Worth the expense

I met a young man, a husband and father of two, who moved here a few months ago pursuing his career as a skateboard industry consultant (whatever that means). Our conversation turned to the skateboard park in Memorial Park, to which he exclaimed the fact that it might be one of the top four parks in the world and nobody knows about it! He only found out about it because he drove by one day.

The park is always being used by 100 or so young people at any given moment, as I see it, and I do not recall hearing a single negative thing since it was built by the people of Colorado Springs. The respect and dignity afforded by these young people toward the park, a $1 million investment toward our youth and also our infrastructure, shows us all how and why tax money should be spent. Investing in young people has the highest return on investment.

— Karl Knapstein



Basic economics

While reading Mr. Tim Canon's letter ("Summer school, part 2," Aug. 5) about how a college professor needs to educate himself, I couldn't wait to see the writer's credentials at the end of the "story." So I read through the tired conservative rantings of how people on unemployment are lazy and that by helping them we are just "allowing them to keep on being lazy."

And then when I was done... nothing. No economics degree. No professor of economics. Nothing. So how does Mr. Canon come up with his brilliant economic facts and formulas proving that helping the unemployed causes these masses of the "lazy people" to laugh and catch up on some more TV? Any graphs or charts we can look at? Can we please have some facts to prove your assertions instead of the talking points we have all heard over and over?

It is typical for the right to "disprove" the facts by making stuff up and claiming them to be the "real" facts. Remember weapons of mass destruction? Remember death panels? OK, Mr. Canon, if your facts are coming from Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, etc., you should not try to disseminate said information as factual. (Whisper... it really makes conservatives look silly and makes us really want you guys to take that Econ 101 class you were suggesting the professor take. Please?)

And by the way, assisting the unemployed creates $1.60 for every dollar spent by the government. Your tax breaks for the top 2 percent create 30 cents for every dollar spent on borrowed money. This is because when the unemployed get a dollar, they spend it. When the rich get a dollar, they invest or save it. Tah dah! Those are the facts, from someone with a master's in economic development.

— Edward Smith

Colorado Springs


Degrees of separation

I agree with Bill Durland's suggestion ("Public ignorance," Letters, July 29) that education should be a path to a vibrant democracy. With that in mind, I was surprised at his contention that Americans are history's most educated populace. I checked that fact and found that, indeed, Americans have an average of 12 years of formal education, which ranks first in the world.

America also ranks high (No. 2) in proportion of populace with some post-high school education: 37 percent behind Canada's 42. Freakin' scary!

Look at the idiotic mess that constitutes our present political situation. It seems that education isn't enough to save us. HELP!

— John Chavis

Colorado Springs

Meat of the matter

Gawrsh's sakes! All this yellin' and hollerin' 'bout people's readin' and writin' skills sho' don't make no sense to meself. Ain't nobody got the same fingerprints, DNA, and guess what else? Ain't nobody read nor write 'sactly the same, and they ain't gonna be interpretin' what they be readin' all the same.

A while back, some fella was opinin' and whinin' that some folk ain't use words rightfully like somebody done compared ex-President Georgie W. Bush to a "Nazi" or some such horsechucks and stuffs like it. And then some other fella opined and whined 'bout a word called "metphore" and how some folks use metphores in lots of letters.

I ain't as learnt as some of ya'll, but I got right to send me own letter and if 'em editors publish this letter, I'd be plum delighted. And if they don't, I ain't gonna cry none.

I wanna be gettin' the meat here of the matter: them big words some folk been using with peachy abuse. They be tryin' to sound smart and schooled 'cos they use some word from some Internet dick-shun-airy or academic book. But I inform you that big words mean small audiences — that be a fact. Size matters, don't it?

I am deaf and I ain't knowed that "hyperbole" sounded more like "hyper-bulee" as in some fine and fancy crème brûlées. Course, most reasonable folk already know Georgie W. ain't no "Nazi" but when somebody use that word I just chuckle up a shake of me head and move on.

Now, I may be deaf but I sho' ain't dumb, and I ain't gotta use none of 'em big old words to make a point, neither. I got a mighty fine question to ask: Do all ya'll talk 'sactly the way all ya'll write?

— Joshua Dawson

Manitou Springs

Blinded by science

In response to Nethery Wylie ("Problem? Try a poem," Letters, July 29): While the science of leaking gas pipes has made great leaps and bounds in recent years, the field still lacks a theoretical framework to make it a truly cohesive scientific paradigm. I would suggest you call a repairman; While he may lack the extensive training in fluid dynamics and metallurgy your standards demand, he could probably fix the problem.

As for understanding the economy, I suggest Machiavelli's The Prince, but be sure to brush up on your historical (henceforth to be known as "scientifical") knowledge of Renaissance Italy, as a scientifical context would be useful in understanding this seminal work.

Ecological concerns can be forwarded to British Petroleum. They have lots of scientists on staff to give you the many facts about the millions of gallons of oil that gushed into the ocean, provided you're not a journalist.

To sum up, I'm not criticizing science as an epistemology, but science as a belief system. Before you start penning poems, or just vitriolic, semi-coherent screeds, I suggest you have that English major help you with your reading comprehension. Now recite five Periodic Tables and ten Our Amino Acids and be purged of your sins, my child.

— Sam Kovarik

Colorado Springs

All about ego

The sky is beautiful, the canyon is beautiful, the river is beautiful. This natural beauty of the Arkansas River between Cañon City and Salida should be cherished and preserved. The proposed intrusion of Christo's curtains as "art" can be regarded primarily as an extremely destructive, visual vulgarity imposed on the public in order to satisfy an individual artist's ego.

Let's all say "No!" to Christo. He went out of date 40 years ago.

— Robert Hench


Ignoring other 'art'

Living beyond Salida, I am a frequent traveler through Big Horn Sheep Canyon. I must admit to being somewhat ambivalent about Christo's Over the River proposal, but I am taken aback by the outright hostility toward the man and his project, especially when I think about the current installation that I call Along the River.

Along the River is an "installation" consisting of miles, (yes, miles) of hundreds of unused, mostly rusting, and apparently abandoned, railroad cars coupled in what amounts to a profound "expression" of what can only be described as a lengthy junkyard. Tonnage-wise it is an immense project, has endured several years, and is still there now for all of us to enjoy.

One is inspired to imagine the lubricating oil and hydraulic fluids leaking into your letter-writers' precious river.

Imagine the pleasure of watching the big horn sheep (the canyon's namesake) belly-crawling under or scrambling over the empty ore cars to reach the river for water. Wonder at their graffiti decorations. Marvel at the seamless consistency of rust and wheels.

And imagine trying to understand why Christo's proposal reaps such detestation while the corporate ore car installation Along the River never had to consider any inconvenience such as an environmental impact statement.

I guess it's OK for corporations to piss all over the precious canyon. But when it comes to those "so-called artists," well, they gotta be stopped.

— Riff Fenton


Under the bus

In response to Bernadette Young's letter ("Un-rapid transit," July 29) about the inefficiency of Mountain Metropolitan Transit, this is nothing new. Incompetence has ruled for years. A system of buses running on an east-west and north-south system would be much more efficient and eliminate going downtown to switch buses. But that's not the way we have always done it!

PPRTA was supposed to improve the system, but with the same old people (good ol' boys) in charge, nothing will ever change. By the way, the transit office is at 1015 Transit Drive (Fountain and Hancock).

— Jim Gosse

Colorado Springs

Look harder

I read the letter from Chris Helton ("Misery for ex-cons," Aug. 5) about his plight of not being able to find work. We have spent seven years taking religious services to inmates within the federal facility in Florence, with the last five of those seven years at the Territorial facility in Cañon City. I understand the hurdles facing those who have a felony record.

Recently I met a man who moved here from Arizona. He had spent many years in and out of prison, but wanted to make a clean break. He became clean-shaven with a short haircut and began attending church each Sunday. He doesn't smoke, drink alcohol or use anything illegal. He attends an addiction modification class each week.

Within a month, he had a decent paying job with a construction equipment company. It helped that he had some previous experience driving heavy equipment. He goes to work every day, works hard, and has a smile on his face when we see him each Sunday in church.

Maybe Mr. Helton needs to look within himself. How does he present himself? His letter sounds like an angry person with a chip on his shoulder. How does his résumé look? As a retired human resources person, I know all these things matter, especially in our tight labor market.

No job should be too demeaning. Anyone starting over should take any job to get started. It is much easier to find a better job when you already have a job. Never quit a job until you secure the next job! Companies look for stability. Big gaps between jobs cause employers to pass on a person along with a poor personal presentation.

— Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

November thoughts

Someone asked who I liked for governor, and I realized I didn't have a good answer. Propositions 60, 61 and 101 ("Yes or no DUH!" News, July 15) are so huge and will change things so much that I can't even try to decide until I know what happens with them. It's like Tokyorado, and Dougzilla's still out there under the ocean, hiding, and he could rise up in November and stomp down the state! AHHHH!

If 60, 61 and 101 pass, I'd vote all Republican. They preach "less," taxes and government, and we'll definitely have a lot less of everything, so they should be better equipped to handle the situation and they'd deserve it more. But if the army of voters defeat Dougzilla and spare Tokyorado, then I could open up and look at all the candidates and make an educated and informed decision.

But I can't know that until after the vote. Can we have two November elections, please? One to decide 60, 61 and 101, and the next a few days later to decide who gets to run what's left? If the three pass, the smart candidates will drop out, so at least we'll know to vote for them if we can still afford elections in the future.

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

New plate choices

Wednesday, one of the bills I sponsored this year in the Colorado House of Representatives took effect. This new law in particular is special to me, because it is meant to honor Colorado's brave veterans in a lasting and meaningful way.

The new law will create two special license plates identifying a vehicle's owner as a veteran of the Afghanistan or Iraq war. Fort Carson deploys anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 troops to Iraq and Afghanistan at any one time, so it is my hope this new law will be taken advantage of by the many veterans who live in Colorado Springs and across the state.

The license plates will be ready for purchase at your local DMV at the beginning of next year.

Our returning veterans deserve the opportunity to be recognized for their sacrifices and to know how much Colorado appreciates their service.

— State Rep. Dennis Apuan

House District 17

Colorado Springs


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