Heavy metal

To the Editor:

I recently received a newsletter from Colorado Springs Utilities that had a summary of the water quality report for the year 2001 in it. The results were nearly perfect. Many pollutants scored immeasurable.

However, a recent petition from a dentist to the city of Colorado Springs seeks to change our good water by adding additional fluoride. His reasoning is that he has seen an increase in cavities among children in Colorado Springs. The water board is to make a decision on September 16.

The chemical being proposed to fluoridate the water is hydro fluorosilicic acid (HFA). It is manufactured from recovered air pollution from phosphate fertilizer manufacturing. Rather than polluting the air, this waste is sold to cities to fluoridate water and for other industrial purposes. The total assay of fluorides is about 23 percent. The product data sheet at http://www.lciltd. com/pds/pdshfs.htm does not tell you that it's contaminated with arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium, uranium and all of its radioactive daughter products and other heavy metals. All heavy metals are known to accumulate in the body, no matter how small the concentration. If it's not fit to dilute into our air, why should diluting it into our water be any safer?

More recent findings are now in conflict with the 1950s practice of water fluoridation. This year a researcher from Dartmouth College has found that water fluoridation causes a higher uptake of lead in children. Also recent studies have shown that HFA contains heavy metals and that they may be responsible for kidney and bladder cancer and thyroid problems. There are no federal regulations mandating the purity of HFA for fluoridation.

Home filters do not remove fluoride and don't remove many of the heavy metals that are added to the water as a result of fluoridation. Check the list of contaminants that the filter can remove. This means that contaminants are in all foods cooked with tap water.

I believe the root cause for the increase in cavities among children in Colorado Springs is soda vending to elementary school children. The combination of sugar and acid destroys their teeth while they are forming. Furthermore, the availability of sodas causes kids to opt for refreshments that do not contain calcium. The phosphorus content in sodas causes the body not to be able to uptake calcium, which is needed for bone and tooth development.

We need to stop the growing problem of cavities at its root cause -- soda vending to children -- instead of mindlessly dumping industrial waste into our water.

-- Konrad Roeder

It's not nice to fool Mother Nature

To the Editor:

Several months ago, a reader wrote a letter regarding the Red Rock Canyon development in which he referred to "an old trailer park with a 50-year-old septic system."

This week, on 31st Street, I saw "the sign": "Red Rock Reserve ... Live Here." ("City, Zydeco in Poker Game over Red Rock Canyon," July 26)

I rushed home, grabbed my map and realized I live in that above-mentioned trailer -- actually RV -- park, a small jewel nestled into the red earth of Manitou.

With that realization, I must speak for our residents who cannot speak for themselves ...

the 24 deer (is that a herd?) who we campers saw
thru this harsh winter with corn and stale bread;

the numerous raccoons who have multiplied and
prospered this spring;

the mamma mountain lion, who briefly lost her cub
and warmed herself against my furnace exhaust;

(at least) one hungry bear who frequently
overturns the dumpster searching out goodies.

If Zydeco is allowed to proceed, what happens to these indigenous inhabitants of Red Rock Canyon?

The ancestors of these animals have roamed the corridors of RRC for centuries. Do we humans have the right to crowd them out with golf courses and mansions?

I can see it now -- some muckety-muck turns his golf cart around a corner and surprises Mamma Bear and Baby Bear.

What's he going to do, order them off "his" green?

Most of these animals are predators to one degree or another, just like Homo sapiens. If we mess with the cycle of nature and allow them to become extinct in our backyards, how will Mother Nature repay us?

-- Dorothy DeMartin
Manitou Springs

Local color

To the Editor:

Tonight I was very fortunate to have been a part of the Fried Green Tomatoes evening at Sencha, transformed into The Whistle Stop Cafe, for the evening (Seven Days, July 19). Rarely have I enjoyed an evening so thoroughly.

First, the food: Growing up in the South, I have a pretty good idea of how those old-time recipes oughtta taste. Tonight I wasn't disappointed one bit. From the turnip greens and black-eyed peas to the (frankly) very good barbecue, things couldn't have been better. But don't think that old-time meant old-style. Nothing on the menu was mushy, overly cooked, or full of fatback. In fact, the fried green tomatoes and catfish were so mouthwateringly fresh and good that we were able to talk the chef into leaving them on the menu for a while. That means that all y'all that didn't get to go, can drop in to get some before they stop serving them.

Next, the service: Doubling as entertainment and wait staff, some of the folks who hurried around giving us this excellent experience seemed to never sit down. Others concentrated on offering such friendly and attentive service that the evening seemed to run like clockwork. Chris, Liz and Susan especially helped at our table. Our chef, Brent Beavers was most hospitable, checking on our enjoyment. And kudos to Ms. Raab for interest in her customers, as well as her encouragement of her staff to venture out with such an innovative approach to dining.

Last, the entertainment: Having read Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg, I had high expectations, but also some reservations about how any group could manage to convey the essence of the book in such a small space and during dinner to boot. However the excerpts chosen, the confidence of the entertainers and their evident pleasure with what they were doing, combined to keep us chuckling and smiling all the way through our cherry pie.

Finally I would encourage anyone interested in a fun, fulfilling (literally and figuratively) and definitely out-of-the-ordinary evening to attend the next dinners. Of course, I say this with great enthusiasm, because I already have my reservations.

-- Janeal Jordan
Colorado Springs

Talk Greek to me

To the Editor:

I enjoyed Suzanne Becker's article on the Mediterranean Cafe's second location downtown (Potluck, Aug. 2). The french fries you find in all the Greek/Mediterranean places are not as out of place as you may think. I used to live in a small town in northern Greece called Kilkis. In every little gyros shop, fries were the standard side order. They came whether you wanted them or not. It seemed rather odd to me as well, but I noticed many of my fellow diners would even insert the "patates" into the pita bread. Your description of the offerings at the Cafe were so enticing, that I shoved my lunch into the refrigerator and walked over there straight away.

-- Mark Cerda
Colorado Springs

Say "Uncle"

To the Editor:

I have heard that due to the "success," measured, I suppose, by the number of children running around, the perpetrators of the atrocity in Acacia Park are planning to go nationwide. So far they have only proved that money doesn't buy "class" and enthusiasm can't replace talent.

I'm sure the children love the water, chlorine and all. (A shallow wading pool or an open hydrant would have done the same job.) But regarding "Uncle Willy" and his (sic) music, I must quote Joseph Conrad's Marlow, speaking of Kurtz: "Oh, the horror, the horror."

--Robert Castle
Colorado Springs

American pie

To the Editor:

In a recent Public Eye column, Cara DeGette found it "unsettling" that anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce ("the playboy," "older," 51) is seeking a younger woman ("under 39") in a personal ad. Your column's second item talked of possible "bizarre homophobic protesters" at the recent Gay Pride Festival and Parade.

I like Cara, but she's a dirty hypocrite!

Help me out. Am I to assume it's wrong for Doug to date a younger woman but right for him to date a guy? Or did Doug fail to pay DeGette's salary by not buying a full-page ad in that issue, as did the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado?

I'm 59, and sometimes get hate looks when dating women in their 20s or 30s. (Inaccurate information about Down Syndrome risks, myth that all men need Viagra after 40, etc.) I'm white, and get the same looks when out with a black woman. C'mon, Cara, you know our society does everything legal to deny aging and death. Don't add fuel to the fire of hatred and ignorance about May-to-September relationships. Don't reinforce the sham that love is only proper within an age cohort.

As for Doug, he's a public figure and I'm not, darn it. But do you really feel right about dragging someone's legal personal desires through the mud? Bet you wouldn't if Doug were seeking a man.

I've never met Douglas Bruce, but isn't this still America where we all (including me) can express and promote oddball ideas?

-- John E. Anderson
Colorado Springs

Cara DeGette responds: Sure, anyone can express oddball ideas, as long as they're accurate. And in this case, Mr. Anderson unfortunately missed the point. I never remotely suggested I found it unsettling nor inappropriate for Mr. Bruce to be seeking a date with a younger woman. After all, my own handsome fella is a bit older than I; to imply there is anything unseemly about age differences in romance would make me a dirty hypocrite.


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