We’re losing the wildfires battle

       Unfortunately, Colorado seems unable to keep pace with its wildfires. The year 2002 was disastrous. Here we go again, a decade later, fighting desperately to contain yet another round of record-breaking, out-of-control conflagrations. Whatever lessons our policy makers may have learned from past wildfires, this knowledge does not appear to be having much effect on improving current prevention and containment methodology. We can and must do better.
       My state—I was born here back when “Big Ed” Johnson was in his first go-round as governor—has never met a crisis it couldn’t handle. It’s time for our current leaders in both the public and private sectors to step forward and vigorously target this issue for reform.
Percy Conarroe, Longmont

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water

Hey, look: We don’t want the oil companies to drill here (NIMBY), nor there or anywhere. So, how many of us have abandoned our automobiles (which are significantly more dangerous to our children) and unhooked our homes and businesses from natural gas to cancel our need for fossil fuels? While I appreciate NOAA’s mission to save us from ourselves, it seems odd that one of its scientists would be out discussing a study (Erie) that scares the daylights out of people, but apparently hasn’t been vetted or even published yet for review. This is a sure recipe for panic. Continue reading

Fracking: A new high in scaremongering

(A condensed version of the following letter appeared in the 3/4/12 Longmont Times-Call.)

President Obama’s anti-capitalistic agenda of killing our nation’s oil and gas industry is finally being felt locally as nervous politicians buy into the exaggerated fracking scare by issuing frantic moratoriums as if this practice will surely bring the World to an end tomorrow, when we should all know that this threatened destiny is simply not true. The big, bad oil companies—which sell ROAR.org members their gasoline–drill because they own or lease the mineral rights and Colorado already has pretty stiff rules regarding how and where they can drill (according to Gov. Hickenlooper, himself a former geologist) including the use of hydraulic fracturing chemicals. And of course, Obama’s act of stopping the Keystone Pipeline and its 20,000 jobs is never mentioned in any of the anti-fracking coverage or accompanying editorials. Continue reading

TABOR: Participatory democracy in a free republic

By Percy Conarroe 
       I’ve lived in Colorado 84 years and have never seen anything quite like the persecution of Douglas Bruce for authoring the 1992 voter-adopted TABOR amendment to the Colorado Constitution. Despite some adjustments, judicial I presume, such as allowing the use of Certificates of Participation to increase debt without a vote of the people, TABOR’s core values remain. Continue reading

To be fair, shouldn’t our mayor endorse other forms of marriage too?

(Letter submitted to opinion@times-call.com on Feb. 5, 2012.)
        About modern-day Longmont—and I’ve lived in Boulder County for 43 years–it seems that no sooner does one divisive issue such as the proposed LifeBridge annexation fade, than another controversy arises. In this case, the mayor’s action in endorsing same-sex marriages on an advocacy website. Continue reading

Denver Post: Current fracking rules are enough

The usually left-leaning Denver Post editorializes that local governments shouldn’t be piling on excessive fracking regulations such as moratoriums, and State Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) agrees.  Maybe the real excess against fracking is coming from Mayor Coombs and the local progressive/enviro crowd?     

Read the editorial at Denver Post

Update (Jan. 13):  Percy Conarroe responds to the Post editorial… Continue reading

Percy Conarroe: Time to outsource the county’s legal services

It’s all in the family—the Democratic Party, that is, which enjoys a stranglehold on Boulder County government. First, let it be said that if the three Boulder County commissioners were Republicans engaging in the same sort of behavior, I would criticize them as well. What’s going on here may be perfectly legal, but to some of us it’s objectionable.

Read the rest at DailyCamera: Letters to Editor Blog

Public business, off the beaten path

Some thoughts about the Colorado newspaper industry and its leadership organization, the Colorado Press Association.
WHERE’S THE TRANSPARENCY?
News release: “CU-Boulder names steering committee, discussion groups to plot future of a school or college in the area of information, communication, journalism, media and technology ICJMT,” sent out by the university and forwarded by email on 6/24/11 to past presidents of the Colorado Press Association. Continue reading