Candid about cameras
I'm outraged that our City Council members have approved the traffic cameras ("Watch for the cameras," Noted, Aug. 13). I feel this is an infringement on our rights.
This is just a way to raise more money without hiring officers. In researching this, I found that there are more rear-end accidents due to people trying to stop fast to avoid a ticket in the mail.
You would probably think I am disgruntled — not so. I am 58 years old and have had one ticket and no accidents in my driving history, so I don't consider myself a compulsive speeder.
In my past I was a police officer, and we were taught that the person driving is responsible for the people in the vehicle and the vehicle.
How can a camera 50 to 100 feet away tell the courts what was going on at the intersection that may have caused me to go into a yellow light? There are many distractions that can cause accidents, and that camera focused on my tag can not tell what the correct action should be.
Stop this now before it goes into effect. If the city is short on funds, then don't spend money on a project like this.
— Jim Hardin
Fear vs. reason
I attended Rep. Doug Lamborn's town hall meeting Tuesday in Woodland Park. As a supporter of health care reform sitting in the middle of people who were strongly opposed, it was quite a lesson in the effect of using a strategy of fear.
One woman, by whom I sat, was in tears because her husband is retiring from the military, they are going on Medicare/Tricare, and she is terrified they will lose their insurance! My husband and I are also retired military, have been on Medicare/Tricare for Life, and realize we have probably the most secure insurance there is.
It seems to us that one logical way to create a public option would be to expand on this type of model, offering a cost-affordable buy-in to the already-established government system for those who are uninsured. Wouldn't this be a practical solution that avoids setting up a whole new system?
We cannot allow the tactics of fear to dominate reason as we work out the problems of health insurance reform.
— Cara and Harry Wrede
Be like Germany
Watching the TV coverage of the demonstration last week in front of Sen. Michael Bennet's office in protest of health care reform, I found what I expected — a sign saying "No Socialized Medicine!" Such signs are appearing all over the country as part of a concerted campaign, but I would bet that few people holding them have any idea what is involved in socialized medicine.
When I lived in Germany, my landlord explained that all Germans can go to the hospital for care, but he carried insurance so that his family could have the extras such as a semi-private room, television and telephone. Those without such insurance were cared for in wards but received the same basic care. To Germans, health care is a right, but you pay for privileges associated with it.
If we followed this system, we could reduce costs significantly by covering only the basics in hospital care. Insurance companies could still maintain policies for those who want the frills. Of course, their profits might not be as high as under the present system (especially since we currently add the cost of indigent care to insured patients' bills), but on the other hand, companies would save the millions they now spend on lobbyists — and campaigns!
Maybe it's time to try a little "socialized medicine."
— George Brazill
Rush to judgment
Why does anybody listen to hate radio? If your source of information is Rush, Dennis or Sean, then you are not hearing the truth! You are hearing entertainers who have a vested interest in pandering to the extreme. The more you listen, the more money they make.
Health care reform is so important to our nation, we must not let our decisions be influenced by entertainers. The U.S. has some of the best physicians and hospitals in the world, but their hands are tied by a greedy insurance industry. That is why America ranks 37th in the world in health care and 19th in infant mortality. That is why a person with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or a congenital heart defect may be rejected from coverage.
We allow right-wing extremists to spread lies about reform, about our president and about our nation. We are not all racists. We do care about the uninsured and the underprivileged. The right always says our country was founded on biblical principles — and then doesn't care about those who need care. They rant about being pro-life and don't care about health care for the living?
We already have government-run health plans and many are happy with them. Can anyone rightly say private insurers are doing a better job on behalf of citizens than government-administered health plans? Private insurers are profit-motivated, not care- or prevention-motivated. That is why there are about six health industry lobbyists for every congressperson in D.C.!
Let's wake up and not let a bunch of manipulative, lying fanatics prevent us from doing the right thing. Regardless of political party, we are better than that.
— Richard Babcock
One family's story
I've experienced a lifetime of rearing a family without health insurance because my husband had to have a kidney removed when our children were ages 2 and 1. I did not work outside the home until my youngest child was in high school. My husband was self-employed, and we lived in constant fear of having health care costs we would not be able to pay for.
Now, my grandson is a self-employed father of three. His wife helps him with his business while staying home with the children. I do not want them to suffer the constant worry about health care costs. They have to pay a very high insurance bill as it is.
What if he got sick and couldn't get coverage just like my husband? What if they can't continue to pay the increasing cost of health insurance?
I believe that health insurance reform should be passed, so I can rest in peace. (I am now 92 years old.)
— Lucille F. Fox
With all the passion being expressed at these town hall meetings about health care reform, it seems that there are some names missing from the guest lists.
How about getting CEOs and board members from health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies to be there? Shouldn't they be hearing directly from the people that they "serve"?
— Tom Grossman
The 'S' word
Julie Daube's major flaw in reasoning ("No, this is sinful," Letters, Aug. 6) is that health care, clean water, etc., is not free. It is paid for by all of us, thereby spreading the cost over large numbers of people and making it cheaper. The basic premise of taxes is that all costs of government are spread over a large number of people. And of course it's socialistic; why is this bad if it's carefully thought out?
We need to stop the knee-jerk reactions to such words as "socialistic" and think about what we want and don't want from a health plan. The reason Medicare and Social Security are in trouble is because no one is sitting down and trying to figure out with others how to fix it. That is not proof that it doesn't work. It is not possible to run a government and provide services without everyone paying for those services.
I'd much rather pay taxes than attempt some ill-conceived "private enterprise" project. I, too, consider it a right that everyone should have health care, and I believe it's quite immoral to insist that only wealthy people should have it, and let poorer people go hang. It's pretty silly to think our government, which is us, is out to "tax us into perpetual slavery." I would hate to be so selfish that I didn't want to help our lower-income citizens, as well as spread out the cost for everyone.
— Barbara Baird
Bill Forman's article on local radio ("Dead air," cover story, July 16) did a great job of illustrating the problems facing radio today and the direction that radio stations are taking to compete with other sources of music available to the public.
With all the programming options out there, it's curious that our local stations can only respond with tired old formats instead of spending a little money to bring in better programming and attract a more discriminating listener. They always seem to respond with cheap, old, tired programming, and then they wonder why their ratings are down. You would think better programming would attract more listeners, which in turn would attract more advertisers.
I have gotten tired of listening to station after station reinvent themselves over and over, only to come up with something worse. These have to be the worst programming options offered by local radio that I have heard in a long time. I have long since moved on to streaming sources on my computer and to an iPod in my car.
The fact we have one station that openly brags about having the state's largest playlist yet plays the same old tired songs repeatedly only reinforces my desire to seek programming elsewhere.
Unless stations wake up and improve their programming, they will face rough times ahead, which is a shame because they have the ability to bring so much to the table as a community asset. It would be sad to see them let the opportunity pass them by.
— Fred Sexton
Let me see if I've got this straight. City Council will create a dummy corporation whose only purpose is to sell its corporate paper (COPs) to the public. Proceeds are actually a loan, so will have to be paid back with interest. To make the COPs a more attractive investment than so much wastepaper, the new corporation will use some money from the COPs to buy the Police Operations Center and Fire Station 8 from the city, to use as collateral. Assuming the COP holders don't want to become part-owners of those buildings if things don't work out, the collateral will either have to be sold or more money borrowed to raise the cash to pay the COP holders.
The city will take the tens of millions of borrowed dollars, give some of it to the U.S. Olympic Committee, and use some to buy another building where the USOC will have its new headquarters. The city will then recoup those tens of millions, and raise the tens of millions more in interest, by leasing the top five floors of a six-story office building in the heart of downtown to the USOC for 30 years, at $1 per year.
It looks to me like the federal stimulus plan is at least as likely to recoup its costs, as what these financial wizards from the conservative West have come up with.
— Kurt Foster
Three cheers for Larimore Nicholl ("Pay to pray," Letters, Aug. 6). The taxpayers of this city should no longer have to subsidize the acquisition and holding of property by religious groups. Equal rights and taxation for all!
— Tom Fagan