Finding the best use of our marijuana tax revenue
Re: Three-part marijuana revenue series, Dec. 30-Jan. 1
The Denver Post’s series on marijuana taxes provided lots of useful facts but the editorial board’s opinion was deficient. An implicit theme for many comments on the story was the notion that more than $40 million per year ought to have been earmarked for school construction. You never endorsed that idea editorially, which I hope reflects your recognition that constitutional earmarks are, as a rule, unwise.
The $40 million marijuana excise is an exception because it will not become obsolete or misapplied. Contrast the constitutional commitment of lottery funds to outdoor recreation. As a result, lottery cash fixes playgrounds but can’t be used for collapsing school gyms.
Your editorial could have asked why no lottery money goes to school buildings. You also said voters’ rejections of tax proposals in November show that none will pass. But those measures were poorly drafted and do not portend loss for better ones.
It is fine to argue that the legislature ought to use tax revenue differently, but don’t fog the story with implications that there is something wrong with letting the legislature do its job.
Richard Collins, Boulder
Expensive home insurance is only the symptom
Re: “Home insurance is harder to find,” Jan. 7 news story
This was a truly informative article addressing the stressful situations many Coloradan homeowners are now facing, but I ask, should we continue to adapt or do we find a solution? While the safety of Coloradans and their homes is important, instead of addressing only the immediate issue (wildfires) we should be tackling the root of the problem (climate change). Even if we all moved to low wildfire risk areas and created defensible space around our homes, we still won’t have solved the real problem.
A solution that will lessen wildfires in America by reducing emissions and tackling climate change through carbon fees can be found in the Energy Innovation and Climate Dividend Act, introduced in Congress in 2018. In recent years wildfires have devastated numerous communities throughout the U.S. Let’s put a stop to it by supporting this act and the advocacy group, Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Alison Roth, Denver
Thank you so much for the lead article in Monday’s Denver Post. Insurance is indeed harder to find, and more expensive, as my husband and I discovered when voles chewed through the electrical lines outside our house.
We expected that at least some of the cost of fixing this would be covered by our insurance, but were told that our deductible had been changed to 1 percent of the value of our house because we lived in a “red zone,” which meant we were more susceptible to wildfires.
Our community, Red Rock Ranch, has been designated a Firewise community, and we have performed extensive fire mitigation on our acres. But that doesn’t make any difference to our State Farm insurance.
Until our state and our country take the threat of climate change seriously we will all be more at risk from damaging climate events such as wildfires. This is yet another reason to advance national climate legislation such as the proposed bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act just introduced in the House and Senate. We need climate action now. Is anyone in Washington listening?
Susan Permut, Monument
Solve the crisis at the border or the one in D.C.
If we take away the reasons that illegals come, most won’t. Without free schooling, free medical care, access to free food, and the ability to work and get driver’s licenses without being here legally, the number of people crossing the border would be drastically reduced. Then, only criminals would be trying to cross the border illegally. And that would be a manageable number. All we need is a national ID card.
Susie Law, Denver
President Trump is stubbornly insisting on building his wall, in spite of all reasoning a wall’s uselessness. He is willing to suffer hundreds of thousands of federal workers without pay, as long as he has his way, disregarding the domino effect on small businesses and the effect on the country’s economy. And now the math; in the Senate there are 45 Democrats, two Independents and 53 Republicans. It requires 67 votes to overturn the Trump nightmare. Could we find 19 Republican senators with empathy, conscience and patriotism to override Trump’s fiasco? If not, let’s throw them out.
Robert Gyepes, Aurora
Here is what our president couldn’t say on Tuesday, as he may need help from Congress some day.
Both political parties in Congress have ignored the severe problems with immigration processes for over 50 years. Looks to me like our current president is finally sick and tired of all the posturing and malfeasance.
It is time for Congress to do its job and fix this.
Chuck Lawson, Greenwood Village
Offer up some solutions instead of complaining
Re: “And the winner of Californian of the Year Award is …,” Jan. 6 commentary
It’s time for Jon Caldara and the Independence Institute to stop whining, find some courage, and actually espouse some ideas about how to fix things. He derided Steamboat Springs for banning plastic bags, Boulder for gun-control, and Gov. John Hickenlooper for vehicle mileage standards. Every rational citizen knows plastics are a solid waste pollution problem. Guns in the hands of the wrong people are a safety problem. And, vehicle emissions are an air pollution problem. To simply whine “stop picking on me” and pretend that ignoring problems has no consequences is cowardly.
Roger Walker, Longmont
Polis for the people?
The inauguration of our new governor, Jared Polis, was apparently not meant to be a celebration shared with us, the common people. I arrived an hour and a half early to watch my wife and her ensemble sing for the “pre” ceremony. I kept being moved further and further away by state patrolmen and staffers until I was halfway across Lincoln Street. I could not even watch the Jumbotron set up next to the public sidewalk! Security is one thing, this was ridiculous!
Dan Eberhart, Denver
A world working together
Re: “Global cooperation needed,” Dec. 30 commentary by Ved Nanda
Excellent idea for countries to work together to mitigate international crisis like migration, disease and poverty. A great example of success is the work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund has saved more 27 million lives since 2002, thanks to multinational funding. America’s leadership with bold pledges has inspired others to contribute two-thirds of the money needed. This October, the Global Fund will be seeking its 6th replenishment to continue this life-saving work. A call, letter or visit to those who represent you thanking them for supporting this bipartisan effort will help ensure the Global Fund work continues and eventually conquers these three pandemics.
Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, Wash.
Denver gives Scooters the space they deserve
Re: “Denver council approves scooter law changes,” Jan. 9 news story
The city council deserves applause for taking scooters seriously as a transportation option, and other cities should follow suit. With proper adoption, these zippy vehicles could have a tremendous influence on Denver’s transportation. And it’s urgent: replacing trips in personal cars with small, lightweight, zero-emission vehicles will be a key component in any meaningful effort to make our streets safer, cut down on pollution, and help meet the city’s climate goals.
But as we’ve seen, there is a critical tension as we welcome new mobility options; they are forced to compete for space on roads that we’ve historically ceded almost entirely to cars. To maximize the potential for scooters and bikes to positively transform our city, Denver needs to reallocate space in a way that reflects our priorities. Shifting road space and parking to smaller, slower vehicles will be essential to reap the benefits of new transportation options.
Alana Miller, Denver
Gardner’s got some grit
Sen. Cory Gardner has proven that he is not a go-along-to-get-along kind of guy. He defied the president by saying that this government shutdown should stop. Can you imagine how ticked off the Senate leadership is at Cory Gardner?
I didn’t vote for Cory Gardner since I’m more of the Democrat persuasion myself. I don’t know if Gardner agrees with me on immigration issues or anything else. But he has bucked his own party and stood up for what he thinks is right. I think that’s a mighty fine thing for a Colorado senator to do.
James S Rogers, Cortez
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