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Rights of landowners and ditch companies; profile SAFE; publish COVID-19 data daily; urgent message on climate; hire another good editor

Bob Poley: Property rights: Landowners, ditch companies and property rights

Regarding “Great and powerful ditch companies,” printed April 23: Carrie Dalton says she has no control over the ditch that crosses her property. She bought her real estate nine years ago.

The Boulder County ditches were formed between 1859 and 1872. Thus, the ditch through her property was formed 141 or more years before she bought her property.

The ditch is a form of real estate owned by the shareholders of the ditch company. Throughout the US and Western countries, property rights stood tall. The rights of the ditch company were in place 141 years before Ms. Dalton bought her home. She owns the property through which the ditch runs, but not the ditch.

The property laws protecting ditch rights are the same property laws that protect her rights to her home. The ditch rights are not independent of all governmental agencies, just as their property rights are not.

The man said he was going to clean out the ditch. It is unlawful for the ditch company to dispose of old trees on their property.

As soon as practicable the ditch company would have properly disposed of the old trees. If the ditch man did put the old trees on Ms.Dalton’s property (outside the ditch easement), the sheriff or the city police on request would have ordered the ditch company to remove the old trees.

The man told Ms. Dalton that the ditch easement is 50 feet wide. That is probably true.

There is no “handshake” in the laws, and they are not archaic. The Legislature is responsible for amending laws to be responsive to current conditions.

But Ms. Dalton’s property rights are firm.

So are the ditch company’s property rights.

Bob Poley

Farmers Ditch shareholder


Sean Collins: Reddit post: Daily Camera should profile SAFE

In an April 13 Camera story, an organization called SAFE — Safe Access for Everyone — alleged that a Reddit user was actually a University of Colorado police officer.

This was ostensibly “proved” because of a photo that was posted to the account. The elaborate smear campaign against this officer is cartoonish in its sophistication.

Now this officer is on leave, his online reputation permanently deformed, and he may have to resign and relocate for his own safety. Certainly the harassment campaign has only just begun.

This is all because of unfounded allegations. There has been no due process. This officer has had no opportunity to face his accuser or respond to accusations.

And who is SAFE, and what is their agenda? Their Twitter account is full of anarchist, anti-capitalist, anti-cop rage. Some might call it hate.

Some recall how they mocked fallen Boulder police officer Eric Talley a year ago, when others might mourned him as a hero.

Individuals from SAFE hand out free tents so people can camp downtown. They claim it’s out of compassion for those less fortunate. But when community members are harassed or threatened while walking past these tent sites, or get their bikes stolen, or object to the disastrous trashing of public spaces? No compassion. If anything they are mocked as entitled NIMBYs.

If the Daily Camera is going to cite SAFE as a legitimate organization that seeks to better the community, they should do a proper profile, using members’ real names, and objectively examining the group’s methods and goals. Scratch beneath the surface one inch.

Instead, the camera naively allows an anonymous fringe group to dictate its news content.



Laura Ferenc: COVID-19: Return to publishing data daily

The Boulder Daily Camera is neglecting to alert us to the rising danger of COVID-19 transmission in our community.

Immunocompromised, cancer survivors and other vulnerable individuals rely on accurate public health information as they make daily life-or-death decisions.

The camera has not included COVID data since early March. Your recent news articles have likewise ignored the current state of COVID transmission.

The Boulder County Public Health website on April 20 showed a case rate of 130 per 100,000 for the seven days up to April 19, very high, per the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The one-week incidence map on the CDPHE website agrees, putting Boulder County in very high transmission for COVID.

I urge you to restart publishing COVID data daily — especially now with the county in very high transmission. A news article highlighting high and climbing transmission would be even better.

Laura Ferenc


Johann Robbins: Wynn Bruce: Climate crisis message is an urgent one

I knew Wynn Bruce. He was a frequent volunteer at our local Ecodharma Center, where I am a teacher and leader, and sat in many meditation retreats there.

Wynn was a loving and enthusiastic person who did not act or speak in any way to indicate he was suicidal. He never asked about or discussed his plan, so there was no way for anyone to anticipate or intercede in his action, which we would have tried to stop in any way possible.

Wynn was deeply frustrated by the overall insufficient response to the climate crisis, and he made a choice that I do not understand or condone.

Having done what he did, I can only hope it helps wake us up to the gradual self-immolation we are all participating in as a society.

The climate crisis is a fact we are increasingly reaping the consequences of everywhere on a daily basis. In Boulder (all over the West) our “fire season” is now 12 months a year, and is probably going to get worse.

The sadness I feel with losing Wynn is only amplified by the urgency of the message he was trying to convey.

John Robbins


Barrie Hartman: Opinion editor: Do it again, Al — hire another good editor

Julie Marshall’s departure as the Camera’s Opinion Editor is a blow.

But give Camera Publisher Al Manzi a round of applause for naming Julie to the post a year ago. He obviously knows what it takes to put out a respected and trusted opinion section.

Let’s hope he works his magic once again and can land an editor with the kind of passion, compassion, sense of fairness and clarity of observation and persuasion that Julie provided.

Why this is so important is because Boulder is not just Any Town, USA; it is Unique Town, USA, and deserves a hometown newspaper that brings to life the difference.

Happy hunting, Mr. Publisher.

Barrie Hartman


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