Just asking . . .

Why, in this modern age, does it take so long–usually over two months after work starts–to replace a road bridge in Boulder County? Recent examples: the bridge just completed on 95th Street over Boulder Creek; now one on Niwot Road over the Feeder Canal, and another one on 95th Street just south of Longmont over Lefthand Creek—all with closures and some with seemingly lengthy detours. Still being worked on is a bridge over Boulder Creek at Highway 52 and east county line. Fortunately, one lane has been kept open there for traffic.

Meanwhile out on the range: Boulder County is seeking volunteer open space patrollers for the county’s parks and open space areas, a news item said. They will undergo two days of training and wear a park-patroller shirt and nametag.

“Patroller” sounds ominous and too many people tend to let a little bit of authority go to their head. Will these people be deputized and armed? Will they write tickets? Will they be insured if a rattlesnake bites them? Doesn’t the county’s OS Dept. already have a fleet of four-wheelers of its own with trained personnel for patrolling. Where are they?

Why is it that tobacco smoke, even secondhand, has been declared a serious health hazard, while marijuana smoke escapes this aggressive condemnation? Both add particulates to the lungs and to the atmosphere — as pictured at the April 20 Boulder smoke-out, where CU police issued a dozen tickets.

How can an organization that’s pushing pot get away with threatening the DA when he’s carrying out his official duties? Certainly the Cannabis Therapy Institute has free-speech rights and its promise to derail the Boulder DA’s quest for higher office (state attorney general) unless he drops the 12 ganja-related cases may be seen as politics by some. Yet it unnecessarily puts the DA on the spot: If he acts to strictly pursue the laws to their disliking, he could be called retaliatory and prejudiced; if he fails to act or dilutes the charges, then he could be regarded by others as being soft on crime. The media can’t have it both ways.

On the sports scene: Why does the Denver news media let the NBA get away with scheduling most of the Nuggets playoff games, even those played at home, so late in the evening? The Denver market deserves better. Oh well, pay-to-view is in store for all the major sports, so maybe we commoners should be grateful to see any game for free –- no matter the time frame.

More on “sports”: The NFL suspended Pittsburgh’s Big Ben Roethlisberger for his indiscretion, while MLB’s Mark McGwire (back with the Cards), Sammy Sosa et al., NBA’s Kobe Bryant and PGA’s Tiger Woods all escaped that stigma for theirs.

Finally, what’s this business with telephone surveys? Do people with cell and gadget phones escape this annoyance? I don’t know how it is at your house, but at mine hardly a day goes by without the phone ringing with someone taking a survey on something or other. I think it’s an invasion of privacy—after all, our home is supposed to be our castle. Furthermore, because they’re closer to the people, our representatives in local government should be able to monitor public sentiment themselves without investing our scarce tax dollars in long questionnaires. That’s one reason for the neighborhood ward system, and the casual vis-à-vis sessions with constituents are not exactly a waste of time. Otherwise, we may as well go completely plebiscite.

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