Meals being served are not free

Re: Debbie Kelley's article Tuesday, May 13 on free school lunches. I would like to know if it bothered you when you wrote that "every student will be able to eat breakfast and lunch for free at school, regardless of households income or other qualifiers."

Is it possible to enlighten me as to who the benevolent benefactors are that donate the food or the money to purchase these meals? Oh, wait a minute that must be me, a taxpayer! Someone needs to let our children know, their breakfast and lunch is not free. I wonder what would the students think if they saw a price tag on every item served? Better yet how many parents would pitch a screaming fit when their children told them.

How do we teach these children or their parents, the nutritional meals that are being served were not free. In fact if there is fruit in the lunch, was not the grower paid for his produce. The grower had to pay for the trees to be put into the ground, and the cost to plant them and then the rancher paid the people to harvest the fruit. I guess you get the drift where this is going.

People need to know their is no such thing as a free lunch. We really need to teach our children, as I am sure their are many parents out there would agree that some things in life are not free (breakfast and lunch).

My grandparents, my parents and I have worked hard and we have paid our taxes and it is through the fruit of our labor that children in need are reaping the benefit of having at least one of not two nutritional meals. However, I do take offense allowing anyone to believe for one minute these meal were free.

I understand when the children show up to school they are not reaching into their pockets and pulling money out in exchange for a meal. But free it was not!

David J. Anderson, Colorado Springs


Nothing but a continuous pothole

Is it just me, or are there others who are embarrassed by Pikes Peak Avenue? In a city that owes so much to our firefighters and home to the "Fallen Firefighters Memorial," shouldn't the main road to a memorial that honors them be in much better shape? Twice a year, if I'm not mistaken we host fire units from all over the United States and Canada who come and pay respect to those that have died helping us. The least we can do is show them that Colorado Springs cares about what they have given.

If we can repave Lake Avenue for things like the Space Foundation annual meeting at The Broadmoor and other major functions there, we should be able to pave a street that is nothing but a continuous pothole from Union Avenue to downtown.

Thank you firefighters for what you have done in two major fires in our area and for all you do every day to keep us safe.

Eric Peterson, Colorado Springs


Benefits from cannabis consumption

It's disheartening to read your very highly biased reporting on marijuana. Most recently for example, you cite the French study regarding cannabis use and cardiac problems. It represents what I and other scientists call junk science. The authors lumped everyone together regardless of what other drugs they were using including tobacco and somehow magically conclude that the problems were caused by marijuana. There are well-defined cardiovascular consequences to both tobacco smoking as well as amphetamine use. With millions of people around the world using cannabis on a regular basis any serious consequences would likely have been observed by now.

Aside from your inability to evaluate the French study, you fail to mention numerous other studies that show the benefits of cannabis use. For example, cannabis users typically weigh less than the average population. Diabetes is found in marijuana consumers to significantly reduced level. Peer-reviewed science also demonstrates that activating the cannabinoid system protects nerves from dying as a result of exposure to a causative agent for Alzheimer's disease. The United States government even has a patent on the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids.

Perhaps most egregious is your lack of mentioning the profound anti-cancer properties of cannabis. There are literally hundreds of papers documenting the ability of cannabis compounds to kill a large variety of cancer cells both in tissue culture and animals. How is it that you missed all of these studies that show beneficial effects from cannabis consumption yet manage to report on this isolated negative study? Everyone should be concerned that governmental agencies continue to obstruct the rapid exploration of these observations. Additionally, you fail to mention reduced suicide rates, reduced car accidents, and alcohol consumption are associated with cannabis use.

Robert Melamede, Colorado Springs


Mental health solutions

Thank you for your front page story ("Mental health - Part 1") about medical costs related to mental health issues. How fitting that your article was printed on Mother's Day when there are many emotional issues related to the holiday. Emergency rooms seem to be extra busy on holidays when people suffer emotional issues.

The example of Christina Jackson is important to note. She visited the emergency room three times in six months after her sister died. When she could not eat or sleep, she began to suffer with chest pains and then, several months later, she was rushed to the emergency room because she suffered a heart attack. Several months later, Jackson suffered a stroke.

I agree that our health systems needs to treat mental health as a physical health issue. Moe Keller, an advocate with Mental Health America of Colorado stated: "We are spending an inordinate amount of money ... in emergency rooms, in prisons."

I look forward to reading more articles related to mental health and the whole person. What an aid to learning the solutions to cutting costs related to our health system!

Janice S. Moglen, Coalition for Single Parents Day, Manitou Springs