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Expect more from TV

In times of distress the local TV stations have always provided excellent coverage. However, it does not include the entire community.

The Waldo Canyon fire has affected thousands of citizens in El Paso County, however many have no idea what exactly is happening. None of the news coverage, with the exception of their regular programming at 5 p.m., was closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. The news also suggested people listen to the radio or download the radio they offer on smart phones.

This also excludes deaf and hard-of- hearing people. They have to rely on word of mouth, which is dangerous in this situation. After the fire dies down, the local media have to re-evaluate their process and find a way to include these who are currently "out of the loop" — these people deserve better.

They deserve to get the same alerts and news as everyone else at the same time. If captions are expensive to do at a local media level, they can hire a sign language interpreter and put it on the bottom of the screen like they used to do. I expect better from my local media and so should you.

— Howie Kent

Colorado Springs


Alternating coverage?

Would it be possible for our several local TV broadcasting stations to rotate coverage of big events such as our Waldo Canyon fire?

By that I mean, only one station would cover the event. The other stations would continue their normal broadcasting. Out of courtesy, they could scroll the station that is carrying the event. It is mind-boggling to listen to the same information over and over from all the stations and wonder what is happening in the rest of the world.

— John S. Wixson

Colorado Springs

Sticker shock

Yesterday, when I returned to the trailhead from a hike in Cheyenne Cañon, someone had pulled the Obama sticker off my car. It was on the back window along with my Vietnam service ribbon decal. It was done, I imagine, by a conservative who rails about the sanctity of the Constitution but doesn't want me to exercise my First Amendment rights.

My experience was minor compared to that of state Rep. Lisa Brown of Michigan. She was banned from speaking on the House floor because she dared to use the word "vagina" during a debate on an anti-abortion bill.

Apparently the (male) Republican leadership did not want to hear from a woman regarding the misogynous legislation under discussion.

In Florida the Republicans under Gov. Rick Scott have decided to purge their voter rolls. Why? They want to make it more difficult for voters who are likely to cast progressive votes. No use having those pesky folks exercising their rights. Closer to home, we recently saw Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty block a vote on rights for same-sex couples.

It makes you wonder. What has the GOP become? What are Republicans afraid of? Why don't they want the majority to speak up or vote?

— Ed Brady

Colorado Springs

Political road rage

A few weeks ago I was driving down North Nevada Avenue when a pickup truck started to honk at me, then proceeded to cut in front of me.

I naturally thought I must have done something to anger the three young men in the truck, but couldn't think of anything I did. As they passed me I saw a handmade sign stating "Obama ain't no American." Then I realized they were expressing their disapproval of my Obama 2012 bumper sticker.

The message I would like to leave for these young men is I hope their prejudices don't get in the way of what is at stake in this national election.

Whatever they think of our president, they should get themselves educated on what the Republicans want to bring to the table.

Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan has proposed cuts to almost all forms of aid in education, health care, Social Security, unemployment insurance and food stamps, to name a few, in favor of yet more tax breaks for the most wealthy while increasing taxes on the middle class.

I am certainly not suggesting these three young men did not benefit from the free education this country provides, nor am I suggesting they are on any form of welfare, but how will they deal with private education and no government benefits if they should lose their jobs or get old?

This election is about big money and big money is going to pull out all the stops to buy this election, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United. Citizens United is by the wealthy for the wealthy, and those folks don't seem to care about the rest of us.

If people don't like big government (which I call democracy) wait until we are all ruled by the major corporations.

— Elaine Brush

Colorado Springs

Kudos for fairness

Thanks to the Independent for "Challenge for United Way" (Between the Lines, June 13).

There's something to be said for a sense of loyalty. Thank you for being there for people who have no voice. Your sense of fairness, and stewardship, is a credit to this community.

— Craig Severa

Colorado Springs

Misplaced priorities

I read a comment by Tim Davis of Manitou Springs ("Accent marked," Letters, June 6) concerning the "spelling and linguistic" errors in several local restaurants. My first thought was that Mr. Davis was being humorous, but as I read on I realized that he was serious.

I don't know about you, but the first thing I think about when eating in a Mexican restaurant is not the "spelling and linguistic" makeup of the menu or the signage.

Seriously, Mr. Davis? You may have taught Spanish for 35 years, but I'm wondering who your students were. I don't think they were the immigrants who come here to work, to take English classes if there is any time left over, and to send most of their money back to their relatives in their native countries.

I don't think you were working with students from Mexico or Colombia, for example, who have come to our country with a (if they are lucky) third- or fourth-grade education. They are often individuals who work 10-16 hours a day living the American Dream.

I have taught English to these immigrants for more years than I can count, and I would like to advise Mr. Davis to pay attention to the food ... not the spelling and grammar that he finds so offensive. Take some time to get to know local restaurant owners and workers and perhaps gain a little insight into their backgrounds and struggles.

My suggestion to you is to stop eating at restaurants that offend you with their "spelling and linguistic" errors and eat where you can feel comfortable with the use of the English language.

After all, why do we go out to eat in the first place? Oh, of course, it's to correct the English displayed on the menus and signage!

— Paula Shafe

Colorado Springs

A bridge too far

Holy cow! The Gazette has jumped into bed with Obama over changes in illegal immigration laws. Better yet, Obama is making his own laws by bypassing Congress.

In a recent editorial, the editorial board or maybe just Wayne [Laugesen, editorial page editor], supported an amnesty-like system for illegal young people, if their parents brought them to the United States.

Our education, medical and welfare systems are being deluged with providing benefits to millions of illegal people.

Why add more of a burden?

Virtually all our ancestors came to America from another country. Up until the last 50 years or so, most went through the proper procedures to become citizens.

Because of politics, Obama is doing everything possible to curry favor with illegal voters. The government is making sure there is not a process in which voters must prove their citizenship, which is required to be a legal voter.

Now the local paper has decided to join the chorus. "It's the fair thing to do."

What about all our struggling honest legal citizens? Who is giving them special consideration for food, shelter and education? Our entire social system is near the collapsing point! Why do we keep adding more and more strain on the limited resources within our country?

What a mess we are in because nobody has the courage to say no!

— Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

Mega bad decision

Wommack Ministries has been approved by Woodland Park City Council, with open arms, to build a mega religious complex which will be three times the size of Wal-Mart ("Mixed blessings," Nov. 10, 2011).

Wommack Ministries, a non-accredited Bible college, is a tax-exempt religious entity that will change the face of the community and provide little economic return. As a matter of fact, WP taxes will have to be raised in order to support additional emergency services.

Wommack's own studies have shown that 80 percent of the new jobs will come from outside Teller County. Ninety percent of the students will either commute from Colorado Springs or live in student housing on the complex.

The WP Planning Commission has pushed this as the best thing since sliced bread and claim that there will be minimal impact. Let me say it again, this complex will be three times the size of Wal-Mart.

The population of Woodland Park will increase by 1,500 within the next two years and when the complex is completed, it will increase to over 3,000. Special events at the complex will increase by another 2,500.

City Council described this as a win-win project for WP. The city is ignoring the impact from light pollution, noise pollution, traffic congestion, the impact to wildlife, and the demand for water as the complex will use a minimum of 30,000 gallons of water per day. The city has also disregarded the impact a religious organization of this size will have on the community.

No matter what argument is presented supporting this endeavor, an organization of this type and size will change the WP community forever. The only win-win that I see is for Wommack Ministries as the WP city government has sold their souls for a perceived few pennies.

— Amy Velimirovich

Woodland Park


Rethink Memorial

Congratulations are in order for interim CEO Mike Scialdone for continuing investments in Memorial Health System, and for Pam Zubeck for her reporting an eye-opening article ("Health care powerhouse," News, June 13).

If individuals break down Pam's writing they will come to the conclusion that this lease, the terms, and the lack of transparency are not good for the community.

So, our mayor wants to appoint foundation members to oversee the funds. Who are these members he has in mind?

A simple solution for the foundation would be to ask the El Pomar foundation set up an MHS/El Pomar foundation. These folks already have experience in managing a foundation. Why reinvent the wheel?

There will be 4,000-plus MHS employees who will lose future contributions to their PERA retirement fund. That could be a 10,000-plus block of "No!" votes in August.

What MHS employee would vote "yes" to terminate themselves and transfer to an organization that will only guarantee them six months' employment? I see H1B, TE, or E3 visa holders waiting in the wings to help lower MHS' labor and benefit costs.

But the real capper for me is, "City could buy back MHS in 40 years at a price to be determined by an outside consultant."

Hello! Does that mean that the residence or commercial property that I lease, the owner can buy back when my lease expires "at a price to be determined by an outside consultant"?

Is there going to be a transfer of title of MHS plant and equipment to UCH? When a lease is terminated there is no buyback. It's just, lessee, move on down the road.

This lease deal is not good for the citizens or the community. Vote "No!" in August.

It's the people's hospital and should remain the people's hospital. We can do better.

— Gary Casimir

Colorado Springs


Last week's Appetite review ("Ladies who lunch") on Her Story Café mistakenly referred to Sally Ride as the first woman in space. In 1983, Ride became the first American woman in space. But 20 years earlier, in 1963, Soviet Union cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova broke the barrier as the first woman in space. The Indy regrets the error.

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