Praise for pastry guy and the critic, and a pet-poop plea 


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Eetsah Sicilian!

Thank you, Matthew Schniper, for your feature article in last week's Indy about East Coast Pizza & Bakery ("Holy cannoli," cover story).

I am a transplant from outside Boston to Colorado Springs. Like you, I had attended the Broadmoor's Food and Wine Expo and I was blown away by East Coast Pizza & Bakery's items. Their sweets brought back so many fond childhood memories of going to the Sicilian bakeries in my hometown. His goods are certainly authentic.

Sadly, I had not been able to find out which restaurant had put on that marvelous display at the Expo until today. I was so happy to find your article, which solved the mystery for me! I will certainly be one of those people traveling to Pueblo to pick up my Sicilian sweets.

Good luck to Mr. Giacalone and the whole gang. I hope they do bring their delightful fare to Colorado Springs by 2014. I will be the first in line. Thanks for a great story!

— Christina Krych

Manitou Springs

Rethink Williams

As someone who lives in the Williams Canyon flood plain, it's unacceptable to me that some local expert is claiming that, "We can't fix Williams" ("A plan, but no salvation," News, May 8). If sediment ponds are the answer, couldn't they be constructed at the places where the canyon narrows considerably, as at the old Cave of the Winds exit, and dredged out between storms? We sure don't need tons of debris washing into our downtown and clogging up systems that were designed for mostly stormwater.

— David Litvak

Manitou Springs

Critical moxie

Dear Mr. Wallinger: As a recent Berkeley transplant and theater lover, I want to say how much I enjoyed the clarity and insights of your review of The Wild Duck ("A test of time," Seven Days to Live, May 1). You have courage. Ibsen's an icon. I look forward to your future columns.

— Carole Malkin

Colorado Springs

Honesty appreciated

Thank you for Todd Wallinger's accurate review of The Wild Duck. I saw the same play he did and totally agree with his thoughts. Despite the excellent contribution of some of our local actors, for me it was like an evening of theatrical water-boarding.

I know Ibsen is heavy stuff, but heavy doesn't always translate into something we're to take seriously. The production reminded me of Charles Bukowski's description of the pretentious poetry found in many academic poetry journals: "Tiny dribblings of unreality."

It's good to know that there is a paper in town that is not afraid to give its readers an honest opinion without worrying about offending the powers that be, whether in the arts community or otherwise.

— Phil Ginsburg

Colorado Springs

Christo and the sheep

Like many here in the Arkansas River Valley, across Colorado and around the world, we're eagerly awaiting Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Over the River. Despite the delayed exhibition schedule, our communities are already benefitting from this two-week temporary work of art.

For example, Christo is funding a large bighorn sheep habitat enhancement program currently underway near Parkdale. This effort is very similar to the $100,000 Colorado Parks and Wildlife project near Howard that was recently reported in the Salida Mountain Mail.

The key differences are that Christo's habitat improvement is designed solely for the benefit of the Canyon's bighorn sheep, and the project is entirely privately funded by the artist. The site was identified by the Division of Wildlife because it provides local herds with access to nearly 200 acres of habitat previously unsuitable for sheep. Over the River is also funding a separate adaptive management program that now allows state biologists to collect data about our local bighorn sheep that has never before been available.

These significant benefits are being provided before even one fabric panel is installed. While Over the River will last for only two weeks during some future August, the many cultural, economic and local infrastructure benefits of its brief existence will endure.

— Elizabeth Ritchie

Director, Salida Friends of Over the River

Terri Madigan

Director, Cañon City FOR

Piles of irony

On a recent walk through one of Colorado Springs' delightful city parks, I was rewarded with the sight of droppings everywhere. As a history buff, it called to mind the majestic though sadly recent past.

These regal creations of nature were once a dominant feature of life on this side of the Rocky Mountains; it is no accident that, of the few full-length images of Gen. William Jackson Palmer we have today, many depict him in boots nearly to the knee. The Lewis and Clark expedition recorded the same experience, though that company's route fell well north of Colorado. The unfortunately named Sergeant Patrick Gass kept a journal on that trek, putting forward at one point the opinion that the Great American Desert was "copiously populated by deer, bufalo [sic] and manure far and wide, more than the eye can compass."

Pioneers that followed were also well familiar with the phenomenon. They evolved their own terminology: Taken singly, excretions were referred to as "deposits"; a pod numbering in the dozens was called a "latrine"; when gathered in hundreds, a "congress."

Due to habitat loss and indiscriminate waste, the presence of these "chips" went into an alarming decline. Thankfully, though, this trend began to reverse itself when then-President Richard Nixon, who had a well-recognized fondness for excrement in politics, signed into law the Endangered Feces Act of 1973.

Little-known provisos in this legislation included the establishment of open public lands and disincentives for pet owners with regard to following after their livestock, plastic bags in hand. As a result, hordes of scat have made a well-deserved return to the landscape, a boon for eco-tourism and a much-needed reminder about The Way Things Used to Be.

Seriously — if you own a dog, you own its waste. Please take both with you when you leave.

— Chris Ridenour

Colorado Springs

Connecting the dots

Before we retire, we are just too busy to follow the ebb and flow of city and state politics. We may be too preoccupied with trying to remember who is supposed to pick up the kids from soccer and music lessons and whether there are enough groceries in the fridge.

When we do have time to ponder the local sections of the newspaper (beyond last night's shootings and DUI arrests), we might have time to read between the lines and connect the dots.

When did our publicly owned utilities enterprise become a monopoly? Are we supposed to believe it is so just because Mayor Bach designated it as such?

Time allows us to sift through the hype and consider the welfare of our city and our children's future. Will we leave our city a better place to live? Can we maintain the quality of life that we have experienced? Will our water be as sweet, our air as pure, and the electricity as inexpensive?

Who will be selling us the energy: a publicly owned utility where we all benefit, or a cadre of private-capital moguls who have succeeded in convincing us that there are problems with the present system? Are we being manipulated to believe the line about the solar garden subsidy ("SunShare subsidy," Letters, May 8)?

One man's subsidy is another man's incentive to go solar and lower his personal electric bill. Are subsidies only supposed to be directed toward businesses or can they also help individuals and families? Just wonderin' ...

— Elaine Doudna

Colorado Springs

Sign the petition

Carol Hoffman's letter ("Don't sign the petition," May 8) pulls at our emotional heartstrings, but her solutions do not solve the problem. She tells us how Gabrielle Giffords' friend ran at the gunman that shot her and was killed himself. Then she says how she supports Sen. John Morse's pushing through the universal background checks and bans on magazines we have legally owned in the U.S. for decades.

The man that shot Gifford had gone through a background check and passed. The shooter in the Aurora theater had gone through a background check and passed.

The magazine ban did nothing but oppress law-abiding gun owners. Criminals will just go to any neighboring state and buy any size magazine they want. The point is Sen. Morse's anti-gun bills were a wish list that the anti-gun crowd wanted for years and just needed enough tragedies to justify. Sign the recall petition if you believe in the Second Amendment and freedom.

— Ron Coleman

Colorado Springs

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