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America's shame, high in Manitou, a fond farewell, and more



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The hard talk

If we really needed a group of people to do something that required strength, we luckily have a few to choose from: blacks and Latinos. These folks have had to weather centuries of poor treatment and still keep plugging away.

I don't know how hard it would be to, at some point in their childhood, sit your kids down and explain that the world they live in is going to be unfair from the get-go. You would probably have to tell them that in every room they walk into, there will surely be at least a few people who already hate them before they have spoken a word or made a move, but they still have to press on.

You would have to tell them that they will get pulled over by police far more often than white people, but be sure not to give the officers any reason to Tase, choke or shoot, because many will do just that.

At some point you would probably have to tell them that if a friend or relative were injured or killed, not for actually resisting arrest but for standing up for themselves, there is probably little to be expected for recourse. You may have to just say this country is not going to be fair or equitable because of your race, and there would surely be times when your kids are looking to you for answers that you do not have, except to say that this unfairness has been going on for hundreds of years and yet, child, you need to not give up, and not lash out, and still be strong, and there will be no end to it, ever.

It's a hard talk to have I bet, but that kind of strength may one day be our salvation.

— Max Clow

Colorado Springs

America's shame

The New York City grand jury's egregious decision of no indictment for the police officer who killed Eric Garner by illegal chokeholding is yet another display of "modern-day" lynching against a black male denied the chance for a fair trial.

It is obvious that justice is more than a long shot for black males in this country. The explicit video of Officer Pantaleo, choking Eric to death while other officers held him down, should have been more than enough for an indictment. How long must we condone inhumane brutality?

Officers need to use stun guns or shoot to wound, not kill, as in the case of Missouri Officer Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown. In Cleveland, Tim Loehmann, a rookie cop who was deemed unfit in a prior job, shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice for playing with a BB gun.

Civil rights crimes of trial by execution put America to shame, prompting recognition of us as a racist police state, not a democracy. True justice would be to indict these officers for violation of civil rights that resulted in a death.

— Sharlene White

Oceanside, California

Seeing beyond party labels

Very informative article ("Red-blooded," News, Dec. 3) that J. Adrian Stanley wrote with the insight of Alex Johnson.

I have been a docent for the McAllister House Museum for over 10 years and was trained in William Jackson Palmer's vision for Colorado Springs, i.e., "Little London and Newport in the Rockies." This vision worked wonderfully well for Palmer and McAllister in the formation of a Gentile City where Quaker values were applied. It truly must have been a delight being one of those proper ladies of the 1870s!

Now let's talk about 2014.

This beautiful city has grown, and its wonderful people have come from myriad backgrounds. Not only do we have cultural diversity, but we also have a wealth of ethnic diversity that is not always embraced.

We have outgrown the "one size fits all" society where we can close our eyes to the folks that don't quite conform to the conservative ideals of Palmer and McAllister.

I was heartbroken to see extremely bright, talented new faces in this community, brave enough to run for office, wanting to take this city truly into the 21st century, soundly defeated because they had a "D" after their name instead of an "R."

Many times I am too intimidated to speak up when I hear these otherwise bright people not even consider a Democratic candidate that could possibly want to do more for this community than open up a new bread line or introduce a new tax to fix our roads and bridges.

This is a beautiful city. Let's embrace diversity, change and prosper!

Enough of the same old ways and unfounded fear of moving forward. Let's allow the non-conservatives to at least share their ideas and talents to bring this city forward.

— Elaine Brush

Colorado Springs

The true Manitou high

After three and a half months of waiting, having to look hard for, but not finding, a similarly challenging workout, our local favorite trail is accessible once again.

On Dec. 5, only four days after the original date envisioned for the Incline's reopening, I arrived in Manitou early, at 7 o'clock, to enjoy some peace and quiet and an energizing maté tea at my favorite café, The Maté Factor, just in time to watch the Incline assume a golden glow in the light of the rising sun.

As I walked up Ruxton Avenue shortly before 10, I was joined by other walkers, runners, bikers and cars. The press was ready to witness the opening ceremony in the Cog's parking lot, which included laudatory speeches by and awarding of memorial plaques to the various parties responsible for the Incline's renovation.

The generally congenial and anticipatory attitude was mildly strained by some impatient attendees, but once the speakers and honorees made their way to the base of the Incline and cut the ribbon to the clicks of many cameras and smartphones, the throng of climbers surged forward with cheers of joy.

Everybody seemed excited to get back onto "our" Incline, and the clump of about 150 soon dispersed as each ascender found his or her own pace. As usual, the Incline did not disappoint, including the overhauled section which appeared to have gained a few degrees in steepness.

While repairs so far involved primarily the central portion of the trail most in need, work will be ongoing to stabilize the remainder. Nevertheless, we are fortunate to enjoy intense exercise and a transformative experience in the breathtaking setting at the foot of America's mountain, Pikes Peak, whose majesty remains unchanged.

Truly, this is the best way in Manitou to get high!

— Tanja Britton

Colorado Springs

Thanks and farewell

Since the early years of the 20th century in Colorado Springs, the Peterson family has run Couture's Fabric Care. As a patron of the Couture laundry for several years, I was sad to learn that the cleaners is closing on Sunday, Dec. 14.

Thank you, Keith Peterson and members of the Couture laundromat family, for your excellent service to the community.

You have worked tirelessly to help so many people who utilized your facilities on North Tejon Street near Colorado College. Many of us have forged friendships at the landromat during the years, too.

May you enjoy some well-earned time away from the laundromat in 2015.

— Janice S. Moglen

Manitou Springs

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