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As the record turns

To the Editor:

Two weeks ago the Independent featured a cover story about record collecting ("Turn, Baby, Turn," June 14). The article listed the few places which sell records in Colorado Springs and forgot to include TOONS, which certainly hurt our feelings. We've been buying and selling records for over ten years.

Are you planning any other articles for which we should brief you? TOONS also rents videos and dvds. We have such an incomparable selection, frankly if someone doesn't rent here, it's hard to imagine they have anything good to watch.

Then you did the "Scariest White Guys" story. When my employees pointed out that I was left off that list, it was the last straw.

-- Eric Verlo
Colorado Springs

We regret the omission. TOONS is located at 802 N. Nevada Ave., 632-8410. And we concur with Mr. Verlo's employees. He is, indeed, one Scary White Guy. -- Ed.


How now, public radio

To the Editor:

As a former broadcaster, the story of Jerome Davis' departure from KRCC held nothing particularly surprising or exotic for me; the history of media is littered with the bodies of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of talented on-air personalities whose political or social views (and sometimes, mere style) conflicted with the personal, political or financial purposes of station management. At one time or another in their careers, many, eventually quite successful, radio personalities have all been fired because of "inappropriate" on-air behavior.

I am a recent visitor to Colorado Springs, and not a KRCC listener, so I can't comment on the substance of what occurred between Davis and the management of the radio station. I did, however, find at least one of remark of station manager Mario Valdes somewhat disingenuous. Having spent three years of my radio career as production manager for a major market NPR station, I find it difficult to believe that any program director or station manager would have "no idea" about the popularity of an on-air program or it's host.

Public radio stations rely at least partly on listener memberships and contributions, and even stations in markets too small to consider purchasing Arbitrons or similar research regularly track their fundraising activities to see what programming stimulates their listeners to contribute. In addition, most public radio stations actively solicit their listeners' (particularly their members') input concerning programming; it's part of what makes public radio public.

Many public radio stations understand part of their mission to be the information and education of their listeners regarding local and regional issues as well as national events, and to stimulate debate and involvement in local political and social activity. My guess is that, being an institutionally held rather than a community held non-commercial license, KRCC justifies itself as an educational facility for those students wishing to learn the basics of the broadcast industry. Instead of preventing KRCC from discussing or editorializing about local issues, those college officials responsible for setting station policy might consider the educational value of teaching students the use of radio as a tool for responsible, civilized, reasoned political and social discourse.

Public radio licenses require periodic renewal, as do commercial broadcasters. Listeners who feel that any broadcast outlet is not serving the best interests of the community should contact the FCC with their comments and concerns.

-- Gary Sanders
Colorado Springs

No term limits for whining?

The Indy has allowed John Hazlehurst to use his "Sour Grapes" (aka "Outsider") column to berate Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace non-stop since her election. In a new low, it has published her personal e-mail to Bill Guman, due to incredibly poor judgment by Mr. Guman, Mr. Hazlehurst and the Indy. As there is no important revelation (a la the Pentagon Papers) in this private correspondence, Mary Lou's right to privacy has been infringed upon by all three parties in putting together this pointless attack.

I am not writing to defend the mayor, but to hope that the Indy can use its pages for a higher purpose. During this week, one of our new council members referred to our parks as "unnecessary" and "fluff." Mr. Hazlehurst is too stuck in his vendetta against our mayor to focus on the big picture in our city.

It is time to "term limit" Mr. Hazelhurst's endless whining. After all, most of us did not vote for him when he ran for mayor and feel increasingly justified in that decision. Get over it, John. The new council members, seems to have trouble with the "vision thing". Now there is something to write about.

-- Ted Schwartz
Colorado Springs

Old cigarettes

To the Editor:

With a sad chuckle I read your article about Scary White Guys in the July 12 issue ("The 13 Scariest White Guys in America"). Wow! An attack on white guys with satanic implications! What a daring and unexpected move! Truly "independent" work. It shows how far some folks have come in respecting the different races of our fine community. Yes, "Celebrate Diversity, Create Community!"

I'd love to read your paper again sometime when there is evidence of some real independent thinking. Right now the writing smells like the morning after a college dorm party. Old cigarettes, old beer, old ideas.

-- Ben Fromuth
Colorado Springs


Un-Scary White Chick

To the Editor:

Congratulations on such a great relevant article that truly demonstrates our freedeom of speech and our rights to research, speak, write, congratulate or criticize which make America so unique and wonderful.

As the article mentions, giant media moguls can filter information to benefit their economic or political interests and not that of the American people at large. I applaud your courage and have great admiration for how your paper allows criticism not just on this subject but on many others.

We all grow and learn from criticism and then can make changes for the better. As a person who likes business, I wish to make money honestly without hurting others or exploiting humanity in the process. I refuse to become one of the future Scariest White Women in America. Self-actualization and success is to be shared with others and to benefit mankind.

-- Theresa Nielsen
Colorado Springs


Labor pains

To the Editor:

Ask the Palestinians if Golda Meir is scary! Not male. Not white. Not goyem. Scary.

Ask the Pakistanis and Sikhs if Indira Gandi is scary. Not male. Not white. No Judeo-Christian teaching of self hate to boys, but scary.

Ask the Irish how scary Margaret Thatcher is.

This latest attack on men and whites in power is like comparing how men handle labor pains and how women do. We have no base line of one group so a comparison is impossible. (Yes, men would lie about labor too, just like women do, but men would tell how they were in 24 hours of hard labor and didn't let out a peep).

You've taken your infinite bigotry against men and gentiles (no one is fooled by the code word "white") and put it on the front page now. I guess to you that's an improvement.

The difference between you and the KKK is that the KKK has the intelligence to know WHAT they are. And the courage to admit it!

-- Hal (white male and not ashamed) Bellows
Colorado Springs



The Independent playpen

To the Editor:

The July 12, 2001 issue of the Independent (the one that, at first glance, appears to be a comic book) has convinced me that your publication must be backed by a bunch of greedy capitalist SWGs. Who else would use such a blatantly vulgar cover to attract unsuspecting adolescents? Your marketing department must have stolen Joe Camel's play book.

Sadly, I pity your writers and editors -- idealistic youngsters that they are. These misguided boys and girls believe that being part of the Independent means being independent.

The sad truth is they are just pons (sic) of the SWGs. They have brained washed (sic) them to the point that the politics and ethics of pop culture have become their reality.

-- David Anthony
Colorado Springs

We received many angry responses to our Scary White Guys cover story (July 12) which, by the way, was written by a middle-aged white guy with a long history in independent journalism. One writer who refused to give a name wrote: There's a new sheriff in town now and your kind will not be allowed to take advantage of the rest of the people by putting the stamp of approval on immoral activities and corruption. Now that's scary. -- Ed.



Labor pains

To the Editor:

Gratuity: something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service. In other words: a tip. I realize that this is a new word for a lot of people. It's given to show your appreciation, whether it is for serving you quickly in a restaurant or having food delivered to your house/barracks/office.

I'm a delivery person for one of the many food places that deliver. I hope I speak for all of them when I say that any tip is greatly appreciated. I don't mean the tip from some smart guy saying "watch both ways before crossing the street". That was funny the first 50 times we heard it. I mean a show of appreciation that you are grateful that you were able to stay in your nice warm/cold/dry home and have someone bring you something to eat. I don't want to sound like we're begging for money; on the contrary, we work hard for the money we earn.

With the large population of military in the area, a lot of the delivery people are in the service. If you have ever been in the military, you know why we have to have a part time job. If it were not for the gratuity most people would not be delivering. We do get an hourly wage, but some of us may or may not get minimum wage. We depend on the gratitude of others to help supplement our income.

Don't get me wrong; if your pizza is an hour late or if you get your dinner accidentally served in your lap, you would be correct in not showing your appreciation. On the other hand, if your food gets there quickly, how about showing a little gratitude. Thanks.

-- Your delivery person
Name withheld for fear of being canned

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