Norm Shroll made wrong assertions in his letter of Dec. 3. Mitt Romney lost the election all by himself. Here are some facts to counter the assertions that appeared in Mr. Shroll's letter claiming voter fraud.
False assertion: President Obama won in every state that has no voter ID requirements and lost in every one that doesn't. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (www.ncsl.org), Florida, Hawaii, Michigan and New Hampshire all require photo ID. Obama won all four. Other states he won require ID but allow some non-photo IDs.
False assertion: St. Lucie County, Fla., had more ballots cast than registered voters. St. Lucie County has 175,554 register voters. Its election report does say "247,383 cards cast," but the website explains that each voter got two cards because of state amendments, and some mail-in voters didn't return the second page. The results also say that Obama got 65,869, Romney got 56,202 and total votes cast for president was 123,301.
This county received extra scrutiny from the Republican-controlled Florida Secretary of State's office because of a partial recount demanded by Alan West, who narrowly lost his bid for re-election there. Check it out at http://slcelections.com.
False assertion: Wood County, Ohio, had more ballots cast than registered voters. According to the official results, Wood County has 108,014 registered voters and 64,342 ballots were cast. Obama got 32,802, Romney got 29,704 and total votes for president was 64,059. Precinct results are available.
There are no precincts where Obama got 100 percent or where Romney got less than 20 percent. The most lopsided result was in a precinct in a college town, where Obama got 75.5 percent and Romney got 22.7 percent. Data is from the Wood County Board of Elections (www.co.wood.oh.us/boe).
Vague assertions about voting machines casting ballots the wrong way and vans full of people voting in precinct after precinct are easy to make. They can't be taken seriously without specific information. This is a special kind of propaganda called FUD: Fear, uncertainty and doubt.
I don't believe in the pervasive Democratic voter fraud fairy. Readers shouldn't either. The data don't support it.
St. Paul preached it, Mother Teresa practiced it, our family has it toward our aging mom and dad and others. I'm talking about compassion. There are more people out there, too numerous to list who practice it, but you get the picture.
My point in pointing this out is that if you have more compassion, or faith in the goodness of mankind, you would have less fear, and not be inclined into thinking you have to have a gun, other than for hunting.
Let's stop the needless killing. Fear begets fear.
Just a short note to pet owners to keep a close eye on toy breeds, which are popular with thieves for resale around the holiday season. A few small breeds have come up suspiciously missing, with one being returned for a $500 reward. I also suggest microchipping your pet.
I was encouraged reading the heartfelt letters from Pat Dalrymlple and Patty Haenny on Dec. 1 regarding the homeless individuals panhandling at the intersection of Highways 82 and 133.
The perpetuating problem in this county is the lack of compassion, not the individual extending their hand or those who chose to partake in a random act of kindness.
The time has come to take action on local homelessness and we should do so with innovation, tact, humility and sincerity at the forefront. We must come together to share ideas and concerns to determine an effective way to address the challenge.
I guarantee that by skipping the Garfield County Air Show every other year, we could do a lot for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in our communities. I would hope the financial leaders of our county would agree. Moving forward, we need to make better decisions with such large portions of the county's funds.
Why not use our existing resources, vacant space and land to create a pet-friendly pilot project to see if we can make something happen? A project is needed that can stand the test of time, rather than implementing simple measures that only displace the homeless by deterring begging from a certain location. Otherwise, in two more years when it becomes an issue elsewhere in the community, we will find ourselves addressing it again.
Homeless and at-risk centers that offer integrated services and sustainable projects for resale foster long-term and farm more social capital, economic worth and environmental responsibility to our county than a one-day-a-year air show. More investments in health and human services will establish a community built on trust and cooperation, working toward restoring humanity in a collaborative way.
The power of the community-based approach was evident on Dec. 3 when the Post Independent highlighted CARE's new solar array. Congratulations CARE, you truly deserve it. Thanks are in order to those who made it happen. Folks like those at CARE make me proud to live in this community.
As the year comes to a close, I find the Carbondale Council for Arts and Humanities (CCAH) in a bittersweet position. We have had an amazing year of community involvement, arts education, great progress in outreach to our Latino community, Carbondale's win of the 2012 Governor's Arts Award, and a growing gallery and wonderful collaborations. Unfortunately, like any business, when you don't make the bottom line, action must be taken.
At CCAH we depend on memberships, grants, earned income and donations to be able to do what we do. For the first time in my work with this organization, we will not meet our budget.
Due to this reality, the CCAH Board made the painful decision to cut our education and programming position held by Ro Mead. Ms. Mead has been a huge part of CCAH since 2005 and my dear friend and colleague. She helped start First Fridays and was instrumental in the growth of the Carbondale Public Arts Commission. She was also instrumental in CCAH moving to the Third Street Center.
One of Ms. Mead's big dreams was to engage, in a deeper way, our Latino community and, with the help of the Valley Settlement Project, she began to fulfill her dream. Arts education at CCAH was expanded by her dedication.
Ro Mead is a visionary, artist, friend and a strong part of our Carbondale community. She is part of our CCAH history and I will miss our daily talks.
So what does this mean for CCAH? I promise we will continue our vital programs and outreach. We are committed to Ro's vision, as it is a shared vision. We will need to depend on volunteers, our teachers, schools and organizations to make this happen, but it will happen.
I personally, and I think I speak for many in this community, want to thank Ro Mead for all her hard work.
Amy Kimberly, Executive Director
Carbondale Council for Arts and Humanities
A 10-year-old student waiting for a school bus in Michigan avoided being kidnapped by knowing what to do when a man in a pickup truck tried to lure him with candy. He backed away, but the man grabbed him and tried to get him in the truck just as the bus came. When the bus appeared, the man got in the truck and roared away. Not an uncommon scenario so far.
The young man met with officers. He furnished a physical description of the man, the tattoos on his hand and arms and a certain style of shirt. He told officers the truck did not have a license plate, what color it was and that it had red printing on the right side rocker panel. One important detail he provided was that there were new two-by-four boards in the truck bed.
The location of the attempt was near a Home Depot. Cameras showed the man the boy described purchasing the products. Authorities now are looking for the suspect, who is sure to be identified by the boy.
This boy is the grandson of Lisa Colaizzi of Battlement Mesa and great-grandson of the undersigned. We are so happy with the outcome of this near tragedy.
We hope telling this story will alert students to refuse offers of candy, money, to find a lost dog, etc., and to observe details even though they are frightened.
Jack E. Blankenship