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The mature among us

To the Editor:

Noel Black's saying should really be, "If you can't say something professional, then say something trashy." Last week's review of The Man Who Wasn't There aptly demonstrated that.

While I don't disagree with several of the sentiments Black expressed -- sure, I differ with some of Warren Epstein's reviews and I certainly believe that cinema should do much more than just entertain and "uplift" us -- the tone of this writing points to just how ineffectual the Indy is as a source of informed, intelligent film criticism.

I've got news for you, Noel: Warren Epstein isn't the reason Colorado Springs doesn't get decent and timely movie releases. The film distribution business is built on profit -- perhaps you should level your criticism at the "vacuous," "daft," "sentimental" Colorado Springs movie-going public who buy the tickets.

It's a testament to just how little the public cares about Indy reviews that you can feel justified taking whiny pot shots at the predominant film reviewer in town. Don't try to speak for those of us who take noir or Coen brothers' films seriously -- your patronizing tone is a major turn-off for the mature among us.

And you will most certainly drive away the same Colorado Springs movie-going public who need to attend these films in order to make distributors pay attention.

I've been wary of Indy reviews ever since the Movie Picks section featured a large close-up photo of Samuel L. Jackson as Shaft, while the accompanying movie synopsis listed (a misspelled) Laurence Fishburne in the role.

It goes without saying that a newspaper that takes film seriously wouldn't make that mistake. And the fact that the Indy has never made the mistake of mixing up two white leading men in its film pages certainly does give one pause.

C'mon, Indy! If you think the Gazette is such an awful newspaper, then you're going to have to do better than it. This kind of writing is counterproductive and self-gratifying. Taking yourself seriously as an alternative paper has nothing to do with being smug, self-righteous or pedantic.

Trashy, indeed.

-- Tammy Oler

Colorado Springs

A bucket won't help

To the Editor:

Recently the Colorado Springs City Council voted to raise the fees charged to the only commercial stable selling rides in Garden of the Gods Park. The trails used by Academy Riding Stables (ARS) suffer severe degradation caused by the approximately 20,000 rides sold per year.

That number is over three times as many rides as are run in comparable parks and is a good indication that this operator is making three times the profit, but more important it is a major factor for why the trails are so trenched causing increasingly larger problems as adjacent areas become denuded.

Other stables operating on public land run far fewer rides, yet pay 3 percent of gross revenues. ARS has been paying only about 0.2 percent, in other words, one-fifteenth of usual fees, and no sales tax. This new fee will come to 2 percent of their gross, which is still one percentage point below the national average.

A natural question at the Council meeting was why something hadn't been done sooner, but I applaud the mayor and City Council for doing something now. Given that the voters of the city have repeatedly rejected more funding for parks, it is important to realize how hard it is for the Parks Department to keep up with the backlog.

Many other projects -- such as improving the roads, building new bathrooms, etc. -- have been completed, and now the Parks Department is tackling yet another big project: repairing the trails. This requires major drainage structures, expensive materials and lots of labor. They need all the support they can get.

There's a story about a hapless fellow, who buys a different colored bucket every time it rains instead of raising the money to fix his roof.

I think it's about time that people face up to the fact that it takes a large amount of money to build trails to handle the extremely heavy foot and horse traffic in Garden of the Gods Park, and instead of debating over what color bucket to buy, let's just fix the roof.

-- Terry M. Conley

Colorado Springs

A sacred plan

To the Editor:

Once again, a group of outsiders have brought the Council a proposal that residents along Constitution Avenue should share in the traffic burdens of the city. Residents there have risen up in anguish and dismay at such a prospect. An alternate plan must be found. Here is one.

Constitution Avenue shall be renamed The Sacred Way. It presently carries about 11,000 cars per day between Paseo Road and Circle Drive and about 29,000 cars per day between Circle and Marksheffel Road. No further traffic shall be admitted. To that end, electronic sensors shall be implanted in the street at Paseo and Constitution and at Marksheffel and Constitution and at all north/south intersections along the Way. There shall be created a communications center, to be named Sacred Central, which monitors all traffic and when the above numbers are reached on any given day, an eight-foot-high barrier shal1 be activated to rise up out of the pavement to block any further entry.

Yes, I know. There will always be those who have no shame, who show no respect, who will cut through alleys and vacant fields in an attempt to circumvent the plan. We shall need to field a corps of dedicated adherents dressed in simple brown robes and to be known as The Knights of Saint Margaret, whose role it is to man the Sacred Central and to monitor any interlopers on The Sacred Way. A series of land mines shall be installed and, whenever an interloper is detected on the screens at Sacred Central, a message will be flashed to the monitors who activate the mine or mines underneath the offender. A few of these, blown to smithereens, will serve as a salutary lesson, and you may be sure that few incidents will occur in the future.

There will be some occasions when residents on Constitution will wish to use the street at odd hours to buy Cheezits or a six-pack or 2% milk for their grandchildren. Those residents shall be provided an electronic card which, properly activated, will notify Sacred Central that they are entering The Sacred Way. Yes, outsiders will scoff and call it a Get Out of Jail Free card but we are about a serious business here defending our way of life, and those jibes are to be ignored.

Have I missed anything? Is this a perfect vehicle to sanctify and hold inviolate our street? If it is, and I believe it to be so, we can enter into the broad sunlit uplands of life while all around us others are sitting in stalled cars or bashing into one another, running yellow lights and cursing their destinies.

Robert Hoff

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: This week the City Council informally voted against the recently dusted-off plan to extend Constitution Avenue to Interstate 25 as a major east-west bypass.

Ratified via fraud

To the Editor:

The number of Americans with million-dollar incomes more than doubled from 1995 through 1999. The percentage of their income that went to federal income taxes, however, fell by 11 percent.

The incomes of Americans who made less grew as well, though by far less, and the share of their income that went to taxes rose slightly, according to Internal Revenue Service income tax data for the five years through 1999, the latest year available.

So I'm challenging all Americans to exercise their patriotic duty beyond the flag waving. After formally agreeing last July to meet in a recorded, public forum to answer questions regarding the unconstitutional origin of the IRS and the unlawful administration and enforcement of the personal income tax against American citizens, the IRS and Department of Justice have now refused to attend this scheduled meeting on Capitol Hill. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., who has been a strong supporter of this historic event, has now also backed out of his commitment to the American people. It is time that the United States federal government respect our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The alleged intent of the 16th Amendment was to finance the costs of World War I and it was to be removed thereafter. The continuation of this federal tax has only fueled a nation of over-regulation and tragically failed foreign policies.

Former Enron CEO will sleep well tonight, knowing he has the money to invest in an Afghanistan oil pipeline, and that he and his friends can share in the estimated $5 trillion oil supply, just below the Caspian Sea. Enron, by the way, did not pay taxes for four of the last five years.

The government is unable to site a specific law or regulation that legally obligates every American citizen to file returns. The government forces citizens to waive their Miranda rights each time they sign and file a tax return under oath.

The government and its courts have repeatedly refused to acknowledge irrefutable evidence that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified via fraud. How can citizens be charged with a crime for failure to follow a law that government "experts" can't explain and how can the IRS administratively seize bank accounts and property without a valid court order?

I'm appealing to all Americans reading this letter to contact your congressional representatives to demand that they support the February truth-in-taxation hearing.

Write or call any media or civic organizations that you can to bring this matter to the surface. And please, do not file any taxes until after this trial goes on as planned. Thank you, fellow Americans.

-- Robert Krejci

Black Forest

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