Air Force Academy PR, The Donald, land-swap thoughts, and more 


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AFA questions

Regarding Pam Zubeck's news piece, "AFA superintendent: Bring me men(tion)," March 30, I am stunned that the superintendent would allow outside influences like the Academy endowment group to hire someone (qualified or not) to "put a good face on the Academy for recruitment purposes."

As a former AFA chief of media, I saw Public Affairs staffs that were more than capable of dealing with "crises" communications even after the Air Force downgraded the PA director position from colonel to lieutenant colonel and occasionally a major. Even then, another layer was hired to work for the superintendent to deal with crises.

The problem is not the Public Affairs/communications staff, it is cadet issues that superintendents refuse to deal with. Cadet behavior will always be an image problem. Do some homework here. Are there groups of cadets statistically more involved in behavioral problems? Common sense would dictate that changing cadet behavior and the kind of cadets admitted will reduce issues.

Hiring someone to provide advice, and endowment group influence, will not fix cadet behavior problems or the sexual assault image. I have long been an advocate of cadets receiving psychological profiles prior to or in their first year. It might weed out potential problems.

I believe the media have a right to some transparency here. How much is Larry Holdren being paid, and is his judgment that stellar regarding reporters (like Richard Quest) he invites to visit the Academy? Mr. Holdren will not fix cadet behavior issues, nor will he be able to cover them up with slick PR.

By allowing Mr. Holdren to be her PR sidekick, the superintendent is separating herself from real PAs capable of dealing with issues if she would let them, and if she would deal with the issues directly.

— Neil L. Talbott

AFA Chief of Media, 1995-2002

Colorado Springs

Why not resist?

John Hazlehurst is either irony-deficient or lacks self-awareness ("Crazy like Colorado in '10," City Sage, March 23). "Trump has the media right where he wants them. Like a pack of skinny curs desperate for a treat, all woof happily when Donald tosses a tweet."

Hazlehurst is just as guilty. Just count the number of paragraphs about Trump in his column. True, there seems to be this human drive to rubberneck on the approach to some traffic tragedy, but don't criticize your fellow media workers as you recount the horrors of this national tragedy. Nothing in the column furthered knowledge or wisdom.

I blame the media for giving so much attention to Trump. The Denver Post, in a piece about the Democrats' debate, devoted more space talking about Republicans. NPR can't seem to help itself, either. Scandal, gossip, car explosions — almost irresistible. How about we try to resist and be better human beings?

— Judith Lee

Colorado Springs


There are many things to object to about the proposed Broadmoor/city land swap. Here is one that hasn't received any coverage in the news media.

As a taxpayer, I am deeply troubled by the way the city Parks Department staff — up to six at a time equipped with all of the tools of the trade, including flashy PowerPoints — are being full-time lobbyists on behalf of The Broadmoor.

At public meetings, ostensibly held to hear community feedback, these employees take up a major portion of the allotted time touting the "great deal" The Broadmoor is offering the city. Parks staff endlessly trumpet the proposed trade, at the expense of all of us. Couldn't all this staff time and money be better spent on the many pressing problems already facing our parks?

— Ruth Obee

Colorado Springs

Respect lost

I once had a decent impression of The Broadmoor, but under the ownership of Phil Anschutz, I have become disgusted with the hotel's aggressive expansion into the community, using neighborhoods for private commercial purposes.

The latest threat is expansion through the purchase of Seven Falls and construction of a private hiking trail on city park property. They hope to further cement their takeover of Cheyenne Cañon with the "trade" for the Strawberry Hill parkland. Shuttle buses run into the cañon, offering rides for hotel guests. There is no public transportation, and with no public parking at the Falls, that means a total lack of parking for picnic areas still open for public use.

Since Mr. Anschutz owns the Gazette and Cheyenne/Woodmen Edition, he has all but stifled dissent. The Gazette won't print letters opposing the land swap, and the paper never writes anything but favorable stories about The Broadmoor.

The plan to allow The Broadmoor to take over Strawberry Hill is a bad one. This land has been in the public domain since the 1880s. But since The Broadmoor has a track record of funding political leaders, it most likely has the Council votes needed. Shame on our city leaders for hatching this backroom deal with Broadmoor execs and trying to ram it down the public's throat.

With all its resources, no company is better equipped to purchase a more remote little ranch for a horse stable. Putting that in Strawberry Hill will fundamentally change the nature of Cheyenne Cañon and drive out the public for good.

My opinion of The Broadmoor has changed. Its leaders are not good neighbors, only out for themselves. Contact your city leaders. Suggest they say no to The Broadmoor, just this once, before they trade away our legacy.

— Cyndy Kulp

Colorado Springs

Forget eternity

We're surrounded by good religious questions of all kinds, but one set of issues has been ignored — about the specific details of immortality.

Who wouldn't want to live forever in paradise? But before we go, we'd be wise to know about what it's like there. After all, it's your unending, permanent afterlife.

Religionists say you don't have to die. Death is not what it looks like, the permanent stoppage of all physical and mental functions. Instead, death is a transition to another realm that never ends. But curious minds want to know details. Do we have a body in heaven? Will it be a young, new body in perfect health or the body we died with, diseased or damaged? Will we age in heaven?

Or are we "free-floating spirits," disembodied "souls"? But if so, would that entity still be the real "me"? Try to imagine yourself as a "spirit." Most pleasures require a physical body, including eyes to enjoy sunsets, ears to hear music, and of course sex, which would need a body. If there's no sex, why call it "heaven"?

The main drawback is boredom. Imagine exactly what you will be doing on a typical Thursday afternoon in the 18 trillionth epoch of your immortality, and that's just getting started!

Finally, consider whether there is no immortality and it's a false hope. Shouldn't we then live earthly life as richly and fully as we can in the short time we have? Too many people miss too much, believing they have eternity to get it done. Do it now, to be on the safe side.

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

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