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Strawberry Fields, farm animals, Wayne LaPierre, Donald Trump, and more 

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Not too late

At the May 24 City Council meeting, I felt very betrayed as a citizen, a former member of the advisory board of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services from 2000 to 2007 and a member of the TOPS advisory board from 2007 to 2013.

I had attended four meetings about the proposed Strawberry Fields/Broadmoor land swap and was not convinced by the arguments of the city, the parks department and The Broadmoor of the proposal's merits. Yet my experience with the employees of the city's parks department and their dedication to preserving General Palmer's legacy and the unique value of our city's setting made me confident that they would regard this proposal with a critical eye.

We had looked at and preserved so many parcels of land for acquisition with the money generated by the TOPS sales tax that I perceived this endeavor as a commonly held value.

It was a great disappointment when the Parks Department essentially declared itself unable to care for and maintain its precious open spaces, and willing to let a commercial enterprise, like The Broadmoor, take over this responsibility for a parcel of land that the citizens of Colorado Springs had voted to buy in 1885. The claim by one City Council member that the parks department initiated this land swap, and the seeming fact that six Councilors had made up their minds before listening to the arguments of the opponents, was the ultimate blow.

I hope this misguided step can be reversed and will not become a precedent for future policy decisions.

— Gertrud Nuhn

Colorado Springs

Who's on your plate?

Have you ever wondered why society deems it proper to kill and eat a pig, but abusing a dog or cat is animal cruelty? Or why we wear leather, an animal's skin, but think wearing fur is cruel? Whether it be public ignorance or humanity choosing to look the other way, this is today's sad reality.

Think about your dinner last night. Did you give a thought to where your meal came from? What form of life it was? We are not emotionally connected to our food. We call a dead cow steak, hamburger, etc., but never a dead cow. If we recognized the horrors that animals in the meat, dairy and egg industries suffer daily, the trusting part of me says most humans would find eating the flesh of an animal downright appalling.

Over 56 billion farmed animals (excluding fish and sea creatures) die each year at the hands of man ("Animal Equality: Food," 2015). With the U.S. consuming more meat per capita than any other nation (265 pounds per person in 2009), the need for reform is now.

The good news is many people now take the time to realize the horrors of these industries and are choosing to take a stand. They understand they can survive (and thrive!) on a plant-based diet. Heart disease, cancer and more can be prevented and even reversed. And with the many plant-based meat and cheese options and vegan eateries today, people can feel good about their meal options and their taste buds can, too.

We each have a choice, including our menu. Choose compassion; turn your back on animal exploitation. Be that voice for the voiceless. Check out The Humane League Denver (facebook.com/humaneleagueDEN/). There are many ways to help, and it starts with us.

— Aubrey Montgomery

The Humane League

Commerce City

The NRA circus

Wayne LaPierre is a beauty. Irony writ large. Judging by last week's address and actions at the National Rifle Association convention, he believes a) former felons should not be allowed to vote, but b) those same former felons should be allowed to purchase and own handguns.

This is further proof that LaPierre mouths the Second Amendment talk, but his mission is money, plain and simple. All you have to do is look at his board of directors: Hillbilly Savant Ted Nugent and gun and munitions manufacturers. Not a Joe Lunchbucket in sight.

By all means, let's have the conversation about guns with committed, responsible gun owners — and there are millions of them — but leave the suits outside the room. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

— Steve Schriener

Colorado Springs

Over the top

Street Smarts' (May 25) concern about possible confrontations between environmental-safety advocates and champions of unregulated free markets is way overdone! Where on earth can you find an unregulated, free-market enterprise?

In some communities, even children's neighborhood summer lemonade stands require a permit.

— Russ Reid

Colorado Springs

Poor choice

Someone at the Air Force Academy thought it would be a good idea to "partner" with New Life Church for a band program April 21.

Does no one remember the Academy's past issues with religious intolerance? Is no one there familiar with New Life Church's discriminatory attitude toward the LGBT community or anyone who doesn't adhere to its strict evangelical Christian worldview? As a Pagan, I would not feel safe within New Life Church, so I find the assertion that this concert was "open to the public" to be a farce. If the Academy simply wanted a "larger venue," I hear Falcon Stadium is available.

The response to Pam Zubeck on April 22 ("Academy 'partners' with religion, drawing criticism," IndyBlog) cites Department of Defense Instruction 5410.18, which governs community relations. But the Air Force also has a specific regulation dealing with Air Force bands, which reads, in part: "Band support at events which are commercially sponsored, designed to increase business traffic, or associated with a particular religious or ideological movement ... or would trivialize Air Force participation ... is not authorized." Anyone who is familiar with New Life Church would easily recognize it as a "religious or ideological movement" and would recognize that this concert should never have been allowed.

— Donald S. Branum

Colorado Springs

Your alternative

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders agree about increasing income inequality. There are a lot more people below the poverty line compared to the previous year, every year since President Bill Clinton.

The last four years have seen similar growth rates for the wealthy. How will the skill-deficient middle class compete with robots in the workplace? There doesn't seem to be much incentive to work harder for less.

The people who don't vote have no clue as to how the government determines the actual amount of money in your personal wallet and the type of food in your belly.

There is a great website to meet Canadians for marriage in the event of a Trump presidency. I encourage every non-voter to log on to maplematch.com. You don't have to vote there, but you won't witness the uberwealthy swelling up with your blood, sweat and tears. Please register and vote as if your life depended on it.

— Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

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