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Extra credit

I enjoy reading your newspaper every time I go to the movies. Usually my mom reads it. I still like your stories. Especially the Stranger than Fiction section. Sometimes they're funny and other times they're kinda weird. I think you should add a comic section to your newspaper. That would be cool.

In the latest newspaper I read, it was talking about "The Best" in Colorado Springs. It said the best movie theater was Tinseltown or something. I think it should have been Cinemark. Most of the places on your list were downtown. Why was that? I've never really been to downtown so I really wouldn't know. You should also mention middle school and high school sports teams in your paper, that would be cool.

P.S. This is a Language Arts assignment, and if you publish this letter I will get extra credit, and trust me I need it!

-- Michael Carricato

Colorado Springs

Great minds

I would personally like to thank you for picking Modern Books as being "Best in Vintage Porn" in your Oct. 13 "Best of Colorado Springs 2005" issue.

As a former New Yorker living in a very conservative state, it's comforting to know that a publication like yours exists. Truly intelligent minds think alike. And the Independent exemplifies intelligence.

Stop in and peruse our new "Modern" line of adult novelties and, as always, our vintage magazine packs ... shameless plug!

-- Jim Franckowiak

Manager, Modern Books

Colorado Springs

Hard landing

Ouch, that hurts! Southwest Airlines selecting DIA over Colorado Springs is a grand disappointment to this city, especially to Mayor Lionel Rivera. I've toured City Hall. I've seen Mr. Rivera's desk and his Southwest Airlines model airplane. He wanted them here really bad. He was stumping for Southwest when he was still on City Council. It was a plank in his mayoral election platform.

I don't care what the rhetoric is coming out of City Hall on this one -- what else can they say? His administration is hurting, they're stinging, they're bumming. Our economic impact swing is spinning off its moorings.

Does anyone remember Western Pacific Air? Southwest is West Pac with smarts. They are that good. They have made money every year but one in their 30-year-plus existence. Cities around this country are begging them to come. It would have been a huge bow on our bonnet, a huge bow.

So what happened? Once upon a time, Southwest loved airports and cities like ours, on the outskirts of major metropolises, just off the beaten path, where competition and rent are thin, and market potential thick.

Was it our one expressway system, the one that doesn't connect to our airport? Was it our uncovered airport parking? We have an empty concourse at Springs Airport that's still new-car fresh. We have a new food court, too, after years of overpriced and stale club sandwiches.

We have stuff! Did we offer incentives? Did we do enough, or did we cover our eyes and hope for the best?

Bummer, Mayor Rivera, bummer. Hey, we could hop up train service here, Lionel. That might fuel an economic boom. We'll call it retro-fit, after a certain managerial style.

-- Malcolm Allyn

Fountain

Show of hands

May I have a quick show of hands: How many of us are surprised that a healthy, progressive employer snubbed Colorado Springs for the greener pastures of Denver and DIA?

After all, in the past month or so, we have witnessed:

A local politician/slumlord of considerable following insults a prominent French-born surgeon employed by the University of Colorado as Exhibit A of the wasteful spending that justifies the TABOR Amendment's hammerlock on state revenue. Newspapers point out that the state is on the hook for only $1,700 of the surgeon's $750,000 annual salary. Does the tax-phobic, political hack suffer any fallout from this misstatement of fact?

No.

A local school board candidate's television commercial reports that "District 11's average administrative salary is $100,000, while the average D-11 teacher brings home $29,000. How is this possible when administrators are paid on a three-tier scale (average salary $74,000) and the teachers' base salary is approximately $30,000? Any recrimination against the candidate who never lets facts get in the way of a good story?

No.

Swarms of El Paso County's legislative cadre decry Referendums C and D as another money grab by a Legislature not satisfied with the fat that lies within its budget. Even legislative leader Norma Anderson, hardly a leftist, has castigated anti-C and D mouthpieces like John Andrews and the Independence Institute clan by saying there is no more fat to cut. Consequences?

No.

Instead, the Gazette -- a bastion of local control issues -- has spent its last two weeks proposing a single, county-wide school district that would more efficiently educate the children of Colorado Springs.

And I did not even mention the City Council's tango with Focus on the Family in the domestic partners benefits fiasco.

So Southwest lands a bit farther north. Go figure.

To quote The Cowardly Lion, "Shucks, folks, I'm speechless."

-- Steve Schriener

Colorado Springs

True colors

By means of this letter, please let me express my appreciation to Douglas Bruce. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, he gave us a really clear view of what motivates him. I had hoped that he was logical, if a bit extreme, in his objective of keeping state government from excess taxation and spending. And most Coloradans, in fact, share that objective.

However, he chose the wrong target to attack this week. He attacked Dr. LaCour-Gayet, a professor and internationally famous heart surgeon at the UCCS Health Sciences Center for being paid a huge salary from state funds. He made an ignorant fool of himself by not knowing the facts. In fact, the state and the university is getting the best deal imaginable in paying him the miniscule salary of $1,749 coming from taxpayers' funds. That represents less than 3 percent of his salary paid by the state. The remaining 97 percent comes from the research grants that he has obtained from his own efforts, and clinical fees.

So Douglas Bruce's true colors are mean, nasty, vindictive, and not caring about facts and realities. Were he a four-footer, we would take him in, posthaste, for a rabies test.

Thanks, Doug, we understand you much better now.

-- Payson Sheets

Boulder

Duck and cover

Let's study a little recent history to see if we can make some sense of the current campaign for the D-11 Board of Education.

In 2003, Eric Christen's original set of cronies included Springs developer Steve Schuck, Denver oilman Alex Cranberg, Milwaukee voucher guru John Gardner and ex-Gazette editor Dan Njegomir, through their front organization, "All Children Matter."

In 2005, the campaigns of the newest Christen Cronies, Bob Lathen, Carla Albers and Reginald Perry, are run under the auspices of -- surprise! -- "All Children Matter." That name is all over their slick, glossy campaign materials, even though it doesn't appear on their financial disclosure forms.

In 2003, Dan Njegomir advised the new board members to "Resist the urge to discuss vouchers at all. The best help you can provide Colorado's Opportunity Contract Pilot Program is simply to be its quiet ally -- and not obstructing it. When there is a specific policy you can indulge to help with implementation of vouchers -- to be discussed as time goes by -- implement it without fanfare."

In 2005, candidates Robert Lathen, Carla Albers and Reginald Perry kept quiet -- not just on the issue of vouchers, but virtually all issues. They ducked every public forum, they offered the voters no chance to hear their positions, they remained silent and expected that the Republican machine in El Paso County to deliver the election to them. Then, and only then, will we hear their views on the future of D-11. But, if they're elected, it'll be too late.

-- Jeff Marshall

Colorado Springs

Words and inaction

Minorities (people of color, women, homosexuals) are asked, chided, even pushed to be involved in our communities, to be patriotic, and to be active and involved in the civic process.

The problem is, the civic process still will not be involved in us.

As a Colorado Springs resident for 36 years, I have come to expect lip service, not action, from my local government. I've observed a consistent and disturbing pattern of behavior in city representation.

The result of last week's City Council vote on the renaming of Fountain Boulevard to honor my father, Rev. Milton Proby, clearly illustrates the lack of reciprocity for its constituents.

I am truly disappointed with the words and actions of several Council members. The reason we can't trust politicians is that they simply don't keep words and actions consistent.

Vice Mayor Larry Small spoke for 15 minutes to how much we are in debt to Rev. Proby, and how we need to give him fitting tribute. When the time came to put those words into action, his words ended up being just hot air.

Councilman Tom Gallagher shared with all those in Council chamber of how there was a time when he could not feed his own family, and Pastor Proby provided food for them. Yet when it was time for his vote to be heard, there was no reciprocity. He sat still, and silent.

It is pretty simple to me: Stand up for what you believe in. Be a person of word and deed. If you stand for something, then allow your voice to echo your actions. Right or wrong, love him or hate him, my father stood with that integrity.

I respect Councilman Randy Purvis for keeping his actions and words on par. He never went on and on about the debt we owe Pastor Proby and why we should do this. He simply voted against it and stated his reasons why.

The City Council has promised to "find a way" to honor Rev. Proby in a grand way. They swear they'll have this action completed by Jan. 30.

We'll have to wait and see if this city's politicians start matching their words with their actions, if they will indeed honor the legacy of one of this city's own.

-- James Proby

Colorado Springs

Right man, wrong street

The vote against renaming Fountain Boulevard to honor Rev. Milton Proby was a vote for practicality, not an insult to a great man.

My family moved to Colorado Springs in 1969 and I know that Rev. Proby was a great man in this community. I also know that the building number on my place of employment was changed without notice four years ago, and we are still dealing with the repercussions.

Every business and every citizen on Fountain Boulevard would have had to do an address change with every entity that they do business or correspond with. Deeds of trust and warranty deeds would have to be changed with the county, nationwide mapping would have to be changed, street signs, contracts with business leasing, and the list goes on and on.

What a great idea it would be to change the name of our judicial building to the Reverend Proby Judicial Building, to honor a man whose life was devoted to justice and freedom for all. Renaming the Hillside Community Center to the Milton Proby Hillside Community Center would honor a man who spent much time in that part of our community.

For an all-new approach, how about naming the proposed 24-acre regional park at the intersection of Powers Boulevard and Drennan Road the Milton Proby Memorial Park? That area is the gateway to Colorado Springs from the airport.

There are many ways to honor this great citizen of Colorado Springs without disrupting so many businesses and lives. Let's get creative!

-- S. Crockwell

Colorado Springs

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