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Drumming up business

Seems the criminal courts around the country have gone the way of the family courts and have opted to disregard constitutional protections, instead setting their sights on making money for themselves and associated cronies [Cover Story, "Railroaded," Aug. 15].

The only group with enough money to have a voice that is crying foul is the defense attorneys who have been denied their slice of the pie. Drum up business, constitutional rights be damned.

Domestic violence is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly, but railroading defendants is not the solution.

-- G. Langstrand

New York

Power trip

Re: "Railroaded": Thanks for a much-needed article.

It was noted that no attempt was made by the district attorney to find out the truth. I would like to point out that there is no penalty for lying.

A system-savvy "victim" can use the police, Colorado Springs Police Detective Howard Black and the entire DA's office to gain custody of the children, the home, car, bank account, business and all assets of the person they accuse. The "victim" gets a restraining order and owns it all!! And they risk nothing because there is no penalty for lying and no attempt to find the truth. What a power trip!

The DA doesn't bother to check past records of the persons involved. I know a woman who accused two different boyfriends of sexually abusing her children to get custody and assets.

Is job security so important to this domestic violence bunch?

-- Doreen Kile

Colorado Springs

Splendor in the grass

I fully support John Hazlehurst's defense of The Broadmoor and the water hubbub [Outsider, Aug. 29].

You all know the story -- the city sold The Broadmoor potable water at nonpotable rates -- the water being used for the hotel's golf courses. Well, the other newspaper duly reported the story and then its sometimes-comedic columnist Rich Tosches, who gets his jollies doing hatchet jobs on our 5-Star resort, did his thing.

Never mind that the Utility Department admitted its billing error; The Broadmoor is a sitting pigeon for critics with a perverse view of the crown jewel of our city.

I won't get into the issue of the hotel watering its golf courses during our drought; Hazlehurst adequately covered that. But I will wade into the wonder of having The Broadmoor amongst us for all to enjoy.

It is not just a place for the rich to pay and play; The Broadmoor is the ultimate place where any of us can go with that special person for that special event. It is the Sunday brunch. It is The Broadmoor Shops. It is The Broadmoor splendor. It is a convention center where thousands of folks just like you and me come and stay, spending millions and providing several thousand jobs there and around the city. Most important of all, The Broadmoor is ours.

So, by all means, water those golf courses; it's a small price to pay and we ain't paying -- The Broadmoor is!

-- Phil Kenny

Colorado Springs

Smelling like roses

John Hazlehurst is starting to sound like a politico again!

Defending developers and the elite business establishment against obscene water waste, eh? Face it, with some creative leadership, both The Broadmoor and the developers could capitalize on the drought.

To wit, let's say The Broadmoor redesigned one or more of its courses as a true links-type layout. That'd eliminate maybe 40 percent of the watered sod on that course and give them a unique marketing angle: They could tout it as one of America's few "Old World" Scottish links courses.

Likewise, area developers could severely cut back sod areas on new properties and use local landscapers who specialize in Xeriscape to create environmentally responsible and drought-tolerant properties. Such landscapes would certainly appeal to all our new Left Coast transplants.

And they'd create more jobs than do the bluegrass sod "yards" now being installed. Yippee! Rapacious developers would come out smelling like roses instead of what they now smell like.

We need to alter public expectations and think creatively in these times, not defend the status quo in a burgeoning city whose size is outstripping its resources. Nobody, business or individual, should be exempt from that effort.

-- Gavin Ehringer

Colorado Springs

Water, water everywhere

I am a resident of Fountain and I find it odd that in last week's news story, "Their Cups Runneth Over," you are representing the thoughts of one resident who doesn't appear to have any expertise in any area. Having an area conserve water when it doesn't need to, and will not help anyone else, is ridiculous!

If the Security, Fountain and Widefield areas were having a shortage, would Colorado Springs conserve water if they didn't have too? I doubt it! Fountain has a pipeline coming from Pueblo that is just being dumped into the group to replenish the water table. We have more water than we can use.

There was even a recent deal with a local company to buy a large volume of water for their use. Our city leaders have done a wonderful job planning for the future and have prevented this drought from being a problem. If the local leaders in other areas had given their water issues serious thought before the drought, then they wouldn't be having a problem now. In my opinion your articles should be praising local leaders for doing such a wonderful job of preplanning.

I think that "saving for a rainy day" rings true here now, but our leaders were instead "saving for a dry day."

I wish news outlets would take the Security/Fountain/Widefield example and promote it in a positive way. If people don't like the recent situations, then maybe they should get off their duffs and vote people into office who can plan for the future. I very rarely buy newspapers or watch local news because of the liberal lopsidedness. The news outlet that takes the lead and reports some positive aspects, instead of looking for the negative, will get my continued business.

-- Trent Rowe

Fountain

Wasting countless hours

Can you top this?

I spent one entire day last week at a marathon City Council meeting. This provided me with way too much time to think about the process and what chance a citizen in this town has of truly being heard. The following are some of my conclusions.

1. Council members and any citizen that sits through more than a few hours of this charade are masochistic.

2. Citizens are demeaned and tolerated, not treated with the same respect granted to applicants or other professionals brought in to support an applicant's case.

3. Great deference is given to anyone with a development plan, no matter how bizarre it might be.

4. There is a privileged class in this town; here's a hint: It is not you or I and it's definitely not Council members or city staff.

5. City staff varies greatly in their dedication to duty and some are either suffering from burnout or incompetence.

6. This city prides itself (wrongfully) on public involvement in the governmental process. Yet while citizens are entitled to waste countless hours attending meetings and providing input, any citizen that engages in this process is thought to have "an ax to grind," and is therefore not credible and is automatically perceived to have a significant drop in IQ.

We do have a few dedicated city staff and Council members who are candidates for sainthood. It becomes quite obvious who they are when you hear the thoughtful questions they ask or, in the case of staff, answer.

We also have a deputy city manager, Dave Nickerson, who recently wasted precious minutes of a very long and stressful day by extolling at length the virtues of the development community, when he should have been addressing the merit or lack thereof of a very large and complicated development proposal.

What do we, as citizens, gain from this process? Another development with questionable access that will dwarf its neighbors; a water ordinance that may wreak havoc with self-governed communities; a project that further taxes the overburdened infrastructure; and an appeal that was continued to allow residents and developers to continue their impasse.

With potable water becoming more precious than diamonds, do you think all the new residents will be willing to share?

-- Patricia A. Poos

Colorado Springs

A staggering increase

I read with interest last week's Public Eye regarding the increased need at the Marian House Soup Kitchen. I applaud your effort to spread the word about the increased need for emergency food here in El Paso County.

Since last Sept. 11, we have experienced a staggering increase in distribution numbers. In the last two months alone, we have distributed nearly 1 million pounds of food to our local-area member agencies (emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, etc.) of which Marian House Soup Kitchen is one.

With the recent layoffs, and the uncertain economy, we are growing increasingly concerned with our needy not having adequate amounts of food over the winter months. It is a time when people must choose between paying the power bill and buying food -- a choice that no person should have to make.

Care & Share is working to meet the challenge of providing emergency food to an increasing number of families in Southern Colorado. Both nonperishable food and monetary donations may be dropped off at Care & Share Food Bank located at 4875 Northpark Drive -- off of Garden of the Gods Road, one block east of I-25.

-- Scottie Bibb

Care & Share Food Bank

Colorado Springs

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