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Religion-free Memorial

I was very disappointed to see that the Indy recommends a yes vote on Issue 2B regarding Memorial Hospital (Endorsements, Oct. 13). I was further dismayed that your ballot measure forum never even discussed a no vote, instead outlining all the possibilities that would result from voting yes.

Truthfully, those possibilities scare me! Sure, you men (John Weiss and Ralph Routon, who signed the Indy endorsements) don't have to worry about women's issues if the new owner of Memorial turns out to be a Catholic health organization. It may not matter to you that numerous services, including sterilization procedures, therapeutic abortion and distribution of emergency contraception for rape victims, would be prohibited in compliance with directives established by the church hierarchy.

Of course, you may care if someone you love has a pregnancy gone wrong, say preeclampsia and eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, sepsis or miscarriage, and has to go all the way to Denver to get an abortion — hopefully in time to save her life.

On the other hand, you, and all the men reading this, should be aware that advance medical directives are not respected in a Catholic hospital if they conflict with Catholic dogma. The church may decide how long to keep you alive.

I'll vote "no" on 2B so we can keep Memorial religion-free as long as possible. We need at least one full-service hospital in Colorado Springs.

— Janet Brazill

Colorado Springs

No need for 2B

What's not advanced in the discussion about Issue 2B is that there is no good reason to revoke this ordinance until the vote deciding Memorial Health System's fate is put to the people.

As simplistic as this may sound, why don't city officials include Issue 2B within the same future ballot asking voters to approve a sale? This language would clarify that a vote yes for a sale or transfer of the hospital is simultaneously a vote to rescind Ordinance 1854. This would be honest and move the sale along if it is approved by voters. Until then, there is no reason to proceed with 2B.

The unasked question now is what happens if Ordinance 1854 is rescinded by way of 2B and next year no deal happens? Not very likely that voters will come back to reinstate the ordinance. The city's legal team presumably hasn't thought this through ... or have they? Are they betting that things are going to get worse for Memorial, given the ongoing economic crisis and Obama's health-care reform law, not to mention his new "jobs" bill, which will cut Medicare/Medicaid eligibility and reimbursements deeper?

What I see is an agenda to make it as easy as possible to unload Memorial now, rather than take future losses if they materialize. We need to keep Ordinance 1854 in place to protect Memorial in case the voters reject a sale next year. Otherwise without a sale or 1854, there sits Memorial without any financial protection. I suggest we play it safe with our public hospital. Vote no on Issue 2B.

— Jim Berry

Colorado Springs

Questionable motives

I don't know one soul, liberal or conservative, who is not for improving education. However, after all the increase in spending toward public schools, what has the end result been?

By end result, I'll assume we all want the same thing — a better educational system. So let's define that even clearer — it's about the student. What are the test and aptitude results of the students today versus 10 to 20 years ago?

Along those lines, we would have to see that by adding teachers and increased funding, students' aptitude increases congruently. If not, and we keep increasing funding, it resembles nothing more than a boondoggle.

Good intentions are one thing, results are another. Let's not confuse efforts with results. Everyone is willing to invest in good results.

Our friend Rollie Heath in Boulder is investing in votes for Proposition 103 ("Prop 103 goes prime time," IndyBlog, Oct. 19) more than anything else.

That doesn't mean he doesn't care about students, I'm sure he does, but politicians always pursue self interests above all. Don't be fooled by either party.

— Jose L. Tamez


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Makepeace response

Two recent Independent articles, "Rainbow disconnection" and "Wrong signal from Gill" (Oct. 20) cover the decision by the Gill Foundation to re-evaluate its Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado program and determine the best way to have the greatest impact in addressing the needs of our Colorado communities going forward.

The articles correctly reported that all of the 2011 Gay & Lesbian Fund grantees will receive funding again in 2012 (which could exceed $250,000 for Colorado Springs nonprofits), and the foundation will close the Colorado Springs office and consolidate operations in Denver.

The articles may have created an unintended impression, however, that I wish to clarify — that I wasn't consulted in this decision.

I didn't anticipate or discuss all aspects of the decision to re-evaluate the Gay & Lesbian Fund program — a decision ultimately made by our board.

But that decision was made following lengthy conversations with me and all senior staff, after months of deliberation, with recognition of the tremendous impact the fund has had on Colorado, and a desire to have the greatest impact going forward.

There is no decision yet regarding disposition of the building in Colorado Springs. Many options are being considered, including donating the building to an organization that will maintain it as a community space, as well as selling it and using the proceeds for additional grantmaking.

I'm touched by the outpouring of calls, e-mails, and conversations expressing gratitude to the Gill Foundation and the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado for 15 years of working with our state's nonprofits to build a better Colorado for everyone.

I'm proud of the legacy of the Gay & Lesbian Fund in Colorado Springs and across the state, and I look forward to seeing that legacy build in the years ahead.

— Mary Lou Makepeace

Colorado Springs

Bloody best

Love your "Best Of" sections (Oct. 13 and 20), but there is one very important category you have omitted.

Best Bloody Mary. You've got to check out Sunday morning Bloody Marys at the Shovelhead Saloon, 4130 Hwy. 85/87.

These 16-ounce taste-bud orgasms are the bomb! It's "breakfast in a glass" for $3. Janie's special concoction is served up from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. every Sunday.

If you haven't had them, you don't know what you're missing.

— Mark Kilstrom


Wrong again, Doug

To Congressman Doug Lamborn: With the selection of Aurora by General Electric to build a solar panel manufacturing facility, how will you "spin" your statement and letter of last June to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development to ... "unplug the NREL" — where the technology was developed that enabled GE to pursue this technology and add nearly 400 high-tech jobs to Colorado?

Answer: You can't! As usual, you are on the wrong side once again — and once again wrong!

For one, I am pleased your colleagues (gads, Democrats creating jobs), U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter, didn't follow your usual narrow-minded, self-serving and ill-advised lead and sign your letter to the House Subcommittee to ... "unplug the NREL" — and stymie research and development.

It appears, both nationally and locally, Democrats are creating jobs and the Republicans are stuck in the "dark ages" of Hooverism.

— James M. Hesser

Colorado Springs


Threatened future

I am outraged that 12 individuals with no vested interest in my welfare are determining the future of Social Security and how it affects my retirement. I have worked for over 40 years to secure those benefits, with no choice on how much or when I've contributed. Now, because of 10-plus years of fiscal irresponsibility by our lawmakers, my future is insecure.

• The supercommittee shouldn't be cutting your hard-earned Medicare and Social Security benefits to fix the nation's deficit. Fifty million seniors are counting on Congress to protect these benefits and you won't sit back while they make decisions in secret.

• Raising the Medicare eligibility age is unacceptable, and would raise out-of-pocket costs by $2,200 each year.

• Cutting Social Security benefits would be devastating to seniors and middle-class Americans who rely on those benefits to make ends meet.

— Debbie Benson

Colorado Springs

Nasty letter

I've become, unfortunately, quite accustomed to angry and overtly hateful political expression, especially from one end of the spectrum, though which end doesn't matter. And I'm thankful that free speech is afforded everyone. But when a letter to the Indy includes a direct exhortation to murder voters with whom one disagrees ("Raising Cain" by Mimi Vacher, Oct. 13): "Anyone who votes for him should be shot at the polls!"), you should not publish it.

Or perhaps you did so as a public service, alerting us that Jared Loughner (who shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) has fans here in Colorado Springs.

— Ted Walford

Colorado Springs

No limits

While Herman Cain is busy blaming the poor for being poor and the unemployed for being unemployed while simultaneously pushing for higher taxes on the working poor and lower taxes on the rich, one has to wonder: How far can he, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann go using the simple tactic of continually turning Americans against each other?

Answer: Forever, or as long as people allow themselves to be manipulated due to their bias, fear and prejudice.

— Max Lowe

Colorado Springs

On Paul's side

Whether you blame George W. Bush, an obstructionist Republican Congress, or President Obama himself, no matter who the Republican nominee for president is, that person may win the election simply because of the stagnant economic conditions and sour mood of the country. The thought of a President Romney should frighten any Democrat or independent. However, there is one Republican whom Democrats and independents can find common ground with: Congressman Ron Paul.

Paul has been a consistent champion of individual liberty and has crossed the aisle numerous times to work with prominent Democrats trying to end wars, promote civil liberties and audit the Federal Reserve.

So even if you plan on voting for President Obama next year, you should see the utility of hijacking the Republican nomination process to ensure an opposing candidate whose election wouldn't be a complete disaster.

Robin Koerner, writing at the Huffington Post (tinyurl.com/goblu1yr), coined the term "Blue Republican" for Democrats and independents who register Republican for this campaign season to nominate Ron Paul. If enough Blue Republicans join with those Republicans who already support Paul, we can win a large portion of delegates to the Republican convention and ensure that Paul clinches the nomination.

As incumbent, President Obama is likely to be re-elected, but just in case, wouldn't it be nice to stack the deck and ensure his Republican challenger will end wars and restore civil liberties? Go to the secretary of state's webpage (sos.state.co.us), and register Republican ... just for 2012.

— Jon D. Kunsch


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