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Tit-for-tat

To the Editor:

As someone with nearly 15 years of newspaper reporting/editing experience, I understand the importance of objectivity and getting both sides of the story. That should take precedence over the "sellability" of an article or pursuing a more sensationalistic angle so it will appeal more to readers.

Apparently, objectivity is not on the list for reporter Bob Campbell, as evidenced by his article in the May 17 issue, "Battle in Skyway."

Campbell, it seems, had already determined the slant of the story before he called my wife and posed his questions in an accusatory tone, arguing with her the side of the neighbors, leaving little doubt that he sided with the neighbors. We have to presume that these neighbors put him up to the story and painted a picture of people who lived in peace and quiet until an inconsiderate family moved in and had the nerve to operate a home business and, thus, violate the sacred covenants.

First of all, this is a personal matter between we neighbors and the board. The last time I checked, we don't answer to the Independent, especially when the reporter doesn't approach the story with an open mind.

Since the board ruled in our favor, our peaceful neighbors, the same ones who expressed concern over the quietness of the area being sacrificed if a home daycare was allowed to operate, upon our moving in, have shown their dissatisfaction with the board's decision by waging a harassment campaign against us. This has included contacting your newspaper and calling the county, claiming we are having major plumbing work done without a permit. The man from the county who responded to the call, when apprised of the work being done (drywall and reconnecting a toilet), said he vehemently objected to such calls because they are a waste of his time and county funds.

In the meantime, the same neighbors who are so concerned with honoring covenants and maintaining property values have a number of fence posts lying at the side of their yard, as well as a collection of junk -- a fire hazard according to the board's own newsletter -- lying in their back yard since at least January of this year. Yet as the one neighbor pointed out when we brought the matter to the attention of the board, "It was that way when you came here and you still moved in." We responded that we were trying to be good neighbors and not get off on a bad note. We were accused of playing tit-for-tat.

While the bias in Campbell's so-called news column is obvious, we'd still like to address this "battle in Skyway." So far as the Prudhomme family is concerned, the war is over and the neighborhood is expected to live up to the final decision of our association. Our mode of "battle" is to contact mediation, which is what people truly concerned for the peace and quiet of an area should do -- that is, to learn to live together, rather than launching personal attacks against one's neighbor in the name of self-interest.

-- Steve and Fran Prudhomme
Colorado Springs


Reject Bush's dirty energy proposal

To the Editor:

Regarding Russell Sadler's "What Energy Crisis?" (May 10): The Bush administration's focus on supply is sending us down the same failed path of dirty, dangerous energy that does not deliver to the consumer.

Failing energy markets means California residents now worry about rolling blackouts and we all will face rising gasoline prices. That's on top of the threats to the public's health and safety that come from coal, oil and nuclear energy. It's time for the United States to follow a path to a smarter and cleaner energy future. The right blend of efficiency programs will reduce demand for energy and save consumers money. Efficiency is the quickest, cleanest, cheapest fix to energy problems for the near term. We must also take steps to avoid this mess in the future by supporting clean, renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar.

The president's plan offers no relief to consumers who are living with rising prices and rolling blackouts right now. Instead, it is an outrage that President Bush rewards the polluters who have created the problems, who have contributed record amounts of campaign money, and who are reaping record-setting profits. At the same time he is turning their back on a more sustainable and reliable energy future.

Congress should reject President Bush's dirty energy proposal and give Americans a cleaner, smarter energy future that uses clean 21st century technology.

-- Andrew Brookens
CoPIRG Energy Intern
Denver



Feedback on bipolar disorder article

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Mr. Reeher and Kathryn Eastburn for bringing this article and David's story to the public ("To Hell and Back," May 10). I am a mother of three children, the youngest of which has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I as of July of 2000.

Mr. Reeher's story has helped our family tremendously and I applaud him for the courage it took to allow his private life to go on public display for the benefit of others.

Since my son's diagnosis, many in his father's family have rejected the diagnosis and rather blamed me for the problems my son has. Last week my brother-in-law and his family were in Colorado Springs for vacation, visiting from Oklahoma. As God would have it, they saw and [picked up] this paper and read Ms. Eastburn's article. Through this a seed of understanding has been planted and a small bit of credibility has been lent to Michael's and our family's struggle to help him -- that perhaps there really might be something wrong and that what we are doing to help him just might be a good thing.

For that, I thank you both. You have just done a wonderful and tremendous thing; you have made a difference in Michael's life and possibly many others.

-- Natalie LaBounty
Warner, Okla.

To the Editor:

Thank you, Kathryn Eastburn, for writing the story of David Reeher ("To Hell and Back," May 10). Having a child who suffers with bipolar illness is a tough burden for any parents. The chaos inflicted on the family is at times unbearable. It is always nice to hear or read of success stories. It is also important to inform others of the symptoms so that bipolar children can get the proper treatment.

-- Jackie Orent
Andover, Mass.

To the Editor:

Thank you so much for doing a story on this very misunderstood disorder ("To Hell and Back," May 10). My son has early onset Bipolar Disorder. He was symptomatic from birth but was not diagnosed correctly until he was 15. He is now 17 and is still struggling with stability. He's so much better than he was but his life has been so interrupted, it will take a few more years to get back on track. If he had only been diagnosed earlier, when we first started taking him to psychologists, he would probably be graduating with his class this weekend. Instead, partly due to a medical system with antiquated beliefs and partly due to an uncaring school that broke federal IDEA law every minute of every day, he will be at home waiting for his friends to come see him after their graduation.

My son has a 140+ IQ and hasn't been in school for two years. If you want to know how this could happen, look into how school systems treat a child that is gifted and has a brain/mood disorder.

Thanks again for your wonderful article.

-- Sandi Norelli
Wyoming


Lock him up

To the Editor:

Why isn't Doug Dean in jail?

According to the restraining order request that Gloria Sanak filed, Dean hopped a fence with a locked gate, broke into the house with a screwdriver, then threatened Sanak with the screwdriver and chased her down the block, brandishing it.

According to the Colorado Revised Statutes, these actions constitute Criminal Mischief, a Class 3 Misdemeanor under 18-4-501, Second Degree Criminal Trespass, a Class 3 Misdemeanor under 18-4-503, and Menacing, a Class 5 Felony under 18-3-206.

Yet the Denver Police say no laws were broken? Give me a break!

The people of Colorado Springs elected this person to the State House and somehow he made Speaker. As a public figure he is supposed to -- and expected to -- lead by example. Then he goes and does this, after a relationship with a lobbyist, which is ethically questionable for any legislator.

The State House must be like an American Express commercial: "Membership has its privileges."

There is a political group that recognizes that leadership is by example, that ethics and personal responsibility matter, and that the law is to be followed. That group is the Libertarian Party.

So I ask the question again:

Why isn't Doug Dean in jail?

-- Mike Seebeck
Midway, CO


Congrats, Gov. Swift

To the Editor:

I just wanted to offer my congratulations to Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift, who recently gave birth to twin baby girls in Boston. The 36-year-old Swift is the first U.S. governor ever to give birth while in office. What a story!

Many pessimists argued Swift should have forfeited her position, claiming her pregnancy and subsequent motherhood responsibilities would unquestionably distract her from performing the duties of governor.

Yet I am convinced such criticism is blatantly false and unconstructive. I say, let's "hold Governor Swift big." Of course she can be an effective governor and mother at the same time!

For the next eight weeks Swift will be on "working maternity leave," maintaining daily contact with her chief of staff. Indeed, it is very possible her administration will be less active, but then again, a diminished use of her gubernatorial power may not be such a bad thing, especially for those (like me) who believe that a limited form of government is often the best form of governing.

-- Steve Garufi
Colorado Springs

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