Shanahan's epitaph

One thought regarding Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen dismissing head coach Mike Shanahan:

Kinda feels like God fired Jesus.

Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

No nannies needed

With sadness I read ("A preventable death," News, Dec. 25) about 22-year-old Kelly Murphy's death from carbon monoxide poisoning. Way too young.

I was disappointed, however, that the article never even considered a call for personal responsibility and immediately went into a thinly disguised editorial calling for legislation at all levels to require carbon monoxide detectors in home sales and rental property.

Come on, people! We don't need to wait for laws, lawyers and bureaucrats to take easy steps to protect ourselves and our families. All it takes is a quick trip to the hardware store to purchase your own personal detector (up to $50). Plug it in upstairs (carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air).

Nanny laws will never protect us better than we can protect ourselves. I really hope this tragedy raises awareness to a simple preventative measure.

Gerry Simon

Woodland Park

Let's do lunch

With the onset of another year, dare we hope religionists of various stripes will fade from view and stay out of our faces and our laws? Can we persuade them to keep their various, competing religious ideas and legal fights to themselves? Shouldn't people's supernatural views be a private matter? Especially since no supernatural god of any kind has ever been proved to exist despite ancient scriptures of various religions?

Can the courts finally rule on who owns Grace Episcopal Church or whatever name it now uses? Will Pastor Don Armstrong be convicted of embezzlement? Curious minds want to know.

Will Armstrong and Dr. James Dobson (motto: "The Bible tells me so") quit denigrating gays and lesbians and bisexuals and transsexuals in light of the fact that the American Psychological Association many years ago concluded, based on latest worldwide studies, homosexuality is not at all abnormal, and not a mental sickness, but quite normal just one more minority feature found in many species, including humans?

And will defrocked Pastor Ted Haggard (motto: "They named the teddy after me!") either leave or stay in Colorado Springs, but please stop making self-serving documentaries?

Until you can invite your god to lunch (I'll pay) and he actually shows up, please let us hear no more from pastors, ayatollahs, sheiks, rabbis, ministers, imams, preachers, bishops, etc. If they can't have their gods speak for themselves, they should stop pretending to be the mouthpieces. No middlemen, please let's have the god himself or itself.

My blessing to you all.

Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Space ain't the place

The proposed takeover of District 11's Emerson Middle School by the Space Foundation ("Back to Earth," News, Jan. 1) is a perfect example of the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned about in his 1961 farewell speech. He noted the enormous influence of the Pentagon, even then, in the educational sphere.

It's still growing. The blackmail angle (give us Emerson or we'll move to Omaha or Tulsa) should've raised red flags. It seems to have had the opposite effect.

What else is wrong with this plan?

The foundation's signature event, its annual Space Symposium at The Broadmoor, amounts to the largest space arms bazaar in the world. Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop and a host of other companies come to show off their wares and make multibillion-dollar deals at taxpayers' expense. It is bad enough that thousands of school children are bused to this event each year for exposure to space education with a slant. It is unthinkable the military space lobby, joined by Space Command elements at Peterson Air Force Base, should get to run a public school.

Super-rich corporations represented by a nonprofit should not get exclusive access to middle school students, no matter how cash-strapped the district is. We need to give our sixth-graders a broad education. Channeling them into careers with the military space industry at such a vulnerable age is wrong.

There is a growing backlash to this not-yet-finalized move within the school system and in the community at large. The next meeting of the District 11 school board, on Jan. 14, will provide a forum for community voices.

Bill Sulzman

Colorado Springs

How you can win

I am upset with organizations blaming the economy and Washington for their problems. Considering the legions of Ph.Ds and seasoned "professionals," how is it they didn't see this financial meltdown coming? And how could any organization accept corporate welfare of any magnitude as though failure is to be rewarded? Hmmm. "A mighty change is comin'." Safe havens no longer exist.

This will be a cold, bleak year. White-collar jobs once envied will fade permanently, only to be replaced for faster, better, cheaper. Survival will be determined by the market. Blue ribbons once given to all who show up, like summer-camp activities, now belong not to the steady, but the hungry. Computers will perform redundant labors. Hint: Almost everything you are doing can and will be outsourced.

If you thought the age of radical innovation had reached its zenith, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. Talent will become the name of the game. Titles will become meaningless. Permanent address will become an oxymoron.

Psst. (If you don't like your boss, be patient. Change is coming.)

School districts will consolidate. Education comfortable with corporate (i.e., government) welfare must now compete beyond the boundaries of theoretical premises found only in textbooks. Innovative thinking will rule. This is an age not for the faint of heart.

Caught unaware? This isn't new. You are paid to handle uncertainty!

In 1985, Intel faced formidable challenges from Japan's cheaper memory chips. Bankruptcy loomed. Unlike Polaroid, Intel's founders asked themselves a revolutionary question: "If we got fired and the board hired a new CEO, what would he or she do?" Hmmm. Get out of the memory chip business!

This stuff isn't rocket science. You stop doing the things you know you shouldn't do and start doing the things you know you should.

Jim Woods

Colorado Springs

Check the mirror

Letter-writer Bob Nemanich ("Mystery 'pen pal'," Letters, Jan. 1) bemoans the fact that we can't all get along and then boasts about his bumper stickers, some of which read, "Celebrate diversity" and "Teach respect for the Earth and all living creatures." He also informs us that one of his bumper stickers reads, "Don't pray in my school, I won't think in your church," implying pretty clearly what he thinks of churchgoers.

Here's a suggestion for another bumper sticker: "People in glass houses ..."

Tom Neven

Colorado Springs

End the carnage

After the peace and calm of the holiday season, it is jarring to learn that Israel is attacking the Gaza strip, causing much devastation, injury and death to a primarily civilian population that is powerless to leave the area or defend itself from the warfare. We must call on our elected officials to stop this massacre immediately.

The Palestinians are one of the world's most impoverished populations, mostly because they have lived under occupation for over 40 years with no human and civil rights. It is practically impossible to earn a living under such circumstances.

The actions in Gaza will surely lead to more hardship physical, economic and mental and an increase in terrorism against Israel. This heavy-handed behavior by Israel would not be possible without U.S. aid, billions used to purchase military equipment such as jets, helicopters, ships, missiles and fuel to conduct the warfare.

We desperately need a change in U.S. policy based on negotiation, international law and restoring human and civil rights to the Palestinian people. Please urge your elected officials to make this change by supporting peace groups, including at endtheoccupation.org.

May peace prosper in 2009 under our new president.

Cyndy Kulp

Colorado Springs

More on massage

Your well-written article ("Unhappy ending," News, Jan. 1) makes a number of good points, but also misses others.

The U.S. is one of the few Western countries where prostitution is illegal, and our legislators don't seem to understand that no matter how many laws they pass against it, this oldest profession always finds ways to survive. As long as there is supply and demand (and there will be as long as there are human beings), they generally find each other, and if not in a massage parlor, it will be somewhere else.

And one has to laugh at the contention that 500 hours (or whatever) of training are not enough to teach massage therapists to properly "drape" their clients' private parts. How long does it take to learn to put a towel over someone's butt? Plus, this issue goes hand-in-hand with the same prudish yet hypocritical mores that consider prostitution immoral in the first place.

Peter Brebach

Colorado Springs

Beer vs. beer

I am the owner of Liquor Depot, 5984 Stetson Hills Blvd., and have been in the liquor business in Colorado Springs for over 30 years. I have serious concerns about proposed legislation to allow full-strength beer sales in all grocery chains, convenience stores, Wal-Marts and gas stations owned by big oil companies. Beer sales are nearly half my store's revenue.

I invested in my small business under the current Colorado law. I would not have started my store if I'd known I would be competing for beer sales with mega-chain grocery stores and big oil's convenience stores. It is unfair to change the rules and endanger my personal investment.

If I am forced to close my store because of lost beer sales, I am still obligated to pay the remaining years on my store lease. There will be adverse trickle-down effects on the economy. There will be vacant stores. My employees will lose their jobs. Nothing good can come if the law is changed except to allow more profit for chain stores and corporations.

It is better for Colorado if the current business model of retailing alcohol, including beer, remains in place at liquor stores. Small businesses like mine keep profits and money in Colorado. Large chain stores send their corporate profits out of state. Small businesses like mine buy locally: insurance, point-of-sale terminals, security systems, etc. When I need repairs and maintenance services, I use other privately owned businesses in our community.

Eugene Jones

Colorado Springs


The "Home, half a world away" section of last week's "Strange brew" installment mischaracterized the process local families have started for seven refugee teens from Myanmar. Those families have started foster-parenting proceedings, not adoption proceedings. The Independent regrets the error.

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