Commentary

Letters

Page 2 of 3

It has been my privilege to serve society in seeking information to help us deal with the long-term impact of early experiences.

Mark Laudenslager, Ph.D.
Denver

Scream of Conscience
Steve Jackson's piece on the enigmatic Senator Campbell ("Athlete, Artist, Indian Chief," September 12) came too early to include his votes against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and for the offensively titled "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA). The votes were a double slap in the face to his gay, lesbian and bisexual constituents--to whom he continues to give lip service even as he caves in to his strongly antigay party leadership.

ENDA would make it illegal to base employment decisions on a worker's sexual orientation; Campbell cast the deciding vote against the measure. He said he didn't like the way the legislation was "ramrodded through" the Senate. Yet forms of this legislation have been in front of Congress for over twenty years; hearings were held on it earlier this year.

Campbell's spokesperson then had the audacity to announce that queers should remember his opposition to Amendment 2, saying, "He's behind equal rights for all."

How does he show that? By voting in favor of a blatantly discriminatory bill, the Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA would consider same-sex marriages, if permitted by a state in the future, to be nonexistent according to the federal government.

Perhaps Senator Campbell can reconcile the two votes with his conscience. I can't see how that's possible, myself.

Jonathan Kelley, director of public information
Equality Colorado

A Straight-Arrow Guy
In response to the recent letters regarding Robin Chotzinoff's August 29 story, "Shaft's Big Score!":

First, I would like to express my gratitude to KBDI-Channel 12 for airing Ted Nugent's Spirit of the Wild series. I found these programs to have great educational value and appreciated the honest statement they made about the hunting lifestyle. Mr. Nugent is an example of a great American who, from the bottom of his heart, cares about conservation and intelligent management of habitat and wildlife, both game and non-game. As man continues to encroach on the available wild ground, proper management of our renewable resources becomes increasingly important. Without wise management, everyone loses--especially the animals, who will be forced to live in disease and starvation. I would also like to commend Mr. Nugent for his militant stance against drugs and alcohol. Wouldn't it be great if more role models from the music industry presented such clean-spirited values to our youth?

Tom Minsel, Ph.D.
Denver

Land Snakes
Regarding Alan Prendergast's "Shut Up and Deal," in the September 19 issue:
Please allow me to preface my comments by stating that I am neither a pro-growth developer nor an anti-growth BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody). However, I do sit up and take exception with municipalities that throw up every rule, regulation, restriction and roadblock in the way of their own citizens because of one extreme perspective or the other.

I did vote for Boulder County's open-space tax each time, and now I enjoy and appreciate thousands of acres of preserved natural habitat. I did favor Boulder County's Site Plan Review process, because it promised to help educate residents and builders in techniques that would minimize their new homes' impact on the site. Each process appeared to be good government in action. And I did sit back and watch as the county commissioners and their land-use director allowed the arrogance of their office to corrupt each process.

In an effort to secure as much open space as possible as quickly as possible with no consideration to affected property owners, we now have "Natural Landmark Areas": arbitrarily drawn borders with equally arbitrary additional restrictions and regulations surrounding privately held land. Many of the new regulations are entirely subjective and open to the interpretation of the land-use director, making it, at best, a frustrating and uncertain task to obtain a building permit. I didn't vote for this.

We now have separate "takings" schemes to use private property as open-space buffers between the different Boulder County municipalities without compensation to the landowners. I don't recall voting for this.

We now have a Site Plan Review process that is such a mismanaged, bureaucratic nightmare that many people feel they must resort to litigation with Boulder County or simply forgo building their dream home altogether. I didn't vote for this, either.

Anyone possessed of a rational mind and a conscience must again ask if this is good government. If one owns land in Boulder County, as many do, and one was exposed to any of these unreasonable situations, would one wait until then to ask if this is good government? And just how much more big development are we in for? If we are so close to "build-out," as Commissioner Paul Danish indicates, what's the point? Is Boulder's abuse of power any better than that of other cities and counties that allow rampant development to occur on every square foot? The commissioners exercised their right to develop their vacant land for their homes, just as I did. Allow the owners of what little land is available to do the same. Without harassment.

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