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To the Editor:

John Hazlehurst rightly condemns Americans for ignoring "the Arab/Islamic world for the last half-century or so," [Outsider, Nov. 1] but wrongly suggests that in the UCCS catalog "most offerings are either professional . . . or utilitarian."

In fact, the college of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at CU-Colorado Springs -- which is full of "non-utilitarian" offerings (including, in my own Department of History, offerings in medieval, Latin American, Chinese, Japanese, American Indian, and East Indian history) -- enrolls the majority of student credit hours.

More importantly, last year the History Department offered three courses in Middle Eastern and Islamic history (including Islam in America and History of the Middle East), taught by a true expert in the field, Kim Searcy of Indiana University. Searcy is finishing a doctoral dissertation on Islam in the Sudan, is fluent in Arabic, and would make a marvelous addition to our faculty. Unfortunately, we were not able to keep him this year, due to the financial inability of UCCS (thanks to our "friend" Douglas Bruce, among others) to offer him a permanent position. This was most unfortunate, as this professor really wished to stay in Colorado. Currently we're seeking to bring this professor back on a permanent basis, but will need financial help from the big campus at Boulder, in the form of an opportunity hire, to get there.

My advice to John Hazlehurst: Write to our campus administrators and to President Elizabeth Hoffmann at Boulder! Urge support for a position at UCCS in African, Islamic, and Middle Eastern history. Just as importantly, before ranting about local course offerings, talk to one of us up here.

-- Paul Harvey
Associate Professor of History

CU-Colorado Springs


Desperately needing you

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to "I on the Arts" by David Ball [Oct. 18].

It is not clear whether Mr. Ball's focus is venting years of his personal sour grapes, or to announce a new concert series. If, in fact, his objective was to entice local audiences to a new concert series, common sense would dictate that you are not going be very successful in attracting an audience by first insulting them, and making unfounded disparaging remarks about the community they live in. People do not attend arts events out of guilt for the local cultural climate; they attend because the arts event is a quality presentation that entertains them or touches them in some way.

I take particular issue with Mr. Ball's statements that the Colorado Springs Symphony "has one foot in the grave" and that he is seeking "city support of something more culturally significant than the Fourth of July orgy in Memorial Park."

The Colorado Springs Symphony, under the current administration, is currently enjoying excellent audiences and support, and does not have "one foot in the grave," which was the case when the Symphony was almost destroyed in 1997 by the previous administration. In my full-time occupation, I work with symphony orchestras across the country, and I don't know of any symphony orchestra in cities near the size of Colorado Springs that practically fill their hall three times for classical subscription concerts, as is the case here.

If Mr. Ball feels that a citywide celebration of our nation's birthday is not culturally significant to this city, and is nothing more than an orgy, perhaps he should relocate to a country like Afghanistan, where such "orgies" are illegal.

The Thursday Night Recital Series is a most welcome addition to this community's cultural calendar, and supports a most worthwhile cause.

Yes, there are things that could improve the cultural life of this city. If there is a message, which should be sent to this community about the arts now, it is that, in the wake of the Sept. 11 disaster, your local nonprofit groups desperately need you; in the audience, as volunteers, as well as your donations and your support. I can think of no better way for all of us uphold our American traditions against those who would destroy it than by returning to concert halls, recital series, theaters, museums, etc. And in that process, we can be touched and strengthened for what difficulties we may yet face. Anyone who attended Yo Yo Ma's concert with the Colorado Springs Symphony on Sept. 11 can attest to the power and magic of music, especially in troubled times. Attend a concert, play, etc. You will be doing something good for yourself and your community.

-- Nathan Kahn, musician
Colorado Springs Symphony


Who's the dumb-ass?

To the Editor:

The incident that happened to Mr. Villanueva ["Shopping While Brown," Nov. 1] just shows how bad this city is getting.

First he is accused of a crime [at Long's Drugs], then searched in front of his wife and children. All the while the security guard from [nearby Albertson's] is shouting that he saw him do it. No wonder Mr. Villanueva got mad and called Mr. McKee a dumb-ass ... he was.

The cop made matters worse by forcing McMee to pursue a harassment ticket against Mr. Villanueva.

The one thing I didn't read in the article was an apology from Mr. McKee or Longs Drugs.

This just shows how little this city has changed and how little this city cares about its citizens.

-- Charles Hoffman
Colorado Springs


Break the cycle

To the Editor:

Thank you for publishing David Potorti's Your Turn, "I lost my brother on 9-11" [Oct. 25].

What courage (in the face of the military juggernaut), what cachet and what good writing! I intend to write California Rep. Barbara Lee, a "Mrs. Smith gone to Washington" (she being the only one in the House of Representatives that voted against giving Bush dictatorial powers. I wish she were my representative).

I think what disappoints me the most about America, post 9-11, is the lack of an innovative response to this challenge. It's business as usual ("We're perfect and you're not! -- let's bomb them back into the eighth century!") Thus, because of this lack of imagination, we can be assured of more violence, and right here in our own back yard!

We have to figure out how to break the cycle of violence, lest it go on ad infinitum (look at Israel and the Palestinians).

How many trillions of dollars have been spent on defense since the end of World War II? Where has it gone? After trillions of dollars, we're still not safe!

And if I were a journalist, I'd be asking the politicians these questions ... Ah, "none that matter!"

"When will every person's good, be each person's rule, and peace be like a shaft of light across the world?"

-- F.A.H. Dalrymple
Colorado Springs


Time warp again

To the Editor:

We thought you should know that we took Kristen Sherwood's advice ["Wild and Untamed Things," Oct. 25] and bought tickets for The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Colorado College on Halloween night. Imagine our horror when we were pawed, poked, and lap-danced upon even before the play started! Imagine our continuing horror as we watched poor Brad and Janet being subjected to all sorts of sexual humiliation and degradation! Imagine our 17-year-old daughter being confronted with all of this madness!

It was great!

As part of the generation that started the entire "Rocky Horror" event nights, we were blown away by the caliber of this production. Not only were the actors in fine fettle, the audience (young and old alike) was nearly as funky as the cast! Set decor was fabulous. Music, conducted by Liz Kochis, was fantastic. The phantoms were fabulicious! (I'm sure they got their gear at the recent Leather-Fest.) Frank N. Furter, played by Brandon Wolcott, was both decadent and needy, but the highlight of the evening was Kate Sippel (Columbia/Usherette) and her incredible voice. If that girl doesn't aim for Broadway, it will be a loss for the American theater.

Many thanks to the angels and devils in the audience, as well as Ben Franklin, various pirates, and scantily clad succubi who made Halloween 2001 a night to remember. I even saw a person in sackcloth and ashes, but everyone ignored him. Go figure!

-- Deb Martin-Bruels
Colorado Springs, CO


Don't cancel farmers market

To the Editor:

I know I'm responding quite late to this story ["Downtown Farmers Market May Move," Sept. 27], but I've moved to Philadelphia for a year and just caught up with back issues of the Indy.

I am so sick of cherished downtown activity being pushed out by the suits and strangers in our town. Those Monday market days are a wonderful community activity, and with Uncle Wilbur whooping it up, the fabric of downtown has become more inviting to the usual mall crowds. I can't imagine anyone opposing a community activity that brings families and farmers and crafters and business people together. Geez, even in downtown Philadelphia they have a farmers market and it's open Monday to Saturday all year round! It's on main streets (directly across the street from a swanky Marriott), successfully competes with Hard Rock Cafe for the lunch crowd, dumps smelly trash bags on the sidewalks, worsens an already nightmare parking situation and it still operates to a packed house every day! And it has been there as far back as my college days at Temple in 1965.

Businesses and the City Hall dwellers ought to be courting the farmers market. With the economy shrinking and housing drops and layoffs, they may find themselves in 1989 dj vu!

I truly hope when I return next summer that I won't be disappointed on summer Monday mornings.

-- Joanne Peterson
Philadelphia

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