Colorado State House
Colorado State House
Prevent Oil and Gas Drilling Near The Great Sand Dunes National Park
The Great Sand Dunes of Colorado are some of the most unexpected and glorious natural features in the West. Protected within a 150,000 acre national park, the sand dunes roll and swerve in fantastic changing patterns and are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Now this incredible park is under attack. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to auction off the mineral rights of thousands of acres of land just outside the park to the oil and gas industry. Please sign our petition to protect this natural wonder from destruction. Oil and gas developments can contaminate our water and air, destroy native plants, and harm or displace wildlife -- all of which are crucial to this fragile ecosystem. In addition, the park’s tourist industry is dependent on a healthy and protected ecosystem. The BLM has argued that the mountain ranges around the park will protect it from pollutants and have dismissed concerns about water contamination by saying the rain water flows to basins outside the park. But this is not a good enough answer. You can’t hide environmental dangers behind a mountain range. No matter how small or insignificant such developments seem, they still exact a price on the environment. Let's stop putting profit before the planet. Sign this petition to demand the Huerfano County Parcels 8080-8090 NOT be approved for auction!
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
Protect the Public from Permanent Injury due to “Dry Needling” by Inadequately Trained PTs
Colorado State Senators and House Representatives: Protect the Public from Permanent Injury due to “Dry Needling” by Inadequately Trained Physical Therapists in Colorado Do you know what “dry-needling” is? It is acupuncture. The American Medical Association (AMA) confirms it. But, physical therapists in Colorado are using the term “dry needling” to practice acupuncture without having to meet state-required education and training standards for it. Do you know that Colorado has the highest percentage of serious dry-needling injuries caused by physical therapists in the United States? At least 34 serious “dry needling” injuries caused by non-acupuncturists have occurred in the United States in recent years. The number jumped exponentially from 1 injury between the years of 2005-2009 to at least 21 injuries during 2010-2014. At least 6 documented injuries, up to 20% have occurred in Colorado. What kinds of injuries? Collapsed lungs (requiring surgery and hospitalization), permanent bowel dysfunction (such as incessant diarrhea), permanent partial paralysis, permanent loss of limb function, permanent nerve damage, and more. A physical therapist, with no training whatsoever in the insertion of acupuncture needles, can walk into weekend course on Friday and start inserting acupuncture needles up to half-a-foot long (6 inches) into patients on Monday morning. There are NO national education standards, training standards, certification exams, accredited programs or schools for dry needling. None. That is why we are seeing these injuries. Here are few examples of recent serious dry needling injuries: ● In Colorado in November 2013, 17-year-old professional freeskier Torin Yater-Wallace suffered a penetrating right lung injury caused by a physical therapist performing dry needling. The injury resulted in a traumatic pneumothorax (a collapsed lung). He was treated for the traumatic pneumothorax at the emergency department of the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco, Colorado, and was admitted to that hospital on the same day. The traumatic pneumothorax required medical and surgical intervention. He was hospitalized for five days. Colorado resident 17-yr-old Torin Yater-Wallace hospitalized after dry needling by an inadequately trained physical therapist ● In Boulder, Colorado on April 30, 2015, a woman’s left lung was punctured by a physical therapist. After experiencing pain and vomiting, she went to the emergency room at Good Samaritan hospital. Multiple tests were conducted and imaging scans showed a collapsed left lung. She required surgery and three days of hospitalization, plus four days of bed rest. She lost five days of work and had to cancel a trip to Hawaii among other birthday plans. Her physical therapist denied any responsibility for the event. ● In Colorado in June 2015, 41-year-old clinical social worker Lisa Kerscher suffered a penetrating lung injury caused by a physical therapist performing dry needling. The lung injury resulted in a collapsed lung. She was treated at the emergency department of the Rose Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. ● In February 2016 in Ohio, 47-year-old Anong Pipatjarasgit suffered a penetrating thoracic spinal cord injury caused by a physical therapist performing dry needling. The injury resulted in a traumatic spinal epidural hematoma (an accumulation of blood in the spinal epidural space). She was treated for the spinal hematoma at the emergency department of the ProMedica Toledo Hospital in Toledo, Ohio, and was admitted to that hospital on the same day, requiring medical and surgical intervention. After recovering from emergency surgical decompression and evacuation of the hematoma, she underwent extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. She now has permanent severe neurologic problems, including paraparesis (partial paralysis of the lower limbs), sensory deficits, bowel dysfunction, and persistent severe back pain. ● In Colorado, Duane Fenton, PA-C at Western Orthopaedics in Denver had to surgically remove an acupuncture needle from a patient’s shoulder after a physical therapist broke the needle off in the patient’s bone. ● In January 2018, a case study documented permanent radial nerve injury to a 27-year-old female receptionist by a physiotherapist practicing dry needling in Ireland. Despite intensive rehabilitation, she remains permanently unable to flex or lift her left wrist. Are we really going to do nothing and wait for this to happen to one of our own Colorado citizens, a working mother who will no longer be able to lift her toddler? 27-yr-old woman with permanent nerve damage due to dry needling by an inadequately trained physiotherapist (physical therapist) With proper education and training, these injuries are preventable. Because of the inherent risks of acupuncture needles, acupuncturists in Colorado are required to have over 1,905 hours of training, including a minimum of 705 hours of acupuncture-specific education (during which acupuncturists learn needle insertion angle, needle length, indications, and warnings for each of thousands of points), and a minimum of 660 hours of clinical needling observation and supervised needling internship. (These numbers are in addition to the medical courses acupuncturists share with other doctorate-level medical colleagues, such as anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry.) The mere 23 hours of training the Physical Therapy Board requires before physical therapists start inserting acupuncture needles into the public is a significant risk to public safety. Again, the above-listed hours are the minimum standards and should be upheld as such. Most acupuncturists actually have nearly double the aforementioned amount of education. Many graduate with 3500-4500 hours of doctoral-level training and hold doctorate degrees. All of that education and training is relevant to the safe and effective practice of acupuncture. Education and training standards exist for public safety. Do electrician license requirements unfairly limit plumbers from doing electrical wiring in an innocent person’s home? Of course not. Plumbers who want to do electrical wiring simply need to get their electrical license. Professional medical standards protect the public. This issue is about holding medical professionals to their pledge to: “Do no harm.” This issue is about putting innocent people before quick profits. This issue is about making sure health professionals are adequately trained in how to use specialized tools and perform acupuncture before they permanently damage unsuspecting Colorado citizens. Dry needling IS acupuncture. It is an acupuncture needle inserted into an acupuncture point. We want the Colorado legislature to remove amendment L.001, the “Dry Needling Amendment” from HB18-1155, the Physical Therapy Practice Act renewal bill. This would remove all “dry needling” language from the Bill. It would not change the current practice of Physical Therapy in Colorado. There is one final very important consideration: Amendment L.001 and the other amendments that add "dry needling" language attempt to circumvent the civil right to appeal. There is currently a judicial appeal regarding the insufficient training required for physical therapists practicing acupuncture (i.e., dry needling) in Colorado. This last minute attempt to add "dry needling" to scope of practice is an attempt to circumvent the judicial process. Removing Amendment L.001 and all other amendments with "dry needling" language from HB18-1155 honors the right to civil appeal before the courts and will let the courts decide this issue. With this petition, we ask our Colorado State House Representatives and Senators to please remove Amendment L.001 and all other amendments with "dry needling" language from HB18-1155 in the interest of public safety, and out of respect for the civil right to appeal before the courts.
Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!
When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities
Take the iPads Off The Tortoises
Dear Aspen Art Museum, Cai Guo-Qiang, The Turtle Conservancy and City of Aspen We, the undersigned, request you end this animal exploitation and abuse. The Tortoises that you have in your new display in the new Aspen Art Museum have had iPads attached to their shells and must endure the weight of 2 iPads on their back as they walk around showing slides of old Aspen in the name of art. Since when is animal abuse art? We must all rise and stop this now!! There is no excuse for this! So I ask you, do 2 or more wrongs make a right? That they were rescued from a bad situation somehow makes it ok for them to carry these 2 iPads because they are now well fed, have medical care and a view? Or that they have better care/food than they would in wild. This is anthropomorphizing at its finest! Tortoises & Turtles have out lived even the dinosaurs without our help! Clearly they do just fine on their own when left to their own lives. A tortoises' needs are quite simple but their sensitivity to pain and suffering is equal to that of any other living being. And as a living, breathing being deserve to be treated humanely. And does the fact that a female tortoise can endure the weight of a mate for a few hours once a year somehow justify and prepare them for the unbalancing effect of 2 iPads attached to their backs for several months? Least we forget that then the female tortoise has a choice about what male she lets mount her. She is not strapped down and forced to endure the event. The point is that they were not given a choice! And even if they were, do any of us speak Tortoise enough to understand what they might choose? As a species, are we really so arrogant as to assume what another species might choose if given the chance? While we are concerned for Turtles and Tortoises and with the upcoming Ninja Turtles movie, and appreciate people seeing how big these animals can get, we do believe there is a bigger concern here. We think children and irresponsible adults will see this as permission to attach things to all animals. Children mimic what they see adults doing. So it is not a stretch to think that children will see this and start attaching things to animals they encounter. Unfortunately, they will not be as careful as you claim to be, and will use screws, toxic glue and god only knows what else, causing inexorable damage. Anytime a public display like this, movies, etc shows that it's ok to do various things to animals, children and other non-well adjusted adults will think it's ok/funny, etc and follow suit. At the very least, there needs to be someone there talking to people and kids about this and telling them "Do Not Try This At Home". Perhaps even hand outs and displays about how many species of turtles and tortoises are endangerd and bring light to the work you all are doing. This may help offset the potential for danger to other animals, though we fear they will anyway. Furthermore, there is absolutely no scientific outcome from this study, like there is when other devices are attached to wild animals. No overall good for the Tortoise as a species or humankind or any other greater good. I am greatly concerned that this installation is setting a very bad example on how to treat turtles/tortoises and animals in general. For reference, the carapace (The carapace is the dorsal (back) convex part of the shell structure of a turtle, consisting primarily of the animal's ribcage, dermal armor and scutes) is sensitive to the slightest impact. If the carapace or plastron be very gently tapped, the nearest leg is alone withdrawn, a heavier tap causing a withdrawal of its whole body. We have here, therefore, a structure which is a true sensitive surface, and like the soft skin of a frog or of a man, it is brought into relation- ship with the central nervous system. Like the soft skin of other animals it may be mapped out into areas, from which the nerve-fibres passing to the spinal cord are all especially connected with outgoing motor nerves, so that the definite reflex movements of limbs as already described may come about.(1) If you care to take the time to read the petitions, there have been many veterinarians and artists who have spoken out about this exhibit. (2) Please stop this unnecessary exploitation of animals now and do the right thing by getting these iPad off the Tortoises' backs and make sure they are given to a sanctuary where they will never be abused like this again and put pressure on the artist to vow he will never do anything like this to any other animal ever again! Thank you. (1) http://jcs.biologists.org/content/s2-31/124/563.full.pdf(2) https://www.facebook.com/groups/TortoisesAspenArt/http://www.denverpost.com/entertainment/ci_26269483/new-aspen-art-museum-big-money-meets-big