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LETTERS: Harmful effects of tanning beds; a cruel joke

By: Letters
March 17, 2014 Updated: March 17, 2014 at 8:30 am
photo - high angle view of a woman lying in a tanning machine
high angle view of a woman lying in a tanning machine 

Harmful effects of tanning beds

Thank you for your article "To Tan or Not to Tan" regarding tanning bed use in Colorado and the efforts of Rep. Cherylin Peniston to sponsor a bill to restrict tanning salon use by those under 18 without a doctor's prescription.

As a dermatologist specializing in skin cancer treatment, I am alarmed at the number of young patients I see every day with potentially life-threatening skin cancer. Many of these patients have used tanning booths under the false pretense that tanning is harmless or, worse, beneficial.

The Department of Health and Human Services lists ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning booths as a known carcinogen. Both UVB and UVA light cause damage to the molecular structure of the skin, resulting in premature aging, wrinkling, and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Every year in the United States, more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed. Melanoma, the most serious type, will result in over 10,000 deaths in the U.S. this year.

Rep. Peniston's bill will help protect vulnerable teens from the harmful effects of tanning beds, and hopefully keep them from the surgeon's scalpel.

Brett K. Matheson, M.D., Colorado Springs


Don't intimidate the good people

The editorial from Tuesday, March 11 titled "Society tolerates rampant sex abuse in public schools" is valuable in highlighting the need for vigilance against a problem that can be glossed over. We certainly need to carry out due process against those accused of sexual abuse and to shore up methods of screening out those who enter the professions of teaching or coaching with nefarious motives.

However, the Our View page casts a negative image of public schools by cherry picking stories and studies that cast a black eye on public employees and ignores the reality that the vast majority of teachers and coaches have positive and uplifting relationships with students and players.

The study from Hofstra University cited in the editorial acknowledges that a very small percentage of repeat offenders carry out the vast majority of the crimes.

As we seek to prevent tragedies from occurring with children, we need to ensure that we as a society don't scare off or intimidate good people doing important work to help the next generation.

Todd Nelson, Colorado Springs


Raising the minimum wage

I have recently been put in a position where I am forced to try to survive on $8 an hour to support my family. We have only been doing this for two weeks and we are on the verge of being homeless. All I have to say to the selfish people that oppose the minimum wage being raised to $10 under the premise that it would hurt the economy is, why would you have to raise the price of merchandise to cover it? Or why would you have to let employees go and work the others harder to cover it? Would it really be that devastating to take a small hit to your profit margin to cover it?

It must be, since I haven't heard one person opposed to raising minimum wage suggest this. It's truly sad that nobody wants to help anyone else out, unless they can profit from it. I guess materialism and greed is truly the American way nowadays.

I'm truly disappointed in humanity.

James Timothy, Colorado Springs


Promises are meant to be kept

I read Monica Mendoza's article in the Thursday morning Gazette. I support the PPRTA position regarding Colorado Springs' keeping their promises.

What's with the City Council of Colorado Springs? First they are challenging their obligation to the Memorial retirees and their PERA benefit, and now it appears they are reneging on their obligation to PPRTA. The citizens of this county voted to approve the 1 percent sales tax for transportation and transit improvements. This was to be in addition to the existing funding. Promises are meant to be kept, and for the city to fail in their obligation to their former employees and retirees and also to the citizens of Colorado Springs is unacceptable. It is actions like these that cause the citizens to vote against tax hikes and fees - the trust is gone.

Peggy Gardner, Colorado Springs


An honor to wear the uniform

If the incident involving disrespect to the flag of the United States by an Army PFC occurred 60 years ago during my tour of military service, swift action would have been taken.

This soldier should immediately be processed for an undesirable discharge and released.

It is a distinct honor to wear the uniform of the armed forces of the United States of America. This act indicates an absence of that quality in the perpetrator.

This soldier will be stigmatized by the disrespect for our flag for the rest of her life.

On the other hand, failure to take the above action will be an unforgivable blot on the proud 239-year history of the Army.

LT Dick McMeekin, USN (retired), Colorado Springs


Seems like a cruel joke

OK, I give up. What's the benefit of daylight savings time? I can provide various answers to this question; but having grown up in a farming family, it's nonsense that it was to benefit the farming community. Most of us woke up to the sound of roosters and other animals. They established the working day. The sun was our clock, and some nighttime work was a requirement to diminish evaporation during irrigation.

Twice a year we go through this unnecessary exercise. It just seems like a cruel joke. Some people arrive early for activities at the end of DST, but make up for it by arriving late for the beginning of DST. I guess you would say they create their own balance. Kids are most affected because of the early morning darkness. In the summer, it's daylight until 9. I am a firm believer that one extra hour of sleep does make a difference. It just seems that I encounter more angry people every time a change occurs, especially during the start of DST.

Government politicians have made us believe that by changing a number we get more light. It's similar to saying that cutting the top of a blanket and sewing it to the bottom, you extend the length. Of course, politicians have more important issues to deal with such as managing the size of drinks at fast food places. Again, it's all nonsense. I guess we will continue going through this practice just to remember when to change the fire alarm batteries.

Roy Ayala, Colorado Springs

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