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Peggy Littleton, the national minimum wage, bald eagle deaths, Gaza, and more 

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'Out of her depth'

Thank you Adrian Stanley, for your in-depth reporting on Peggy Littleton!

County commissioners are extremely important — and well-paid — representatives of the people, and yet they are too often overlooked by the media. There are only five commissioners, and the decisions that this group makes have a direct impact on the development of our community, from job growth to infrastructure management.

And from what the Indy reported, it is clear that Peggy Littleton does not have the needs of her constituents in mind.

How could she vote against accepting money to help struggling families in our community? Why did she travel — on our dime — to cozy up with a group that took part in the protests at the Cliven Bundy ranch? Why is she so focused on issues that are far outside her realm of authority, and far from the basic needs of her constituents?

Our county is in desperate need of jobs, businesses, infrastructure repair, entrepreneurs, and the revenue that comes from a healthy economy. What has Peggy done on any of these issues?

Littleton is a clear example of someone who is out of her depth.

— Cathy Kleinsmith

Colorado Springs

Feel-good feels bad

County Commissioner Peggy Littleton has a message for you: You're on your own.

No, I'm not talking about her YOYO campaign, in which she hands out fliers telling adults what to pack in case of an emergency — nearly all information gleaned directly from a Federal Emergency Management Agency website.

I'm talking about what she has done for you while collecting nearly $90,000 a year as an El Paso County commissioner.

As the Indy reported extensively last week, Littleton has spent her political career sponsoring feel-good resolutions and traveling the country to promote a national ideological agenda that has nothing to do with the day-to-day local governing for which she is paid.

And when she has had the opportunity to do good things for our community, she has refused.

Take for example, as Adrian Stanley reported, the vote on accepting federal money for our Workforce Center. Littleton actually voted against accepting nearly $300,000 for positions that would help unemployed job-seekers!

That's right, she voted no to bringing money to our region to help struggling families.

Why? Because while Littleton collects her government paycheck, the rest of us are on our own.

— Micheale Duncan

Colorado Springs

Lose the lead

In the July 9 edition, there was a "Wit" cartoon showing a guy with a gun asking a gun shop owner if he had "organic bullets." Would that it were so ... But there is lead-free ammunition.

Earlier this year, U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff collected 168 dead bald eagles found in a refuge that stretches across Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The eagles were victims of lead poisoning. Eagles feed on piles of internal organs ("gut piles") left behind by hunters preparing deer in the field.

Most hunters are conservation-minded, and if they learn about the effects their lead ammunition has on our nation's national symbol, I believe that they will take the responsibility to switch to non-lead ammunition voluntarily. The USFW study is at tiny.cc/no-lead.

— Peg Rooney

Penrose

What's stopping them?

Holly Sklar states in her article ("Five years, no raise," National View, July 23) that 61 percent of small business owners "strongly support increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10" and "small business owners expect a higher minimum wage to increase consumer purchasing power and help the economy" as well as "reduce employee turnover and boost productivity and customer satisfaction."

Somebody should tell these small business owners that the federal minimum wage law does not establish a maximum wage and they don't need to wait for Congress to pass legislation to increase the minimum wage. They can pay their employees wages higher than the federal minimum wage any time they choose.

— Bill Schaffner

Colorado Springs

Recycle it

Re: "Reducing recycling's mysteries" (Local View, April 23): Waste Management-Recycle America at 602 E. Fourth St. is a self-service recycling center open to the public. The following guidelines pertain only to this DIY recycling center and not to single-stream curbside pickup.

Recycle America takes #1 and #2 plastic, such as detergent or oil containers and molded bubble packaging. Plastic water and soda bottles, even if unmarked with a triangle number, are all basically the same #1 or #2 plastic. You do not have to remove plastic caps because machines remove the caps before baling. You do not have to remove plastic or paper labels from around containers because they will get melted or carbonized.

All types of plastic bags, including shrink wrap, go in the plastic bag bin, but are not currently recycled. All types of cardboard are acceptable, including waxy-lined milk containers and fast food drink cups, which get diverted by optic sorters and recycled.

Phone books have their own bin. Newspapers, magazines, envelopes and office paper, etc., go into another. Aluminum and steel cans, like soda, soup, and vegetable cans, have a bin. It is OK to leave labels attached, but do at least rinse out food residue, as recycled metals may end up in medical applications sensitive to contamination.

Aluminum cans and foil, however, can fetch good cash for a dedicated trip to a metal recycling yard, but call to find who has the best price.

Sort glass by colors into clear, brown, or green. Recycle America does not take Styrofoam. EPS Styrofoam (larger solid blocks with visible pelletization) can be taken to Tegrant (enter at 1100 Garden of the Gods Road) for blowing insulation into refrigeration trucks. Some shipping centers, including Pak Mail on South Nevada Avenue, can recycle packing peanuts, but call first.

— Peter Dunn

Colorado Springs

Palestinian apartheid

In recent letters to the Gazette, Grace Yenne and the Durlands speak for many of us whose hearts cry out for the innocents who are being massacred in Palestine. If your readers would take even a few minutes to research the history of the Palestinians, who were driven from their land and are now living behind walls as in apartheid, they might gain some insight into the suffering which has given rise to the violence of Hamas.

Compassionate and perceptive Jewish people have courageously spoken out for years against the illegal building of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land and against the blockade of Gaza. Their voices are now drowned out by the roaring death machines which our country has financed for the Israelis, who think they can protect themselves by crushing their neighbors. The Israelis must realize they are killing their blood brothers, who follow a different faith but share a common heritage and a common dream of better lives for themselves and for their children.

As I heard from an American missionary couple in the West Bank several years ago, "There will be no security for Israel without justice for Palestine."

— Rose Trigg

Colorado Springs

Just say no, again

It seems that sponsors of Personhood Amendments have more money than they have good sense! Coloradans are being forced yet again (third time now!) to vote on a proposed amendment that would make chattel of women by controlling their life choices.

I'm sure readers have heard all the good arguments against the travesty of Amendment 67 — same as the last two times they tried, when voters shrewdly voted against the idea. So I would like to mention an observation by Sara Robinson, made in the piece "Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control — And Why We'll Still Be Fighting About It 100 Years From Now."

Robinson argues that throughout history, biology condemned women to a role organized around childbearing, which allowed men to benefit, establishing dominance in many areas: "They got full economic and social control over our bodies, our labor, our affections, and our futures. They got to make the rules, name the gods we would worship, and dictate the terms we would live under. In most cultures, they had the right to sex on demand within the marriage, and also to break their marriage vows with impunity — a luxury that would get women banished or killed. As long as pregnancy remained the defining fact of our lives, they got to run the whole show. The world was their party, and they had a fabulous time."

Ah, but then along came the development of "birth control" — an earth-shaking development that for the first time allowed women to control their own lives! This must be really threatening to some men because they continue to stubbornly fight it, at a waste of taxpayers' time and money.

So, once again, people, tell the sponsors of Amendment 67 not only no, but ... Well, you get the idea.

— Janet Brazill

Colorado Springs

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