A bad day and a bad idea
Surely, there are many subtle ways people in the community have been affected by the shutdown. This one might be one of the more unusual:
For about a month, we'd cut through red tape to set up a book signing at Peterson Air Force Base. My recently released book, "FBI Diary: Profiles of Evil," is on the market, and we thought a book signing there might help in promotion and garner some sales. Bad day and bad idea on Oct. 1. Other vendors said the PX was like a "ghost town." We'd brought 25 books along to sell and sign. We sold two. My calculations show with travel, food, etc., we lost about $30 on the day.
The next book I'm considering is "Our Government: Profiles of Evil." It'll be out soon.
Pete Klismet, Colorado Springs
No matter how bad it really is
A reader comment in The Gazette states that the tea party wants smaller government and therefore they should be happy with the current "government shutdown." Problem is, this is not a shutdown, only a slim down, and the federal government needs many more of these. As stated in an editorial in the same edition, the feds have a terrible track record when it comes to large government programs, including Social Security, Head Start, and welfare. Obamacare will be no different. Sadly, once it is implemented we will be saddled with it for many years, no matter how bad it is. The good news is that it will provide jobs for a lot of people, at least until the government is shut down in a much bigger way due to our ever-expanding and completely unsustainable deficit spending.
Craig Haney, Colorado Springs
A pox on both their houses
Watching the rain dance going on in D.C. it is obvious that the title Obamacare is the correct title, not the Affordable Care Act. No changes, no matter how reasonable will be considered unless they are Obama's. His administration has granted hundreds of waivers, cut special deals for the Congress and their staffs, granted a year delay to business, yet will not allow a similar deal for individuals to level the playing field. The Democratic controlled Senate is his page boy led by a doddering old fogy who won't consider anything unless it comes from the White House. The Republicans won't seem to settle for less than total repeal, until the last minute when they made a reasonable proposal. Too late. Heels dug in we march into shutdown. A pox on both their houses.
Lachlan Macleay, Colorado Springs
A broken mental health care system
I'm disturbed by a recent letter in The Gazette about the Navy Yard shooting in which those with mental illness were called "crazies." Some of the most celebrated among us have had mental illness - Winston Churchill being one. And those with mental illness account for only 5 percent of violent crimes, most being victims of violence. They are misunderstood because these are illnesses of the brain unlike those of the heart or pancreas.
Shooter Aaron Alexis's story is sadly familiar - a man with untreated mental illness who was ignored in spite of all the warning signs. Why didn't the police take him to a crisis center or hospital when he called about threats emanating from a microwave? Could it have been any more obvious that he needed treatment? Why wasn't he admitted when he went to the VA hospital asking for help? How could his condition go unrecognized or minimized by professionals?
We know the other stories - James Holmes in Aurora, Adam Lanza in Newtown, Conn., Jared Loughner in Tucson, Ariz., all victims of a broken mental health care system. When will we have the courage to fund that system instead of continuing to cut it? When will we have the compassion to treat those with mental illness so they recover rather than being left to flounder?
When will we find the wisdom to do what's not only right, but smart? How many more tragedies will it take?
Kathy Brandt, Colorado Springs
This rarely has a happy ending
We have provided foster care in Pueblo County for the past seven years and accepted youth from surrounding counties, including El Paso. Recently, we terminated our relationship with our agency for lack of support. With staff changes, financial cut backs, things changed and became more about money. Foster care appreciation soon ceased to exist.
Furthermore, youth are growing increasingly more challenging and harder to place; consequently information is being withheld in hopes to have them placed into a home as quick as possible.
Unfortunately, there are not enough funds for youth to be in treatment, therefore counties will manipulate levels of care as acceptable for foster care, simply it is cheaper.
However, you are entitled to ask questions and demand information. With a county you will be dealing with government employees; caseworkers, guardian ad litem, lawyers, probation officers, and judges who are not interested in you or your family.
This rarely has a happy ending; foster parents are pretty much on their own. Unfortunately, the agency will look out for themselves and adhere to the counties over the foster parents because the county is their bread and butter.
These entities hold foster parents at a higher standard but will treat you as second class citizens. Prior to commitment in taking a foster child, make sure you know your rights.
Currently, Colorado does not have a Foster Parent Bill of Rights, (which explains the problems); therefore it is important to connect with the Colorado State Foster Parent Association for support and other resources.
LaNette Shipley, Pueblo West