Table of Contents
Elgin’s stolen antiquities must be returned to Greece
Re: “Thank goodness for the DAM and the Mayers,” Oct. 31 letter to the editor
The letter writer says: “The Elgin Marbles were rescued by Lord Elgin at his own expense from Greece and brought to England from a heavily damaged Parthenon. Thank goodness for Lord Elgin and the British Museum.” This reference to the looted Sculptures of the Parthenon is inaccurate and insulting.
At the beginning of the 19th century a systematic looting of the Acropolis archaeological site took place. Lord Elgin managed to secure an authorization (firman) from the Ottoman Sultan for investigation of the Acropolis — but not for stripping the monuments of their sculptural decoration. Nevertheless, Elgin’s team removed a large number of the sculptures until then preserved on the Parthenon, as well as one of the Caryatids from the Erechtheion, four frieze blocks from the Temple of Athena Nike and other antiquities, which were shipped off to the United Kingdom.
A recent decision by the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee recognizes Greece’s just and legal request for a permanent return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens and urges the UK to engage in dialogue with Greece in good faith to discuss this issue and reach a clear conclusion. The UNESCO Committee has also expressed its concern over the poor conditions in the British Museum’s Duveen Gallery, where the sculptures are currently exhibited.
Twelve years ago, Greece built the new Acropolis Museum, which is consistently rated as one of the best museums in the world, where Parthenon Sculptures are already exhibited and awaiting their reunification with those looted by Lord Elgin.
Andreas Spyrou, Los Angeles, Calif.
Editor’s note: Spyrou is the head of public diplomacy at the Office of the Consulate General of Greece in Los Angeles.
Mask-mandate debate surges along with cases
Re: “Mandate masks indoors in public,” Oct. 31 editorial and “Health decisions fall to businesses,” Oct. 31 news story
The editorial board of the Denver Post wants to bring back the mask mandate. The basis for this is hospitalizations are surging.
If the new mask mandate is implemented, will it be suddenly removed once everyone has had their booster shots? After all, our governor stated that the mask mandates and COVID restrictions would disappear once the vaccine rolled out.
K-12 students already are a year-plus behind with the first round of mask mandates.
The Post ran a Sunday article of how people will patronize a business without a mask mandate versus one with one.The better solution is no more mask mandates and no more COVID restrictions. Has it ever dawned on The Post that maybe people are not getting the vaccine if they know the restrictions will never be lifted? Or that the restrictions will be implemented at the drop of a hat? People are fed up with the restrictions. I won’t step foot into Ball Arena as long as they have their mask mandates and proof of vaccination for entry. Any elected official who implements or supports a mask mandate, proof of vaccination status or any other COVID restriction will not get my vote.
Jeff Jasper, Westminster
As a retired family medicine and public health physician, I agree wholeheartedly with your call for Gov. Jared Polis to mandate mask-wearing in indoor public places. The benefits of this practice have been repeatedly demonstrated. Until we have higher vaccination rates, masks are one of the best defenses we have against spreading COVID infections, increasing hospitalizations, and the overburdening of our health care workers and hospitals.
Martha Johns, Arvada
I agree with the editorial. Bus drivers, grocery workers, health care workers, and many others have been wearing them for months. Wearing masks indoors isn’t a huge inconvenience for most of us, and if it reduces the spread of COVID, flu and other viruses this winter, we all win.
I believe a mandate will help local businesses with recovery. The news story describes the confusion and angst among business owners and customers during this time.
Every day our leaders encourage us to support local businesses, yet every day, I end up ordering online rather than entering businesses that don’t require employees (at least) to mask. Seeing employees and customers masked would go a long way towards getting me inside our local businesses, especially as the holiday season begins.
Christine O’Connor, Denver
Surgery canceled: “Most nights, the pain is so bad”
Open letter to the unvaccinated:
You are only thinking of yourself by not being vaccinated for COVID-19 and thinking, “I am hurting no one but myself; it is my choice if I do not want to be vaccinated or wear a mask.”
Please rethink your choice.
I have been waiting for more than two months for hip replacement surgery. Most nights, the pain is so bad I get no sleep. Walking is very difficult without using a cane. I can not take narcotic pain meds because they make my heart stop beating. I was scheduled to have the hip replacement surgery on Nov. 1.
I have been looking forward to the surgery so I can start my life again being pain-free.
I received a call from my doctor. The surgery has been canceled; no reason was given by the doctor.
I contacted the hospital where I was to have the surgery and was told there were no beds available due to the influx of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.
I was in the Army for several years and served 32 years as a police officer, always doing my sworn duty.
I believe Americans have the duty to get vaccinated against COVID-19, stop taking up the hospital beds, give the medical personnel the rest they deserve and let Americans get on with life.
Please get vaccinated.
Richard Boroff, Wellington
What are you doing to address climate change?
Re: “What Big Oil knew about climate change, in its own words,” Oct. 31 commentary
Sunday’s op-ed by Benjamin Franta was an eye-opener for anyone concerned about climate change. We have heard the words before, but it’s good to see them tied together in such an effective manner. One of the headlines in this morning’s paper, “Interior to move ahead with (oil and gas) lease sales on public lands,” along with COP26 summit news has me wondering: If we don’t make changes now, when will we? It is an inconvenient truth that we are using fossil fuels to phase ourselves out of existence. When does the priority for survival trump the priority for profits? Maybe it’s time, with these truths evident, for us to ask what we can do to help make a difference. How about some news of how we can individually pitch in to help slow/stop the change? Thanks for your coverage!
Carol O’Brien, Lakewood
We can appreciate the author’s dedication and fortitude in delving into the who knew what and when at major oil companies. Nonetheless, what we know now and what we have known but have chosen to dispute or ignore for years (if not decades) is more important.
It has been scientifically studied and announced for many years that the earth is warming due to human production and burning of fossil fuels. What have individuals done to avoid the looming climatic catastrophe? Little or nothing. The bigger issue is not what for-profit corporations, or the president, or Congress, or the United Nations, or China or Brazil or (insert name or organization here) has done or should do to avoid the approaching calamity. It’s easiest to expect someone else to do the lifting. The question is, what have you and I as individuals done? What sacrifice are you and I willing to make to our standard of living to try and forestall the environmental and societal collapse that our children almost certainly will be subjected to. It is painfully obvious that we care more about our sports teams than the fragile planet we call home. Try dragging your face away from your phone for 10 minutes and think about it, and then do something!
Martin Orner, Longmont
A carbon fee would rapidly reduce emission
Re: “Leaders met, and the Earth got hotter,” Oct. 31 news story
As I read the article, I needed to take several deep breaths to calm the anger and frustration in me about our collective lack of action on climate change.
The more ice the planet loses, the less reflective albedo effect we have, the warmer we get. Scientists tell us we are in a dangerous feedback loop of warming. President Joe Biden has pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. I urge lawmakers to include a fee on corporate carbon pollution.
We can rapidly drive down climate-warming emissions by leveraging the efficient power of the marketplace. A predictable price signal on carbon pollution will bend our energy use toward low-carbon sources and all without high dollar government spending. With a fee on carbon pollution, we could all finally take a deep breath of relief that we are on track with effective climate action.
Susan Atkinson, Durango
Outdoor dining needs access for those with mobility issues
Re: “Eating out(doors)” and “Some blocks may stay car-free,” Oct. 27 feature stories
Don’t get me wrong — I really want to see restaurants succeed. The outdoor dining spaces many of these restaurants have built are a very creative, fun way for them to stay open during the pandemic. And I would love to see those become permanent.
What about access for those with mobility issues? If the city allows Larimer and South Pearl streets to be car-free, where are people in wheelchairs, using walkers or canes going to park? How far will they have to go to get to the restaurant? Some may have difficultly getting even half a block away.
Keeping one lane open for cars to drop off and pick up passengers would be great. At the very least, an adequate number of handicapped parking spaces would need to be added to both ends of the car-free streets. And for those restaurants whose outdoor dining is on a sidewalk, room for wheelchairs, etc., to pass needs to be kept clear.
Just like anyone else, disabled people like to eat out and want to help our favorite restaurants survive.
We can’t do that if we can’t get to them.
Cynthia Stone, Denver
Atlanta gets last laugh
The All-Star game was stolen from them, but the Brave fans of Georgia get the last laugh.
Congratulations to the World Series Champion Atlanta Braves!
Tom Bassett, Arvada
Work around supply issues
As with our toilet paper supply, now people are concerned about Christmas gifts and the world’s supply chain issues. Here are ways to help yourself and others from the pressure of “the chain.”
Consider buying from local artists and vendors. That action will support creativity, your community and our greater U.S. economy. You may save precious time and drive less. Give experiences or gift cards for services that folks need or will really enjoy. Give food or items you create yourself. If you do buy gifts to send, mail early this year. Once it’s in the mail, you can relax.
Contribute for the future, i.e., give to a grandchild’s summer camp fee. Give a donation to a nonprofit organization honoring your loved one who cares deeply about a pressing issue.
Think about and act, if possible, to decrease your carbon footprint — buy less and drive less. Give your time, talent and/or memorable experiences. That’s what your loved ones and friends will cherish. Really, do you even recall what you got last Christmas?
Pat Sullivan, Erie
Keep safe online
At the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, we lead the national effort to understand, manage and reduce risk to our shared infrastructure, protecting the critical services on which Americans rely. We work with federal, state, local, tribal and private sector partners to reduce the risk and lessen the impact of cyberattacks here in Rocky Mountain communities and around the nation.
CISA recommends four things to keep yourself safe:
Implement multi-factor authentication on your accounts and make it 99% less likely you’ll get hacked.
Update your software. In fact, turn on automatic updates.
Think before you click. More than 90% of successful cyberattacks start with a phishing email.
Use strong passwords, and ideally, a password manager to generate and store unique passwords.
You can also:
Back up your data on a regular basis. Keep it on a separate device and store it offline.
Avoid using free, unsecured WiFi that can be easily hacked.
Find more information about ransomware and tips on how not to become a victim on CISA’s website at www.StopRansomware.gov
Do your part, be cyber smart, and together we can maintain a secure and resilient infrastructure for the American people.
Shawn Graff, Lakewood
Editor’s note: Graff is regional director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security.
Stop paying for abandoned wells
I don’t think most Coloradans know that an oil and gas company can simply abandon a well at the end of its production life or just let it eke out minimal uneconomical amounts of oil and/or gas. This often is done to avoid the costs of plugging it and cleaning up a site so that the land is made whole. A new website, wellwellwellColorado.com, shows just how widespread and expensive this problem is.
Who ends up paying for plugging a well and reclaiming the land in these instances? With our current regulatory system and practices, not the oil and gas companies, but the state. Essentially we the taxpayers end up with the bill. This leaves us with a price tag of over $8 billion to clean up current infrastructure based on the number of wells and historical records of costs. This is insane. These wells are producing maybe a barrel a year yet spew methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and other toxins that pollute our air. It is time for Gov. Jared Polis to step up, be bold, and end this practice.
In early November, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will be considering just this — whether or not to strengthen regulations that fix this serious problem and force oil and gas companies to take responsibility to plug a well and address our serious air quality and climate change problems.
Lois Vanderkooi, Broomfield
Biden’s agenda is a mess
To be fair, coming out of the pandemic was always going to be a little bumpy, but I still fault the Biden administration for fuel prices (and the contribution to inflation) and ignoring the southern border. Unforgivable ineptitude coupled with partisan arrogance. Leadership doesn’t get much weaker than that.
And, it was all so avoidable if voters, independents mostly, would have just given a little thought to the repercussions of a House, Senate, and president all under the sway of the radical left. Trump would have stopped this idiotic agenda cold, continued working on keeping the border secure, and not trying to kill gas and oil. It was very plain what the radical, progressive Democrats wanted to do, and that alone should have put Trump over the top. Instead we have Biden and a Congress trying to pass a transformative legislative package with the thinnest margin possible in the Senate. We are all suffering from their mismanagement.
Douglass Croot, Highlands Ranch
Pass these popular policies, now
If Democrats want to hold onto any power in 2020, it’s past time to start implementing popular policies that will actually improve the lives of constituents.
• According to Pew Research, 67% of Americans support at least some paid family and medical leave.
• Kaiser Health News reports that the “vast majority of adults” support allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
• Adding dental, vision and hearing benefits to medicare polls at 84% support, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll.
• Forbes reports more than 66% of Americans support some form of student loan forgiveness.
The (paltry) support payments that went out to people in 2020 were hugely popular, helped improve lives, and provided a good boost to the economy.
It’s time to stop pretending that Democrats and their constituents can get ahead by trying to court and negotiate with congressional Republicans, who don’t have anyone’s best interest in mind. And ignoring the progressive arm of the party — whose policies are actually popular and will improve lives — just means that we shouldn’t be shocked when Democrats lose more seats in 2022. They need to get rid of the filibuster and implement some laws and policies that will actually help the working class.
We’re tired of watching decent bills get negotiated down until they’re nothing but a slap in the face.
Ryan McCahan, Aurora
Call it what it is: trickle down
Re: “Raising the federal corporate tax rate would be a mistake,” Nov. 3 commentary
Juliet Abdel’s commentary on why the federal corporate tax rate should not be raised puts forth a strong argument for adopting “trickle-down economics” in the post-COVID era.
Yet, her article would be more complete and forthright if she did two things. First, she really should just call her logic trickle-down economics because that’s what it is. And second, she should also acknowledge that since this idea was put forth and adopted by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, trickle-down economics has never benefitted middle and lower-class citizens — it’s only aided those at the top.
We’ve seen history repeat itself many times since the Reagan era, including with the most recent 2017 Trump tax cuts. We should encourage our elected officials to study and respect history and not repeat the emotionally appealing — yet false— assumption that more taxes are always bad.
Jeff Sippel, Denver
Blame politicians, not parties
Re: “Politics aside: Party shouldn’t define us,” Oct. 31 letter to the editor
The letter writer professed, “The biggest mistake Americans can make today is identifying themselves with a political party.” That’s not a mistake; there is nothing wrong with that. It merely identifies you with the ideology you believe is the correct way to lead our great nation. The problem lies with those we elect to represent that ideology and collaborate with the other party to achieve the greater good. Instead, today we have children masquerading as statesmen and stateswomen who want to take their toys home whenever their way is challenged. That paradigm is counter to the politics that made this country so great. For example, despite their great differences, President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill could always sit down and, eventually, rationally decide the best direction for the country. That’s a lesson leadership inside the beltway today needs to understand. Until then, only God can help us!
Paul C. Gremse, Denver
Wow. In my view, this letter writer absolutely nailed it. I sure would like to see his type of thinking get legs nationally… and the sooner, the better!
Denny Fisher, Centennial
Any number of areas of Colorado are facing housing shortages, and to a large extent, these situations are a function of decisions that governments at various levels have made to attract jobs or visitors, or to help developers and landlords increase profits.
Our Colorado communities can do a lot more to alleviate affordable housing shortages if they are willing. For example, they can require new commercial, office, and industrial growth to pay jobs-housing linkage fees. These pay to subsidize housing for their workers that otherwise couldn’t afford to live in the community.
They can impose inclusionary zoning requirements on all new residential development to ensure that a significant percentage of whatever is built is permanently affordable for working-class people. And they can restrict short-term rentals.
Our legislature could stop giving away millions of dollars in tax incentives to get companies to come to Colorado. Our legislators could work on getting rid of the restrictions on rent control. And our governor could make sure we never get involved in another “opportunity zone” scam, that allowed developers to build save huge amounts on their taxes.
Steve Pomerance, Boulder
Thanks for saving The Bookies
Re: “After founder’s death, children’s bookstore gets to live on,” Nov. 2 business story
Nicole Sullivan deserves and gets a sincere round of applause for her commitment to preserving The Bookies bookstore much as it is. First things first. On behalf of our community, thank-you Nicole!
Kurt Davis, Longmont
What about potential direct harm to home values?
Re: “Denverites, please strike down 2F,” Oct. 29 editorial
In the otherwise well-balanced editorial of October 29, regarding the sharing of the problem of homeless shelters throughout the city of Denver, an unfortunate consequence has been left out.
“Neighborhoods “ are discussed, but what about the individual homeowners who may very well find it difficult to sell their house when a homeless shelter is now next door? Are their hard-earned assets to be sacrificed in the name of “altruism?”
Barbara Bucher, Denver
Is Virginia’s election still a bellwether, Harris?
While campaigning for former Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Vice President Kamala Harris confidently remarked that the election would serve as a bellwether for national elections in 2022, 2024 and beyond.
Now that the results are in, with Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin defeating McAuliffe, it will be interesting to observe how Harris intends to walk back that bold prognostication.
And you can take it to the bank that Republicans throughout the nation are hoping she’s right!
John Marshall, Arvada
Consider who is funding all those sports betting ads
Before you participate in any of the various online betting sites, consider the thousands of their flashy ads now on TV and elsewhere. Where do you think the money comes from for those ads? You, of course, and all the money they rake in from your failed bets. Just sayin’.
Steven Grueber, Denver
Be honest with kids about why their schools lack funding
Re: “3 students craft bill to get their teachers at least $40K,” Oct. 6 news story
I was both inspired and saddened by the article about how horribly underpaid teachers are in Campo and how difficult it is to attract teachers.
Three rural area students, who live in a community that overwhelmingly elects anti-taxation representatives to both state and federal government, are trying to encourage the Colorado legislature to address this problem — one that their neighbors, and very possibly their parents, have created.
Young adults are unaware of how local control decisions regarding taxes fund and maintain public schools. Many of us know how the myth of taxation burden, perpetuated by Republicans, is horribly affecting schools and struggling families. It would be great to have the elected officials representing Campo respond to these students.
It would be both humorous and pathetic to watch them rationalize this situation that jeopardizes these students’ educational pursuits.
Like the Big Lie regarding the 2020 election, underfunding local school districts is perpetuated by misinformation. This, too, needs to stop.
Mark Zaitz, Denver
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