Summit Daily letters to the editor (05.13.16)
May 13, 2016
The Bruce Brown I know
I am sending this letter in response to a piece I noticed in The Denver Post about District Attorney Bruce Brown from the 5th Judicial District.
He was responsible for handling the case of my sister (Penny Cunningham) who was murdered in Eagle County in November 2013.
As the Personal Representative (Executor) of my sister's estate, I have had close communications with him over a period of more than two years, including attending the trial.
Through that whole horrible process, Bruce Brown and his office were always available to family to answer questions, inform us of the progress on the case and help us use the resources available to families of crime victims and responded to our family in a way that was exemplary.
The district attorney's office and all of the staff whom we had contact with reflect what is best about our justice system. This does not happen without the person in charge encouraging that and exemplifying those qualities.
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Not once did I ever think that he was on some kind of "vacation" and unavailable. While the article implied that he somehow avoided the responsibilities of his job, my experience of his work ethic is quite the opposite. If someone who works as hard as he did on our case is not allowed flexibility to take the needed time off when it is appropriate, we will be losing a valuable person in the justice system that needs more people like Bruce Brown.
David J Cunningham
CMC faces tough decisions
Recently, the administration of CMC has approached the Board with bleak projections for the college's financial stability. CMC must review the costs that the college pays in order to be accountable to you, our taxpayers. My focus is going to be on finding areas where costs can be reduced that shall not have an impact on your success as students and communities.
The CMC Foundation does incredible work helping students gain financial access to college through such programs as the Clough Fellowship and the Davenport Legacy. The people behind the foundation, and the philanthropic volunteer Foundation members who give freely of their time and money, are terrific and never waiver from their mission to provide educational financial aid and enrichment of education for Colorado Mountain College students.
However, in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, your taxpayer dollars exceeded the contributions made to the foundation. In fact, taxpayers funded the Foundation with $892,658 and only $695,789 was used for student scholarships after administrative overhead. This means that CMC could have provided an additional $196,869 for scholarships that year if the college would have directly funded scholarships.
Seeing that CMC is facing financial restrictions, funding the foundation through taxpayer and tuition dollars is not in the best interest of CMC students and our communities. Therefore, I am going to vote to not fund the foundation this year for its annual payment of nearly one million dollars. I am hoping that you, as taxpayers of CMC's mill levy that provides 68 percent of CMC's budget, voice your opinion to CMC. Let them know that the nonprofit CMC Foundation needs to seek donations to fund their wonderful organization through philanthropic donors and not use taxpayer and tuition money.
Mary Ellen Denomy
The story behind the numbers
Jake Black, in a recent article for the Summit Daily, repeats so much pseudo-science it's hard to know where to begin. Unfortunately many well-meaning but uneducated people will take his claims as gospel.
Let's start with his and NASA's claim the planet is heating up. The mastodon in the room for climate alarmists like Mr. Black is real data released by the UK Meteorological Office from over 30,000 stations worldwide showing global warming stopped in 1998. We are now in our 18th year of no warming, despite a steady increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. So, what's a government bureaucracy like NASA to do? Change the data. Researcher Marcia Wyatt found the government's published temp data from 1880 to 2010 was "adjusted" 16 times in the past 3 years alone. It's how NASA claims today's temperatures are the hottest for the last century. The old data is being consigned to George Orwell's Memory Hole at the Ministry of Truth.
As for carbon dioxide, the first 100 parts per million (ppm) have the most effect on temperatures. With present concentrations of 400ppm, any additional increases will have little temperature effect. Some scientists say the atmosphere is already completely saturated and any additional carbon dioxide will have zero effect on temperatures, as we are already seeing from the real data.
Mr. Black and other alarmists neglect to note to benefits of increased carbon dioxide. Increases of 75 percent over what we have today would increase growth rates of all the things we like to eat from 20 to 50 percent. This is why nurseries pump increased carbon dioxide into their greenhouses. Added carbon dioxide would certainly help starving populations grow food, and has already done so in the southern Sahara and western India.
As for his remark about 97 percent agreement in the scientific community, that figure came from a 2013 paper by Cook, et al. claiming they examined almost 12,000 papers. Yet they only reviewed abstracts, threw out 2/3 of them, and of the original, had only 41 of the papers in agreement. Thus their consensus figure was only 0.03 percent. Regardless, there is no place for consensus in science. What matters is if the theory can be disproven, as Einstein did to Newton's theories a few centuries later. Unfortunately for alarmists, most of their theories are being disproven rapidly.
Mr. Black and others claim we are seeing less snow here due to man-made global warming. How come the ski areas are staying open longer? A few years ago we were even able to ski A-Basin on the Fourth of July for the first time in 14 years. We still have some good turns available this year.
Mr. Black also makes the claim that more expensive wind and solar energy will improve the lives of millions, but the opposite is reality. Poor people need access to low cost energy to improve their lives. Many live hand-to-mouth and cannot afford another $50-100 hit on their monthly budgets, as some already call their power bills "second rent." Following the recommended 31 percent emissions reduction for Colorado under the proposed Clean Power Plan will result in a 53 percent increase in power costs across the state. Living without low-cost, abundant energy condemns the poor to a life of hardship, squalor and perpetual poverty because they cannot pay the increased costs. As much as he wishes, Mr. Black's renewable energy future is certainly not a financially-secure future for society.
Terry W. Donze
Wildernest, Summit County
Where's your solution?
Once again, Mr. Liddick, in a May 9 column, comes through as do his rightist brethren. How easy for them to continue to trash the ideas of others on how to fix our clearly wanting health-care system in which, in spite of Obamacare, millions still have no access to (other than the highly expensive emergency room) decent health care. And, in the end, they provide absolutely no solutions of their own. Of course, Mr. Liddick acknowledges that with our current system, "some are shortchanged, although given the multitude of charitable programs." I wonder if Mr. Liddick would like to gamble his health care on the chance that some white knight, for-profit "medical or pharmaceutical" company will step in to save the day.
I've always wondered why that with Mr. Liddick and his ilk, money is always the bottom line and somehow compassion for one's fellow man seems to be lost in the dollar signs. Of course, we always seem to have enough dollars to spend some three trillion of them on a clearly useless Middle East war … think Iraq. Thank goodness the rest of the First World countries don't feel this way or the whole world would be saddled with the same healthcare mess we have.
So, until a better idea presents itself, I'm actively supporting Amendment 69.
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