Bravo et merci for the wonderful "Kind of blue" article (cover story, Dec. 14) by Mr. Pete Freedman.

I was lucky enough to assist at a most deserved, emotional tribute to Mrs. Fannie Mae Duncan given at the downtown branch of the Pikes Peak Library a few years ago.

The Broadmoor Hotel for many years, at its Terrace Lounge, featured the pianist extraordinaire Tom O'Boyle. It was also the scene of the great Dick Gibson parties, which gathered some 60 of the finest jazz musicians during the Labor Day weekend.

Here, the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society, with some 500 members, still carries the jazz flame with monthly jam sessions and weekly concerts in various parks of the city during the summer. The Falconaires have been frequent guests at those reunions.

Jean Reldy

Colorado Springs

Buyer's market

Pete Freedman's article "Kind of blue" in your Dec. 14 issue did a nice job of describing the current jazz scene while incorporating a brief history of jazz in the city over the last 50 years. Regarding The Cotton Club: While stationed at Fort Carson circa 1959 to 1961, I had the same age problem as Indy publisher John Weiss. Unlike Mr. Weiss, however, I wasn't brave enough to venture inside as a minor. Sadly, when finally returning to the Springs in 2001, the club was but a memory.

Freedman is also correct in noting the tremendous amount of professional jazz talent in the city, which makes it a buyer's market for we jazzophiles, but conversely makes it tough for all of the musicians to be properly recognized. Most jazz venues host mature or older fans, but as a group, I don't think we're concerned about any inevitable demise of the music. After all, jazz in its many forms has been around over 100 years, making it rather unique.

Thanks again to the Indy for making this a feature article. Perhaps interested readers could check out a Web site that features a wealth of information about local jazz happenings, ppjass.org.

Dan DeMuth

Pueblo West

Where's the love?

Nice story about jazz, or lack of it, in the Springs. But why don't you talk about the fact that we don't even have a radio station in town that will play jazz music for what I'm sure is a large fan base?

Craig Mondragon

Colorado Springs

Down note

As one of the few youngish (early 30s) jazz fans in Colorado Springs, I was disappointed that the writer of the "Kind of blue" article in last week's issue didn't mention the biggest jazz band in town: The Colorado Springs Contemporary Jazz Big Band.

They've been playing just about every Wednesday night somewhere for the last 14 years, for free. Every member of the band is a professional jazz musician in their own right, but their "pay" supports a local scholarship for high school jazz musicians.

Currently, they can be found playing some of the best jazz around at The Thirsty Parroton the corner of Colorado Avenue and Tejon Street, every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Jessica Kalal

Colorado Springs

Animal angst

After reading the Public Eye column regarding the recent atrocities in Calhan ("Horrible, just horrible," Dec. 7), I was amazed that there are animals still on the property. Having seen the story on the local news, I navely assumed proper authorities would take care of the situation, remove the animals and arrest their owners.

I was shocked to read Humane Society director Wes Metzler's statement that although conditions were bad, they "did not remove the animals that appeared not to be neglected." Must you wait until they're as bad off as the ones that had to be euthanized? Or should you wait until they are dead and other animals are eating them? Let's get them out while they are still alive! These people should not ever be allowed to have animals again. Period.

I hope the neighbor who watched the dog being beaten with a stick and slammed against a van will be charged with conspiracy to commit murder. There is no excuse for that. In a time when people are afraid to discipline their children for fear of abuse charges, we punish animal abuse with a slap on the wrist. It makes me sick. Where is the public outcry?

Jacques Sears

Colorado Springs


Colorado Springsmourns another shooting victim, Officer Kenneth Jordan, prominent for having been gunned down in the line of duty. We make amends by publicizing our grief for days, professing outrage and sorrow in print. The victim is honored with a funeral for the masses and, perhaps, a street will be named for him.

Add his name to the list of innocents sacrificed to a society that fervently worships its right to own and bear arms while remaining utterly incapable of keeping guns out of the hands of the crazed and/or criminal among us.

C.S. Odlin

Manitou Springs

Donations rejected

Regarding "December Chill," your annual Best Of Colorado Springs bash: 600 guests, $1,400 raised ... that equals $2.33 a head. Generous crowd.

Scott Foreman

Colorado Springs

Donations accepted

For the holiday season, in lieu of presents for people who have everything, I have listed some of the charities that we can donate to, in a recipient's name.

SET: Family medical clinics provide basic medical services and health programs to uninsured and low-income people without discrimination.

Silver Key: Finds and implements ways to ensure the elderly are aging safely.

NAACP: Ensures political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons.

Sierra Club: Inspired by nature, it protects our communities and the planet.

Wild Forever Foundation: Dedicated to wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, it helps injured and sick wild animals receive a second chance.

Centro de la Familia: Strengthens families by developing cultural anchors and increases community resources for Spanish-speaking people.

The Humane Society: The only open-admission animal shelter where no clock is ticking.

The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission: Grounded in principles of peace, solidarity with the poor and oppressed, sustainable living and social and economic justice.

Marian House Soup Kitchen: Serving 600 meals a day to 450 clients. They give showers and short visits during the day.

Christmas Unlimited: Provides gifts for children in need and school supplies to more than 12,000 children every year. Check them out at Seven Falls this week at night for a donation.

Care and Share: In 2006, this food bank distributed 7.3 million pounds of food to 82,000 different people.

Share Colorado: Provides food at half the price, and a sense of community to churches and other nonprofits.

TESSA: Reduces domestic violence, which occurs in 1 in 6 homes, and sexual assault through prevention and treatment.

Colorado Springs Utilities: Wow it offers gift certificates! Imagine the surprise of that gift. You can also pay someone's whole bill anonymously online or by phone. All you need is their address.

By asking friends and family what their favorite charity is, and giving them a piece of it, making a difference in the world makes the holidays that much brighter.

Cynthia Lang

Colorado Springs


Regarding "Mind control" by George Wolkind (Letters, Dec. 14):

Huh? One minute he's complaining about a statement made by the scientific community about the current lack of scientifically accepted evidence for the existence of the supernatural and the spiritual.

The next second he's talking about Dr. Allen Hynek's (you did see the doctor attached to his name, didn't you?) belief in UFOs. Do you ever need to say you believe in trees or lightning? Evidence doesn't need belief. Of course UFOs exist; no skeptic I know denies this concept. The term "unidentified flying object" simply means an object in the atmosphere or space not yet identified for what it is.

But the writer confuses the issue with what he's not telling you ... he means that they're extraterrestrials (ETs). What space science professionals aren't convinced of is that there is evidence of ETs. (Believe me, they would love to find evidence for ETs hence the SETI project at radio astronomy observatories.)

The "evidence" presented by UFO buffs may enthrall the readers of the Weekly World News, but consistently lands with a soft dud by scientific standards.

The letter-writer claims he was awed by watching what he says is a UFO. He leaves the impression that he knows it was. Mr. Wolkind, if you identify what a UFO is, then it would no longer be an unidentified flying object.

Ray L. Robinson

Colorado Springs

Compassionate conversation

I'm wondering where Shannon Parker ("High hypocrisy," Letters, Dec. 7) got her information. Her letter is riddled with inaccuracies, generalizations and the kind of sentiment that continues to undermine any real conversation about diversity, understanding and hope.

First, she indicates that Pastor Ted Haggard was drummed out of New Life Church, when in fact he voluntarily submitted to the very rules and bylaws he helped put in place. And Haggard, who has admitted to unspecified "sexual immorality," has not admitted to having "strong attractions to men," so to say this is not accurate. The truth is, we don't know exactly what the "sexual immorality" he has admitted to encompasses.

Second, she states an estimated 10 percent of the population is gay, when the well-known "Born Different" campaign states that only 3 to 4 percent are born gay.

Number comparisons aside, the assumption that Pastor Haggard is suddenly gay, and that he certainly wouldn't "have picked it," is an argument that always seems to be approached from just one side. If Haggard has engaged in random homosexual acts, does that make him gay? If so, then when homosexuals engage in heterosexual acts it does happen do they suddenly become "straight"? And what about bisexuals? Are they gay one day and straight the next?

Lastly, I don't believe it's fair to say that "folks who preach the Bible" are the first to "condemn," unless condemning is equivalent to holding people accountable for their actions when placed next to a certain set of moral standards. In this instance, Pastor Haggard has been held accountable and forgiven.

Keep in mind, however, that being forgiven does not erase the consequences of actions. We would all do better in this world if we would focus more on being compassionate while holding people accountable, instead of looking for someone to blame and spreading misinformation.

The bottom line is that we are all hypocrites (actors) in one way or another.

Ken Maynard

Colorado Springs


I follow with great interest the proposal to expand Pion Canyon, both with regard to extended use and further land acquisition. It should be noted that the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) prepared for the extended use proposal is woefully inadequate in two respects.

First, from an ecological perspective, it does not even attempt to characterize the ecosystem involved. Not a single species of invertebrate is listed. And secondly, by its own admission, due to lack of baseline data, it can characterize neither the extent (area) nor magnitude (severity) of the proposed disturbances. If an "environmental impact" statement can describe neither the environment nor the impact, we have a problem. The whole process involving EIS is deeply flawed.

A very large-scale "bioblitz" is needed to assess the invertebrate biodiversity and estimate the uniqueness and fragility of the ecosystem. Short of that, we can't seriously consider either extended use of, or expansion into, this arid but useful ranchland.

Sam Johnson

Colorado Springs

Take Action

Help Silver Key Senior Services deliver Giving Tree gifts and food baskets to area seniors though Friday, Dec. 22. Call Kathy St. Pierre at 884-2333 to volunteer.

Bake a pie for The Salvation Army's free Community Holiday Dinner. Pies can be dropped off at the Odd Fellows Hall (575 S. Union Blvd.) on Saturday, Dec. 23, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. They will be served at five locations on Christmas day. Call 636-5266 for more information.

Join the Flag Football Tournament Fundraiser at the Grace Center for Athletics and Community Service (1655 Pirate Heights) on Saturday, Dec. 23, at 8 a.m. Proceeds from the tournament will be divided between the Zach Park '95 Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Suicide Prevention Partnership. Registration is $250 per team of eight. Call 635-7540 ext. 13 or visit smhscs.org for more information.


In our Dec. 14 cover story, "Kind of blue," trumpet player Glen Whitehead was misidentified in a photo of his special performance alongside the Alan Joseph Trio. The Independent regrets the error.


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