Lori Winner’s column not on track

I read City Council member Lori Winner's opinion on electric rates in Sunday’s edition of The Pueblo Chieftain.

I have to respectfully disagree with some of the items she presented. The electric rates she quoted gave us no basis to determine how they were calculated. The numbers did not indicate what they were based on. Ms. Winner stated that Black Hills Energy has lowered rates over the last few years. I have the bills in hand that show last year I had four rate increases.

Here is what I know based on my bill: Last month my family used 616 kilowatts of electricity. Black Hills charged us $102.84, or just short of 17 cents a kilowatt hour. The national average for electricity is 12 cents a kilowatt hour (ftc.gov). At the national average, our bill would have been $73.92. That is $28.92 less. Based on just this month, the yearly savings would be $347.04. That's a lot of money for the citizens of Pueblo to save.

I realize that we probably will not lower our rates to the national average, but anything would be a savings.

Another thing to think about is the money for electricity is going to stockholders and corporate executives in Rapid City, S.D. If Pueblo owns the power company, we can buy power on the open market and not be stuck with just Black Hills so lower rates for power could be negotiated, saving the ratepayers money. The money also would stay local. The current employees would be hired and still have jobs.

Please stop comparing this to Boulder. Pueblo isn't Boulder, by any means. The next time you see a full-page ad or something about Black Hills filing a lawsuit, remember, we paid for it.

Melvin Manrose, Pueblo West

Twelve days of lies

For 12 days, while China and Europe reeled from the coronavirus, President Donald Trump called it a hoax, blamed Democrats and the "liberal media" for trying to undermine his presidency, and suppressed expert scientific recommendations. And now it's a national emergency and the U.S. has no face masks, personal protective equipment for health care providers, testing kits or ventilators for people with coronavirus pneumonia. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Trump stood at a microphone.

Peg Rooney, Penrose

A thank you to some folks unseen

I woke up Sunday morning and turned on the lights, shuffled to the kitchen to start the coffee and breakfast. I then sat down and looked at the internet to catch up on what was happening. These mundane activities calm me and give structure to life in these chaotic times. I then thought of the small army of people I have to thank for this moment of calm.

These are the folks who keep the water and natural gas flowing, the electric power on and the internet working. Even as most of us huddle at home, these folks labor unseen, keeping the thin coating of civilization together. Without these utilities, available at the flip of a switch or turn of a knob, life would be much more difficult for most of us.

So along with the doctors, nurses, police and fire personnel, the first responders, don’t forget to thank those who also labor to keep it all together. They too are working to ensure the rest of us are safe, comfortable and informed.

Mike Bentley, Pueblo West