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Cockeyed community

The more I tried to digest the rankings of this year's Best of 2006 (Cover story, Oct. 19) the more nauseated I became. The results clearly demonstrate the lack of culinary awareness and appreciation possessed by the greater community of Colorado Springs.

Just when I start to believe that people in this area are starting to "get it" in regards to fine food and drink, those thoughts of hope are eclipsed by absurdity. An example of this absurdity is people's preference for Red Robin over an establishment that incorporates higher-quality ingredients in their menu, offering such as those found at Poor Richard's Restaurant.

It's not all that bad, though. At least a city as populated as Colorado Springs has bragging rights to the top place to eat when it's late: Denny's. Taco Bell beats out the Pita Pit ... that was printed as a joke, right? Oh wait, the joke was when Starbucks won the best "Gourmet Coffee Drinks." I have to believe that readers translated that category into: Most high fructose corn syrup options available to mask the shot of espresso that would be palatable only to someone with the want for experiencing a lingering taint of fish oil and cigarette ash.

To say that the coffee quality in this town is 20 years behind the Pacific Northwest would, sadly, be a huge and undeserved compliment. First, people would have to actually understand that coffee is grown on trees, and then they would have to understand that there is no such thing as fair-trade roasting, only fair-trade green buying. That is, of course, unless the roaster is being paid below minimum wage. WTF.

Matthew Brinski

Woodland Park

Accept weeds?

In the Oct. 12 issue, Stan White of Dillon writes that obedient Christians should support Initiative 44 because God created all the seed-bearing plants, saying they are all good ("God's weed," Letters). Mr. White states that the only restriction the Bible places on cannabis is that it be accepted with thankfulness.

Does that mean mankind should also accept opium and heroin with thankfulness, as those drugs also come from the seed-bearing plant that God created? The next thing we know, Mr. White will be saying that because God created Republicans, we should also accept them thankfully. Get real, Mr. White.

Robert Murphy

Colorado Springs

Lacking concern

I was appalled after reading your article "Brutal questions," (News, Oct. 12). Delvikio Faulkner is in jail for several offenses. He also gave police officers a fake name and tried to flee when stopped.

Yet you choose to paint this low-life as a "victim." Where is your concern for his victims? Why do you not have any compassion for the police officers that have to deal with scum like him? When encountering a suspect, the police officer doesn't know if the suspect is armed, what kind of drugs they are on, or what offenses they committed. Yet these officers are willing to put themselves in dangerous situations every day to ensure a safe society.

Still, you feel you can judge them later for using the F-word and hitting the criminal. Maybe you would feel differently if there weren't any officers willing to stop your being victimized because they might be investigated for doing their job.

Sona Grovenstein

Colorado Springs

Gender violence reality

I just wanted to give my compliments to Tonja Olive on her article in a recent issue of the Independent ("21st-century gender terrorism," Your Turn, Oct. 12). It was a very well-written article on a topic that other members of the media and government are not seeing as the real issue. Another article with similar points by Jackson Katz is at counterpunch.org/katz10112006.html.

Maryjane Hayes

Colorado Springs

Read Lester Bangs

As I was reading your last issue, and reading your entertainment section, I was struck by the condescending tone that your writers use. As a teenager, I am no stranger to rudeness, but does it have a place in straight journalism?

In a review or editorial, I could care less if the Indy uses opinion, but the way you treat your subjects seriously makes me ashamed to read the paper at times. For example, in your article about Hootie and the Blowfish (for the record I don't like that band), the writer was rude to the man he interviewed and treated him in the most condescending tone possible.

I know it might make the Indy staff giggle, but it is this tone that has made musicians resent music journalists for the last 50 years. I am not saying you should praise the band and play up to them, but common decency or at least decent journalistic skills would be nice. If you want to learn a thing or two about real music journalism, I would advise reading some Lester Bangs. Now there was a man who walked the fine line between good writing and criticism.

Secondly, you are even more condescending in your photo captions. I enjoy humor, but what you people use is flat-out ridicule of your subjects. Why write about some upcoming event if you're just going to be rude about the subject? Often you don't even know anything about the upcoming concert, etc. ... that you write about. It feels as if you went on wikipedia.com and copied the first sentence.

I understand how hard it is to please anyone in the newspaper world, but would it kill you to keep editorials as editorials, and write something that doesn't use a condescending tone to mask the fact that you can't write?

Bebe Santa-Wood

entertainment editor,

Palmer (High School) Lever

Colorado Springs

Bad rap

Recent letters and stories in local media regarding the Eyes Wide Open exhibit, made up of boots representing soldiers killed in Iraq, have included statements that the city refused to allow the display in Memorial Park or provide handicapped parking and toilet facilities for the handicapped. I would like to correct the record on this.

After representatives of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission (PPJPC) made their first presentation to City Council, the city manager asked me, as the staff liaison, to work with the PPJPC host-sponsoring committee for the display.

City management staff scheduled a meeting on Sept. 19 with a representative from PPJPC. The first thing one of the organizers, Cynthia Lang, mentioned to me was that the decision was made to hold the event at Armstrong Quadrangle at Colorado College.

An article a few days later in the Colorado Springs Independent said the organization was still considering Memorial Park. I contacted Mark Lewis, one of the event organizers, who spoke before council, and asked him to send me a written request for the use of Memorial Park, specifying which services they requested. I also contacted Paul Butcher, director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, who told me his department never received a request from the committee for the services, but they did have the event penciled in as a possible park event.

I contacted Mr. Lewis several times and asked him to submit information, but he never requested the use of Memorial Park. City Council did decline to adopt a resolution regarding the event, but they never said the display could not be in the park. The PPJPC never followed up on council's invitation to work with city staff to have the display in Memorial Park.

The city took several steps and made many efforts to make this event possible on city property. An obvious communication error hindered the ability for this to occur. We take pride in our parks, which are wonderful venues for community exhibits and gatherings.

Bob Stovall, intergovernmental liaison

city of Colorado Springs

Against name-calling

I'm not into name-calling when it comes to describing Mr. Douglas Bruce. I don't join those who call him a vituperative buffoon or a sniveling oaf. I'm not one who calls him a snide misanthrope. Not me. I would never stoop to that kind of name-calling.

In the oncoming election, Mr. Bruce asks voters to save some money by voting for his proposals to cut taxes. Read questions 200 and 201 on the ballot when you vote. Sound good? Phase out your property taxes? Then ask yourself what would happen to the city's museums when the money is reduced or cut off. Ask what damage or outright destruction would happen to the city's libraries. Ask what the Bruce demolition would do to the Rock Ledge Ranch or the Starsmore Center and the city's park system. Ask about cuts to snow removal or tree-limb removal after storms. Ask about personnel cuts across the board in city services.

You say you don't use those services? Tourists do. And all of them add to the collective value of this city as a quality place to live, thus indirectly adding to property value.

So you don't like taxes? Nobody does. But what's the point of owning property in a city that is so drab and low-class and shoddy that nobody wants to live in it?

Don't call Mr. Bruce names. Just understand the destruction he does and vote against him.

Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

For name-calling

El Paso County Attorney Bill Louis is a hero for calling out Douglas Bruce at Thursday's commissioner's meeting.

Bruce is a political terrorist, and it's about time people stood up to him. He's been intimidating the citizens of El Paso County long enough.

Thomas McCullock

Colorado Springs

No free lunch

Do we want to relegate Colorado Springs to second-class status rather than the high national rankings we consistently receive? I think not.

Some people want to emasculate all government, including our parks and ball fields, along with the programs that are necessary for any vibrant community. None of us, except for the criminals, want to reduce our police and fire protection, but that is reality if these nonsensical issues pass.

We must maintain and upgrade our infrastructure. We all should certainly pay for the services we and our families receive; there is no free lunch. Our very low local taxes, in any comparison, underscore our need to defeat ballot initiatives 200 and 201.

Wynne Palermo

Colorado Springs

Choice in November

I am pleasantly surprised that the voters in Colorado Springs have the opportunity to actually participate in an election that is not one-sided. No more automatic wins for the Republicans in this election. Finally, people have a choice to pick the best candidate that deserves their vote.

This has many Republicans up in arms. They're scared because the Democrats have viable, trustworthy and qualified candidates in each race. The democratic process in El Paso County has finally arrived. No more same old party control. As I read some of the editorials, other voices and letters to the editor, I see that the Democratic candidates are making some Republicans nervous. This is good.

What an opportunity for the Democrats, unaffiliated and the moderate Republicans in El Paso County. This is democracy in action finally.

Linda Martin

Colorado Springs

Into thin air

Ever wonder what's become of the GOP's cherished slogans: "Mission Accomplished" ... "Compassionate Conservative" ... "No Child Left Behind" ... "Christian Coalition" ... "A Uniter, Not a Divider" ... "They're Either With Us, or Against Us" ... "Family Values" ... "Axis of Evil" ... "Faith-based Initiatives"? Next one to disappear: "Stay the Course"!

Paul G. Jaehnert

Colorado Springs

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