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Throwing it away

When money is free, every opportunity to use it is an excuse to misuse it. Manitou's use of Red Cross donations for a fireworks party ("Cross promotion," News, Nov. 19) has no excuse!

— Dick Standaert

Colorado Springs

'Delicious art'

Growing up as a farm kid during the 1940s and '50s in a small, northern Colorado farm town, I was constantly hungry for guidance in art. Oh, how I wish I'd had the opportunity to study an exhibition like the excellent Picasso-Matisse-Chagall collection, representing six different methods for producing the many original prints by all three artists, currently on display at the Sangre de Cristo Art Center, right here in Pueblo.

In Pueblo, where the word "hero" sometimes seems to apply only to males who have admirably served in the military, I note that the real heroes of my youth were the brave, cutting-edge artists I found in hand-me-down Life magazines. Picasso, Matisse and Chagall were sources of inspiration in my wish to become an artist, though my farmer father had said, "A man can't make a living as an artist." He'd hoped I would follow suit and become a farmer like the three generations of farmers before me, but my urge to make art won out and I became a professional artist.

The Life magazine images, especially those by Picasso and Matisse, gave me a welcome glimpse of real exploration and possibility in making art. If I'd had an opportunity to view this rare Sangre de Cristo exhibition of original prints of their work, it could have informed me of a more meaningful art experience, combined with those few 1940s-1950s magazine illustrations.

For any man, woman or child who has the curiosity and hunger for delicious art, the Picasso-Matisse-Chagall exhibition at our hometown art museum is a must-see experience, on view until Jan. 11, 2015. At last, Pueblo has become my Home of Heroes with the presence of works by these three innovative and universally admired giants of art.

— Tom Taylor

Pueblo West

He begs to differ

In response to "Going downhill" (Letters, Nov. 19): I liked Ranger Rich. I like Taxi Driver even better — it's more substantive — and I like Advice Goddess' snarky humor.

I even like the Letters section, even though you sometimes publish letters from readers like Bernadette Young, who thinks you shouldn't include any features she doesn't like. I hope she doesn't strain her index finger flipping past those pages as you include them anyway.

— Neal Rabin

Colorado Springs

How dumbare we?

When I moved to Colorado 12 years ago, water was a guarded and regarded commodity and resource. With this past election, Coloradans have spoken and said very loudly that water is not important to this state.

Evidence? The election of Cory Gardner ... a Koch brothers' hand-puppet. His support and push for fracking in Colorado has no possible alternative outcome than to poison what water is left in the Colorado aquifer.

America is no longer "dumbing down" — America is "dumbed down." Are Coloradans ignorant enough to wait until we can light our tap water to realize that maybe fracking isn't a good idea after all?

— Gene Gustafson

Colorado Springs

'Get off your butts'

I don't envy President Obama. His recent executive actions concerning immigration have put him in a very unpopular position.

He has enraged the GOP. They say he has overstepped his authority. He is also receiving plenty of criticism from a lot of the very people he stuck his neck out to help. According to some of them he didn't do enough.

I'm truly amazed at the sense of entitlement I'm hearing from a good number of people who are in this country illegally. Many came here with their kids or chose to have kids after they arrived. Some speak of escaping a bad situation in their home country. Many came here to work.

I can sympathize and I do feel compassion. But the bottom line is, those folks that are in this country illegally made a conscious decision not to follow the legal process. The children involved have been placed in an unstable situation by their parents. If you're here in America illegally you should be praising President Obama's generosity. You're not entitled to amnesty.

And to Congress: Get off your butts and pass some fair, sensible immigration legislation. The American people are tired of hearing partisan excuses. Not everyone is going to be happy. That's called compromise.

You may be shaking your head if you happen to be Native American. Yours is a perspective I haven't heard yet in the news. The words, "what goes around comes around" enter my mind. This may just be manifest destiny.

— Scott Freeman

Manitou Springs

A fib-phobe in wartime

I have a very odd and special friend and I ran into him yesterday. He is pathologically unable to lie. He can't even tell a "white lie." His wife asked him how he liked her new dress, and he said, "Pretty dowdy. Makes you look fat." You get the idea.

He told me yesterday about a conversation he had recently with his 7-year-old daughter, Virginia. She asked him if the Truth Fairy is real. "Nope," he replied. "Does Santa Claus really exist?" she asked next. "No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus," he admitted.

He got into real trouble next. "Dad, some people on TV say that President Obama is a bad person. Is he?" "No, sweetie, he is actually one of the very best presidents America ever had."

She smiled. Then, "Daddy, everyone says that the soldiers who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan are real heroes. But I've been thinking, aren't the soldiers on the other side, who tried to protect their countries from invasion, real heroes?"

"Sweetie, go out and play."

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Celebrate them all

I am saddened by the death of award-winning director Mike Nichols. He was born in Germany, but like many other immigrants, he escaped the Nazis during World War II and came to America.

Mike Nichols and his family were thankful for the compassion of their new country, the United States of America. At Thanksgiving, let us honor Mike Nichols' memory by celebrating all the immigrants, including my father, who came to America in search of a better life.

— Janice S. Moglen

Manitou Springs

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