Un-rapid transit

Today I had to bus it from South Circle and Janitell, by Harrison High School, to the King Soopers on Hancock and South Academy, a round trip of approximately 6 miles. The round trip took three hours — and four separate bus rides: the No. 15, the No. 1, the No. 25 and the No. 15.

I took public transportation since kindergarten in New Jersey, plus PATH trains and subways; I lived in Germany for three years and took public transportation there and throughout Europe; I've traveled extensively in Mexico by bus.

I truly support public transportation! This town, however, is a joke, and the bus service is a spit in the face to any poor soul who needs to take a bus and get there within two hours. There is not even any public transportation to the Colorado Springs airport!

Third World countries really and truly do better than this.

I asked one bus driver who was responsible for the willy-nilly bus routes, and he said, "Lionel Rivera." I had to laugh that he could not name someone in charge of the Springs' "rapid" transit system. There should be a slogan for the bus system: "Getting you there in 90 minutes or more."

— Bernadette Young

Colorado Springs

Water weight

A little over a century ago, a homesteader struggled across the Colorado plains in search of a new home. He came to a beautiful grassland within sight of Pikes Peak, and built a sod house in the center of his homestead, facing west. When his wife and children joined him a year later, he had most of his new home ready for them.

That summer had been exceptionally dry, so he set up a winch and started to dig a well. He dug and dug; summer turned into winter and summer again; but he kept digging. So tired, he went down into the hole every free moment to dig out a bit more before nightfall. The pile of dirt to the east of the well grew into a small hill. Finally, he hit water; cool refreshing water in abundance, and could rest.

By the winter, he and his family had pulled up stakes and moved to the new town of Colorado Springs because they grew tired of pulling the bucket up the 2,200 feet in elevation every time they got thirsty.

Moral: Water is heavy when you have to lift it 2,200 feet every time you get thirsty. (Pueblo Reservoir's elevation is about 4,831 feet; northeast Colorado Springs is about 7,029 feet.)

— David Barton Johnson


Palin's poppycock

Mrs. P. got caught making up her own word. So what? The youngsters are all loosey-goosey with everything these days anyway. Do presidential candidates really need a mastery of the English language? Go look at the history.

Why even bother sending kids to school? Give them an iPod iPad iPooped computer phone machine thing and let them learn the language by texting their equally illiterate BFFs and surfing the grammarless Web where spell-checkers are mythical vaporware. Who needs wurds anyway, IMHO. LOL. K?

Look at all the pretty red lines! Oops! Gotta go! My spell-checker just had a heart attack...

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

No to Christo

I had reservations concerning the Over the River "art" project, but a sketch in Sunday's Gazette crystallized my thoughts.

The sketch clarified my concern over the claustrophobic effect of the fabric roof upon those under it, as well as the exclusion of the river's natural beauty from the sight of those, such as I, outside it who marvel at the sight of a river flowing with such untrammeled freedom. It is the constancy of natural conditions that affects those who experience it and the inconstancy of man that causes him to respect what nature presents.

How does the draping of man-made fabric over man-made metal supports surpass or even enhance what already exists? How does imposing a man-made roof over the natural flow of the river and removing its natural open-air mountain presence from view, constitute "art"?

— Albert M. Lerner

Woodland Park

Too much drama

I am writing to correct the Independent's July 8 news article, "Finding a Penny."

It states that I had my attorney send a letter to the city claiming I was forced out, demanding severance pay. This statement is not correct. I did not authorize any attorney to send a letter to the city nor did my attorney send a letter to the city — much less a letter demanding severance pay.

The online headline ("Former city manager suggests there's lots to say about her tenure") suggested there are "secrets" I'm going to expose. When I left the city I stated that I would be writing and starting a public speaking business. The suggestion that I am writing to expose secrets or cast aspersions on elected officials is incorrect and I did not make this statement.

I did acknowledge to the reporter there is plenty to write about since moving to Colorado Springs; however, my book is not an exposé about the city. While allowing the impression to stand as stated in your article may be good for future book sales, it would not be fair or honest to allow it to remain unaddressed.

Please honor my request to set the record straight.

— Penelope Culbreth-Graft

Colorado Springs

Terrible ending

I feel the need to share this information in hopes that it might help stop this from happening again. My brother who lives out past Calhan called my mom to tell her what had happened to his arthritic, 15-year-old border collie. Apparently she had crawled beneath his car to escape the hot sun. When he pulled away, his low-riding car trapped her and he had to jack up the car to get her out. She was either injured or frightened but seemed unable to move on her own, so my brother moved her to a shady spot and got her some water.

He didn't take her to a veterinarian, but that evening he was pretty sure the car had damaged her hips. He and a friend had talked to several people and they came up with a plan to euthanize the dog themselves, using carbon monoxide to end the dog's life — and the poor, frightened and injured dog had been enclosed in the hot garage with the car turned on for more than 90 minutes, but was still alive. At some point he had the friend take the dog and shoot her.

What a horrific way to end a wonderful and loyal friend's life! The thought of all this haunts me — I always believed my brother to be a real animal lover and I can't even comprehend how this happened! I love my dogs so much — this has broken my heart.

I hope this letter can convince owners to take their pets to a vet or the local Humane Society to have them put to sleep quickly and painlessly. Some vets will even come to your place if it's hard for you or the animal to go there. Please, consider the animals who look to us to do the right thing!

— Elaine M. Wind

Colorado Springs


Spice advice

Regarding your cover story ("Incense nonsense," July 22), this is yet another example of the harms caused by prohibition of a relatively benign substance, cannabis. Because the safer alternative is illegal, people are using more dangerous drugs. Prohibition creates crime and increases the risks our children face, both from substances like this and from black-market drug dealers who sell to anyone with the cash.

Re-legalize and regulate to save our children, now.

— Dave Lane

Santa Cruz, Calif.

Public ignorance

Polls show President Obama's approval rate at 44 percent, with 48 percent disapproving, and 39 percent of Americans preferring any unnamed Republican over Obama.

Pundits say jobs are the main issue, but Republicans are the ones who stand in the way of unemployment benefits, saying they're too costly, unlike foreign military occupations, which they readily finance.

A minority of liberals say jobs are a major, but not the most fundamental, issue — human rights are. They remember, since they tend to read and think a lot, that when we opposed the Soviets in the Cold War, jobs were plentiful in the Soviet Union, but human rights were not. That's why we brought down the Iron Curtain — over assassinations, rendition, torture, detentions, not lower taxes.

Recently in this country, many Americans polled said they were willing to give up some of their human rights for Soviet-like security. Americans also fear their federal government, accusing it of "over-reaching" into the states' and people's business, spending too much on social services (like jobs)!

But now the government is criticized for "not doing enough" about the Gulf oil spill by conservative governors. College students and other thinking people can easily see the flaws of logic and critical thinking in our voters today. Americans, history's most educated population, remain grossly ignorant when it comes to participating in democratic constitutional government.

As a professor emeritus in the Colorado community college system, I believe a course in Political Science 101 should be a basic requirement.

— Bill Durland

Colorado Springs

On free press

Daniel Davis of La Junta ("Maes and the media," Letters, July 22) refers to "the free press" as "a right granted by God, not government..."

Huh. I thought a free press was referred to in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, not in the Gospels.

I once saw a parody video of a Tea Partier complaining that "When Jesus wrote the Constitution, this was just the kind of thing he had in mind." Seemed pretty funny at the time.

— Richard Brandt

Colorado Springs

Problem? Try a poem

Thanks to Sam Kovarik ("'Facts' aren't enough," Your Turn, July 15) for schooling me on the true danger of facts in response to Michael Kuiper's letter ("Let's tone it down," June 10). I hadn't realized how tricky facts were outside journalists' hands.

As Mr. Kovarik explained, even physicists, who should know better, might be tempted to say that within a Newtonian frame of reference, simplistic physics facts we think we know should work just fine. Only a journalist can be trusted to have a list of experts to speak to the other side.

I see the error of my ways now. Science and even history classes have tainted me with the reductionist "dark side." Now, when I'm concerned about the economy, or an ecological disaster, or a potential leak in my gas stove, I won't be led astray and seek to understand the facts. I'll call an English major for help with my metaphors, write a poem about how I feel about it and send it to Michael Kuiper.

— Nethery Wylie

Colorado Springs

Bruce the recluse

In order to avoid the Process Server

Doug Bruce made himself scarce with a fervor.

It seems Mr. Bruce is decidedly loathe

To discuss his ballot activities when he is under oath.

While Mr. Bruce has this shtick about being picked on a lot,

That constant whine is belied by the fact that a victim he is not.

For someone who sues so often with abound

It is humorous to watch when it's all turned around.

Dare we suggest some thoughts he might keep

Some advice from on high "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."

But consider the benefits both far and near,

That we can enjoy when Doug is not here.

We will be spared one who is insulting and crude,

Offending, uncivil, discourteous and rude.

Civilized society will be the winner without doubt,

Each time Doug Bruce finds it necessary to hide out.

— Marvin Strait

Colorado Springs

My buddy Valentine

In response to CannaBiz, "Don't be my Valentine," July 15: So, Heather Witting, you believe it's OK to advertise payday loans, plasma clinics and pawn brokers but not a legitimate jeweler who gives customers an education and a fair price for their gold and jewelry?

I don't know how you pay your bills or pay for your medications, but quite a few people I know have to decide what they can give up to make up for a shortfall between their income and how to pay their bills.

Have you ever even met Judith Valentine? I have been one of her customers for years. I have purchased jewelry from her and sold gold and jewelry to her. She has always been informative and fair.

In my opinion, it is far better to sell your old gold and jewelry than to get a payday loan to cover the cost of medicine — no matter what the medication is.

— Pamela Koscumb

Colorado Springs

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