Light rail; chance encounters; Mental health; Arms Control
Paul Gibb: Light Rail: Let’s not give up yet
In response to Bob Norris’ December 12 letter, “Light Rail: Let’s Rewrite This,” it should be noted that this is not a good time to give up the S-Bahn. This is because there is a great way to get some of the billions of dollars in federal infrastructure money that is now dedicated to transport. And there are discussions about raising some of that money for RTD (and maybe Amtrak) to fund the service north of Denver.
From the start, RTD’s main problem has been money. Although Boulder and Broomfield counties contributed nearly $ 400 million to RTD’s Fastracks program, projects of this size cost two to four times that amount. FTE has only been able to build its newer lines by tapping additional sources of liquidity: mainly loans and public-private partnerships, both of which result in very sizeable long-term debt. Additionally, the Federal Railroad Administration’s regulations, which went into effect after Fastracks was founded, significantly increased costs, including the need for much heavier and more expensive railroad cars.
While it’s true that more people are currently working from home, there is no guarantee they won’t have to commute to offices after the pandemic. And even now there are still traffic jams on the routes from Longmont to Boulder to Denver.
So before we give up, let’s see if it’s possible to get some of those billions of infrastructure dollars.
Michael Clinton: Coincidence: Small miracles happen while walking
I recently went on a hike near Boulder where I put together an 11 mile loop of 12 different trails around Green Mountain. An interesting event happened to me on the Bluebell Baird Trail. I was wandering through the woods, wondering if I would make it to the car before dark, when a young woman passed me. I asked her how she was and instead of the usual “Good and you?” Answer I got: “I’m having a very hard time right now.”
My first cynical thought was, I have to admit, she wants money. But while we were talking, I found that she had just had a bad relationship and had to take her feelings out on someone, someone, obviously preferably a kind old man walking in the woods.
We talked for minutes about relationships and healing and in the end she gave me a sad smile and asked for a hug, which I was happy to provide. She thanked me profusely and set off. I hope she is fine. She seemed very nice, but fragile at the moment. When I finished my hike in the dark, I thought of chance encounters and the impact one could have on someone’s life if one is in the right place at the right time. So many good things can only be achieved by taking a walk.
Zoë Rollins: Mental Health: It’s okay to fight from time to time
Mental health is becoming more important than ever for younger generations. COVID-19 made the topic stand out like a sore thumb. We do not hide the fact that we as a society need help finding treatments and that it is okay to struggle from time to time. It’s okay to seek help with disorders like anxiety and depression. Our world today is fighting not only a coronavirus pandemic, but also a pandemic of anxiety and depression. I am writing to continue to educate the public about the dangers of a lack of mental health care.
We deal and continue to deal with numerous suicides linked to a melting pot of mental illness each year. I want to influence the public to take care of themselves and others so we can try to heal as a community. No, it will never be perfect and not everyone will take the initiative to improve themselves and their peers, but if a few more people take care of the kid who is having a bad day, we could help that kid be the best be what it can be, or even save a life.
Your thoughts and your presence are valuable. You are loved. You are worthy of success and happiness and you are allowed to occupy space. We are not always well helped in life and we face struggles that not everyone will understand. But if we all take the time to work on ourselves to improve our emotional and physical health, we can help the world as a whole. Hope you take this into account as you go through what life throws at you.
Ted Bainbridge: Gun Control: Why Not SUV Control?
Recently, a person in Michigan killed four people with a gun in a school shooting. Soon afterwards, there were renewed calls for stricter gun controls. Recently, a person in Wisconsin killed several people in an SUV in a Christmas parade. Nobody has suggested tougher SUV controls.
Why is that? That’s because everyone knows that SUVs don’t kill people.
Guns don’t kill people either. No weapon has ever forced a person to pick up and use it.