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KRCC cuts, gay marriage, homelessness, Trump, and more 

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Advice for KRCC

I'm not happy with the changes at KRCC. First was doing away with the T-shirts. I own dozens and wear them proudly. These shirts are and were a great way to advertise our community public radio station to the world, a great way to raise the awareness in our sleepy village. Bring them back.

As a "communitarian," I'm disappointed that KRCC also decided to furlough six local programmers to save a few dollars. Reaping the benefit of saved salaries is outweighed by the loss of local talent that brings me closer to this goofy community. Their 80-plus years of experience and their contribution to our community are lost. In place of the local programming, I get driven a little farther away from the center, and Colorado Springs becomes more Chicago-like.

As a listener, I want my station to stay local. I care about world events and national news, but my local community in all its goofiness, and the programming we'll miss, are more important. Without the local connection, we get closer to a USA Today and CNN view of the world and further away from being invested. I don't care if the fund drive takes an extra day or two. Without local interest, you can't expect a local investment.

— Wilson Reynolds

Colorado Springs

Kudos and clarification

To Alissa Smith ("Here come the brides," July 6): Nicely written and some wonderful messages! May you and Caity have a long, joyful marriage. As the minister who married Christopher and James at Denver Comic-Con, and as an openly gay man myself, it's nice to see articles like this that are affirming and positive.

One small correction: The Unity Wedding at Denver Comic-Con was not an LGBTQ mass wedding. It was an all-inclusive group wedding. Half of the 10 couples were heterosexual. And while it was a "mass" of people, the ceremony did allow each couple their own vows and promises and pledges, just like any single wedding, thus we're calling it "group."

— Andy Mangels

Portland, Oregon

Homeless perspective

In the June 29 cover story ("Bum deal"), J. Adrian Stanley puts a different lens on the issue of homelessness. After innumerable pieces chronicling the challenges that bring people into homelessness and spotlighting the organizations and efforts that our community brings forth as solutions to homelessness, her article delved into the environmental and human-safety impact on all of us.

As a nonprofit leader working to help people exit homelessness, such a focus at first seemed like it missed the mark. Why should more attention be paid to these tertiary issues when we have people losing their lives for lack of housing?

But I have to consider the truth that real issues of sanitation and safety are caused by the existence of homelessness in our midst. (Meaning the existence of homelessness as a condition we've allowed to occur, not the existence of people in the situation.) Validating the facts about sanitation and safety does not mean abandoning the truth that solutions to homelessness include making housing and shelter more accessible, offering less-restrictive environments in which to engage people, and customizing solutions to be effective.

Maybe we all could widen our lenses.

— Shawna Kemppainen

Executive Director

Urban Peak Colorado Springs

Who's to blame?

J. Adrian Stanley's article on homelessness was very informative. She provided a lot of data to lead to understanding this prevalent problem, not only here, but state- and nationwide.

The sub-headline "homelessness is everyone's problem" particularly caught my attention. Woven throughout the article was the impact of drugs on the homeless among us, noting the particular impact of out-of-state homeless flocking to the state for legal marijuana. Stanley notes that, in January, 28 percent of the homeless were from out of state compared to 17 percent the year before.

As I recall, the Independent recommended legalizing marijuana and that it would be beautiful thing. But now it looks like you weren't part of the solution; you are part of the problem.

— Joe Hunter

Colorado Springs

Pass the ERA

Hooray! The "Equal Rights Amendment" is back again! A "start-over ERA," with new wording putting "women" into the Constitution for the first time, has 184 co-sponsors in Congress. It reads: "Women shall have equal rights in the United States and all territories subject to its jurisdiction. Equality of rights shall not be denied or abridged in the United States or any state on account of sex."

All voters should contact their members of Congress, as well as candidates, urging them to co-sponsor the ERA by signing on to both the three-state resolution that removes the state ratification deadline and the start-over resolution. Thank them if they are already onboard!

My personal recollection of the battle in the 1970s is that Phyllis Schlafly and the Concerned Women for America opposed the ERA because it would mean "same-sex bathrooms." (Never mind that all airplanes have them...) I wonder what they think now of the "transgender bathroom fights"? It's time for us to acknowledge that women are a part of our country and should be recognized as citizens in their own right.

— Janet Brazill

Colorado Springs

Washington circus

Man, those poor Republican investigators cannot catch a break.

First, the Senate's Boo Radley, Trey Gowdy, burns through $7 million to file an "I dunno" report that says nothing more damning or conclusive from the previous seven investigations.

Now, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who originally justified voting against a substantial increase in security funding — prior to Benghazi — for overseas embassies and outposts because financial responsibility "has to start somewhere," lauded FBI director James Comey's integrity a month ago.

On July 7, Comey told Chaffetz's committee that David Petraeus' email breach was far more egregious than the Clinton fiasco, which is why Petraeus was prosecuted and Clinton was/is not.

What to do, what to do — investigate the investigator! Bring Comey to account for not confirming their righteous animus toward Secretary Clinton, for whom I have no great love.

But it's perfect. Ken Starr, recently fired from his Baylor University chancellorship for mishandling a sexual assault scandal, is available. As the Republicans seem to have a money tree under lock-and-key, they can spend another $30 million or so, keep the investigation in the headlines until November, and pave the way for Orange Whip to ascend to the White House.

I mean, it has to start somewhere.

— Steve Schriener

Chetek, Wisconsin

Exhibit A

Donald Trump says the system is rigged. I am willing to bet he could prove that by sharing his tax returns with the public.

— Doug Nelson

Colorado Springs

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