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Time running out

One of the best pleasures I have had since moving to the Springs has been dinner on Sundays at the Acacia Hotel. For eight years, it has been a joy to meet new friends and visit with everyone.

Wonderful food at a discount for senior citizens and others in our community. We have even enjoyed tasty cakes, rolls and pies. We have been served with class, heart and a smile by the churches of Colorado Springs.

Now, because of budget cuts, the 26th of June is our last day. We will no longer have the option to join others for a bright spot on Sundays.

We have asked if there is anything we can do; pay a little more, help the volunteers, what can we do? With no bus service on Sundays, including no Silver Key or Metro Mobility, some have not been able to come.

Why now? We need choices and this one is vanishing. My hope is that someone in the business community, and churches, will fill this void.

My thanks to all the wonderful volunteers and the fantastic chefs!

— Molly Romano

Colorado Springs

Focus response

Thanks to the Independent and reporter J. Adrian Stanley for the seriousness with which you took the assignment of profiling Focus on the Family President Jim Daly ("Change of Focus," cover story, June 9).

Yours is the most comprehensive look at "Focus 2.0," as we've heard it called, done to date — and everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the Washington Post to AOL News has taken a crack at it.

I say that not because I like everything in the multi-story package in the same way I would have liked it had I written it myself; if I liked it that much in that way, you wouldn't have done your job. I say it because Ms. Stanley asked tough-minded questions and produced a fair and informative story from the answers she received.

It's so easy, when we find ourselves disagreeing on issues we're passionate about, to view the other as a cartoon character. I'm so happy both "sides" reached for and found a more noble interaction this time.

May the result — not just the profile of Jim but our co-sponsorship of an event to celebrate children in foster care and their families — change hearts, minds and, most importantly, actions all across the community we share.

— Gary Schneeberger

VP/Communications

Focus on the Family

 

Wrong direction

What a sad spectacle it has been, watching the Indy decay from a truly independent leftist publication to the bastion of mushy, Obama-style, support-the-troops liberalism it is today. Case in point: "The Daly Show" (Cover story, June 9). We learn that the Indy is now working with Focus on the Family, and J. Adrian Stanley writes that she hopes the two can "work together to benefit the community." This despite Stanley's admission that the group's agenda, ideology and policies have not changed one iota. Oh, but the vitriol is "just not there." Well, that's all right then. It's the same vile politics but served up by a smoother, more genial pitchman. No more is needed to placate liberals.

Why is it so hard to acknowledge that the fundamentalists are your enemies? Given a chance and the means, they'd declare a theocracy in El Paso County and herd the lot of you into camps. But times have indeed changed. The fundies figured out that with the proper soothing words they could get liberals to march into confinement on their own, locking the gates themselves. All in the spirit of cooperation, of course.

— Kevin Musolino

Lamar

Hope isn't enough

Wow. Letter-writer Geraldine Russell has a way with words ("Give Bach a chance," Letters, June 2). She called me and one other letter-writer outlandish, trashing, irrational, unbalanced, raving, unfair and religious.

I am not religious!

For a moment I thought I was reading a column by syndicated columnist and local resident Michelle Malkin, the undisputed queen of invective.

I and another writer had reviewed the mayoral election and saw a dismal future for this city. But Russell took issue, saying, "You can't predict what kind of a mayor we will have." We can only hope "that he does well."

But voting is not, nor should it be, blind guessing. With a small effort, any voter can get a fairly clear probability of how the candidate will behave and enact policies after he or she takes office. Simply read newspaper analyses of the candidates' past records, platforms, statements, votes, service and values, but especially their past actions on all fronts.

Most of the time, humans can be expected to do in the future what they have done in the past. No need for Nostradamus or coin-flips here; simply look at all the evidence on hand and vote on probabilities. If you can't do that, and rely only on "hope that he does well," don't vote at all.

Meanwhile, I've got to get a copy of Ms. Russell's thesaurus.

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Hazle's hot streak

What have you been feeding John Hazlehurst? For three weeks, his City Sage columns have been lucid, well thought out, and have shown logical thinking. Has John had an epiphany?

His observations about former Mayor Lionel Rivera's legacy ("Farewell, Mayor Rivera," June 2) were succinct, straightforward and insightful. With limited growth in the near future and a burdening interest load from bonds, the U.S. Olympic Committee deal looks more like a white elephant. Added is the lack of development in both commercial and residential building, causing us to be left with an unnecessary, overpriced Southern Delivery System. Lots of water and no place to sell it. Of course, SDS is being paid for now by overpriced utility rates. This sure isn't the kind of legacy I would want.

Besides pointing out Rivera's shortcomings, Hazlehurst reminds readers of the importance of giving new Mayor Steve Bach both breathing room and time ("Bach's mayoral challenge," June 9). He also reminds all of us what a great place Colorado Springs is to live. Hazlehurst touts the benefits of our extensive military presence with the caveat they might get marching orders to relocate somewhere else.

So, John, whatever you are smoking or stopped smoking, keep up the good work. Good to see your column near the front of the Indy. After the Letters to the Editor, your thoughts are my next weekly reading objective.

— Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

Lonely opponent

Wow, I must say I am impressed by new City Councilor Angela Dougan's stand against spending taxpayer dollars for signs at each entrance into Colorado Springs that read "Colorado Springs is the home of the U.S. Olympic Committee," plus a mural painted on the roof of a building near downtown and visible from Interstate 25.

Angela was the only Councilor to oppose that, in a 7-1 vote. Just imagine how many street lights can be turned back on for that kind of money.

— Ed Billings

Colorado Springs

Really a nice place

Ralph Routon wrote a nice article ("Finding a new role model," Between the Lines, June 9) and I agree with him 100 percent about dynamic little Rapid City, S.D.

I had the pleasure of spending two weeks there working with some local radio stations and advertising agencies.

My wife and partner, Alene, was with me, and of course we did Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills and other tourist things around there, but also spent a great deal of time just walking around Rapid City's downtown. It is a vibrant downtown area and felt very, very safe, even late at night after we came out of a club or café — some great little restaurants and cafés.

I'm forwarding the article to some folks there. I am sure it would really boost their civic pride.

— Paul Meacham

Colorado Springs

We've fallen behind

The outcries about the failing job market are valid. Federal Reserve economists point out that current total employment is the same as December 1998, and worker earnings have fallen to 1998 levels. But the U.S. labor force has grown by almost 20 million workers, exacerbating the unemployment situation and killing any demand pressures in the labor market. By any measure, things are upside down for workers and most households in America.

What conservative Republicans (or their lobbyists) fail to express or understand is that private employers do not add, or continue to employ workers because of an attractive tax policy. Private employers, either large or small, employ workers because they need their labor to make money — period. Employers who do not need labor to make money remove workers.

Demand for labor is connected to a robust growing economy, which is not here, and won't be for the foreseeable future. The national debt is not the real issue, either; we have had much worse debt ratios, though it will be a drag on the economy, but not the part that affects "Main Street" or the labor markets. The national debt will affect Wall Street's capital markets, which has little to do with Main Street's labor marketplace.

Over the last decade we have seen the full measure of Republican economic policies focused on tax policies that have destroyed the once-great U.S. Main Street economy. They are no different from lemmings marching to a national economic suicide. Don't be fooled by their rhetoric. They have sold you and your mother down the river, and now have their sights on selling your grandmother down the river by killing Medicare and Social Security.

— Bob Nemanich

Colorado Springs

About service dogs

As the man in charge of Territory Days, I apologize to Jeff Scott for his negative experience ("Insult to injury," News, June 9). Public safety and security are my company's No. 1 concern.

Having said that, I would like to address the real issue here: dogs at special events on city property.

By city ordinance, all events on city property are clearly posted "NO DOGS" but it does not stop hundreds showing up with dogs. This issue has become our — and CSPD's — biggest problem at our events. Not drunks, not trash, not parking, not theft and not violence. Dogs.

Pro Promotions and the Territory Days ownership, hand-in-hand with the city, support service dogs and their owners at special events. Mr. Scott suggests that the law states that service dogs are not required to be identified, nor are their owners required to carry identification for them. The laws are very vague at best. It is clear that the laws have not "caught up" to the times.

In speaking to service-dog trainers, it is clear that the noise, crowds and confusion at a large event like Territory Days greatly impairs the service dog's ability to perform. By all accounts, a service dog performs best in a controlled and calm environment. Special events are loud, chaotic and nerve-wracking.

Finally, I must speak to the obvious irony here: Mr. Scott claims his privacy as his reason for refusing to identify his dog in any way as a service dog. Yet, he is quick to showcase himself, his dog and his case in the newspaper for the whole town to see.

My father used to say, "Sometimes, having the RIGHT to do something does not always make it the RIGHT thing to do."

— Jim Wear

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: This letter was condensed to fit our 300-word limit. A much longer version, submitted as an online comment, may be found at tinyurl.com/wearletter.

Correction

In "Fact-checking the interview" (cover story package, June 9), Focus on the Family's total support and revenue should have been given as follows: $152 million, fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2008; $139 million, Sept. 30, 2009; $114 million, Sept. 30, 2010. We regret the errors.

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