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The George Culpepper saga, Michael Merrifield's campaign, and more 

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

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Don't need a strongman

The mayor has crossed the line. The unwarranted dismissal of Council's new legislative assistant, George Culpepper ("Yes, he canned," News, Jan. 15), after less than a month on the job should not be tolerated.

The citizens of Colorado Springs voted for a council-mayor form of government, where an independent executive is checked by a legislative body that is able to write and pass laws. Some see this as a "strong-mayor" form of government. It seems that the mayor views it as a "strong-man" government, by which Council should abdicate its City Charter authority.

The council-mayor form of governance is the right one for Colorado Springs. We are a mid-sized city with a great future, and we need an independent mayor to help steer us toward greatness. And an effective mayor-council form of government requires an impartial and honest staff, from both the legislative and executive branches, to provide extensive detail and research on policy.

In order to function as an effective and independent branch, the Council must have its own staff that is not subject to the mayor's whims. There must be a truly independent legislative branch.

We should not support a mayor that plays petty politics with the lives of city employees in order to seek retribution for City Council's actions. Culpepper is a family man with morals, integrity, and uncompromising fortitude. Council has expressed their full support for Culpepper and did not wish to see him fired.

The firing of Culpepper was a political power play by Mayor Bach, a power play that the mayor has probably tried to cover up with hush money. The mayor's actions have demonstrated a vindictive streak that is not only intolerable, but unconscionable.

— Rory Carlin

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Rory Carlin is a former City Council employee.

Rich man's puppet

In answer to Susan Dunn's letter ("A vote for Merrifield," Jan. 15) this lady is in Senate District 11 and will not be voting for Michael Merrifield.

Merrifield was a lobbyist for a group called MAIG [Mayors Against Illegal Guns] in the 2013 legislative session in Colorado. Billionaire former New York Mayor Bloomberg started this group, and was the major financial backer.

Also, Bloomberg donated money to support a tax hike on Colorado citizens, Amendment 66. Bloomberg will be pulling Merrifield's strings on other bills that affect our state. I'm tired of the rich elite from other states dictating how we should run Colorado.

— Jill Coleman

Colorado Springs

It's too much

Doug and Mike will be missed! The Spice of Life is the latest example of changes happening in Manitou (see "Variety at the Spice of Life," Side Dish, Jan. 15). The "Spice Boys," Doug and Mike, have blessed the Manitou café lifestyle for years. From their humble beginnings in the Spa Building, they grew into one of the best places around to sip a cup o'brew.

We will also have to do without The Dulcimer Shop. Super sad news. The Dulcimer Shop has been instrumental (he he) for thousands of musicians over the years. Erin and Bud Ford are still in the shop most days during the transition to online business, so get yourself over there and buy something, whether you need it or not, just to say thank you.

It's hard to see the old landmarks and "landpeople" move on. It's the kind of melancholia I had when Michelle's and Giuseppe's Depot closed. I guess I'm getting old.

Please, for the love of Pete, don't let Poor Richard's and the Peak Theater go under! Shop local!

— Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

More than a war story

Once in a while, a movie touches your heart and leaves you humbled. Lone Survivor (reviewed Jan. 8, Film) is such a movie. It's the true story of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and his combat brethren and their life-and-death battle against the Taliban in a place few of us would choose to be in.

It's a great deal more than a war story, though. It's about brotherhood, honor, courage, duty, character and yes, American exceptionalism at a dramatic level.

It is also a movie that I knew the extreme left would dislike and condemn because of the aforementioned attributes of our military. Sure enough, some liberal critics and bloggers are calling it a war against brown-skinned people. They refer to it as a movie that glorifies war.

They seem to ignore the fact that it was a brown-skinned villager and his neighbors who saved Luttrell's life by putting their own lives in great peril.

The extreme left has always been anti-military. They view the world through childish eyes and foolish policies. Their bumper stickers proclaim, "War Is Not The Answer." Tell that one to Adolf Hitler!

Sometimes war is the only answer, and at those times I thank God for men like Marcus Luttrell. This nation has been blessed with men willing to lay down their lives so that others might have the freedom to admonish their noble deeds and ridicule their devotion to duty, honor and country. My heroes will always be such warriors, and the left's will always be folks with names like Obama.

Do yourself a favor and see this movie and by all means feel pride afterward.

— Len Bentley

Colorado Springs

Warming alarmists

I strongly disagree with Anneli Berube's Jan. 8 letter to the Indy titled, "Carbon calibration."

Ms. Berube states that "Extreme weather events like the Black Forest Fire ... were reminders that global warming is happening now." The Black Forest Fire was not a weather event, and it was not caused by global warming.

Ms. Berube is a global warming alarmist. She is a regional field organizer for Environment Colorado. A quick visit to this organization's website reveals that it is anti-fracking, anti-coal, anti-fossil fuel, and wants to build wind turbines.

She closes her letter wondering whether Sen. Udall and Gov. Hickenlooper will "push for the strongest possible limits for carbon pollution this year?" Udall is running for his life based on his Senate votes and actions supporting Obamacare. Hickenlooper is literally up to his ass in alligators trying to defend his support for unpopular gun control legislation and commuting the death sentence of a convicted vicious multiple killer. I doubt whether either official will be interested in supporting "strict limits on carbon pollution" that will increase utility rates for consumers, increase taxes and energy prices for consumers and produce widespread unemployment.

— George R. Cook

Colorado Springs

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