The right thing
Kudos to the Colorado Springs Liquor and Beer Licensing Board, for doing what was right by voting in favor to issue a liquor license to the Tam O'Shanter Pub ("Long time coming," News, Oct. 25).

It reassures me that sometimes justice does exist in Colorado Springs. As a native of the Springs, it gives me hope and encouragement that the local independent taverns have a chance to survive and thrive in this city, especially in this day when the chain/franchise bar and grills seem to be more prevalent as the city expands.

Once again, thank you for doing the right thing by giving a tavern owner her life and dreams back, in a pub where truly everybody knows your name! Especially in this age of the franchise/chains, where you are just another patron.

Ed Harrison

Colorado Springs

Saving Water 101
The Denver Post reported Oct. 13 that Colorado Springs earned an A for reducing its per-capita water consumption by 23 percent, compared to 2001. Doesn't that accomplishment make you feel hopeful about our ability to speak truthfully about a serious challenge, galvanize everyone our government, Colorado Springs Utilities, the media, nonprofit organizations, businesses and citizens of every stripe and then make responsible and innovative choices?

To keep up this excellent conservation trend, perhaps the Indy would help us share tips and tricks for saving even more water?

Here's one of our favorites, because it's free and easy: When you freshen your pet's drinking water, dump the old water in your houseplants. (I think our plants actually enjoy a bit of dog backwash.) This trick also works with half-full water bottles left over from your hike, and half-full water glasses left on your nightstand in the morning.

Hank and Di Graski

Colorado Springs

Hillary and history
Leader. Activist. Public servant. Visionary. Mother. Wife. Intellectual. Pioneer ...

In a word: Hillary.

That's not just any ordinary word. It is quite possibly one of the most polarizing words in our current American lexicon.

But while the emotions that Hillary's candidacy evokes are undeniable, it's important to realize that we're part of something big here. Something that transcends political debunking and ballyhooing ...

We're living history (pun intended). We have the chance no, the opportunity to do something that has not been done in our 231-year history: elect a female to the highest office in one of the most powerful countries in the world.

We cannot underestimate the impact that a female presidency would bring. Can you imagine what the 2050 American political landscape will look like, when our leaders of tomorrow do not grow up in a society where males are the only ones elected to high office, but rather, in one with equal opportunity in both word and spirit?

Children born in 2008 and beyond will grow up never questioning the reality of a female president. To them, it will be their reality. They will know nothing different than the fact that women can truly be and do anything they put their mind to. (Somewhere I hear a glass ceiling shattering.)

I'm not saying elect any ordinary female to become president. We're not talking about any ordinary person; we're talking about an extraordinary woman who has built a career in leadership, public service and activism. And while I don't agree with Hillary's stance on every issue, I recognize that it's not all about me. This movement is larger than something I could ever understand. When history looks back on the American population's opportunity to elect the first female president of the free world, what will it say?

Kristin Lynch

Colorado Springs

"I got mine'
Responding to Ken Kretzschmar ("Separate, but equal?" Letters, Oct. 25) as well as others, I hope this question does not come off sounding too sarcastic. However, I feel it must be asked, and in asking, hopefully open some eyes to the travesty of justice that is our current government.

In a de facto, corporate-run, big-money, rich-only-need-apply, credit-based "democracy" run by British aristocrats (aka "esquires"), did you honestly expect to be treated as an equal? I know that in the eyes of the Constitution all are equal, but as long as we do not have the value-based "republic" upon which this nation was founded, anyone below the level of "upper middle class" is nothing more, nothing less than slave labor, and is treated as such.

Do you honestly think that the family that runs Wal-Mart really gives a dang about the workers? If they did, the recent recall of Mattel toys made in China would not have happened.

Furthermore, employees would be paid akin to union wages (the surest way to keep the union out of your company is to meet the union's pay scale and benefits). Instead, the basic paradigm is, "I got mine, why should I help you get yours? Why should I care whether you have any food/clothing/shelter? I got mine."

Equality and equanimity can only exist in a society where everyone is actually equal. Thus it can only exist in a republic, the form of governance we should have. Does our "pledge of allegiance" not say so? You want equality? Fine, then treat me and everyone else as your equal, restore the republic upon which this country stands by either not voting, or voting for the candidates in the Constitutional or American Freedom parties, because anyone else will be business as usual. And yes, that includes libertarians.

Dwayne Schultz

Colorado Springs

How to rebuild?
With the California landscape being ravaged by wildfires, the focus in the news has been the devastating impact on the families affected. As it should be.

But soon we will be asking, "Where will we get the resources needed to rebuild Southern California, and to keep it safe?"

As we know, groups like Blackwater are being stretched to the brink by spreading democracy throughout Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans.

Though it was profitable for corporations in New Orleans after Katrina with no-bid, cost-plus deals, The Shock Doctrine, as put forward in Naomi Klein's bestselling book, will not work in California if we do not have the people necessary to implement it.

While the Congressional Budget Office estimates that America could spend $2.4 trillion over the next decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, let us not forget there are still opportunities for politicians and corporations to profit from misery here at home.

Network with your friends, ask your doctor and tell your Congress: Bring our contractors home.

Ged Sandeford

Colorado Springs

Pocket protection
In your recent piece addressing the very nice candidates for District 11 directorships ("D-11: Where from here?" Between the Lines, Oct. 18), you state that none are connected with deep-pocketed backers.

The candidate contribution disclosures contradict that statement. Both Tom Strand and Jan Tanner have accepted contributions from deep-pocketed, out-of-town, gay-rights activist Jared Polis. His agenda has nothing to do with more kids reading and writing at grade level or doing life-appropriate mathematics.

Toby Norton

Colorado Springs

Hard to rebound
I have resided in Colorado Springs since 1982, when I was 10. There was a period of time I was incarcerated, totaling just under seven years. Since being released in October 2002, I have struggled financially.

I have the option of returning to the criminal lifestyle to achieve financial security, but choose to live a noble life for the rest of my time on this earth. Returning to criminal activity is not an option for me, by choice.

I notice a trend with thousands of local companies, which I will refer to as "legal discrimination."

I fully understand the need for pre-employment screening to isolate applicants that have a history of deceptive behavior; yet it seems as though no one is willing to overlook the past (in excess of 11 years for myself) mistakes and choices of individuals who have actually learned from the experience of incarceration and who have not re-offended in any capacity.

I will discharge my parole Feb. 28, and then my plan is to seal my felony record. Perhaps then I will be deemed a worthy candidate for the countless businesses to which I have submitted applications for employment.

Is there not anyone who understands that while people do make self-destructive choices, they are not themselves doomed to remain destroyed? Is there such a thing as equal opportunity employment?

I, along with thousands of others who are struggling, yet doing so willingly rather than commit crime, would be prone to say no! I hope this letter will open a few doors for a few people. Celebrate diversity!

Christopher E. Helton

Colorado Springs

Let's save Darfur
I have heard a lot of people say that they are just trying to survive, and they are not thinking about other people right now. When times are hard, people get very selfish and focus inward. I never could figure out how genocide happens. Complacency?

Peace is possible. Where do you stand on the genocide hotspots in our world? Without certain windows of opportunity for peace, other miracles would never happen. We all can make a difference. We have it really good compared to some. What would you do if these people were a part of your family?

There are people in Darfur dying at an alarming rate from disease, malnutrition and genocide. Over 400,000 people have died, and over 4 million people live in refugee camps. The country is small but the damage far- reaching into Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya and beyond. The Janjaweed have gone into these countries to attack these camps. No one is safe from the killing or the diseases.

Last month Jimmy Carter, 2002 Nobel Peace Price winner, and Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu toured Darfur and reported many problems in the area. At one point they were not allowed in certain areas.

However, in times of peace, NGOs can set up better shelters for people and treat their water supplies.

In Darfur, thousands of people are dying every month from genocide, disease and malnutrition. Living in refugee camps so close together causes the spread of many diseases. We need to help before it is too late. This situation is not too far away. You can do something. You can make a difference. Sign up for the Springs Coalition to Save Darfur.

Cynthia Lang

Colorado Springs


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