Yesterday, Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights filed suit against the city in its ongoing effort to put a ban on fracking before local voters.
As explained in this week’s paper, the Initiative Title Setting Review Board last week rejected CSCCR’s proposed amendment to the city charter that would prevent “the extraction of natural gas or oil, including but not limited to, the processes commonly known as hydraulic fracturing and/or directional natural gas and oil well drilling, within the City of Colorado Springs.” The board contended the amendment violated the city’s rule against having multiple subjects addressed in a single ballot measure; CSCCR disagrees with that assessment, and even argues that the single-subject rule itself may not be legally valid.
The University of Denver Sturm College of Environmental Law Clinic will take up the cause, pro bono. That clinic is also representing a quartet of environmental groups aligned with the city of Longmont, which is being sued by the state for enacting a ban on fracking there.
“They’re very up to speed on the issue,” says CSCCR’s Dave Gardner. He adds that “the supervising attorney actually taught three classes about fracking at DU in the law school this last semester.”
With the suit filed in the 4th Judicial District, the city will be expected to file an answer. Gardner was unsure of the timeline for that; we have asked the city for more information, and will provide an update if and when we receive it.
Asked about a best-case scenario for his group’s effort, Gardner says that would involve the city simply backing down from its current stance.
“There’s still plenty of room for the city to do the right thing and not waste their resources in court and not waste everybody’s time fighting this in court.”
Here’s the group’s filed complaint:
Yesterday the Pikes Peak Road Runners hosted a 5k to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Stephanie Wurtz, coordinator of the quickly organized event, estimates that 400 to 500 runners came out. And though participation required no registration fee or purchase of any kind, they were able to raise approximately $500 for onefundboston.org, which financially assists those affected by the tragedy and, at the time of this blog, had raised more than $29 million.
Some local runners in attendance had actually participated in this year's Boston Marathon, and all runners were encouraged to sign a banner which will make its way to the Boston Athletic Association, which hosts the marathon.
Often at the Independent we look forward to brightening your week with fun articles, witty commentary, and entertaining local news. But sometimes we find ourselves affected by non-local news, as was the case a few weeks ago when the country became transfixed by the events at the Boston Marathon.
That sad and tragic time, however, once again showed how we as a country bond tighter in the face adversity. This Monday, May 6, the Springs will do its part as the Pikes Peak Road Runners (sister program of the Boston Athletic Association) hosts a 5K to honor and remember those who were lost and injured in the tragedy.
See attached flier:
From the listings desk: If you happen to have some old oxycodone from your grandpa stashed under the counter, this news is for you.
Saturday is the Sixth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, where you can safely and freely rid yourself of old medicines.
I know, you really, really just want to just flush them down the toilet. But you shouldn't. Those pills can find their way to streams and drinking water supplies.
So maybe you can just trash them. But you shouldn't do that either; kids can find them, or worse. (I don't need to tell you that feeling adventurous with old narcotics is a bad idea.)
What you can do is take them to one of several locations around town, where they'll be properly collected and destroyed. You can find locations via ZIP code through the Drug Enforcement Administration's handy website. Plan ahead, too — collection sites will only operate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Also, needles, sharps, oxygen containers and items like chemotherapy drugs will not be accepted.
For more information, call 444-7448.
Last year, Colorado voters were so supportive of a "personhood amendment" that Amendment 62, which would have mandated that "the term ‘person’ shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being," failed to even get enough support to make the November ballot.
Undaunted, Springs Republican Rep. Janak Joshi has sponsored HB 13-1032:
The bill provides that, if the commission of any crime codified in the criminal code or traffic code is the proximate cause of death or injury to an unborn member of the species homo sapiens, the prosecuting attorney, in charging the underlying offense, may also charge the homicide or assault offense that is appropriate to the death or injury.
On Monday, Personhood Colorado plans to hold a press conference at the Capitol in Denver to show their solidarity with Joshi.
From the press release:
In recent years, multiple cases of harm to women and their unborn babies have gone unrecognized and unprosecuted due to current loopholes in Colorado law. Heather Surovik, victim of a drunk driving accident who lost her son Brady as she was preparing for delivery, will be testifying and speaking at the press conference.
Colorado law currently disallows prosecution for crimes against children in the womb, allowing drunk drivers and perpetrators of violent crime against pregnant women to avoid criminal charges when found guilty of harming or killing children who have not yet been born. As seen in the recent malpractice case involving Catholic Health Initiatives, there is often no recourse for parents of unborn babies harmed or killed due to negligence or medical malpractice.
Back in August, just after Colorado Springs voters gave overwhelming approval of the city-owned Memorial Hospital lease to University of Colorado Health, UCH CEO Bruce Schroffel told the Indy in an interview that the top priority of UCH was to recruit doctors.
Well, yesterday, Memorial issued a news release announcing a coup. It has hired 14 cardiologists, a breast surgeon and 75 other staff members. All told, it said in the release, Memorial's physician network has grown by 40 percent in three months since the Aug. 28 vote.
From the release:
The hospital acquired Pikes Peak Cardiology, the city’s largest cardiology
practice, and the practice of Dr. Laura Pomerenke, a breast surgeon. Dozens
of supporting team members were also hired.
The hiring of so many physicians reflects a turnaround for Memorial, which
struggled to recruit and retain doctors during a prolonged political
discussion over its future in recent years. That discussion ended
decisively on Aug. 28, when voters overwhelmingly approved a deal to lease
Memorial to UCHealth. The Colorado-based health system includes University
of Colorado Hospital, named the No. 1 academic medical center in quality by
University Health System Consortium, and Malcolm Baldrige Award-winning
Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies.
“Voters issued a mandate when they agreed to make Memorial part of
University of Colorado Health,” said Memorial CEO Mike Scialdone. “We are
wasting no time delivering on that mandate, moving forward boldly and
swiftly to not just meet consumers’ expectations, but to set them.”
Other signs of change: Memorial was recently certified in stroke care, an
important quality distinction for hospitals, and it became the first
southern Colorado hospital to offer the O-arm, an advanced surgical imaging
“We have accomplished many things in a short amount of time,” Scialdone
said, “but the truly exciting thing for patients is the fact that we’re
just getting started.”
Memorial’s new physicians are now part of UCHealth’s Colorado Health
The newly hired cardiologists, under CHMG Cardiovascular and Thoracic Care,
· David I. Greenberg
· Ronald D. Blonder
· David J. Schwartz
· James M. Glass
· Joseph R. Lee
· David Rosenbaum
· Nita Harris
· Mary Olsovsky
· Kimberly Dulaney
· Jonathan Sherman
· Chris Kim
· Russell Linsky
· Brad Mikaelian
· Jorge Davalos
If you're a veteran, you'll be glad to learn that ground has been broken on an expanded outpatient clinic in Colorado Springs.
“With today’s groundbreaking, Southern Colorado welcomes a new, vital, and cutting-edge medical facility for all those who wore our nation’s uniform,” Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, said in a statement released today. “We have a sacred and profound debt to the nearly 500,000 veterans living in our state, and this new clinic will help us honor our promise to care for those who so bravely defended our country. This clinic is a small down payment on a debt owed by our nation. I look forward to what the new facility will achieve for our veterans.”
A 76,731-square-foot building at Centennial Boulevard and Fillmore Street will provide primary care, mental health and ancillary diagnostic services. The clinic is expected to provide services to more than 20,000 veterans annually in Southern Colorado.
Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, also issued a statement: "If you love freedom, thank a veteran. Those who have served and fought and, in some cases, died for our country are heroes. This new VA clinic represents a small measure of our devotion and gratitude to our veterans. We can never fully repay them for their sacrifices, but we can keep our promises to them. This clinic will make world-class medical care more accessible to veterans throughout the Pikes Peak region."
The company that will build the clinic, Colorado Springs VA, LLC lists a Kansas City, Mo., man as its registered agent in its filing with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office. It's a foreign limited liability company based in Delaware.
The press release:
WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs has selected the contractor to build an expanded community based outpatient clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“This new facility will ensure that Colorado’s Veterans continue to have the world-class medical care that they’ve earned through their service to our Nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
One of Secretary Shinseki’s top priorities is increasing access to VA care and services for Veterans wherever they live. VA is expanding access in a three-pronged effort that includes facilities, programs and technology.
The contract was awarded to Colorado Springs VA, LLC and will create 235 construction jobs. Once the facility is completed in spring 2014, VA will pay fully-serviced rent of approximately $3 million annually.
The contract calls for construction of a three-story building at the corner of Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard in Colorado Springs. The project includes 76,731 square feet of space for specialty services for Veterans, including primary care, mental health and ancillary diagnostic services. More than 600 parking spaces will also be constructed.
The clinic will house outpatient services for more than 20,000 Veterans annually in the Eastern Rockies area.
Last year, VA spent $3.4 billion providing health care, benefits and services to Colorado’s 420,000 Veterans. VA operates major medical centers in Grand Junction and Denver, with outpatient clinics and Vet Centers across the state.
VA operates one of the nation’s largest integrated health care systems in the country. With a health care budget of about $50 billion, VA expects to provide care to 6.1 million patients during 920,000 hospitalizations and nearly 80 million outpatient visits this year. VA’s health care network includes 152 major medical centers and more than 800 community-based outpatient clinics.
For the next six months, the city, in partnership with Senior Mobile Dental, will be providing free dental screening to eligible people age 60 and up. The clinics are a part of the fire department's recent push to offer health clinics to the community, especially in low-income areas.
CSFD Partners with Senior Mobile Dental to Provide Senior Dental Care Clinics
Colorado Springs, CO — The Colorado Springs Fire Department has partnered with Senior Mobile Dental to provide Dental Hygiene clinics. These clinics will provide dental cleanings and conduct comprehensive screening to seniors in our community. The lead agency, Senior Mobile Dental, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the importance of oral health and focused on bringing dental hygiene services to the elderly population of Colorado.
Locations & Times include:
· Fire Station #8 3737 Airport Road 1st Monday of Every Month for the next 6 month starting November 5th -9:00am-3:00pm
Some oral conditions that will be screened include:
· Dental decay
· Oral cancer or suspicious lesions
· Gingivitis (gum tissue infection)
· Periodontitis (jaw bone infection)
· Dental infection/abscesses
· Ill fitting dentures or partial dentures
Clinics are first come first serve basis and are free for seniors age 60 and up who qualify under the poverty guidelines that will be determined by calling:
Call For Appointment - 719-310-3315
With a click, you can help Memorial Hospital University of Colorado Health win $10,000 as a donation to cancer research.
Go here to see the video Memorial produced with the help of 400 employees and volunteers. Even CEO Mike Scialdone got into the act. He made me laugh.
When you vote, don't look for Memorial; rather, Memorial's entry is under University of Colorado Health, Colorado Springs.
From the hospital's press release:
Memorial is participating in a national popularity contest in which hospitals show off their lighter sides via short, pink glove-themed YouTube videos in celebration of breast cancer awareness month. By visiting www.memorialhealthsystem.com and taking a moment to view the video and vote, people will help us raise $10,000 for the southeastern Colorado Chapter of Susan G. Komen. Voting ends Nov. 1.
HOW TO VOTE:
-Visit www.memorialhealthsystem.com or http://pinkglovedance.com/competition/vote.php
-Scroll down. Search for University of Colorado Health under “T-U.’’
- Click on “T-U”
-Find University of Colorado Health.
- Click on “Vote’’
More than 400 Memorial employees, doctors and volunteers — as well as therapy dogs and a horse named Sprout — donned pink to create an uplifting 3-minute, 45-second video that brings awareness to breast cancer.
One of our featured video starlets is 9-year-old Rhiannon McNab, a cancer patient and the granddaughter of Patti McNab, a cardio nurse at Memorial. Rhiannon gets credit for some of the choreography, and when she throws some punches as part of her routine, it’s not without meaning.
“This shows that I’m a fighter,’’ Rhiannon said during the filming.
Sloan Maes, director of oncology services for Memorial, said: “It is an opportunity to bring awareness to breast cancer, and to acknowledge that it is a journey full of hope — that’s the message that we want our video to portray.’’
The video was photographed and edited by Dylan Standish, an intern at Bourbon Street Video, with assistance from Richard Stamats, an employee for Sodexo, Memorial’s nutritional services contractor.
Mike Scialdone is eager to get off on the right foot. So he gave interviews to three newspapers today, the Independent included, a day after being named CEO of Memorial Health System.
Bruce Schroffel, CEO of Memorial's new partner, the University of Colorado Health, made the appointment. Scialdone has been holding things together as Memorial's interim CEO since Larry McEvoy bolted in May with a $1.15 million severance package.
Scialdone has been with Memorial for about four years and also worked for the Penrose-St. Francis system and private hospital giant HCA.
Scialdone wouldn't divulge his salary as CEO. As interim CEO, he was paid $477,600, quite a bit less than McEvoy's annual pay of $670,009.
But Scialdone clearly didn't want to focus on that. He wanted to talk about teaming up with a nationally acclaimed health system, UCH (and its partner, Poudre Valley Health System of Fort Collins).
The city closes the 40-year lease with UCH on Monday, giving UCH broad control over Memorial facilities and services in exchange for $259 million up front and $5.6 million annually for 30 years.
In recent weeks, UCH issued $300 million in bonds, Scialdone said, to help fund the transaction and put Memorial on solid financial footing. The rating agencies had good things to say about UCH, he said, noting that the lease would end the uncertainty for Memorial, which led one rating agency to downgrade Memorial's
rating outlook from stable to negative last spring.
"The opportunity to put the ownership and governance issue to bed in such a way with support from the community is an exciting opportunity, not only for Memorial but for Colorado Springs in general," he said. "There’s been so much noise, so many agendas that played in and around what was going on at Memorial, the understanding and communication of what and who we are got a little bit lost."
Scialdone, who has served as Memorial's chief financial officer, reiterated numerous times during our interview that Memorial's and UCH's commitment is to make sure staff and physicians "honor patients" by providing the best health care available.
Scialdone, who reports to Schroffel rather than the Memorial board, said he will work with UCH officials in selecting his executive team, which will include a chief financial officer, nursing officer, operating officer and medical officer. He intimated he plans to make those selections "with the least turnover possible."
After Springs voters approved the lease by a margin of 83 percent to 17 percent on August 28, Schroffel said he anticipated announcing a doctor group had agreed to return to Memorial but he wouldn't name the group.
Neither will Scialdone. But he did say, "We're having a lot of very good conversations," and added that both the election outcome and next week's deal closure are "going to be very important in showing the parties we’re talking to that we are a stable organization whose organization and governance isn’t a question any more."
He also said that the "productive path" of discussions has involved "a number of groups of physicians" that he hopes will finalize agreements with Memorial within two months.
"This is a tremendous opportunity," he said of the partnership the lease puts into place. "There’s a definite difference when you’re part of a system rather than a standalone facility."
Asked to describe his biggest challenge ahead, he said, "I think health care in general is a huge challenge when you look at uncertainty on the horizon. ... But at the end of the day, despite all that's going on, the challenge is to honor the trust patients put in us for care. If you look at health care and how many different factors impact that industry, the biggest challenge in health care is never losing sight of the fact when patients come to us, they are putting a tremendous amount of trust in us. Despite all the uncertainty, we never lose sight of that."
Those 59,820 people in Colorado Springs who voted to lease city-owned Memorial Health System to University of Colorado Health will be happy to learn this: One of UCH's hospitals, University Hospital, has been named the highest-performing academic hospital for quality health care in the United States for the second year running, UCH says in a news release.
The designation was bestowed by the University HealthSystem Consortium, the 116-member alliance of the nation's leading nonprofit academic medical centers and 276 of their affiliated hospitals.
No other hospital has been named top performer over consecutive years.
On Aug. 28, voters in Colorado Springs overwhelmingly approved a 40-year lease of Memorial to UCH. The lease will close Oct. 1, and UCH will take over operation of Memorial and its assets. That said, there are some outstanding issues that will nag well beyond that transfer date.
From the release:
The award is given to the academic hospital with the best outcome scores in patient safety, clinical effectiveness, clinical efficiency, patient satisfaction, mortality and equity, which is a measure of whether outcomes differ for patients of different ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds.
"Last year, when the University of Colorado Hospital won this award for the first time, I thought it was the proudest moment of my career," said University of Colorado Health CEO Bruce Schroffel. "Now, to be named the top academic hospital in quality in the nation for two consecutive years, I'm speechless. This is the highest recognition any hospital can receive, and it motivates us to constantly focus on providing a level and quality of care not found anywhere else in Colorado or the United States."
Academic medical centers are the research and medical school-based hospitals generally seen as the best places for advanced, complex care. University of Colorado Hospital is the leading academic medical center in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region and is home to some of the nation's best specialists and sub-specialists. Through the research focus of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, UCH offers clinical trial drugs and innovative procedures unavailable at other hospitals in our region.
"Every day our nurses, staff and physicians strive to be the very best," University of Colorado Hospital President and CEO John Harney said. "We're honored that our hard work is being recognized, but the primary reason we strive for the top is to provide our patients with that award-winning care. From the moment patients step through our doors, we're focused on providing top quality treatment and a positive experience."
University of Colorado Hospital also received the 2012 UHC Supply Chain Performance Excellence Award which reflects the dedication of staff to ordering and delivering medications and supplies while maintaining high quality and efficiency.
"Supply chain might sound boring, but this incredible department ensures our nurses and doctors have the supplies they need exactly when they need them," said Harney. "A delay of even 15 minutes could put a patient at risk, so getting literally thousands of critical, sometimes short-lived medications and high-tech equipment to the right place at the right time is a science unto itself. Part of the UHC award is based on cost-effectiveness of the supply chain and the prices paid."
University of Colorado Hospital is now part of University of Colorado Health, a Colorado-based healthcare system comprised of five hospitals and many clinics and physicians stretching from Colorado Springs to Wyoming. The quality reflected by the UHC awards is shared across the system to improve health care throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
In addition to being named the top-performing academic hospital in the United States, U.S. News & World Report named University of Colorado Hospital the best hospital in Colorado in July 2012. The hospital's specialties have been ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News for 18 consecutive years.
County health has confirmed the first
-ever 2012 case of West Nile virus in El Paso County.
From a press release:
The person developed symptoms consistent with West Nile Virus in late August, and has been hospitalized.
“It’s important that people take action to protect themselves from potentially serious illness associated with West Nile virus. Individuals who cannot avoid being outside during dawn and dusk need to take greater precautions to prevent mosquito bites,” said Dr. [Bill] Letson, medical director at El Paso County Public Health.
Those of you who were alive in the ’90s probably remember when West Nile hit American shores. Initially misdiagnosed as St. Louis encephalitis, the foreign virus first struck New York City. It swept through the bird population, dropping thousands of them onto the streets in Queens and the Bronx. By the time the Centers for Disease Control finally figured it what it was, seven people had died.
Soon after that, the virus spread throughout the country.
Read the full press release, which includes symptoms (which most often aren't deadly) and precautions, after the jump.
From the listings desk: For virtually every cause, there's a walk or run, and that's a great thing. Looking at the calendar the way we do, it's heartening to see 5Ks for everything from suicide prevention to Alzheimer's research. And this Saturday brings another, the Colorado Springs 2012 Walk to Cure Diabetes.
This 5K walk is backed by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which states that more than 80 percent of its expenditures go directly toward research and education. Our walk will take place in America the Beautiful Park and gets started with 9 a.m. registration.
Floyd's 99 barbershop is also offering semi-permanent JDRF-colored hair streaks for $8, 50 percent of which will be donated to JDRF. Through mid-October, they will also give out services when customers donate.
As I've explained before, we're still learning about diabetes. While type 1, or juvenile diabetes, is largely diagnosed in childhood, there's also latent autoimmune diabetes, known as type 1½. This type is often misdiagnosed at type 2, however it shares components of both type 1 and 2 — and depending on the patient, may be more like one than the other. In my mother's case, it's a progressive disease, and will likely become more like type 1 as her pancreas eventually stops producing insulin (or so we expect).
Luckily, it is a manageable condition, and in time, research will discover new medicines and hormones, making life easier on patients. And maybe even a cure.
Education is also key. While weight plays a large role in how many view diabetes, genetics are what call the shots in type 1 and 1½. You can be as healthy as you want, like my mom, but that only means you'll have less trouble adjusting to the LADA lifestyle.
OK, don't mean to get all dour. All of this is just to say, there's never been a better time to streak your hair and get to steppin'.
City Attorney Chris Melcher got back to us via e-mail, saying:
The City is unfortunately not surprised by PERA's lawsuit, since PERA threatened to sue the City several weeks ago prior to the historic Memorial vote. Our negotiation team has gone to PERA's offices several times this summer in an effort to seek a reasonable resolution in this matter, and we continue to reach out to PERA to involve them in productive discussions. The new Memorial-University of Colorado Health partnership offers a wonderfully bright future for better healthcare for over 600,000 people. The UCH partnership is also terrific multifaceted opportunity for our entire City, improving the lives of both patients and Memorial employees, creating a new branch medical campus at UCCS, and creating jobs and new economic stimulus. With 83% of our City enthusiastically supporting this effort, we will again encourage PERA to look beyond their narrow interests and work together with us towards a positive outcome.
——————————-ORIGINAL POST TUESDAY, SEPT. 4, 3:49 P.M.———————————————
A court should take control over $259 million to be paid to the city of Colorado Springs by the University of Colorado Health for its lease of Memorial Health System, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday.
The Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association (PERA) filed the lawsuit in response to the suit filed Aug. 1 by the city, which we reported first here. In that case, the city contends the city owes PERA nothing for the more than 4,000 Memorial employees who will leave PERA when on Oct. 1 they become UCH employees and join UCH's retirement plan.
In a news release, PERA notes the city takes the position it owes nothing even as it accepts $185 million from UCH for the purpose of settling accounts with PERA. The other $74 million the city gets is an up-front, one-time payment.
More from PERA's release:
PERA is asking the court to determine that in order for Memorial to terminate its affiliation with PERA, the parties must comply with the law, which includes paying for the retirement benefits already earned by Memorial employees.
Colorado State law sets forth requirements for when an employer in PERA’s Local Government Division “disaffiliates” and moves its employees into another retirement system. In particular, the law calls for reserves to be created for the payment of benefits earned as of the disaffiliation date by the employees of the disaffiliating employer. The law requires that the reserve be sufficient to ensure that there is no adverse impact on the remaining employers in the division.
“If an employer leaves PERA and does not provide an adequate reserve for the liabilities already earned by their employees, the cost of providing these benefits would be shifted to the remaining employers in the Local Government Division, including the City of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities,” said Gregory W. Smith, PERA’s Interim Executive Director. “PERA believes this is unfair because these benefits have already been earned as a result of work performed for the disaffiliating employer.”
Memorial is the largest employer in the Local Government Division (with the City of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities as the third and fourth largest employers in the division, respectively).
We've asked City Attorney Chris Melcher to comment. We'll update when we hear from him. In the meantime, here's the lawsuit:
Our most recent report on this matter can be found here.
This one hits home — so forgive the tone if I sound lecture-y.
You see, back on June 22, I was involved in a motorcycle accident that was not my fault, in which the driver of the car I impacted with never saw me, even though I had the right-of-way, was wearing bright yellow reflective gear, and was traveling below the speed limit.
So for my part, I'm thrilled to see the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launching two new campaigns over this upcoming Labor Day weekend to hopefully bring down the sad number of motorcycle deaths in El Paso County, which leads the state.
One campaign, called Don't Ruin the Ride, focuses on keeping bikers from drinking and driving. According to a CDOT press release, one in four riders killed from 2009 to 2011 was under the influence.
The second campaign, more relative to my accident, is called Look Twice. This campaign asks motorists to keep their focus on their driving and "to take a couple of extra seconds to look carefully for motorcycles."
The statistic provided there is that in Colorado last year, "drivers of motor vehicles were at fault in 20 percent of motorcycle fatalities. However, in El Paso County, motorists — not the rider — caused half of motorcycle-related deaths."
The release goes on to share the story of Colorado Springs police officer Matthew Tyner, one of six motorcyclists killed so far in El Paso County in 2012, who was killed by "an unassuming driver who did not see him." (There have been 49 motorcycle deaths statewide thus far.)
Lecture over. I think you get the point.
But if you need one more reinforcement of why you should keep extra vigilant of your biker brethren, click for more to see a picture of my big-ass scar (don't worry, not bloody).