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Ugly underneath

Regarding "Off target" (News, Nov. 5): The entire art world is ridiculously fickle and pretentious, swarmed by wannabe artists, non-artists and amateurs within the milieu, adding to the confusion, cluttering the scene and clogging the profession and integrity of real artists — if any really do exist anymore.

Many of these inferior interferers craftily concentrate on improving their marketing image more than their actual work. Time and time again, I read typical artist bios regarding whom they "studied under" when, in actuality, they had brief encounters with so-called "nationally known artists" through a two- to five-day workshop. Yet, suddenly, these beginning amateur painters think they are professionals because of the name-dropping.

So many wannabe artists do this. It is like crying wolf and, indeed, no one should listen to them. The art piece and creative talent of a mature, talented and skilled artist should uniquely speak for itself. And may there be enough influential and knowledgeable fine art patrons, enthusiasts and professionals within the field who have a skilled eye to decipher what is good (qualified) or bad (amateur) art.

Ah, now this opens up another can of worms.

— Carol Krick

Green Mountain Falls

So long, Gazette

I arrived in this town back in 1970. One of the first things that I did was subscribe to the Gazette. For the past 39 years I have enjoyed staying abreast of the news and local events that were happening. The Gazette was a means to do this.

Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to the Gazette. Where is it going? Nowhere, actually, it is just that I can no longer afford to pay what they deem their news is worth. They are now wanting an increase of 33.48 percent over last year's subscription amount. Not bad for a company that has removed the free TV guide and reduced the overall size of the newspaper.

Goodbye, Gazette. How can any company expect to increase its charge by over 30 percent during a downturn of the economy? They must be wanting to have a lot of subscribers cancel. In my case, as a retiree and on a fixed income, I look closely at what I'm billed and charged.

Goodbye, Gazette. It was nice reading your informational contents ... when you were affordable. The Independent has picked up from where you have failed.

— John B. Bresnahan

Colorado Springs

Mayor's last chance

The leadership of our great city needs to get a grip! The mayor needs to realize he is not Michael Bloomberg, and this big-city path he wishes upon us looks kind of hopeless for the near future. It is time to get a little dirty with some real work.

Start simple, Mr. Mayor, maybe porta-johns in the parks? Encourage volunteers to help. Stop having secret meetings. Twist some arms to get some sponsorships. Understand that we have the potential to be the top small city in the nation, and this will be achieved through clean industry: the arts, education and outdoor recreation, not big-box stores and taxes.

You have two years, Mr. Mayor. Win, lose or recall, it is your move!

— Karl Knapstein

Colorado Springs

The American way

An imagined conversation in a homeless encampment along city and county waterways:

"Hey Red, throw some more sticks on the fire."

"OK, but we're gettin' low."

"Andy, any of them pork 'n beans left?"

"Nope. All out."

"Damn, my tent's gettin' old. Gotta get some duct tape."

"Hey Hoss, look up there! What a night! Stars everywhere."

"You're an idiot! Them's no stars. You're lookin' at the lights from those million-dollar homes up in the foothills."

"Oh yeah, they're lookin' down on us."

"Admit it, Hoss, this here is the life. Big sky, outdoor life, trickle of the creek, I'm a free man in a free country with a free-market economy."

"Yeah, but that kid crying all night in the third tent down from us keeps me awake."

"They got no health care for the kid."

"Juan, in the next tent-row, says he's from Costa Rica. They got no army, no navy, no air force and the taxes go for free medical care and education for everybody. Kinda like Canada and them other countries that got some military, but still got free medical care."

"Yeah, Red, but I love the good ol' US of A. Our way of life — every night we get protected by the guys on our aircraft carriers and cruising in them nuclear subs. Where would we be if not for our bases and officers' clubs around the world? I'm an American, and proud of it."

"Hey Andy, pass me some more s'mores."

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Easy answer: no

City Councilor Jan Martin said that her goal was to allow the voters of Colorado Springs a choice about the future of their community by putting a small and gradual property tax increase on the ballot. That is what she did, and the voters definitely made their choice ("What now?" News, Nov. 5). Over 60,000 voters said no to Measure 2C.

With this vote, local citizens have made it clear to the rest of the state that they do indeed belong to the party of "NO." No parks, no museums, no bus service, no pools, no community centers. They have also said no to dozens of city workers who may lose their jobs by the end of the year. The Party of No has demonstrated no sense of responsibility, no compassion for neighbors and no vision. They complain about inflated government salaries and that "government" is threatening them with loss of service.

These claims are hypocritical at worst and ignorant at best. It takes money to pave streets, prevent flooding and preserve natural and cultural resources. When revenue is reduced and costs rise, services have to be cut. The city has already done this by laying off nearly 200 employees and cutting $54 million from its budget. Where are the inflated salaries that are supposed to be the root of the city's budget woes? Are the City Council's $6,000-a-year paychecks and the average park worker's $40,000 annual wage really the issue, or is this just an easy line to repeat when one is too lazy to understand how local government works?

Salaries of hard-working professionals are not the problem. City workers' salaries are below the average of other cities of comparable size, as are our property taxes. The problem in Colorado Springs is that there are too many people who only know how to say "no."

— Carol Kennis Lopez

Colorado Springs

Trust is gone

The one thing that struck me about the overwhelming results from the election was how much the people of Colorado Springs disapprove of and distrust the city's government. It's a powerful statement made by an obviously angry and dubious public.

I hate to say it, but I hope they're right. It would have to be one ginormous confidence game — no small change or white lies here — but that'd still be better than watching the city fall apart. What I hear from voters is that they think the city is lying to them to get money they don't actually need; they're abusing the laws to pass off taxes as fees; they're all lazy and not working hard enough; the police are ineffectual and unresponsive already, anyway; the elected officials are paid too much ...

That's where I get confused. We did elect these people, didn't we? We trusted them enough to hand them the job in the first place; we voted them in. And now we believe every last one of them has soured. Spoiled rotten. Worm-riddled. No good apples in the bushel. How could we have been so wrong? Can we have been that naïve when we voted for them? Was the voting rigged, too? Again, I hate to say it, but I hope so.

Maybe next week they'll claim they hit oil while digging that big stormwater runoff trench along U.S. 24 and ...

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

Burdens and Bruce

I am writing to declare my utter dismay at those who voted against 2C. For a mere $2-per-week investment into our city, think of the possibilities. Apparently this amount of money is too much of a burden to improve our city. But maybe "we" wanted to make a point: Here in the West, people want less government, which now may translate to less parks for the kids, less police protection and an inevitable crime increase. Let's hope that's not the case.

As for the infamous Doug Bruce initiative, and Doug Bruce himself, for that matter: Anyone who comes on TV and says that because 300 passed, that means the people don't trust and don't respect City Council, should think back to most of Mr. Bruce's other initiatives that didn't pass. Because with your logic, that means the people don't trust him or respect him, either.

For those who voted for, basically, Mr. Bruce, I urge you to see what exactly this man has saved you. Please do a little research and see how much, over the years, Mr. Bruce has cost you, as taxpayers, in court costs.

— Kris Barney

Colorado Springs

Heading downhill

Issue 2C was the perfect opportunity for Colorado Springs citizens to put their money where their mouth is and really prove what upstanding, moral and community-focused people they are. Sadly, at this juncture, it seems we have failed. Since the vast majority of our citizens profess to follow the Christian faith, all we can say is, "Shame on you!"

What happened to feeding the poor and making sure the widow and the orphan are cared for properly? Because of your inaction, hungry people, mostly senior citizens, will have to forgo the only hot meal they could look forward to each day, when the city starts closing community centers. And for those of you who rely on public transportation, we wish you the best of luck this winter. Don't leave home without a shovel.

If such a blatant disregard for city services and the funds it takes to provide them continues, Colorado Springs, in the truest sense of the Old West, will start resembling a ghost town. Who wants to live in a city with minimal fire and police personnel, no parks, and roads riddled with potholes? We don't, and we don't think you would, either.

— Chris Curcio, Meg Remple, Stephanie Daigle

Colorado Springs

 

Bad recycling

Where in the future can those lead us who have taken us nowhere in the past? At a time when the entire region has seen exponential growth in distrust of elected officials, do we need more of the same?

The intent of Bob Balink, Wayne Williams, Sandra Damron, Jim Bensberg, Lionel Rivera and Darryl Glenn, among others, to seek election to a new office upon term-limiting out of their current position, is nothing more than moving an old, worn-out saddle to another horse in the same corral.

Considering the state of the region, do we need to consider developing a massive campaign to encourage new people with fresh ideas to run for office, and do what we can to keep the same old people out of office?

The time has come to halt efforts by local politicians to assist the economies of Austin and Albuquerque. We need people in office who can work in a coordinated fashion to boost this community. This cannot be done when the public has no faith in the current leaders.

— Rick Wehner

Colorado Springs

Lamborn's latest

Our phone number was called by robo-call, asking us to join a "town hall meeting" with Rep. Doug Lamborn. I joined the call and was (not really) surprised to understand that the participants had been stacked in advance of the call. Even though I indicated that I wanted to comment or ask a question (by pressing *3), I was never contacted, and one person who did get to speak spilled the beans by saying, "Thanks for calling me back."

Every caller who got to speak fed quite nicely into Lamborn's message.

Why did I get this call? Was this a random contact to his constituents? I think not. My husband is registered as a Republican, or else I'm sure our house would never have been contacted. This came into play during the polling questions, which (imagine this!) produced results totally favorable to Lamborn's position.

Finally, Lamborn said the House bill (which he referenced repeatedly during the call as the Pelosi bill) was available on his Web site — it wasn't. Many callers made reference to section this and paragraph that — more staging.

I'm all for a real debate, but I am sick and insulted by Lamborn's tactics. I would beg people in his district to call him out on what he's pushing on calls and meetings such as this.

— Sheila Wallace

Colorado Springs

Church standards

In his interview with the Independent, Ted Haggard complained that, as ringmaster for New Life Church, he raked in a paltry $140,000 a year. Now, media reports say that Ted and the missus want "to do something in our house to connect with friends."

What better way to connect with friends than to throw an open house, presumably to smile that big smile, spew some Bible-speak, maybe shed a couple of tears à la Jimmy Swaggart — and, oh yeah, fleece some sheep out of some bucks?!

What would happen if thousands of people in town declared themselves preachers and started home churches? We aren't that far from it — there's a church in every strip mall now. They come and go like fingernail studios. To be a preacher, a person need not be psychotic and hear God speaking. To be a preacher, a person need not actually be educated. To get that blessed tax-exempt status, a preacher needs a few sheep to listen to his/her rant.

Isn't America great! It gives everyone the chance to operate his/her very own scam, and religion is the best scam of all. People can claim to believe anything, and who can prove them right or wrong? The only thing bigger than Ted's shit-eating grin must be his balls.

My church will be called the Jesus H. Christ Hallelujah Joint and Pizza Parlor. Please donate heavily.

I do hope that Rich Tosches attends Ted Haggard's open gathering at some point and reports on the festivities.

— Bernadette Young

Colorado Springs

  • Fickle art world, trusting the mayor and City Council, Haggard backlash and more.

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