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Prayer vigil

KIE MAAS

WATERLOO — On Wednesday, the seventh 40 Days for Life prayer vigil will begin in the Cedar Valley. We pray on the sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood on Melrose Drive in Cedar Falls. We lift up our prayers for the right choices by abortion-minded mothers, for babies in the womb, for those supporting and defending abortion, and for the end to the shedding of innocent blood in the Cedar Valley.

We are there because we love people, born and unborn. We are there to offer help and support to women who are fearful and feel they have no other choice. We pray because God promises to hear our prayers. Prayer can remove mountains in our own life and the lives of others. It has the power that can make the impossible possible.

We will kick off the prayer vigil with a rally Monday. All area pastors and priests are invited to come at 6 p.m. to lead prayer in front of Planned Parenthood. At 6:30 p.m. we will go to Valley Lutheran School to hear Sue Thayer, a former Planned Parenthood director, and receive instructions and information on the vigil. Please join us. Go to 40daysforlife.com/cedar-falls for more information.

Lobbyist editorial

HERMAN LENZ

SUMNER — Thanks to The Courier for the editorial on lobbyists (Sept. 8). If it weren’t for paid professional lobbyists and big money and power hungry officials working for their select laws, we’d be living in a different world. We wouldn’t have that nanny seat belt law, extreme favored status in our laws for police, hunters, animal ag operators and possession laws.

No citizen can spend a million dollars and a lifetime to fight such tyranny, so he/she just pays the penalty. Common citizens didn’t initiate and lobby for the above.

Gender balance

JANE CLOSE

AAUW Butler County Gender Balance Team

ALLISON — Butler County Supervisors have done a commendable job of gender balancing appointments on boards and commissions since enactment of the Gender Balance Law (Chapter 162 69.16A) passed by the Iowa Legislature, effective Jan. 1, 2012. This also would not have been possible without the women who stepped forward and applied for appointments during those six years. Women now serve appointments on all county boards and commissions, which had not formerly been the case. But more women are needed, as they remain in the minority on all boards and commissions.

Why does gender balance matter?

Women are underrepresented in Butler County where the population is slightly more than half female.

Decision-making is an important and visible form of participation in government.

Issues, perspectives and needs of women and men should be equally represented in decision-making processes.

It is important to see women in leadership roles.

Supervisors fill the expired appointments annually, with several to occur at the end of 2017. Application forms can be obtained at the Butler County Courthouse, by phone or on-line. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible in order to be considered.

Endangered wolves

DEBRA WARRENS

WATERLOO — I was outraged when I learned an endangered Mexican gray wolf was killed by federal employees near the Arizona-New Mexico border. I am an animal advocate who advocates for our wolves. Killing our wolves should never be an option.

There is always a solution like relocating them or putting them in a sanctuary, but never kill an endangered Mexican wolf. Now the wild wolf F1577, or “Phoenix” as kids named her, has been killed because a cow who ate twine and died from it was left nearby. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not killed a wolf blamed with depredations for 10 years.

Why slide backward now, when Mexican gray wolves are still critically endangered? Their job is to recover the species, not assist their demise. Every removal of a wolf from the wild negatively impacts the ability of the species to recover. It has now been 40 years since the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service first listed the Mexican gray wolf under the under the Endangered Species Act.

Honor Flight

JEFF FROST

GILBERTVILLE — I had the honor of escorting close to 100 veterans, including my father, on the Cedar Valley’s 19th Honor Flight. Thanks to Craig White, Frank Magsamen and hundreds of volunteers for making this happen. Highlights of the day included an awe-inspiring visit to the Lincoln Memorial, a somber visit to the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery and the stunning Vietnam and Korean Memorials.

With that said, by far the highlight of the day was the amazing reception upon our return to the Waterloo Airport. Hundreds of people from the Cedar Valley, including several dignitaries including Mayor Hart, packed the airport to honor these men and women for their service to our country. It was absolutely remarkable. No words can ever describe that feeling walking through that path of honor. The Cedar Valley is amazing!

Thank you to all who showed up and supported this amazing event. I urge all to continue to support the efforts of organizers of this event to ensure that all veterans have the opportunity to experience what these veterans got to experience. They truly are the bravest of the brave and deserving of all our support. Thank you.

Backfill plan

RON SPEARS

WATERLOO — I knew it! I knew it! The Courier’s page 1 article Sunday (Sept. 17), “Is state backfill money at risk?” raises the specter personal property taxes will be raised to make up for the shortfall in the state budget due to commercial property taxes being cut by Republicans. Business can add a buck or two to its product or service to cover any tax increase. As a homeowner I have no recourse when my taxes are raised.

Branstad made a big deal out of his huge tax cuts, projecting that everyone would benefit. Now the truth. Betting on future growth in income to make up for tax cuts is a huge gamble that seldom, if ever, pays off. It has failed. It has been demonstrated that where taxes are raised prosperity follows, not the other way around.

Republicans are wrong about tax cuts. Now, we the peons of the economy will need once again to support those who are more affluent. Remember this when you vote.

Health care policy

AL CHARLSON

WAVERLY — Iowans need to join in encouraging Senators Ernst and Grassley to take the lead in moving critical aspects of health care policy forward. Two steps need to be taken immediately. The Child Health Insurance Program that operates successfully in Iowa as HAWK-I needs to be re-authorized by Sept. 30. The Graham-Cassidy bill needs to be defeated. It would be irresponsible to “pass the buck” by sending the difficult issues Congress has not resolved at the national level to 50 state legislatures.

Our senators should demonstrate leadership by rolling up their sleeves and engaging in the very difficult but essential task of working with their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to comprehensively overhaul our national health care policy. We look to our representatives in Congress to reflect our core values of work ethic and political courage. These values have seldom been needed more than in this area that impacts all of our lives on a day to day basis.

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