Letters: Harbeck-Bergheim house; the broken student loan industry; Eco-Cycle‘s woke message

Rishi Raj: Create a jewel for us all at the Harbeck-Bergheim house

The community wishes the Harbeck-Bergheim house to serve our mojo of culture, community and historic preservation. The vision is grand — a historic house where community and preservation come together in a dynamic interaction. The prospect is exciting. I can feel it in my bones. It will lead to programs and initiatives that can we cannot even imagine. Good ideas begin in meetings, formal and informal, where people come together as equals and are given freedom to think and act. The Harbeck-Bergheim house will provide that breeding ground — because it is so calming, elegant yet simple, with a rich history, sitting within a park overlooking the Flatirons. The venue makes a difference.

There is a palpable desire in the community to make it all work, because we believe that we, including Parks and Recreation, will get back much more than we put into it. Let us all make it happen. Let us jump in with a genuine hope that this time we shall succeed in creating a jewel for all of us, which will endure. Let us believe that ideas that grow from the grass roots have a magical power.

Yes, where will the money come from? There are many avenues, community contributions, grants and awards, a collaboration between the citizens and the government. We must remain frugal and vigilant; in my experience money follows good ideas. We will count the beans, one at a time.

Let us wish ourselves luck, joy, and joyful work together in this collective.

Rishi Raj

Boulder

Logan Turner: A solution to a broken student loan industry

Like many Coloradans, I am a first-generation college student. I entered college with $22,000 in scholarships and a full-time paid internship. Less than one year later, I am just shy of $40,000 in student loan debt. Regularly, my loan servicer sends me inaccurate and misleading emails. Sometimes, these emails come three times a day, and sometimes I hear nothing for two weeks followed by a sudden email — notifying me that there were urgent changes to my loan terms or that my enrollment status had changed. Each time I receive one of these fear-inducing emails, I log into my account only to find nothing has changed, my account is fine. Loan servicers are out of hand, and they are contributing to the student loan crisis by making it harder for students to navigate the process.

Loan servicers like CornerStone and Navient, have a monopoly on millions of student loans, yet are less regulated than every other type of consumer loan industry. No one is holding them accountable to fair and transparent practices, and Coloradans deserve better. Unlike servicers for mortgages and credit cards, student loan servicers don‘t have to follow the rules that determine their interactions with consumers. I need clear legislation that allows the Colorado attorney general to enforce regulation on these servicers. I need to have an entity to report to the next time I receive a misleading email.

Thankfully, the Colorado Legislature is taking the lead on introducing legislation to our state, aimed at licensing loan servicers and protecting students. Senate Bill 002 provides a solution to a broken industry by providing greater state-mandated oversight for the servicers that hurt borrowers. Take action on SB19-002 by calling your representatives today to let them know that you support student loan servicer accountability.

Logan Turner

Boulder

John Diggory: Eco-Cycle message is not Orwellian if it‘s woke

Eco-Cycle Neighborhood Watch is here. For a meeting, an Eco-Cycle rep brought to our residential community a complete stranger who brightly proclaimed, “I know more about the recycling in this building than anyone, because I live next door and my window overlooks your dumpsters,” and proceeded to read from her notes on our recycling sins. This stranger was identified as a helpful “volunteer observer,” so apparently Eco-Cycle gave a busybody a badge. No binoculars (I asked). Check your dumpsters for large placards, folks: “EcoWatch Monitors Needed! If You Can Read This Unaided, Call Eco-Cycle.”

It‘s not Orwellian if it‘s woke. Or-woke-ian, maybe.

The Eco-Rep was there to lecture us on the six kinds of plastic and the Four Recyclables, etc., and drop a stack of their incoherent new 24-page “Zero Waste Guide,” a wild farrago (maybe 5% information) of blazing graphics, chirpy cartoon characters, and dense paragraphs of breathless rhetoric (“There is a ripple effect behind every material we accept!”) that is sure to be discarded by the people who need it most. Unfortunately, it‘s not compostable. Guess the ol‘ “Zero Waste Guide” will require one last trip to the landfill after it‘s done its job. From then on EcoWatch should keep us all in compliance, or else!

John Diggory

Boulder

Tobias Tenenbaum: Whale population may never recover

Camera readers are sure to want to know about and help respond to the current threat of extinction for an endangered whale population in the North Atlantic.

Part of the formerly teeming marine population in the Atlantic, the smallish right whale has dwindled to a population of about 100 females. With its usual indifference towards the fate of wildlife, the Trump administration has given five companies the green light to use seismic air gun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean, to search for oil and gas deposits beneath the ocean floor. Blasting will affect whales‘ ability to hear, to protect their young and to communicate with each other. All are key to their survival; mothers‘ lifesaving calls to her young will be drowned out; an already vulnerable whale population will be stressed; females are likely to be prevented from having successful pregnancies or caring for their young. The right whales‘ dwindling population may never recover. Blasting will harm many other forms of sea life.

If readers want to help, they should Oceana, a well-respected nonprofit dedicated to the health of our seas and their inhabitants. Phone.

Tobias Tenenbaum

Boulder