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Republican screw-ups

I thought this summer couldn't get more depressing -- the drought, the forest fires, road construction -- but I had forgotten about the looming local elections.

I am sick to death of El Paso County politics. It is no longer amusing to witness these loony Republicans work themselves into a froth trying to "out right-wing each other" in order to lay claim to the coveted assignation of "most conservative." The likes of Ed Jones, MaryAnne Tebedo, Bill Jambura, Bill Sinclair, Tim Pleasant, Wayne Williams, et al, do grave disservice to this community.

They are small-minded self-serving individuals who would be mere (comical) footnotes in the political landscape of the vast majority of American cities. They shamelessly pander to the religious right, suck up to developers and are puppets of the NRA.

The Indy is a good citizen to promote exercising our voting responsibility ["Watch your step: It's election time," Aug. 8-14]. However, casting a vote in this county is futile. There are rarely bona fide choices at the ballot box. It's the "devil or the deep blue sea," and I resent the hell out of that.

When we did have an opportunity to send a voice of reason to the State senate, for example, the constituents who consistently elected moderate Marcy Morrison, preferred to vote for a nut like Dave Schultheis rather than a solid community-minded, thinking candidate like moderate Democrat Mike Merrifield. That election convinced me that this town is in serious trouble. Our daily paper contributes to the vacuum this city exists in. The two-party system is unfathomable to the narrow-minded paranoid voters in Colorado Springs, and this mind-set is reinforced by the extreme views of The Gazette.

There are thousands of citizens of this county who oppose the lunacy of our right-wing "representation." There is, however, the proverbial silver lining.

The non-existent city planning, outrageous traffic gridlock, unresponsive and out-of-touch officials, the impotent city council, hideous suburbs, public safety understaffing, tax shortages, under-funded public schools, Mike Witty, Jim Mullen, Charles Wingate -- you get the picture. These are all Republican screw-ups.

Now, that I take pleasure in.

-- Kay Jones Hutchins

Colorado Springs

Leave it blank

Thank you a million times for just being here with information to help me make an informed decision when I vote.

The primary is a joke, with only one name on the Republican ballot in most cases and none on the Democratic side.

I'm hoping that casting a blank ballot will at least show that I'm paying attention, even if I don't like what I see...

Thanks again -- keep up the great work!

-- Betsy Miller

Manitou Springs

We have come

This letter is in response to the letter by J.S. Moore ["A brown town of half-million," Aug. 8-14].

I would be happy to give up a weekend to help pack him/her so that the population number he/she mentioned of 250,000 can be attained. This is silly; the city is built and we have come. Instead let's realize that nature works in cycles and this is a very dry one.

He/she said we could express our displeasure at the polls. I have been in Colorado Springs for 25 years and City Council always bows to special interests regardless of who we elect. Three examples: The people of Briargate didn't want to look at a second high voltage line so the Council decided to have utilities bury it at a greater cost. The people in the Broadmoor didn't want a water treatment plant in their valley. The result? Two pipes buried to the Mesa Treatment plant at a greater cost. The residents of El Paso County voted erecting the Pikes Peak Center. It was built and now our taxes go to support it.

For the 60 or so baseball games played at the Skysox stadium, leave it where it's at.

-- Albert Gonzales

Colorado Springs

Plenty of water

I sure enjoyed reading Dave Gardner's Your Turn piece last week ["Growth: Just Say No," Aug. 8] from my home in southwest Wisconsin, four miles from the nearest town and, that, of only 2000 people. No talk of baseball stadiums, revitalized downtowns, interstate gridlock or tax incentives for new business. What with the weather and corn futures to talk about, who needs anything else?

The old-time Norwegian Lutherans make sure nothing happens too quickly around here. And the Amish aren't hurrying anything either. No "grow or die" mantra here; just the quiet realization that the only choice we have is to grow and die.

Did I mention there is enough water in my basement to satisfy two or three lawns out there? Trade offer: the water in my basement for a case of Laughing Lab.

-- Rob Gordon

Westby, Wisconsin

Call 'em what they are

In the Independent article entitled "Don't Leave Home Without It" (August 1-7) reporter Terje Langeland described how Colorado Springs law enforcement agencies are the first in Colorado to recognize Mexican issued identification cards. While the article was generally well written, it clearly contained blatant politically correct bias that detracts from the reporter's credibility.

Bias was abundantly clear when Langeland used the misleading term "undocumented immigrants." The correct term is "illegal aliens." Using "undocumented" means foreigners have the unconditional right to violate America's borders and immigration laws. Also, immigrant, a Census Bureau category, means permanent residency, which does not always apply to transient illegal aliens who frequently cross our porous border. The Independent and Americans should respect our rule of law by using the proper term "illegal alien."

Further, although Terje correctly stated that Colorado law enforcement officers do not enforce immigration laws, a recently enacted federal initiative allows state and local officers to enforce immigration laws.

Florida will be the first state, under INS Section 133, to allow state and local law enforcement officers to arrest and detain suspected illegal aliens. It is ludicrous that nearly all immigration lawbreakers are now usually set free, regardless of the danger or circumstances. Colorado should enact INS Section 133 so immigration law violations, which have reached epidemic proportions, are enforced.

-- David W. Caulkett

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: If you read the story again, you will see that Mr. Langeland used both the term "undocumented workers" and "illegal immigrants." We have no politically correct editorial policy regarding the use of either.

Moochos gracias!

Tell Che Green that his article on milk ("Milk Money: America's love affair with milk orchestrated by big business and big government bullies," Aug. 1) is excellent!

Green so accurately breaks down the myth that milk products are synonymous with healthy when in fact there are more dimensions to it. He synthesized a complex issue impressively. I commend him for it.

-- Laura Fedak

Washington, DC

Shake some sense

To the Editor:

John Hazlehurst's recent Outsider columns about growth have been rich in well-rounded words, which resonate with this old Californian.

He has noted that growth addicts (i.e. a coalition of moneyed developers) feed the growth machine, which is a parasitic growth on a desert ecosystem. Our future? Dusty, treeless cities simmering in the heat of the new American desert. Millions scuffling to make a living, while the rich live in green and guarded enclaves.

Dark as those words are, they just barely touch the outer edges of what we poor working stiffs have to look foreword to -- unless we take our leaders and officials and representatives by the scruff of the neck and shake some common sense into their money and vote-addled brains.

With Independence Day just past, and 9/11's bloody terror still fresh in our minds, hopefully enough Westerners will drink from the well of historical willingness to make hard choices and shape our present and future to forestall John's dark words.

In his columns, I didn't see the dreaded "I" word. Immigration legal and illegal is at the wheel of the population and growth juggernaut that is eating our open spaces and cropland, crowding our schools and hospitals, and despoiling the West that we love.

Colorado's population will double in the next 25 years along with most of the West. Arizona's, Nevada's and California's populations will triple, and California's population will exceed the population of the entire West in 25 years, at present growth rates.

You think we're greedy, officious neighbors now? The ruthless push/shove of a real water war hasn't even started. And even rich, green enclaves will feel the result of their greed and our sapless silent compliance.

We are a nation of immigrants, you say? So were our grandparents and theirs and they knew enough to harness that river and slow the flow from time to time. We haven't followed their example for 40 years, and the time is close when any changes will be moot.

The damage will have been done. Time for each Joe and Jane to become activists with our time, and money to support those who see the future writ dark in the smog and to oust those who see only visions of newly-minted voters and "cheap" labor for big contributors.

-- Barbara Vickroy

Escondido, Calif.

Corrections

The Aug. 8 Independent featured a story about the Cajun band BeauSoleil, announcing a concert in Cripple Creek that, unfortunately, had been cancelled. Additionally, Utopia Caf's Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen show was incorrectly listed as happening on Friday. The show occurred on Thursday.

The Independent regrets the errors and apologizes for any inconvenience.

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