Weighty issues

In response to Amy Alkon's column ("Thick and tired of it," Advice Goddess, March 11): Apparently, she has never been overweight. I'm an overweight woman who has lost four dress sizes (from size 18 to 10). I'm now within 15 pounds of my goal weight. I know something about the dynamics of weight gain/loss.

Ask anyone who is or has ever been overweight. They will tell you that tactics like insults, intimidation, degradation, humiliation, etc., are not the secret to weight loss. This only lowers self-esteem, which will no doubt lead to further failure in reaching weight-loss goals.

Many people gain (or lose) weight during serious life events, such as trauma, stress, grief, extreme lifestyle change, etc. There are many other reasons, depending on the individual.

Perhaps the problem Alkon's letter-writer has is living with this emotionally distant, shallow man. It's common for women in poor relationships to overeat/gain weight, and to stay due to low self-esteem.

Obesity is not a character flaw. It is a serious health condition caused by an eating disorder. Obesity is too common in our society, mostly because of easily accessible and affordable fast food, over-processed and junk foods. And obsession with thinness has led to epidemic eating disorders, especially in young women and girls. Yet weight loss is a multi-billion-dollar industry. What a paradox.

I realize that Ms. Alkon's column is meant to be irreverent and humorous. She pokes fun at the human condition, and the weaknesses we all have. But this column was very offensive to many readers. I don't appreciate being referred to as a Fatty Patty or Kate Moose. Or my clothing being compared to a parasail or tent.

Sure, we all have inner beauty, but it appears that Ms. Alkon doesn't.

— Catherine Marshall

Colorado Springs

Supporting Maketa

I'm more than a little disappointed in Pam Zubeck's article on Sheriff Terry Maketa ("Star treatment," cover story, March 11). It was about as far from fair and balanced as you can get.

After seven years on the job, there are bound to be some incidents that will be targets, but nothing at all was said about the good that he has done for this community.

Pam's reputation for hatchet-job reporting is well-deserved, and I thought you and your paper were above that sort of journalism.

— David Vessey

Colorado Springs

Tents and testaments

Since our honorable City Council members have voted to prohibit camping by the homeless on public lands, private lands should be made available. Our fine city is known for its wonderful headquarters of major Christian organizations. Therefore, it is only logical that all of these imitators of Christ allow tents to be set up on the lands surrounding their buildings.

Focus on the Family may not have much, but it has some land. New Life Church has a huge parking area it can open up. The headquarters for the Catholic Church should have a little garden area or green grass it can donate, but the Navigators have the best spot of all! That land goes on for acres and acres back into the woods along a lovely stream to Queen's Canyon, so surely they will allow many to live there.

So let's see how Christian our local church groups are in allowing the homeless access to their private property. They all have restrooms inside their buildings, too; so, that will assist the homeless who were kicked off of public lands to stay cleaner and maybe have a better chance of gaining employment. And isn't that the ultimate goal after all!

Oh, and shame on me ... I forgot The Broadmoor! Lots and lots of private land there for the homeless to camp on. I am sure they would want to pitch in and help out. They're community members, too!

I wonder who will be the first charitable group to donate a few spots of private land to help the unfortunate in our community?

— Jane Madden

Colorado Springs

Picking on Pueblo

Puebloans consider Colorado Springs to be a big fat bully. Colorado Springs will soon start work on a huge pipeline that may dry up the Arkansas River through Pueblo, all in order to facilitate the Springs' ugly growth; Colorado Springs returns that water, in a vastly more polluted state, down Fountain Creek. El Paso County plans to rid itself of a potentially hazardous tire dump by sending the tires to Pueblo to be burned for fuel in a cement plant, creating more pollution. Pueblo's unemployment rate continually exceeds that of Colorado Springs.

In March, Pueblo hosts the Class 2A and Class 1A girls and boys basketball tournaments. It's a big thing for Pueblo, filling hotels and restaurants for a weekend. So what does Ralph Routon recommend ("Our loss is other cities' gain," IndyBlog, March 11)? Why, of course, that Colorado Springs take a run at getting the tournaments moved to Colorado Springs!

Pueblo is a poor town but a generous one. Citizens frequently vote to tax themselves for school bonds and public amenities. Colorado Springs is a rich town but a miserly one. That could not be more evident. Ralph, keep your grabbing, grubby hands off our tournament.

— Gerald Miller


Nothing new

My grandfather came to this community in 1900, so "lo and behold," I may know a little bit about Colorado Springs. As a progressive, liberal, socialist and thinker, I believe Karl Knapstein ("Be happy martyrs," Letters, March 4) and I must be living in a different town together. We seem to only share a silent K.

Colorado Springs has always had economic challenges. Lately, starting with the Bush administration, an alarming number of small and big businesses have been closing like a conservative mind. All over town, for sale, rent or lease signs are growing. Yes, and I, too, have talked to business owners with different results than Karl. They are not "just fine."

So if everything is so great, why is Karl complaining?.

If Karl knew anything about Colorado Springs, he would know we have always steered away from manufacturing. I do not always agree with this stance, but I do have some questions for Karl. Has he noticed where most items are now manufactured? How will he get these industries to come here when others have failed in the past? What exactly is "clean" manufacturing?

The clean industry we have attracted lately is the non-taxpaying religious industry. They tend to lay off workers to support their political agenda. I wish the bad press Karl talks about would have discouraged them from coming here — or was that not some of the riff-raff he was referring to?

By the way, by its charter Colorado Springs Utilities has to charge everyone for water, even the city. Karl, join this millennium. The '50s were just a façade, even in Colorado Springs.

— J.A. Knickerbocker

Colorado Springs

Investment advice

We would like to talk about the money that the community centers save us! The accounting for community centers is very complex and goes far beyond simple colors. The community centers are not staffed by people wanting to make a quick buck. They are not greedy, but are nurturing people who want to help the city. The people who have to use the community centers are thankful that they provide a clean and safe place for children and elderly.

In this city, we are prone to crime. I've read threatening articles about how, without community centers, children will grow up to be criminals. That's a load of crap; being poor or in need does not make people dishonest! The community centers serve children and elderly, not future criminals; these people are not wolves! Wolves separate young and old, weak from the herd. Closing the community centers would make us (the city) wolves.

Predators are real people, and it's easy for them to prey on children and the elderly once they are separated from the community. The cost to react to a crime goes beyond the cost of prevention, but it's easier to point to a graph and justify the cost of crime after the crime has happened. There is no way of declaring an actual cost of crime prevention other than as a loss.

City Council will decide on the price of children and elderly; is it just that they are not cost-effective? Protection is always in the red. We buy batteries for our smoke detectors. The accumulative cost of batteries that the whole city uses each year far exceeds the cost of community centers!

We have to save our community centers. It's simply protection, compassion and an investment in our future as a city.

— Chris and Betty Lucero

Colorado Springs


Stay with Bennet

In watching the contest between Michael Bennet and Andrew Romanoff that will determine who will be our Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, I'm puzzled by one thing.

Bennet is currently serving in the Senate and doing an excellent job. He has shown initiative and strength in working to enact health care reform. He has built solid working relationships within the Senate and with President Obama. He is a solid, intelligent, hard-working man who has come to know the Senate and our federal government well.

Now Andrew Romanoff wants to replace him. I respect our former House speaker but fail to understand why voters would switch horses in the middle of the stream when the horse we're on is doing extremely well.

— Audrey Brodt


Incumbents beware

Sen. Michael Bennet, you tell us that you want to "fix" Washington. You reckon that it's broken. Well, you're right. It is broken, but you can't fix it. Our elected representatives are so wrapped up in their own agendas that their constituents are the furthest things from their minds. They are only interested in themselves, their friends and partisan politics.

With the exception of President Obama, I have seen absolutely no evidence of my elected leaders' concern for the American citizens' well-being. Most seem only to be concerned with blocking anything Obama proposes. Whether or not his proposals will improve the lot of the average citizen is immaterial.

For that reason, the only ones who can "fix" Washington are the American voters, and I can assure you that is exactly what we intend to do. While the rest of us struggle to make ends meet, Congress votes itself outrageous raises while telling us that we can't have a minuscule cost-of-living raise.

Our elected representatives have forgotten for whom they work, but beginning in November they are going to start getting reminders as they are voted out of office and replaced. Should their replacements start having memory problems, they'll shortly suffer the same fate.

By the way, I'm a registered independent! I vote for the candidate, not a political party.

— Bill Evans

Colorado Springs

Ignorant leaders

In response to Ralph Routon ("Time for new beginnings," Between the Lines, Feb. 11): You, the City Council, John Hazlehurst, et al. have one recurring, idiotic theme: The voters are ignorant, ignorant, ignorant.

The citizens, Mr. Routon, are not ignorant, not even in your supermarket example; they are scared, and rightfully so. They know intuitively that for the most part their good jobs and good earnings are gone, possibly forever. They see that City Council/EDC has been able attract only a handful of companies since the telecom boom of the early '90s fled to Asia. They see massive debt looming ahead that can only lead to much higher taxes, not only at the federal level, but also the huge PERA deficit that covers future city retirements.

They might support a tax increase, Mr. Routon, but they fear the Council will hand more millions to the USOC or other boondoggles. The voters see the pro-tax and anti-business stance of the Obama administration, the pro-tax City Council, and the pro-tax state Legislature, and know darn well that nobody would launch a business or create one job in the current economic environment.

The voters/citizens know we have to cut until we get to a zero-baseline budget. It is unfortunate that services as you describe have to be cut, but the real problem began when the city exceeded its charter and got in the "lifestyle" business. Surely community groups will form to take over these centers; a private-sector solution always arises once the government flops.

The citizens are not ignorant, Mr. Routon, it is our leaders on all levels of government who are ignorant, not to mention those who are in bed with them, including the media.

— Michael Lowery

Colorado Springs

Corries' cause

Just like Anne Frank became of symbol of suffering under the Nazis for Jewish people, Rachel Corrie has become a symbol of suffering for the Palestinians under the brutal, 43-year-old Israeli occupation.

Corrie was 23 when she arrived in the Gaza Strip in 2003 as part of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Corrie was crushed to death on March 16, 2003, by a bulldozer operated by the Israel Defense Forces while she was seeking to defend the home of a Palestinian pharmacist from demolition.

Rachel studied Gandhi and Martin Luther King and wrote to her mother from Gaza: "The vast majority of Palestinians right now are engaged in Gandhian nonviolent resistance." She added, "I am amazed at the ability the Palestinian people have to hold onto their humanity as much as they have."

Seven years after her death, her parents Craig and Cindy are in a civil court trial in Israel in the hopes that the Israeli military is found liable for Rachel's death and that the case challenges what they consider a policy of impunity toward Israeli soldiers.

As a mother of Palestinian origin, I pray the Corries receive the justice they so desperately seek.

— Grace Yenne

Colorado Springs

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