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Agreeing to disagree

To the Editor:

Sorry, guys, I must disagree pretty strongly with your review of El Tesoro.

I prefer it to any other Mexican place downtown (Jose's Mean Green is hotter, but their regular is practically gravy compared to El Tesoro's, which actually has discernible green chile in it). As a matter of fact, I think I'm just going to have to stop paying attention to your Mexican reviews entirely -- we tried two other Mexican places you reviewed very highly in the past year, and were extremely disappointed with both and would not ever consider going back.

I find this strange, because generally I find your reviews right on target. For example, I strongly disagree with the guy who hated Sushi Ai following your positive review ("Ai, Ai, Ai," July 13); my husband, a huge sushi fan who knows good sushi from his stints back East, swears it's the best sushi place in town, and I very much like their non-sushi dishes.

Oh well -- guess I'm just going to have to accept that on the Mexican end of things, your tastes are very, very different from mine.

-- Laura K. McAfee
Colorado Springs


Who's the criminal here?

To the editor:

Bill Sulzman and Carl Sabat are arrested for protesting weapons that can only be criminal under international law to possess, as they have no legitimate military use (Public Eye, August 17). Nuclear weapons inevitably inflict civilian casualties, having power too massive to be limited to a military target, and giving off fallout predictably far beyond the target, and inevitably poisoning an area with radiation long after the end of hostilities.

Sulzman and Sabat are not criminals but heroes who dare to confront the criminals under Cheyenne Mountain and in Washington.

-- Daniel C. Boyer
Concord NH


A neighbor spells it out

To The Editor:

As a resident of the Mill Street neighborhood and a member of the neighborhood task force please allow me to explain our position concerning the proposed Montgomery Community Center.

As has been pointed out, we already live near the existing Red Cross shelter. So what's the big deal? When I first read about this proposal many months ago this was my first reaction as well. I was not aware at that time, however, that this new shelter would be vastly different from the current one -- housing not only an overnight shelter but virtually every agency involved in helping the homeless including the soup kitchen, medical and dental clinics, social security office, drop-in center (laundry, hair cuts, etc.), dog kennels, and the list goes on.

Our little neighborhood is only five blocks long and Mill Street is quite narrow. Every day hundreds of people would be accessing the soup kitchen for a noon meal. Most of these people would be on foot including some who suffer from mental illness and/or substance abuse problems. Since the proposed site is surrounded by railroad tracks and the Martin Drake power plant, we know the traffic would be limited to the already threatened Tejon Wetlends and our neighborhood.

Our residents care very much about helping the homeless; indeed, we have been living with them for many years without complaint. But this new plan is more than we can handle. Our property values will plummet. Our traffic problems will soar. But by far the worst impact -- the most intolerable impact -- would be the safety of our residents, especially our children, being put in jeopardy. Could you live with that?

-- Mary Quinn
Colorado Springs


Now that's campaign finance reform

To the Editor:

Cara DeGette states (Public Eye, August 10) that state representative Doug Dean (R-Colo. Spgs.) "has never had any real opponent -- Republican or Democrat" but that this year "Democrat Renee Walbert is challenging" him. That's true, but it's not the whole truth.

Doug Dean is also being challenged for his House District 18 seat by Libertarian Desiree Hackett Hickson. She is a feisty and articulate, home-schooling mother of two, who (naturally) supports serious educational reforms, as well as gun rights. Some of her writings can be accessed on the Web at www.themestream.com.

As far as budgets are concerned, Ms. Degette takes Doug Dean to task mostly because his campaign budgets seem 1) to be mostly unneeded, and 2) to come from out-of-town sources. Democrat Walbert's budget (so far) of $320 is indeed modest by comparison, but so is Desiree Hickson's: $0. Like so many of us Libertarians, she is certainly not trying to "buy" her way into office, and is relying on the power of ideas and clear thinking, rather than on the power of money.

-- Patrick L. Lilly
Colorado Springs


Beedy's "still quiet voice" will be missed

To the Editor:

The failure to reelect Commissioner Betty Beedy dealt a severe blow to El Paso County families. Ms. Beedy was the only person among the five member Board of Commissioners who dared to even question the often ruthless and illegal dealings of the El Paso County Department of Human Services Child Protective Services Division (DHS-CPS). The Board of County Commissioners provides the only local oversight of DHS-CPS' practices and without Ms. Beedy's watchful eye and still quiet voice, I am afraid that the low-income families in our community will become as lambs lead to the slaughter.

The Department is now free to falsify documents, perjure themselves, require adherence to acts that have not yet been made into law, and discriminate against the handicapped if and only if the handicap is mental. No alarms will sound; not even a whimper will be heard.

Please, shield our families. Contact your County Commissioner and demand tighter DHS oversight, to include actually hearing appeals of the Citizens Review Panel's findings. Someone must take an unbiased look. That someone should be our Board of County Commissioners.

-- Kathy L. Albaugh
El Paso County


Kicking up more dust

To The Editor:

I recently attended the July 20 public hearing before the Colorado air quality control commission concerning the Rio Grande Portland Cement Corporation's application for a major (pollution) source air quality construction permit ("Proposed Pueblo cement plant kicks up dust," Aug. 10). The hearing took place just 8 days after the corporation submitted their final version of their application to their quality control commissioners, and it still as yet has not been made available for public perusal at the Pueblo Clerk & Recorder's office. Essentially then, the public hearing was held to discuss an invalid permit application!

We, the citizens of southern Colorado, have been granted a 30-day extension period to write to the air quality control commissioners about our concerns. This extension was granted because many who wished to speak at the hearing were not given time to do so. Letters received by Aug. 19 will become an official part of the public hearing record. I encourage anyone who has thoughts, misgivings, or concerns about the proposed cement plant/strip mine to write to: Colorado Air Quality Control Commission,4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, OED-OPPI-A5, Denver, Co 80246-1530 before Aug. 19 and let them know how we feel about this proposed plant.

I am appalled at the sloppy handling of this permit application. I think it is an embarrassment to our governmental process that this issue continues without a second public hearing scheduled at least 90 days after the final version of the permit application document has been made available to the public. How can the air quality control commissioners judge it fair to grant us only 30 days to respond to the final version of this permit application, especially since we have had no public access to it?

-- Delia A. Robinson
Pueblo


Pass Hate Crimes Prevention Act

To the Editor:

On June 20, in a demonstration of bi-partisanship, the U.S. Senate passed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act by a vote of 57 to 42. The House of Representatives has yet to act on this legislation, despite the fact that 192 members have co-sponsored the House version of the bill.

It is time for the House to act on this legislation before they adjourn in October to begin campaigning for reelection.

Since the Senate passed the hate crimes bill, "J.R." Carl Warren, an openly gay, African-American man, was brutally murdered in West Virginia. Evidence in the Warren case clearly indicates that it was a hate crime. Two years ago, the murders of Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd made headlines worldwide. How much more evidence is necessary for Congress to act?

The Hate Crime Prevention Act offers a sensible approach to help combat discriminatory violence in America. H.R. 1082 adds real or perceived sexual orientation, gender and disability to existing federal hate crimes law and removes the requirement that victims be engaged in a "federally protected" activity like voting or going to school. With this legislation, Congress would extend basic hate crime protections to all Americans regardless of where they live and provide valuable resources to local law enforcement agencies when dealing with hate crime in their communities.

The House should vote on the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and Colorado representatives should do everything possible to secure passage of this bill and send a comprehensive hate crimes bill to the president's desk this year.

-- William J. O'Brien
Denver

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