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Protect the parks, cover the arts, cut the exhaust, and more 

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: letters@csindy.com

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Saving our parks

In "Park improvements" (Aug. 24), John Hawk gratefully acknowledged our citizens, Parks and Recreation Department, Trails and Open Space Coalition and City Council for their roles in improving Palmer Park. Well done.

Wait! Is he really talking about the above three agencies? Parks and Recreation's broken promises about protecting fragile rock formations, the continuing placement of misleading trail signs after assurances to the contrary, and the refusal to address graffiti and gang tagging in at least one of the major parks, are all at odds with its mission.

What's worse, all three of the above, citizens excepted, are about to gain national recognition for their role in attempting to give away part of the magnificent Strawberry Fields in North Cheyenne Cañon. Since our city voted in the 1880s to dedicate the park to the people, this action will likely be proved illegal in the courts. So, contrary to John Hawk's experience, no thank you to City Council, Trails and Open Space Coalition, and Parks and Recreation.

I support John's request for people to join the Guardians of Palmer Park. After all, your park may be next for disposal of part or all to the highest bidder. Please use your membership and voice to help prevent the privatization of your parks.

— Bruce Hamilton

Colorado Springs

Art and our city

The quality of art in Colorado Springs has exceeded our reputation. We are showing and performing world-class work beyond the scope of what most people outside Colorado Springs expect from us. Our local patrons recognize this and are truly beginning to respond.

What's still missing, and where our opportunity lies, is in education. Media in the city could be critiquing more and reporting openings less. We are all grateful for the coverage, but it must jump to real critique, positive and negative, so we make distinctions of quality and help all of us to do better. The economic impact the arts make is palpable in every way, but it can rise dramatically if we are courageous enough to separate the excellent from the average.

This road to heightened public perception can be shortened if we continue to encourage determined advocates to engage together and allow media to report the true culture in Colorado Springs, good and bad. The press can seriously help with our local artists' message.

There is work being done here as good as anywhere in the world. It's a matter of getting that message out, teaching potential patrons and encouraging them to commit to buying as our artists have committed to producing.

If you see a piece of bread in the shape of a bagel, it doesn't mean it's a bagel. The media can help us be accountable for what we are producing, which will help elevate our much-deserved status.

It is all of our jobs to teach and nurture, the best we can, and to raise expectations of our restaurants, performance venues, visual arts venues and music. I'm so proud of this city, we have come so far, but lots of people still don't understand how good we are.

— Jon Khoury

Executive Director

Cottonwood Center for the Arts

More about art

Every week many of us pick up a copy of the Indy to see what's happening in the area. We see the Indy as a natural source for news and information with regard to the arts community but find one area lacking. My question is why doesn't the Indy do more to critique artists and art shows that it advertises on a weekly basis? It would be a wonderful addition and do a lot to promote culture.

— Al B Johnson

Colorado Springs

Polluting the air

Make Colorado Springs a "no waste, no idle" zone. Yesterday morning a city water main broke in the street outside of my house. Day 2, I am choking on exhaust fumes from all of the city and contract vehicles involved in the street repair. For nine-plus hours yesterday and four hours today there has been belching smoke from two heavy dump trucks, one trackhoe, one backhoe and three to six pickup trucks all idling and sitting all day long.

Do we have so much gas and diesel to waste? Do we hate clean air so much? Seems like Colorado Springs should have a "no idle" consideration as a "no waste" policy. They are wearing out equipment and wasting money for no benefit or purpose except they are not aware. My lungs, and my neighbors', suffer from the putrid smell and the gray air.

Global climate change seems like such a big issue and hard to address. Colorado Springs could be progressive, be aware, be thoughtful and make a difference. For our lungs, our future and our children.

— Nard Claar

Colorado Springs

FOX on display

I was appalled Aug. 25 to find FOX News propaganda being played nonstop at the motor vehicle department of the El Paso County Citizens Service Center. We were at the DMV on Garden of Gods for nearly two hours to register a vehicle.

FOX "News" was playing Donald Trump political propaganda on all TV screens the entire time. I politely asked the supervisor to please change to a nonpolitical channel. She stated that the clerk and recorder is in charge and only allows FOX or ESPN.

I went up to that office and asked to speak briefly with the clerk or public information officer. I was told that only the assistant was there as it was lunchtime. She was very polite and said she would have Chuck Broerman (clerk) or Ryan Parsell (deputy) call me. I have not received a call.

Here is a snippet from the website:

"During his work career, Chuck became involved in the political process. Chuck served four years as Chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party and two years as Vice-Chairman of the Colorado State Republican Party."

This is clearly a serious breach of public trust and likely a violation of voter protection laws at the very least. Guidelines state there is to be no political propaganda coming from a public governmental agency. This is a captive audience, since we must all abide by the laws that require voter registration, drivers license and vehicle registration. The Citizens Service Center is also a polling place! Shame!

I will be contacting the ACLU and hope you will do a story to expose this injustice.

During such a divisive and difficult time in our campaign history, El Paso County should set an example of neutrality and fair play if we are to have faith in our electoral process.

— Kerri F. Olivier

Colorado Springs

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