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Physician-assisted suicide, the Super Bowl, the sit-lie ordinance, and more 

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Replacing Scalia

The news of Justice Antonin Scalia's passing is not two hours old, and Mitch McConnell, the Frank Burns of the U.S. Senate, has already quashed any notion of senators approving a successor nominated by President Barack Obama.

Wait a minute. That is their constitutional duty — to complete in a timely, deliberative manner. If there are complaints about politicizing the process, the gentleman from Kentucky has done so.

It is bad enough that House Speaker Paul Ryan has already said nothing will get done this year, but have you toolboxes been paying attention?

When the Tea Party was born, No Chin Mitch and Ryan loved it. Now, six years of a do-nothing legislative branch gives them Donald Trump, the Orange Whip Kid, who gives their establishment heartburn. They are well-paid. Time to do their job — apologies to Bill Belichick.

— Steve Schriener

Colorado Springs

Worth considering

I saw a local billboard stating opposition to legalizing physician-assisted suicide in Colorado. Last year, a similar bill failed in a legislative committee. The Denver Post on Feb. 6 reported, "Some on the committee said they appreciated the compassion of the legislation's intent but thought the proposed bill lacked safeguards to prevent abuse and possibly provided incentives for insurance companies to tacitly urge sick people to consider the cheaper option of lethal, legal drugs."

However, the few states that have implemented legalized physician-assisted suicide have safety nets to address those concerns. Laws allow certain terminally ill adults to hasten their deaths in Oregon, Washington and Vermont.

To qualify for a prescription for medication to end one's life under Death with Dignity laws, a person must be 18 or older, mentally competent, diagnosed with terminal illness (death within six months) and able to self-administer and ingest the prescribed medication. Two physicians must determine whether all criteria have been met.

Written and oral requests require waiting periods. The written request must be witnessed by two individuals, at least one not related to the patient, not the physician or an employee of a facility caring for that person. Also they can rescind any written or oral requests at any time. If a person does obtain a prescription they still must wait 48 hours before they can pick it up from the pharmacy.

These safety precautions give a person many decision-making abilities. I believe Colorado and other states will be encouraged or even forced by public opinion to eventually consider this as an option.

— Wesley Cowan

Colorado Springs

Kudos to Ralph

Just wanted to send a note to Ralph Routon about his End Zone article predicting the Denver Broncos' win — considering the actual outcome, his article was nothing less than brilliant! ... and a really good and fun read. Way to go!

— Gary MacPhee

Colorado Springs

Third World merch

Well, the Broncos won the big one and all of Colorado is jubilant. Like so many others, my wife and I went to a large sporting goods store to purchase items to send to family members. T-shirts were $34 and other apparel went up from there. I was in sticker shock! If the shirts had been made in the USA, I might have considered buying them.

But alas, they were all from a Third World nation!

I am not against open markets but there are other factors in play here. Almost all pro sports stadiums are built at taxpayers' expense and have limited use. They are built for billionaire owners who hire millionaire players to "work" in them. It is just a game!

If you attend a game, expect to shell out a few hundred bucks for a family of three or four and you still pay to park! If it's a playoff game, stick a few more hundred dollar bills in your wallet.

I have an issue with an organization that derives all its assets and profits from Americans who spend money to fill stadiums and buy $8 beers and $6 hot dogs, yet won't support the same Americans who support them. Give that some thought the next time you buy a $30 team hat or a $34 T-shirt made in a Third World country. Couldn't the Broncos and the NFL try to support Americans?

There is still a lot of profit in a $34 shirt, even if it costs a couple bucks more to produce in the USA. The NFL is missing a huge PR chance by not adopting a slogan like: We Support Those Who Support Us!

If you think there is any loyalty among owners, just wait until Sports Authority Field gets another 20 years older. Then the game becomes: Build us a new stadium or we will move to another city that will! Just ask San Diego or Oakland!

— Len Bentley

Colorado Springs

Liberty and justice?

I am saddened and disappointed by the City Council's 6-3 decision to pass the "Pedestrian Access Act" — prioritizing comfort and profit for some over the rights to public spaces for all.

Despite opposition from constituents, Council seemed determined to ban the simple, peaceful act of sitting or lying on sidewalks in our main commercial districts. Major concerns remain unaddressed, namely, the ordinance's status as a criminal versus civil offense (or non-offense), the burden of proof remaining upon the accused, and unreasonably high penalties. I am disheartened to see such strong community voices go unheard.

I understand the city works hard with the Continuum of Care to address issues of poverty and homelessness, but we have a long way to go.

The city has made a gross misstep. Councilors will be held accountable if Colorado Springs' history of unfair enforcement and jailer's courts are repeated.

Furthermore, they can expect active

resistance in the form of civil disobedience. We won't stand for Sit/Lie.

— Ruth Markwardt

Colorado Springs

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