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City for Champions, the Koch brothers, and more 

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A city for everyone

It's obvious that John Hazlehurst is an advocate for City for Champions ("Migration to the north," City Sage, Jan. 22). He mentioned the pull of Denver's support for DIA, a new library and art museum, the renovated Museum of Nature & Science, and the sports stadium. Of course, all of these were very controversial projects.

I moved from Denver eight years ago, with some regrets I must add. I'd like to point out to Mr. Hazlehurst that in addition to all the fun activities, Denver is building a light rail system and has a public transportation system designed to move people — not just support those of us who are disadvantaged, which this city does very poorly.

Denver also has great parks and recreation centers. They don't have to rely on volunteers to get the flowers planted in the spring or to maintain the gardens during the summer. Denver is designed for all residents, not just the privileged who can afford to attend sports events and cultural activities. The roadway systems and infrastructure are well maintained.

I lived in the neighborhood just south of the Museum of Nature & Science, and remember that the city upgraded the storm drainage system in City Park and my neighborhood, among others, about 10 years ago. They also ensured that a new underground parking facility was built to accommodate the museum traffic and to maintain the integrity of the local neighborhoods. Last time I visited, their small businesses were thriving and tourism was up.

I was willing to pay for a great city then, and I am willing to pay for Colorado Springs to be a great city now. I think we need to pay attention to the transportation system, the infrastructure, and the parks and recreation here — characteristics of a great city that everyone uses — before we invest in C4C.

— Candace Romig

Colorado Springs

Learning from Denver

As a former community organizer for low-income housing in Denver in the late '90s and early 2000s, I offer a question regarding the Colorado Springs City for Champions project: What good is a shining city on the hill if only a select few can afford to live and participate in it?

The economic and political leaders of Denver were seduced by the idea of a "world class city," and took a systematic approach to pushing out the poor, disabled and the elderly. They didn't fit the model of the young, hip and creative class that is supposedly the panacea for all municipal economic woes. It was even an uphill struggle to get Denver City Council to consider even a pitiful level of affordable housing for workers making up to $30K a year back in 2001.

City for Champions is proceeding in the same spirit as the so-called development of Denver. Mayor Bach wants Marian House Soup Kitchen moved, Mayor Webb helped move the social service agencies in Denver's Golden Triangle neighborhood.

A true community includes a cross-section of people from all walks of life. I hope that we can avoid some of the mistakes Denver made.

— Rev. Derek Krehbiel

Colorado Springs

Heads buried

It didn't take the Republicans long to put forward a personhood bill (HB 14-1133) that would outlaw abortions and some forms of birth control. Way to go.

My Republican friends try to convince me they are conservatives because they want small government. Right. The Republican women are keeping their collective heads in the sand when it comes to intrusion into the womb and the Republican attempt to legislate private medical decisions and ban birth control based on a religious mythology that defines that a human begins at conception.

Read the bill for yourself. The bill says it will be fine if contraception is taken prior to fertilization. I had to look this up, but that means at the moment of "wham bam thank you ma'am," whether or not the "bam" was part of a rape or incest. Following this logic, which the Republicans don't want to talk about, if you have the "bam" and then take a contraceptive after the fact, and especially one that stops fertilized eggs from attaching to the uterus, you will be committing murder. If you use a vinegar and water douche after sex to kill any fertilized eggs, this will be considered a class-3 felony.

Ask yourself who will determine if a miscarried fertilized egg will send you to jail. Ask yourself why men are not co-liable for the commission of a crime for a miscarried fertilized egg — after all it is their sperm that may be the culprit. And then when you answer that, tell me how this is not a war on women perpetrated by Republicans and the religious extremists.

Oh ... and you may want to call Bernie Herpin and tell him how you feel about this bill. You either stayed at home or voted for him.

— Carolyn Cathey

Colorado Springs

If money talks ...

This is in response to Jill Coleman's letter explaining why she is not going to vote for a local politician ("Rich man's puppet," Jan. 22).

Yes, Michael Bloomberg spends money in Colorado to influence elections. The Koch brothers, through their group Americans for Prosperity, also spend money for the same reason. They also support ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council).

It has been reported that behind closed doors at the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas has argued that money is freedom of speech. Is this a freedom that is denied to those of us on the left?

I ask, with all due respect, is this an example of Coleman's ignorance, or her hypocrisy?

— Roger Armstrong

Manitou Springs

Food review reviewed

A few months ago I read a review you had written on The Winery at Pikes Peak ("The Wines of Colorado unveils sweet new winery arm," Appetite, Nov. 20, 2013). I have been a longtime customer of The Wines of Colorado and absolutely disagreed with your negative review. But I wanted to see The Winery for myself, so I purchased a Groupon they had out, and boy did you miss the ball on this one.

For one, there was no mention of their house-baked desserts, like their bread pudding, rum balls and rum cake. Or of their food menu.

Along with our cheese plate, we also split a slice of quiche and a flatbread pizza, which both were fantastic. The hidden gem was an outstanding wine bartender, Genny, who was full of knowledge on how to drink wine, hold wine glasses and proper wine-drinking etiquette. Oh, and she doubles as a barista who makes a killer latte.

Genny gave a tour of the historic building that made us want to stay longer and just absorb what was once there. There had to be at least 15 people there on the Saturday afternoon we visited, and she was attentive to every person.

The garden room that we sat in was delightful. You might need to go again because your review did not do it any justice. And your review on the Wines of Colorado was for the most part based on your palate and taste, which again doesn't capture the actual essence of the restaurant.

But I do want to thank you for the semi-uninformative review on The Winery, because it allowed me to go and see for myself, and actually changes my thoughts on reading other people's reviews, because they can miss some amazing people and food that could have a negative impact on business.

— Alice Johanson and Rebecca Haily

Colorado Springs

Of leftists and war

Letter-writer Len Bentley ("More than a war story," Jan.22) begins with what appears to be a review of the flick Lone Survivor, then rapidly descends into a rant against the "extreme left," which in his words "has always been anti-military."

He caps this off with the statement: "They view the world through childish eyes and foolish policies. Their bumper stickers proclaim, 'War is not the answer!' Tell that one to Adolf Hitler!"

But he's mixing apples and oranges, i.e., comparing the real war fought against the Axis powers in World War II, with real threats to civilized nations and their security, with the phony wars launched by BushCo to serve the likes of Halliburton, Bechtel and the oil lackeys.

Only a dunderhead doesn't know that "Eye-rack" was launched on a whim by interjecting al Qaeda into the context and invoking phony intelligence from an Iraqi nicknamed "Curveball." (Anyone unfamiliar, Google!) In addition, the U.S. corporate media acted as a willing cheerleader, fully complicit in spreading the hysteria that led to the March 17, 2003, invasion.

By contrast, my dad, a WWII vet, fought 36 months in the Pacific against a real enemy in the Japanese. He and hundreds of other brave fighters faced 33 days of brutal incoming shells and bombs at the Battle of Buna. He was hospitalized after having ears temporarily blasted out and being concussed from 2,000-pound bombs, along with incoming mortar shells.

Bottom line: No leftist I know is against a real war, if national security is really on the line — as opposed to barging in someplace to merely exploit it for Wall Street capitalists!

— Phil Stahl

Colorado Springs

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