Judy Lubow

A great rail system is economic win-win

Judy Lubow – Candidate for RTD District 1

The people in the Denver metro area — especially the northern communities — want rail. The most recent Boulder County Issues Survey shows that 66 percent of Boulder County residents still want the voter-approved FasTracks rail, with Longmont providing a whooping 74 percent approval.

I also emphatically want rail service. That is why I’m running for the RTD Board of Directors. As a retired EPA attorney specializing in air pollution from automobile use, I am very aware of the harm that heavy auto traffic causes to our health and environment. In addition, as a long-term commuter from Boulder County to Lakewood and Denver, I have personally experienced the need for reducing automobile congestion. With the state’s population expected to increase along with automotive use, we must create a more effective transit system to take some car traffic off the road.

With so much public approval, why aren’t the northern RTD communities getting our FasTracks rail? The failure stems from a combination of unexpected problems plus an unfortunate lack of RTD management oversight and vision. The problems include declining sales tax revenues for FasTracks due to the 2008 recession, and the fact that the real costs for northern sector use of the Burlington Northern rail lines turned out to be several times greater than originally estimated. Another factor is the RTD philosophy of building as much rail as quickly as possible. This sounds wonderful but has the unintended side effect of leaving those areas with higher costs and problems — such as the north — to be shunted aside while the other areas are hustled along.

So what now? Should we just accept the situation and leave things as they are, so that rail will not come to Longmont until 2044, the latest RTD projection? On the contrary, I think we must make a firm resolve to turn the situation around and get the rail and great mass transit that we deserve in a much more timely fashion. I believe our solutions must come from thinking and acting differently than before, so we will get better results.

I propose that, instead of fighting each other over competing visions of mass transit, the northern communities must come together to forge an effective consensus about the mass transit we should have for our region. With one voice, we should then reach out to our federal and state representatives — and to RTD — to demand real assistance in fulfilling this vision in a reasonable time frame. A great rail system — supported by effective Bus Rapid Transit and other improvements — will be an economic win-win not only for our northern communities, but also for the entire State of Colorado. What’s more, it’s only fair, since the voters in the north are paying for our rail and we should get it.

Please join me in obtaining the rail and other mass transit improvements that Northern Colorado needs. I ask you to support my candidacy for the RTD Board.

Judy Lubow is a Longmont resident and a retired EPA attorney who is running for the RTD Board of Directors from District I.

SEC – The Watchdog De-fanged

Judy Lubow for Planet Warning

The United States and the world are still struggling with the economic wreckage from the 2008 financial meltdown. That meltdown was largely precipitated by the reckless financial practices perpetrated by the big Wall Street firms.

Given this history, it seems very strange that the very government agency supposed to control Wall Street abuses is, itself, under attack. The Securities and Exchange Commission has had its 2012 budget request slashed by over 220 million by the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee. This, just when the SEC needs as much funding as it can get to try to implement the financial reforms passed by the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform act. Hmmm, this sure looks like another example of the GOP talking the talk of tough reform while walking the walk of continued coziness with Wall Street.

You can learn more about under funding of the SEC by going to the website thisisnotadrillradio.org.

Oceans in Distress

Judy Lubow for Planet Warning

Our beautiful ocean covers 71% of the earth’s surface and, in the United States alone, one out of every six jobs is marine-related. Yet, human activity is destroying this essential resource. This, according to a report prepared by scientists of the International Programme on the State of the Ocean.

According to Alex Rogers, the scientific director of the International Programme, the findings are shocking. Scientists discovered that the negative changes in the ocean from climate change and other human-caused stressors are occurring at a faster rate than previously thought. These changes include the melting of the polar ice sheets, the rise in sea level, the release of sea bed methane, etc. In addition, the scientists unexpectedly discovered that the synergistic impact from the combination of these individual negative effects, is now also causing increased threat to marine life. In other words, we’re creating an inter-connected soup of destruction for ocean life arising from an unholy combination of our individual negative activities.

If you’d like to learn more about the distressed state of the ocean, and to access organizations addressing ocean health, you can go to the website: thisisnotadrillradio.org.

Dark Consequences

Judy Lubow for Planet Warning

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China is a poster child for the spectacular Chinese economic expansion. The Dam cost over $25 billion dollars to construct, displaced 1.4 million people from their homes, and is the largest hydroelectric project in the world. But, it now turns out that the Dam also showcases the dark side of China’s economic boom – the environmental and human destruction in its wake.

China is experiencing its worst drought in over half a century. According to newspaper reports, many Chinese now acknowledge that the dam has contributed to the negative impacts of the drought, for example, by promoting unsustainable use of water to create electricity instead of to protect agriculture, ecosystems and drinking water. Even more alarming is the widespread fear among many Chinese residents and some scientists, that the dam’s reservoir itself may be part of the drought’s cause, through acting as a huge heat-reflector, lowering humidity over the entire region. Once again, we humans are learning that while man may propose, the earth always gets to laugh last.

To learn more about the Three Gorges Dam and the Chinese drought, you can go to the website: thisisnotadrillradio.org.

Whistleblowers Swaying in the Wind

Judy Lubow for Planet Warning

Thomas Drake, registered Republican, air force veteran, and former senior management official at the National Security Agency, has been indicted by the Obama Administration under the Espionage Act, on charges that carry the possibility of 35 years in prison. He’s not a spy, and no one is claiming he is – so what’s up?

This case is a very draconian attempt by the Obama Administration to punish government officials who leak embarrassing information to the press. According to the New Yorker Magazine article detailing the case, Drake denies that any of the information he provided was classified. Instead, it was evidence of fraud, enormous waste, management dysfunction and legal improprieties of NSA’s eavesdropping data gathering programs. Drake claims he repeatedly complained to management about these problems, but was ignored. The reporter who received the information created an award winning series of newspaper articles exposing the NSA.

The people at NSA, private industry and higher echelons of the Bush Administration who were involved with the waste and legal improprieties, are getting off scot-free, while the whistleblower is facing years in federal prison. Go figure!

If you want to learn more about the Drake whistleblower case, as well as access organizations addressing whistleblower issues, you can to the website: This is not a drill radio.org.

Asthma Epidemic

Judy Lubow for Planet Warning

Asthma is not a fun condition to have. It’s a lifelong disease that causes breathlessness, wheezing, coughing – and sometimes even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, asthma afflicts more and more people every year in the US. In 1970, the CDC estimates that only 3% of the US population had asthma. In 2009, that percentage was up to 8.2%, with some 25,000,000 sufferers nationwide. Although asthma prevalence has increased for all groups of Americans studied, this disease is effecting the most vulnerable of our population most severely. Among black children, 17% had the disease in 2009 – amounting to nearly a 50% increase since 2001.

The CDC does not know why asthma is increasing so much, although some theories target allergens, exhaust fumes, pesticides, or plastics. One thing we do know is that President Obama’s budget proposes huge cuts in funding to the National Asthma Control Program, the federal health care program targeting asthma. Once again, it’s the poor and sick that bear the burden of government budget cuts.

If you’d like to learn more about asthma in the United States, and to access organizations addressing the disease, you can go to the website thisisnotadrillradio.org.

Gardner Demonstration Success

Another successful demonstration!

On Thursday evening, May 19th, Judy Lubow and I went to the Plaza Hotel where there was a Republican fundraiser featuring Cory Gardner. There were also 9 or 10 people from Ft. Collins and one man from Thornton. Yes, it was raining. Some of the suits showing up for the Gardner fundraiser seemed upset; maybe because they couldn’t park next to the door, or maybe because they couldn’t show off their Gucci sunglasses. We could spot the Gardner donors a mile away.

We Longmont folks made some contacts with the other protestors and told them about 723. No, we didn’t tell the Republican supporters, just the demonstrators. In spite of the rain, the protestors had a rousing good time. Lots of signs and lots of good cheer.

GardnerPath had an article about how Gardner is ‘in hiding.’

Malthus Unleashed

Judy Lubow for Planet Warning

According to the United Nation’s latest estimate of projected population growth, world population could reach 10.1 billion people by the end of this century.  That can’t be good news – already, one in seven people around the world do not have enough food to eat.

It’s not as if the ways to control human population growth are unknown.  Increasing the economic and social status of women consistently results in lower birthrates. And studies have shown that well-designed programs to make family planning information and services available are the most cost effective way to lower birthrates.  But what are we actually doing in the face of this population explosion?  According to the New York Times, the US is the biggest donor of international family planning aid, but in the budget compromise reached by Congress in April, international family planning programs were cut by 5%.

If you’d like to learn more about population growth projections, and to access organizations addressing the population challenge, you can go to the website  thisisnotadrillradio.org.

Drug Money Bankers

Judy Lubow for Planet Warning

The international banking system is awash in laundered drug money. According to Martin Woods, former London director of Wachovia’s anti-money laundering unit, it is the laundering of money by international banks that actually finances the tragic drug murders in Mexico. Yet no one in the American banking system is going to jail for this murder-promoting activity. Bloomberg Markets Magazine reveals that, in spite of rampant abuse, no big US bank has ever been indicted for violating federal anti-money laundering laws. Instead, respected US financial institutions, such as Wachovia-Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Western Union, have merely settled multiple criminal charges against them by paying essentially inconsequential fines and making unfulfilled promises – to do better next time.

And, according to Antonio Maria Costa, the former head of the UN’s office on drugs and crime, some of the big banks might even have used the laundered drug money as a means to rescue themselves during the 2008 banking system meltdown. Apparently, to some big US banks, money is money – even if its covered in blood.

To learn more about the financial system’s laundering of drug money, as well as to access organizations fighting corporate abuse, you can go to the website thisisnotadrillradio.org.

The Rich Are Getting Richer

From This is Not a Drill Radio Productions

Planet Warning two-minute MP3 series

The Rich Are Getting Richer

(created in 2010)

[quicktime width=”400″ height=”50″]http://www.freerangelongmont.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/richgettingricher.mp3[/quicktime]

While the middle class in the US is struggling to survive, the rich keep getting richer.

Sources

Ocean Acidification

Called global warming’s evil twin, ocean acidification is another pathway by which excess carbon emissions are destructively impacting the earth.

[quicktime width=”400″ height=”50″]http://www.thisisnotadrillradio.com/assets/audio/oceanacidification.mp3[/quicktime]

Sources

Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

A study of US tax cuts over the past half century reveal that the benefits went to the wealthy.

[quicktime width=”400″ height=”50″]http://www.thisisnotadrillradio.com/assets/audio/taxcuts.mp3[/quicktime]

Sources

Geologic Conference

A scientific conference held in London, England studies the effect of climate  change on the geology of the earth.

[quicktime width=”400″ height=”50″]http://www.thisisnotadrillradio.com/assets/audio/geoconference.mp3[/quicktime]

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