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Two times in a year, local taxpayers have been hoodwinked or disappointed due to the word "separation."
When we elected the present mayor and City Council, we had high hopes that they would pursue a holistic approach in city government. Perhaps naively, we expected our elected officials to share power in concert for the greater good of the entire community.
It was disappointing to see internal wrangling develop about separation of powers. Instead of separation, turf contention created an adversarial atmosphere, more like a contested divorce.
The other separation was the outrageous severance package ($1 million-plus) given by a venal Memorial Health System board with hubris and abuse of authority. Understandably, Council weighed the potential legal costs and rejected going after the miscreants.
What does the future hold? We know little about ongoing negotiations with University of Colorado Health, except "they are proceeding smoothly."
We have learned Memorial will not merit a seat on the existing UCH board in a lease contract. After all that has happened, serious consideration might be given to:
• charter change to ensure mayor and Council together will have city authority over Memorial;
• creation of a Hospital Authority to protect the continuing vested interest of Springs taxpayers.
— John A. Daly
Come on, my Indy friends, having a margarita contest ("Wastin' away again," cover story, May 23) and not including Señor Manuel? Que pasa?
— Gary Morse
More on Manuel's
To not include Señor Manuel in your search for the "region's most seductive summer drink" is a travesty and beyond. I have personally sampled every exhibit that was presented by the Indy, save for the Crystal Park Cantina, and will swear by Manny's Gold, a 17-ounce marg at $9.50 with Cuervo 1800 and a suitable orange liqueur.
Manuel's Mega Margarita Club (an excellent deal) is at least worth mention in your cavalcade of searches. The entire marg menu with Mika's generous portions, concoctions (and the food!) are exemplary in every way.
I can only attribute this gross error of exclusion to lack of research.
Manuel's is a user-friendly place and one would "do well" to hang there.
— Alan Joseph
I am embarrassed to be a Colorado citizen once again. First U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn's "tar baby" statement, and now Rep. Mike Coffman decries that the president is "just not an American."
We are bombarded with lies. Show me where the president ever said he would keep unemployment under 8 percent. Where has he raised taxes? How will the new health-care law cause people to lose their health care and be forced into government pools? Simply not true.
What is true is that Mitt Romney has flipped on abortion, global warming, Reagan's policies, a no-tax pledge and the stimulus package. Check them out.
Until we can change the way campaigns are paid for, our representatives will spend an inordinate amount of time campaigning and soliciting funds. Elections will not be about the true beliefs of the candidates until the people pay for the elections, because then it's really us they have to convince, without anyone's help. No more surrogates. They will need to be accountable.
If all of the interested and extremely wealthy parties on both sides could no longer buy influence directly, they would provide talented ad people to the campaign and the challenge would be: How can I tell the truth, or skirt the truth, better than anyone else? Each candidate would receive the same amount of money. Anyone could contribute as much as they wanted, tax-deductible, to the campaign fund. We would need a maximum that could be spent. Corporations would contribute to get the tax break and positive press.
The problem is that Congress would have to set this up, unless we can pass a constitutional amendment nationally. The amendment would be that Congress will continue to, annually, provide a system of entirely publicly financed elections. How, would be up to them. Sound like a plan?
— Michael Augenstein
My husband and I visited Jorge's restaurant recently and were shocked to be charged $3 for the chips and salsa. The food wasn't very good, as you said in your article in the Independent ("Mexican't," Appetite, May 23), but what bothered us most was the noise.
There were only three more groups in that big restaurant besides us, and the noise was excruciating (especially if you wear hearing aids). The walls, ceiling and floors are all hard surfaces, and the sound bounces off them. It's nearly impossible to talk and be heard, even if there isn't music playing.
We're glad you can let the public and Jorge know about Jorge's. Hopefully, something can be done to fix the problems. We won't be going back anytime soon.
— Sally McGraw
Help the sufferers
I just wanted to thank y'all for running Judge Gustin L. Reichbach's narrative ("A judge's plea for pot," National View, May 23). A quite thoughtful, well-presented plea to ameliorate, to whatever degree, one of cancer's grimmer faces.
I thought it heartening that he does not lay blame on any state bodies with regard to current laws; he merely points out what has been found to be — to many, many sufferers of a malady that doesn't play favorites — at least a temporary respite.
Well done, Judge Reichbach.
— Gary Chisholm
Let's be honest
The recent comments about President Obama by Rep. Mike Coffman are the real honest feelings of Mr. Coffman and countless other right-wing, ultra-conservative Republicans; and should be taken as his true feelings. He simply continued the discourse of a few months ago by Congressman Doug Lamborn, referring to President Obama as a "tar baby."
Messrs. Coffman and Lamborn are literally and factually expressing how they feel about the president. They are proud of their uncaring, callous, insensitive, selfish, uncompromising, mean-spirited, indifferent, neo-con views and have expressed same.
It is now time for the voters of their districts to confirm their views and whether they want to be represented by those with like opinions. This is the American way — if Secretary of State Scott Gessler will allow them to vote. And given the demographics of their districts, I am sure he will!
— James M. Hesser
Now that we have passed the first-year anniversary of the election of Mayor Steve Bach, we can look back at what we've experienced through our collective past:
• We lived through Reagan's "Morning in America," then his "Shining City Upon a Hill" that he left G.H.W. Bush.
• We saw Clinton's "Bridge to the 21st Century."
• Now we have Bach's "Tycoons in Secret Session."
Cronyism in downtown Colorado Springs? Who could have guessed?
— Larimore Nicholl
Kudos to Clark
As one of Manitou Environmental Citizens Action's founders, I would like to publicly and personally thank our county commissioner, Sallie Clark, for her continued support in restoring Rainbow Falls just west of Manitou Springs off U.S. Highway 24.
After years of neglect and desecration at the hands of graffiti vandals and drug users, the transformation, evident to those who have been involved for many years, shows excellent progress. From the new paths, to the picnic tables and restored overlook, Clark has been there.
For those who haven't visited Rainbow Falls lately, I highly recommend it. Take a picnic lunch and your wading shoes. The more people who visit the area to enjoy it, the sooner El Paso County's citizens can reclaim it as the historic recreation area it was in the early 1900s.
When I first contacted Commissioner Clark years ago about reclaiming and restoring Rainbow Falls, she was both responsive and persevering. There were many disappointing moments along the way, which may have discouraged other citizens or elected officials, but Sallie helped create the detailed master plan and gain county ownership of the property so Rainbow Falls can be restored.
With her experience and connections, Commissioner Clark shepherded this project along, with the help of dozens of nonprofit groups and governmental agencies, getting the right people and agencies to the table. She continues to work with the county, other elected officials and concerned citizens to reclaim this area.
As we look toward the upcoming election for District 3 commissioner, my personal support is for Sallie Clark, who has the experience and has shown that she puts the community first.
— L'Aura Montgomery Williams
Focus on the motive
I hadn't heard about Focus on the Family's proposed amendment until your Noted section ("Focus pulls amendment," May 9) cited its withdrawal. Your wording, "...to prevent government from meddling in the affairs of religious organizations" sounds harmless, but unnecessary, since the First Amendment already protects religions from government interference in rites and beliefs.
However, the Denver Post cites the actual draft language as "government may not directly or indirectly burden a person or organization by withholding benefits, assessing penalties or excluding a person or group from government programs or facilities."
Aha! Government programs. Aye, there's the rub! (And a possible motive.)
Consider the case of the USCCB (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops). They received $19 million from 2006 through 2011 for services for human trafficking victims. Because such victims are often raped or forced into prostitution, the government wanted to provide a full range of medical services, including contraception and abortion referrals. The church adamantly refused, telling its more than 100 subcontractors, many of them not Catholic, that they could not provide those services. In one case, they refused to pay for a gynecological exam because it was done at Planned Parenthood.
An ACLU suit in 2009 (since won) argued that allowing a religious agency to run public policy according to its dogma violated the separation of church and state. Now the Obama administration has decided not to renew the USCCB's contract, asserting that tax money should go only to organizations willing to offer the medical services specified in the contract.
So here we have Focus working on a law that would prevent government from excluding religious groups from government programs. Just think how such a law would give the USCCB and all religious groups access to public (taxpayer) funds which they could use to impose their religious beliefs on all Americans.
— Janet Brazill
Child was right
Hey, everyone out there! What makes you think that Dr. Martin Luther King would be offended by someone who took his words to heart?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
That's what Sean King, the grade-schooler in Falcon District 49, was doing when he wore black face paint as part of a school project. Can't anyone see that?
Read Dr. King's words again.
Apologize to Sean King and give him an A! Good grief!
— Amy Lee Corbin
A common refrain this political season is repeated calls for smaller government. What they are saying is that government is the only thing standing between them and greater profits.
They want to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency so they can pollute the air and water with greater ease, thus making greater profit. Some people think that if a manufacturer puts dangerous chemicals into their products, and it sickens or kills people, consumers will stop buying that product, and the market will have worked.
I have much more faith in my government than the market, which is ruled by unelected, often greedy, scrooges who fight against things like minimum wage for the working poor while raking in many millions every year.
— Max Lowe