Expanding our perspectives
October 2, 2007
Jeremy Bernstein’s letter (Sept. 28) illustrated perfectly how facts can be cited to distort the main message and how personal perception colors another’s words.
First, though, to his point of 4.16 REMs of radiation: Plutonium produces alpha radiation, not gamma. Alpha rays can be blocked with a piece of paper; alpha particles have essentially no penetration. When Japan was looking to use nuclear energy, in order to explain to a public that only knew nuclear as a killer, a cartoon was used showing the innards of a man drinking plutonium. The cartoon demonstrated how plutonium passed through with food.
In reading Jeremy’s comments, I recognize my caution to council to treat the downtown core as a commercial district and not as a residential district offended him and probably others. I appreciate his opening this door to allow me to better explain my concern.
Because public policy reduced the commercial core substantially over the last 30 years, I became very concerned this summer that the pressure from people who live downtown to reduce noise and activity would further erode the commercial core. In order to be a sustainable and viable town, we really do need to protect the commercial core from further incursions of residential needs.
I live next to the airport. In the summer it can be noisy, and when the wind blows right, we get the smell of jet fuel. But kick me if you catch me in front of council demanding hours of operation be reduced. To have an airport located 10 minutes from downtown is an amazing amenity for Aspen that needs to be protected from me when I am annoyed by a jet waking me up.
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The point of both my letters ” support of nuclear energy and the need for the elected to get away from reactionary government ” is to say: We need to re-examine and expand the scope of our perspectives. The rules and laws passed in response to our fears and frustrations are not improving the overall quality of our lives.