Don't bully me with scare tactics

To the Editor:

I am writing to you in regards to two letters that I've recently received, that, quite frankly, have left me flabbergasted. One letter originated from Tom Pedigo at American Family Association of Colorado and the other is from a pastor on the board of a local charter school by the name of Stan Lightfoot. While both letters essentially touch the same subject, the one from Mr. Pedigo is the most alarming to me. Not only are they using the words "morality" and "decency" to serve their obscure purposes, they are taking articles and issues published in the Independent out of context. Not to mention that, due to the fact that I am an advertiser in your newspaper, I am being accused of promoting "not moral" and "indecent" social behaviors.

In these letters, the two individuals state that a growing number of citizens are being offended by, and I am quoting Mr. Pedigo, "in your face immorality and lewdness of the Independent," and they are, quoting Mr. Lightfoot, "subject to purposeful promotion of unrestricted and irresponsible sexual activity. The language and content is beyond suggestive and the willingness to explore anything and everything in the realm of sexual fulfillment." I am a legal resident alien, and maybe my broken English does not allow me to have the "insights" that these two gentleman share. Quite frankly, I think I can read English quite well and I have no clue of what these gentlemen are referring to. Furthermore, the scare tactics they are trying to implement in order to have advertisers like myself pull out of the paper (including inviting people to protest with telephone calls, letters of protest, or boycotting the store) is bordering on pure harassment.

I would suggest as a personal recommendation to these two gentlemen, if they want to be "soul savers," be "soul savers," not "soul judges" or "soul accusers." I would recommend that they try to have a broader view of today's life and possibly check out the speech that The Holy Father in Rome, Pope John Paul, delivered just a few days ago. He officially apologized on behalf of the Catholic Church for all the wrong doings performed by the Church in the past, due to bigotry and closed-mindedness.

In addition they should consider that these kind of tactics infringe on someone else's freedom, because personal freedom of one person ends where another person's freedom begins. May I remind them, they do not have to read your newspaper if they do not like the content. They do have a choice!

As a final thought, I would like to remind them that, in the teachings of Jesus Christ, a pivotal point was: Everyone is created equal. So it is quite alarming to me that these gentlemen show no acceptance for alternative lifestyles or opinions as they judge from the height of their thrones everyone else in their society.

To conclude, I would urge every business owner who advertises in the Independent not to pull their ads if they should receive such letters. I will never give in to these people and furthermore I will do everything in my power to fight this attempt of force by them.

-- Rossano Bossi

Owner, Piemonte Italian Gourmet and Pasta Shop

Colorado Springs

Breaking the ties that bind

To the Editor:

The rise in fuel prices has reaffirmed Americans' reliance and devotion to their autocratic lifestyle. This highlights an ingredient of our self-destructive society, for anyone who has watched, read or listened to the news in the past 20-plus years knows that burning fossil fuels is detrimental to the health of people and the globe. Not to mention the fact that automobiles increase personal isolation in our culture.

Presented with this new crisis, Americans have sought to reduce fuel prices ASAP, so that they can continue this habituated denigration.

With prices at the pump forecast to reach $2 a gallon by this summer, America has economic incentive to reduce automobile use. Spring is the perfect time to start walking and bicycling to work and school, and if it's rainy, take public transit. This is an opportunity to use economic anxiety as a departure point from the cell in which oil confines America.

-- Noah Budnick

Colorado Springs Critical Mass

He's got some Florida swampland

To the Editor:

"The mountains will be in labor and a ridiculous mouse will be brought forth."

That quotation from Horace could apply to the work and conclusions drawn by the Ownership and Governance committee studying what to do about Memorial Hospital. In essence, the panel of eight came up with the old baseball bromide: "Wait 'til next year."

In October 1998, the mayor promised to appoint a "blue ribbon commission" of citizen volunteers for comprehensive study of all-citizen-owned assets. Included would be parking garages, utilities, Memorial Hospital, etc. After several delays and postponements, no commission was ever appointed.

Instead, a Denver consulting firm was hired. For $130,000 (plus expenses) the consultant proposed a strategic planning committee. To insure objectivity, the panel members were selected by the mayor and the co-chairs would be the mayor and newly appointed board chairman of Memorial. Their official positions would not influence the committee or its decisions, of course. Believe that and I'll arrange for you to buy the Brooklyn Bridge at a discount.

Care of the indigent is rightly a serious concern for City Council and this committee. In looking long-range and studying options, they would do well to look at Denver's Rose Medical Center and the substantial foundation resulting from its sale a couple years ago. Is indigent care being handled through the foundation? What benefits have accrued to the community?

The recent sale of Blue Cross-Blue Shield to the Anthem is another transaction producing a foundation. Study of Rose and Anthem should provide valuable precedent and info relating to Memorial's future.

-- John A. Daly

Colorado Springs

This fish is hungry

To the Editor:

Christian people must be very uncomfortable with the current bumper stickers, which show a fish with Greek lettering eating a fish with lettering that says, "Darwin." I feel sure most Christians are not trying to devour those who think differently from themselves.

-- Tobe Easton

Colorado Springs

Tao Caf fills niche

To the Editor:

The tone and ultimately negative gist of your review of the Tao Caf (Appetite, "It's Good for You," March 16) was both unjust and inappropriate. Contrary to your view, for a smallish, quick-meal establishment to have a mission statement to deliver "organic pesticide-free, feel-good fresh food ... lovingly prepared" is quite "distinguished" and "mindful" enough for any business.

It is outrageous to declare "there's little on the menu that you haven't had 1,000(!) times before in 1,000 other places." We too have been seeking out whole-foods restaurants for 30 years, and there are simply not that many who succeed.

To provide good organic fresh food within a business context takes no small effort; and the reviewer's comparisons (in New York and California!) were more intended to drop names than provide a relevant analogy. The Tao Caf produces no full-course dinners but offers much more of value than fresh juices and "beautiful smoothies." It is filling a particular local food niche increasingly well, with a decor at least as acceptable as some other "wildly popular" locations.

Some diners welcome and sincerely appreciate this facility newly available to our community. They hope it can survive and flourish despite your misplaced observations.

-- William and Irma Budington

Colorado Springs

Waiting for the cops

To the Editor:

As I write this, I am waiting for the Colorado Springs Police Department to arrive on a report made two hours ago on felony vandalism at 2237 E. Boulder St. Needless to say, CSPD has yet to respond to this call. This is not a good neighborhood and no place to raise a family. I have contacted CSPD on a number of occasions regarding calls ranging from drunk and disorderly to weapons fire. Usually, CSPD is slow to respond to these reports.

I grew up believing that in the United States we had government "of the people, for the people, by the people." After living in Colorado Springs for over 15 years, I have learned the reality is rather different than the belief. Had these reports come from the Broadmoor or Rockrimmon, I know that CSPD would have arrived without delay.

Fifteen years of living in Colorado Springs has taught me that money and power grease the wheels in this town and that the average family is generally left to second-class status. Fifty yards from where I sit is the notorious establishment, the "Wagon Wheel," a place where on any given night gunfire can be heard coming from the parking lot.

Were my seat a Chippendale chair in the Broadmoor, the Wagon Wheel would not exist; the cops and the liquor board would have closed it down long ago.

If I had the financial means, yes, I would move out of this neighborhood. If I had optimal economic means, would I move to the Broadmoor? No.

Instead of moving to the land of conspicuous consumption, I think I would prefer more modest climes -- and use my financial excess to unseat the elected officials for whom social, economic and criminal justice is a low priority.

-- Jim McQuiggin

Colorado Springs

Autos don't kill people

To the Editor:

Every attempt at a serious discussion on gun control is met by a barrage of letters to newspaper editors in which NRA naysayers wax fervent on how much more dangerous autos are than guns.

Granted, these abjectly obedient "grassroots" writers are repeating what NRA bigwigs tell them to say. Their ploy is to turn cars into red herrings to divert attention from the real issues.

But most newspaper readers can tell the difference between a gun and a car. If these letter writers can't, let them try driving to work in their guns some morning. Or their red herrings.

-- Eugenia Birkhead

Colorado Springs


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