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Stop the robocalls
It must be true that you have to be crazy to run for office; otherwise, why would politicians or wannabe pols authorize robocalls? My mind is reeling from the endless, morning-to-night, weekends-included robocalls from the usual suspects and also from candidates and organizations whose names are totally unknown to me, not to mention the so-called political surveys. I just got the sixth one today and it isn't even noon!
The fact that this endless and mindless harassment continues to be legal suggests something very self-serving (surprise!) about our government officials and why political calls are excepted from the other nuisance calls.
If our lawmakers want to preserve this process so they can use it when their next terms come up, they are not only crazy but stupid — these recorded "messages" do nothing but annoy and irritate the recipients. Hope that you idiots (and you know who you are) didn't waste all your ill-gotten campaign funds on your tasteless recordings. I may have to have my phone disconnected until November.
— Geraldine Russell
City Council had a golden opportunity to show that this new government is not afraid to think outside the box and move in a progressive, forward manner with its discussion of FREX's future. Council basically had three options:
The easiest would be business as usual, continuing to finance FREX without any changes. The second easiest would be to eliminate FREX. The third option would be to continue FREX to the end of the year, but put in effect a major change and see how it works for ridership and economic efficiency.
Council took the easiest solution: keep FREX running as is.
What a disappointment. It shouts loud and clear that this new government and Council will effect no change in this city that has been decimated by extreme right-wing Christian conservatism. It has not seen any growth in industry or businesses except for Focus on the Family and a city government that allows James Dobson and Will Perkins to affect policy. The city also has developed an extremely unfriendly face to any progressive, forward-moving businesses.
So they will take this vote to Mayor Bach with absolutely nothing to give him. They are asking him to continue a wasteful, inefficient service. Why would he do that?
The third option would have been to continue FREX to the end of the year, but certainly not business as usual. The third option could have been what they should have done years ago: continue the service, but stop going to downtown Denver; instead go to the Arapahoe Park-and-Ride and turn around. Arapahoe is the first major hub of the RTD system and riders could then take the light rail or bus service to their final destination. Simple, lean and efficient!
What a shame.
— Michael McMahon
Consolidate the power
In a statement regarding the proposed Memorial Health System lease agreement on June 8, Mayor Bach commented: "It will be important that there is joint City Council/Mayor oversight of this plan."
In my last letter ("Separation anxiety," May 30) I wrote that citizens hoped for "a holistic approach in city government" and that elected officials would "share power in concert for the greater good of the community." That tracks with the mayor's comment.
I am all in favor of Mayor Bach and Council taking back the delegated authority and abused virtual autonomy from Memorial Health System. At the same time, perhaps authority and oversight of Utilities should be restored to Mayor/Council.
If it takes a charter amendment to effect these ends, let's put that request for changes on the ballot Aug. 28 with the Memorial lease. Two birds with one stone would be a good outcome.
— John A. Daly
Health care for heroes
Our family has watched the High Park Fire with particular interest because our brother, John Lauer, is on the Tatanka Hotshot crew battling the flames. We haven't heard from him since June 7 and likely won't hear from him until June 21, when his two weeks of 16-hour days have ended. He will have a short two-day respite and be sent off to battle fire again. This is the life of a Hotshot firefighter from May through October.
These people are heroes — since 2000, 182 have been lost, including three this fire season. In communities across America they protect people's lives and most cherished possessions, but once the fires have abated, their sacrifices fade from memory.
When these men and women return to their families they face a different struggle: the possibility that a health emergency could strike, leaving them financially paralyzed. The U.S. Forest Service does not allow them to buy into the federal worker's health insurance plan — their hours are capped at exactly one less than required for permanent status, even as they work thousands of overtime hours and 90 percent of them return each season, making a career out of it.
John put up with this injustice for six seasons until a friend and fellow Hotshot firefighter had a child born prematurely, racking up a $70,000 hospital bill. Seeing his friend's struggle, John decided to take action.
He created a petition on Change.org asking President Obama to right this wrong, but since he is currently battling the High Park Fire we've made the fight our own. Please join us by signing the pledge at change.org/firefighters and by sharing on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/hotshothealthcare and @hotshotf.
— Emily and Sarah Lauer
May I add to the letter written by Tim Davis ("Accent marked," June 6)? The owners of Jorge's restaurant obviously do not care about Spanish grammar. They are another example of how most Americans speak English today.
There are too many people who don't care how they sound, or they wouldn't be saying: Her (or him) and I went to the movies. It don't matter. I seen her do it. He ain't no dummy. There was many kinds of food at the picnic. Between you and I. I drug her to the doctor. I'm nauseous (Really? You are telling me that you are sickening or disgusting?), Me and Bobby McGee are best friends.
The other day I heard a woman say to her child: "You carry it. I don't have no pockets."
However, the all-time best was a Doherty High School student to a teacher: "Where's the library?" Teacher: You don't know where the library is? Student: "No, I ain't never went there."
You get the point, I hope. We all can see (if we take the time to think about it) that America in many ways has become a country of people who don't care. Sloppy grammar is an indication.
Ironically, I've noticed many people are actually proud of their poor grammar. The way we speak says volumes about us as individuals and as a nation.
— Jan Zeis
What has Robert Blaha been doing when nobody was watching?
On a local radio program Blaha stated he shoots an AR-15 rifle, has his own private shooting range and concealed carry. When asked if he was or has ever been a member of the National Rifle Association, he said no. A few weeks later he joined the NRA and said the "only" reason he joined was to show he was "totally a gun supporter."
He obviously does not understand or care how important the NRA has been in defending his rights. When asked at the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition meeting what he thought of the Heller Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment, he said he thought it was a bad decision. It was in fact a decision that stated the Second Amendment was an individual right to own firearms. Instead of admitting he did not know what the ruling was about, he just made up an answer.
Mr. Blaha has claimed he is a "gun activist" just because he owns and shoots guns. What was Robert Blaha doing with his wealth, when nobody was watching, to protect the freedoms he uses. Nothing! I think we can expect the same from him as our congressman.
— Ron Coleman
Taking a stand
I was disappointed to see that the Indy took no position on endorsing any GOP candidates. With the city's limited news sources in offering fair and accurate reporting, I know your readers would have appreciated direction on some very capable candidates.
Sallie Clark is the smart choice for county commissioner District 3. She is an accessible and responsive elected official. Sallie Clark has been one of the strongest, most consistent voices advocating for El Paso County at the state and national level. Her relationships and her knowledge of projects and policies are too precious to lose in this time of uncertainty and challenge. Choose a winner, choose Sallie Clark.
— Lisa Czelatdko
City Council District 3
My perspective is as the former director of the Department of Human Services and a current El Paso County resident. In her role as county commissioner, Sallie Clark has contributed an enormous amount to address the plight of abused and neglected children in our community. El Paso County, with over 12,000 child abuse reports annually, has the largest number of reports of any county in Colorado.
By serving as one of only four county commissioners statewide on the Child Welfare Allocation Committee, Sallie Clark has brought equitable funding to El Paso County to better serve vulnerable children and their families. Without Sallie's efforts the number of reports will continue to grow without adequate resources to respond to those dramatic increases.
Sallie's contribution goes well beyond Human Services funding. She collaborates with and strongly supports nonprofit, faith-based and business entities that work to protect children in our community. Let's keep a great leader and passionate advocate for children by re-electing Commissioner Clark to District 3.
— Barbara Drake
Enough is enough
I heard a line in a song: "I was born in the land of plenty, now there ain't enough." I'm tired of the "not enough" line. There's tons of money for venture capitalists and investment managers — and they only have to pay 15 percent tax on their take of "enough." But there's not enough to pay teachers, firefighters, police, home caregivers, and so many others who contribute so much more to society.
There's over a trillion dollars to fight decade-long wars in the Middle East, enriching defense contractors everywhere and keeping the brass occupied. But there's not enough to pave roads, rebuild bridges, or repair ancient sewer lines. There's plenty for Congress and state elected officials to get exceptional health care and generous retirement programs with minimal service requirements, but not enough to keep Social Security and Medicare afloat. And, of course, there's plenty for CEOs and other executives to get 30 percent increases year after year but not enough to pay into the pension plans of their workers — or even enough to keep them on the payroll.
Have you ever noticed that those saying there isn't enough are the ones that have the most? There is class warfare in the U.S. Many that have the most power, resources, and wealth are doing their best to ensure that others do not gain access to power, resources or wealth.
The song is wrong. There is still enough. It isn't the amount that is screwed up, it is our priorities.
— Niel Powers
New natural gas foe
The United States is the world's largest natural gas producer. New shale gas production on top of traditional sources will exceed consumption, keeping prices low in this decade and well into the future.
Production of electricity from wind and solar was economically uncompetitive with electricity generated by fossil fuels before the surge in natural gas production, and now has no potential for being cost competitive, with natural gas prices at 10-year lows.
What can the Sierra Club do to save its beloved but beleaguered and unreliable solar and wind farms? How about what they do best. The Sierra Club has announced a new campaign with a new set of lawsuits and regulations to stop natural gas drilling and the building of new gas-fired power plants.
The Sierra Club opposes oil, coal, nuclear and now natural gas which account for more than 90 percent of the world's energy used by man. Wind and solar provide about 1 percent. Their Hail Mary signals hopelessness.
— Dick Standaert