Page 33

The News-Press 33

October 25, 2018


When the children of our community grow up and move on, how will they remember their education here? Will they speak with pride or of the crumbling buildings and leaky pipes? Will they be able to reminisce with younger siblings about a shared, memorable teacher or will the constant churning of instructors be what they recall? Will they remember a community that nurtured its youngest or one of indifference? We, as a community, have incredible power to shape our schools and build a future that protects our most vulnerable citizens, our children. We are at a decisive moment. It’s up to us, the voters, to determine the future for 68,000 students. A mistake will linger in their memories. “Generations do not cease to be born,” James Baldwin wrote, “and we are responsible to them…the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.” Our family will keep the faith. We will vote yes on 5A and 5B. We see the needs of this generation’s students and we can’t fail them. We look to our neighbors with hope that they will do the same, that this is who we are. Lena Brown Unincorporated Douglas County Tax hike would hurt seniors I am a strong supporters of teachers and I don’t believe they are paid enough. I read several of the articles that appeared in the Oct. 11 issue and I noticed that the amount that would raise my property taxes was adjusted down to a monthly amount. Very smart, but let me address a very real issue. It is my understanding that seniors are now the majority of homeowners in Douglas County. And it is true that the value of our homes have increased. However, unless we sell our homes, we do not benefit from that increase in value and in fact, we are taxed on it! As seniors, we have not had a raise in three years. While we might get one in 2019, I can almost guarantee that it will go to Medicare! The yearly amount of the average tax that a person would pay could be beyond some seniors’ budgets. Perhaps it is time to work with the state in changing how schools are funded. It seems to me a sales tax increase would be better in the long run. This is not my area of expertise, but it is a thought that should be explored. Donna Berti Highlands Ranch Say no to 74 Amendment 74 is one of those pro-

posals that sounds like a good idea but would have horrible consequences. If someone wants to open a pot shop in your neighborhood and the town passes a new law banning such shops, under 74 the property owner could sue the town and win. In fact, all other commercial property owners in the town could argue that the market for their property was reduced and they could sue. Any zoning change made by a town or county would result in numerous lawsuits. Local governments will basically be prevented from making any zoning changes because all such changes would result in someone suing. If a property owner is not allowed to develop his property as he wishes (such as putting a store in a neighborhood that doesn’t want a store) he could sue. If he is allowed, the property owners around him could sue. Local governments will be paralyzed and/or bankrupted. The only winners will be the lawyers that file the flood of lawsuits that would be the result of the passage of 74. Of all the bad ideas I have seen, this is one of the worst, unless you want to be forced to allow pot shops and other development you don’t want into your town. Ronald Curry Parker Vote for Griswold You’ve probably chosen a gubernatorial candidate. What about other statewide offices? Do you know about those candidates and their positions on our important issues? The secretary of state is charged with managing elections including registering voters and protecting every eligible voter’s rights regardless of their politics. The election may be partisan but the responsibilities are not. Jena Griswold is the right person for the job and the only woman on the statewide ballot. She’s a public servant, not a politician, and a voter rights lawyer. She brought hundreds of millions of federal funding dollars to Colorado after the terrible 2013 floods. Jena’s vision for secretary of state includes making it more convenient and easy to vote, and protecting our voter data. She’ll work for automatic voter registration; expanded polling center hours; continuous cybersecurity improvement to repel foreign infiltrators; and better campaign finance transparency so we know the source of Colorado election donations. If these were incumbent Wayne Williams’ goals, they’d have been accomplished in the past four years. Wayne’s priorities concern me. He admitted he still practices as a private attorney, even representing clients suing Colorado. Also,

we taxpayers bought him a $1,500 cowboy outfit. Neither is illegal, but appearances matter. At a time when many Coloradans make far less than Wayne’s $68,500 and are struggling to pay for rent, health care and college, this sets a poor example. Electing Jena will bring strong leadership to better serve the people of Colorado. Deborah Egner Castle Rock Brauchler the right choice In business, experience matters. Most jobs have a minimum experience requirement as business owners are looking for qualified candidates who can hit the ground running day one. Candidates for office are submitting their resume to the voters for consideration. Colorado residents have an important choice for attorney general this November. George Brauchler is the only candidate for AG with decades of experience practicing Colorado law. George has tried hundreds of cases, many of them high-profile. Mr. Brauchler has served as district attorney for the 18th Judicial District with honor and distinction. Colorado needs an AG that will defend our laws against onerous regulations, while defending our water rights, natural resources and our Constitution. George Brauchler’s background as chief of Military Justice and service to our nation exemplify the kind of experienced candidate Colorado deserves. Please join me in voting for George Brauchler for attorney general. Jeff Wasden Highlands Ranch Support setbacks for oil, gas drilling Why support 112? It puts our families’ and kids’ health first, ahead of industry lies. Per independent university research, toxic risks from fracking include neurological, respiratory, hematological, and developmental health issues, a higher risk of cancer, babies born with neural tube defects and congenital heart defects, along with childhood leukemia; plus fires, explosions and blast evacuation zones. Considering that this toxic, heavy industrial operation is rubberstamped by the state, with no known examples of a permit application ever receiving a final denial, there must at least be appropriate buffer zones between those operations and our homes, schools, neighborhoods and families. On jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (not the industry front groups in TV ads), the entire logging and mining sector in Colorado — which includes oil

and gas extraction — employs about 30,000 people, 1% of our entire state labor force, and a far cry from the 200k-plus numbers used in some industry ads. Modern fracking can drill out a mile and a half laterally underground. With 112, they will still be able to access many cubic miles of underground territory from each multi-well pad. A just-released Colorado School of Mines analysis found that, even if only using onemile laterals, “42% of (Colorado’s) non-federal subsurface would (still) be accessible, or nearly three times the available surface area.” We shouldn’t have to accept fracking right next to our homes, schools, playgrounds, and neighborhoods. Please consider all the real facts carefully. I’m confident that, like me, you’ll support and vote for Proposition 112. Harv Teitelbaum Sierra Club Colorado, Oil and Gas Campaign Colorado Rising, advisory board Say no to 112 I’ve worked in the oil and natural gas industry for five years, and before that, I knew nothing about oil and gas. If Proposition 112 was on the ballot back then, I probably would have voted yes. It sounds reasonable — until you read between the lines. Proposition 112 would establish a 2,500-foot setback between new oil and natural gas development and occupied structures or other “vulnerable areas” — the most troubling phrase in the proposition. The definition of “vulnerable areas” includes things like dry creek beds, which is a channel formerly occupied by a stream, and a laundry list of other areas. Can you imagine how many dry creek beds exist in Colorado? I read the full measure and did my research, and while cleverly disguised, it’s irrational. If Prop 112 passes the industry would soon cease to exist in Colorado, because these “vulnerable areas” mean 85 percent of nonfederal surface acreage would be off-limits. If this industry is banned, 147,800 jobs could be lost. After working in oil and gas for five years, I believe in this industry and the people who make it possible. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a Broncos fan. I’m a craft beer lover. I’m a fitness enthusiast. I’m not “big oil.” The industry is your neighbors, your friends and your fellow Coloradans who love this state. I am Colorado oil and gas and I’m afraid for my livelihood. Please vote no on Proposition 112. Rachel McNerney Parker

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