Exposing abuse in the Boy Scouts of America
Re: “Victims become vocal,” Aug. 4 news story
We wanted to take a moment and recognize the men who bravely found their voice to say that they had been abused by Boy Scout leaders. Thank you for breaking the silence. The National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect (EndCAN) encourages us all to do the same — break the silence. By uniting our voices, we advance the effort to end child abuse and neglect. We provide support and grace to help other survivors. EndCAN believes it’s time to consider the health, mental health and public health impacts of abuse. The Denver Post article mentioned the depression, addiction and substance abuse that many survivors face. Few know other health issues like obesity, heart disease and more may very well be rooted in child abuse. Your story also had an effect on your community of readers and thus, had a public health impact. EndCAN is just getting started to better understand why. We welcome you to join us.
Lori Poland and Richard Krugman, Denver
Editor’s note: Poland is the EndCAN executive director and Krugman is EndCAN chairman of the board.
Surely the Boy Scouts of America will be gone soon after decades of sexual abuse coverup. As an old Eagle, I shed a tear. We had great canoe trips, learned the constellations and CPR, how to camp in zero-degree temps, and so much more your kid is not going to get from sports or video games. My dad supervised my cooking merit badge — I had to shoot it, butcher it and cook it, a great lesson in the value of sustenance.
The effort that the scoutmaster, other dads and merit badge counselors put in was incredible, and left a legacy of citizenship to us all.
Richard Opler, Parker
I am truly tired of the Boy Scouts again being vilified for what happened decades ago. That issue changed scouting rules in the late 1970s and early ’80s. Today’s Scout troops are very safe for your children. Leaders must have “Youth Protection” training every two years and go through a background check. There are regulations that do not allow any adult ever to be alone with any child. In addition, Scout leaders are also “mandatory reporters” of any kind of suspected child abuse. These stories of sexual abuse from the last century have no connection at all to today’s Scouting. That kind of abuse is just not possible anymore.
Scouting is a necessary addition to educating youths in becoming responsible members of society. Lessons learned here are not taught in schools and churches. Boy Scouts are also involved in many local projects; they clean up the woods, do trail maintenance, sponsor sections of highways, help veterans and the elderly with their living requirements, they do food drives and blood drives, etc. So, instead of bringing up yet another decades-old abuse story every few months, we should support the good things Scouting does for us all.
Clark Pickens, Longmont
As a Boy Scout many years ago, and my father before me, we never witnessed the prolific child abuse that is now coming out. If the Boy Scouts really have this type of problem, isn’t the recent addition of girls to the mix just the thing they need to further stir the pot?
Perhaps one of the problems in this changing nation is the fact that these organizations are becoming a thing of the past. The patriotism and character developed by these programs should not be something we lose when we have no viable replacement.
William F. Hineser, Arvada
Blaming mental illness, guns, illegal immigration …
Why do we keep blaming our mass shooting problem on mental illness? Women and girls have just as high a rate of mental illness but do not engage in this type of behavior. What we have is uncontrolled anger in concert with weapons of mass destruction. Failing to do anything about these types of weapons will only increase the monitoring and surveillance of all of us, eroding our freedoms, slowly but surely.
L. Highland, Morrison
In simple words, it’s not mental health issues that cause gun violence — it’s a culture of anger. It’s time to stop blaming those with mental health issues, and lay blame on those (including our president) who incite and promote anger.
Kathy Derrick, Denver
With the open-carry law in Texas and some of the people packing in Walmart, where was the good guy with a gun to take out the bad guy with a gun? So much for the NRA talking points.
Janet Haagenstad, La Salle
I am willing to talk about reasonable gun control laws. I’ll even set aside what I have to say about the Second Amendment, and turn to the Fourteenth, instead. What have you got that will protect me and mine from rogue law enforcement with high-capacity magazines on their assault weapons (and even armored fighting vehicles — remember Ferguson, Mo.?) equally as vigorously as it protects the rest of society from the tools to resist being deprived of our lives, liberty, and property which we might choose?
Bennett Rutledge, Centennial
Re: “It’s the ‘illegal’ immigration,” Aug. 7 letter to the editor
Letter writer Wes Campbell reminds us that Trump is opposed only to illegal immigration. Trump, and probably Campbell, surely would have been opposed to Rosa Parks’ occupation of a whites-only seat on the bus, because that was also “illegal.” Anyone with an ounce of compassion would decry our criminalization of human beings fleeing gangs, murder and famine.
David Wolf, Lakewood
Improve light rail and buses, improve ridership
Re: “What’s driving RTD’s ridership slide?” Aug. 4 commentary
Vincent Carroll prompted interest last Sunday with his RTD piece. Where I live, light rail should be considerably more successful, if only because our transportation geography incorporates interurban elements. However, no train is likely to come here during this millennium.
People are hurried and harried. While the atmosphere on a train is relaxed, it isn’t necessarily private. The Regional Transportation District originally set up its light-rail system assuming that people would ride buses to the trains, and perhaps even from their train stop to their final destination. Finding parking at train stations is a kind of holy grail. From day one, riders spread around the Mineral Avenue station on Santa Fe Drive seemingly all the way to Provo.
Many people detest buses. They seem crowded and dirty. The things stop seemingly every 50 yards, and an opening door can alter one’s atmosphere for some minutes. Add to that the perception that many riders do nothing to improve the environment, at least in the minds of numerous anxious commuters vexed by noise, odors and objectionable behavior. As for bus rapid transit replacing one street lane on Colfax, ask business owners along Central Avenue (once Route 66) in Albuquerque about that. Can you say “lynch mob?”
Light rail is like any other service. Make it prompt, clean, smooth, affordable and efficient. People will grab it.
Gregory Iwan, Longmont
Policy drives the danger
Re: “The least drivers can do for cyclists who have died recently,” Aug. 1 editorial
You are right. Drivers should not be killing pedestrians and bicyclists with their cars. But that is not the real problem. The real problem is caused by our elected representatives who have created a transportation system strongly favoring the use of cars. Build a superhighway and people will use it. That includes good citizens of the community who are friendly, cautious and courteous behind the wheel. It also includes some motorists who would rather use their vehicles as weapons to kill and injure. Public policy should not favor the needs of motorists over those of pedestrians and bicyclists.
Mark Itkonen, Littleton
Citizens should have say in wolf management
Re: “Wolf spotted in Colorado …” July 11 news story
Colorado needs wolves to restore the state’s natural balance. Yet, without reintroductions by wildlife managers, wolves will never roam the Centennial State in abundance again. Unfortunately, on this topic, our wildlife managers are paralyzed; they need clear direction from their bosses, the voters of Colorado.
Initiative 107 will give our state wildlife managers the green light to reintroduce wolves since wolves will not recolonize on their own (occasional visits to the contrary). The initiative acknowledges the authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission and the General Assembly, the scientific expertise of Parks and Wildlife, and the need for an inclusive process to address concerns of local citizens.
Given that the majority of Coloradans want wolves restored to the vast public lands of western Colorado (a notion that they have supported for more than two decades), using direct democracy to settle the issue is likely the least divisive approach and one that is designed to ensure thoughtful management.
Some folks worry that such a ballot measure allows Front Range voters to force their will onto rural voters. Yet, federal land belongs to all Coloradans. Thus, management of over 70% of western Colorado is a legitimate concern to all voters, not just those living west of the Continental Divide. Finally, note that livestock interests have held sway over wildlife management for over a century. It is past time for the rest of the state’s citizens to have a say in how our public wildlife is managed.
Rob Edward, Louisville
Editor’s note: Edward is president of Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund.
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