Whither the Monarch

I found Cecil Bothwell's article "As we sow, so shall we seep" (Your Turn, Aug. 1-7) on target as far as his remarks about interactions among products used in agriculture and the resulting poisoning of the topsoil. The immense agro-chemical-biotech industry concerns itself with its bottom line rather than the effects on human and other-than-human life. Use of the Precautionary Principle would certainly be wise.

I do, however, take issue with Mr. Bothwell's rather offhanded remarks about Monarch butterflies. Perhaps I am one of those "weirdos" he refers to who are upset about the possible extinction of this species, but I believe the world would be diminished by their loss. In the words of environmental scientist and educator Calvin DeWitt, "Losing a species to extinction is like tearing a page out of a sacred scripture."

It is mystifying to me how someone who quite obviously has a good grasp on the interconnections of all life could so casually write off the extinction of yet another species.

-- Amani Rebecca Booher


Editor's note: It's safe to say that Mr. Bothwell's comments regarding the possibility of extinguishing the beautiful Monarch butterfly from the planet were entirely tongue in cheek.

At least he's pro-American

In response to Cara DeGette's column entitled "Turning the Paige at the daily" [Public Eye, July 25], I agree that The Gazette's former editorial page editor Dan Njegomir was indeed "caustic."

Recently when I called Dan, an open borders Libertarian, to comment on his repugnant editorial against House Immigration Reform Caucus Chairman Tom Tancredo, Dan ranted about his support of open borders, said Florida is part of Latin America, said the worst individuals for Colorado are Californians who buy property here, called illegal aliens from Guatemala "Americans" and tried to label me a racist for advocating immigration reduction.

As President Reagan said, "A nation without borders is not a nation." An open-borders advocate to me is anti-American and does not want to protect America from the ravages of over-immigration.

Disagreeing with Cara, I'd much rather see as the new editor a greedy narrow-minded Republican over an open-borders Libertarian any day. At least Mr. Paige will be pro-American.

Good riddance, Dan.

-- Dave Caulkett

Colorado Springs

A brown town of half-million

Placing the water conservation burden on homeowners is a bit like blaming Charles Wingate for a pepperoni shortage.

Agriculture and business consume about 90 percent of the Front Range water. Intel goes through one to two million gallons of water per day. Some Colorado farmers continue to practice flood irrigation, as wasteful a method as exists. And yet, business and agriculture are neither the problem nor the solution.

Our governor places the highest priority on road construction, which guarantees more people, which guarantees the highways will be obsolete before they are completed, which means more road construction.

Our state legislators debate the promiscuity of welfare mothers, and offer no solutions to our runaway growth.

Our city council looks for every opportunity to expand the city in an effort to bring more people to the downtown bookstores, pizza restaurants, and bed and breakfast establishments. Our mayor wants to raise taxes for more roads, sewer lines and water pipes.

In the meantime, our parks are sick, our rivers look like open sewers, neighbors rat each other out to the water police, vegetable gardens watered on Stage II restrictions are dead, and I'm told to tear up my lawn and put in sage.

I'd rather live in a pretty city of 250,000 than a brown town of half a million.

We may want to consider requiring all new residents to bring their own water. Or, on November 5, we can express our dissatisfaction at the polls.

But our best hope to preserve Colorado is probably four more years of drought.

-- JS Moore

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: You can also make a huge difference by voting in next Tuesday's Primary Election. Learn more in this week's cover package, beginning page 13, and by reading the Independent's endorsements for local offices on page 4.

The drought upstairs

Blind Man's Bluff. This seems to be the game played on the people of Colorado.

The real drought is in the mentality of those in political office as well as in the news media.

Colorado has been selling its water to California for over 100 years. A contract was established over a 100 years ago making it illegal for farmers and ranchers to dam up rainwater.

The contract expired during the reign of Governor Dick Lamm -- the wolf in lamb's clothing -- because he renewed this contract for another 100 years without ever consulting anyone.

So farmers and ranchers have been given the shaft by the politicians, and the news media joins right in to hinder their rights to plant and expand their herds and to create a decent environment.

So yes, ladies and gentlemen, every time you flush your toilet all that water is purified by Colorado and then sent on its way to California. And every shower taken does the same thing.

And every drop of rain is carefully channeled to the Colorado River so that those in California will have all the drinking water and lawn watering they wish while we in this state, under the direction of ninny-com-poops, suffer the consequences.

-- C. Westbrook

Colorado Springs

Stamp of approval

You have a very nice publication there. A few from the radical left warned me that Colorado Springs was a real "conservative" kinda place. But, ha, that's the elite left for ya. Your publication is a service to thinking people of all backgrounds. I laughed, cried, and stared in disbelieve while reading your pages. Best regards,

-- Andrew Scott

New York, NY

PS. I give that Tejon area my stamp of approval.

Grateful for term limits

At the recent meeting held by the El Paso County Parks, we discussed the decision by Colorado Springs Utilities to dam Bear Creek near the entrance of the Dog Loop, creating a fenced pond. It will be used to irrigate the surrounding park in return for a reduced water rate for El Paso County Parks.

During the current drought conditions, any innovative idea that will save water and cut operating costs is welcome but this decision affects a park that is already very busy and continues to become more popular.

One alternative to encroaching on this park would be if Colorado Springs Utilities could create this pond as an area available to dogs for swimming. The cost of the fence could be applied to technology that would decrease liability concerns with regard to the dam.

This would be a wonderful Community Outreach project for them, and they could count on help from a multitude of dog owners.

On another note, I was dismayed at County Commissioner Chuck Brown's comments. He was adamant when he told us that the park was not "ours." He also said that we should "get over" the plans for the dam because the decision has been made and we can't change it.

I'm not sure what I am more appalled with: an elected official's cavalier attitude about a citizen's input on the decision making in the community or that a public park that I use regularly and subsidize is not considered, even in some small way, "mine." I'm sure many residents who have a favorite park or trail can relate to the protectiveness that you feel if that area is threatened.

Despite what Commissioner Brown said, these areas are "ours" and we want what is the best for them.

El Paso County would be an unpleasant place to live if, indeed, the residents didn't consider it "ours" on any level. A community with no cohesion or sense of ownership is a community destined for turmoil and failure.

As Brown's constituent, I am now grateful for term limits. After 2004, he will not have to worry about my park or our community again.

-- Jules Shingledecker

Colorado Springs

The miraculous rescue

What we have just witnessed in the miraculous rescue of the nine Pennsylvania miners was an extraordinary exhibition of skill, endurance and courage by everyone involved. There was a life-and-death job to be done, and they did it.

There is a lesson here for us all.

-- Patricia Selfe

Colorado Springs

Stinky as a dead camel

I think this plan to wage war on Iraq is seriously flawed on a fundamental level. Here is why:

1) I have yet to hear or see one shred of evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the events of last September; which removes the possibility of cloaking this action with the "War on Terror." In short, it is illegal.

2) A national policy of removing foreign leaders, for any reason, is a dangerous precedent to set.

3) It looks like Resident Bush is going to wage his war without going through the appropriate channels (Congress).

4) If this action does take place, we will find our allies in the Middle East disappearing as fast as the budget surplus.

Resident Bush would send our sons, daughters, friends and neighbors to undertake the same duties from which he was AWOL for 18 months in the '70s.

This strikes me as glaring hypocrisy. The whole thing stinks like a dead camel. Please, Good People of Colorado Springs: telephone, e-mail, write, dispatch carrier pigeons -- whatever -- to your representatives in Washington to ensure this thing is done properly.

Our Armed Forces must carry out the orders they are given, but, We the People have some say as to what orders those might be.

-- Brent Koleno

Colorado Springs


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