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Like Suze says ...

Colorado Springs Utilities is going through its periodic Electric Integrated Resource Planning (EIRP) process. The stated aim is to gather input from citizens and put together "a long-term strategic plan designed to ensure customers have reliable electricity at a reasonable price." We share these goals, but are they all we should settle for?

Having attended these meetings in past years, outcomes have always endorsed Utilities' "business as usual" approach. This is not surprising; they exercise tight agenda control. Input is tolerated but rarely allowed to influence the business plan. Things always come down to low rates and reliability, with a bone or two for environmentalists.

Two more public meetings are scheduled, July 13 and Aug. 17. We have to hope that somehow, in spite of past history, CSU will allow an honest discussion of the effects of generating over 60 percent of our electricity from coal. Do we, as ratepayers and owners, accept that the emission of tons of carbon dioxide must continue? Or should we look at phasing out coal in favor of less CO2-intensive fuels? How much coal could Front Range Power's natural gas turbines displace? Can we close down all or part of Martin Drake?

We face practical and moral challenges, living in a world where the climate is changing, in no small part because of burning coal.

Suze Orman, the financial adviser, talks about "standing in your truth," looking at present circumstances and future goals with total honesty. Utilities needs to help us stand in our truth by giving us information we need to make informed decisions.

— Tom Cannarella

Manitou Springs

Know your subs

Just read your review of Trivelli's Hoagies original location on North Nevada Avenue (Dine & Dash, June 16). There is absolutely no sub shop in this town that is East Coast-authentic other than South Jersey Subs on North Academy Boulevard. None.

You might try South Jersey Subs.

Very sad this was printed where all could read. We East Coast transplants may have gone to Trivelli's once, but never again after South Jersey Subs.

— Sam Lopez

Colorado Springs

Know your pies

As a longtime reader of the Independent, and a regular customer of the Dutch Kitchen, I was pleasantly surprised to see a review of my favorite restaurant in your paper (Dine & Dash, June 16). Then I read the review. And I was very unpleasantly surprised.

While it is great that you sent someone out there, it would have been much nicer if you had sent an individual that was somewhat knowledgeable about food and able to write coherently about it. While it is unfortunate that your reviewer regretted eating two pieces of pie on an empty stomach, it reflects solely on his bad judgement and not at all on the pie.

The first sentence should never have been allowed in print. His surprise that the rhubarb pie was tart shows inexperience in the culinary world, and it is completely inexplicable that he would expect a crumble top on a pie that was not described as such. As to the temperature of the pies, I know that they are all kept at room temperature. Warming of the pies is available, although this tends to make the crust less flaky. I am also surprised that their signature buttermilk pie was not reviewed. Did he not ask his server which pies were the best or most popular?

I know you're a small operation with a limited staff, but please, at least try to play to the strengths of your reporters. Bryce is obviously not competent to do restaurant reviews.

— Tracy Jones

Colorado Springs

Trigger unhappy

To a certain inconsiderate hunter: I own my home adjacent to Fountain Creek Regional Park. On Saturday, June 18, at approximately 4:40 p.m., I called the sheriff's office to report shots fired.

You were training your yellow lab and firing shots in the creek behind my house. Deputies advised me that blanks are not illegal. I did not know they were blanks. Gunfire and gunpowder sound and smell the same.

Deputies Garcia and White advised you to find a better location, away from a residential area. But this morning, here you are again, arrogant, adamant, scaring my dog and pissing me off.

Your dog was running loose, and that's against the law. You were terrifying my dog, spooking deer and wild birds, which should be against the law.

You were back Sunday at 8 a.m. Nice Father's Day wake-up for area property owners, jackass.

I ask that you find another location to train your hunting dog. Loose dogs and motorized vehicles are prohibited in county parks. Fountain Creek Regional Park belongs to everyone. Enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Don't burn it down, disrupt wildlife or hack off your neighbors.

It is most unfortunate that being stupid and disrespectful are not actionable offenses. It is now 9 a.m. You have left; gunshots have ceased. My dog still won't leave the house. Thanks so much for further traumatizing a rescued dog.

Now that you've established a routine for creating havoc in my neighborhood, I will be ready to address you the next time. I will hop my back fence, identify myself, look you in the eye, politely explain the disruption you cause, and request that you cease.

Serious hunters have respect for wildlife, property owners and local dogs. You would do well to embrace that philosophy.

— Carolyn Barnes

Colorado Springs

Dogs and events

Jim Wear's "apology" ("About service dogs," Letters, June 16) is a classic of deflection: He gets the requisite cursory apology out of the way quickly, and then moves on the "real issue." His screed does little to enhance the reputation of Mr. Wear, his company, or the owners of Territory Days.

Two points that Mr. Wear makes beg an obvious question: if the "real issue is dogs at special events," and "the laws [regarding service dogs] are very vague at best," then what steps in his professional and presumably paid capacity did he take to address this situation by ensuring that in their zealous pursuit of the former, the event's relevant authorities had a clear and unambiguous policy with regard to the latter?

May I suggest that as a public service, the Indy publish before next year's Territory Days (and maybe other such events) details of policies and procedures regarding service animals, to include whether such policies and procedures (a) exist, (b) have been clearly communicated to everybody involved, and (c) comply with the relevant laws?

— Tom Fagan

Colorado Springs

Pride and prejudice

America's acceptance of diversity has progressed ten-fold in past decades. Homosexuality, a lifestyle many once perceived to be lived only by the damned and crooked, now holds its place as far more accepted.

Next month, Colorado Springs will again host PrideFest, celebrating "community and culture." While the organizers do so with good intentions, in truth, PrideFest proves unnecessary, and ultimately damages the reputation of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) individuals. As a lesbian, I believe that this event imposes negative stereotypes and casts the gay community in a negative light.

I have attended PrideFest a handful of times and have always witnessed one group provoking others. The festival goes beyond unnecessary by angering those with opposing mentalities. Fighting fire with fire is something that our community needs to bury. The Pride festival only feeds the community's furnace in group conflict and vexation.

Gay Pride only reaffirms a misinformed individual's stereotypes, preconceived beliefs and generalizations that homosexual people are loud, flamboyant show-offs. Streets flooded with people wearing rainbows, overly exaggerated cross-dressers and gay couples kissing is enough to make anybody uncomfortable; as does seeing heterosexual couples kissing or blowing their sexuality out of proportion. Being proud of who we are shouldn't be amplified through a one-day event. In fact, being who we are should be a neutral part of everyday lives.

PrideFest imposes alienation between different sexualities. History has shown that alienating different cultures does not make superior cultures, but makes them feared and often misunderstood.

PrideFest is not worth the negative effects when our society has taken such positive strides toward overall equality. Neutrality and the choice to live a lifestyle we choose to live without the invasion of privacy is a more realistic approach to achieve rights that the gay community has worked toward.

— Krista Zampacorta

Colorado Springs

No need to bother

Why does it matter if global climate change is caused by man, or is natural? Suppose there is an earthquake that sets off tsunami buoys that a big one is heading to the California coast. Since this is a totally natural occurrence, there is no need to do anything about it, right?

— Gina Douglas

Colorado Springs

Reciprocal feelings

Thanks so much to Ralph Routon for your kind words regarding our city ("Finding a new role model," Between the Lines, June 9). Our board of directors just spent two days meeting with your Chamber, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Downtown Partnership and Economic Development sharing best practices. You too live in a beautiful city and we learned a lot from the dedicated leaders of your city.

These inter-city visits are an innovative way for each of us to learn from each other and discuss challenges and opportunities we are facing. We brought 38 (board members and staff), knowing that an engaged and committed board of volunteers is the key to the success of these trips. The time we spend together, without the distractions of a normal day, is invaluable to the process of creating a shared vision for the future of our city.

Our hats are off to the groups we met representing your beautiful city — they were wonderful to work with and represented your city well.

— Linda Rabe

President & CEO

Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce

Rapid City, S.D.

Invisible jobs

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has proposed a system of territorial taxation, which means that overseas profits of American corporations would not be taxed in the U.S.

This would dramatically increase incentives for U.S. companies to offshore operations and increase the use of transfer pricing (transfer of rights to intellectual property developed in the U.S. to a subsidiary in a low-tax country). Under this system, U.S. corporations are exempt from U.S. taxes. Most of what will remain of the disappearing middle class will be paying the price by having to work seven days a week with two or three jobs.

By the way, where are those jobs, Mr. Boehner?

— Sharlene White

Oceanside, Calif.


Energy for the future

Exxon has made a huge oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. If you don't mind the risks of fracking, it looks like we can extract ever-larger amounts of natural gas around the world. And there is enough coal to last decades.

So what is the worry? Why would we want to waste our money on the National Renewable Energy Lab here in Colorado?

There's global warming, but some don't agree it is caused significantly by man. OK, let's not worry about the planet. Instead, how long can we sustain an ever-expanding and power-hungry world economy with fossil fuels? Fifty years? A hundred? Longer? Let's just say 100. That's a long time and we (including Rep. Doug Lamborn) will all be gone. But there is a rub.

Lamborn seldom fails to disappoint, and his suggestion to cut renewable energy funding is no exception.

— Ed Brady

Colorado Springs

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