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eBay pulls Mike Jones massage table

eBay.com has pulled from its site Mike Jones massage table the place where the alleged sexual affair with disgraced New Life Church pastor Ted Haggard happened.

Its left Jones accusing the online auction site of caving to pressure from evangelical Christians.

There was a lot of hoopla from Christian bloggers, he says. Theyre the ones that deluged eBay to take that off.

The table was removed from auction Sunday, its last day. An eBay spokesman told a Denver TV station the posting violated the online auction Web sites policy on fundraising.

The table, which Jones had described as totaly [sic] usable, should have been posted on eBays Giving Works section, according to the spokesman. Jones wants to donate proceeds to Project Angel Heart, an organization that helps people with AIDS and other illnesses.

Bids climbed to $1,275 before eBay removed the posting. Jones expected bids to accelerate on Sunday.

It was the last day and thats always the best, so I dont know what it would have went up to, he says.

Jones, a former masseuse, hopes to either repost the table on eBay or to auction it elsewhere.

Let the right-wingers complain, he says. MdY

Eye of the storm

One scene of destruction begets another: In an unfortunate moment of irony, a patron at the FAC Modern's Katrina: Catastrophe and Catharsis exhibit tripped and fell into a glass sculpture this past Tuesday, damaging two of the work's nine panels.

"Hurricane Suite in Nine Movements," by Dawn Dedeaux, a 10-foot square, floor-based installation, captures the hurricane as if seen via satellite imagery. It incorporates almost two tons of shattered glass in swirling patterns above fluorescent lights.

The good news, according to FAC director of public relations Charlie Snyder, is that the piece "will be put back as it was originally installed we've got the materials to fix it." One FAC staffer worked closely with the artist on the initial setup and is overseeing its reconstruction. MS

Harold says signs stolen

City Council hopeful Tom Harold claims that more than $700 worth of small yard signs and 4-by-8 campaign posters have been stolen. Several dozen signs disappeared from the eastern section of the Powers Boulevard corridor over the past few days, Harold says, adding that a total of 128 pieces are missing, many removed from spots where signs remain for candidates Bob Null, Tom Gallagher and Dave Martin.

"This appears to be a coordinated effort to get rid of my signs," says Harold, who contends people working for other candidates took his posters. "I don't understand the negative campaigning. If you are that competent, then run on your merits." NZ

EC in the ER

Access to emergency contraception in Colorado just became easier with Gov. Bill Ritter signing into law a bill requiring hospitals to tell rape victims about emergency contraception. The measure represents a long-awaited win for family-planning and pro-choice advocates. Two similar proposals were vetoed by former Gov. Bill Owens.

The bill does not mandate that hospitals stock emergency contraception, which is available over-the-counter. Health-care workers with religious or moral conflicts can opt out of the discussion with a rape victim. But hospitals must find a way to inform the victim.

According to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, this is Colorado's first pro-choice legislation since Owens increased family-planning access for Colorado's poor eight years ago. NZ

Lamborn working toward national TABOR measure

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, has joined with fellow members of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative House caucus, to push for a national version of Colorado's oft-criticized Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Since its inception in 1992, and especially in recent years of budget shortfalls, TABOR has been blamed for leaving public safety and welfare programs shortchanged.

A national TABOR would limit the growth of federal government, according to Lamborn's office. It also would ensure that "each dollar" that goes to Social Security is there for each retiree, streamline the tax code and balance the budget without a tax hike. MdY

Soldier in Fort Carson limbo

Although paperwork indicates he finished his service at Fort Carson last June, Pfc. Ruben Miller still shows up for formation every morning and then reports for duties such as landscaping.

"I'm not in the Army, but here I am," said Miller, wearing camouflage on post last week.

With paperwork indicating he was honorably discharged June 30, he left the service. But the Army had rescinded Miller's discharge, according to a July 13 letter from the post's director of military affairs.

The letter voided the discharge because Miller had been slated for a court-martial in July, which Miller says has to do with night-vision goggles that temporarily went missing. Not long after he settled the matter, Miller said he left post because he wasn't receiving pay or benefits.

Then last month, a check came. When he inquired earlier this month to see if he was reinstated in the Army, he was shackled and restricted to the post and told he had been absent without leave. Since then, he has carried out duties as assigned.

His defense counsel, Maj. Wade Faulkner, says Miller is not in computer systems and can't get emergency relief or other benefits.

Miller, 29, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, says the post is pursuing a trial against him but has not yet set a date. MdY

TESSA, Catholic Charities name executive directors

Two major area nonprofits announced hires of executive directors last week.

Catholic Charities of Colorado Springs has secured Jason Christensen for its top spot. Christensen had overseen 150 employees as regional director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Rockford, Ill., for the past six years. He also served on the staff of U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Ill., for four years in the mid-'90s.

TESSA chose to hire its new executive director from within. Michelle Valdez, director of advocacy, has accepted the role she held on an interim basis since January. In addition to seven years at TESSA, her rsum includes a stint with the local Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team. KW

Compiled by Michael de Yoanna, Matthew Schniper, Kirk Woundy and Naomi Zeveloff. More news briefs available at csindy.com.

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