Tosches therapy
What luck. Welcome back, Rich Tosches ("Back in the high life again," Oct. 11)! Some fun now! Teaming up once again with the crafty and fearless Cara DeGette, we can laugh with Rich as he dismantles local egoists. Like Cara, he's relentless and misses nothing.

We had dreaded another ugly year of the tortuous fadeout of the failed Bush presidency and the horrific atrocities of the Iraq disintegration. But now, along with Tom Tomorrow, Rich and Cara promise a bit brighter time of it.

Ted Haggard is gone as a juicy target, but Douglas Bruce and Jim Dobson remain to be looked after, along with a crop of improbable candidates in the coming elections. With the Indy team in place, sly satire will keep us chuckling and thinking. Bring it on.

Larimore Nicholl
Colorado Springs

Laughing again
I was beyond thrilled to see that Rich Tosches is once again writing for the Independent! I've missed reading the weekly paper and being able to laugh out loud at our community. Thank you, Rich, and Indy staff ...

Kathy Allen
Colorado Springs

Latin lesson
Rich Tosches is too"full of himself." His lack of integrity is evident in his work.

His work is hoc in sapientem non cadat, which is Latin for"incompatible with the nature of a wise man."

O.J. Mooneyham
Colorado Springs

The only thing that's been keeping me sane in these times of the little dictator and his local ally, the corporate church, is enjoying humor of Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and the explosive Lewis Black.

This morning I read Rich Tosches' re-entry column for the Indy. Pure oxygen. He made us giddy right here in River City. No more tears of self-pity. If we can laugh, then there's hope. We're ready to live out loud again! Thanks, Rich. You rock.

Natalie Schlabaugh
Colorado Springs

Regarding the recent story about the shooting range on Rampart Range Road ("De-ranged," cover story, Sept. 20): In the weeks since then, I have noticed a dramatic increase in usage.

I live in Manitou Springs and shoot up there two or three times a week. Usually there's one to four people shooting, but lately I've had to wait for a spot to open. True, it's hunting season and hunters are sighting in their weapons now, but about half are hand-gunners.

This is an obvious indication of the popularity of the shooting sports in this area, and a case for not only keeping Rampart open, but improving the facility.

Improvements might include better berms, a part-time range master, a small (voluntary, as in other state parks?) fee to help cover cleanup expenses and additional shooting stations.

With the popularity of the sport growing, I think this may be an opportunity for the city of Colorado Springs to step in and offer the public another great option to enjoy in the area. As for safety concerns, I think the nearest house is about four or five miles away, which is a reasonable buffer as long as it doesn't get any closer.

Drinking and shooting? Never. Escort those people away.

Blasting a TV cabinet to smithereens with semiautomatic weapons? Too much fun!

Bruce Short
Manitou Springs

Injustice system
In our criminal justice system, we are just one accusation from jail. A single allegation of unlawful conduct from the government or a private citizen could jail most anyone.

We have heard it said, "They arrested him, so he must be guilty of something." The truth is, innocent people get arrested.

Regardless of the allegation's validity, the accused, newly crammed behind bars in our understaffed and crowded jail, will likely seek bail. El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa wanted to increase the cost of bail, which would worsen crowding. Affordable bail and personal-recognizance bonds reduce jail population. Work-release for offenders reduces daytime inmate population. A lower population means greater safety for jail deputies and inmates, and saves taxpayer money.

Today, the work-release program is scaled-down and based temporarily in the tent jail. Offenders in the program sleep in the tent jail. Jail crowding unduly stresses and endangers deputies and inmates. The tent lessens crowding at minimum cost to the county but at incalculable cost to our community's already-damaged national image, further marred by the path our sheriff has chosen regarding our jails.

The way can be righted if Maketa heeds three cardinal points: 1) An arrest does not equate with being convicted. 2) An arrest does not render null and void the Constitution. 3) Certain pre-existing rights withstand an allegation.

Maketa, well-acquainted with these guiding principles, pursues his lawsuit-provoking course regarding rights and living conditions of the jailed and working conditions of his jail deputies. In so doing, Maketa slights the highest purpose of the office to which he was elected.

Citizens of El Paso County who want to protect their rights and want the return of a safe environment for inmates and deputies must monitor current conditions in their jails. Such vigilance will be necessary as long as conditions remain as they are.

John (Doc) Holiday
Colorado Springs

Boycott United
I am very disappointed in United Airlines and Qantas Airlines, which have a monopoly on air travel between the United States and Australia.

World Youth Day will be next July in Sydney. We, as the Diocese of Colorado Springs, had reserved tickets through United, paying the bill on a monthly basis. United and Qantas canceled our reservations and doubled the price of each ticket because of so many people going to Sydney to be with the Pope and other Catholics throughout the world.

It is my understanding they pulled the same stunt when the Olympics were in Sydney. The Olympic Committee sued and won. Yet, the amount won in court was less than United's profit from doubling the fares to Sydney.

People may claim this is simply supply and demand. Yet, how can you cancel a reservation and then double the price? United claims they can do this because the tickets were not fully paid. That may be legally correct, but I find it morally irresponsible. We are talking about young people saving for several years to have enough money to go to Sydney. Now, I am not sure how many young people will have to cancel.

If you find what United did to young Catholic pilgrims as morally OK, then fly United and pray you are not stiffed. I wonder what the Democratic National Convention delegates will pay to fly to Denver next summer?

If you are outraged that an airline would do this to young Catholics trying to be formed in their faith, please join me in not flying United for any reason. My only hope is that the profits United will make on this event will go to United retirees who lost most of their pensions.

Fr. Bill Carmody
Colorado Springs

Fundamentally wrong
Rev. Tom Pedigo ("Porn's threat," Letters, Oct. 4) states, "You mean it's not serious how porn and sexually acting out have broken up thousands of marriages and families?" So, Rev. Pedigo, what's your solution? Pass a law? Force censorship on society to conform to your version of the good?

I am a "Born from Above," fundamentally right, Christian. However, I don't believe in censorship to make people conform to some type of standard. It would be futile, in any case. Since you refer to Scripture, you must be aware of this one:

"He went on: "What comes out of you is what defiles you. For from within, out of your hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile you." Mark 7:20-23

So you see, Rev. Pedigo, it is not censorship or psychobabble that will solve the porn problem. I agree with Mr. Stahl ("Cockamamie issues," Letters, Sept. 20) on that. You can whine to a "Christian counselor" from now to Doomsday, and it would be a waste of time. You, being a reverend, know what the solution is, and it is not forcing your version of the good on others.

Donald Fahrenkrug
Colorado Springs

Squeeze play
On Aug. 17, I was admitted to St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo for an outpatient MRI. Last week, I received a bill including two co-payments. I discovered that my insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is demanding two separate co-payments for this particular treatment because, Anthem claims, the MRI included two distinct procedures.

Anthem's request appears nothing more than a transparent attempt to squeeze additional sums of money from customers already paying way too much for medical insurance. From my perspective, I was admitted once (and only once!) for one (and only one!) MRI. Thus, I believe I should be responsible for one (and only one!) co-payment.

Anthem's new " la carte" co-pay policy (without prior notification, Anthem can charge patients more than one co-payment for any admission or procedure) is a devilishly clever way to fatten the bottom line.

Just imagine the can of worms this opens. What's to stop them from requiring multiple co-payments for every other procedure in a medical office? Separate co-payments for blood-pressure tests, ear exams, knee reflexes? The sky's the limit!

The only downside to this lucrative new policy is the fact that the few remaining Americans who can still afford health insurance will no longer be able to use it. Middle-class Americans won't be able to risk seeing a doctor when their insurance company is at liberty to charge multiple co-payments on a whim.

I can see it all now: Doctors will say, "Stick out your tongue and say, "Aaaahh!'" and patients will be forced to respond, "Geez, Doc, I wish I could, but I just can't afford another co-payment."

I humbly call upon Anthem to rescind the " la carte" policy. Pretty soon, not even Donald Trump will be able to afford an office visit.

Timothy McGettigan
Department of Sociology


Warning heeded
Thank you for your article on work-at-home schemes (""Don't believe the hype," Student Survival Guide, Aug. 23). I especially appreciate your information about Sarah Johnson. I knew that it was too good to be true, but sometimes you need an outside voice to confirm it for you.

Thanks for looking into it and sharing your findings with the rest of us!

Dierdre Jeske
Milan, Mich.


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