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Sex addiction sequel

Thank you for the cover story on sex addiction ("Slaves to sex," March 18). This epidemic is exploding across our society, yet it is not commonly understood by most people and not clearly or helpfully reported by most media accounts. Your story was one of the few accurate representations I have seen recently.

The estimated numbers of sex addicts are grossly under-reported, as it is still cloaked in secrecy and shame. The more light that can be shed on reality, the sooner we can see it for the debilitating sickness it is, and the better equipped we will be to stem the tide of its enormous growth. It's doubtful there are many families, workplaces or social groups that have not been affected by this sickness.

I would implore you to consider more articles on signs or symptoms of sex addiction, i.e. how to tell whether your behavior is out of control, as well as indications for spouses or family members to be aware of; and secondary issues such as sexual anorexia. In Colorado Springs it is especially relevant to look at the link between the military and sex addiction; combat-weary soldiers are at risk for addictions of all kinds.

We are fortunate to have a renowned expert in Dr. Doug Weiss; this community could become a beacon of light and hope for those living in shame and fear, and whose families are suffering and crumbling. Please continue to promote intelligent, informed discussion of this subject.

— Myra Brooks

Colorado Springs

Model vs. reptile

While perusing Pam Zubeck's article ("Eyes of the beholder," News, March 18), I decided to investigate these photos of Ms. Tiffany Huntz at the Onyx site. I didn't see anything there I haven't seen at the beach, YMCA or sunning out near Colorado College. The fact that we have an employee who "can" earn extra money on the side as a model is notable in itself. She posed. Yawn.

This is a non-story hit piece on Sheriff Maketa. The opinion of wannabe sheriff Jake Shirk leads me to believe he is a closed-minded control freak, so he will not get my vote. This woman posed for a legitimate studio as a model. If she had posed for Playboy, that is a legal product, and the women who pose do so legally. If Shirk has a problem with that not meeting his moral standards, I don't want him as my sheriff.

I want my sheriff to bust criminals who murder, rape and steal; not harass people who may not meet his apparently high moral standards. I want my deputies to be able to perform their duties, and none of the pictures I saw indicate Ms. Huntz is handicapped in any way.

I am a Republican delegate to the county assembly, where I get to vote on who will be on the Republican primary ballot. Is Maketa perfect? No. Are there office politics? Yes.

But Shirk gives us a great insight into his mind with his opinion on Ms. Huntz's work. How friendly is he going to be toward voter-approved medical marijuana shops? He is obviously a control freak.

Perhaps someone should remind Mr. Shirk that a sheriff spends a lot of time around lawyers and politicians. I'd rather be around a model than those reptiles any day. So much for moral standards.

— Ralph S. Hoefelmeyer

Black Forest

Defending poetry

I take umbrage with Edie Adelstein's assertion ("7 Days to Live," March 11) that, amateur or not, "most poetry is terrible."

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to do a reading and poetry talk with a class of eighth graders at Manitou Springs Middle School. Before I began, I asked for an honest show of hands in response to the pointed question, "How many of you absolutely hate poetry?" I was not at all surprised by the bevy of hands flushed up in the affirmative. I explained my belief that the main reason many people do not like poetry is they do not understand it.

So often, in our left-brain-oriented culture, we are asked to dissect and analyze, to color in the "correct" test bubble. But poetry is more like sunlight streaming down on a winter's day; you do not have to know what a photon is, or to understand how light travels, to be able to feel the warmth on your face. You simply need to open the door.

— Autumn Hall

Green Mountain Falls

Divided highway

I wanted to alert you and your readers of a likely change to State Highway 94, a change that would make travel on that road more congested and more dangerous.

El Paso County has asked that a 10-mile section of Highway 94, from Colorado Springs to Ellicott, be reclassified to allow more driveways and intersections. This would make the area more attractive to commercial development, which is needed near Schriever Air Force Base. But unless access to the road is carefully planned, the change will also result in many more people making turns on and off the highway, increasing the already-high likelihood of accidents.

The Community Advisory Committee to the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (I am the CAC's first vice-chair) asked that this reclassification be delayed until after an access management plan is developed that addresses the needs of all people who use the highway. El Paso County has pushed ahead with wanting reclassification now, with a plan of some sort promised for the future.

If you believe, as I do, that the safety of people who use Highway 94, and its future as an efficient route across El Paso County, is important, please ask the Transportation Commission to delay this change until after an access management plan is developed. E-mail comments to teresa.lawser@dot.state.co.us, mail them to her at CDOT, 4201 E. Arkansas Ave., Denver 80222, or deliver your comments in person at the public hearing at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 31, in Room 225 of the CDOT Building, 4201 East Arkansas Ave., Denver.

— Tom Mowle

El Paso County public trustee

Colorado Springs

 

Activism prevails

This is what change looks like, as President Obama described. But what is the change?

Michael Steele, the Republican mouthpiece, admitted it after trying to sidestep the obvious when he called those slur-hurling, hate-mongers as "idiots out there saying stupid things." Those weren't idiots, they were bigots and homophobes incited by the GOP's "way over the top" rhetoric on health care reform.

Steele called reform opponents the "activist business class." Is this something new? Kind of like some new imaginary friend a multi-personality patient drums up? That is how Steele described America's greatness. Trouble is, it does not really exist.

The business class is quite active in making a profit on people's misery, be it slashing jobs or gouging credit-card accounts. Or like how the activist corporate executives at Fortis (now part of Assurant Health) used a systematic policy of revoking clients' policies when they got sick. A court concluded the company had been systematically withdrawing coverage, making $150 million in profits between 2003 and 2007 by canceling coverage of people who thought they had insurance.

Actually this change is the end of the Reagan Revolution's idea of privatizing (for profit's sake) society's social responsibilities. The last 30 years demonstrated for-profit corporations do not do social services cheaper or better; actually they are more expensive and provide poorer services. Whether it is highways, schools, snow removal, filling pot holes or even feeding our military, let alone health care.

Oh sure, the "activist business class" loves making a profit on providing the government services. This is the "activist business class" Steele was speaking of, the class that has actively raided good Americans for their own profit. Well, this is the beginning of real change. Health care reform finally is the law of the land, and that is real activism.

— Bob Nemanich

Colorado Springs

War at home

Having been tapped to help my 80-year-old mother stay at home for a while longer finds me waking up daily in the Pike National Forest. This morning was no exception: The good ol' boys exercising their Second Amendment rights at 8 a.m., and the drone of Black Hawk helicopters scaring the hell out of my favorite brook trout.

Kabul is a mile-high city, after all, and except for the trees, the terrain is almost the same in Colorado.

Is this the sacrifice we are to endure? I thought endless federal debt was enough. What will my trout taste like after the daily "whump, whump, whump" that echoes down the canyon? I understand the training thing, and we all own the national forest.

When we entered Afghanistan, we brought tractor-trailer loads of cash and handed out $1 million bundles called "footballs" to penniless citizens. Defense Secretary Robert Gates: Why not change our state's name to Little Afghanistan?

— Karl Knapstein

Sedalia

Cens-less

What happened to America? The Census was created by our Founding Fathers to limit taxation. The line was no taxation without representation. It was believed by the founders that representation in government would protect us from undue spending and taxes by the federal government.

Yet I watch all the commercials about the Census and it reminds me of a Christmas list of goodies that will be given by our government to us by filling out the form.

First, it is our civic duty to fill out the Census. Second, the Census is to provide equal representation in government. It was never intended as a wish list for government handouts.

— Fr. Bill Carmody

Colorado Springs

Clueless masses

I disagree with Michael Lowery ("Ignorant leaders," Letters, March 18) saying voters aren't ignorant. Ralph Routon had it right; people are ignorant. Not all voters, but far too many are.

Consider those who aren't old or young, but middle-class. Many are indifferent, politically lazy. Others don't have time to know what's going on — raising families, working too hard or too much, worried about their job or trying to find one. Lastly, some folks just don't get it.

Old folks mostly know what's going on because they have the time, unless they have health problems, health care problems or they're worried about getting by on Social Security.

In our city, many older folks are retired military with their secure fat pensions and the best health care around. And, you guessed it, most vote Republican and whine about taxes (which they live off). Ignorance folks, ignorance. Pssst, I'm retired military but I'm a Democrat.

Most young folks haven't a clue about issues, politics and governance. Their priorities get in the way: college, jobs (if they have one), iPods, iPhones, iPads, texting and, of course, romance. Not to indict all the young, because many of our youth do have a clue, they participate with fervor and they proved this in the last election — most were smart enough to vote Obama.

Then, there are those of all ages whose political bias fuels their race to ignorance. Here, for example, year after year they vote Republican come hell or high water. Example: Those leaders Lowery complained about are mostly Republicans, voted in by Republicans.

Let me close by being nice. Let's replace the word "ignorance" with uninformed. But wait, being uniformed is being ignorant. Oh, shoot, let's just say I agree with Ralph. Folks are ignorant.

— Phil Kenny

Colorado Springs

Do as you say

Jane Madden's proposed solution to homeless camping ("Tents and testaments," Letters, March 18) — that religious charities allow homeless camping on their office grounds — is brilliant. I would suppose she has already opened up her own lawn and bathrooms to this population. Perhaps she has also employed some "campers" to be babysitters, handymen, and to drive her kids to school.

While religious charities in our city are an easy target (and often rightfully so) for the cynical, let's not forget that religious charities — not the Freethinkers or atheists or Jane Madden, for that matter — are the ones who operate the very shelters and soup kitchens and rehabilitation facilities that exist to aid the homeless.

— Scott Penner

Colorado Springs

Lottery folly?

My wife Jackie and I have discussions about the issues facing Colorado Springs on a regular basis. The other day she said, "Why is it that we are supposed to use proceeds from the lottery toward parks that we have no water, maintenance or trash cans?"

Yeah, why is that? Are we using the lottery money to expand or build new parks we don't maintain, or is the money being spent elsewhere?

— Dale Brockett

Black Forest

Editor's note: As reported in Pam Zubeck's Jan. 21 cover story, "Cash scratch fever," Colorado's voters mandated years ago that almost all lottery money go to parks and recreation — specifically buying and preserving open space. Any changes, if initiated by the Legislature, would require voter approval.

Peace for all sides

The U.S.-Israel relationship is based on shared values and a mutual commitment to freedom of religion, the press, speech and the right to vote. The majority of American voters want America to be supportive of Israel. Those determined to harm Israel have previously caused many injuries to people at Jerusalem's holy sites, and may do so in the future. Recently, the Hamas leader in Gaza urged Palestinians to unleash another uprising of violence.

Jerusalem's holy sites have only been open to all religions since Israel took control in 1967, and those sites must remain safe. In recent years, Palestinian rioters have desecrated holy places in areas under their control. People of several faiths have ties to sacred areas around Jerusalem and consider Jerusalem to be their home.

However, Jews who live in predominately Arab neighborhoods have recently come under criticism. Arabs are not prohibited from living in predominately Jewish areas, so why should Jews be criticized for living in Arab neighborhoods? No one should question the right of Jews to live in the United City of Jerusalem, which is the core of the Jewish people.

Why can't the world's leaders understand that Israel wants nothing but peace for itself and its neighbors? When will meaningful sanctions be placed on Iran to stop its nuclear proliferation? The time for stopping violence and taking steps for peace is now.

— Lora Krista

Elbert

  • Support for sex addiction, thoughts on Shirk, highway news and more.

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