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click to enlarge Last Saturday, the Pikes Peak Library District announced that its executive director Jose Aponte, pictured with First Lady Laura Bush, has been nominated to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.
  • Last Saturday, the Pikes Peak Library District announced that its executive director Jose Aponte, pictured with First Lady Laura Bush, has been nominated to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.

Finger on the pulse

Thank you for last week's cover story, "Dropout dilemma: Will smaller schools fix the problem? Sierra High School intends to find out."

Our daughter attends CIVA Charter High School. This wonderful school saved her from dropping out of Palmer, the next logical step to her stagnated educational career. She is now, a year and a half after joining CIVA, a near honor roll student and talking about college!

We need more small charter high schools. We need more, smaller middle schools (where kids first start thinking about leaving school for good).

Ms. Linda Page and the CIVA Board of Directors applied to District 11 for permission to grow to 300 students, adding 80 students and eighth grade. They were denied.

Please continue to keep your finger on the pulse of this very important issue. If we keep even 175 children in school rather than dropping out, it is worth it!

Again, thanks for opening readers' eyes to this scary issue.

-- Toby Norton

Colorado Springs

Small is beautiful

The article on smaller high schools was very welcome. Please note that D11 has several small high schools already in operation. The Bijou School is an excellent example of a creative, caring, supportive school that helps kids toward excellence (and a waiting list for kids to get in). Perhaps a few more stories about small middle and high schools in the Colorado Springs area would be welcomed by your readers.

-- Martha O'Connor

Colorado Springs

Worth every cent

Amber McCalla's demand for more positive economic news and more balanced reporting in the Indy ("Cancel my subscription," Letters to the editor, Oct 23-30), is like me demanding a business section and a sports section in the Indy. And I would tell Amber, if we had to pay to get this paper, the chances are we would get our wishes.

In case McCalla isn't aware of the purpose of the Indy, I say to her this is an alternative newspaper. It gives readers an option to other news, views and stories not to be found in this city's pay-as-you-go newspaper.

McCalla might have noticed the Indy doesn't say much about the Iraq situation or hardly any foreign issues.

That is by design, not by omission. It's the same with economic or business news. Not to say that the Indy can't or won't run articles about business, war or sports, but it just isn't what it normally does.

Finally, if Amber demands to see the Indy accentuate positive economic news, would she also require it to eliminate negative economic news? The Indy would have to do that, for you see, it is independent and free!

-- Phil Kenny

Colorado Springs

Sucking up to Bush

The recent (Tuesday, Oct. 28) decision by the Pikes Peak Library District Board of Trustees to politicize the library bond issue (5A and 5B) has lost my yes vote.

In case you are not aware, the board, in an effort to garner votes from people who do not normally vote for public libraries, decided to name one of the new library branches after Laura Bush. Even though she is a library advocate, she is intimately tied to an administration that is proving itself not to be a defender of citizen's liberties and privacy. I have not read anything suggesting she has taken an active stand against the anti-library provisions of the U.S. PATRIOT Act.

It was a narrow decision (4-3). A previous 4-3 vote earlier this summer against this decision was tabled by its proponents. It is interesting that the Oct. 13 minutes of the Board of Trustees meeting show approval for a naming contest, not a naming decision as was made last week. It is also interesting to note that, even before the vote was taken, a news conference was scheduled for last Thursday, Oct. 30, a day after the Indy's last pre-election issue. Why not make the "official" announcement in time for the Indy to reconsider its endorsement of this bond issue?

I suggest that all library supporters re-evaluate their voting intention in light of the PPLD Board of Trustees' decision to turn a nonpartisan issue into a very partisan issue. What's next? The John Ashcroft "We Know What You Read" branch library?

-- Stephen Long

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Voters this week rejected the proposed library bond issues 57% to 43%. Last Saturday, the Pikes Peak Library District announced that its executive director Jose Aponte, pictured below with First Lady Laura Bush, has been nominated to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.

The silent type

I'm not a betting man but I took a gamble:

I sent a letter to Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

Sent one in August and one in September

And one so long ago, I can't remember.

I was asking him, "Ben, don't let Boeing steal our money!"

But I never heard a word. I thought it was kind of funny.

So I wrote him another letter and sent it certified.

The next day it came back! I called his office. They replied:

"Certified letters might be important so that's why this office won't sign."

"If you want to send it to Washington, that'll be fine."

I'm not a betting man but I lost to my nephew nothing or double.

He said: "Ben won't write you. You're not worth the trouble. "

Guess he was right.

-- Mike Adams

Colorado Springs

Reckless and dangerous

I am outraged that President Bush has just signed the so-called "Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003."

This reckless and dangerous ban prevents a woman, in consultation with her doctor, from making decisions on the best way to protect her health and life.

Any pregnancy can go terribly wrong, and this ban outlaws medically necessary abortions that women need for serious medical conditions, such as if something has gone wrong with the growth and development of the fetus.

This bill has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with protecting women's health. What's additionally horrible is that this bill would put doctors in jail for providing the best and safest health care to women!

I'm appalled that if I ever chose to become pregnant and if something went medically wrong with the pregnancy that threatened my life, that the president and members of Congress have decided that I would have no control or decision-making power to decide what was the best for me and my health!

People should understand that this ban is a dangerous and devastating political move that threatens women's lives.

-- Georgia Moen

Colorado Springs

Playing into their hands

Terrorism scares me, but what scares me even more is losing the basic civil liberties that make our country great.

Our national security depends, above all else, on keeping our democracy strong. And there's no doubt in my mind that if we give the FBI the power -- as we did in the PATRIOT Act -- to monitor the books we borrow from the library and videos we rent from the video store, then we are weakening our democracy. This is exactly what terrorists want us to do.

I hope Congress repeals the entire PATRIOT Act, or at least nixes the worst parts of it as some congressional Democrats and Republicans have proposed.

--Ronald Young

Elizabeth, Colo.

Elevated thinking

I am writing in firm support of President Bush, his policies and his re-election campaign. My desire is to elevate all people's thinking to his big-picture mentality, in not only having the courage to start what will be a decade-long war on terror, no matter if the current president is a Republican or Democrat, and lowering the fed's interest rate even lower than Reagan did. When Reagan did it, it spurred a decade-long rally in the markets that the draft-dodging and dope-smoking Clinton tried to take credit for, but all of these things together indicate a moral leader of ultimate character and a good man we should all feel grateful for and have the moral fiber to re-elect. For the good of all our country.

-- Michael Ingram

Colorado Springs

30 wrong numbers

Let me start by saying that there were 100 good reasons to move from Atlanta, Ga., to Colorado Springs. I don't want to come off sounding like a New Yorker who moves to the South and then gripes that there's no "Bloomie's," but I have to voice what I feel is a valid concern over health care.

I adopted two incredible little girls through the foster care system.

All special needs children adopted through foster care are provided with Medicaid until they are 18. The system uses this as "insurance" for people willing to take in emotionally, physically scarred children and make them a part of their families.

In Atlanta, I could take my children to any pediatrician in the city and receive the best of care from one of the top children's hospitals in the country. The crack babies that I volunteered with, as well as the infant I fostered, also received services from any pediatrician and any hospital in the city.

Much to my amazement, I am having a terrible time simply trying to get one of my children a chicken pox booster here (scheduled appointment is Dec. 18).

I can't tell you how many "referred" pediatricians offices I've called to find a primary care physician, only to be asked what type of insurance I have. The tone goes indifferent when they hear me say Medicaid.

I've spent three years trying to get my children the counseling and medical care they need to get them healthy and now I'm in a panic because I'm afraid their prescriptions will run out before I actually find someone who will take a child on Medicaid. I'm really astounded.

Somebody needs to publicize the fact that if you foster and adopt in Colorado, the Medicaid they so generously offer you for taking children with previously existing conditions such as attachment disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder might have to wait two months for someone to be generous enough to provide care to their children.

I'd love it if I were misinformed; please tell me I've just called 30 wrong numbers and still haven't found a pediatrician.

My phone number is 475-0222 if there's doctor in the house who would like to provide a much-needed (and compensated) service for two beautiful, deserving children.

-- Brenda Edmonds

Colorado Springs

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