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May 2015 • Online Edition

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Neighbors share
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Denver’s past
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plans for
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Letters To The Editor | Print |  E-mail

Transplant Covets True Transit Options

Dear Editor:

I read with interest your editorial in the July issue (Profile, July 2014). As a recent arrival in Denver from Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California, I have been sorely disappointed and surprised at the lack of public transportation in this city. Many, many, many cars (with one driver), huge SUVs, no ZIP cars – and if there were, no spaces for them to park – freeways everywhere cutting the city in little pieces so it is difficult to find actual neighborhoods as we had in Portland and SF. I see no one walking because of this separation and seldom a bus. As another surprise, I’ve seen no bus stop shelters, except on the corner of Downing and Evans that was incredibly filthy.

The FasTrack trains that go downtown, to Golden, Littleton, etc. are wonderful. But that’s where they go. If I want to go to the store that is a mile away, I want to take a bus and shop and then take another to come home, but your buses run every half hour so if you miss one you stand in the sun/rain/snow/whatever until the half hour is up and you can get on another one. Driving is a nightmare! LA revisited (except LA has a pretty good bus system). And, as an added complaint (sorry), city streets are desperately in need of repair.

As a suggestion, the city should pay their Council members to fly to Portland and look at the way the city uses fast rail and buses to move the population quickly and efficiently and shelter them while they wait (10 minutes for both trains and buses). Both systems are heavily used and really efficient and coordinated. But the traffic in Denver is severe; the back-ups maddening; the noise constant. And I really feel sorry for bikers. It’s like a city that has been turned into a giant race track.

Rita Cawlfield

How To Get To The Train? Hoof It!

Dear Editor:

What’s wrong with using one’s feet to navigate the first/last miles (to and from mass transit?) This would promote wellness, save on carbon/fuel and be consistent with the government’s anti-obesity campaign.

“Nothing is easier than the expenditure of public money. It doesn’t appear to belong to anyone. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.” - Calvin Coolidge

Fred Hammer

Democracy Is A Participatory Sport

Dear Editor:

If someone had told me a year ago that last week I would be leading delegations of non-political citizens like myself into congressional offices in DC, I would have been incredulous. Lobbying members of Congress is way out of my comfort zone. But there I was on Capitol Hill, because I needed to act on my responsibility as a citizen in a democracy. What drove me into those meetings was a sense of urgency about the impact of climate change on Colorado and the world. I was not alone. Six hundred members of Citizens Climate Lobby, a volunteer force of ordinary citizens, approached our members of Congress on one day with our concerns about the climate. Our attitude was one of appreciation for the service of all those who hold public office, and a need to participate in the decision-making that affects all our lives.

We also took with us that day the belief that there is a simple, effective approach to mitigating climate change: a carbon fee that gives all the revenue back to households in the form of a dividend. Emboldened by the scope of the climate crisis, and buoyed by recent studies showing multiple economic benefits of a fee and dividend, we found ourselves cordially received in congressional offices. We heard about a palpable shift in Washington, voiced openly by some members of Congress and acknowledged more quietly by others. It became evident to us that the urgency of taking action on climate issues is increasingly felt on both sides of the aisle. Members of Congress are noticing the expanding endorsement of a price on carbon by conservative economists, politicians, and four former Secretaries of the Treasury. 

With growing evidence in Colorado of the impact of global warming, and the release of new EPA regulations on carbon emissions, we see our proposal as an effective way to bridge the partisan divide on dealing with climate change. We took to our meetings on the Hill some very good news: a study from the non-partisan research firm Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) that showed strong positive economic impacts of a fee and dividend strategy. Among other findings, the study shows that for the mountain region which includes Colorado, a carbon fee and dividend would increase household incomes, employment, and GDP, save thousands of lives, and decrease carbon emissions dramatically. The argument that reducing carbon emissions would be economically costly is effectively addressed by this study, and by the recent report “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States” showing that the effect on Colorado of rising temperatures will impose dramatic costs on our state.

My experience on Capitol Hill reminded me that as a citizen I have a voice and a responsibility to use it. I learned that communicating with our members of Congress has real impact. I saw that ordinary citizens can create the political will to change the nation’s response to a crisis. Most importantly, I learned that citizens without any special interests except concern for the nation’s health and economy can speak up and be taken seriously. Isn’t that what makes it a privilege and a responsibility to live in a democracy? (Editor’s note: see Meetings, pg. 31, for details of local monthly Citizens Climate Lobby gatherings.)

Betsey House

Platt Park Neighbor Fed Up With Dynasty

Dear Editor:

After hearing about The Whole Cat getting evicted to make way for more Sushi Den #$@&%*! I had to ... myself. Enough is enough! If you need to eat “seafood,” that much ... MOVE!

This neighborhood is, and has been run over by the owners of the Sushi Den. I’ve lived here for 24 years. I encourage business, but VARIETY is the spice of life.

No more ... or else just build a Walmart and get it over with.

Jerry Lamberton

McNichols Building, Arts & Venues: Seek Cultural Partners

Dear Editor:

In 2012 Denver Arts & Venues reopened the McNichols Civic Center Building as an arts and cultural center, and shortly after launched the Cultural Partner Program (CPP) to foster partnerships with community-based organizations, businesses and individuals, to showcase diverse and inspiring programs, exhibitions, and promote community engagement. In its first iteration CPP offered reduced or waived rents for use of McNichols Building, in Civic Center, 144 W. Colfax Ave. Cultural partners were able to use the building and only pay hard costs for security and setup/teardown.

In 2014 Denver Arts & Venues has added the Cultural Partner Program Fund to provide funding assistance for cultural partners, with four ways to become involved:

1. Your own program series – Do you have a series with an audience (at least two occurrences), that is looking for a home? McNichols Building could be a perfect location for your workshop or performance.

2. Programming activation collaboration – A&V is seeking partners to provide: photography, printmaking or other art-making workshops, craft classes (i.e., crochet/knitting/flower arrangement classes), cooking or sewing classes, movie series, dance or music classes, poetry workshops, civic/community minded programs with a creative or artistic component, art exhibitions.

3. Looking for a venue? – If you are interested in presenting a single art or cultural performance or civic engagement event open to the public, you may qualify as a Cultural Partner and receive free or reduced rent and financial support.

4. Creative activity groups – Is your club looking for a place to meet and be creative? You can be inspired by the beautiful artwork exhibited in our galleries. We would love to host you during public hours.

Organizations, businesses, and individuals interested in becoming a Cultural Partner in any of the above capacities, from July 2014-July 2015 should complete the Cultural Partner Proposal and return it to Shanna Shelby at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it For details, call 720-865-4559 or visit artsandvenuesdenver.com.

Denver Arts and Venues

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