Robert Porath: This is capitalism run amok

Donald Trump, his cabinet coterie of thugs and robber barons, his White Nationalist cult following, and Congressional Republican go-alongs regard themselves the true face of America. It is not a pretty picture, and, sadly, to a degree it is true. Up until the Civil War, the wealth of the nation was largely built on slavery in the South and immigrant sweatshop labor in the North. Exploitation of human and natural resources has long held sway in the American economy and the resulting class hierarchy based on the power of money has created the increasingly disparate distribution of wealth we see today. This is capitalism run amok and it is destroying the American dream. One can call those trying to rein in the excesses of wealth socialists, but they are the people in reality trying to make America a nation of ideals benefitting more than an elite few.

Robert Porath


Short-term rentals

Keith Mann: Illegal AirBnB rentals everywhere

There are huge numbers of illegal AirBnB rentals all over town. And that’s a big part of the lack of affordable homes.

A friend of mine is coming into town so I checked AirBnB for her, and was totally shocked at the number of fragrantly illegal rentals all over town.

Short-term rentals can only be done by an owner-resident, the rental must be their full-time principle residence. Click the filter “entire place” and most of the available AirBnBs are advertised as entire place with an absentee owner — illegal. In several AirBnBs the owner specifically states they live out of state.  It is amazing how many of these rentals do not have a rental license. And of the ones that have a rental license, many blatantly advertise an absentee owner.

If you check this yourself, remember you are only seeing the available units. For example, next week Boulder is already 87% booked up. So for every illegal rental you see, there are nine  illegal rentals already booked.

And that is just AirBnB. Over the last year, I have noticed a constant daily stream of short-term tourists walking from the apartments behind the south library to the Table Mesa King Soopers. There has to be a huge number of short-term rentals in that apartment complex —  but it does not show up in AirBnB listings. So this huge number of rentals is being advertised on some other platform than AirBnB. Same situation with the townhome complex on Colorado across from the research park. Huge numbers of obvious short-term tourists, no listing on AirBnB.

Just guessing, I’d bet there are several thousands illegal short-term rentals in Boulder. And that is obviously contributing to the lack of affordable housing. They are also not paying taxes either.

Keith Mann,



Adam Horn: Time to ban single-use bags in Colorado

Cash or card? Typically, this is a question we face at cash registers in grocery stores or gas stations, not as a question of diet choice. Most Americans are involuntary taking the card option as a meal each week. Every week, the average American ingests about a credit card’s worth of microplastics and about 70,000 total microplastics over the course of year. Delicious, right? This is the result of approximately 7.6 billion tons of plastic that have been produced and not recycled since the 1950s. Some plastics that have been labelled biodegradable are actually more harmful because they break down into these microplastics that we accidentally ingest.

As a headwater state, our plastic waste finds its way all the way to our oceans. It is imperative that our state leaders take action to stop plastic pollution. I ask that Rep. Singer and Sen. Foote support a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags as well as polystyrene (Styrofoam) foam cups and containers. Let’s reclaim the phrase “eating trash” as a reference to binging junk food.

Adam Horn,



John R. Rohner: No right to say ‘go back to where you came from’

The only people in this country who can justify telling someone else to “go back where you came from” are the Native Americans.

John R. Rohner,



Wes LeMasurier: Rain gear is essential

It has been over a week since your two articles on “Essentials for hikers” were published, and the lack of response from all the outdoorsmen/women in this town forces me to write my first-ever letter to the editor. The omission of adequate rain gear from the list needs to be addressed and corrected, especially for those climbing 14ers, or just hiking above treeline. Experienced hikers know that storms develop quickly at these altitudes, and temperatures drop abruptly as soon as cloud cover develops, e.g. from T-shirt weather in the 70s to temperatures in the 40s. Add intense hail, sleet or rain and you have all the conditions for hypothermia if one lacks adequate protection. I and my geologist friends, who hike and work outdoors frequently, never take our ponchos, rain pants, etc., out of our packs. Folks who are new to this area, and to the hazards of the high-altitude environment, need to be warned of the hazard of hypothermia and advised to prepare for it. I see many warnings about lightning, which is another serious hazard, but I seldom (never?) see warnings about hypothermia. I hope this letter is helpful and taken seriously.

Wes LeMasurier,


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