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Your letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I feel compelled to respond to a letter written by Curt Hanson of Parachute. In his letter he stated that Congress is exempt from paying into Social Security. This is not correct. The congressional pension system for Congress and Federal Employees changed in 1984. Federal employees and members of Congress hired in 1984 are covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System. Under the Federal Employees Retirement System, they are subject to social security withholdings. The percentage of withholdings is 6.2 percent of their earnings up to the maximum taxable wage base. For 2010, the maximum taxable wage base is $106,800.00. They also contribute a small portion of their base salary to FERS retirement. The portion for FERS retirement is .8 percent. In addition, Federal Employees and members of Congress pay into Medicare. The withholding for Medicare is 1.45 percent of their pay. All wages are subject to the deduction for Medicare.

Withholding for employees working in private industry are the same as Federal Employees and members of Congress. They also contribute 6.2 percent for Social Security up to the maximum taxable wage base of $106,800.00 and 1.45 percent for Medicare (no limit on the amount of earned income that is subject to the Medicare tax).

This is a common misconception among the public and I feel it needs to be clarified.

Debbie Evans

Silt

For most Americans, the word apartheid brings to mind the ruling white minority’s dominance and oppression of the majority black population in South Africa, which was characterized by segregation and racial inequality. Blacks were denied their basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, and the right to peaceful assembly.

Due in part to international pressure which included boycott and sanctions, apartheid in South Africa was brought to an end. But today the same system exists in Israeli-occupied Palestine, where the majority Arab population, both Christian and Muslim, are segregated from the ruling Jewish minority.

Like the blacks of South Africa, Palestinians are denied the right to a nationality, freedom of movement and residence, and peaceful assembly. Their peaceful anti-apartheid demonstrations are met with violent military action and arrests. In the West Bank, they’re evicted from their homes which are bulldozed and replaced by Jewish only neighborhoods that are walled off and serviced by roads accessible only to Israelis. The walls, roads and Jewish neighborhoods cut the Palestinians off from their families, farms, jobs, schools, and hospitals. In addition, Palestinian neighborhoods receive inferior public services and significantly less water than Jewish neighborhoods.

Apartheid is a crime against humanity which the world will no longer tolerate. Starting March 1, the 6th International Israeli Apartheid Week takes place in more than 40 cities around the world. Israeli Apartheid Week features a series of events to educate people about Israel’s apartheid system and build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns designed to bring an end to their occupation of Palestine.

To learn more, visit the Apartheid Week website, see the American Friends Service Committee website’s short video “Israel-Palestine: A Land in Fragments” and read President Jimmy Carter’s book; “Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid.”

Sue Gray

Carbondale

I would like to apologize for all the mistakes made in Scott Maynard’s obituary posted in the paper on Feb. 17, 18 and 19.

Glenna Lusk

Rifle

Can you imagine a more incompetent, unprincipled, corrupt and wretched assemblage of advisors, appointees, czar’s, associates and confidants than those that surround and support this President? I cannot!

I know, I know! … you are visualizing Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd, Schumer and so on but … at this time anyway, I’m not talking about Senators or Representatives!

Americans understand!

Art Hougland

Glenwood Springs

In your article concerning the Grand Avenue Pedestrian bridge you failed to give a reason for the repair. I use the bridge most every day and fail to see the need for this repair. It was resurfaced two years ago and looks to be in good shape.

In looking at the underside I don’t see anything glaring. The only flaws I see are the condition of the aluminum ramp leading to the bridge and the anti-pigeon nets that quit working several weeks after installation.

Closing the pedestrian bridge for two months will have a devastating impact on the downtown, which is on life support. I would hope the city can find a better use for our money than destroying the remaining businesses downtown.

Gregory Durrett

Glenwood Springs

An open letter to Battlement Mesa residents:

What does the future hold for Battlement Mesa? Do YOU care? The Battlement Concerned Citizens (BCC) care!

The BCC is a grassroots group of your friends and neighbors working hard, on behalf of all residents of Battlement Mesa, to address the many adverse impacts that oil and gas development in our community may pose on our lives.

Presently, we are focused on the proposed Antero drilling plan for 200 natural gas wells in Battlement Mesa, and how to mitigate the impacts to the community if it goes forward.

We have made significant progress regarding health and safety issues; with Garfield County agreeing to perform a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) and subsequent Health Study in cooperation with the Colorado School of Public Health, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Grand River Hospital District. The HIA will be a valuable tool for use by all regulatory agencies involved in the permitting process of oil and gas development in residential areas.

The natural gas industry is hazardous, and our community deserves additional levels of protection if multiple wells are to be developed here. The BCC is taking a leadership role in protecting the health, safety, welfare and property values of the residents of Battlement Mesa. We are involved, on an ongoing basis, with various local, state, and federal government agencies, to promote responsible development of oil and gas in our area and to hold the industry accountable to the people of Battlement Mesa.

If you share our concerns please get involved, stay informed! Don’t sit idly by, thinking there is nothing you can do. Join with the Battlement Concerned Citizens, and together we can be effective in keeping Battlement Mesa a desirable place to live.

For more information, or to join our email distribution list contact: Ron Galterio, 285-0243, mrgalterio@aol.com or Dave Devanney, 285-2263, dgdevanney@comcast.net

Ron Galterio

Co-Chair

Battlement Concerned Citizens


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