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Hard landing

I would like to respond to Lyn Sullivan's letter in last week's Independent regarding the Kempf sculptures.

First, although others have also suggested that the airport entryway would be a nice location for the sculptures, we understand from airport officials that the wind conditions would be unfavorable even for Kempf's moving pieces. Second, the large sculptures of the buffalo and the Native American on horseback (not "cowboy") are the work of one of the region's best-known and most-admired artists, Don Greene, and have attracted the attention of both locals and visitors.

Finally, the sculptures "around the city" are part of the annual U.S. Bank Art on the Street show, which is a project of the Downtown Partnership's Community Ventures, privately funded, with no tax dollars or financial support from the city.

-- Judy Noyes

Colorado Springs

Magic of the trip

Re: last week's cover story, "Gambling With History: Cripple Creek's High-Stakes Battle for Historic Renewal" (June 12):

History has brought me back to Cripple Creek often, after moving to Colorado Springs in 1948 as a youth. I now live in the Midwest but make two trips a year to Colorado and spend a couple nights in Cripple Creek on each trip.

Take away the historic buildings I keep in my memory, and you will take away the magic of the trip. Vegas offers a more affordable trip to modern gambling.

Keep what Cripple Creek gave you to make it what it is today.

-- Troy Thomas

via the Internet

Haves and have-nots

Anyone who builds his or her empire based on power and fear is not to be trusted nor obeyed. George W. Bush does. So does James Dobson, Billy Graham, Dan Rather and Martha Stewart.

Usually folks who are gentle yet bold are strong. I boldly and humbly say that 12-year-old Hannah Mask and I have more of what matters than so-called "haves" listed above and their like. Yes, mouthing off is the key to democracy.

-- Howard W. Johnson

Lake George

Side splitter

In dark times such as these, one is grateful for a good laugh, and it is such a laugh we are brought by Mary Enck and her letter in the June 12 Indy.

Please, Mary Enck! Give my poor sides a rest! "Our elected president"? People actually feel they could do a better job than he could? Good stuff, good stuff!

-- Daniel C. Boyer

Houghton, Mich.

Bashing the appointment

Mary Enck ("Disgusting Memories" June 12) needs a reality check -- badly. She avers that: "Freedom of speech is indeed our right but should it not be tempered with consideration for our fellow man?"

Well, that depends, Mary. Isn't the freedom to vote, and political enfranchisement -- having your vote counted -- just as important?

I ask this because in the next sentence Enck goes on:

"Should we not speak with compassion and understanding rather than bashing and insulting tirades against our elected president?"

Well, that depends on whether he was genuinely elected, does it not? Surely, if an unelected pretender's holding office, we have the right to bash him with impunity, I'd say.

I am referring, of course, to the fact that Bush Jr. was appointed by five Supreme Court justices who terminated the Florida vote early.

This on top of the fact that Bush's brother and his sidekick Katherine Harris purged the Florida voters rolls by 93,000 over a year earlier -- this number mostly comprised of probable Democrats, including a majority of African-Americans. The ruse for doing so being that these were felons.

Ordinarily, this might only be of academic interest to me, except that my brother living in Port Charlotte at the time, was one of those disallowed his franchise because it was contended that he was on a felons' roll. Of course, the only thing felonious I can recall him doing in the past 12 years is sticking his fingers in a turkey on Thanksgiving Day to taste it before it was served.

Bush's unelected power also explains his misuse of that power, including posing in military flight suits on aircraft carriers for public-relations purposes; pushing over $2.9 trillion tax cuts to bankrupt this nation; starting an illegal (and pre-emptive war) on false pretenses -- so far as we can see and shredding civil liberties in the name of vague terror threats.

If Enck or anyone else wants to applaud this, fine. But count me out. I will bash this unelected sucker until he is routed out of office -- by either the vote or impeachment. Because, mark me, if one truly elected prez (Clinton) can be impeached based on lies concerning sex, another unelected pretender can be tossed out for lying about the basis for starting a war and killing more than 3,300 innocents.

-- Phil Stahl

Colorado Springs

From the horse's mouth

Suddenly, it becomes very clear, as indicated by Focus on the Family frontman Tom Minnery's comments, that the radical religious right expects their golden boy, Mayor Lionel Rivera, and members of City Council to be its political mouthpiece.

Minnery states, "I think these members of City Council ought to pay attention to those who elected them."

I beg to differ, Mr. Minnery. The mayor and City Council are elected to serve all the citizens of Colorado Springs. Period. They've begun to prove that by their courageous decision to sign the PrideFest proclamation.

Perhaps Mr. Minnery should heed the words of Dr. Dobson himself (interview by Tony Snow of Fox News Channel, Sept. 20, 2001):

"It is very important to understand that pluralism is part of our system. We don't all think the same thing and part of our strength is that we come from different perspectives. We have to respect one another even when we disagree with each other. There has to be a spirit of tolerance for the views of others, while also being deeply committed to the positions we hold. If we do that, I think we can coexist and learn to love each other better."

Amen, huh?

-- B.A. Hunter

Colorado Springs

Gas 'em up

Whether you believe that the oil companies direct and benefit from American foreign policy -- as most of the war protesters probably do -- or that they are totally uninvolved and operate only within the economic sphere -- as most people in Colorado Springs most likely do -- I think there is one thing that almost everyone can agree on: The oil companies and their executives make way too much money! As thousands lose their jobs and unemployment reaches a nine-year high, the oil companies just keep getting richer and richer. They show no concern for the rest of the economy.

If this offends you, as it does me, you may be interested to know there is a way to fight back: Buy CITGO gas!

CITGO is entirely owned by the government of Venezuela. The president of CITGO was appointed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez himself. Few other governments in Venezuelan history, or in the rest of South America for that matter, have been as concerned with and willing to help its impoverished citizens as the democratically elected government of Venezuela. Its numerous social programs are financed by profits from the state-owned oil industry.

I would encourage everyone to turn their backs on companies that exist only to make their executives wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of the average person filling their tank at the pump. Buy CITCO gas and support democracy in Venezuela, help the poor of Venezuela. Fill your tank and help finance the life of a poor Venezuelan family who will probably never own a car, rather than the next BMW of an oil executive.

A better world is possible.

-- Joseph Reininger

Colorado Springs

Women at risk

Planned Parenthood wants you to know what the so-called Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 really does. Recently, anti-choice members of Congress passed legislation that will prevent women, in consultation with their families and doctors, from deciding the best and safest medical treatment.

This ban will outlaw medically necessary abortions needed by women who have serious medical conditions like kidney failure, diabetes and strokes.

Supporters of this ban, whatever their motivations or understanding of the truth, are putting women at risk of serious medical problems. The Supreme Court has already ruled, in Stenberg v. Carhart, that not having a health exception was unconstitutional.

Planned Parenthood, the Supreme Court and the medical community agree that women and doctors -- not politicians -- should make serious medical decisions. Log on to www.plannedparenthood.org to learn more.

-- Lenox Powell

Regional Public Affairs Coordinator

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains

Political drama

Some days, reading the news is like going to the theater.

Bush Jr. was playing his daddy's poker game of proposing a plan for a settlement of the Israel-Palestine issue. Put forth a grandiose plan, with absolutely no intention of following through on it. Just put it out there and let it die while claiming you are doing all you can to solve the problem.

Off to the right, White House spokesman Ari Fleisher declares that the United States has no intention of insisting Israel consider the "road map" seriously. Enter stage left, European Union's Javier Solana, calling Junior's bluff -- he wants to put it to the U.N. Security Council for a vote. The only possible veto there would be the United States, who can't -- after all, it is Junior's plan.

So now the road map may end up becoming international law. Thank goodness Junior never learned how to bluff at poker! Unwittingly, the Chief Evil Doer may have actually done something good. Cheney's pacemaker must be on overload right about now. Lights dim to black. Is that Karl Rove's disembodied voice planning Junior's demise? Curtain. Applause.

-- Thomas McCullock

Colorado Springs

Mrs. Anthrax and Dr. Germ

With the recent capture of such sinister Iraqi figures as Mrs. Anthrax and Dr. Germ, I had to ask myself one question. Who in the h*ll is naming these people?

Is the Bush propaganda machine so devoid of original thought that they have to rely on villain names that would have had Bob Kane breaking his pens and burning his sketches? I can see the scenario now: Some high-ranking Iraqi official, possibly Mr. Mayhem from the Ministry of Menace, picking up the phone and saying, "Cpl. Punishment, this genocide just isn't moving along fast enough. Get me Dr. Germ."

I think the boys up top are waxing a turtle on this one; the action figures will never sell with names like these.

-- Brent Koleno

Colorado Springs

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