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Splendid Hellers

Noel Black's The Great Gatsbys of Yawn Valley [cover story, Dec. 12-18] was a masterpiece of writing. I knew the Hellers in the early 1950s when I was stationed at Camp Carson.

We used to compete in our MGs in road-racing events sponsored by the Denver Sports Car Club. Larry and Dorothy both were serious competitors.

Years later, when I retired to Colorado Springs, I met Larry again. I was on the editorial staff of the locally based Western Horseman magazine and, in the 1970s, Larry occasionally brought some of his sculptures in for our inspection.

We pictured a couple of them in the magazine. But I had never seen any of his paintings so I was pleased to see a selection of them included with the article.

The Hellers were a colorful couple and it is fitting that their legacy will live on in the Heller Center for the Humanities at UCCS.

-- Chan Bergen

Colorado Springs

Job offer

An open letter to Independent film critic John Dicker:

As a policy, I do not read reviews or usually address my critics. But in this case I must.

I was forwarded your review of Comedian ["It ain't easy being funny," Nov. 21-27] and I must say, you nailed it! You got the film. Congrats.

Most of your colleagues missed the point entirely. Your criticism of me was fair and accurate. This may be a documentary, but it is also a film ... and through the art of editing a story is told.

Don't kid yourself, I am in this film for one reason: I am brash, outspoken, brutally honest, and speak the inner thoughts of most comedians, including Seinfeld. I refer you to my Web page (Ornyadams.com) to see the quotes Jerry has said about me.

I hope to see you at a show sometime. In the meantime, the Orny Adams fan club still needs a scribe ... interested?

-- Orny Adams

Los Angeles

What about us?

I am writing this mail to address the issue of public transit cuts in our Colorado Springs.

I am very aware of this problem and I am sure many people are not. I can't believe that the county commissioners that we have elected are going to let this atrocity happen! I can't believe that they will make Colorado Springs transit shut down.

We have elected people of integrity and word to lead us, and unfortunately they serve a small portion of the population of Colorado Springs. The people they serve have on average three cars per family.

Seems like the El Paso Board of County Commissioners represents people who drive all these cars and pollute our beautiful Colorado! They pamper wishes of people who only care about themselves and their money!

A lot of students, disabled citizens and elderly use and enjoy public transportation in Colorado Springs. A lot of us depend on it to get to school, work, hospital or doctor. I am very disappointed if our county commission is going to let our candid and wonderful Colorado Springs Transit drivers get laid off -- the majority of citizens with no alternative in transportation.

What about students, disabled and elderly? What about Transit Bus drivers? What about us?

How will every single elected leader justify this unprecedented shutdown of Springs Transit to future generations? I am sure Gen. Palmer is now turning around in his grave. This was not his vision of Colorado Springs! And it's not my vision either!

I propose reconsideration of the budget and giving priority to Colorado Springs' transit problem. I propose reallocation of resources to help our public transportation. Please give the City of Colorado Springs the public transportation it deserves!

-- Marina Funtik

Pikes Peak Community College student

Nobody cares

I really appreciated the Nov. 28 column by John Hazlehurst. Our county commissioners don't listen to the people.

We voted against a new jail. So now they are going to take funds away from places that need the money. They have decreased the funding to Amblicab in the last two years.

Someone has donated them a brand-new van. But they don't have the money to keep their vans running on schedule because they don't have enough money to hire another driver or to buy gas to keep the vans in service so the handicap people can ride at the time they need to.

We either have to go to our destination an hour ahead of time or ride some extra time on the way home. But I guess because we are handicapped, nobody cares.

-- Iva Wolverton

Colorado Springs

Not a football game

Rid the world of evil, gimme a break! Have some U.S. citizens been spending too much time on their computers playing war games? Wake up!

We are living with weapons of mass destruction! So, today we are this powerful country who, like a spoiled child, wants it all and to hell with the environment and innocent people 'cause God, Allah, higher power is on our side. Gimme a break!

I would like to believe a higher power would support love and compassion for all living creatures and would also strongly recommend using common sense! Speaking of which, the current majority of the Republican administration has yet to reveal.

Common sense examples: 1) An intelligent, respected leader of a country does not spend years threatening to annihilate another country. Gimme a break! He/she would support mediation no matter how long.

2) A strong leader does not arrogantly make the statement, "If I weaken, the whole team weakens." (Shrub quote) Gimme a break!

This is not a preppy football game! The Earth is so very fragile.

Therefore, if the religious zealots in the world want to rid us of all other evil religions, I have a cave picked out stocked with two cans of Spam. Gimme a break, it's meat, I think!

-- Jill Bescher

Cascade

It's our money

It is obvious to anyone who is paying attention that our economy is in a shambles.

The ones who created this disastrous situation are the federal government, the bureaucrats and large corporations.

Because of this, the president was once again looking for scapegoats for his part in this situation. Well, he found two of them in Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and top economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey. He fired them.

This follows a pattern because of his actions with the Security Exchange Commission. This means that he will appoint two "yes" men to replace them. This will allow the president to continue practicing his counter-productive voodoo economics.

What is needed to stop the potential collapse of our economy is not reform, because that has proven not to be a workable solution.

We need real and honest changes now from the top to bottom in the federal government. It must start with the president and Congress because both are totally out of touch with morality fiscal responsibility of We the Peoples' money. A tax cut, as they and others have purposed, will only exacerbate this country financial stability.

As Sen. Fred Thompson put it, "The real threat to government financial stability and its ability to meet its obligation is not a tax cut but government's failure to be competent and honest with the money taxpayers fork over."

That, in and of itself, is a true and honest assessment of this very important, serious problem. So, the problem is real and the federal government isn't at all realistic about it or the seriousness of it -- which has been obvious by their inaction of solving the problem.

It is very important for We the People to demand constructive, meaningful and honest changes. This must be done ASAP for our country's future financial stability.

What I have just written is not to scare one, but rather a real reality to inform one of a pending financial crisis situation that we have with the federal government, and it needs to be corrected before it's too late.

-- Bob Bock

Colorado Springs

Recipe for reliance

Colorado's natural beauty draws people from around the world to explore its treasures, from the high peaks to the vast open ranges.

Incredibly, many of our unique spaces are being ruined by natural gas drilling at an ever-increasing rate under the Bush Administration's energy plan.

This plan, a recipe for reliance on dirty power, proposes increasing gas drilling in one of our most dramatic landscapes, the Roan Plateau. The proposed drilling would permanently scar an area that now provides habitat for Colorado's big game herds and large blocks of wilderness-quality public lands for backcountry recreation.

Please ask that our decision-makers adopt a balanced energy policy that protects places that are too special to drill in, like the Roan Plateau.

Destroying the wild character of our state's breathtaking scenery with excessive gas drilling is unacceptable.

I spend a lot of time in the Colorado mountains and would like to bring my children to these mountains and show them unbelievable beauty, not a field of oil derricks noisily pumping noxious toxic oil from the most beautiful state in the union.

-- Christoph Zurcher

Fort Collins

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