When pigs fly

To the Editor:

First the Supreme Court decides for us who will be president and now they say it's OK to use my tax dollars to pay for someone else's religious education.

When will it end?

-- Larry Ingerling

Fort Carson

Literally thinking

To the Editor:

Cara DeGette's column on the strike in Spain and the low wages paid to forest employees seems to imply that people should light fires and destroy other people's property just because they aren't paid living wages [Public Eye, June 27].

I guess we all have to find someone or something to blame these days when we screw up or aren't making the money we "deserve." A peaceful strike is one thing, but there isn't any question that Terry Barton started the fire that burned thousands of acres and left a lot of other people homeless who probably aren't getting paid what they are worth either, so I personally don't care what made her do it, much less if she has the legal means to buy time against a certain guilty verdict.

-- Chuck Snow

Colorado Springs

Threw the bum out

To the Editor:

Outsider is a good name for the column written by John Hazlehurst in the June 27 edition of the Independent attacking the running of the 80th Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

The seasoned reader knows that Hazlehurst has made it his personal crusade to try and destroy the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. It started when he was on City Council and it has continued to this day. This race is the second-oldest continuously operated motor race in North America. 2002 is the 80th running of the race. The event is a local treasure, and one that all of our citizens benefit from. Certainly anyone who calls himself a city leader knows these facts.

Hazlehurst starts his story (I call it that, because to call it an article or editorial would suggest some fact basis or at least fact-checking was involved) by suggesting that the economic impact of the event is not real. His figure of $6 million to the local economy is real indeed. All one needs to do is to try to book a motel room on the West Side to know it.

Hundreds of competitors from all over the world. Thousands of support crew, international press, etc. Moreover, this year's race has provided a much-needed shot in the arm for the local economy, which has seen a dramatic drop in summer tourism because of the fires.

The general thrust of the article, though, is to the effect that the running of the PPHC places an undue risk of fire on the Pike National Forest. Hazlehurst offers no facts to support this, just a "the sky is falling" declaration, and what I suspect is a misquote of a statement from past Hill Climb chairman Lee Johnson.

The Pikes Peak Highway has had 83,396 visitors so far this year. They go up the mountain at the rate of over 10,000 per week. To date, not one fire. In addition, on a regular day, the mountain is not protected by three Fort Carson Fire Suppression teams and a water drop helicopter, provided free of charge to the City for this great event. If anything, the mountain is safer in the hands of the Hill Climb then it is any other day of the year, as well it should be.

Thank goodness the voters had the good sense to vote him out of office.

-- Arthur Porter

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The statements attributed to past Hill Climb chairman Lee Johnson -- expressing concern over this year's Hill Climb continuing on despite extreme fire danger and opining that the race has outlived itself -- were indeed accurate.

Voice for reason

To the Editor:

I love the Independent and read it every week ... usually agreeing with John Hazlehurst's column. Today, I just wanted you to know that I really agreed about the foolishness/danger in allowing the Hill Climb to go on in this drought/fire-danger year.

He said it so well and bravely -- considering what (I'm guessing) the predominant view might be, both politically and fiscally.

Anyway, here's one voice for reason, our environment, and something other than the bottom line.

Keep putting the good word out!

-- Lyn Boudreau

Colorado Springs

Disaster is raging

To the Editor:

Ms. Suzanne Cason's letter regarding the Pikes Peak Hill Climb should express the sentiments of all responsible residents of the state of Colorado [Letters, June 27].

Wake up! You have a disaster raging in your state, and the state is going to allow a few race zealots to damage the environment of Pikes Peak, burn up gallons of gasoline, and perhaps contribute to the ignition of additional fires, and to whose benefit? I don't think the prize money usually goes to the local children's hospital.

I guess it's an important "event" (I can't call it a real "race") to a few people, but let's face it, even the Indy 500 was cancelled during the years of the Second World War.

I would strongly suggest that the race participants (drivers, mechanics, sponsors, car owners and others) put on a hard hat, grab a shovel, and head for the fire line for a week or two. But that would be hard work, not play. You should listen to the locals.

-- Frank R. Shoptaugh

Smyrna, Ga .

The greatest single blow

To the Editor:

The Fourth of July isn't just a time of shooting off fireworks, but I guess you people have forgotten.

The Fourth of July celebrates all the victories we have made over the years with the winning of all the wars we have fought.

But obviously all you folks are either women or draft dodgers.

I was drafted into the Korean War, unable to continue my schooling to protect your ass. Some members of my family were in World War II, but I know that's before your time, and still others in World War I and the Spanish-American War.

The Fourth of July celebration with fireworks was created to celebrate and to bring some joy to those who never returned home. But you folks don't give a damn about any of this. And what about those who fought in Vietnam, and all over the world, and continue to use up "body bags" so that jerks like you folks can spit in their eyes because you want to teach us a lesson about playing with fire ... or some such crap.

Not having fireworks is perhaps the greatest single blow to our American way of life, than is anything else. But it's obvious you folks are no longer interested in America ... only in your petty little opinions in being a member of "Big Brother."

-- Carroll Westbrook

Colorado Springs

What's truly important

To the Editor:

As you know, a federal appeals court has ruled that some of the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional. The court's ruling was announced last Wednesday and immediately, the entire Senate and about half of the House of Representatives issued condemnations of the ruling.

Whether you agree or disagree with the court, I think you have to admit that this is pretty screwed up. Where the hell are their priorities? Our economy is a mess, thousands of our citizens are unemployed, without adequate health care, living in poverty, homeless, but our elected officials drag their feet and bicker for years on end and do next to nothing to help people. But question the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance and, Bam! They're right there, they snap into action instantaneously.

I wish they would be half this concerned about the terrible problems with which so many of our citizens have to deal day after day. Have they forgotten that they are supposed to be working for us, to be helping us? If our elected officials believe the Pledge of Allegiance is the most urgent thing needing their attention, then perhaps it's time to get rid of these scoundrels and elect some people who will try to help our citizens and make the U.S.A. the great country it should (and could) be!

This made me very angry; thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to get it off my chest.

-- Fred Kormos

Colorado Springs

Indivisible again

To the Editor:

Finally, with the recent court decision that the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance are unconstitutional, our nation is once again indivisible.

-- Walt Barrow


Blame it on the left

To the Editor:

My respect goes to Cyndy Kulp for noticing our freedom of speech is disappearing [Letters, June 13]. However, the process began some 40 years ago.

On many university campuses today there are speech codes. If for some reason a particular group finds someone else's words, written or verbal, offensive, that student is subject to discipline.

The pro-life movement is constantly attacked for their vigilance in protesting what they deem to be murder. The pro-choice movement sees their actions as prohibiting freedom and support laws that remove free speech from our culture.

In short the left has contributed to the demise of free speech. Now when it comes back to haunt their special causes, they are upset. If the left wants to have a clear voice on free speech then they need to join the Libertarian Party and support freedom for everyone.

-- Edward Knapp

Colorado Springs


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