Be more sensitive
(Re: “Nationwide sting recovers more than 100 trafficked children, 9 in Denver,” News, Aug. 1.) Great news! The FBI task force may recover a record number of juvenile victims of sex trafficking this year. Women and girls (and sometimes boys and men) are stolen, kidnapped, tortured and enslaved in the sex trade all over the world. In some countries, even babies are trafficked. Thailand specializes in sex tours, and most of the trade is in underage girls. The situation is getting worse, not better.
Turn two pages in the same issue with this article and there is an ad for cars with a teenage girl wearing provocative underwear and a look of sexual ecstasy on her young face. She is not selling sex. She is selling cars.
As long as the media accepts and promotes advertising of this nature, men with money will want to buy a car and maybe get a teenage girl in with the deal. This ad insults women. Your newspaper should be more sensitive to this shameful global problem. Connect the dots. Advertising that uses sex to sell refrigerators, cars, cigarettes, alcohol and just about everything else will continue to help the sex trade flourish.
Nice teahouse investigation
(Re: “Disinformation,” News, Aug. 8.) There’s a “book” in this one!
Kudos to the Boulder Weekly and its astute and dogged environmental journalism!
These small-newspaper journalists have exposed a string of events, and decisions, and interfaces that, together, mirror thousands upon thousands of varied scenarios, worldwide, in which derelict gasworks have been folded into, or rolled into, regrettable situations of potential health-risk exposure to the public, and done so with public funds.
Clearly, EPA Region VIII is clean on this one, and Ms. Smith’s description of the circumstantial fall-out of Superfund NPL “Nifrapping” should be strongly heeded.
Now ... where’s the gasworks dump? Try looking northwest, directly across 13th Street, some fifty yards away, below the lawn, in City (Central) Park, likely another “gift horse” with rotten teeth.
Allen Hatheway/Rolla, Mo.
Walmart piece inaccurate
(Re: “How dare D.C. demand fair wages from Walmart?” The Highroad, Aug. 1.) Mr. Hightower’s letter does not accurately describe D.C.’s Large Retailer Accountability Act and misinforms readers about the wages and opportunities available at Walmart.
The LRAA creates an unlevel playing field by imposing arbitrary costs on a handful of businesses while exempting most others. This is an opinion echoed by editorial boards at The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, New York Post, Washington Times, The Financial Times, The Economist and the Washington Business Journal, just to name a few.
Our associates are 1.3 million strong and they achieve incredible things every single day — for our customers and in their own lives. We provide a range of jobs — from people starting out stocking shelves to Ph.D.s in engineering and finance. We provide education assistance and skill training and, most of all, a chance to move up in the ranks. We promoted 160,000 people last year to positions with more responsibility and higher pay.
At Walmart, we’re confident in the competitive nature of our wages. In fact, our compensation meets or exceeds what is offered by most competitors, including unionized grocers. Most of our workforce is full-time, and in the nearby state of Virginia, our average, hourly full-time wage is $12.39/hour. About 75 percent of our store management teams started as hourly associates, and they earn between $50,000 and $170,000 a year.
We are proud of what our workers achieve and the opportunities we provide.
And we urge Mayor [Vincent] Gray to veto the LRAA, as it runs counter to every economic development platform his administration has identified as a priority for Washington D.C.
Steven Restivo, senior director of communications at Walmart/Bentonville, Ark.
No secret ballots
The central issue of the case regarding recent recall elections in Center, currently before the Colorado Supreme Court, boils down to the meaning of “secret ballot” and a specific section of the state’s Constitution.
The words of Article VII, Section 8 of the Colorado Constitution could not be any plainer — “no ballots shall be marked in any way whereby the ballot can be identified as the ballot of the person casting it.” This language contains no exceptions. No exception that election officials may mark ballots with unique identifiers for convenience or any other reason. It is plain to anyone who is not trying to get around the law or the will of the people: No ballot may be marked, by anyone, in a fashion that would allow anyone to identify the voter who cast the ballot.
From our perspective, Mr. Maurice Jones and Citizen Center, the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, side with us voters, while the opponents and their allies generally are out for themselves.
Opponents contend that Mr. Jones and Citizen Center are offering an extreme interpretation of our state’s Constitution to prohibit election workers from learning of a voter’s identity, even inadvertently. Not true. Election officials and political party insiders, who could directly benefit from knowing how people vote, are the ones promoting an extreme and contrived interpretation of the Colorado Constitution.
Based upon their court filings, those with a potentially vested interest in identifying voters’ ballots and using the information obtained claim the wording above should be re-interpreted to mean the Constitution only prohibits public access to ballots marked in identifiable fashion. In other words, it’s OK for them to know how you voted as long as they don’t disclose it to the public. This re-interpretation is obviously contrary to the Constitution’s plain meaning. Yet many government officials and insiders are trying to persuade the Colorado Supreme Court to change the meaning of “secret” ballot to “confidential” ballot.
Election officials’ marking ballots with unique identifiers (such as serial numbers and barcodes) left in place during the processing and counting of votes are intentional acts violating our constitutional right to a secret ballot.
If you do not want government officials and election workers learning how you vote, please tell them what “secret ballot” means to you right away. Locate the contact information for your county clerk at http://bit.ly/cncZF2. You can reach the Secretary of State’s office via phone: 303-894-2200 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send a note of support and thanks to Mr. Jones and Citizen Center via email: Marilyn@ TheCitizenCenter.org.
Lu Busse and Richard Rosenbaum/ Larkspur
Help fire victims
The Boulder Municipal Employees Association, BMEA, is organizing a rummage sale to benefit the Colorado forest-fire victims in the Colorado Springs area. We all know that these fires were devastating to our fellow Colorado citizens, as well as to the environment. BMEA has a long history of helping local nonprofits and individuals. Now, the BMEA Executive Board has chosen to extend that help to the fire victims.
The rummage sale will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 , from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce St. All proceeds from the rummage sale will go to the Pikes Peak Community Fund.
BMEA is asking the community to support this effort by donating gently used items for the rummage sale, and by shopping with us on Sept. 28.
To donate, please contact Liz at 303-444-0125 or at email@example.com.
Dick Shahan/via Internet