Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Last month’s Childhelp River Bridge event with former Miss America Marilyn Van Derber speaking of her history as a sexually abused child, was the most riveting evening I have ever spent.
I sat in the back row of the packed-to-the-brim Thunder River Theatre and could see everyone.
Nobody moved from the time she began to speak of her father’s abuse, until she asked those in the room to “Please stand if you or someone close to you has been sexually abused.”
Friends around me agreed that more than 75 percent of the audience stood. My heart was pounding the entire time.
The evening was memorable, and Childhelp River Bridge Executive Director Susan Ackerman deserves great accolades for bringing Ms. Van Derber to help our community recognize this unspoken horror. I do hope she will return to speak to new audiences.
Last Friday we got a rude awakening.
Do you know there’s a city ordinance against any yard sale or real estate signs on any city property or roadway right of way, readily enforced on Friday but not on Saturday and Sunday? But we took our signs down. You should have seen the amount of signs Saturday, Sunday and still there Monday.
I’m opposed to signs taped up or on boxes, not taken down or picked up, it’s ugly. I’m in favor of old retired people, poor folks, citizens in general, being able to liquidate maybe a life’s collection for money they need via the all American yard sale. Especially in hard times.
Is the city that spends millions on bike paths not intelligent enough to expend the same amount regulating as they do enforcing? Yard sales or biking? Entertainment for whom?
A paper ad won’t do it. It’s a good idea that all yard sales have a city permit, for say a paltry $5 fee and give you, say, 10 bright-colored stickers for your signs. These stickers make you legal to put up signs and identify who you are. Then, should you not remove them by 5 p.m. the last day of your event permit, you’re fined $50. This generates city income for stickers and fines but allows poor folks to gain from their yard sale and punishes those whose mommy didn’t teach them to clean up their own mess.
It’s simpler than having officers ticket poor folks who take their signs down and allows folks to earn money they need. Then, when a citation is written, it’s deserved, the city’s cleaner. Simple? Pays for itself, adds money for maybe a community cause (Kiwanis Park?).
Common sense: Punish those who deserve to be punished and not the entire citizenry. Few spoil it for the many.
The response to my letter about the Bush torture “policy” as a dissembling word game says, straight up, that torture is good to safeguard the country. At least the respondent didn’t try to nuance what is and isn’t torture. A curious view, though, given the current absence of evidence of the usefulness of torture except as a “feel good” exercise.
Torture is an ends-justify-means tactic that ultimately failed totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and the Khmer Rouge. Democracies like ours have laws and treaties that criminalize the use of torture. But our government has fallen into ends-justifying-means before in time of crisis.
During World War II, in a crisis more severe than we currently face, our government (FDR) infamously interred thousands of loyal Japanese Americans to quell fears of espionage and insurgency. Then Colorado Gov. Ralph Carr, and history, judged that program to be both illegal, as in depriving those citizens of their constitutional rights, and immoral, as in just plain wrong. Anticipating the likely rejoinder, yes, loyal citizens are not threats like the terrorists we now face. So the respondent’s “policy” might be to just round up the sheep but to torture the wolves. A reprehensible distinction.
But the respondent may have a point: “Do we care?” – Rule of law or rule of fear and revenge? Do you care? I bet even most conservatives don’t endorse using torture. The death penalty, perhaps, but not torture. At least I hope so.
As to the orientation of the view I expressed, the letter was written by me, not by a collective of “you liberals.” I am an unaffiliated voter, having recently left the Republican Party after many years because of its fiscal mismanagement on the national level and its allegiance to the religious right. And because too many of its leaders and rank-and-file members think that questioning the conduct of a past president and his officials about the discharge of their duties is somehow unpatriotic. But “liberal” must be in the eye of the beholder, so Sen. McCain and I are both liberals.
It is not reasonable for Betty Scranton to talk about forced abortions in the same article as the murder of Dr. Tiller in Kansas. No women were forced to abort their babies at Dr. Tiller’s clinic.
Nor is the womb a “room,” unless it’s a room in intensive care.
Voices with the wisdom of age (fired in the crucible of parenthood) are obligated, particularly in this discussion, to state opinions without hyperbole and stick to the facts.
If you truly believe in “life or nothing,” take care to keep your [voice] finger off the trigger of emotion that killed Dr. Tiller and continue to work toward the ideal world where all babies are healthy and wanted.
I would like to just let you know we are disappointed that you are not delivering your newspaper past Catherine Store. I always picked one up at the El Jebel City Market daily as we prefer actually “seeing” the newspaper versus reading bits and pieces online. I hope you will reconsider delivering in the Basalt area as we are closer to Glenwood Springs and do most of our shopping, dining out, etc., in your town and seeing the ads is certainly beneficial to the merchants that advertise in your paper. Some members in my family do not use the computer so they are disappointed they will no longer see your paper. Thanks for listening.
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Yamilet Vazquez goes by “Yami” for short, and used her senior capstone project to give survivors of sexual abuse a voice.