Immigration Detention Facilities ICE Aurora
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The entrance to the GEO Group’s immigrant detention facility in Aurora in 2017.

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PERA’s nefarious investments?

Teachers, including retirees, are you aware your retirement fund, Public Employees Retirement Association, is invested in the GEO Group, which manages 69 private prisons including the infamous Aurora Detention Center, which is confining about 1,000 immigrants and asylum seekers?

It’s important to remember, the more people private prisons incarcerate, the more money they make. The role of a public correctional facility is to rehabilitate its inmates so they can reenter society.

Ah! The joys of capitalism! There was a Lights for Liberty Candlelight Vigil in Glenwood Springs, and the Aurora facility was the target of a protest on July 12.

A Department of Homeland Security investigation uncovered violations of Immigration Customs Enforcement standards for recreation, in-person visitation, and solitary confinement.

Inmates in solitary were put in handcuffs when let out contrary to ICE rules.

The facility is in Rep. Jason Crow’s district, and he discovered cases of the mumps and chicken pox there and promised a return visit. The situation has also caught the attention of Reps. Diane DeGette and Joe Neguse.

The detainees are far from hardened criminals. Asylum seekers have come to this country to take refuge from political and criminal persecution, as they have a perfect right to do. The most the undocumented immigrants are guilty of is entering the country illegally, which is a misdemeanor.

We all know how socially conscious teachers are. Please, tell PERA to divest from a nefarious organization that preys on the misery of others, like the GEO Group. As one of the signs at the Lights for Liberty rally said, “I need to be able to tell my children I did not stay silent.”

Fred Malo Jr.

Carbondale

ADUs are just a bad idea

Colorado Springs city officials say the ADUs would have to be owner occupied. What will happen when the property is sold? How would you enforce that stipulation to a prospective buyer?

I live on the west side. Street parking is already at a premium on our narrow streets. Street frontage is narrow on many of the properties. Many cannot accommodate more than two vehicles.

Even if this may be a good idea for Denver, we are not Denver. This is a bad idea.

Linda Percy

Colorado Springs

Rising county property tax rates

Who is controlling that wild tax loving county assessor? Just read The Gazette article indicating our assessor wants to tax a property again, even though it is a small attachment to a resident’s home, which has already been taxed.

We own a small home built in 2015 in the Dublin North area. This money hungry political hack decided to reach for the limit in assessing our home for 2020. I checked with six for sale homes in our area now; none of which are listed for sale at near the level of our 2020 tax burden.

Our home is a one story, with a walkout basement, into a small backyard. Yes, it looks nice, as we have flowers and a well-kept front yard.

It does no good to talk to county officials as they have the job for life and little compassion for murmurs coming from more mature people.

Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

Increased short-term rental taxes

There is much talk about “fairness” nowadays. It would seem that people who run commercial businesses in residential neighborhoods (VRBO-type establishments) should be willing to support the increased city services (police, fire, etc.) required to maintain good order in the city and encourage the maintenance of quality neighborhoods.

After all, the owners of these short-term rentals will be able to afford tax increases by increasing the charges paid by the short-term renters.

Raymond Campbell III

Green Mountain Falls

Kudos to health care professionals

This letter is three months late but as my mother always said, “Better late than never.”

In all of my years of living, I’ve never thought of the great service the health care professionals provide for us every minute of every day.

Since I was in good health, I just took their services for granted.

However, a sudden heart attack opened my eyes wide. The Fourth Floor Medical Team in the facility where I reside, came immediately when I pulled the emergency cord in my apartment. They saw the need, called an ambulance, my daughter, got a list of my meds and I was taken to one of the best heart hospitals in Colorado Springs.

Their top cardiologist performed open heart surgery and did three bypasses. And this is where my story begins...

The caregivers were awesome! All ages, sizes and gender, they kept me encouraged and cheered when I was able to do just simple things like use my elbow to press down on the bed to help me get up. They never gave up!

I know they must have gotten weary with so many sick people but their praise, prodding and “you can do it”, made me keep on keeping on.

I was amazed at the many young people in the profession and so many faces come to mind as I write this. The cheering when I walked with a walker, the ones who slipped in to see me when I went to another level, the cupcake for my birthday but always the smiles and encouragement.

I will never again go into a hospital for an appointment and see the medical professionals rushing about without being thankful they chose that profession for their life’s work, without being grateful for their splendid services.

Frankie Roland

Colorado Springs

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