Letters: How do we represent rural Colorado’s needs (2/14/21) – The Denver Post

How do we represent rural Colorado’s needs

Re: “Pushed away,” Feb. 7 commentary

It was good to read Dick Wadhams’ pleading the case of an under-represented minority in Colorado — rural residents. I’m serious. It is wrong to marginalize any people, any group in our society.

Urban and rural Coloradans need to work together to create better economic opportunities for everybody and address the negative effects of unavoidable change on our communities. But there are better answers to opportunities in rural Colorado than private prisons and squeezing the last drop of fossil fuels from the earth, no matter what the consequences for agriculture in a semi-arid state and the climate of the planet as a whole.

We could, for example, provide secure health care at affordable prices for rural residents. We could provide universal access to broadband internet. We could improve education for children in rural Colorado. We could make sure that public services (and public prisons) in rural areas are adequately staffed and pay decent wages. We could get more creative about developing next-generation — rather than last-generation — jobs in rural Colorado. Let’s cooperate and conquer.

Paul E. Lingenfelter, Westminster

To Dick Wadhams’ opinion that “[t]he Denver-Boulder axis doggedly pursues its social and environmental agendas while showing contempt for … rural Colorado,” my response is yes! Rural Coloradans are pushed aside regularly. Media pundits crow that Colorado is now a solidly blue state, no longer merely purple — but the agricultural and energy-producing counties surrounding that blue corridor remain red.

I get why the group “Weld County Wyoming” is proposing to get that county the heck out of the state. You want our rural tax money, but you already don’t want our rural voices. While Weld goes with Wyoming, my county, Phillips, in northeast Colorado, could slide east with Nebraska along with Sedgwick and Yuma. Or Yuma could join Kansas along with neighboring southern counties, and so on. The axis could celebrate a jazzy new shape for Colorado — not just squarish anymore, like rural conservatives.

Some of us eat real beef and pork, couldn’t trust an electric Tesla to get us very far and back before dark, and understand that our 4-Hers know animal lives do matter. We’re not deplorables. We’re not kooks or nuts. Well, most of us aren’t, anyway. We’re human beings who happen to make our living nearer the land than city folks do.

There’s an old adage that the farther you get from the soil, the farther you get from common sense — and isn’t common sense what we seem to be losing?

Joy Schafer, Holyoke

As a former conservative, I was incredulous reading Dick Wadhams’ opinion piece that there is an urban-liberal assault on rural Colorado. I see one party trying to prepare for the future while Wadhams’ party offers no solutions to the most pressing issues of our time while obstructing those that might actually improve the future for rural as well as all Americans. They offered no platform at all prior to the 2020 election.

We have seen four years of obstruction and destruction of environmental policies and regulations.

Global warming has led to increasing drought in the western U.S. that certainly impacts rural Colorado and will likely get more severe in the near future.

The rural pain is tragic and understandable, but Republican policies are not the long term solution.

Small farm bankruptcies have increased in recent years. There is an urgent need to convert to a renewable energy economy. Don’t farmers benefit economically from wind generation on their farms? Innovation in renewable energy could propel American prosperity and good jobs for the next century as well as have an impact on sustaining the planet.

If the U.S. does not lead this critical transition, China will. Wadhams’ thinking, like many in his party, is remarkably short term and also a dividing and dangerous anachronism.

Kevin Mindenhall, Denver

Campaign of criticism on Gov. Polis

Re: “The governor joins the vaccine-line jumping elite,” Feb. 5 commentary

It’s obvious George Brauchler is planning to run for governor in 2022. Right now, he is tossing issues against the wall to see what sticks. This commentary highlights the first gentleman of Colorado getting his COVID-19 vaccine before his cohort would be eligible. I don’t remember an outcry from anyone when Karen Pence, Dr. Jill Biden or Doug Emhoff received their vaccines out of sequence.

Given the same situation, I assume that Brauchler wouldn’t have allowed his spouse to get a vaccine.This issue is strictly Colorado politics. Rather than focus on one person who received a vaccine, it would have been far more relevant if you focused on how you would handle the distribution and administration of a limited supply of vaccine to a large number of individuals efficiently and equitably. That is what we expect of leaders.

Christine Jensen, Denver

George Brauchler writes another campaign attack ad (does anyone doubt that he’ll be running for governor in 2022) criticizing Gov. Polis for getting vaccinated — using twice as many words as needed to make his point. I believe my fellow Coloradans and I should be much more concerned about the Republicans in the statehouse who refuse to use masks and social distance, endangering other legislatures, staff, capital workers, security personnel and public visitors in the state Capitol. The potential to impact the peoples’ business and directly harm others is certainly much greater. It’s unfortunate Brauchler doesn’t use his platform to address the more serious issues we have.

Brad Buckner, Littleton

Praise for The Denver Post’s judicial coverage

Re: “Colorado Supreme Court releases memo of allegations … ,” Feb. 10 news story

Your recent series of articles investigating possible discrimination and misconduct within Colorado’s Judicial Department illustrates why the news media (print and electronic) are important to society.

As a fiscal conservative and social-issue libertarian, I understand how some may believe all news is “fake” or biased in some way. Some have difficulty distinguishing between commentary and news and may only want affirmation rather than information.

However, no one should misunderstand the vital role that news media like The Denver Post play in rooting out corruption within our government and business. Without The Post’s investigative work, who would be holding our judicial department accountable for these possible crimes? Thank you for your work here.

Chris Stoll, Lone Tree

Thank you for your investigative reporting. We have a pandemic in Colorado and it’s not COVID — it’s called lawyering without a conscience, and it is causing chaos and defeating the purpose of justice.

Let’s face it, lawyers become judges and they are bringing their cognitive dissonance to the bench and making decisions that place money ahead of compassion.

COVID has increased income inequality in the United States and the relationship between wealth and compassion has important implications. Those sitting on the benches in Colorado who hold the most power tend to come from privileged backgrounds. They have the power to influence justice and make decisions that are hardly helping the needy and the poor. Instead, in a sick and perverted way, they are exploiting the most vulnerable in our state courts.

It’s time to stop ordering psych evaluations for Coloradans. Instead, these judicial officers, including attorneys, that are making decisions for families and children should be held to a higher standard, which includes ongoing psychological testing to determine their ability to have compassion and a conscience.

Judi-Beth Atwood, Longmont

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