Women's lives above politics

To the Editor:

Each year, Planned Parenthood screens over 1,200 women for cancer through the Colorado Women's Cancer Control Initiative. Until recently, we had to tell some of these women that they not only had cancer, but there was no funding for treatment.

We applaud the Colorado Legislature for approving a bill that provides funding for uninsured women diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer. We are strongly disappointed with the representatives who attempted to derail this life-saving effort with their anti-abortion agenda.

Despite its irrelevance to the bill, lack of scientific evidence, and the recent 60 percent voter disapproval of Amendment 25, several representatives supported a requirement that all women seeking abortions be given information about an alleged link between abortion and breast cancer.

The most conclusive scientific studies to date show no such link. One of the most highly regarded studies on this issue found no overall connection between the two among a study of 1.5 million women. Another respected study followed 49,000 women who had had abortions. It showed no indication of an overall risk for breast cancer after an abortion.

According to the National Breast Cancer Organization, "factors associated with a breast cancer diagnosis include early onset of menarche, late menopause, never having children, having a first full term pregnancy after age 30, a family history of breast cancer, obesity or weight gain in postmenopausal women and chest irradiations for conditions such as Hodgkins Disease." Abortion is not on the list.

As a leading reproductive health care provider with more than 80 years experience, Planned Parenthood is concerned, above all, with women's health and the risk factors for reproductive problems. We are grateful to those legislators who put women's lives above the politics of abortion.

-- Cindy Shealy

Planned Parenthood

Ed. Note: Just three Colorado representatives and one state senator voted against the bill. They include Rep. Dave Schultheis (R-Colorado Springs), Rep. Joe Nuez (R-Littleton), Rep. Mark Paschall (R-Arvada) and Sen. Ron Teck (R-Grand Junction).

Obvious bias

To the Editor:

"Has attacking the president's environmental and consumer policies become an Act of Sedition? ... Immediately after the attacks, Greenpeace canceled its 30th anniversary celebration" ["Environmentalists re-check priorities, strategy after 9-11," Oct. 11].

Question: Why did you fail to mention that Greenpeace's 30th anniversary party was in fact scheduled in New York City, at the Chelsea Piers for Sept. 15?

On the day of the party, the Chelsea Piers was a morgue. Do you think the party should have gone on?

Your reporter's bias is so obvious, it's pathetic.

-- Michael Rogers

New York

Fan of Norm's

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the Bonds and Boards article in your October 11 edition.

As an incumbent member of District 11's Board of Education, I helped hire and evaluate Norm Ridder as the new superintendent. I work with Norm on a regular basis on issues such as the development of district goals. I admire his honesty and straightforward attitude.

As a team in District 11 we have taken action on site-based management. The foundation is being built to bring more decisions to the schools and classrooms. We must set ourselves up for success and focus on what is best for children. Leadership training for such decision-making at the building level has been implemented.

One concern of mine has been the effective and efficient operation of all aspects of School District 11. Because of this concern, I was able to push for the development of Effective and Efficient Standards. Schools, departments, classrooms and the like are being evaluated based on these standards. Without these standards decisions, closing schools based only on size would be considered. Now that these standards are established knee-jerk reactions will not take place in the future. Sound rationale will be the reason for decisions made.

-- Karen Teja

D-11 Board of Education Candidate

Making room for Bliss

To the Editor:

It was a sad day for me when you pulled "Domestic Bliss," stating you had no room for it. While I've enjoyed the new photo feature I wondered how you found room for it but not Ms. Eastburn's wonderful observances on daily life.

I'm sure I speak for many when I say it was one of the first articles I sought out every Thursday and I have missed it. Thank you for returning it to its rightful place.

Congratulations on your obvious growth (ain't it amazin' what a boycott will do?!) and continued excellent journalism.

-- Ginni Francis

Manitou Springs

A darn good solution

To the Editor:

The high-speed monorail is a must if we want to keep Colorado beautiful.

This project is similar to that of building the Golden Gate Bridge in that it is a phenomenal challenge. How can we not accept the challenge and how can we not succeed?

This dream can be a reality and it will be profitable beyond our expectations and beliefs. It will take cars off the road and, when oil prices spike due to reduced availability, the monorail will be in place. Remember there is only so much oil in the planet and this project offers a long-range solution.

People will come just to ride it, let alone for its convenience.

Colorado is usually the last state in the nation to step up to a challenge. Let's, for once, lead the nation and begin the challenge for a piece of economic stability.

Our governor has stated the technology doesn't exist or something to that effect. Well, I hope he has no money invested in technology if he's such a non-believer.

Reality is, this is a plan for our children's future, not our own, and we must show the leadership to build it for them.

Politics will just hinder the monorail's success and development, and the need for immediate gratification has prohibited many politicians' support for the monorail. But when it is finished, politicians will be the first to claim its success. It's time to expose their negative attitudes and weak leadership skills, and rally people on building a future for our children.

-- James P. Trudeau

Edwards, Colo.

Manitou open space critical

To the Editor:

The open-space issue in Manitou Springs is urgent! Open space is one of the most defining and unique characteristics of our community, and it is disappearing at an alarming rate. Likewise, the price for this land is rising rapidly. Each summer, more and more houses appear on our hillsides, making it look more and more like any other city along the Front Range.

Of course there is a cost to preserving our open space, but it must be considered as an investment in our future. Open-space acquisition pays for itself over and over again, and once the opportunity is lost, it can never be regained. Additionally, the cost of open-space acquisition is not just borne by the residents and visitors. Manitou Springs has always had a policy of trying to get matching funds for its major open-space acquisitions. Thus, with the passage of these ballot initiatives, we enable ourselves to be buyers of open space and we can actually bring two to three times greater value to the citizens for the money that is invested.

While many smaller tracts can and are being preserved using the current open-space funds, there have not been sufficient funds to acquire some of the largest and most valuable open space tracts around the city. Passage of these tax extensions will give the City of Manitou Springs the ability to purchase open-space lands at the lowest price that these properties will probably ever see again. And, if we purchase this land as soon as we can, it also eliminates the threat of development, thus preserving it at the lowest possible cost to the citizens.

Likewise, we start immediately benefiting from our investment. With each major open-space acquisition, recreational opportunities can be expanded. This further increases the desirability of Manitou Springs as a destination for tourists, visitors and permanent residents alike. We are already known as a destination for athletes, adventurers and eco-tourists from around the world. The addition of open space, and the recreational opportunities that it offers, only adds to the appeal for these types of visitors.

We need to preserve our open space now, so we do not lose it.

-- Chip Spangler

Manitou Springs

Editor's Note: The author is the Chairman of the Manitou Springs Open Space Advisory Committee, however his letter is not intended to represent the views of the City of Manitou Springs.

Correcting the record

To the Editor,

Citizens Project inserted our Candidate Survey Responses issue of Freedom Watch in the October 11 issue of the Independent. We thank all the school board candidates in Districts 2, 11, 12, and 20 that responded. After publication, we were made aware of an error. District 2 candidate Kay C. Mast's response to our question "would you support school-sponsored prayer at graduation ceremonies and sporting events?" should read "yes." We apologize for this error.

-- Greg Borom

Executive Director

Citizens Project


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