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Sustainable festivals, potholes, a kind human, and more 

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Keepin' it green

In 2009, as Commonwheel Arts & Crafts Festival coordinator, I put out an email to friends and community members that we wanted to create a more sustainable festival. Two women stepped up and gathered community volunteers to help with sorting waste items that could be composted or recycled.

In 2011, Transition Town Manitou took on coordinating this project. Recently Nicole Nicoletta became a part of that team and then took the idea of sustainable events to MeadowGrass (SimpliCity, May 20). Meanwhile, a couple of other local event organizers have told me they have incorporated recycling at their events because they were inspired by the art festival, which has diverted 60 to 80 percent of waste AWAY from the landfill.

After the first couple of years, so many people asked me about how Commonwheel did this that I wrote a book on the topic. How to Plan a Sustainable Event [available on Amazon and at Commonwheel in Manitou] is filled with ways indoor and outdoor events can divert waste from landfills. It makes it clear that even taking one small step toward sustainable practices can make a difference.

Events are the best way to educate a large number of people about becoming more sustainable in their everyday lives. It is exciting to see other community members who want to make a difference, and having them volunteer is a big step to making an event more sustainable.

It is also time to let our local waste companies know that we need them to handle both recyclable and compostable waste locally, and to let them know we are willing to pay for these services. Both are healthy steps that help to save our planet's resources in many ways, and show respect for the needs of future generations.

— Julia Wright

2015 coordinator, Commonwheel Arts & Crafts Festival

Trading places

This letter is to commend a gentleman who assisted our father in a time of hardship.

As a 91-year-old man, Dad retains a healthy measure of independence and requires very little assistance. He tends well to his house and yard, and still drives his old car to shop for groceries and to take Mother for her weekly hair appointment.

One day last week, Dad prepared a package to mail and, though it was beyond his usual range, decided to take it to the post office for proper handling. He found the parking lot very full, and to his surprise and horror found the lobby overflowing. He found his place at the back of the long line, and much later he had progressed little. Having been on his feet so long, he looked around for a place to sit just for a moment but saw none, and had conjured fears that he would lose his hard-earned spot if he departed.

Ultimately, he had the presence of mind to abandon his quest and to get back to his car before exhaustion took a further toll. Just then a gentleman who was near the front of the line approached him and offered to trade places, and he walked my dad to the front and took his place near the rear. With this kindness, Dad was able to mail his package, retain his dignity, and reaffirm that in every group of people there is at least one kind, considerate, caring person.

Most Dear Sir, we may never know who you are, but we are grateful that you came into our life in a most profound and timely way. I will thank you more thoroughly by promising to be more like you and to encourage others to be as kind.

— Ralph Juarros

Colorado Springs

Antennae up

Regarding the new Pikes Peak Summit House ("Taking it from the top," City Sage, May 27): Could this be a multi-function structure? Being the highest point in the area, I'm sure the telecom folks could use it as a cell phone relay.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service could situate wide-angle digital cameras on the roof for fire watch, and the rest of us enjoy the amenities as we always have.

— Tom Henkel

Colorado Springs

From city spokesperson Kim Melchor: All public input is appreciated as we proceed though the required procedures of the project. A website is currently being established that will allow all of the public to provide thoughts and input during the design process. Visit our project website at bit.ly/1FrVWuv for current information and how to provide comment.

In regards to the requests relating to telecom uses, this would be processed with the U.S. Forest Service for their consideration within their guidelines.

We are looking forward to the community's involvement and support in this project.

Sign me up

Here are some things the tea party folks don't want to think about:

"Big Government" gives us an army, navy, air force; a national highway system, and dams, bridges, and national parks. It gives us food, water, air and medicine inspections, air traffic control, a court system, prisons, postal service, and Social Security, disability benefits, and an enormous number of jobs. It takes a stupendous amount of taxes to pay for all this.

Local government gives us streets, parks, police protection, fire protection, buses, and public utilities such as water and electricity. It provides public schools and courts and jails. And more jobs. Massive taxes are needed to pay for all that.

The "socialist agenda" has historically helped stop official slavery in America and globally; helped give women the vote and better pay; helped invent Social Security, welfare, WIC, Aid to Dependent Children, as well as socialized medicine in Canada and many other nations — including versions of socialized medicine in America known as Medicaid and Medicare. Socialists also backed African-American equal rights, along with the civil rights of Hispanics, indigenous peoples, and homosexuals.

If this is the socialist agenda, where do I sign up?

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Southbound

Since the USA and Cuba have mutually agreed to have closer relations, when can a private citizen hop on a plane, going to Cuba to enjoy beaches and seas which are not crowded with high-rise mega-hotels?

Comrade snow bird, start saving now!

— Brien Whisman

Colorado Springs

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