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Robin Williams, Hickenlooper and fracking, sisters' gratitude, and more 

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Fighting depression

The only thing to come out of Robin Williams' suicide is that it has brought depression up to the surface, where the general public can get just the most minute feeling of what those who have this disease go through. I am not a mental health professional, but I have some experience in this subject. So here goes:

Robin has been called a coward by one reporter, and others have shown disbelief that someone so funny, so seemingly full of life, would take his own life.

What these people cannot fathom is the utter blackness, the despair that can haunt the clinically depressed. Even with family around, you feel completely helpless and alone. There is a level that you fall into where you feel that the pain you are feeling is more than your will to live. But at the same time, you come across to your family and friends as being cheerful and "just fine." Maybe that is why when the person takes their own life, it is such a shock to those who know them.

Those who are depressed will tend to try to shield those around them, so as not to burden them. Since mental illness, especially depression, is taboo to talk about, most people do not know how to recognize the signs of deep depression.

Everyone should learn and recognize the signs of depression, and if the person who has depression does not feel comfortable talking to friends or family (again to shield them), get them to go to a mental health provider that they can talk to. And never ignore any mention, even joking, about suicide. Talk can lead to action.

If one person can be saved, then Robin's actions will have not been completely in vain. May his tortured mind be at rest.

— A.G. Becker

Colorado Springs

Broadmoor's choice

Re: "Broadmoor boosts Lamborn" (Noted, Aug. 13): Why? We taxpayers have given Lamborn over $1 million during his tenure and for what? A majority of his legislation never makes it out of committee, which means his fellow Republicans don't like his work, either. He's had one piece of legislation signed by the President, which would not have happened without the help of our Democratic delegation, for the Manitou Incline. He's been called a buffoon by The Economist magazine and listed as an anarchist by The Nation.

Maybe the Broadmoor et al should rename their event: Broadmoor BOOTS Lamborn. Doing research on Lamborn's record might convince them that this is a candidate they should not waste their and other people's money on.

— Gary Casimir

Colorado Springs

Hickenlooper and fracking

Gov. John Hickenlooper wants an 18-member fracking commission to "compromise." But Hickenlooper's preconditions for the fracking commission are one-sided and laughable.

The governor will only appoint people who believe the state's control of fracking operations preempts any local community's right to control or ban fracking operations. Where is the compromise?

The governor demands that the commission NOT discuss air quality and water quality impacts from fracking. Where is the compromise?

As governor, I will disband the whole fracking commission, assuming it even gets off the ground. (Hickenlooper may also drop the whole idea the day after the election, if he is re-elected. Bob Beauprez, the Republican candidate for governor, certainly would.)

At a gut level I resist one-size-fits-all solutions for Colorado. Maybe people in Weld County are happy with fracking for the revenue it provides. Maybe people in Boulder County think putting up with fracking isn't worth the money. I say let the locals decide.

Local communities have a natural right to control local activities. That is the whole point of Rep. Jared Polis' Initiative 89, which won't be on the ballot in November thanks to arm-twisting from the governor.

There are more than a dozen special tax exemptions for oil and gas extraction in Colorado's severance tax code, costing taxpayers over $250 million per year. Continuing to prop up oil and gas development unfairly impacts and delays development of renewable, non-polluting energy sources in Colorado.

As governor I will work to end tax subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and level the playing field for development of renewable, non-polluting energy sources.

— Harry Hempy

Green candidate for Governor of Colorado

Jamestown

Sisters' gratitude

On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was passed. This Amendment was over 100 years in the making. During that time, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Gage led the work to get women this right, though they had help from the Iroquois Nation.

Sally Roesch Wagner, founder of one of the first women's studies programs, writes in Sisters of Spirit how the Iroquois women living in Seneca Falls, N.Y., lived differently from their EuroAmerican sisters. Iroquois women owned their own property, had rewarding work, controlled their own bodies and had decisive political power. These rights were not part of the EuroAmerican culture for women, but were at the heart of early feminism and the fight for women's suffrage.

Roesch Wagner questioned, "How did the radical suffragists come to their vision, a vision not of Band-Aid reform but of a reconstituted world completely transformed?" Following 20 years of research, she uncovered journals from the suffragists documenting conversations with their Iroquois sisters. Sisters in Spirit captures the way the Iroquois Nation inspired early suffragists.

As Aug. 26, 2014, approaches, there are opportunities for action. First, the Native American community has offered much to EuroAmerican culture with little appreciation; take a moment and learn more about the rich Native American Nation.

Second, the right to vote is not something all Americans have had. The Women's Resource Agency and the Pikes Peak Equality Coalition advocate that every voice counts and all citizens need to register and vote. This right was not always in our Constitution, and some countries still have not figured voting out. Americans are fortunate, and women have our Iroquois sisters to thank. For more information on Sisters in Spirit or volunteering with voter registration, visit wrainc.org or coppec.org.

— Melissa Marts, executive director, Women's Resource Agency

Colorado Springs

Correction

In "Revolution at our doorstep" (City Sage, Aug. 13), John Hazlehurst referenced a potential scenario in which voters dispatched Mayor Steve Bach and City Council President Keith King from office. He actually meant to put King and City Councilor Joel Miller in that scenario, not the mayor. We regret the error.

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