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Try thorium

A superior nuclear technology, which hardly anyone has ever heard of, was partially developed 40 years ago at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Funding for thorium nuclear technology development was dropped at the height of the Cold War because it did not produce the plutonium that the U.S. wanted to build a large nuclear weapons arsenal.

Those who have studied thorium technology believe it could produce electricity at a cost on par with that produced by burning coal, without the greenhouse gases.

Thorium-fueled reactors would be far safer, cheaper and easier to operate than uranium-fueled reactors. Thorium reactors don't melt down or produce materials that can be built into atomic bombs. Thorium reactors produce less waste, and that waste is much less radioactively dangerous than that produced by uranium-fueled reactors. Thorium is more abundant than uranium and much easier to mine and process into reactor fuel.

China has just announced a large program to develop and commercialize thorium technology. If the U.S. doesn't further develop the thorium technology that was invented here, we will be paying higher prices for electricity generated by thorium reactors in the future, because China will own the legal rights to sell or license the technology to the U.S. for a hefty profit.

We would love to see the U.S. invest in an all-out program to develop and commercialize thorium technology for its own use as well as sale to other countries. Thorium power generation is the only technology that can provide us with enough abundant and cheap power quickly enough to save our economy from being crippled by very expensive fossil-fuels energy.

— Susan and Paul Deininger

Grand Junction

Not our representative

I could not be more disappointed in U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn for sponsoring a stand-alone bill to kill federal funding for National Public Radio. Colorado has taken the federal funds and built an outstanding Colorado Public Broadcasting Network, using relays to beam CPB and NPR to mountain communities that otherwise don't get good radio reception.

Lamborn is wrong on so many levels. First, the bill has no chance of getting through the Senate (or past the president). So Lamborn is just a Republican establishment tool. They needed somebody who didn't have to worry about losing votes to sponsor this propaganda stunt.

Second, it exposed Lamborn as a hypocrite. His chief accomplishment has been to increase federal spending on a new Immigration Customs office in the Springs, an office that does virtually nothing, especially in comparison to the benefits from CPB and NPR. Third, without CPB, where will we get classical music? Fourth, besides Clear Channel and Sirius Radio, whom does this bill benefit?

Fifth, CPB broadcasts Amy Goodman's Democracy Now, the most anti-establishment news show. So when Lamborn says, "We need to stop funding organizations like this and encourage them to stand on their own," he really means, "We want to shut down the voice of my political opponents, so that the propaganda of the corporations that fund my campaigns can be heard more clearly."

Perhaps if Lamborn listened to NPR shows like The Thomas Jefferson Hour, he would know what is broken in our government. The role of the congressional representative is to represent the people of his district. But because Lamborn is the tool of the Republican Party and his corporate donors, the common people of our district go unrepresented.

— Gina Douglas

Colorado Springs

Radio silence?

It's beginning to feel, almost, kind of creepy. After years of an unhealthy obsession, certain right-wing agents and actors have finally found a trumped-up reason to attack the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. Now, the newly Republican-controlled House is trying to strip the organization of all federal funding.

Their crime seems to be little more than being Enemies of the Agenda. It seems James O'Keefe (of the maliciously manufactured ACORN "scandal"), playing out covert James Bond scenarios against various enemies, staged a meeting with one or two people who, faced with the task of trying to get people to donate money, were led into ill-advised comments while trying to be agreeable to fake donors.

Like many before them, NPR and PBS are suffering a blistering bull rush of people bent on silencing this one voice that tries to stay above the fray, and for the most part facing it alone.

The first act of would-be tyrants is to stifle information that doesn't conform to the party line. The Republican House rushed through the de-funding bill as if there are not more pressing problems facing the country. Every time this type of attack against any and every Enemy of the Agenda occurs, we have to stand up, speak up, and bow up against it, or we will soon have no free information, and they will have effectively taken over the country.

— Max Lowe

Colorado Springs

 

Hidden asset

I read with interest your article on the possible revitalization of City Auditorium ("A little help from its friends," News, March 17). I am biased. I own a hobby shop in Colorado Springs dedicated mainly to the manufacture and retail of model trains of all gauges.

As you know, there is an HO-scale layout in the basement of the auditorium. What Colorado Springs needs and can have for a minute fraction of the estimated $15 million to refurb City Aud is a model railroad museum!

Greeley has done it, Denver and many other cities have done it. The labor to build the layout(s) is volunteer. All that is needed is a building to house the museum. At one time, Colorado had more miles of railroad track than any other state in the Union. Colorado is a famous railroad state and owes its economic prosperity to railroads, standard gauge and narrow gauge railroads.

A model railroad museum would attract all forms of model railroad conventions and railroad-related events to Colorado Springs. If somehow a museum could be integrated into the City Aud project, or be a precursor to it, some or all funds generated by the museum could be dedicated to reviving the City Aud.

— James Bageman

Colorado Springs

The 'ill' in bill

Legislation aimed at changing the Colorado Hospital Transfer Act has been introduced into the Colorado Senate (SB 11-202).

The current act ensures proceeds from selling a nonprofit hospital are reinvested to provide for that community's health-care needs. The proposed legislation, allowing proceeds to be used for any use approved by voters, is frightening. As a concerned citizen, I understand that local and state funds are scarce, but the Hospital Transfer Act provides a much-needed safety net.

I work where a multitude of uninsured and underinsured patients can't afford their medications/medical care and have to make hard choices as to putting food on the table, paying rent, or taking care of medical needs. I volunteer at Mission Medical Clinic and see where these funds could be reinvested and make the difference between repeated hospitalizations for preventable complications and good health.

Not reinvesting in community health care would cost government ever so much more in emergency visits and hospital admissions by patients never able to pay the bill. That means the institution that sees them would take the losses (for-profits would not continue to see them). Unemployment increases have exacerbated this problem. Local hospitals no longer would be able to provide care to the uninsured, as it would overwhelm the system. Let's face facts, a for-profit health system will not provide this level of indigent care.

Therefore, if a nonprofit is sold, those revenues should be put back into the local economy (in a sheltered way) to fill the missing health-care gap. It should not be used to fill potholes or fulfill other state needs. Nor should the profits leave the community.

Please contact legislators to vote NO on Sen. Bill Cadman's bill (SB 11-202) to amend the Hospital Transfer Act. Once the money is gone, it's gone.

— Barbara Cook

Green Mountain Falls

Vilifying MMJ

I am very concerned about HB 1261, putting a legal DUI limit on THC at 5 nanograms per milliliter. This will make every MMJ patient a criminal behind the wheel of a car. There is no state DUI limit for oxycontin, morphine, Prozac or any other prescription drug. They all instruct the patient not to drive or operate machinery until you know how it affects you. Why is marijuana constantly being singled out from other prescription drugs for harassment?

To put 5 billionths of a gram of THC into perspective, compare it to alcohol. The average human body has about 6 liters of blood. For water, 1 ml = 1 cubic centimeter = 1 gram. The average human body has 6,360 grams of blood. An alcohol-caused DUI is 0.08 percent, equaling 5.0 grams. So the average human can get a DUI with 5 grams of alcohol.

HB 1261 proposes a THC limit of 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood. That equals 0.000003 grams, and the average human could get a DUI. This means your driving is impaired as bad by 5 grams of alcohol as by 0.000003 grams of THC. This is a factor of 1.6 million (5.0 divided by 0.000003). So this limit is assuming that THC, volume for volume, is 1.6 million times more detrimental to your driving than alcohol. Does anyone actually believe that?

The bill's proponents pooh-pooh our concern, saying a person would be below the 5 ng/ml level three hours after medicating. I have heard for 40 years that THC is stored in the fat and a regular user would need to quit for a month to pass a THC test, such as a pre-employment drug screen. This bill will be a huge gift to the prison industry and pharmaceutical manufacturers, at the expense of MMJ patients.

— Dick Carney

Coaldale

Backing Czelatdko

We are writing in support of Lisa Czelatdko for Colorado Springs City Council District 3. With the change to a strong-mayor government, we need Council members who are strong, independent voices for the taxpayers. Mrs. Czelatdko brings fresh ideas, enthusiasm and proven concern for her community to this race. She has volunteered for many local boards and commissions, proving that she's willing to do the work, even if she doesn't get the headlines.

Mrs. Czelatdko has been available for questions and for listening to the concerns of District 3 residents at many events where other candidates didn't make an appearance. She understands that we can't always look to Denver or Washington, D.C., for help. She believes in finding regional solutions to regional problems by working with other municipalities and El Paso County. She also knows government isn't always the answer, and sometimes government needs to get out of the way.

We urge our neighbors in District 3 to vote for Lisa Czelatdko.

— Sallie and Welling Clark

Colorado Springs

A vote for Val

Vote for Val Snider, a retired Air Force officer and 18-year Colorado Springs resident, for an at-large seat on City Council. For 13 of those years, he's been a strong voice in our community. Val's breadth and depth of volunteering and community service are unparalleled by other candidates.

His serving includes the City Charter Review Commission, the City Planning Commission and the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).

Take a look at valsnider.com to see for yourself. Vote now for Val, No. 2 on the ballot.

— Lynn Lee

Colorado Springs

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