Peace prevails

In response to "Apuan-Roupe battle won't die" (Noted, March 12), it seems to me that it has. The battle is over; Dennis won.

I appreciate Rep. Apuan's so-called "anti-war past." But knowing Dennis and having worked with him over six years, it would better be described as a "pro-peace presence." My wife, Genie, Dennis and I have worked for Christian Peacemaker Teams overseas. Dennis is nonviolent to the core in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr., David Thoreau and Csar Chvez.

While Apuan is doing good work representing us, his former opponent is trying to make capital over her opinion that "civil disobedience" leads to "violent behavior." History and Dennis have proved otherwise. By the way, Dennis has hidden nothing of his past courageous acts of conscience, as Roupe claims. In fact, thank God, it's all out there, as media have recognized.

When a dozen of us served as lonely legislators in a segregationist Virginia state Legislature years ago, we more than welcomed nonviolent direct action, complementing legislation and court rulings bringing segregation to an end. As a veteran, reserve JAG officer, former legislator and attorney who has represented fine young people and their spouses over many years at Fort Carson, I find it a relief to have a principled politician from Colorado Springs in Denver.

Bill Durland

Colorado Springs

Sowing hope

Business as usual. That is what the Independent supported by not endorsing Dave Gardner as our next city councilor from District 3 (Recommendations, March 12). The rationalizations used to recommend his opponent do little to impress those of us who want our representatives to work for change that brings prosperity without giant reductions in services, change that keeps our parks intact, our enterprises strong and our local businesses thriving. All this can be our future if we consider alternatives supported by Mr. Gardner, such as sustainable growth and no corporate incentives.

It seems clear that although our city leaders are well-meaning, intelligent people, without an individual among them who will work toward drastic change, true prosperity for our wonderful city will not be realized. Dave Gardner is our only hope in District 3 to lead such an effort.

Jill Gaebler

Colorado Springs

Backing Gardner

I'd take some issue with your breakdown regarding the Jerry Heimlicher-Dave Gardner race for District 3 on the City Council. First off, why support a pro-growth candidate just for the sake of growth? Heimlicher can't show me how our growth pays for itself, nor how it really benefits people in this community. We couldn't afford government before the economy tanked; now we are really facing dire conditions.

In fact, Heimlicher can't prove anything to me because he won't answer questions I've put to him via e-mail. I therefore don't agree with your assessment that he is approachable.

Heimlicher states we've "cut to the bone" in regard to the city budget. I don't think so. How about $320,000 to special events this past year? How about $550,000 for a free shuttle running up and down Tejon, often virtually empty? How about the waste in Utilities, a publicly owned endeavor?

Why are we not taking care of the essentials at all times instead of getting rich and believing we can do all for everyone? Heimlicher seems pretty embedded in the real-estate lobby pocket. He hasn't done much to improve the quality of life here that I see. In fact, his pro-growth bent has made this community much less desirable, to be honest.

He's stated that we need to rebuild trust in government, but as the incumbent, isn't he responsible in part for creating the distrust in the first place?

The above is why Dave Gardner will get my vote this upcoming election.

Pete Nichols

Colorado Springs

Aargh to AIG

We must be crazy or at least asleep. How can it possibly be justifiable to give AIG something in the neighborhood of $170 billion of our tax dollars for a bailout and then learn AIG is rewarding executives, who created the trouble, bonuses totaling about $165 million?

Those of us who pay taxes carry everyone on our backs: Those wealthy enough to hire accountants who use loopholes or shelters to avoid contributing to our tax base, and those without any resources who contribute minimally as well.

The mess in Washington has been a long time coming. The two-party system is not functioning for the benefit of the majority. What could we do?

Start by not allowing lawmakers to give themselves raises. Second, limit terms in office. One term is plenty so they don't get so cozy and rob us blind. Make them accountable. If you can't balance a budget, get lost.

Since they cannot agree on health care, they should not receive the very best coverage and policies paid for by us until a time comes when we all have some type of coverage.

Robert Salazar

Colorado Springs

Brain drain

Where are the jobs? This is a question that the young people in our community will be asking as they leave school and enter the workforce. As things currently stand, many, if not most, of the college graduates will need to move from this community that they call home and head out in search of a job that meet the skills they have gained in school. This phenomenon is known as out-migration or by the common term "brain drain."

Brain drain is when our young and other educated workers leave our community due to lack of opportunity. Many would like to stay here, since they have family or other ties to our fine community. When they leave, they take with them the vibrancy of new ideas, the excitement of the future and a connection to our city that is hard to reacquire once they have left.

I graduated from Liberty High School in 1991 and it took me 13 years to return home, via jobs in Los Angeles and Denver. It was not due to lack of trying, but lack of opportunity!

The good news is that brain drain is curable. You will have the chance to reverse this trend that is afflicting our community by voting yes to the JOBS measure.

So join me and others in this community and support Issue 1A JOBS on your mail ballot.

Marc D. Towne

Castle Pines

Hope for jobs

I own Cachet Basket Co., a gift-basket company that I have been growing over the past 19 years. We support the local economy by using exclusively Colorado-made products. We make and design welcome and congratulatory baskets to celebrate special days in people's lives, but my bread and butter comes from corporate gift exchange.

My business is best when there is an active real-estate market and new business start-ups, and when optimism vs. fear reigns. As you can guess, business is not that good right now.

My small business, like many others I know, needs our community to grow economically. We need to find ways to bring in businesses and help local businesses grow, so they can provide more opportunities to the people of Colorado Springs and our entire community. Issue 1A: Jobs is a good way to get that going, or at least I hope it will be. Like other small businesses, I rely on bigger companies for many of my sales. But since there have been fewer new businesses coming to town and local businesses have been laying people off, my business has suffered. We need help.

The Jobs measure should help me and other owners like me. New businesses mean new opportunities and with them renewed hope. This vitality helps those of us who want to stay in business. I was a company of three but now it is just me trying to stay open while I take on part-time work elsewhere.

If we can find tools to bring new business, new jobs and help existing local companies, then I say, "Let's get started."

Beth Alexander

Colorado Springs

Getting hosed

The city is wasting money. For an emergency medical response, two groups respond. First the fire department, and within a few minutes, the regular EMT people. The city could save hundreds of thousands each year by eliminating the fire response. Why send out at least two firemen earning over $60,000 each per year and a truck costing upward of $500,000? It is so wasteful to wear out expensive fire trucks and have extra people on the payroll in order that four humans respond to a person in need.

I would never vote for a tax increase as long as the city wastes money in this manner.

Spencer Johnston

Colorado Springs

Happy family

In regard to "Kim's chi" (Appetite, March 12) by Matthew Schniper, I am the eldest daughter of Mr. Kwi Kim and wanted to give a huge "hurrah" and warm "thank you" for that article. Upon reading it online, I was beaming with joy.

Thank you for recognizing my father's efforts. I appreciate your recognition for his passion for cooking as well as pleasing his customers. He's worked so hard in building businesses by hand and creating recipes from scratch. His biggest accomplishment and pleasure are making others happy.

Again, good work for a beautiful, humbling piece!

Kyung Kim

Beaverton, Ore.

Parade nightmare

I have lived here since I was 5, and I'm now 56. Since I'm Irish and used to play in a bagpipe band, I went to the St. Patrick's Day parade.

Things were very pleasant. Several parade volunteers were keeping people out of the street. I clapped for the horse groups, Irish dancers and some cars. I listened to the cheering for conservative organizations, and then next-to-last came the Justice and Peace group, followed by the belly dancers and drum-circle people.

I jumped up and down, clapped and cheered to show my support, risky in this town. A parade volunteer came over and stood in front of me, blocking me from viewing the peace group. He questioned why I would support them, and called them cowards and more. I told him I could support whomever I wanted and asked him to step aside. He would not move, and continued ripping on the belly dancers and drum-circle group, making fun of them and ridiculing me all the while.

He never did get out of my face and I finally had to go. This kind of treatment has happened to me all my life in this town. I've left several jobs because of this kind of abuse. I would never fight back until now.

My family and I are liberal and proud of it. I can't help but think, if I'd had a man with me, this idiot would have thought twice before acting that way and pushing his slanted view on me. I was verbally harassed and my First Amendment rights were taken away.

I've tried to contact the parade committee three times with no response. Why am I not surprised?

Charlotte Sprague

Manitou Springs


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