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Madelyn Wynne: Emissions: Solving traffic should be an emissions goal

Our local governments give a lot of “hot air” to emission goals by such and such a date, with glossy long prepared Powerpoint presentations, that our tax dollars pay for. Yet what is done about alleviating standing traffic at intersections or backed-up traffic due to lane closures and blockages?

I experience quite a bit of both as I travel around Boulder — the Diagonal — Longmont. Earlier this fall, the eastbound traffic on the diagonal was backed up from the IBM/Route 52 light to 63rd Street — a distance of several miles. Knowing this is a daily occurrence and has been for years, one would think attention would be given to trying to fix this problem. Let’s not have glossy plans to do construction on the Diagonal that will further constrict the traffic but fix the existing problems. One can only imagine how much exhaust is generated with this and other similar situations.

Why isn’t more work done at night when traffic is light? Foothills southbound every afternoon backs up from the Baseline Road light, solid to at least Colorado Avenue and sometimes to Arapahoe. This has been for years. When are some of these known problem areas going to be fixed to try to keep traffic moving instead of creating more of the same? This is what would help our emission numbers.

Madelyn Wynne, Boulder

Jennifer Louden: Climate: Media must highlight role of fossil fuel industry

As someone who follows local and national news reports far too closely, I am frightened and worried about the recent extreme heat and wildfires raging across the country. I feel for people who lose their lives and livelihoods to extreme weather, including our neighbors who already have, and I’m scared that it’s only a matter of time until it directly hits my family and my town of Longmont.

Seeing headlines in local news outlets covering these climate disasters made me realize that most news stories show zero connection between them and their main cause: fossil fuels. This is dangerous and potentially misleading because most people won’t make the connection that longer, hotter and deadlier summers are caused and perpetuated by the disastrous coal, oil and gas projects — and the fossil fuel industry.

The science is clear — the longer we allow coal, oil and gas companies to dig and burn, the worse the impacts of the climate crisis will be. With every fraction of a degree of warming, we’ll see and suffer more extreme heat, droughts, floods, wildfires and hurricanes. But the fossil fuel industry continues to ignore this truth and has for decades. We all know this is causing global heating, and resulting in extreme weather events, yet they keep digging, burning and profiting, with zero accountability.

Local and regional media have a vital role to play — and a moral obligation to tell the whole truth. It’s time to make one thing about extreme weather very clear: it’s not a “crisis” that just happens to us — it should be a crime and we are the victims and the fossil fuel industry are the perpetrators. And saying it once isn’t enough. The media has an incredibly important job to do to turn the tide of public opinion and help the world avoid the worst of the climate impacts.

Please tell the real story about the climate crisis. Over and over again!

Jennifer Louden, Longmont

Diane Mayer: Medicare: Health care has been replaced by corporate entities

Thank you for the column on Medicare, “Medicare is being threatened with privatization,” by Ron Forthofer. It resonated with my experience, that health care has been lost in this century and replaced by corporate medical entities. These entities get to make super profits by: 1) Having doctors process as many patients per hour as possible, 2) by eliminating humans who could answer phones and reply to questions, 3) by replacing said humans with computers, whose long confusing menus are enough to cause ulcers, and 4) by charging enormous amounts of money, which the government pays. I was recently billed for a short visit to the doctor, who took a blood sample. I saw him for about 10 to 15 minutes. The bill was $2,800. I only saw that because the medical corporation had billed my former, not my current, insurance. I am pretty sure when the correct insurance corporation is billed I will pay nothing.

Diane Mayer, Boulder