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Power of one

Jim Alice Scott has the strangest of names, I've always felt, but the greatest of vision and attitude! Your profile of her in last week's issue is testament to the power of one person having a remarkable effect on a city and its future.

She is inspirational in her optimism and for the sensibility she brings to the public forum. While reading the article, I kept thinking, "This woman believes the same way I do!" and I didn't feel there were many of us around.

I'm saving the article for the times I get morose and dislike our developers and city government!

-- Ron Rubin

Colorado Springs

Best of Colorado Springs

Thank you for last week's article on the Noyeses and the Chinook bookstore closing. The Chinook was a big part of my childhood and a great institution in the city.

The Noyeses represent what was best about the Colorado Springs I grew up in. They embrace the free exchange of ideas, acceptance of people from all walks of life, exploration of the uncharted, and intellectual pursuit. While I was sad to learn of the Chinook's closing, I also understand that it is sometimes preferable to bow out gracefully rather than to continue, if a legacy is to remain intact.

The photo of the Monkey House really got to me. I remember playing in it over 30 years ago when I was a child and my mother would take my sister and me on one of her book-buying journeys. What happy memories! On my last visit to Colorado Springs about nine years ago, the Chinook was one of the few places that still felt "like home" in a city that had rapidly grown and changed since I'd lived there.

I wish the best to Dick and Judy Noyes in their retirement, and I thank them for having such a meaningful impact on me and on so many of us whose lives have been touched by their life's work and passion.

-- Deirdre Schaneman

Chicago, Ill.

Get ready

I am saddened that the Chinook Bookshop will close its doors. I agree with Eric Schlosser what a valuable resource it has been to this community. My book should be out in about two months. I am determined to have it distributed through indie bookstores. Get ready Poor Richard's.

-- The Rev. Promise Lee

Colorado Springs

Drain on society

I read your article about Ms. Kristine Wallace and the possibility she may lose her Section 8 housing vouchers [News: "Out on the street," May 13] and believe that rather than criticize President Bush, she owes him a huge debt of gratitude.

This lady has remained on numerous welfare programs for three years. She should thank Bush for allowing her to mooch off of us. If Bush were a true conservative, he'd have pushed a lot harder to get the Republican House and Republican Senate to repeal this welfare loophole.

For your newspaper to turn this on Bush shows your obvious liberal bias. With the extreme growth in our city over the past two years, all I can think of is how can an honorable citizen continue draining our society?

Rather than take responsibility, she actually has the nerve to blame our president and the Independent sides with her rather than point to new job figures and other recent economic data that show America's economy is strong and getting stronger.

The president's jobs and growth plan is working. The Labor Department announced that employers added 288,000 new jobs in April. In total, over 1.1 million jobs have been added since August, with eight consecutive months of gains. Have you provided this truth to your readers?

I figure the answer is no and I rather doubt you'll publish this letter either. I expect nothing less as liberals are the worst censors of all.

-- Eric Jeffery

Colorado Springs

Take back the city

This letter is in response to Joe Barrera's "Come on over" letter last week. I disagree completely with Joe for several reasons. He was telling John Hazlehurst, who is a registered Republican, to come on over to the Democratic Party.

Joe was right in saying there are few moderates in either party, but we need to get these moderates to win. The entire political situation has been polarized thanks to our buddies at the GOP, led by Bush, so now you are either way too liberal (in other states, not here), or you are one of the religious right's cronies.

Since no Democrats will ever win here in the near future, we need to make sure we have very moderate Republicans nominated, not extremists like state Rep. Dave Schultheis or county commissioner candidate Doug Bruce or former mayoral candidate Will Perkins, religious fanatics who think anyone non-Christian should leave this country.

This country is a melting pot, but the right wants to change that. If they had been in charge 50 years ago, blacks would be slaves and immigrants would be shot on sight. We need independent-minded people to be nominated, so Colorado Springs doesn't once again become the Hate Capital of the West.

And for those of you who think, "Well, Democrats would win if they went out and voted," prove me wrong. Get involved. Make sure every single Democrat gets out and votes. Otherwise, it will just be more of the same.

-- Geoff Kramer

Colorado Springs

Blazing the trail

As a woman also approaching my middle years, I would like to challenge Kathryn Eastburn to discard her willingness to become invisible [Domestic Bliss, "The invisible years," May 6].

This is a remarkable time to be a woman. From the ranks of the baby boom generation spawned the first female astronaut, news anchor, Supreme Court justice and vice-presidential nominee. We forged new laws creating equal funding for women's athletics; we took stands on sexual harassment, domestic violence and drunk driving. We took charge of our pregnancies and reintroduced fathers into the delivery room. We did all this despite the failure of the male-dominated legal system to adopt the Equal Rights Amendment.

There are currently 24 million baby boomer women entering menopause. By 2008, women between the ages of 50 and 65 will be the largest and richest demographic in the nation and, for the first time in written history, it will be money that we have earned ourselves. We are in uncharted waters.

With clearly a third of our lives ahead of us, there is no end to the changes we can make. There are no cultural definitions for what the postmenopausal years can look like. We are blazing the trail for our daughters and granddaughters.

For my 50th birthday, I organized a reunion for all the women from the Mitchell High School Class of 1971 to launch Brave Dame Productions -- an enterprise dedicated to empowering women through laughter and practical jokes. Twenty-five of us gathered to celebrate our accomplishments, our friendships and our durability.

We were dancers, writers, teachers, counselors, entrepreneurs, small-business owners and corporate executives. We had survived pregnancies, marriages, teen-agers, graduate schools, cancers, family deaths, bankruptcies and disco. We vowed to uphold and encourage each other in our future pursuits.

Join the growing ranks of Brave Dames, Kathryn. Rise up. Laugh. Change the world.

-- DeAnn Hiatt Green

Colorado Springs

Calling on Robin Hood

Our current utility rate hikes that pay developers costs is quite similar to the story of Robin Hood [Cover story, "Screwed," May 6] at www.csindy.com.

Let's pretend that the people of Colorado Springs are the poor people forced to pay taxes for Prince John, and I suppose that the developers should play Prince John, while our city council plays the sheriff of Nottingham.

There is only one character missing in this sad story; that character is Robin Hood. Who shall stand up for those of us who are paying higher utility bills?

I'm afraid that if these things continue, we the people of Colorado Springs may be paying higher utility rates so that Prince John (aka the Colorado Springs City Council) can take from the ratepayers.

-- Ed Billings

Colorado Springs

Threat of eternal damnation

The Roman Catholic Church is beginning to sound more and more like the Taliban. First we have church officials threatening Catholic politicians in this country who support legislation they don't like, and now Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan cuts right to the chase by going after voters.

His May 1 pastoral letter to 125,000 Catholics told them they cannot receive Holy Communion if they vote for politicians who support abortion rights, stem-cell research, euthanasia or gay marriage. This privilege can be restored only if they reverse their positions and repent for their sins in the confessional. If not, he assures them they will "suffer the same fateful consequences" as the targeted politicians.

Now I ask you: Can control get any better than the threat of eternal damnation?

This smacks of conceit that theirs is the "true religion" -- a view not appropriate in a country based on the equal religious liberty of all citizens.

There are two steps I believe our government should take in response:

To play such a role in secular politics, the Roman Catholic Church needs to give up its tax-exempt status and register as a political action committee. Taxpayers should not be forced to support their efforts.

We should immediately withdraw our ambassador from the Vatican. Certainly, we would not tolerate any other foreign country telling Americans how to vote.

President John F. Kennedy overcame the reluctance of Americans to vote for Catholic politicians by asserting his independence from Vatican control. Sadly, the current actions of certain bishops will once again raise those doubts.

-- Janet Brazill

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: We received a deluge of letters weighing in on Bishop Sheridan's pastoral letter. Due to space limitations, we are unable to print them all. However, they can be read online at www.csindy.com.

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