Let the music begin

Congratulations on your nomination for Utne magazine's "Independent Press Awards" (Utne, Nov.-Dec. '02; Independent, Dec. 5-11).

Thank you for the essential work and art and fun that you do for the betterment of our community.


-- Jan Chapell

Colorado Springs

PS. I wish that we could have an independent radio station to accompany you.

Credit where it's due

I never thought I'd actually have something good to say about our little daily newspaper -- "little" being the operative word for The Gazette lately. Even with the bigger fonts and more white space between columns, this is an incredibly small and spare newspaper for a city of our size! Thank God for my daily dose of the Denver Post.

But I do want to give credit where credit is due, and here it is:

The Gazette has the best darn plastic wrappers I've ever seen, beating even the Denver Post in sturdiness and impermeability! This became very important to me recently when I had hand surgery and needed to keep my cast dry in the shower. When I used the Denver Post's cheery orange wrapper, I got a lot of condensation and moisture (very bad for plaster) in the cast. However, when I tried the blue wrapper from The Gazette, my cast stayed dry and moisture-free!

Turns out the blue wrapper is double-thickness on one side, just perfect for the top part of my cast which is the most important part to keep dry. It also fits nicely, being much more narrow in circumference than the Denver Post wrapper (gee, I wonder why?). Never has an unwanted subscription become so important in my life! Since I will be having surgery on my opposite hand some time next year, I suppose I will have to keep subscribing to The Gazette at least until next December.

However, if The Gazette ends up going under, could someone please tell me where I can purchase the blue plastic wrappers?

-- Deb Martin-Bruels

Colorado Springs

Getting goose-pimply

I have always wanted to live in a police state.

If I attend the Committee for Responsible County Government meeting [this Saturday, Dec. 14, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.] at the City Auditorium, can you guarantee me that the Colorado Springs police and the Denver police will open a secret file on me?

I get all goose-pimply thinking about jack-booted thugs looking at my secret folder late at night, wondering what mischief I might be creating with my constitutional rights.

If you print this, would you withhold my name? After all, The Man will get it if he wants it.

-- Name withheld upon request

Colorado Springs

Postcard from Guantanamo

Very decent of you to provide a forum for reader opinion, even when the readers are reactionary Republicans and Democrats who might not return the favor (Letters, Nov. 14).

Not their fault they've been double-dipped in the Great American Lie and suffer from two-party-tunnelvision. But with about 70 percent of the nation refusing to dignify this dog-and-pony show with a vote, it's hard to see how either of them can claim to speak for the multitude.

But, hey -- guilty-as-charged, gentlemen. Go on, call your homeland Gestapo and haul me off to Guantanamo, because I'd see death at the hands of cowardly, murderous, obstructionist, communist, BMW-driving college-professor-liberal has-beens as a gentle mercy compared to a life swimming in the morass of your pompous bull.

You fellas must be trying out for walk-on parts in the "This Modern World" comic strip.

Does anyone remember the fall of the Roman Empire? Some emperor swore he'd teach those upstarts in Britain a thing or two, and sent out a couple of legions which should have stayed parked at the main gate.

We've had over 2,000 years to learn about swagger and gullibility. If you dinosaurs will just step out of the way, maybe the rest of us can evolve beyond you, as once we evolved beyond human sacrifice and feudal monarchism.

-- Slim Wolf

Villa Grove

Defying science

I heard or read recently that more than 60 percent of the population believes in angels, and I've been wondering:

Why don't we see black, Asian and Hispanic angels? Have white Anglo-Saxons got an inside track?

Why do angels wear robes, but no shoes? Nike is missing an incredible marketing opportunity here. Picture this: Michael Jordan and Gabriel, one-on-one on the basketball court. Fast and furious down the court, Jordan with the ball, makes an incredible leap for the hoop ... but Gabriel's wings give him the slightest edge and he tips the ball away ... and we see, peeking from beneath the hem of his robe ... Nike !

And is the heavenly choir Mormon? I never see the angels in magenta robes with purple trim like the Southern Baptists.

What about the elemental principals of flight and aerodynamics? In my opinion, unless there is a God, there is no way in hell that those guys could even achieve takeoff, let alone fly!

And where do angels go at night? We all know they walk among us during the day, doing good works. But they are such amiable creatures, I hate to think they have to go back to monastic cells or a studio apartment with a pull-down Murphy bed. I suspect they all live in frat houses along a tree-lined street about five blocks off the main campus and about a five or six minute walk from the Pearly Gates, less if you fly ...

-- W. Dean Morgan

Colorado Springs

Brace yourself

Kendell Kretzschmar's letter to the Indy on Nov. 28 really opened my eyes to what our City was heading for, by offering domestic partners medical benefits.

It's hard to believe this wanna-be politician didn't do his research when it came to the issue about HIV/AIDS and the medical costs Colorado Springs will face.

Separate studies done in 1996 through 1998, by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialist and Towers Perrin and Hewitt associations, proved that there's a minimal increase in medical claims with domestic benefits.

The two studies also proved that the cost of covering HIV/AIDS-related illnesses wouldn't lead to an increase in medical premiums. Here's why, because AIDS-related illnesses are not significantly higher than other illnesses, i.e. heart disease and cancer.

And get this Kendell -- hope you're sitting down -- in many cases it was proven that same-sex benefits actually are lower, because there are fewer prenatal, pregnancy and infant care costs to worry about.

Also, the study showed the cost doesn't really go up, mainly because very few partners utilize the program. Kendell, I would love to see where you get your facts, but from what I can see, they are all based on ignorance and assumptions.

-- Brian Crusie

Colorado Springs

Man of few words

In response to "An ignorant decision" by Kendell Kretzschmar, all I can say is, I am appalled by his ignorance.

-- Bob Rebello

Community Relations and Events Director

Southern Colorado AIDS Project

The power behind The Man

I appreciate the news flash that the food business is big business ("Eaters of the World, Unite," Nov. 21-27). Before then, I had thought that Great Harvest had more pull in Washington than Phillip Morris.

As the aforementioned epiphany was shattering my global paradigm, I began to reflect. This shaft of revelation illuminates some confusion about the growth of food giants.

The Independent's article blames the ever-popular millionaire tycoons and shady lobbyists for putting power in the hands of McDonald's. But I didn't see any of those nefarious persons in line with me yesterday at the drive-thru. It seemed to me, when I was in one of those plastic dining rooms the day before, that I was surrounded by ordinary fellow Americans. Maybe even -- gasp! -- readers of this newspaper.

We, the givers of power in America, were supporting processed cheese food and protein byproduct all on our own. We cheerfully gave our power to The Man $4.95 at a time. I don't even remember receiving a taxpayer subsidy to help pay for my Big Mac.

I don't know about you, but I haven't been to the farmers' market at all this year. The only remotely local product in my kitchen is Colorado honey.

I even have an Uncle Greg that runs a family farm in Illinois, 20 miles from ADM's global headquarters. He, who eats only organic food, tried to earn an organic certification a year ago. But who kills weeds when chemicals don't? Workers. What do workers cost?

I could choose to support my flesh and blood by spending the extra time and money to "go organic." But I don't. I continue to strangle my own uncle out of business and help Charles Schwab feed rice to his friends' targets.

I put Cargill in power. My parents showed me how.

-- Wil Wallace

Colorado Springs

Our own back yard

As always, thank you for the distances you will quest for the many facets of a story; I look forward to Thursdays in this town. However, in the case of the article "Colorado Springs Home Grown" (which wasn't really an article at all, but rather a postscript to "Eaters of the World, Unite"), you simply didn't quest far enough. Or should I say, close enough.

That's right, we have our own cozy and successful co-op right here in Colorado Springs! It is called the Organic Produce Co-op, and is run out of the Rocky Mountain Natural Store in Old Colorado City. They offer not only produce, but also natural meats and local eggs. Although the food may not all be local, they offer us more variety and better value than Community Supported Agriculture ever did.

It's easy, it's inexpensive, and it's fun. This is what shopping at your neighborhood store is supposed to be. It saddens me that the Independent missed it.

-- Sue Spengler

Colorado Springs

Editor's Note: Indeed, the Organic Produce Co-op operates out of the Rocky Mountain Natural Store at 2501 West Colorado Avenue on the city's West Side. The co-op's Web address is

www.rmnstore.com and its telephone number is 329-0180. We regret inadvertently omitting them.


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