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Do not rub the garlic

A reply to Nancy Harley (food critic to the Independent) from the owners of Paravicini:

We greatly appreciate your interest in our restaurant as mentioned in last week's review.

Immediately upon reading it, one thing was blatantly obvious -- the author cannot distinguish the difference between northern and southern Italian cuisine. To truly appreciate the variety in Italian food one must understand Italian culture. Italy itself is divided into two regions -- the industrious north and the agricultural south.

Understandably, given its location, northern Italian cuisine is primarily influenced by classic French techniques. Northern Italy is also more affluent than south, thus the reason why southern Italian dishes have been considered peasant food. Southern Italian food is a reflection of its people, welcoming, hearty, comforting and fun. Southern Italian food is all about incorporating the freshest ingredients, native to the region -- fish, chicken, hearty vegetables, fresh herbs, spices, hot crushed red pepper (not black), extra virgin olive oil (not butter), fresh crimini mushrooms (not truffles), pecorino Romano (not parmigiano cheese).

Southern Italians do not rub their garlic; they embrace it as they do life!

Given the abundance of northern Italianstyle and Italian chain restaurants in the Colorado Springs area, Paravicini is our attempt at introducing unadulterated, authentic southern Italian food, served in an open, non-pretentious, friendly atmosphere. A place where eggplant is prepared the way chef Franco's mother had been preparing it long before she came to America. A place where families can eat, drink and converse the way Italians have been doing it for generations. A place where feeding the family doesn't equal the cost of a mortgage payment.

If you're looking for croutons rubbed with garlic or eggplant discs served Napoleon style -- please stick to the French restaurants; for tofu and alfalfa sprout salad -- try the trendy nouvelle joints. If you want to experience genuine southern Italian food prepared by an authentic southern Italian, served to you as if you were dining in Mamma Pisani's kitchen, then let down your hair, unbutton your collar, check the attitude at the door and come join us to eat, drink and be merry.

P.S. Our bread is specially made for us by La Baguette.

-- Chef Franco Pisani

Ted Sexton

Paravicini Restaurant

Dark times

Just a quick note to congratulate your selection of material for the "Mouthing Off" feature in the June 5-11 issue. Bill Moyers, Sen. Robert Byrd and Chris Hedges should be given as much echo as possible in these dark times. Keep up the good work.

-- Alex Zaitchik

Associate Editor

New York Press

Conspiracy theories

Let me make sure I have these things straight from your last few issues:

1. Noel Black's local Safeway changes vending machines, which is proof of corporate fascism trickling down from the Bush administration.

2. Media outlets are squabbling over the Jessica Lynch story, which proves to Cara DeGette that the FCC's recent merger rules changes were bad.

In other news: The recent rainy weather in D.C. is proof Bush lied about Iraq, Gregory Peck's death is proof of global warming, and all these non sequiturs are proof that the Independent is trying a little too hard to prove its contentions.

P.S. The X-Files is just a TV show, which is proof President Bush didn't go out of his way to ruin Noel Black's Homies collection.

-- Greg Hartman

Colorado Springs

Cracking the books

I love movies. Especially the independent films that Kimball's theater chooses to carry. I'm also a student, on a limited budget and definitely in debt. I haven't gone to see a movie at Kimball's for about a month. Then, as I was paying, I presented my student ID for the student discount.

I was declined by the on-duty manager.

My ID had been accepted there before and had been accepted at Tinsletown as well.

I asked, "Why?"

He replied, "We don't accept technical schools."

My school ID is from DeVry.

I replied that DeVry has a four-year program as well as a MBA program. He said, "Sorry, that's the owner's policy."

I'm in a one- to two-year program taking four classes per term, four terms per year and it's costing me $5,000 per term. Overall this next year will cost me between $15K and $20K.

I was outraged. I was also upset that I argued that it was a four-year program. Even if it were a two-year program or a one-year program, the student discount is designed to help students who are in school.

Obviously, the owner/ policymaker has his own idea of what should be acceptable and not according to his knowledge or standards. If you're attending a school, whether it's a four-year liberal arts program at Colorado College or it's a two-year technical program at DeVry -- you are still in a school and hence a student. When he said we don't accept technical schools that comment rang of classist academic snobbery.

Furthermore, from all the times I've been to see movies at Kimball's I've rarely seen more than a fourth of the theater full -- so it doesn't help Kimball's at all to discriminate against certain schools that may provide paying customers.

Since then, I have boycotted Kimball's; I go to the library instead.

-- Adi Gildor

DeVry student

Kinda like Iraq

I'm responding to news reports about your local country station KKCS (seems the spineless person or persons at the station has removed their Web site) which suspended DJ's for playing the Dixie Chicks music.

Surely this is a bad joke, right? What's next? Will the loved ones of those branded un-American or unpatriotic suddenly "disappear"? Will we find mass graves of those who dare to voice their opposing views of the current "emperor" in Washington?

Since the "election" of 2000 our country has been led to a very strange and dark place. Kinda like the place we've liberated the Iraqi people from don't you think? I hope the people of your community will wake up from the fog it seems to be in and say enough is enough.

Keep politics out of the workplace. It's dangerous to mix the two.

-- S. Griffin

Via the Internet

Four things we know

In all the confusion and complexity, there are at least four things that we know for certain about the Iraq war:

1. Iraq did not fire weapons of mass destruction against U.S. forces in either of the two Iraq wars.

2. If Bush and Blair were certain that Iraq had these WMD, they would have been easy to find by now.

3. The only nuclear weapon used was the depleted uranium we spread all over the country.

4. The only biological threat to U.S. and U.K. troops was the anthrax vaccine they were forced to take.

-- Mark Lewis

Colorado Springs

Gift to industry

It is appalling that the Bush administration plans to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the rule that protects the last pristine areas in our national forests. Worse yet, the Bush administration wants to open a gaping loophole to allow more logging by allowing governors to seek exemptions for other wild forests.

The conservation policy under attack, called the Roadless Areas Conservation Rule, is a historic conservation measure that protects 58.5 million acres of our last wild forests from most logging and road construction. The administration has received 2.2 million comments in support of the roadless rule, including more than 26,000 from Colorado alone. For now, we are fortunate that Gov. Bill Owens will not seek exemptions "at this time."

Their proposal is an affront to the American people and yet another gift from the Bush administration to the timber industry. Instead of allowing corporate special interests to destroy America's publicly owned forests for short-term private gain, the administration should abandon this wrongheaded proposal and enforce the Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2001.

-- Matthew Garrington

Field Organizer,

Environment Colorado

Denver

The crowded swimming pool

Many local newspapers have recently given ink to the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs' effort to silence critics who question old assumptions that "growth cures all."

I don't buy ink by the barrel, so today I'll try to clarify just one HBA "factoid" that muddies the water, potentially misleading citizens about what makes our population grow. HBA tells us again and again that birth rate is responsible for more than half our population growth.

Water seems an appropriate analogy for comparing sources of growth. Let's say the population of El Paso County is water in a big pool. Two spigots feed the pool. One is "births," which trickle in at about 8,000 per year. The other spigot is "in-migration," gushing in at over 50,000 per year. The pool loses some "people" through two drains: a small drain called "deaths," and a much larger drain called "out-migration."

It's all one pool of water; neither spigot is confined to one drain or the other. Now, one day the alarms ring. The pool is about to overflow. Drastic action is required. Do you race to turn off the tiny trickle from the births spigot, or do you run to the in-migration spigot where you can make a difference?

Let's permanently put to rest attempts by pro-growth interests to make residents feel guilty about having children. Having children is, in actual fact, a very small contributor to area population growth. It's okay to have children and still care about quality of life in the Pikes Peak region. Growth occurs when people move in. Period. Let's move on. I have never said building a house causes growth. The HBA can relax about that. There are plenty of real issues to discuss with regard to the good, the bad and the ugly of growth. I invite them to come to the table and begin a constructive dialogue about what will make our area as wonderful a place to live in 20 years as it is today.

There is much to discuss and much to learn about preserving our quality of life. A collection of links, research and opinions about growth issues can be reviewed at http://groups.yahoo.com/ group/SaveTheSprings.

-- Dave Gardner

Colorado Springs

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