A FasTracks supporter no more

How I regret voting FOR FasTracks in 2004–I even helped circulate petitions to get the issue on the ballot. Silly me, being a longtime sales tax watchdog. Did I really want to pay a full 1.0% sales tax for getting RTD table scraps on the northern fringe of the district? And now they’re going to ask for another 0.4%? Heaven sakes, before we know it, our total sales tax will be 10% just like liberal infested Chicago!

In Longmont we’ve always been destined for a lousy deal with the FasTracks plan, yet we pay the same hefty RTD sales tax as someone living in central Denver who has been enjoying the use of light rail for nearly 10 years.

Like many voters, I fell for the propaganda and “cute little trains” that I had sampled at the beginnings of light rail in the Denver Platte Valley. Having many family members who live in the south Denver metro area, I eagerly accompanied them on light rail several times to downtown sports events in the early 2000s. Pretty cool ride, I thought at the time.

Of course, the proposed Northwest Corridor with its heavy rail on restricted BNSF tracks is a far cry from what’s been done in Denver–especially the Longmont spur. What northern Colorado commuter is going to want to come into Longmont and park (with fee), take a train to the Boulder transit village, then get on another train back to Denver? I figure the whole convoluted process could take up to two hours with all the stops and exchanges. I’d hate to guess what the parking and fares would total, just for one way.

I’m not a commuter, but when I have to go to downtown Denver I’d much rather hop in my car and drive down there in 50 minutes or so, depending on traffic. I-25 driving is not as bad as FasTracks advocates claim, and the highway will soon be three-lane from Longmont southward (eventually from Ft. Collins) with a new interchange at Hwy 66. We’ve already got the new interchange at Hwy 119, completed several years ago.

Former Colorado Governor Bill Owens points out that a full build of the FasTracks plan will only reduce metro vehicle-miles traveled by less than 1.0%. Owens favors a T-Rex type model to meet the metro area transit needs. It would translate to roughly half of transportation tax monies going toward highway improvements and dedicated bus lanes, and the other half for key light rail corridors. It’s an efficient and much less costly strategy indeed.

Another thing that’s troubling with the FasTracks push is its growing connotation with the progressive far left in Colorado. You know these folks (like the Bloc of 4 on Longmont Council) by their over-the-top environmentalism, big spending, taxes, and debt; and basic desire of government control of our lives. Buzzwords like “smart growth” and “new urbanism” are often heard with FasTracks advocacy. It’s the mantra that cars are bad, suburbs and development are very bad, and people are to be crammed into high-density cities so they can walk and bike and use mass transit.

Count me as a Longmonter and American who does not want to be told how to live, what light bulbs to use, how big my house size is, or how my personal property is used. I certainly do not want to be forced to pay for a transportation method that doesn’t make practical sense for my community.

Control the information, gain control

Suddenly blossoming out with their own taxpayer-funded newspaper (isn’t that nice?), could it be that the members of Longmont City Council see an election lurking on the horizon? Possibly, but there may be something else going on here: the growing tendency of those who govern us, even at the local level, of wanting us to believe that we cannot exist or even live our lives correctly without their voluminous official information being poked down our throats in one way or another. Continue reading…

Will peak oil mean the end of aviation?

Since I know some of you in Longmont follow the whole “peak oil” situation, on both sides, here’s an article on that subject.
A documentary I recently watched asked the question “Will my grandchildren ever ride in an airplane? It was a gripping question, because the answer might very well be no.”

…rest of article at Examiner.Com

Pommer, fellow travelers continue disdain for Electoral College, U.S. Constitution

It’s baaaack. Once again our elected representatives at the state capitol have decided that your vote and your voice comes second to theirs. For the umpteenth time, they want to get Colorado out of the business of having to deal with the Electoral College system and go along with this “National Popular Vote” movement. It’s a “movement” alright, if you get my drift.

This years model is House Bill 1299, sponsored by Longmont’s own John “Jack” Pommer, Democrat – District 11 (pictured). He also was onboard with the earlier versions of this nonsense, as I’ve written about extensively. This time though it didn’t originate in the State Senate like the past versions, usually sponsored by Brandon Shaffer (another one of our illustrious local representatives), and I hope he’s seen the light on this issue – but I doubt it.

Ironically, the House is usually where the previous Senate bills went to die. Hopefully, one of our other local representatives Paul Weissmann will reprise his role and put this in the political graveyard where it belongs.

I’ll remind again that a similar measure went before the voters in Colorado in 2004 and was soundly defeated, rejected by 65% of the voters. But the main sponsor Andy Kerr, Democrat – District 26 (pictured), similar to other pushers of this idea (Brandon Shaffer, Ken Gordon, etc) thinks the legislature should overrule you, even though a vast majority of you voted against this.

So far only a bare handful of states have gone along with this scheme, equaling a whopping 50 Electoral votes. It wouldn’t kick in until enough states approved this scheme equaling 270 Electoral College votes. But these types have a long view of things with their systematic watering down and killing of what they call a “living Constitution”. But that aside (and that’s a lot to put aside) it’s just plain ridiculous for some states to use one system for electing a President, and others to use some half-baked scheme as the other.

Think it’s so great? Put it to the voters, again. Why don’t they? Why do they circumvent the voters and pass this as quietly as possible in state legislatures? Because they know what will happen, the 2004 vote is proof.

Longmont’s Cabal of 4 lied, the economy dies

Longmont’s Council leadership in the 9th year of 21 Century has regressed to the imagination and creativity of a 1968 San Francisco flower child in a hippie commune. This fractious partisan cabal of 4 members ignores the interests & rights of those who do not share their private views & interests in the community. Citizens who exercise their fundamental Constitutional rights are punished if they take economic actions opposed by the partisan cabal. Continue reading…

Too little we know, too late

“Tree thinning at Heil Valley Ranch.” The Longmont Times-Call reported in its 3/6/09 edition that contractors have been brought in to “thin” (clear-cut as the excellent and disturbing accompanying photo shows) 163 acres of trees on this taxpayer-owned property. Just how Boulder County’s open-space czar can unleash mayhem such as this on the environment without the public knowing about it until after we see a gigantic machine actually chewing up the forest and destroying habitat, is beyond the pale. Continue reading…

Amateurism from the top down

It’s a new day in America, or so we’re told. More like that ghastly movie “Day After Tomorrow” if you’re one of the millions who have seen your job go away or a good portion of your retirement account. We kept hearing that “the adults are in charge now”, funny, we haven’t heard that lately.

Buffoonery is in full bloom from Washington all the way down to little old Longmont. Let’s start at the top and work our way downward, literally and figuratively. From the Telegraph UK, in reference to President Obamas snub of British Prime Minister Brown: “Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.” But what parties they are throwing!

And this gem of true class: “Mr Brown handed over carefully selected gifts, including a pen holder made from the wood of a warship that helped stamp out the slave trade – a sister ship of the vessel from which timbers were taken to build Mr Obama’s Oval Office desk. Mr Obama’s gift in return, a collection of Hollywood film DVDs that could have been bought from any high street store, looked like the kind of thing the White House might hand out to the visiting head of a minor African state.” Yep, in over his head. Maybe Hillary Clinton was right.

Speaking of our new Secretary of State, the Russian media is having a field day with her “reset” button that she gave to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “But instead of the Russian word for “reset” (perezagruzka) it featured a slightly different word meaning “overload” or “overcharged” (peregruzka).

Which brings us to our local, ahem, leaders. From the Times-Call: “A Longmont lobbying effort, including Dove chocolate squares taped onto sheets of talking points, fell short of securing federal stimulus funds for a new Diagonal Highway interchange. Before the start of Wednesday night’s Denver Regional Council of Governments meeting, Councilwoman Karen Benker distributed the chocolate-bearing fact sheets — and a letter from Mayor Roger Lange — arguing the case for a $25 million interchange at Colorado highways 119 and 52. Benker is Longmont’s representative on the DRCOG board…” It gets better.

In another Times-Call story, at the same DRCOG event (reminder of previous sentence – “Benker is Longmont’s representative on the DRCOG board”): “No one stepped forward at Wednesday’s hearing to testify in support of Longmont’s application for the McIntosh Lake trail proposal.” Did this part occur prior to the other? Was she out buying a $3 bag of Doves? The result was the same whether Councilmember Benker was there (in the first case) or not (in the second case) – nothing for Longmont. Thanks for the great representation!

But what did get approved? Among other things, a project for Nederland that will help them with their Frozen Dead Guy Days. Ironic that Ms. Benker should choose chocolate from a huge food conglomeration (I happen to love Doves by the way – only if dark) at around the same moment news breaks of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory closing its store at the Twin Peaks Mall (another place I love and will miss). It’s almost like dancing on the grave of your constituents who just lost their jobs. Wait, someone did that too, Congressman Jared Polis about the Rocky Mountain News shutting down.

The fun never ends.

Letters that don’t get published


Re “Legislature 2009 – Senate debate turns ugly,” news story in the emerged Denver Post, 3/3/09, bylined Tim Hoover.

Attaway, Denver Post: The conservatives are always the bad guys and the liberals know exactly what’s best for us. It’s this sort of crapola woven into the news columns that drove me away from the Post to the News years ago. Continue reading…

Abandoned city chicken alert!

Something you probably won’t see in the paper or hear in council:

Coming across the police frequency – somebody left their house (not for the day, left as in gone) and LEFT their chicken behind. The neighbor called police dispatch not knowing what to do about it.

So even before this ridiculous new law is in force, these city chickens are costing us money in police time. At the same time as this incident, there was a domestic disturbance, someone being followed for committing graffiti, a traffic accident, and more. But time was taken away from these more important matters because of a chicken.

It’s only beginning…

Illegal immigrant tuition and fumbling councilmembers

Did ya catch the Feb 24th Longmont City Council meeting? Some of the more interesting and entertaining parts you might not read about in the local paper. Somebody out there is making YouTube videos (nope, it’s not me) of some of the stranger occurrences, which you are free to check out some of them at my YouTube Channel.

Check this one out, I saw some comments on the Times-Call website about this, now I know what they were talking about…

There was more, like several times asking to clarify what a YES or NO vote meant. Now, I’ve been known to join in the post-council meeting get-togethers at O’shays for a drink or two (I don’t think I’ve paid for one of my own yet though). But there was something else Councilmember Sean McCoy referred to at this meeting that got my attention:
Senate Bill 170, which you can read in its entirety at this link.

The first sentence sends off alarms for me: “Requires that a person, regardless of immigration status, who attends a Colorado high school for at least 3 years and enrolls in a Colorado institute of higher education within 5 years after either graduating from a Colorado high school or earning a general education diploma in Colorado shall be charged the same tuition rate and shall be eligible for tuition assistance under the same criteria as a person who establishes domicile in Colorado.”

So not only is that paragraph admitting that you are indeed paying (through mill levies, bond issues, property tax, etc) for the high school education of someone here illegally, you should also kick in to make their college education financially on par with a resident of the state! What a bunch of suckers.

I don’t care who endorsed it, who backs it, or what political party they’re from. I’ve got a problem with “regardless of immigration status” for what should be obvious reasons. I’m definitely all for residents of Colorado to have some advantage over out-of-state applicants, but out-of-country? Illegally at that? I don’t think so.

Lets say you have a cousin who wants to move here and go to CU or CSU, hey, that would be cool, they would at least have some family nearby. But their tuition is exorbitant being out-of-state, but not for someone here illegally. Does that seem the least bit fair? Basically we’d be subsidizing someone here illegally at the expense of U.S. citizens.

Here’s an idea: go ahead and get all of those illegal immigrants applications who want to come to these schools we help fund in one way or another. Dump them on some new school run by “educators” like Mr. McCoy who want this subsidizing (on your dime) of said illegal immigrants, and they can have a new college just for them. It won’t be CU or CSU caliber (in this case especially), but what do you want for half off while you don’t pay in to the system that’s helping to fund you?

In the meantime, their immigration status can be verified – one way or the other.

What is with this attitude of getting something for nothing? Why would Mr. McCoy (among others) want this? Without the “immigration status” part, I can understand, but with it? It’s pandering, pure and simple. It’s not about human rights or fair treatment – unless you’re here illegally of course. Remember back to one of my podcasts where I said “White guilt does not equal racial tolerance“? This is about getting votes, nothing more, nothing less. And looky here, there’s a Longmont City Council election coming up in November.

That’s alright, you may forget. I’ll make sure to remind you.