Defining protest, retail marijuana in Manitou, the Morse recall election, and more 


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

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Faux rebellion

How sweet of the Indy to include "Protest" as one-fourth of college life in your "Sing, Drink, Sweat, Protest" Student Survival Guide cover story (Aug. 21). The corresponding article, however, guides students to organizations that neither conduct nor condone protest, amazingly, not against war, for the homeless, or even opposed to fracking.

Instead the groups you cite aim to douse the rebellious spirit of youth with the delusion that social reform can be achieved by working within the system. As if our society wasn't unjust by design. I'm happy to report that local student activists have been rising up in spite of such neoliberal mentors trying to corral them, including the Indy.

It's going to take protest to stop fracking, close the downtown coal plant, thwart privatization, save our food supply, evade corporate hegemony, stymie militarism, starve war, repudiate debt, and rescue the victims of capitalism. Please report on these efforts in earnest or get out of the way.

— Eric Verlo

Colorado Springs

Pot shop for Manitou

First things first, a disclaimer: I have nothing but love and respect for the multiple business owners who've written to the Pikes Peak Bulletin re: recreational marijuana. Same thing with awesome City Councilor Matt Carpenter, whom I see as a superhero.

Also, I am not a parent, but I love kids and if I had one of my own, I would certainly discourage them from drinking or using weed until they were of age — and even then, to make an informed decision regarding said consumption.

But it's all about choice.

I truly do not think that the presence of an RMJ store in Manitou would detract from this town's family-friendliness. As it stands, one of the rowdiest bars in town (the awesome Royal Tavern) sits right alongside Manitou's biggest family attraction, the incomparable Penny Arcade.

Speaking of bars — we've got lots of 'em. I work at one. We also have a liquor store. At my place of work, we card anyone and everyone who looks under 40. We take our liquor licenses very seriously, and I do not see equivalent licenses being treated any differently in an RMJ store.

This is my third year working in Manitou, and I definitely see the decline in business after the fires and now floods. We could so use a competitive advantage right about now. I think that a recreational marijuana store would be the perfect answer.

I cherish all the people of this town, and in no way wish to see minors being corrupted. But the adults in this town who are just trying to get by could really use an influx of business. If we had an RMJ store, perhaps we could say goodbye to the years-long understanding that business in this town dies after the Coffin Races.

— Judith Posch

Manitou Springs

A screed-freeGazette?

A letter to the Gazette:

As a faithful reader of the Gazette (what other choice do the good people of Colorado Springs have?), I have written to beg our only newspaper for a more responsible editorial policy, one with a mission to inform, not with data to push an agenda.

"Making, believing the hype," the editorial published in the Independent (Aug. 21), is an example of more responsible journalism. Unfortunately it clarifies why and how the population, as a whole, of Colorado Springs is not being well-served by the Gazette.

I am not writing out of any malice; indeed such correspondence as I have had with Mr. Laugesen has been both eye-opening and edifying. However, every morning when I go to open the newspaper I tensely expect to find its otherwise greatly appreciated reporting to be marred by a divisive and derisive screed (or screeds) on the editorial pages.

Is the Gazette the newspaper whose journalism is in service to our community, or not? Or does the Gazette truly believe that it is already giving our citizens "what we deserve"?

— Frank Merritt

Colorado Springs

Family feud

There is one fact we are overlooking in the debate to recall Sen. Morse, and that is: What do his fellow police officers have to say about him? The Colorado Springs Police Protective Association has endorsed Bernie Herpin and called for the recall of Morse.

This group knows about his gun laws but don't think they will bring safety to Colorado. Who would know better about how to fight crime than our own police officers? Police officers are like family and know each other on a personal level, and Morse's family is saying he should be recalled.

— Jill Coleman

Colorado Springs

Abusing the process

Regardless of what you think of Sen. John Morse, this recall effort on Sept. 10 deserves a no vote strictly on procedural grounds. It is a serious abuse of the political process to go after a sitting state senator based on disagreement with policy positions.

Sen. Morse was elected twice by his constituents. Senators in our system are afforded longer terms and broader districts in order to exercise greater individual discretion in relationship to House members. We want our senators to keep an eye on the big picture and to vote their conscience. That is how our bicameral system was designed.

For a group to manufacture a recall effort based on his votes around gun control provisions (and then manufacture a whole host of faulty and disingenuous reasons for the recall) is not worthy of our democratic experiment. The use of impeachment and recall efforts puts our democracy at risk.

— Roger Butts

Colorado Springs

Pro Kum & Go

Beware, west-siders. You may get what you wish for: the killing by City Council of the Kum & Go investment and transformation of the large, useless, Goodwill property on West Colorado Avenue ("Going wild over Kum & Go," Noted, July 24).

I am frankly in full support of K&G's proposed project. My reasons are many, besides Goodwill's right and need to sell its building.

If the K&G proposal is denied just because banner-waving protesters and John Hazlehurst don't like the idea of a gas station and convenience store in place of a largely empty building, I have yet to hear of a viable alternative use.

After Goodwill attempted for years to market that property to developers with no success, the only serious applicant has been K&G. K&G promises to listen to "the community's views" on design changes to make their stores fit better into surrounding neighborhoods. It even made its station fit into historic Idaho Springs, displaying its mining history.

I find the objections to it groundless, most of all that it will degrade, somehow, the Old Colorado City Historic District. I remind everyone that when the city got the state to move U.S. Highway 24 from Colorado Avenue to the Midland Expressway in the early 1960s, the decline of all businesses on Colorado Avenue started. Had I not led the effort to use federal HUD funds and SBA loan guarantees to capitalize 35 small businesses starting in 1975, there would be no "Old Colorado City" today.

The federal government — and Colorado Springs — are now broke. Only private investment, such as Kum & Go's, can transform the block-long Goodwill building into an attractive as well as productive facility now, and help maintain substantial local, as well as sight-seeing, traffic to and through the shops of Old Colorado City.

— David Hughes

Colorado Springs

Off the mark

Mr. Sokolove's letter ("Signage parity," Letters, Aug. 21) had me shaking my head in disbelief. In part, he states that "gay and lesbianism is a belief system, too, and not different than a religion." Really?

Mr. Sokolove, one's sexuality is an inborn trait, not something one selects after birth like one's religious and/or political affiliation. You are not born with a big "C" (Christian), "J" (Jewish), "M" (Muslim), etc., on your butt, though your parents may make that selection for you initially. Your religious denomination or political party can be self-selected or rejected after you reach maturity.

Surely you read the editor's note below Mr. Galbraith's letter ("Rattling the cages," Aug. 7). The sign noted donor groups who contributed toward the installation of the zoo exhibit. I'm sure that had the First Christian Church made such a contribution they would have been recognized too.

Your comment "that religious content signs on public property" rattle people is off the mark too. Think of the Christmas displays on public property, primarily in Denver. As long as all religious and/or non-religious groups are treated equally by federal and state governments, then there should be no problem. As a secular republic, the problems arise when one group, usually religiously oriented, claims some sort of supremacy.

— Bob Armintor

Colorado Springs

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