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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: letters@csindy.com

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Live free (of stupid)

USA! Where 100 billionaires create corporations to fund multiple SuperPacs that get politicians elected so that the laws the billionaires need to get passed, get passed, to ensure that their incomes continue because, after all, corporations are people.

USA!! Where an empty suit, reality TV, real estate billionaire can command 40 percent of probable Republican voters simply because he speaks his unfiltered truth from his wounded heart, rather than spewing canned, polished stump crap that is identical in substance. Where having a handgun in your home significantly increases the likelihood that you, your spouse or your children will die a firearm-related death regardless of your good intentions, but we refuse to consider any controls on handguns.

USA!!! Where a couple thousand really smart, really greedy people made millions in pre-planned bad investments, that cost the millions of citizens who trusted them millions of dollars, and then got bailed out from their losses only to become bigger and richer. Where it's cool to care about your fellow man on a train in France and save hundreds of lives, but it's not OK to tax high-income wage earners for the funds to take care of the thousands of mentally ill who roam our streets, homeless and hopeless.

USA!!! Where you can buy a handful of "scientists" to cast doubt on the true international scientific community and pretend the climate is not changing. Where, after decades of moving forward, our children no longer can expect a better quality of life than we had. Shame on us. Live Free (of stupid) ... or Die!!

— Michael Augenstein

Colorado Springs

Insider's view

Before moving to Colorado, I worked at Planned Parenthood in a very low-income area of another state. Our patients were generally unable to afford health care by private doctors, and were seen on a donation basis at Planned Parenthood.

PP has been vilified over the years and has been presented as a den of vile, evil baby-killers. Those who choose to perpetuate this picture don't mention the annual exams, pap smears, breast exams, STD diagnoses and treatments, vasectomies, birth-control information, counseling, pregnancy tests, etc., that make up most of what PP does.

As an employee of the birth-control clinic, my only contact with patients having abortions was when I ran pregnancy tests and when I talked to them after the procedures. I, and other patient advocates, spent much of our time talking to women about birth control and its importance to prevent another abortion.

We were required to inform women of their choices, never to try and influence them in any way. Our wishes were to prevent abortions whenever possible.

Jeb Bush has recently stated that PP should receive no funding because the organization doesn't take care of women's health issues. This is patently false, as you can see.

Abortions never would take place in a perfect world. The world is far from perfect. Women have always and will always want to terminate pregnancies in certain situations. Before the option was safe and legal, women died and were maimed trying to abort by themselves or with quacks. This must be taken into consideration.

— Sally Alberts

Monument

Keep it comin'

Just finished reading Ask a Mexican. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope you keep it a regular.

— Felipe Borrego

Peyton

Double dipping

I was grateful to record a story with StoryCorps at Ivywild while they were here as a guest of KRCC. As a component of the Library of Congress, I felt it was a fun thing to do, since I had already paid for it with my taxes. The recording staff was top-notch, world-class. However, today I was hit up for money by StoryCorps (as many charities do), which is not anything but a function of my (and everyone's) taxes. I find it unseemly to behave as a charity, when we pay your seven-figure salaries. Replace your overpaid staff with volunteers like me.

— Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

Missed opportunity

What with ideas and concepts being batted about of late, on ways to "gussy up" Drake power plant with lights and such, how perfectly timely that a firm in England, noted for manufacturing inflatable stage props for touring rock bands, has decided to free up some warehouse space by auctioning off some older ones. Including a large inflatable pig. Yes, friends, that pig! Pink ... Floyd's ... pig!

Alas, as a courtesy they notified Pink Floyd that the flying porker was going on the block, and the band replied they wanted to keep it, and have taken possession.

Sigh. We can always gaze at the album cover and imagine what might have been.

— John Molony

Colorado Springs

Shortchanged

In April of this year, as I had done several years before, I purchased a season ticket for the time of Memorial Day through Labor Day at the outdoor swim facilities of the city of Colorado Springs.

When Prospect Lake beach was closed for a sports event in June, I understood but was amazed that this wasn't mentioned when I bought the ticket. The same surprise occurred when a short notice came that the beach would be closed July 4. Toward the beginning of August, season-ticket holders and the public were informed the beach would be closed Mondays through Fridays the last three weeks of August, but would be open on weekends through Labor Day.

As I arrived for a swim on Aug. 29, I was told that on Labor Day the beach would be closed for the Balloon Festival. Less than an hour later, the YMCA manager said the city had decided to close the whole park for Sept. 5, 6 and 7.

We have lost 20 promised swim days. It seems like breach of contract, and we hope the Y and city will reconsider and restore the last three swim days.

— Gertrud "Getty" Nuhn

Colorado Springs

Healthy opportunity

With the new school year, parents' attention is turning to school clothes, supplies, and lunches. Yes, school lunches!

In past years, USDA used schools as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy. One-third of children have become overweight or obese. Their dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Gradually, the tide is turning. New guidelines mandated by President Obama's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act require doubling the servings of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less sodium and fat, and no meat for breakfast. A survey released last week shows guidelines supported by 86 percent of Americans.

Sixty-four percent of U.S. school districts offer vegetarian options. More than 120 schools, including the entire districts of Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City and Los Angeles, have implemented Meatless Monday. Some have dropped meat altogether.

We need to encourage availability and consumption of healthy, plant-based foods. Entering "vegetarian options in schools" provides lots of good resources.

— Carl Silverman

Colorado Springs

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