Letters: Could we one day see stars in Denver again?

Let’s turn out some lights in the city too

Re: “Residents are darkening the skies to aid millions of migratory birds,” and “Grand Lake selected for DarkSky Colorado mentorship program,” May 12 news stories

I live in the city and love it, but I am ever aware that people in other parts of the state are working to preserve the wondrous experience of looking up into a starry sky. It will never be dark in the city. We will always need traffic lights and directional signage for safety and convenience.  But could we not be darker?

I appreciate that, more and more, street lights are designed so the light only shines down. Any business that is open needs to have lights on, but why do empty office buildings have to keep burning electricity all night long? The owners of Ball Arena and Elitches did dim their lights late at night after residents complained, but our homes are still flooded with light even at 3 a.m. For what reason?

One would think that businesses would welcome lower energy costs. Wouldn’t it be lovely to look out in the wee hours of the morning and see the city sleeping and maybe even see a few stars? Let’s give Denver darker skies.

 A. Lynn Buschhoff, Denver

Property tax legislation: Breakthrough or bust?

Re: “Breakthrough session — Democrats braces wins on tax policy, guns, education funding and housing,” and “Cost of insuring homes skyrockets,” May 12 news stories

The somewhat muted approach that the legislators in Colorado have been able to push forward for property owners does not fully balance the increase many have seen in their insurance costs. The “net” impact of increases to property taxes and increases to insurance rates do not lead Colorado to more affordable housing!  The fate of ballot measures for further property tax impacts will be interesting politics.

Phil Cernanec, Littleton

Editor’s note: Cernanec is the former mayor of  Littleton.

Once again, our elected state representatives are patting themselves on the back in celebration of all new laws and regulations they passed in the recent session, none of which I suspect will put any more money in the take-home pay of us folks. Probably, the opposite, complying with new taxes and regs.

Ever wonder why they never tell us how many laws they repealed, if any?

Ralph McClure, Greeley

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Re: “Coloradans’ property taxes shielded from spikes,” May 12 editorial

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Despite my promise to my friends to avoid more letters, I cannot resist. Looking at the local issues facing us, this one looked like a good topic.

Property tax reform in our state has seemed fishy from the get-go, as far back as 2018.

Taxes and TABOR were always in the same sentence. It was never clear what the real goal was, and last year’s effort at Proposition HH was a big red flag. I was suspicious of Sen. Barbara Kirkmeyer’s claim that property taxes would be reduced, but putting my finger on why was difficult. The Denver Post editorial opened my eyes to the reality that our legislators are trying to do too much too quickly to appease everyone at once, while rolling the dice with attempts to manipulate free markets in dangerous ways. I don’t fault the effort, but it is not the right approach and must go beyond property taxes.

There are other ways to do this that require more work, including cuts to education (a big no-no to many), services in general, and examining how state funds are administered. We will all have to live with some unpopular solutions for some years, but it is easier said than done, and not everyone will be happy with the end result. However, to this taxpayer’s way of thinking, it’s the only way to protect the public good, needed but reduced government services for a time like housing, education support, parks, etc. If Colorado can slow down, not panic, find a way to ride the property tax conundrum out for the next 3-5 years and take our lumps now, pragmatic leadership will prevail.

Gary Rauchenecker, Golden

Regarding the editorial Sunday, one can only ask: Why should homeowners consider any legislation that promises that our property taxes won’t “skyrocket now or in the future” to be some sort of success, when we’ve already seen our property taxes skyrocket? The average Colorado homeowner has stood by helplessly as their taxes went up an average of around 40% this last year — even though I have yet to see any justification from any public official or politician as to why they need that extra revenue windfall. Any proposal that doesn’t roll back these obscene tax increases to pre-2024 levels is simply “closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.”

Mark Andrew, Golden

Parking might draw in grocery shoppers

Re: “Parking lot headaches,” May 11 news story

I had to chuckle when reading the article about stores without adequate parking for patrons. It’s a simple choice for me. If going to a particular store increases my stress level just because of the parking, I don’t go. I’m sure there are many more like me. Developers should pay attention.

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Linden Hagans, Lakewood 

I was so glad to see that the King Soopers parking lot in Capitol Hill was listed as frustrating, to say the least, to customers. About a year ago, the parking lot was resurfaced. It needed it, for sure. And new parking space lines, yay, until I realized how much larger the spaces were, which, of course, meant fewer parking spaces.  So yes, I drive around waiting for someone to back out.

As you said, sure, there’s parking across the street. But I can’t use it when I buy my week’s worth of groceries; we can’t take the buggies over there. And even more aggravating are the shoppers who unload their groceries into their cars, and then for two or three minutes, they’re on their cell phones before they put it in reverse. All the while, the line grows longer and longer. What to do about it? One, let us take the grocery carts across the street to their additional parking. And two, come on, folks, check your phone later and get out of your parking space!

Sherry Richardson, Denver

Climate change is fueling insurance costs

Re: “Cost of insuring homes skyrockets,” May 12 news story

The Post recently published some insightful articles by Judith Kohler regarding the state’s out-of-control rise in home insurance premiums and how insurance companies are scaling back coverage entirely.

Vincent Plymell of the Colorado Division of Insurance cites climate change as the cause for the rise in rates. “The international impact of climate change [and] the severity of those disasters is causing reinsurers to consider their risk, reduce their exposure or increase their premiums.”

Climate scientists agree that global warming is caused by burning fossil fuels. As we get more years with record-breaking temperatures, we will experience more droughts and find our state experiencing the same arid conditions that led to the devastating Marshall Fire. So why do we still subsidize fossil fuels when they are contributing to a loss of housing via climate catastrophes and driving up premiums on existing homes?

The United States subsidizes fossil fuels to the tune of $646 billion annually.

A joint post by members of the IMF staff estimates that scrapping these subsidies would prevent 1.6 million premature deaths annually and raise government revenues by $4.4 trillion, as well as taming emissions. On top of saving millions of lives, we’d have a windfall to help retrain oil and coal workers and help families replace energy inefficient appliances.

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Colorado Reps. Diana DeGette, Doug Lamborn, Jason Crow, and Brittany Pettersen must join Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer in fighting the oil industries that want to address the increasing power demand by building even more natural gas-burning power plants.

Jeanette Wagner, Westminster

Remembering a once-vibrant downtown

Until the Denver mayor and City Council get a grip on homelessness, downtown is not a safe place to be.

Nothing of interest is there that would draw people. No shopping, all the stores have moved elsewhere. Downtown was once a vibrant place to be: The Denver Dry, Neustetters, Daniel Fishers, May Company, movie theaters, and many smaller retail stores, pianos down 16th Street mall. The fountain on Broadway and Colfax and the reflection pools at the civic center were an asset to our once beautiful  downtown.

A few years ago, Denver government officials were concerned that no one wanted to linger downtown. The answer was too many people were hanging out there, begging for money and the leftover food restaurant-goers were taking home. Quite frankly, it was frightening to go on the mall bus.

You can put lipstick on a pig, and it won’t change the pig. What officials need to do is fix the reason no one is interested in spending time downtown.

Elaine Little, Denver

Growth? “Colorado has reached a saturation point”

Re: ” ‘Colorado is open’ as more housing bills signed into law,” May 14 news story

Another article about additional growth and development in the Denver area. Gov. Jared Polis and Mayor Mike Johnston continue to promote our city and state in anticipation of 1.7 million more people that are projected to move to Colorado by 2050.

The Denver area has already reached a saturation point — with the skyline changing daily and a sea of apartments, condos and homes taking up every corner of the city. News of ADUs everywhere and the use of eminent domain taking over a private farm in Brighton demonstrates a lack of understanding of the importance of limited growth and protecting the quality of life. Colorado has reached a saturation point. We can not support and sustain 1.7 million more people.

June Jones Paulding, Lakewood

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