Cough up some cash

I read the story "Nightmare on Ramona Avenue" (News, Dec. 16-24 issue). I believe that the owners of Edelweiss should have some means of recourse for lost revenues. It is not uncommon to experience some delays or challenges with large construction and repair projects.

However, subcontractors have a duty to perform a job within a reasonable time, and an intrinsic duty to own and use reliable, capable equipment. If a subcontractor has a drilling truck that breaks, it is their responsibility to fix the equipment and continue the job. Powerseal, the distributor of the faulty water pipe seals, has some level of culpability in regards to the seals that broke repeatedly, causing large expenses and time delays in the project.

I believe Edelweiss should explore mediation or even litigation in the pursuit of lost revenues. Colorado Springs Utilities should pursue reimbursement for coverage of increased costs; otherwise it will come out of a budget funded by tax dollars. Perhaps Edelweiss and CSU should join forces, and take their case to the subcontractors. It sounded like CSU employees were sincerely concerned about the time and cost overruns of the project, and they understand the adverse affects on local businesses when they go digging holes in the street.

It was stated in the article that Colorado Springs Utilities has "asked" Powerseal for reimbursement of $60,000. Would this cover only CSU's cost overrun, or is some part of it earmarked for the owners of Edelweiss?

-- Jason Moore

Colorado Springs

Get a life, people

Why am I not surprised at the indignation and being "appalled" as Dec. 23 letter writer Nicole Harris was at the distribution of a modern-day Bible by the Gazette?

I didn't read anywhere that same indignation when a computer disk by AOL was distributed the previous Sunday. Why didn't you do what I did with the AOL disk, toss it into the trash can as I brought in the Sunday paper? Or as I did with the Bible, give it to an inmate who is incarnated and trying to find hope somewhere?

Why have liberals and others of like minds, who profess to want to be inclusive of gays, lesbians, all ethnic groups, abortion clinics and every person who is supposed to be downtrodden, become so intolerant of someone who uses the word God, Christ, Christmas, etc., etc. ?

I haven't heard any burning of homes, egging of your cars, kicking you out of churches or temples, but Bible-carrying people seem to be kind giving people. They don't all measure up. None of us will be perfect in this life; we are only striving to obtain perfection. What difference does it make if some use the Bible, the Koran, the Torah or the Tao Te Ching (which I have no clue what that is)?

I suspect if the Jewish or Muslim people wanted to pay for the distribution, the Gazette would indeed send their religious book with their next Sunday edition.

Get a life, people! Let's worry about helping find shelter and food for the homeless. Let's find a way to stop the Utilities Department from increasing heating rates 27 percent at the start of the really cold weather, which has a drastic effect on people on welfare and seniors. Let's work together as citizens and residents of Colorado Springs. The Independent should be a voice for good rather than being a tool for religious intolerance, whatever that religion.

-- Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

Just like toothpaste

Geez, the flap over the newspaper New Testament! I am a Christian, and an Indy subscriber, and I just feel compelled to respond. The intensity of anger pouring out is amazing -- did the thing leap out of the paper and force people to read it? It was a paid insertion, yes, just like toothpaste samples. If you know it holds nothing of interest for you, get rid of it.

If I had received a copy of the Torah, or Koran, it would not be a personal affront to my personal beliefs, and the Gazette probably would have been applauded for their multicultural diversity.

Political correctness is this country has deteriorated to the point that Americans seem to think that they are guaranteed the right to never be uncomfortable, or faced with an idea they don't agree with. I'm afraid it is letter writer Nicole Harris who is mixed up, not the Gazette they are not disregarding freedom of religion. She is confusing it with freedom from religion, which is never really mentioned in our rights.

I can imagine some of the hate-response I'll get from this letter, but I have to ask -- If you don't believe that that little collection of words holds the power that some of us believe it does, what is everyone so afraid of?

-- Camilla Mitchell

Colorado Springs

Not like toothpaste

The Gazette management can protest until they are blue in the face that distributing New Testaments with the paper is no different than distributing toothpaste samples, but it just isn't so.

Even those of us who are diehard Colgate toothpaste fans will use Crest with no concern if the Colgate has run out. Religion is a central facet of society, giving meaning and comfort, and sometimes leading to cultural conflicts and even wars. Most of us would not readily or casually trade in our religion for another one, and many people believe that one religion is the one true religion.

For the Gazette to claim that distributing New Testaments is just a little marketing work is disingenuous. What's really happening is that the Gazette is choosing to push one kind of religion, one that may be held by many Colorado Springs residents, but that is not held by many of the rest of us. (If this is not true, I trust that the Gazette will soon distribute Hebrew Bibles, Korans, Bhagavad Gitas, the Tao Te Ching, the Analects, and one or more collections of Buddhist writings.) Distributing New Testaments is an attempt to evangelize, not a marketing ploy -- and no, these are not the same thing.

Therefore, I am very concerned that the Gazette is really a religious newspaper, or at least a newspaper with a religious agenda. How, then, can it live up to its presumed mission of reporting news fairly, accurately and objectively? How can it report on issues related to religion neutrally? But if it can't do these things, how can it be an appropriate daily paper for a city of half a million diverse people?

-- Amanda Udis-Kessler

Colorado Springs

A mockery of the news

An open letter to the Gazette:

Being a fairly new resident to Colorado Springs, for a time it surprised me how many people refuse to read your publication.

Having grown up in New York, then spending many years in Denver, it seemed odd to me that so many people choose to start their days without a paper. Never have I seen such disdain for a newspaper in my life.

On Sunday, Dec. 19, I found out why.

I am appalled that your paper has the audacity to enclose a Bible in with my newspaper! How you choose to construe this as "news" is truly beyond me. It has long been my understanding that a true news organization is able to deliver facts without bias for the consideration of the subscriber. You have made a mockery of the very concept of unbiased news by including not only a Bible, but a full-page index as to which page one should reference to find such topics as "Money, Peace, Power, and Greatness."

I expect, and accept, the sale enclosures in your paper every week. These inform me of the availability of actual items I can bring into my home by my own choice. Religion, however, is to me a concept that one chooses in the privacy of one's self. Your attempt to try to sell religion is crossing a very sacred line for many of us.

In this day of online news, along with the awareness of the true environmental cost of printing a daily paper, you have just given a major shot in the arm to conservation. Sadly, as I join the ranks of Colorado Springs conservationists, I will have to go out and purchase yet another video monitor, probably made abroad, just so that my family and I can enjoy the real news together.

Your paper has not only struck a major blow to your own industry, but has also fueled the movement by encouraging us, your former subscribers, to send more American dollars into foreign coffers.

Thank you for clarifying the cause of the Gazette haters.

We have canceled our subscription and refer you to page 156, "Money," of your little Bible.

-- Jim Verhey

Colorado Springs

Money better spent

To the International Bible Society:

The financial waste and folly of enclosing unwanted or unneeded New Testaments in the Gazette is unconscionable given the recent Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami disaster. Surely that money could have been better spent helping those in need such as the poor disaster victims, even building a church. Given this season of charity and good works I wonder, What would Jesus do? Besides, if I really needed a free Bible I'd get one from a hotel room. Not only is it the complete work, it's hardbound.

-- Nicolas S. Powell

Colorado Springs

Animal instincts

I have just heard shocking news that District 11 is considering not allowing Planned Parenthood to offer our children sex education. We are considering not offering our children education in the most important and highly influential topic ... sex?

For some reason, public officials feel that our teenagers are no longer going to want to have sex -- that teenagers everywhere in Colorado Springs have lost their basic animal instinct.

Since time began and until time ends, teenagers are going to have sex, period. This is a fact, not an assumption. This kind of fear-based ignorance is going to hold a negative impact on our community. If you eliminate Planned Parenthood sexual education from our schools, where in the world will they get the knowledge?

At best our kids will have intelligent and caring parents to inform them of what sex ed means. At worst they are going to learn what it all means the hard way ... a pregnancy, an STD, a shattered sense of self because a sexual experience went wrong because they have no facts. Why would any conscientious person make such a harsh decision on our growing and learning children?

Let's offer our kids more. Let's demand sex ed in the schools.

They are going to learn about sex ed somewhere ... do you really want that education to come from our streets?

-- Brenda Gray

Colorado Springs

It's a jungle out there

Upton Sinclair's landmark expos of the Chicago meatpacking industry, The Jungle, was written in 1905 and published the following year. As you are aware, this book described in great detail the filthy and unsafe conditions that existed in the industry, and led directly to the passage, in 1906, of the Pure Food and Drugs Act.

I was wondering whether American meatpackers are planning centennial celebrations to mark this book's publication. Will they be marketing finger-shaped hotdogs, for example, divulging the true contents of chicken nuggets or selling limited-edition cans of Spam (even though this particular product wasn't developed until 35 years later)?

Inquiring minds -- particularly those having little else to do -- want to know. And who better to ask these tough questions of meatpackers than the Indy's own Kenneth Cleaver?

-- David Harlan



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