Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If your comments are mailed or emailed to us, we'll consider them for publication — unless you request otherwise.
Please include your name, city of residence and a daytime phone number for verification.
To ensure a diversity of topics and viewpoints in print, the Independent gives priority to letters that are 300 words or fewer. We reserve the right to shorten longer letters, and to edit all letters for clarity and factual accuracy. Please include your name and city of residence with any submission.
Justice for Teddy
Last week a sweet-natured dog, dumped earlier this month in a stranger's yard under cover of night, was euthanized at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. He had been living for many months before he was dumped with what HSPPR's vet says must have been hideous pain.
Here's the story: A woman in the Patty Jewett neighborhood happened to go outside at 9:30 p.m. on July 15 and found in her yard an emaciated shepherd mix who could not walk, could only manage to lay his chin on her foot and look up at her when she reached toward him. Clearly "Teddy," incapable of getting anywhere on his own, had been discarded there. The woman got him to HSPPR, and through the neighborhood social media site "Nextdoor" alerted people in her neighborhood, the Old North End, Shooks Run and so on about Teddy. Within hours, Teddy had dozens of people rooting for him, praying for him, making donations for his care and checking on his progress.
On July 22, Teddy was euthanized. The shelter vet determined Teddy was suffering from "a severe chronic condition similar to rheumatoid arthritis." He had extremely painful joints and it had "gone on long enough that all his muscles had atrophied."
Teddy had been adopted from HSPPR in 2014 and had a chip and license. But the shelter says the email address and phone number on file aren't working and they don't have the resources or means to find the person who let this dog suffer, then ditched him.
Justice for Teddy should be a goal. Surely someone knows of a shepherd-looking dog that was once vibrant but went downhill. Surely someone has the integrity to contact local animal enforcement. If not confronted, the person who did this will almost certainly neglect/abuse an animal again.
— Sharon Peters
Manitou Springs ("The little town that could," cover story, July 29) used to be a neat little spot to hit a biker bar and buy some art. Now it's so congested with traffic you can't even drive through it on the weekend.
What happened to our little gemstone? You have to pay to park now to go to the Incline. There are so many people up there now, it's not worth going anymore. Manitou, your "success" is such a drag.
— Mike Nixon
In response to Len Bentley ("Which lives matter?," Letters, July 29), I agree that Black Lives Matter and I encourage him to consider how many black lives are involved in the following statistics:
1. Planned Parenthood provides health care, education, information, and outreach to more than 5 million women, men and adolescents each year. They provide nearly 400,000 Pap tests and nearly 500,000 breast exams each year — critical services in detecting cancer.
2. Planned Parenthood offers services for men: colon, prostate and testicular cancer screenings, condoms, vasectomies, male infertility screenings and referrals.
3. Planned Parenthood gives nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV tests.
4. Eighty-four percent of its clients in the U.S. are 20 and older. One in five U.S. women has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once in her life.
5. Planned Parenthood health centers focus on prevention, such as contraceptives, and their services help prevent approximately 516,000 unintended pregnancies each year.
6. Only 3 percent of all Planned Parenthood services are abortion services, so 97 percent are other services. I'm sure many have been "Black Lives" that were helped or saved.
— Janet Brazill
On secular humanism
Ken Burrows' "The Pope's humanist side" essay (July 22, Freethought Views) was good, particularly the segment about the shared elements between religion and secular humanism. However, the divergence of Pope Francis and Fred Edwords on population was not satisfactorily discussed.
The problem is that secular humanism and Burrows himself seem to operate within a Malthusian framework. Malthusians famously maintain that population increases at a faster rate than its means of subsistence, and if population growth is not controlled (by whatever means), widespread poverty and misery should result.
Burrows states: "[Pope] Francis oddly argues that demographic growth in general is not the problem; rather it is unequal distribution of resources and 'extreme consumerism.'" I ask: Why "oddly"? An argument about "unequal distribution of resources" is generally a sociological argument against the power structures and social institutions that maintain the prevailing social inequality.
The argument maintains that capitalist accumulation is primarily responsible for increased population and widespread hunger and misery.
Pope Francis, therefore, is not Malthusian. He seems more humanist than secular humanism. But don't mistake my perspective with your statement that "secular humanism is routinely derided by religious conservatives as an intrinsic evil." It's just paradoxical.
— Wilfredo Gutiérrez
I read Pam Zubeck's series on police violence, "Full force," with a sinking feeling. I have found police in El Paso County to be fairly polite and professional. I've met one or two jerks but that is the exception.
About police violence here in Colorado Springs, I'm not surprised the cop who shot the young man in the back without warning, or the cop who slammed the young woman's face into the floor, breaking some of her teeth got off, so far, without having to pay for their actions and possible cowardice. That is pretty much the standard throughout the country and the world. The people in charge take care of their own.
It was suggested that DA Dan May held a sham grand jury investigation of this cop that shot the victim in the back. I don't know whether he did or not, but what do you expect from a local politician? All you need in El Paso County is an (R) after your name to get elected.
I know that the guy who was shot and killed was drunk and showed some really bad judgment, but did he deserve to die? Was that the only way to handle the situation?
I don't know if police violence is increasing or just being better reported. In any event it has to be addressed. If we turn a blind eye to it now, where will it end? I've been bullied by cops before. It doesn't take any guts to bully someone when you have the badge and the gun.
You as a citizen have no rights when it comes to being harassed or assaulted by a cop. If you defend yourself, you get charged with "assaulting an officer." That is, if you survive the encounter.
In my opinion there needs to be a better psychological evaluation of cops before they are cut loose on the rest of us.
— David Loucks