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Black Forest news coverage, a vegan against the Meat Locker, and Manitou parking



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Left cold after fires

I just read the June 19 issue cover-to-cover, and am sorely disappointed. It occurs to me that your original plan was to cover the anniversary of the Waldo Canyon Fire. But then the Black Forest Fire happened, so you threw in a few pieces about that, too, not to mention the strange cover photo.

In my opinion, you did neither story justice. And then you told us that fire is imminent in forested areas. Really?

During the Waldo Canyon Fire, I was at a family reunion in Missouri watching the coverage on television. It was very surreal and I couldn't wait to return to Colorado to read the Indy and catch up on the real coverage.

What was missing for me in last year's coverage and then again in this issue, is the story outside the story. What happened to the Flying W Wranglers' ranch, for instance? As far as I know from reading the Independent, nothing. I kept waiting for an interview with the Wranglers or at least some mention about the property burning and what the plans for rebuilding were, but it never came.

So now I want to know what happened to the Black Forest Community Center where my husband and I had our wedding reception? What happened to The Pinery? La Foret? And all the other businesses that were in Black Forest? What about all the churches? The gas station? The bars? The bed and breakfasts? The roads?

The impact on Black Forest is much larger than the homes that burned. And I expect the Independent to cover those stories.

Nice that y'all got a ticket into Black Forest to take a look. How about you share your experience? And not just compared to the Waldo Canyon experience.

— Barb Angell

From the edge of the Black Forest

Kudos for journos

I rely on network TV for news and precious little else; and I rely on PBS for a variety of programming.

Usually, local network morning "news" consists of KOAA, KKTV, KRDO and FOX doing simultaneous reporting: a few moments on crime occurrences squeezed between incessant weather, traffic, sports, promos and teasers, such as: "Another violent sexual predator has been released into the community. Stay tuned to see if he's in your neighborhood!"

This, plus 13 or so minutes of commercials in each half-hour, aired at precisely the same moments by each channel, has obliged the news shows to resort to the streaming banners of (usually yesterday's) news, often in print too small to read.

Each channel has a subchannel, which you would suppose exists to do double duty during an emergency, such as the fire. Why then, would each major channel, plus its subchannel, have the same reporting during the emergency? That is, all eight channels doing the same basic coverage, and nary a word about the daily child enticements, home invasions, armed robberies, crashes and standoffs that make Colorado Springs the fun place it is.

I congratulate the local TV reporters for doing a wonderful and professional job during the fire. Under normal circumstances, they submit to so many minutes of commercials per half-hour, that their talents seem less apparent.

— Bernadette Young

Colorado Springs

It's too much

Regarding fire season: I'm sorry for all the Black Forest residents who lost their homes. But I'm even more sorry for the needless news concentration of this sad event.

I don't want to watch somebody's home consumed. And, you TV journalists, what if that was your house? Or your mom's? Or your kid's?

What happened to compassion? Shame on the local news!

— Michael Adams

Colorado Springs

Flowers against the dark

I'm on a euphoric high because the street plantings are all in again. The back-breaking labor all y'all (y'all is singular) donated is really worth it, because it brings beauty to hundreds of people going to work every day and to us who drive otherwise.

It helps to lessen the pain of thinking about those 16,000 people who signed a petition to recall state Sen. John Morse, who voted as the majority of his constituents wanted.

— Colleene Johnson

Colorado Springs


How could anyone possibly have the audacity to proclaim someone shows "respect for the animal" after that someone says, "It was exciting — there was blood all over the place," as Benjamin Kuntz did in describing his gleeful slaughter and butchering of an innocent pig for so-called "food" ("Meat-up group," cover story, June 12)? I was horrified, disgusted and outraged after reading this sickening text.

I for one will never set foot in that restaurant (the name "Meat Locker" is disgusting enough by itself), or anywhere near the place, including the rest of the much-ballyhooed Ivywild School and all that it entails, due to this complete lack of respect for not just animals, but those of us who choose not to commit senseless acts of violence, either directly or secondhand, to the animal kingdom, by living peaceful, vegan lives.

Enjoy your blood — maybe bring some straws next time so you can all slurp it up together.

— Tommy Pesavento

Colorado Springs

More than muskets

David M. Justice's letter ("Stop telling lies," June 19) employs hyperbole to prove his point. No gun owners are arguing that their Second Amendment rights mean selling an AR-15 to a "restraining-ordered, wife-assaulting convicted felon, out of the trunk of your car."

What the Second Amendment does protect, and what Mr. Justice totally ignores, is an individual's right to keep and bear arms. The Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller held that there is nothing in the text or history of the Second Amendment which limits the right to keep and bear arms to members of a militia, so no one needs to join the National Guard to keep and bear a firearm.

Mr. Justice's argument that the Second Amendment only protects the right to "possess a musket, sword, bayonet," etc., is simply fatuous. Does the First Amendment not apply to television or the Internet? Of course it does, just like the Second Amendment's protection of an individual's right to keep and bear arms applies to firearms made today, including AR-15s.

Second Amendment rights are not absolute, just like First Amendment rights are not absolute. As the court in Heller explained, the Second Amendment right is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. The question is whether magazine capacity limits and background checks are reasonable, and it is the government's burden to demonstrate that they are. Because there is no evidence that limits on magazine capacity reduce crime or prevent mass shootings, law-abiding gun owners are justifiably skeptical of these laws.

— Greg Givens

Manitou Springs

Parking plot?

Adam Stevens placed the blame for Manitou's overzealousness on its police department and its parking officers ("Manitou toodle-oo," Letters, June 12). Actually the culprits are Manitou's Parking Authority Board, its City Council and the Chicago-based corporation that it hired, Standard Parking (SP).

As I read the contract between Manitou and SP, SP has been hired to provide turnkey parking management operations. SP provides the payment kiosks, automated license plate readers, five personnel handing out parking tickets, and a database server to validate that your license plate has paid to park. SP collects all the fees and fines and, in round numbers for the next five years, keeps $400,000 per year for itself and gives the rest to Manitou.

Except for a sweet little incentive that kicks in at $775,000 each year. SP gets 10 percent of everything collected above that amount. The incentive motivates SP to reach the goal, and as far beyond as it can.

So Manitou, a town with a heart that used to care about its denizens and visitors, has gone from its own employee with a box of yellow chalk walking the streets looking for cars that overparked, to a heartless corporation maximizing its bottom line by being overzealous.

— Jim Ague

Manitou Springs

That's never justified

It was disturbing to read a letter in the Indy ("Right-wing 'welfare,'" June 12) stating that it isn't a big deal that a group with conservative ideology was singled out by the IRS. I have no problem if you don't agree with this group's politics, but every American should be shocked and disturbed that our government is in the business of bullying its opponents by wielding such overwhelming power.

If roles were reversed, and it was a Republican administration singling out liberal groups, I would be just as upset.

— Ted Breitenstein

Colorado Springs

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