Anger at the unwilling to vaccinate
Since the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, I have been astounded that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has not required these vaccines for all staff of hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities.
For decades, health care facilities have required that staff be tested for tuberculosis as a condition of being hired. Similarly, health facilities may condition employment on having a negative drug screen. For anyone who is or may become a patient, these measures are just common sense. “First, do no harm.”
Parents of infants in neonatal ICUs, patients on an organ transplant unit, families and patients in any health care facility — especially where there are those with frail health — should be able to expect that there is at least a minimum standard of requiring staff to be vaccinated for COVID.
The claim that this infringes on individual liberty is ridiculous. It’s time for CDPHE to mandate COVID vaccines in health care facilities.
Betsy Ellis, Lafayette
Since about 97% of the COVID patients now entering the hospitals are unvaccinated, perhaps insurance companies should significantly raise the unvaccinated’s premiums.
The vaccinated who are taking the pandemic seriously are staying out of the hospital, yet their health insurance premiums will be used by the insurance companies to spread out the costs of paying for the huge bills being racked up by the unvaccinated.
Make no mistake about it; all of our future insurance premiums will go up as a result of yet another unnecessary wave of hospital admissions by the unvaccinated.
The vaccines are proven to be safe, effective and free, so there is no excuse for this vaccination reluctance. It is time to stop putting all of our time and enormous resources to convince the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. Perhaps a hefty insurance premium increase for those unwilling to get vaccinated will do the trick.
Tom Sabel, Lakewood
Regarding the liability of those vocal proponents that COVID-19 is a hoax or nearly harmless:
As of Thursday, there are 609,508 people in the United States who have died from COVID-19.
Ninety-seven percent of hospitalizations of those ill with COVID-19 are unvaccinated and 98% to 99% of those who have died from COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
Shouldn’t the people dying of COVID-19 be allowed to sue the well-known spokesmen in politics and elsewhere who have the public ear and who have claimed the pandemic is a hoax for wrongful death?
Shouldn’t the survivors of those who died believing that COVID-19 was not a serious or life-threatening disease be allowed to sue those spokesmen for wrongful death?
Delmar H. Knudson, Denver
Is anyone else embarrassed to be an American today? There are 390 million guns in circulation in our country today. Pathetic! The West is drying up due to ignorance on climate change. Unacceptable! Our country is the wealthiest and dumbest country in the world. For example, many Americans are not getting vaccinated because they are plain selfish, consequently putting many vulnerable Americans at risk. Shame on them! I am seriously thinking about pulling up roots and moving to a country that has its act together. We don’t!
Tim Dugan, Denver
Tourism important to economies and understanding
Re: “Summer travel is back. Earth can’t handle it.” July 11 commentary
Farhad Manjoo paints a rather somber picture about the effects of the global pollution caused by tourism. You can sense his strong feelings when he states that “Each summer, armadas of cruise ships would spew stinking streams of people and pollution into the world’s beloved port cities.” Really, “stinking streams of people?” He obviously hasn’t been to many cruise ports. Many are commercial ports with lots of container ships and are not that picturesque.
Tourism is a very important source of revenue for many nations, including the United States. For some, such as in the Caribbean, their entire economies are driven by tourism. The author laments that there are just too many people out and about, messing up the local attractions. Maybe so, but I’m pretty sure the people of these countries welcome the money.
If Manjoo is so concerned about global pollution, he might want to look at China, which at the moment is building hundreds of high polluting coal-fired power plants. There are many more areas that should be of concern for Manjoo. Tourism should be way down that list.
Larry Dorner, Aurora
A quote from this self-righteous writer’s Sunday column: “Each summer, armadas of cruise ships would spew stinking streams of people and pollution into the world’s beloved port cities.” He may not realize it, but he is one of those “stinking people.” He is also, most assuredly, a polluter. Does he fly, does he drive a fossil-fuel burning vehicle? I don’t know. But I will bet he engages in some life activity that is polluting and “stinking.” Before he passes judgment on those of us that yearn to get out and finally experience the world, he needs to take a deep look into the mirror and pass judgment upon himself.
Steve Denham, Aurora
Manjoo points out tourism accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, tourism is growing fast, and ships and airplanes lack clean energy sources for propulsion.
Should foreign travel be banned? My answer is no! Foreign travel allows us to experience the beauty of the natural world and the diverse lifestyles and ingenuity of Earth’s inhabitants. We need to see what we may lose.
Global warming is caused mainly by increased CO2 emissions to the planet’s atmosphere from burning fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and petroleum in our power plants, automobiles, airplanes, homes, businesses, and industries.
The solution is simple; everyone must stop burning fossil fuels as soon as possible. We have the technology to generate electricity from solar, wind, and hydro. We also have the technology to use that electricity to power automobiles, trains and tractors, to heat and cool our buildings, to grow food, and — with more research — to grow net-zero carbon fuels for airplanes and ships.
Our common enemy is CO2 in our atmosphere, and the most direct and equitable way to fight it is for all countries to agree upon a significant tax on CO2 emissions and keep increasing the tax as needed. It will be costly, particularly for tourism, but it’s only money; we need a healthy planet Earth.
Dennis Jones, Lakewood
Xcel doesn’t need another rate increase
Re: “Xcel Energy seeks another rate increase from the PUC,” July 6 news story
Xcel has proposed the largest rate increase in anyone’s memory — $343 million — and if you add in the effect of two percentage-based riders calculated off the rate, it will be a several million dollars more — per year, every year going forward.
Yet in 2020, Xcel-Colorado had $588 million in “after-tax-net income.” Xcel talks about how much money they have spent, but if you spend that money and have $588 million in income left over, you probably don’t need a rate increase.
The Public Utilities Commission just spent most of 2019 and early 2020 reviewing Xcel’s previous rate increase request and reducing it very substantially.
Now less than 18 months later, Xcel is back at the PUC with their hand out for more annual revenue — making the filing late in the day before the 4th of July break.
Rate cases are expensive to review. Xcel’s customers generally pay those expenses for Xcel … like tying your own noose! Everyone else spends many tens of thousands of dollars on rate case legal and expert witness fees.
Moreover, Xcel has recognized that the big coal plant in Pueblo that they call “Comanche 3” was a mistake and have proposed that future ratepayers pay off that mistake with “securitization.” Talk about privatizing the profits and socializing the risks.
In the meantime, communities around Colorado are finding that when they can go “out to market,” they can often get cleaner electricity at a lower cost.
It seems it may be past time to see if Colorado is really well served by Xcel’s monopoly.
Leslie Glustrom, Boulder
Raise awareness to those eligible for child tax credit
Re: “Don’t miss out on the child tax credit,” July 13 editorial
Thank you so much for your great editorial on the child tax credit in the Tuesday edition. As your editorial points out, unfortunately, lower-income Americans need to work to access this benefit. I would like to suggest that Colorado legislators and our U.S. Senators take this as an opportunity to reach out to lower-income Coloradans in their districts to make them aware of this benefit and assist them in navigating the steps necessary to get the benefit their children deserve.
Eric H. Cahn, Denver
Illustrating the haves and the have-nots
Page 4 of the Sunday Perspective section featured two photos in juxtaposition that point to the incredible imbalance in our world: One, a giant, luxury, pollution-spewing cruise ship and the other of a run-down bus (also likely a high polluter) showing poor refugees seeking shelter from conflict. These explicitly and visibly picture the immense gap between the haves and the have-nots in our society. All people — including those on the ship and the ones in the bus — share the same DNA. So what questions does reflection on these scenes bring to mind for humankind’s present and future? And what responses can and should we make to such queries?
Marty and Bill Uebelher, Denver
More than just plastic bags
Re: “Common sense on plastic bags,” July 10 letter to the editor
The letter writer’s comment was spot on. However, I would like to add a couple of things: plastic bags aren’t even a drop in the bucket compared to all the plastic being used for packing/packaging the stuff that the anti-plastic bag crowd is buying online.
If the governor worked in retail and had to pack some of the bacteria-laden, leaking meat packages into don’t-know-where-its-been or what-it-carried personal bags that came through my checkstand, he would think twice about signing the plastic bag fee into law.
Susan Quinn, Golden
A letter writer states it’s not common sense to charge poor grocery shoppers for plastic bags to carry out their goods. He blames leftist politics for this. But shouldn’t the manufacture of the bags be banned? That gets to the root of the problem, plastics existing in the environment. No fees necessary because plastic bags would no longer be created. That solution seems to have been ignored by the right because millions of dollars are being made by plastic manufacturers.
The environment is in crisis and demanding extreme action be taken on plastics. Until the manufacture of degradable plastics that are environmentally safe, laws should be passed in Congress banning the manufacturer of non-recyclable plastics except for medical, transportation, housing and military needs.
Susan Altenhofen, Fort Collins
Fairness of children
Re: “The race and history wars,” June 29 commentary and “The excesses of anti-racist education,” July 8 commentary
Ross Douthat has written two columns elucidating critical race theory in The Denver Post, citing only the disparate views of white supremacy without mentioning white privilege. Yet, there are clear and factual examples of white privilege that all individuals in this country who consider themselves to be white have experienced, whether historically or in the present, cultural or systemic.
These examples, described understandably and honestly, can be recognized by children of any age in our schools. If they feel uncomfortable about these examples, my experience with the fairness of children leads me to believe that many of them will feel the pain of those who have lived with different examples. Perhaps they will even discuss the reasons and suggest solutions for this disparity. Could this also be called critical thinking?
Nita Bradford, Lakewood
There are opportunities for people who seek them
Re: “City has ‘internal bleeding’,” July 5 news story
In the article, Gerardo Lopez, executive director of a violence prevention organization, says that the root causes of violence in Denver are years in the making: lack of opportunities in vulnerable communities, lack of job training, lack of opportunities for people who have been incarcerated and kids being kicked out of school and losing their chance to succeed.
On every other block there seems to be a “help wanted sign.” Workforce centers offer retraining programs. There are opportunities all around for people that are looking for them. Getting kicked out of school is not easy; this requires behaviors way beyond getting suspended. With all due respect, Lopez seems to be viewing people like victims that are owed something from society. People that have felonies on their records are tough to deal with, I admit. But their record is what it is, and they need to be more positive and proactive in their job search to be successful. I have placed hundreds of people that were on disability over the years into jobs and they all had their mental and physical issues to overcome. We are not here to give in to our circumstances but to overcome them.
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said that 11 of the 18 suspects identified in 2021 homicides were under supervision in the criminal justice system when they allegedly killed someone — five were on parole, four were on probation and two were free on bond pretrial.
What kind of supervision were these people under? The easiest way to protect the public would be to look more closely at a system that would allow these people to be on the street in the first place.
Steven Gehrke, Aurora
Editor’s note: Gehrke is president of a company that provides job and career coaching, specializing in people with disabilities.
That can was already kicked
Re: July 3 political cartoon
Dick Wright, PoliticalCartoons.com
I would like to point out to cartoonist Dick Wright that Dick Cheney and Ronald Reagan started the “deficits don’t matter” methodology of running the government. When given a boom economy, it has been Bush 43 and Trump that both wasted the chance to pay down the debt and instead chose tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy. The lie that Mr. Wright perpetuates in saying it’s the Dems “kicking the can down the road” is the problem.
Brian LeFevre, Brighton
Tobacco company ad rings hallow to former smoker
Re: Full-page ad on July 5
As a former smoker, I was astonished to see the huge and undoubtedly costly advertisement run by the Philip Morris company in many newspapers around the country, including this one.
The full-page piece authored by the tobacco company’s CEO, Jacek Olczak, advocated for a “smoke-free future,” urging replacing cigarettes and, by implication, other unmentioned tobacco products. While the company has disseminated a number of similar public pronouncements in recent years, the vigor and commitment expressed in this one was truly breathtaking, which also has been a symptom of over-indulgence in its products for years.
Although the company has branched out to a plethora of consumables and other less harmful items, the castigation of its signature product, cigarettes, and the call to replace it with “better alternatives” for adults who want to continue to smoke is remarkable.
It’s like Coca-Cola calling on thirsty consumers to avoid soft drinks, automotive manufacturers recommending public transit, the banking community warning wage earners not to save money, or the fossil fuel industry urging increased use of wind and solar power.
If cigarette smoking is as deleterious as the ad portrays, including its “unintended use — particularly by youth,” Philip Morris and its industry allies could help consumers put their mouths where the tobacco giant’s money is and cease making, distributing, and profiting from the product.
Marshall H. Tanick, Denver
Too few spots in nursing programs
Re: “Will burnout fuel an exodus?” July 3 news story
I understand the article is about COVID burnout, but I wanted to take this opportunity to give more attention to the nursing shortage.
Although COVID burnout has given us a new reason for it, there has been a nursing shortage for a long time. Demand far exceeds supply.
What I don’t hear about is that the supply of nurses is limited by the number of spots in nursing programs. There are many people out there who want to go into nursing but can’t get into programs.
Hospitals and other employers crying out for nurses need to invest in college and university nursing programs. Fund professors, build buildings, etc. In addition, the state could increase taxes to fund state colleges and universities, but taxpayers would never go for that — something for the common good.
Jill Lewis, Westminster
Vaccine lessons learned should apply today
Enough vitriol and anger about why we should — or don’t want to — get the COVID vaccine.
No lecture here, but do you ever wonder why we no longer hear about getting measles, mumps, smallpox, diphtheria, polio, etc.?
Do you suppose there is a vaccine lesson here?
Robert Hamre, Littleton
MLB made a business decision
Denver has a great robust sports scene, which provides numerous sports venues. It is great not only for residents but also as income sources for the businesses and tax receipts for the area.
What most people forget — including a lot of politicians — is that these teams are private businesses. They will provide entertainment to the area so long as they can make a profit. If Wray, Eads or Ordway (no disrespect, though) can offer better financial incentives, the teams will move there in a heartbeat. They are businesses — not public paid Roman games.
This point was lost on Atlanta when Major League Baseball moved the All-Star Game to Denver as a political reaction to Georgia’s actions in response to Donald Trump’s loss in the last presidential election. Whether appropriate or not, this is what the owners decided. Atlanta must realize this and deal with the consequences. Maybe someday Georgia will come to its senses and realize Joe Biden won the election and the All-Star Game may be played there.
Ralph Johnson, Lakewood
Keep police strength
Gee, all of a sudden, defunding the police doesn’t sound like such a good idea unless you are comfortable with the idea of four people with 16 long guns, body armor and more than 1,000 rounds of ammo in a hotel room overlooking downtown.
We human beings are a violent species and have been for thousands of years. It isn’t changing much, and I’m darn glad for those men and women in blue who allow most of us to lead civilized lives.
Richard Plastino, Lakewood
Protect the role of the HOAs
Re: “HOAs can no longer limit sign content,” July 3 news story
Gov. Jared Polis really missed the mark with the passage of House Bill 1310 this year. Many of us move to HOA communities because we want to live in a controlled environment without many of the issues non-HOA communities face. We pay high membership dues to ensure a certain community standard, and having a variety of tacky flags posted throughout will only degrade the neighborhood, no matter what message they carry.
But even worse, this measure will serve to ensure anger, divisiveness and resentment among neighbors, especially when political themes are displayed.
Legislators have absolutely no business interfering in a contractual relationship between an HOA and its residents. HB 1310 appeases a small percentage of those who move into an HOA-controlled community and then disregard the rules — the very rules that are in place to keep them in check in the first place.
What’s next? What other HOA rules will the government decide it should restrict or overturn? This bill is an outrageous overreach of our government and a huge disappointment. I can only hope that the majority of HOA homeowners will see the potential issues with this bill and ensure it is brought forward for the voters to overturn it.
Annette Finley, Broomfield
Griswold should stick to Colorado election law
Re: “Political ads, rallies accompany contest,” July 13 news story
According to The Denver Post, Jena Griswold claimed that the “worst Jim Crow voter suppression in recent American history” is taking place.
Griswold is the Colorado secretary of state, not Georgia’s or any other state. She supposedly represents all of Colorado, not all of which believe the changes in Georgia are considered “voter suppression.” Speaking as an unaffiliated voter, I believe her public comments regarding how another state runs its elections are inappropriate. I am certain she would feel the same way if another state official commented on our processes. A retraction of her comments and a public apology to her constituents is clearly in order.
Calvin Switzer, Castle Rock
Grateful for Colo. elections
I love how Colorado protects our voting and how it is done here in Colorado. I ask that nothing changes here like what’s happening in other states.
Carla Gould, Castle Rock
Golf courses aren’t “green”
Re: “Get off the grass,” July 9 letter to the editor
Some excellent points were made about the excessive use of water on our lawns and common areas. I would like to include golf courses in that discussion. I live across the street from one (owned by Denver) and the sprinklers run daily in all types of weather. When sprinkler heads break or stick on one zone and water is running down the street, I have to call it to their attention.
Lest we forget, agriculture is the largest and most vital water consumer. Fortunately, there are amazing alternatives to conventional farming, where water is recycled through a closed loops and crops are grown in controlled environments. For many reasons it’s time to give these methods a serious look, along with growing less thirsty crops. If we really do need to bite the bullet, then let’s quit nibbling on a BB.
Patricia Scott, Denver
Boebert’s anti-vaccine campaign
Republican Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert writes: “Biden has deployed his Needle Nazis to Mesa County. The people of my district are more than smart enough to make their own decisions about the experimental vaccine and don’t need coercion by federal agents. Did I wake up in Communist China?”
Make up your mind, Boebert. Are the people trying to save the lives of your constituents Nazis or commies?
JM Jesse, Glenwood Springs
Rep. Boebert has been attacking the use of COVID-19 vaccines, as have other Republican legislators. Boebert’s district, in the western part of Colorado, has experienced most of the recent cases of COVID-19. Is she serving her constituents well?
Richard Everstine, Greenwood Village
Donor Dash brings together great loss and the gift of life
May 24, 2003, was a normal day until an officer arrived and told me there had been an accident involving my 24-year-old daughter Jill. As I listened to the doctor explain her injuries, I was just waiting to hear when I could take her home. When he said that her injuries were non-survivable, I understood that taking her home would never be an option. Jill and I had previously spoken about organ donation, and I knew donating her organs was what she wanted.
To honor Jill, each year I walk the Donor Dash with my team, Jill Connett’s Fighting Snappers. We’ve walked the race for 16 years and will walk again on Sunday. It’s an opportunity to honor those like Jill that have given the gift of life, but also to inspire others to say yes to signing up to be a donor and meet others touched by donation and transplantation.
While walking the course in 2008, my team saw a woman with a picture of Jill pinned to her shirt. Her name was Carole and she was Jill’s liver recipient. After Carole crossed the finish line, we hugged and cried. Carole and I are now great friends and advocate for organ donation together.
People wonder why I share my story and continue Jill’s team. No amount of blue T-shirts will ever bring my daughter back, but I look at it like this: No parent should have to bury their child. If sharing my story inspires one person to say yes to becoming a donor, then it’s worth it.
Melody Connett, Englewood
We expect too much of our police officers
Re: “Keep police strength,” July 14 letter to the editor
As I read the letter arguing against defunding the police, citing the recent arrest of the four heavily armed people in a downtown Denver hotel, I agreed that having a police force professionally trained for criminal situations such as this is a great comfort.
There was also an article about Aurora Police responding to a dangerous situation where a man was having a mental health crisis. Police had been called to this man’s home 24 times since June 24.
We expect way too much from our police officers. No one person can be expected to be an expert at crime, mental health, addiction, and homelessness. It makes sense to me that we would all be safer if an appropriately trained person could be available to intervene and provide help in situations that are not crimes before they turn into dangerous situations.
I appreciate our police officers who risk their lives to protect us. They naturally use their training when they are called to help, but it is not appropriate or effective in every situation.
“Defunding the police” is a bad name for an idea that police should use their time and training to focus solely on crime while funds should also be available to enable experts in non-crime situations. It would protect both citizens and the police.
Lee Ann Clements, Aurora
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