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Your Letters

Do readers have a stockpile of grocery bags under their sink, in their closet or garage, waiting to be used for trash liners, dirty laundry or whatever else? I do, even though I habitually bring my reusable bags to City Market for groceries. Somehow, I still acquire more plastic bags than I need.

I love my reusable bags and have about 30, of which I’ve only purchased one. The others were given to me at stores, events and by family.

At Dandelion Day on May 12 at Sopris Park, kids will have the opportunity to decorate a free reusable bag in the kid’s craft tent. Or people can purchase a reusable grocery bag and support the Gar-Co Sewing Project, which has hired previously unemployed locals to create reusable bags out of recycled materials.

I support the bag ban as an opportunity to modify our behavior for the health of our children and their environment. It’s an easy way to reduce litter, oil-use, endocrine-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. These last additives interfere with the proper functioning of hormones responsible for physical development and fertility. Do we really want this material touching our food?

Some say that reusable bags are germ traps. To that I say, wash them as needed and designate bags for specific purposes.

Be proactive and creative. Realize that the sum of our individual actions add up to a huge impact on the planet. It is estimated that the U.S. population uses 100 billion plastic bags annually and that it requires 12 million barrels of oil to make these.

Alternatives for the secondary uses of disposable plastic bags exist – canvas bags for groceries, bread bags for dog poo, cereal bags for produce, wax paper or reusable bags for school lunches, etc.

Those who need to purchase plastic bags or liners can support green jobs and the planet by purchasing bags with post-consumer, recycled content. Remember, shoppers are already paying for disposable grocery bags at retailers; a hidden cost is built into the price of all products there.

Alyssa Reindel


I would like to respond to the March 28 letters from Carole O’Brien and John McCrae.

First, I would like to apologize for misquoting Sandra Fluke in regard to her congressional hearings. I didn’t have my facts straight, regretfully so.

However my point still remains intact.

How, except in extreme circumstances, is a woman’s contraception the responsibility of the rest of the taxpayers? Furthermore, how is Bill Maher’s extreme use of vulgarity toward a woman considered acceptable and not sexist?

I was accused, by Mr. McCrae, of not treating women in a respectable way. I was only pointing out the hypocrisy of one woman, who, as a law student, is being used as a pawn in social politics.

I believe every citizen of this country deserves equal, unequivocal rights, regardless of nationality, race or creed. We do not need to rely on the government to provide our basic necessities, unless we so choose. Every woman, African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Jew, etc., has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as outlined by the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.

Jim Klein

New Castle

Why is mandating people to carry health insurance different than requiring liability insurance for licensed drivers?

We mandate auto liability insurance so that if you hurt someone you pay via your insurance.

If you get sick or injured and show up in the emergency room, get treated, and then say, “By the way, I don’t have any insurance or any money,” it dumps one’s personal responsibility onto the hospital, doctor, other medical attendants or the government.

Mandating auto liability insurance and mandating health insurance both enforce assuming responsibility for oneself or one’s actions. If this reasoning is fallacious, I would appreciate readers straightening me out.

At present there is no provision in the law for those who rely on alternative means of health care to opt out of the program, but that is another issue.

Rod Savoye

Glenwood Springs

The Supreme Court health care arguments moved into their third and final day on March 28. The last of the four cases was presented by Robert Long, who is the attorney representing the 26 states that are challenging the bill. The last case focuses on whether the law’s proposed Medicaid expansion violates the federal-state partnership.

The court, after hearing arguments of this final case, has heard a total of six hours of argument over three days. Its decision after deliberation is expected in June 2012.

This will be the second time that the Supreme Court has played a vital role in considering a serious monumental decision of political and judicial concern in just over a decade. The court settled the 2000 Gore vs. Bush presidential election on Dec. 12, 2000, by reversing the Florida Supreme Court decision.

The balance on the Supreme Court today is basically the same as then, although Rehnquist and O’Conner are no longer on the court. They have been replaced with Justices Roberts and Alito. This leaves Justices Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas still on the court as the justices who supported the 2000 decision.

The issues brought up in the health care bill arguments were explained by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli representing the federal government’s position. As I listened to this brilliant, knowledgeable man, who at times seem to lack the charisma in answering the challenging questions from some of the justices, I knew that success sometimes hangs not only on knowledge but charismatic presentation. That seems to be a major factor in our society today. Let us hope this is not a factor in our Supreme Court justices’ deliberations.

I enjoyed listening to the arguments that are available on I found the coercion argument especially interesting – that the health care program is so good that states would possibly be coerced into accepting it. For or against it, this is history in the making in our time, America, so take the time to realize it.

Jim Childers

New Castle

Regarding Judy Campbell’s letter of March 28, I’d like to make Ms. Campbell fully aware of the importance of her word choice.

To call patients, myself included, who utilize the services at Planned Parenthood as pro-abortion is wrong. Pro-choice is in no way synonymous with pro-abortion.

It is true that this is an unbearably polarizing issue, and naturally both sides seek to widen that divide. However, this is not merely a semantic issue. To say that people who have selected Planned Parenthood for their health care are pro-abortion is ill-informed and ignorant. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion.

I respect Ms. Campbell’s right to peaceful protest. I couldn’t imagine living in a country where we could be legally sanctioned for doing so. I respect a woman’s right to choose. I couldn’t imagine living in a country where our choices could be made for us.

Kayleigh Gates

Colorado Springs

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