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Charlie McGrath's hair, City for Champions, greening the military, and more 

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: letters@csindy.com

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Tie it up, keep it clean

Unless hair length regulations apply to all students, female and male, it behooves The Classical Academy administration to let this battle go ("Almost cut my hair," News, March 26). More importantly, their focus should be on students' academic achievements and most certainly cleanliness of hair, no matter the length!

A recognized authority on the classical approach to education is Susan Wise Bauer. She states, "Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. The early years of school are spent in absorbing facts, systematically laying the foundations for advanced study. In the middle grades, students learn to think through arguments. In the high school years, they learn to express themselves. This classical pattern is called the trivium." Dr. Bauer's philosophy is embraced by The Classical Academy.

How well is the school meeting up to these important goals of full-spectrum academics?

As a female U.S. Marine, I submitted to the same regulations regarding hair length not touching uniform collar as did male Marines, and made certain all females under my command did so as well. Combat strategy and personnel safety in tactical maneuvers demanded strict adherence to gear and uniform regulations. Our focus, appropriately, was team effort — esprit de corps and to get the mission accomplished foremost.

McGrath family, your mission is to ensure that Charlie and peers receive a "classical" education of mind, first and foremost, despite male or female hair length, yes? Charlie, to abide by current school regulations and to graduate on time, simply style your hair into an "up-do" of sorts until all this is sorted out, but keep it clean!

— DM Dalla Betta

Monument

More C4C questions

I have tried to keep an open mind about City for Champions. I have read the articles, letters and editorial opinions as they have appeared in local publications. So far, I have yet to see the most important aspects addressed by the proponents of this project:

• Will it create good jobs? Had city administration and all the supporters invested the accumulated time and resources in this project into attracting clean manufacturing and technical jobs to Colorado Springs, would this not have been a much better use of everyone's time and funds in terms of economic growth?

• Why should a project which is basically weather-dependent (tourists don't visit or they leave early in rain, floods and cold) and provides only low-paying jobs for residents trump real economic growth and stability? Low-paying jobs are great for those who need them, but that does not give us a better tax base, an impetus for better educational opportunities, and good jobs to keep young, educated people entering the job market in this community. Good-paying jobs in any community are synergistic: They create demands for services that employ those with lower skill bases; they create demands for real estate, professional services and consumer goods.

More and more, the City for Champions feels like Cripple Creek: lots of real estate and construction opportunities for a short time, and then the community is left with hardly occupied buildings and low-paying jobs.

Many people would love to have a very concrete answer to these issues. We would love to know why the promoters of this project have not addressed this project's chances of improving the overall growth in this community.

A factual and studied answer has yet to appear and would be most appreciated.

— Judy Carnick

Manitou Springs

Greening the army

The Independent continues its campaign to help sell the Pentagon fiction that military power is green power. First a prominent story under the title "Red, white and green" (feature, Feb. 19), then a featured letter with the same theme.

I attended the forum at CC which was promoted in the Independent story. I spoke at some length with Mary Barber, who heads up the sustainability effort at Fort Carson. She confirmed what I already knew. The net-zero model that they and others have developed does not include fuel consumption of tactical vehicles in its equation. It also does not attempt to factor in environmental damage caused in the wars the military conducts.

Another subject I asked about in my conversation with Barber was the status of the tanks which were supposedly displaced by a Stryker Brigade sent to Fort Carson to replace them. She assured me she did not know what was happening with the tanks. Three days later Fort Carson announced a major training exercise on post involving those tanks.

Why wouldn't the training honcho know that? Seems it has a lot to do with sustainability. M-1 A1 tanks get gallons per mile, not miles per gallon. Their partner in the training exercise, the Bradley, does slightly better, but both are huge fuel-guzzlers as are the array of helicopters already at Carson and the hundred or so on their way.

The Army and other military organizations are good at building new energy-efficient buildings. It should be pointed out that that is only a small piece of what they do overall to the environment. If they save money on the utility bill, they have more to spend on bombs and bullets. We don't usually think of those items as being green.

— Bill Sulzman

Colorado Springs

Fort Carson responds: Mary Barber's official title is Installation Sustainability Resource Officer. She is not directly involved with the operational planning or performance of training and would not have direct knowledge of training operations on Fort Carson.

Tactical vehicles are not included in Fort Carson's targets or metrics for our sustainable transportation goal, which is separate from our net zero program and focuses on reducing automobile dependency and providing balanced land use and transportation systems.

The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles being replaced by the Stryker vehicles will be redistributed to other units in the Army. Fort Carson will still have Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks stationed with the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team.

Education candidate

I am a young mother of school-age children whose bulk of time is dedicated to their education. J. Adrian Stanley wrote an article that analyzed two Senate District 11 candidates ("Instant recall," News, March 5). For me, the candidate most relevant is the one whose focus is on local educational needs — whomever "he" or "she" may be (in response to John Hazlehurst's "Where da ladies at?" of Jan. 8).

Bernie Herpin is out of touch with the needs of the folks he seeks to represent. Christy Le Lait, executive director of the El Paso County Democratic Party, could not have stated it better:

"I hope that the major issues [in the election] are things like jobs and education and the things that impact our area daily," she says. "I can't believe the amount of time that has been wasted in this session revisiting bills that worked and trying to do away with them."

My kids attend charter school, and I find it laughable that Michael's emailed comment is pitched as points against him as a candidate. To me, Michael's anger toward corporate takeover of public education is a righteous anger that shows passionate concern about providing the best educational system possible.

Furthermore, Michael is passionate about the way kids learn. He was chair of the education committee for six years and strongly supports investing in learning. He has done his research, and therefore knows how important it is to cater to all learning styles of children, including music, the arts and recreation.

When it comes to a legislator to best represent me, I look for someone dynamic and understanding. I also would like someone who can relate to where I work and live. And yes, I am woman — hear me roar (over my cubs of course).

— Patience Kabwasa

Colorado Springs

Cheering Michael

In response to Jill Coleman's letter ("Merrifield's hill," March 19) about Michael Merrifield's support of the new gun law, Jill and everyone in Colorado ought to be cheering Merrifield's ascent up the hill.

Since the very reasonable gun law was passed, has anyone taken your gun away, Jill? Do you really want criminals to have an easier time getting guns? The law has already stopped over a 100 people with restraining orders and criminal records.

Why does anyone need so many rounds in their magazines? The new Colorado law allows 15; isn't that more than enough? Do you really believe that the Founding Fathers wanted criminals and crazies to have easy access to automatic weapons?

I'm a big movie-goer and I feel safer going to the movies with the new Colorado gun law. Jill, stop supporting criminals getting guns.

— Alma Cremonesi

Colorado Springs

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