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Bad poetry sucks

It is sorry to think

that such drivel gets writ,

and sorrier yet

that you publish this shit!

-- Nancy Wilsted

Colorado Springs

Size matters

Thank you for the wonderful things that you wrote about our pizza in the Oct. 16-22 "Best of 2003" issue! We start at 7 a.m. each morning making fresh dough and sauces, and cutting vegetables to get that "ber-fresh" taste that you talked about.

What I don't understand is the heading, "Best Overpriced Pizza." Best, I understand; overpriced, I don't. When you compare prices of 14-inch cheese pizzas and 14-inch one-topping pizzas, we are less expensive than all three of the big three pizza places. (Papa Johns, Pizza Hut and Dominos.) If you bump that up to three and five topping pizzas, we are less expensive than two of the big three.

Of course if you are comparing our 14-inch Yard Sale, which comes with 10 toppings, to their loaded out specialty pizzas, which come with less toppings, we are more expensive. But our Yard Sale is stacked so high with toppings that it weighs 5 pounds before it is cooked. If you are comparing our vegetarian pizzas, some of which come with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, green chilies, sliced fresh tomatoes, roasted red peppers and broccoli, none of which are even carried by the other pizza places, we are slightly more expensive. But, if you compare pepperoni to pepperoni and sausage to sausage, head to head, we are less expensive!

Best pizza ...we think so. Overpriced? Not unless the other guys are too.

-- Chris Harrell

Owner, Extreme Pizza

Withhold the apple

I was mildly amused by several of the "Best of 2003" Editor's Choice features, but a little rocked by John Dicker's "Best Place to Diddle on a Saturday Afternoon." Conceivably in launching the term "diddle"-- and I must be cautious here --Dicker is possibly referring to self-sex. This almost has to be the case, since wasting time (my usual understanding of "diddle") is already a protected right, limited pretty much by my need for the next meal.

But if I'm right and "diddling" at First Amendment at Fillmore is what Dicker suggests it is, a larger question goes begging. What are we in for in 2004? The Spring's Best Topless Club perhaps, or better yet -- Most Satisfying Escort Service? The truth is that thousands of men and women are chained into this community's sex industry. They are to be pitied as much as any alcoholic, drugger, gambling addict or OxyContin user. They are bona fide victims who invariably produce their own victims.

Moreover, Dicker's swipe at New Lifers praying for the First Amendment's patrons exposes his misunderstanding of prayer. Prayer is not a weapon, arrow or missile to be hurled at something or someone you dislike.

Understand it this way: If there is a God of the Universe, this being understands the underlying architecture of anyone's prayer -- effortlessly distinguishing one's heart from one's hubris -- and this God responds accordingly. New Lifers praying for patrons of First Amendment is the moral equivalent of gays and lesbians praying for Focus on the Family on their campus the other day. The one who prays enjoys no claim of morality any more than a Freethinkes has exclusive sanction of reason and logic. The New Lifers and gays and lesbians already know that, or should.

Dicker's jab could be better directed. He's hardly some old warhorse that needs to be taken out on the back forty and shot. But the Independent shouldn't be too quick to toss him an apple either.

-- Mark Sellers

Colorado Springs

Politicians are temporary

Thoughts on "Left Behind" (Cover story, Sept. 25-Oct. 1).

In these times of political reform, which is arranged in terms as simple as "recall" or "reform," we sit next to a 500-pound gorilla with recent memories of elections tilting on imperfect character, old as humanity.

This newly found vigor in the ability to change our predicament should inspire every citizen to step up to the plate of expression. Remind your neighbors that every politician is temporary in the eyes of our land-rooted heritage. Every strip mall will crack under the pressures of natural erosion and biology. The aesthetic values of every mountain dweller should reveal some simple points about the endemic footprint left behind by the Native American elders, found in our soil.

You eat, drink and breathe the remains of generations every moment on this continent. So, instead of weighing the psyche down with suggestions of service, we should all jump into the community service aspect of our citizenry (in all interactions). Cheers to the optimist of every moment. You give the heat of life.

-- T.S. Samy

Colorado Springs

Screaming from his grave

The greatest threat to our democracy is not an Islamic phantom getting dialysis in some desert cave. Nor is it Saddam Hussein and his comical band of Gotham City ministers.

The greatest threat comes in the form of touch-screen voting machines. This is not some tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, but a verifiable menace. Do an Internet search for "black box voting" and see for yourself what could happen with these things.

The data, or more to the point your votes, can be remotely manipulated with absolutely no paper trail to audit. This is so terrifying as to bring George Washington screaming from his grave looking for a fight.

If any computer science types check this out, I'd like to know what you think. I'd like to think it can't happen in America, but I've been awfully wrong lately on what can't possibly happen.

-- Brent Koleno

Colorado Springs

The big scam

Proponents of video slots at racetracks have avoided any mention of gambling. Instead they say we'll have more jobs, more money for tourism and no tax increase.

Let's examine the idea of increased jobs: Dog and horse trainers and handlers will eventually lose jobs as people will be going to the "racinos" to play the slots, not watch races. At least this is what happened in other states with racinos.

Food services will increase at these gambling locations in order to keep people playing the slots, but that will take business from already established restaurants and taverns nearby.

As far as tourism, people who are interested in gambling will continue to go to Las Vegas for the variety and excitement. Most of the players frequenting racinos will be from our neighborhoods and small towns within a 100-mile radius, which is why other businesses will suffer.

Expanding gambling will in reality tax us more by our having to pay for the safety and social services that addictive and criminal behavior reap on society and by the need to maintain the historic and natural environment that attract visitors in the first place.

Let us be firm in our resolve to stop any expansion of gambling in our beautiful state. If enough of us vote NO this time, as over 90 percent of the voters did in 1994, maybe the proponents of 33 will think twice about presenting us with a variation on the gambling theme in the next election.

-- Kathy Verlo

Manitou Springs

Country of cannibals

Please help support America by writing a positive column on what is good and true in America. I do not want to read about partisan politics. I can make up my own mind. Just stick to the facts. While we cannibalize each other, the enemy is planning its next attack. They don't care whether they kill Democrats or Republicans.

-- Becky Sands

Pueblo

Checking ID's

I wonder if people realize that in order to vote, you must now show a valid ID? I just learned about the new provision yesterday at training for election judges. So, when you go to the polls on Tuesday, remember to take your ID with you. Otherwise you can vote a "provisional ballot" (which you do right at the polling place) and they will decide downtown if you are who you say you are.

We were told at the training that acceptable forms of ID include the usual Colorado driver's license or ID card; a passport; an employee ID with photo; a pilot's license; a military ID; or a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, etc., that has your name and a Colorado address on it.

They say that the intent of the new regulation is to not turn people away, so if there is a problem, insist on your right to vote and go with the provisional ballot. This is available in most cases where you are not on the list or don't have ID (except if you requested an absentee ballot). Hopefully, your provisional ballot will still be counted later once they verify eligibility.

I encourage all Indy readers to get out and vote next Tuesday, Nov. 4 (or before then with early voting). The ballot issues may sound complicated, but in most cases, good old common sense works! For more information on voting, contact the EPC Election Dept. at 520-6200.

P.S. Apparently the origin of some of these new policies is the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) passed by Congress in 2002 after the Florida debacle.

-- Cyndy Kulp

Colorado Springs

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