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Thank you for your hilarious article about Chapel Hills Mall ("Trapped in the dying mall," cover story, Dec. 17). I was an intern reporter in 1986 at the now-defunct Colorado Springs Sun when I contacted author William Severini Kowinski about his book entitled The Malling of America. Kowinski predicted malls would become places where citizens would eventually birth children, be cremated, married and survive contained in the bubble of mall walls.
I was mortified at this thought, having spent far too many years in The Citadel mall, where my parents owned a candle store (Wicks-n-Sticks).
Kowinski and I had a long chat that ended with him asking me what my college major was. I said, "English with an emphasis in professional writing." He said, "You are very brave." I was 19 years old and had no idea what that meant. Until I found out writing paid nil and I certainly could not shop at any mall. Not that I cared.
— Alison Whiteman
Bainbridge Island, Washington
A personal ethic
I totally approve of burning wood at Martin Drake instead of coal ("Wood that we could," SimpliCity, Nov. 26). It is an innovative and creative experiment, worth a try. There are realistic reasons to do this.
Cheap abundant coal reserves, like those of petroleum, are definitely dwindling away. Why else do energy industries frack, drill the ocean floor, or muck with Canadian tar sands?
To many, the word "conservation" may connote a bunch of tree-hugging and flower-smelling wackos, or trendy organic gardeners. But no matter what form of energy one may consume, a personal ethic of conservation costs little or nothing, requires little or no equipment, and has a return of 100 percent to whatever extent it is applied.
I therefore have the audacity to imply that the darling spoiled children of the universe, which include even the especially darling continent of North America, might benefit from a reduction in energy consumption. All over town empty parking lots unnecessarily remain lit overnight, needing only someone to flick off the light switch. Timers could shut off half of our city street lights by midnight, and by 2 in the morning only the larger intersections might have a light or two.
Many people commute five days a week to Denver or Pueblo. This arrangement is seldom a first choice of lifestyle for the individual, but from a social standpoint is a complete energy waste.
When rain and snowmelt are skimpy, we accept government regulations on water use. The time is past when politicians should be pandering to the believers in infinite energy.
If saying this sounds to you like the nefarious curse of creeping socialism, to me it sounds like the sensible survival of human economic and cultural institutions, and we can iron out the political issues later.
— Chris Wynkoop
Dear Grandma Lottie: Thank you for being such a wonderful role model for the Weiss family ("Forces for good," cover story, Nov. 5). The manner in which your extended family remembered your spirit, generosity and your heart by naming the Lottie Prize in your name was just as wise, wonderful, caring and generous as the 109 years you lived.
Your spirit of giving lives on. You gave back to family and your community in terms of time and kindness. This fund was a tremendous boost to encourage our donors to support our mission via the Give! Jump Start Challenge.
From those living in need of hope and love, blessings and peace to you, our dear Grandmother.
— Urban Turzi
One Nation Walking Together
Cause and effect?
There is now evidence that Roundup used on GMO crops, including seeds such as corn and soy, may be a cause of rising rates of autism. MIT research scientist Dr. Stephanie Seneff reported that at this rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic.
The USDA never tested for the active ingredient in this vastly used herbicide because of "cost concerns." Proof of Monsanto and USDA's marriage is that federal agency officials became high-paid executives for Monsanto and vice versa.
At least 70 percent of our food contains GMO, much of it by the company who produced Agent Orange in the Vietnam War, killing many soldiers while destroying the ecology for future food farming.
Monsanto is endangering our health and environment at an alarming rate. Cross-contamination is irreversible and good organic crops are being jeopardized. Write to the president and your representative.
— Sharlene White
Take the leap
It's time for New Year's resolutions, particularly those about our health. Although gun violence remains a leading cause of death among young people, our most dangerous weapon is still our fork.
Hardly a month goes by without another study linking consumption of animal products with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.
But times are changing. Hundreds of schools, colleges, hospitals and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. According to a Gallup poll, 22 percent of American consumers are avoiding meat and 12 percent are avoiding dairy products. Harris Interactive claims that 47 percent of American consumers are reducing consumption of animal products.
Accordingly, plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products are growing explosively, propelled by investments from Microsoft, Paypal, and Twitter founders. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Subway and Taco Bell are rolling out vegan options.
Let this New Year's resolution be about exploring the rich variety of plant-based entrées, lunch meats, cheeses, ice creams, and milks in our supermarket. The Internet offers tons of recipes and transition tips.
— Carl Silverman
In last week's "Rare old time" story (Culture), we printed the wrong website address for A Music Company's New Year's Eve event. The correct web address is amusiccompanyinc.com. We regret the error.
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