Death with dignity, lights out at Red Dog, the American military, and more 


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

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A call for 'Dignity'

Thank you for your excellent article on the "Colorado Death With Dignity Act" proposed in our Colorado Legislature ("Making lethal, legal," News, Feb. 4). This is certainly an action whose time has come.

Coincidentally, I attended a PILLAR event discussing that subject on the same day your article came out. It featured panelists Connie Pratt of the Colorado Right to Life, filling in for Fr. Bill Carmody, and Roland Halpern, from Denver's Compassion and Choices.

Pratt's handout stressed objections which showed that her group is clearly unaware of the safeguards built into the bill. It made many of the objections addressed in your article. (Facts: The applicant is protected from money-hungry relatives by requiring the involvement of an independent witness; temporary depression is handled by requiring a patient to make an oral request of his/her doctor twice, at least 15 days apart; two doctors will be required to approve the application, and if either suspects an altered mental state, a mental evaluation will be made before approval of the request.)

Not all handicapped may take joy in life, as Carrie Lucas evidently does, and they should have this option of making their own decisions. Remember that this is for people with only six months to live.

While Pratt noted that the American Medical Association doesn't approve of such laws, Halpern claims that only 18 percent of doctors belong to the AMA.

The prime objection to this law seems to be that a few people, for whatever reason, might make the wrong decision to kill themselves. But why should the possibility of a few deviancies deprive the vast majority of having a controlled, easy death?

I believe that laws should be made to benefit the majority, with safeguards to address such possible complications. HB15-1135 fills this requirement. It should be passed.

— Janet Brazill

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The bill was killed in committee Friday. See Noted for more.

Try us again

To Bryce Crawford: Just read your review yesterday and wanted to thank you for coming by ("Red Dog Coffee," Dine & Dash, Feb. 4).

This is the first food establishment my wife and I have owned and run. We also have Pikes Peak Chocolate and Ice Cream a few doors down from Red Dog, but having seating and cooking to order is so very different.

Thank you for your candid appraisal of Red Dog, and may I invite you back at your convenience to have a meal and drinks on me — I'm sorry you came by when the power was out. One of the surprises along the way in our one-year remodel and build-out of Red Dog was not enough electricity. After about five months of working with the city, doing a major construction project in the back of our shop, and tons of money, the day you stopped by we were unhooking from our old power and reconnecting.

Again, thank you for coming by and writing about us. If I can ever help with something you're working on just let me know, I'd love to help.

— David Thomason

Red Dog Coffee, Manitou Springs

Best friends

To John Hazlehurst: I am a frequent reader of your Independent column. Your essay on dog assassinations ("Enough with the dog shootings already," City Sage, Jan. 28) was heart-wrenching. In our 55 years of marriage, we have owned 12 dogs, several of them "drop-ins." Our most recent "love puppy" was our Alaskan husky, Sukari. She was fatally poisoned last fall and we will most likely never know by whom.

I just want you to know how much I appreciate your dedicating your column to every man's best friend.

— George Raabe

Colorado Springs

Leash of our worries

As recently as Feb. 6, there has been another report of an off-leash dog shooting in Colorado Springs. While this has brought disgust to dog lovers (and rightly so), I believe that the outrage is not directed at the correct target. The common denominator for these shootings is off-leash dogs. The simple fact is that Colorado Springs has a leash law requiring dogs to be restrained in areas that are not specifically designated for off-leash activities.

The shootings are a symptom of the overall problem — irresponsible dog ownership. As the owner of three large-breed dogs, I firmly believe in leash laws. A dog off the leash, no matter how friendly, can still cause unintended harm by knocking down a child or elderly person in their exuberance to greet them. This can result in lawsuits, the loss of, or destruction of, your dog.

Dogs, no matter how well-trained, still have instincts and prey drives which can cause harm to another animal and your dog. According to reporting in the Indy, in 2013 the Humane Society received 660 documented reports of domestic animals biting humans in El Paso County, 300 reports of domestic animals biting other animals, and 154 reports of domestic animals that were either bitten by or bit a wild animal. Not only does keeping your dog on a leash protect others, your dog, and yourself, it is the law.

I challenge local dog owners to prove they love their dogs and leash them, before more dogs are injured or killed or Colorado Springs decides to follow in the footsteps of towns like Durant, Iowa, where officials are voting for a ban on all dogs in city parks. Remember, leashes equal love.

— Kirsten Hughes

Colorado Springs

A Valentine's breakup

There will be "break up" from fossil fuels party this Friday, Feb. 13, at 10:45 a.m. in Acacia Park downtown starting to encourage City Council to support divesting funds in fossil-fuel companies.

In January 2015, 83 percent of all respondents to a Stanford University poll indicated that, "if nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future," the problem for the world will be very or somewhat serious. And even 48 percent of Republicans "say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports fighting climate change."

In 2011 the Electric Integrated Resource Plan (EIRP) recommended that Colorado Springs Utilities invest in wind based largely on economic reasons as well as a state mandate to obtain 10 percent of energy from renewable sources. That's because renewable energy is cheaper over the long term than continuing to burn coal, not because of concern for rising costs of wild fires and floods due to climate change.

Unfortunately, since then, City Council has done very little to invest in renewable energy, missing opportunities even recently with the Clear Springs Ranch solar energy project. If financial reality cannot convince City Council to act, what will?

We encourage you to attend this "break up" from fossil fuels party to show City Council that we care about our future and that the city should support divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in renewable energy.

Carpe diem, because our elected officials won't until we do.

— Laura van der Pol

Colorado Springs


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