Pave, pave, pave

I want to reinforce Frank Dodge's comment in last week's issue on the proposed Woodmen Road improvements. I, too, served on the Citizen's Resource Group and I also recognize the city's fixation with Woodmen Road.

The clear alternative to another ripping up of Woodmen Road is to adopt the five-corridor plan much discussed in the CRG. That plan included a widening of Woodmen to six lanes, not eight, widening of Austin Bluffs to six lanes, an opening up of Constitution in four lanes to I-25, a widening of Platte to six lanes and a widening of Fountain/US 24 to six lanes.

I believe, and many others believe, that this 5-corridor plan will cause no further widening to be needed on Woodmen Road. It may be that Woodmen will eventually need eight lanes but we certainly ought to seek a solution through all the other corridors before we spend many, many, millions of dollars on Woodmen and disrupt both residents and businesses in that corridor.

-- Robert B. Hoff

Colorado Springs

Missing parts

Greetings! I thoroughly enjoyed your enthusiastic and perceptive review of Murray Ross' Lear [July 11]. And you handed out all those bouquets very graciously. But, I was surprised very much to find that you did not mention the other two sisters [Regan, played by Alysabeth Clements, and Cordelia, played by Amy Brooks], both of whom did wonderful acting. And, you never mentioned Chris Lowell who gave us a very fine Gloucester.

-- Hunter Frost

Former Director,

Department of the Performing Arts,

Fountain Valley School

Outer space

I couldn't help but notice that the executioner on the cover of your "Eye for an Eye" issue [July 18] bore a striking resemblance to the classic cartoon hero Space Ghost.

I find it very frightening that if I were to receive the death penalty in Colorado, my death would be at the hands of Space Ghost's evil twin from a parallel universe. Would it be possible to do a follow-up featuring the Justice League of America as a rape gang?

Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace Ghoooooo- oooooooost!

-- Dave Grim




My thanks to Mr. Morgan and Mr. Fagan for their responses to my original letter regarding existential despair and suicide [July 25].

Thanks especially to Mr. Morgan for pointing out the error in my attributing the quote that "the last great question in philosophy is that of suicide" to Sartre instead of Camus.

He, however, then goes on to prove my point that, yes, people can create the warm fuzzies and intellectual distraction that he interprets as "meaning."

He does not demonstrate that there is any objective meaning to our lives if in fact we start accidentally in nothingness and are destined to the same nothingness? No amount of wishful thinking changes the fact that if there is no personal Creator that we are fated to become as Jonathan Edwards described as "what sleeping rocks dream of."

Mr. Fagan, in his clever letter relating God to a serotonin booster, mistakes my letter as an apologetic for God's existence. That was obviously not its intent. There are many much stronger arguments.

It was rather to assert that the fairy tales of human dignity and significance existing in a Godless universe are seen through by many. Some of those, not surprisingly, elect to commit suicide. Neither of these writers even tried to deal with that.

-- Douglas Hammerstrom, MD

Colorado Springs

How little we've learned

As a youngster I remember my shock when I found out about the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II. They lost their property, their proprietorships, their practices and in many ways [were] treated as if they were the enemy, as much as the pilots that bombed Pearl Harbor! This was such a shock, as it was close to the time of my civics class, on how wonderful we are as a country. How many freedoms we have as generated in the Bill of Rights.

Since that time I have talked to many friends and colleagues on the incredible outrage on the Japanese Americans. Over the years the consensus was [that] this was a horrible mistake, and [we] have learned our lesson, and would never do this again. I, of course, believed that to be true.

Then I read "Imprisoned in the USA" in the July 4 Independent, in which we have imprisoned 2,000 Arabs and Moslems since 9/11, treating them much like the Japanese Americans.

I find this most disappointing ... how little we've learned over these five decades. We still have a hair trigger on our lynch-mob mentality, and our hate button. During these discouraging times I see us having a need to hate, and the payoff being we don't have to look at ourselves when we are busy hating. My hope is for a future without prisons and internment camps and all may pursue their happiness.

-- James N. Sears

Via the Internet

At a loss

I read Desmond Tutu's "Aiming to End Israeli Occupation" in the June 27 issue twice and am at a loss of just what is it Tutu is trying to say!

I believe Tutu is criticizing Israel for its activities against the Palestinians. If that's the case, then why be so mealy-mouthed about it!? Tutu also states that the United States has a "responsibility to intervene in atrocities by (our) client states, and since Israel is the single largest recipient of U.S. arms and foreign aid, an end to the occupation should be a top concern of all Americans."

Huh?? Israel is not the responsibility of the U.S. and as an American I have always been at a loss to understand why we are so bogged down with the Israeli issue. The annual aid we give to Israel (billions of dollars) can be better spent here at home taking care of our own. Israel has been at war since 1948 and frankly, it is not in the best interests of Israel to have peace in the region!

Look at all of our aid taxes they would lose if there was peace or we decided we can no longer tolerate their activities. If any other nation acted like Israel I am sure we Americans (not to include our legislators) would condemn that rogue nation.

During our recent presidential election, it became very important that we allow time for the "Jewish votes" to be received from Israel. This was the issue that finally caused me to take a look at our position in the Middle East. I have concluded that we do not belong in the Middle East and we need to cultivate those nations that closer to our ideals of peace.

-- A. Chembe

Colorado Springs

The great void

The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld War Juggernaut may be unstoppable in its zeal to topple Saddam.

What concerns me is a way to prevent long-term damage to our nation from a short-term war. I believe if Bush is able to commit people and resources in another Gulf War to avenge his father's legacy, the American people should demand he officially declare war.

I have contacted Representatives and Senators but none have responded. Does no one care?

-- Steve Clarke

Colorado Springs

All in the numbers

I think the vast difference in compensation between the victims of 9/11 and those who die serving their country in uniform are profound.

No one is talking about it, as you don't criticize anything to do with 9/11. Yet I can't leave the numbers pass, as it says something disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country.

If you lost a family member in the 9/11 attack you are going to get an average of $1,185,000. There is a guarantee minimum of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million.

If you are a surviving member of a soldier killed in action you first receive a check for $6,000 death benefit (1/2 is taxable). Next you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are a surviving spouse, you will get $833 a month until you remarry. Then there's a monthly payment of $211 for each child under 18 years. This stops when the child reaches 18.

Meanwhile, some people getting that $1 million to $4 million are complaining that it's not enough.

Some of the victims of the Oklahoma bombing are starting an organization to get the same deal the 9/11 families are getting.

Some families of persons in the bombed embassies are now asking for compensation also.

You see where this is going?

It's just really sad.

-- Bob Steiner


Do the gumshoe

I've noticed recently that several articles in your paper, such as the feature on "The Boondocks" [May 16] or the story "Imprisoned in the USA" [July 4], were not written by you guys. They were pulled from a wire service or culled from a major publication somewhere.

Are we so second class in this town that we can't even expect some original reporting on something like "The Boondocks"? Was that reprint article so good that nothing more could be said? I for one read "The Boondocks" every day, and I could have mined a lot more original and interesting viewpoints than whoever wrote the predictable, suck-up reprint article.

I thought that you all are supposed to be providing a different and original viewpoint from, let's say, the god-awful Gazette. Instead it appears that you are the liberal Readers Digest Condensed Books. Why would I bother reading reprints in your paper when I can find them faster and easier online?

Don't squander your unique media platform! All the rest of us can do is write e-mail.

-- Brian Perry

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The Independent attempts to provide in-depth, local coverage as often as possible. However, from time to time, particularly during the summer months when our small editorial staff dares to take vacations, we are left with having to fill in with wire-service stores. When we must do so, as in this week's cover story on page 15, we attempt to localize the piece as much as possible. To help solve the problem, Mr. Perry, we humbly suggest that you and yours trumpet the Independent to the Pikes Peak region, encouraging friends and colleagues to advertise with us and read us. Eventually, we will get so sick of giving ourselves raises that we will hire additional staff writers and you'll never have to read another one of those non-local stories in the city's largest locally-owned newspaper again.


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