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LETTERS: Community steps up, huge tax breaks

January 14, 2011

Community steps up

On Dec. 22, 2010, a plane crash took the lives of our precious daughter and son-in-law, Nicole and Anthony Riggan. While we will miss them every day of our lives, we know for certain they are happy together enjoying the unfathomable love of our savior, Jesus Christ. That knowledge makes all the difference in being able to carry on with our lives. We look forward to being with them again forever.

Our family wants to extend our sincere gratitude to all of those who have supported us through this trying time. Our church families, scouting family, and Air Force and academy families, as well as our family members, friends and community have truly rallied around us with love. Thank you to all those who have sent cards and flowers, called, provided meals and prayed and surrounded us with love. Your support has made a difference in our lives!

Love and concern started immediately after the accident with caring support from first responders, chaplains, Colorado Springs airport staff and Peterson Field personnel. From that moment on, caring people have reached out to us from around the world. Thank you so much! Nicole and Anthony would be as touched as we are. We look forward to the miracles God provides and receiving love and support as we continue to grieve.

Please go to Nicole and Anthony’s memorial website ( for information on scholarship donations and to learn more about this extraordinary couple.

John, Suzanne, Danielle
and Gabriel Paterson


Transparency crucial 

Mr. McEvoy: Myself along with many others have not made a decision on your proposal to make Memorial a nonprofit. It may or may not be a good thing, we do not have sufficient information to make that call. It is premature to place such an important issue on the April ballot for a vote by city taxpayers. There are many questions that are unanswered. It is premature to consider selling Memorial to any entity as we do not have information from either side of that issue. The commission that studied the conversion to a nonprofit has many issues unanswered, many items seem to have been slanted much to one side. The mayor and some members of the City Council seem to have an agenda to rush this issue to the April ballot. What is the reason for council’s big hurry?

It appears that we are progressing along the lines of the past lame-duck Congress, ram everything through so later political bodies can try to figure out how to untangle the mess that has been created. I am positive that the taxpayers, the real owners of Memorial, want all the facts concerning financial affairs and a true account of the hospitals business affairs. Before this is placed on the ballot at any time in the future, it is time that Memorial provide the public financial accounting of revenue streams, costs, assets, liabilities both long and short term. This does not mean a sum total of revenue or costs but each item identified so the taxpayer knows from where each dollar is derived and each expenditure is for and to whom.

Before any proposed sale or transfer, full financial information must be provided. It has been suggested that a $5 million dollar down payment will be paid to the city in reference to obtaining the nonprofit along with minimal yearly payments. The question would be from where are those funds coming from? Who will pay off the outstanding bonds and other debts?

The taxpayers want this transaction open and fully transparent, no more backdoor deals. We have had too many in the last 15 to 20 years that keep biting the taxpayers in the wallet. If you are serious about this, be serious with the taxpayers, be open and transparent.

One final issue: a phone bank, e-mails and others are being set up to lobby the public on behalf of the nonprofit. Is this group being organized under the rules of a 527 or other political action group?

Mitch Christiansen

Colorado Springs


Situation is deplorable

Was that a misprint in the Jan. 11 paper: “Judge defers soldier’s sentence?” (Huh?) Or did the defense attorney Rory Taylor really argue this wasn’t domestic violence?

Perpetrators always have an excuse, i.e., I was drunk, on drugs, having a bad day, lack of respect, stressed out...

If they were in a relationship, married, shared a child and he strangled (not choked, you choke on a hunk of chicken you didn’t chew) her it is domestic violence.

Did the prosecutor also try for a different category other than domestic violence? Sounds like the justice system in Colorado Springs needs some serious training on the dynamics of domestic violence.

The Department of Defense has spent a lot of time and money on training and resources for military members and their families on domestic violence counseling. This situation is deplorable

Jean Emmons

Colorado Springs


Giving big tax breaks

OK, the city says that completing another Lowe’s in the Citadel Crossing is worth a $250,000 investment (tax break for Lowe’s.)

The city and Lowe’s claim that the new center would generate $28 million in sales with $10 million of that being completely new revenue.

The Home Depot on Pikes Peak and Academy is within shouting distance of the Citadel Crossing, and there is an existing Lowe’s roughly 11

2 miles east on Powers and Constitution. I don’t believe the city’s story but even if it is an accurate study, there is a bigger problem.

The city is as relentless in giving tax breaks to big businesses as they are in explaining to the people that it is our duty to pay a little more in taxes and

or fees to support knee-jerk government and big business.

The city will tell you that the per person cost of the $250,000 Lowe’s tax break is less than 20 cents per person, per year for five years. A small price indeed when they look at our small contributions. But in aggregate, it looks much different.

It looks like one quarter of a million wasted dollars that the city will cry about the next time they can’t plow the streets.

It will take considerable license with accounting practices to make this giveaway look good — even from city hall’s foggy and shuttered windows.

John Vucasovich

Colorado Springs

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