cars and speak out against the inevitable calls for lessening restrictions on new offshore drilling and fossil fuel extraction on public lands.

Perhaps that shared sacrifice might even be good for the planet. I’m sure if we looked carefully, we’d find connections between oligarchs’ quests for riches and power, the destruction of our planet, and the disregard for human life.

George E. Ware, Denver

In watching the Ukrainians displaying solidarity, unity and bravery against the Russian invaders, I am prompted to reflect on my and so many others’ sense of patriotism. Our country has been the most successful experiment in democracy in the history of the world. Yet, I am extremely troubled by the divisions we are experiencing and how this affects our strength to conquer assaults on our nation.

We did not argue the politics of going to war when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. We did not take positions favorable to our careers when we were attacked on Sept. 11. We did not see an opportunity to complain against our political opponents when Hurricane Katrina hit, when the Challenger exploded, when San Francisco had major earthquakes. We applauded when President Ronald Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

We stood up for our country and displayed our patriotism, sense of humanity, and coalition as Americans. So sadly, this is not true today. We have a former president lauding the virtues of a Russian thug for attacking a sovereign nation, the senate minority leader criticizing our president’s sanctions against Russia and for pulling us out of Afghanistan, and on and on.

What we need now is for all of us to show patriotism, unity and our American pride. The world is watching and relying on us right now. Let us call out those who view this as an opportunity to make political hay. America. Love it with all of its foibles, or leave it.

H. Rene Ramirez, Aurora

As President Joe Biden stated, Vladimir Putin chose this war. We need to name this war Putin’s War — so if concern about his legacy is one of the motivating factors, his name will live in infamy as the sole initiator for history to reflect forever.

Jerry Witt, Commerce City

Can’t afford to miss baseball

Re: “Examining the issues and delays threatening MLB’s regular season,” Feb. 20 sports story

I don’t pretend to understand all the issues between owners and players, but Patrick Saunders ends his column with something I do understand: the 50 highest-paid players get 33.4% of all salaries, and the 100 highest-paid players get 52.4%. Out of 902 players on the opening day rosters, 100 guys (11%) get over half of the whole pot. The 2021 minimum salary was $570.5K. The average median income in the U.S. is $79,900. On behalf of those of us who love baseball and the Rockies and getting out of the cold for a week at spring training, let’s get on with it. And thanks, Patrick, for making it understandable.

Barbara Schmidt, Denver

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