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Tuned out

Bill Forman's reporting on the state of local broadcast ("Dead air," cover story, July 16) highlights the devastating effects that the economic downturn is having on a once-thriving industry. Just as important, however, is the subsequent loss of "community" when programming turns national. When local voices are fired or replaced due to economic conditions with cheaper syndicated programming to fill air time, a void is created in the local community.

Last week, Clear Channel Broadcasting announced a simulcast syndication agreement that "re-broadcasts" Denver radio station KJFX (FM 103.5) on Colorado Springs/Pueblo frequency KDZA (FM 107.9).

What kind of local programming and service to the community is that? What incentive (other than the obvious advantage of selling ads to a larger audience) does Clear Channel have to serve the Pikes Peak region with any local programming; programming that may assist in creating community? And though these changes involve primarily entertainment programming, the effects of not having local voices (like KPHT's Buzz Corona) is a slap in the face to the communities they serve.

Prior to deregulation of the broadcast industry in 1987, the Federal Communications Commission went to great lengths to ensure each local community would be well-served by the corporations awarded broadcast licenses.

Any re-think of broadcast regulation should include an investigation as to how the public is currently served by broadcast entities, and what commitment these corporations even have to local communities.

Even with deregulation, it is still the public's airwaves. And without local broadcast, the public loses.

— Bill Huddy

Castle Rock

Damage control

Regarding "What about Palin?" (Letters, July 16), I was impressed with Duane Slocum's labeling. His diatribe starts with Bush/Cheney haters, socialized medicine lovers, anti-capitalists, Israel-bashers and socialist-leaning big government, then ends with special-interest spenders. Did he leave anyone out? I had a good laugh reading it.

No doubt he has been very happy during the eight years preceding the Obama administration, when the rest of us were miserable. While the Republicans were in charge of the legislative, executive and judicial branches, I could see the pendulum was going to swing back the other way. I am enjoying myself, Duane, why aren't you?

Ideally no one party should dominate the government. I've seen what the extremes of one-party rule cause, and I hope we eventually come back to a more centrist form of government. The train wreck happened before the current administration. Now they are just trying to clean up the mess.

— Robert Sloan

Colorado Springs

It's a right

Let's say you are a hard-working American, at the same job three or four years. You pay your bills on time and attend church on Sunday. You get laid off. You lose company health insurance. You pick up COBRA coverage but it's costing 10 to 20 times what you were paying. You shop for a better policy but your daughter's pre-existing asthma won't be covered. You hang on and pay the COBRA. Savings is gone so you opt for the cheaper insurance. Asthma attack! One ER visit and you lose your house. Bankrupt.

Universal health care won't ask doctors to work for free. If the government sets regulations regarding allowable costs for procedures, it would be right in line with current insurance company practices. Doctors agree to accept insurance payments knowing full well that insurance companies set the allowable cost.

Our capitalistic economic system is not perfect. Our republic is not perfect. Humanity is not perfect. Our systems and our people are evolving and, hopefully, maturing. You can have a democratic republic and still embrace socialistic programs and make them successful. A program or two does not an economic system make. Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, all are socialistic in concept.

Health care is a right. I also believe eating is a right, and drinking clean water, and sleeping safely in your bed. This great nation holds itself up as a model of human potential and achievement. I believe our founding fathers who declared "In God We Trust" were putting their trust in a God who, through all the major religious beliefs has, in one form or other, declared we should "love our neighbors as ourselves."

— Michael Augenstein

Colorado Springs


Robin Hood on drugs?

Larimore Nicholl ("Robin Hood revisited," Letters, July 2) explained the typical far-left belief that we have serious problems and someone (else) should do something about it.

According to Larimore's analysis, there are two halves to this country: good and generous people who really care about the world but don't make as much as they feel they should (who must not be taxed), and evil people arbitrarily defined as "excessively rich" (who must be taxed). Larimore exclaims: "Who would this hurt?" Unfortunately, I think we are well on our way to finding out.

As expected, the Obama administration has quickly migrated to where entrepreneurs, physicians, executives and anyone else they can arbitrarily define as "wealthy" will bear the entire burden of paying for liberal entitlements. The problem with this approach is that these are the very people who create jobs, quality medical care and economic growth in this country.

If we systematically destroy any incentive they may have to work hard, they will eventually give up and join the growing numbers who contribute nothing and quietly wait for their next entitlement.

Much of the world lives on less than $3 per day, and many are starving to death. If we let these people draw the line for who is "excessively rich," you might have to give up your SUV and Starbucks and actually make an individual contribution to society rather than expecting everyone else to do it for you.

In the words of Margaret Thatcher, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend" — and when you run out, how will you continue to fund your generosity? Jesus did indeed say to help the poor — but he never said only to people above a certain income level.

— David W. Gardner

Colorado Springs

Tax and punishment

Mr. Larimore Nicholl never saw a tax he didn't like. It is a form of punishment for those bad rich people and corporations.

First, corporations don't pay taxes. Consumers of products pay those taxes. Secondly, luxury taxes hiked under Presidents Carter and Reagan put a serious damper on purchasing boats and private airplanes. Companies making said items saw losses in orders and laid off many of the proletariat who fed their families, bought houses and cars, and were an integral part of the economy. When luxury tax hikes were repealed, the orders returned and people were put back to work.

Cause and effect. The estate, or inheritance (death) tax punishes those whose loved ones have died.

I will vote for higher taxes such as the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, when politicians present their case with concise details about costs, necessary expenses and how money will be used. This is reasonable and the whole purpose of TABOR.

When taxes are put into the general discretionary fund, they disappear with no accounting. That is wrong and what I strongly oppose. Look at how our monies are misspent on education, roads, and the ever-expanding bureaucracy of all forms of government at all levels.

People from all over the world come here to better themselves. This is not wrong. Work hard and save. And pray the state doesn't intervene.

Mr. Nicholl: Give as much as you want out of your funds; leave mine alone. The state is not here to provide everything for everyone. It is our job to care for each other by our own shared humanity and morality, but not by the law of the state should it be forced. John Galt lives.

— Mitchell Andrews

Colorado Springs

Control issue

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated in a recent New York Times article: "I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion."

Who are the people that we do not want too many of? Namely the poor. Thus, for Ginsburg, abortion was to prevent the poor from populating the country. Since when did being born poor result in a capital crime?

Abortion for Ginsburg has nothing to do with choice. It has to do with population control of the poor. This is astounding. Finally someone from the pro-abortion side has acknowledged the true goal of abortion. They wish to abolish poverty in this country by aborting the poor. Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) and Adolf Hitler would be proud.

— Fr. Bill Carmody

Colorado Springs

FREX frustration

When I read Councilman Jerry Heimlicher's Quote of the Week in the July 2 Independent, I just had to shake my head.

"If that's the way they want it," he said, "we're going to just keep cutting. People are basically saying they just don't really give a damn."

I've written before about the horrific waste of taxpayer money on Front Range Express (FREX) with its trips to downtown Denver via Front Range commuter bus. With light rail, it is no longer necessary to ride all the way to downtown Denver; buses only need to go to Arapahoe Park and Ride. Commuters can then use light rail. This change could save about $100,000 per year, depending on the cost of diesel fuel.

When I brought this to Heimlicher and newly elected Councilman Bernie Herpin, Herpin said I was just a "complainer." No, I'm a resident who gives a damn about all those eliminated city bus routes. The average income of a FREX rider is high. Many have nice SUVs but use FREX so they don't have to spend their large paychecks gassing up their expensive vehicles. Springs taxpayers also pay for those who live in Monument and Castle Rock.

The average rider on the local city bus line is right about poverty level. Most ride the bus because they can't afford cars. The eliminated bus routes were how poor Springs residents would get to work, or did.

Our city leaders have caused many living in poverty, who cannot afford vehicles, who work here, to lose their jobs, yet they continue to drop off the high-income employees of Denver firms at their office doorsteps.

— Michael McMahon

Colorado Springs


A listing last week printed incorrect dates for the 27th annual Mountain Music Festival in Manitou Springs. The correct dates are Aug. 21-23. The Independent regrets the error.

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