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Black eye for the city

To Chief Richard Myers, Colorado Springs Police Department:

Colorado Springs has distinguished itself once again as possibly the only city in the United States where it is not possible to safely engage in a non-violent peace demonstration. (Remember the tear-gas episode at a pre-war demonstration four years ago.) We refer, of course, to the St. Patrick's Day Parade, when a 65-year-old woman was dragged across a street, causing injury, for behavior no more threatening than sitting on a parade route holding a peace sign.

Let's call it what it was: brutish behavior by a younger man toward an older woman, without cause for such a violent reaction. This should raise concern that the police officer involved may be a threat to public safety, rather than a protector of the population that he is supposed to be serving.

Beyond that, incidents of this type often receive widespread media coverage, reinforcing the image the city has acquired as a place that does not tolerate diversity or dissent. This is an opportunity for our new police chief to deal appropriately with the police officers involved and establish policies that will lead to effective responses to incidents of this nature.

The time has come, also, for the citizens of Colorado Springs to demand the right to peaceful protest and free speech.

Ellen Gentry and

Houston Markley

Colorado Springs

All too familiar

The justice and peace group that was removed from the parade on Saturday got what they had coming, some are saying.

In an age of great political action, it is important that all nonconforming attitudes be dealt with by strict force. Our country is a great one, and to defecate on it with such slander requires only the quickest of punishment. And so it was when Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq or when Hitler created a force to be reckoned with.

Why then do we see this occur in the U.S. today? We've forgotten the past so quickly that I am curious how most of us make it home at night. Our ability to allow the injustice which occurred on St. Patty's Day truly astonishes me.

People, this is our Constitution being walked on here. People's First Amendment rights should not be dissolved at any cost. The day this occurs is the day we admit to philosophy of countless dictators as being right.

I know it's scary to act against such a strong force, but as stated in the Declaration of Independence: "... That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it ..."

Joshua Cabrera

Colorado Springs

Not like last year

What is this world coming to when violence is regarded as more prominent than peace? Last year, I marched with the Bookman Bookmobile at the St. Patty's Day Parade, and it was fun. We had no problems along the parade route. Everyone cheered for us and gave us a thumbs-up or a high-five. We were very happy. We all wore peace T-shirts and danced around a giant peace sign. This was regarded as a huge event for children to participate in. No one stopped us or even thought we were out of place.

We did have a giant banner that said, "Good will to all mankind." We got several remarks from some lesbians in the crowd who said it should not have been gender-specific. I guess you cannot please everyone.

This year, a couple of people took it upon themselves to make some banners that said anti-war messages on them. So what? Did the police politely ask them to put them in the mobile? I think the pro-war messages should be left out of the parade as well, if that is the case! This is sending a wrong message to children. I think kids should see a nonviolent parade participant every year, and without incident.

How dare the police, with their God complexes, hurt old women and old men. They didn't dare bother with the 6-foot men in the peace group. They started removing the old ones first. I wonder why?

I always thank the police for protecting us when I protest something, because they have to be there. I always thank them for their service to our nation, and understand when a policeman dies what a great loss it is. But they need a lot better training to deal with people!

Cynthia Lang

Colorado Springs

Backwater, U.S.A.

Sieg Heil.

Only in Colorado Springs would pro-war activists be allowed to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade, but others ejected and beaten for the "crime" of advocating peace by wearing T-shirts with peace symbols on them. It brings to mind the police tear-gassing peaceful protesters on Feb. 15, 2003, before this awful, failed war broke out, as they tried to stop it from happening.

Is it any wonder that much of the country recoils in horror at the mention of our city, thinking it to be a fascist, war-mongering backwater?

Thomas McCullock

Colorado Springs

Remember stormwater

Now it's our turn! I note our mayor and City Council want you to vote for them. Trust us, they say.

Well, the mayor and City Council had an opportunity to trust us with that stormwater tax they levied on us. They did not trust us, so they decided to ignore us and change the name of the tax to a "fee," and pass that stormwater tax without our input.

People of Colorado Springs: You have the power to kick these untrustworthy politicians out of office. If you don't, then you must live with these losers and their clever "fees"-in-lieu-of-taxes scheme.

A. Chembe

Colorado Springs

Lamborn snub?

Last week, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) sent a delegation of 11 Colorado residents to Washington, to meet with our Colorado congressional delegation about the urgent need for just and fair immigration reform.

We had the opportunity to meet with nearly the entire delegation, including Rep. John Salazar and staff for Sen. Wayne Allard and Rep. Tom Tancredo. However, we were refused an appointment with Rep. Doug Lamborn, even after requesting a meeting more than 10 days in advance.

As a resident of Colorado Springs and part of the 5th District, the main purpose of my trip to Washington was to meet with Congressman Lamborn's office. Upon visiting the office, two of Lamborn's assistants informed me that they simply did not have time to listen to our concerns.

I understand the congressman and his staff are very busy, but to deny concerned citizens who have traveled all the way from the 5th District is unacceptable. I believe Congressman Lamborn's constituents should be informed of this unjust incident.

Megumi Esperanza

Colorado Springs

Offending vet

Please ask George Hutton ("No Sympathy," Letters, March 15) to make up his mind. He whines on and on about his lack of amenities in the service, then boasts he is "just a soldier." Well then, troop, suck it up.

And while you're at it, stop making the rest of us vets look bad by spouting that ignorant neocon rhetoric.

We aren't all brainwashed goose-steppers.

Darrell Van Ormer

Colorado Springs

Drop off that ballot

I've just received my absentee ballot in the mail this morning, and am ready to vote in the city election! However, I will not be sending it via the United States Postal Service. I will be dropping it off in person at the clerk's office.

Why? Because a few months ago I received a postcard from the clerk's office asking me if I still lived at my current address, because they hadn't received my ballot from the 2006 general election. I replied that indeed I was still living here, and that I had returned it.

So, what the hell happened? I know the mail can be slow, but come on! I mailed my ballot from one of the blue boxes outside King Soopers, so it's clearly not a matter of someone stealing mail from my mailbox.

Anyway, a lesson has been learned. I will never mail an absentee ballot again, and neither should you. If you want your vote to count, hand-deliver it!

I'm not saying it was foul play, but missing votes during such a close election is, to me, really disturbing.

Christopher Curcio

Colorado Springs

Building bridges

I was happy to read Ralph Routon's column ("Where's the leadership?" Between the Lines, March 8) concerning the rebuilding of the Cimarron bridge. It is about time someone who actually understands the value of our money, the construction process, inflation and how to get something done, said something.

The million-or-so-dollar "shortfall" in moving ahead today will seem economical in another 18 months or two years. And who wants to drive on a bridge that was built by the "lowest bidder"?

R.J. Stanton

Colorado Springs

Regarding adoption

State Rep. Alice Madden, D-Boulder, sponsor of HB 1330, admits that the gold standard for raising children is one mother, one father. She recognizes that children with one mother and one father are the most socially adjusted, do better in school and have a better chance of succeeding in life.

Yet, she claims the gold standard cannot be met in every case. Thus, we must allow adoption of children to single people, and unmarried couples both gay and straight.

Her premise is wrong. Colorado can meet the gold standard for adoption of children. Approximately one in seven married couples in Colorado struggles with fertility. We have several couples waiting to adopt a child and willing to sacrifice for a child. They wait patiently for a child. After all, a child is a gift, not a right. Just because you want a child, that doesn't mean you will get one.

There have been several couples that yearned for a child, and either no child was available or the birth mother picked another couple. It is a silent cross that many childless couples carry.

Yet adoption services are not in the business of giving childless couples a child. No, adoption services are in the business of finding parents for children who need parents. The focus is always on the best needs of the child, not the wishes of a childless couple.

Our children deserve the gold standard. Our children deserve to have the best chance at success. Our children should have a mother and a father.

Fr. Bill Carmody

Colorado Springs

Truth in Focus

How dare Cara DeGette ("When accuracy is a crime," Public Eye, March 15) be truthful and factual when corresponding with a large business oops large operation oops USAA oops CSPD oops USAFA

Daggumit, who was she being honest with? Oh, Focus on the Family, that ministry that doesn't pay any taxes because, as they said a few years back, they hire a lot of people!

I hope, Cara, that you're able to overcome the tragic loss of not being able to communicate with a self-described multimillion-dollar company. If you get lonely, always remember you can communicate with us that would be us, the readers, including me!

Stay warm and inside on this cold, windy, wintry day. Never, ever, let 'em get comfortable.

Phil Kenny

Colorado Springs

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