The lowdown on Wicca

To the Editor:

First of all, let me congratulate you on a mostly balanced and accurate article regarding paganism here in the Springs ("Spellbound," July 27).

However, a few errors need to be corrected. Mr. West is our treasurer, not our president, as was stated in the article. We have an assembly of officers and stewards which is the "governing" body for ESP. We are elected by the membership and are accountable to them. Also I am certified by the American Vinland Association not Vineland, as stated in the article. A small error to be sure but tantamount to calling a Baptist a "Blaptist." (No slur intended!) Also the plural of Asatru is Asatruar.

Not all pagans utilize "ceremonial magic." That is a system of belief, based in Christian mysticism and other related systems, which is a field of study in its own right. Most pagans utilize what is termed "low magic" or more familiarly known as "prayer or petition." "Low magic" does try to alter reality according to one's will, but is less detailed than "ceremonial or high magic."

Small errors to be sure, but from small errors come great misinformation and fear.

-- Charles Skinner (Karl Thorrwolf)
Godhi, Sessrumnir Kindred

Regional Coordinator, American Vinland Association

We appreciate the corrections and regret the errors. Thanks. -- Ed.

A Wicca nod from far away

To the Editor:

Incredibly well-written and accurate piece. Thank you, csindy.com. It's wonderful and refreshing to see a factual, unbiased story like this about Wicca and paganism!

-- Tim Money
Oneida, TN

They give a hoot

To the Editor:

I would like to stress my concern about the article that was published in your recent publication regarding the Hooters restaurant ("Breasts and Thighs," July 13).

First, your photographer approached me in the middle of a Friday lunch, which anybody in the restaurant industry knows is above and beyond inconsiderate.

Second, I can understand that some people may not like rich food, then why order something deep-fried and shaken in a butter-based sauce? Common sense would tell me to go with something light, such as, our Chicken Caesar Salad, Mahi Fish Sandwich, Steamed Clams, and possibly follow up with our tangy Key Lime Pie.

Third, before discouraging people to come into this restaurant, I wish the reporter, Ms. Sherwood, had been gracious enough to sit down with me and ask me something about the Colorado Springs Hooters, its involvement in the community and its history. Had she done so, she would have learned that in the past ten years, we have raised over $6,000 for Cystic Fibrosis, over $8,000 for MDA, donated over $10,000 for local events such as a high school teacher diagnosed with cancer, Ski School for the Blind, the Children's Advocacy Group, and many other annual events supporting people in need.

In fact, the reason that we have pulled much of our advertisements from such publications as the Independent and radio stations is so that we would have the financial reserve to be more involved in the community, as anyone would have seen at the Walk for a Cure event in May.

So before you go judging an establishment or a person for that matter by its "front," maybe it wouldn't hurt to get to know the "inside." And lastly, no, Ms. Sherwood, it's not all in the name.

-- Holly Price, General Manager
Colorado Springs Hooters

Neighborhood watch

To the Editor:

Thanks for covering the Shooks Run Corridor Community Partnership (Public Eye, July 20). Your reporters are a marvel of accuracy as always, but there are misconceptions there to be corrected, possibly the fault of us interviewees.

Your story to the contrary, the Shooks Run Corridor Community Partnership doesn't exist to promote School District 11. It was co-founded by neighborhood associations and the D-11 School District administration to strengthen and provide a communications channel for the multitude of private non-profit groups working in the long Shooks Run Trail and stream corridor, to facilitate their contact with each other, and also to facilitate their contact with the local school district or city government agencies. Members of the SRCCP include people from Historic Preservation, Boy Scouts, Trails and Open Space, Urban League, neighborhood associations from the Old North End to Lowell, and staff of both D-11 and city agencies.

Likewise, it's ridiculous to suggest that in the SRCCP we're indifferent to gay and lesbian issues, or to Boy Scout issues, or to the history and principles that divide those groups. Probably few people care more about so much as the activists who come to our monthly meetings to talk about one current topic or another. But we don't exist to take advocacy positions, reconcile principles or judge our participating groups. We're just a forum where people working in our neighborhoods can get together to understand and coordinate efforts with each other, whether they see eye-to-eye or not. We provide meeting times and newsletters so organizations can get together and hope for communication, comprehension, and mutual effort.

"Neighborhoods" nowadays are nothing at all beyond the sum total of the civic organizations neighbors belong to. By nature, these are all special interest groups, and almost all are driven by highly-motivated volunteers. Volunteers mostly don't want to waste energy in combat with each other, when there's so much that's constructive waiting to be done.

That's why the meeting Cara DeGette reported on turned out, when it finally happened last week, to be a very quiet affair.

-- Becky Cramer, Co-chair

Coyote traps barbarous

To the Editor:

Barbarity is alive and well in Colorado Springs as the COS Airport received permission to use snares and leghold traps to destroy coyotes.

The FAA considers coyotes "a real threat to human health and safety." I wonder if mischievous coyotes have been nipping the heels of passengers or trying to snag someone's designer luggage as they go from parking lot to terminal? Have the coyotes been trying to sneak a free ride on the planes? One coyote was killed when struck by a plane in 1999 -- and the hazard is to humans?

Coyotes are merely trying to survive in their ever decreasing habitat. Will COS Airport soon decide rabbits, birds, mice and even ants are the next to go at the airport? With 58 reported coyotes sightings since 1996, the averages to about 1.2 coyotes per year and approximately .003 per day; sounds like a real threat to public safety to me. Funny how the Department of Wildlife is educating homeowners on living safely with bears, yet a panic exists over the rare coyote on an airport runway (with no human injury recorded).

As the founder of a horse rescue, I see the results of human ignorance and stupidity daily. Perhaps pilots will soon inform passengers to not only fasten their seatbelts for landing, but "those on the west side of the plane can look out and see a mother coyote struggling in a leghold trap while her young frantically leap beside her. Welcome to Colorado Springs."

Coyote vs. airplane? No doubt who the loser is.

-- Hilary T. Wood, President, Founder
Front Range Equine Rescue

A matter of taste

To the Editor:

Sushi Ai was a major disappointment ("Ai, Ai, Ai," July 13). Although the sushi is OK, and the dishes are a bit nicer than most of the Japanese restaurants in Colorado Springs, this place has a long way to go and may never get there.

The waitstaff was clueless. They did not understand the Japanese names of the food and drink even when those were printed clearly on the menu. This could be partly due to the worst acoustics of any restaurant in the city. With just three other small parties in the place, it was impossible to hear someone sitting right next to you. Don't go here if you feel like talking to someone, like the waitress.

Actually, the waitstaff does need a good talking to, or at least some basic training. Start with the food names. Then work up to the ability to take an order in a timely fashion in a half-empty restaurant, and to refill a tea mug in less than half the duration of a normal meal.

The food was nicely presented but sadly lacking. The hamachi was dry and tasteless, as if to reflect improper preservation and perhaps even long storage. The tempura itself tasted quite good but came with a bowl with less than a shot-glass worth of broth.

Too much about this restaurant reveals a lack of care, and even a little incompetence. We won't be going back.

-- Albert Oli
Colorado Springs

Join the parade of homeless

To the Editor:

Have you ever wondered why housing costs have risen so dramatically in the '90s? In relation to today's wages, the average working class family's (one wage earner) ability to buy a house in today's economy could be likened to buying a month's worth of grocerys for a family of 5 with a 20 dollar bill! In fact the need for affordable housing has never been greater than now.

Housing in the Colorado Springs area, and across the country, is out of reach for most low or fixed income families without some kind of assistance. Section 8 housing (income adjusted) is fast becoming scarce as owners are opting out of the program. Evictions are at a record level and rent/mortgage costs are typically 40 percent to 70 percent of low wage earners' incomes. And the saddest part of this equation is that children are affected the most.

You can learn more about these issues at the Housing Advocacy Coalition's "On the Road for Affordable Housing 2000" (now the official title, a.k.a. "Parade of Homeless"), event on Saturday, August 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a barbecue to follow. Get on the bus! Or follow us! We roll out of Antlers Park (behind the Antlers Hotel, downtown, east of Giuseppe's), at 10. The bus will make three stops and a speaker at each location will present the awful truth behind the accepted retoric, dispelling rumor and enlightening those in attendance. It'll be fun, so make it a date and don't be square; be there!

-- Jim Berry
Volunteer for the Housing Advocacy Coalition


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