Bennet’s record on immigration reform and supporting law enforcement
Re: “Bennet’s plan to address crime falls far short,” Oct. 28 op-ed
John Cooke and David Walcher’s opinion piece misrepresents Sen. Michael Bennet’s record and misleads on crime and the border.
On crime, the authors blur the line between local and federal officials by blaming Bennet, a U.S. Senator, for rising crime and how crimes are prosecuted in Colorado courts, which are not controlled by Congress.
While the authors are rightly concerned about the fentanyl epidemic, they ignore Bennet’s strong record. He fought to stem the tide of fentanyl and opioid abuse by stiffening penalties against opioid manufacturers, improving access to treatment, and providing more resources, including critical equipment, to law enforcement. And he’s secured more money for the DOJ’s COPS program to put thousands more officers on our streets — a 30% increase just this year. That’s the role of a U.S. Senator.
On immigration, Bennet has been a leading voice in Congress, working tirelessly to modernize our system and bring border security into the 21st century. He was part of the Bipartisan Gang of Eight, which wrote the last comprehensive immigration bill that not only provided a pathway to citizenship, but also $40 billion – a record amount of funding – for the border. The bill passed the Senate but was rejected by Republicans in the House.
Today, Bennet continues to fight for immigration reform, in part by advancing smart solutions at the border. Fentanyl is not carried over the border by migrants or traffickers. According to the Cato Institute, over 90% of fentanyl is smuggled through ports of entry by U.S. citizens. Bennet pushes for enhanced technology and upgrading infrastructure at our ports of entry to improve drug detection capabilities, along with additional tools to crack down on cartels. He’s secured more resources and training for Customs and Border Patrol, and he’s held them accountable when they’ve broken the rules.
It is regrettable that anyone would politicize the fentanyl crisis, which has touched so many Coloradans, including my own family. Unlike Joe O’Dea, Michael Bennett doesn’t politicize this epidemic. He gets to work instead.
Joy Athanasiou, Denver
Denver, stop promoting Park Hill development
Does anyone remember the results of the vote of the people that did not want development on that site? Because the Denver Planning Department and developers are proceeding like the vote did not happen.
My guess is that their eagerness to develop is born out of greed and not what is the best use for the land, which is to maintain the “conservation easement “ in perpetuity.
Look around Denver; there are numerous unfilled apartment buildings, and more are being constructed every day. The need for affordable housing can be addressed in many other unique ways. The zoning department can and has built in a requirement that a certain percentage of each development contain permanently affordable housing.
Large parcels of undeveloped land are a priceless commodity, and developing this site will bring unintended consequences that will cost the taxpayers of Denver for schools, libraries, medical facilities, and police and fire protection.
It is questionable that the need for affordable housing will even exist in that area once development starts. Denver City Council, please pay attention to the voters and leave the land undeveloped.
Elaine Little, Denver
Editor’s note: Little is a former Boulder open space trustee.
On October 19, the Denver Planning Board heard Westside Development’s rezoning application and proposed Small Area Plan for the Park Hill Golf Course. The City staff’s repeated assertion that the conservation easement which encumbers the former golf course requires that the land be used only for a golf course and for no other purposes was disturbing, both because it is false and because it made the whole discussion that followed disingenuous.
The granting clause in the conservation easement provides that The George W. Clayton Trust conveys to Denver a “perpetual, non-exclusive conservation easement in gross over and upon the Golf Course Land to maintain the Golf Course Land’s scenic and open condition and to preserve the Golf Course Land for recreational use.” Although other provisions in the easement reference the golf course, the granting clause does not mention a golf course.
If the language in a deed or easement may be considered ambiguous (golf course v. open space), common law rules of construction are clear that the granting clause prevails over any language in the document which may conflict, and if there is an ambiguity, the document must be construed against the grantor (here, Westside Development as successor to the Clayton Trust) and in favor of the grantee (here, Denver). There simply is no justification for the city staff’s position that only a golf course is permitted on the Park Hill Golf Course land.
Wendy J. Harring, Denver
Denver is still allowing infrastructure projects to divide communities
The I-25/Broadway Interchange project at Lincoln St./Ohio Ave. is a relic leftover from Denver’s car-centric past. While other cities are removing infrastructure projects that have divided communities, this project opens previous wounds caused by forced infrastructure projects in this area. Designed in 2007, the project was meant to align with the Gates Rubber Factory’s development goals to be a transit-oriented community that rivals Union Station. The pedestrian-friendly and transit-oriented project goals were clear.
However, fifteen years later, the current designs of the project have missed every single one of its own project goals and are ignoring the original focus; increasing access to RTD’s Broadway Station, multi-modal improvements, safety, and bicycle infrastructure.
I am calling on the DOTI and all City Council members to take action on this project. The design of the project does not reflect the city-wide plans that you have so diligently worked on for a safer, healthier Denver.
If installed as it is currently designed, the project will be a stain left on our city. The project area was once known as the “Gateway to the City.” Wouldn’t the best legacy be to repair the previous decades of harm by turning this intersection into a multimodal connection meant to reconnect our neighborhoods? Let’s convert the area to the walkable neighborhood that it was originally designed to be.
Brittany Spinner, Denver
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