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Quench their thirst

I just read the news article "Drench or pay" in the May 26 issue. I have a solution. Colorado Springs Utilities could sell the excess water rights, which they don't need, to Chaffee and Lake counties. We could use the water rights up here to assure recreational opportunities for the people of Colorado Springs as well as drinking water and economic growth for our mountain towns. Utilities could use the $4 million-plus cash on rebates to the people of Colorado Springs for a xeriscape program, decreasing water demand. It would also cut the tap fees for the developers and cut the cost of water for the residents of Colorado Springs. Maybe you wouldn't even have to build a water pipe from Pueblo to Colorado Springs.

-- Dale Lee

Salida

What scares them

When I read the May 26 cover article "Out on a Limb," District 11 Superintendent Norm Ridder's agenda was presented as rather transparent. The article reports that his administration has squandered $250,000 of the school district's General Fund defending a lawsuit for the benefit of the homophobia plank of the right wing "Christian" political agenda. Should this be true, the news raises questions about the statutory limit of the superintendent's spending authority and suggests that board members may also be skating on thin ice with regard to potential criminal charges and personal liability for what some could allege to be misuse of public funds.

A couple of millennia ago, a religious right was so frightened by the historical Jesus of Nazareth that those judges of right and wrong crucified a messiah. Today, fundamentalists of a different flavor continue the ancient tradition of eradicating what they cannot control.

Some folks seem compelled to quote a small set of Scriptures to justify condemning what scares them. But perhaps our fundamentalist "Christian" brothers and sisters might instead focus "new eyes" on words actually attributed to Jesus and see the light, kindness, love, healing and acceptance demonstrated by the Christ.

In fact, their best advice may be found in the Gospel of Thomas, where Jesus says, "Love your brother like your soul, and guard him like the pupil of your eye. You see the speck in your brother's eye but you do not see the beam in your own eye. First cast the beam from your own eye, then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

On this Memorial Day, I thought about fellow veterans who sacrificed their all for freedom. Surely now is the time for the District 11 school board to stop wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on lawsuits, and to set the Gay-Straight Alliance, the Chess Club and 27 other student organizations free.

-- Don Riddle

Colorado Springs

Stepping in it

Re: Dan Wilcock's "Free to Ride: West Side neighbors stand up, reverse city's horse ban" (News, June 2). While I agree that the West Side is a more natural and animal-friendly neighborhood than most in the Springs, I for one do not appreciate walking in horse manure.

I often walk to Promontory Point. When horses are allowed in the park, horse manure piles up on the trails, despite the box of plastic bags and the sign telling owners to pick up after their pets.

Last summer, city parks and recreation employees constructed barriers to divert the flow of runoff into drainage ditches to keep water from eroding the trail. However, many afternoons these helpful barriers were smashed by horse hooves. This allowed the runoff to erode the trail and wash the gravel into the nearby intersection, which cost the city more of the money it doesn't have and created a public safety hazard.

There are other people in the neighborhood who do not appreciate the money that the McGinty's horse is costing the city. If they insist on riding their horse in the park, the least they can do is pick up after it as a thank you to the city for the time it spends maintaining Promontory Point for all of us to use.

-- Jacob Eichengreen

Colorado Springs

'On the map'

It would seem that John Hazlehurst was so blinded by his belief that the future of the arts in the Springs necessitates Colorado College purchasing the Fine Arts Center that he wasn't able to read clearly the thoughtful letters he was sent with the factual information relative to the Cornerstone Arts Center before writing his May 26 column. The citizens of Colorado Springs deserve to hear the truth about this visionary building and the philosophy that drove its development and design.

An extensive list of options was explored (including utilizing the FAC long before John suggested it) during eight years of creative planning for the CAC. But in order to meet the goals that our curriculum and this high-tech building demanded, a uniquely suitable new structure was ultimately necessary.

The Cornerstone Arts Center complements the FAC rather than duplicating it! The FAC provides gallery space, and the CAC includes numerous flexible performance spaces, a state-of-the-art screening room, a "sound stage" for film, video and film production labs, an innovative "I.D.E.A." space, and "computer-smart" classrooms.

We have created a building that not only supports a collaborative teaching approach incorporating the arts into all college disciplines, but that also offers unique and inspiring spaces that we encourage the entire community to utilize for creative projects, hopefully expanding our understanding of the arts, and uniting us.

Designed by world-renowned architect Antoine Predock, this stunning structure will, like the FAC before it, put Colorado Springs "on the map" architecturally.

Presentations regarding the CAC to local groups, including many artists, have been met with an enthusiasm that we hope the entire community will ultimately embrace as it realizes what this unique building can contribute to the arts in Colorado Springs.

-- Donna J. Arnink

Chair of the building committee

Colorado College

Keystone Kops

With the recent buffalo "stampede" on the West Side, why didn't the city exercise common sense and call someone with experience in herding cattle to round them up, instead of calling in the police, who have no experience in the matter?

Furthermore, why hasn't anyone in the city government asked or answered that question publicly?

Right now the top two laughingstock police forces in the nation are the Colorado Springs Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Both have had incidents of shooting over 100 rounds at their innocent targets and mainly missing. Which department is worse right now is a question that has a lot of people "buffaloed." I call it a tie, from personal observation and experience. Either way, the public loses.

The last question is, when will this incompetence result in innocent people being killed?

-- Michael Seebeck

Riverside, Calif.

formerly of El Paso County

Trouble bites

All right, I have heard enough about the "slaughter" of "innocent" buffalo that occurred on May 9. To all the namby-pamby people out there who want to argue that the police did not have a right to shoot the small herd: bite me.

The five escaped buffalo were raised and shipped to the slaughterhouse with the intention that they emerge from said company as burgers, steaks, sausages and roasts. This was the sole purpose of the animals' lives. They were not brought up to be petting zoo animals. The people I feel most sorry for are the owners of the livestock. They have now lost a substantial amount of money, since the buffalo can only be used in the making of pet food.

The buffalo escaped -- they saw an opportunity and went for it. They are wild animals and were in unfamiliar circumstances, thus triggering instinctual behavior. This is called flight-or-fight response. When this response is raging through their systems the animals would attack any perceived threat -- dogs, moving cars, cops or kids -- and that could not be allowed to happen.

The thickness of a buffalo's hide and skull would slow down any projectile, such as a bullet. It would require several gunshots in order to kill the animal. All the police needed to be firing at the same time in order to contain the buffalo. They needed to be stopped, and in as little pain as possible. It was a very messy situation, but was handled quickly, as the buffalo were uncontrollable and dangerous.

From what I have heard and read, the vocalizations are pretty whiny. "Why did the poor animals have to die?" "Why couldn't they wait for the people that could tranquilize them?" "The buffalo were just scared!" People! Did you miss the part that they were food, to be killed and eaten? You really need to chill out, kick back and grab a buffalo burger and some fries.

-- Trouble O'Hara

Colorado Springs

Hopelessly outdated

Dear City of Colorado Springs:

I checked the FAQ on your Web site (springsgov.com), but could find no recent documents to answer my question, "Why is all the information on your site regarding the Pikes Peak Hill Climb two years out of date?"

It has been obvious for some time that your area's politics are hopelessly out of date, but really, your calendar?

One gets the impression that Colorado Springs isn't really "with it."

-- Robert A. MacLeay, Jr.

Denver

Glue and scissors 101

Who thinks of Colorado and thinks of Long's Peak?

Why not vote for a "Colorful Rocky Flats" coin? Nobody thinks of anything but Pikes Peak when they think of Colorado. Someone did actually write a treasured nationally recognized song about it, by the way. Do a search on ebay.com for "Long's Peak" and you'll get a link to porn star John Holmes. Gov. Bill Owens says, "It's difficult to condense the heritage and beauty of a 104,000-square mile state into something into the size of a quarter." Yeah -- difficult because you probably failed kindergarten "glue and scissors hour." Another fine effort by a governor who probably has trouble matching his socks in the morning.

-- Chuck Snow

Colorado Springs

Praying to kill

Just when you think it can't get any more surreal and unreal at the Air Force Academy, it does.

Years ago, it was the cheating scandals. Cheating occurs in every college and university, but the AFA advertises itself as a special place for building integrity, honor and honesty. This seemed out of character.

Then it was the drug scandals. One wondered about officers in future years running a drug war. Not a war against drugs, but a war while high on drugs.

Next, it was the reports of many rapes. The AFA puts sophomore-level and upperclass young men in 24-hour command positions over freshman-level women, and then the administrators profess to be shocked -- shocked -- that they have all the rapes.

Now it is the ongoing battle over religion on campus. To outsiders, especially those who are non-religious, it was strange that a chapel was built on the campus in the first place. It is a public, tax-supported institution paid for by atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and the rest of us. We non-Christians should not, by law, be paying to have students taught a faith not acceptable to us. And the Constitution prohibits a state institution from doing so.

But we also were stunned that Christians, who purport to follow the Prince of Peace, who advised us to love our enemies and not to kill, and to turn the other cheek if attacked, would want to support a military institute at all. The AFA, like all military training schools, teaches students to kill other humans as efficiently as possible.

It's time for everyone to calm down and do a bit of reading on Jefferson's reasoning concerning these issues. It may also be helpful to recall what Mark Twain said: "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."

-- Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

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