Summit Daily letters: Town hall meeting, taxes and the environment
May 20, 2017
Did you know that Gov. Hickenlooper has officially declared May 15-19, 2017, as "Colorado Endangered Species Week"? This proclamation is in concert with the National Endangered Species Week celebrated throughout the U.S.; and culminating in National Endangered Species Day on Friday May 19.
In his words, "Colorado's environment, conservation ethic and passion for the outdoors makes our state the ideal setting to preserve and protect our region's impressive and irreplaceable biodiversity. Coloradans are encouraged to recognize all the year-round hard work that is done by nonprofits within our state to prevent the extinction of species and their habitats …"
One recent Colorado success … In 1997, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife undertook what was to become one of North America's most high-profile carnivore reintroductions to date. CPW's successful lynx reintroduction program established a self-sustaining lynx population in Colorado. The observations and lessons from this reintroduction effort is valuable in planning future carnivore reintroductions such as wolverines and wolves.
Under the Endangered Species Act, gray wolves are also protected in Colorado, should any migrate from adjacent states. Sadly, though, every wolf that's entered Colorado has not survived, having been hit by a car, illegally trapped, poisoned or shot.
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Other plant and animals have benefited from the ESA giving thousands of at-risk species a second chance over the last 40 years and successfully preventing the extinction of 99 percent of species under its protection.
Now would be a great time to urge our elected representatives to preserve the spirit and integrity of the ESA and to encourage Gov. Hickenlooper to support gray wolf restoration in Colorado.
Headwaters Group, Colorado Sierra Club
RE: The Polis Town Hall
The Polis Town Hall was a Q&A. People asked questions and Polis answered, both from his perspective and from the perspective of a Democrat. The pattern in his answers laid out a Democratic "ideology"….health care for all, environmental protections for all, energy policies that have positive ramifications for all, equal rights for all, financial protections for all, etc. I thought he was very clear on the overall direction of his votes and the Democratic agenda.
I am sure many property owners are puzzled at the increase in property value and taxes in Summit County this year. My actual value went up over $50,000 in one year.
In doing some research, I discovered that 2014 and 2015 comps were used for my house and then adjusted upward by .51 per month since the sale.
Do you really believe that property values in Wildernest increased .51 per month?
Some areas like Dillon Valley were adjusted at almost twice that rate.
There is a spread sheet which can be found on the county website: Co.Summit.Co.Us/86/Assessor
If you believe as I do that your valuation and your taxes are TOO high, file a protest but do it soon as we were only given about two weeks to do it.
If there are any questions about the success of the town of Breckenridge's implementation of paid parking in the core of town, one simply has to try and find a place to park on Main Street now. Town Council chose to make core parking free for about a month during Mud Season. The result: Now, when there are few guests in town (Mud Season), Main Street parking is full. Looks like the employees of those few open businesses are once again filling the street.
Throughout the busy winter season, with paid parking in place, one could generally find a parking place on Main Street. Even during Christmas Week. Customers (locals and guests) could get easy access to the restaurants and other businesses. Not so now.
Congratulations Breckenridge Town Council, town staff, and the parking committee. You made the right decision with paid parking implementation. Guests will be much happier this summer.
Trump/Ryan Health Care
May 4, House Republicans pushed through the "Trump/Ryan Health Care" bill and repeal of the "Affordable Care Act," Obamacare, without waiting for an estimate of how much the bill would cost. There are a few things that are known about the bill.
1. 1 in 4 Americans have pre-existing conditions and could be charged more under the GOP plan.
2. Older Americans, especially 62 and older, can see their premiums increase as much as 5 times. Under the ACA, these rates could not be higher than 3 times what the young are billed.
3. Up to 24 million could lose their health insurance.
4. 51 senators are needed to pass Trump/Ryan Care. VP Pence can be the 51 vote if only 50 senators approve.
5. End funding to Planned Parenthood. As reimbursements are low for Medicaid, many uninsured go to Planned Parenthood for their basic health needs.
Beside above cuts, there are major cuts proposed to Medicare and Medicaid. Over $880 million to Medicaid which includes health care for young children, pregnant women without other insurance, the disabled, among other. There's a planned 95 percent cut to the Office of Drug Control. When an individual doesn't have insurance, they normally end up in the costly emergency room. The insured end up paying for the uninsured care in increased premiums. Previous GOP plan failed due to voter outrage. Hospitals, nursing homes (especially rural towns), and groups were concerned about Medicare and Medicaid cuts and 24 million people losing coverage. The same groups are concerned about this bill. This bill may even be worse because if one has a pre-existing condition, the insurance may be unaffordable. These cuts are being done to give the majority of the $1 trillion Trump tax cuts to the top 1 percent. Instead of giving tax breaks to the 1 percent, why not strengthen Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and Department of Veteran Affairs? Insurance rates have been increasing drastically since the 1980s. Every group in the health care business seems to have $100's of millions to support advertising, campaign donations and lobbyists. Most CEOs of hospitals, health groups, insurance, pharmaceutical, and Pharmacy Benefit Managers make over $10 million/year, many over $30 million/year (Salary.com/Executive-Salaries), (HealthReformWatch.com/Ceo-Compensation). Millions are made by other of their executive staff, while average people struggle. Rural areas will be hit hardest. Speak up, contact your senators and house representative: Senate.Gov, House.Gov.