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Park Hill development is a good deal and then some

Park Hill development is a good deal and then some

Re: “A sweetheart deal, just not for Denver taxpayers,” Feb. 26 commentary

Your negative endorsement of the Park Hill Golf Course ballot measure was done in the name of protecting taxpayers. But from what, exactly?

Have taxpayers lost money at Park Hill? After all, it’s privately owned land. Is there a concern that the $2 million that Denver paid for the easement in 1997 somehow won’t be repaid many times over? Or should we believe that the donation of 100 acres of land for new public parks is too meager?

The April 4 election is about new housing, plain and simple. By The Post’s logic, the urgent housing needs of thousands of seniors, teachers, nurses, and working families pale in comparison to the theoretical possibility of squeezing an unknown amount more from the developer.

Everyone in Denver knows that we have an affordable housing crisis, and rejecting Ballot Measure 2O will take away Denver’s best chance to deliver a massive chunk of new housing. It’s a pity the editors have used their voices to make us think otherwise.

Justin Petaccio, Denver

Thank you, Denver Post, for your editorial. The value of the conservation easement is significant, currently unresolved, and needs to be offset by the value of the Westside goody package. We need an independent CPA and an MAI appraiser to assess this offer and continue negotiations with Westside if it doesn’t pencil.

It’s just math. Don’t be scared. Glad The Post isn’t.

Cristin Cochran, Denver

The Denver Post got it half-right: in purely financial terms, this deal stinks for Denver and its taxpayers, and Mayor Michael Hancock and the 11 Council members who voted for it have utterly failed to protect Denverites’ interests.

But The Post fails to address two other key factors that should impel a “no” vote: First, the property is protected by a conservation easement that the city bought for $2 million in 1997 (thanks to Mayor Wellington Webb), which can only be removed by judicial extinguishment for very limited reasons, per state statute. Second, Denver should not lose this opportunity to add a major tract of pristine open space to its limited urban parkland. As others have commented, the city can condemn this land and acquire it for its much-reduced fair market value because of the perpetual conservation easement protecting it.

Joseph Halpern, Denver

Don’t let bad California laws move into Colorado

Re: “Are lawmakers trying to drive businesses out?” Feb. 26 commentary

Krista Kafer’s article mentioned a bumper sticker that said, “Welcome to Colorado. Now go home.” I agree with her that lawmakers in the legislature seem to be trying to send businesses the message not to come to Colorado.

There was another popular bumper sticker back in the 1970s that said, “Don’t Californicate Colorado.” That bumper sticker message applies today. Lawmakers seem to want to bring all of California’s bad laws to Colorado.

William Burns, Lakewood

Advocating for accessibility … and for myself

Re: “Enlightened Accessibility,” Feb. 26 commentary

I was in corporate HR when the ADA was signed into effect in 1990; little did I know that three years later my own body would be covered by that law when it (and, therefore, I) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I say a silent disability because sometimes the effects of the disease, such as vertigo, numbness, and tingling, aren’t visible to others. This prompts well-meaning family/friends to say, “gosh, but you just look so good!”

Meanwhile, as the years have passed, the increasing pain and inability to move make the well-meaning intentions feel more like micro-aggressions against my culture — an individual with a disability. I deeply appreciated the nuances that Regan Linton brought to the discussion about silent disabilities, even as I’m likely facing my own need for adaptive devices in order to continue to live my best life.

As the sole proprietor of a private practice facilitating for animals and their humans, I was grateful for the reminder that even as I navigate my own path, I can raise others up at the same time by continuing to see their path as individual and unique. It’s a window of light that gives me the strength to keep going for others and for myself. Because that’s what matters — advocation for all cultures, including my own.

Lizanne Flynn, Lakewood

There must be a better use of platform than criticizing mask decisions

Re: “The mask mandates did nothing — will any lessons be learned?” Feb. 26 commentary

Of the myriad important issues Bret Stephens could have addressed in his Sunday essay, he chose to dredge up a study criticizing the ineffectiveness of the mask mandate.

As a moderate conservative, he could opine about how to take back his party from the MAGA crowd that now has imbecilic MTG seemingly as the unchecked face and voice in policy for the Republican Party, in particular on defunding support for Ukraine. Reagan must be rolling over in his grave at the prospect of not defending a legitimate democracy that he helped bring about from the immoral and abhorrent Soviet evil empire.

But instead, Stephens writes about how the mask mandates did unbelievable harm to society. In his opinion, the CDC didn’t get it right. Or maybe he didn’t like their approach. Who knows? But I do remember hospitals critically overflowing and conspiracy theories flying and the prospect of following the best science to “do something” was pretty significant. One person suggested we inject bleach and some people tried ingesting it. Stephens didn’t mention that egregious mistake.

Over 1 million fellow citizens died, but wearing masks didn’t kill any of them. Mask mandates as a critical issue pale in comparison to the existential threat the Soviet/Chinese/Iranian troika pose to us in defending the free world and preserving a European democracy.

As a Reagan Republican, Stephens needs to step up on this issue and move on from the masks or provide his solution to the next pandemic.

Tom Sabel, Lakewood

It’s only a matter of time before the next lethal pandemic arrives.  What we learned from Covid is that our public health ‘system’ isn’t a system at all but rather a loose patchwork of disconnected federal, state, and local agencies, Medical School and Hospital physicians and researchers, plus the hodgepodge of opinions from poorly informed politicians and internet ‘experts’ seeking attention.

Clearly, the United States needs a well-organized, accountable federal/state/local public health system that incorporates legitimate medical and research experts from industry, universities, and hospitals. Coordinated research, including vastly improved data collection and processing that is the basis for coherent public health policy and messaging, is needed.

If a rational reorganization is not now underway, it should be. Pandemics always bring fear and uncertainty. If we lack the political maturity to grapple with the very difficult issues of individual freedoms vs. public good (whether about ‘lockdowns’, masks, vaccines or quarantines), we’re in for yet another round of pandemic pandemonium the next time a terrible virus (that doesn’t give a hoot about anyone’s freedom or politics) shows up.

Mark Vary, Broomfield

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