Counting beans before they sprout
To the Editor:
Thank you, Mr. Hazlehurst, for writing what so many of us have been thinking (Outsider, May 11). What better way to show the community that the D-11 school board is truly interested in helping force some changes in our administration than to seek out the most obviously different possible replacement for Dr. Burnley -- a woman, perhaps of color, with a background in schoolhouse education. Let's all cross our fingers for the best possible interim superintendent a district in our poor condition could ask for.
Further, there is ongoing discussion among community groups and individuals and the board of education, seemingly focused on the November ballot issue -- and little else concerning District 11. I feel the issue is doomed before it has even been formally proposed, and I wonder why the powers that be can't see that. Instead I am made to understand that we are "losing" money by not trying for it. I can't get the math to add up: It costs money, energy, and time to put an issue on the ballot and campaign for it, even though you are pretty sure it won't succeed, but the effort is worth it because it may pass.
I personally think there are some bean counters counting beans we don't have and probably won't be getting. I suggested a one-year wait for the district to do damage repair. Our district is damaged; that perception is reality, and people will balk every time they are asked to pass a mill levy unless some results are seen soon.
Again, thanks for telling "the rest of the story" that our other paper seems reluctant to tell.
-- Toby Norton
Battlefield of ideas
To the Editor
I really enjoyed Donna Ladd's latest column, "War on 'Love'" (Silicon Lounge, May 11). I couldn't agree more with your basic point that the arrogance of Microsoft is a far better target for preventing repetitions of the "love bug" virus problem than any legal avenue. I, too, sit before my Mac knowing that I am immune to the vast majority of the viruses out there, since they exploit inexcusable deficiencies in the design of products like Microsoft's Outlook.
I also heartily endorse your analogy with the disastrous "war on drugs," which is, in reality, not a war "on" drugs at all, but a war, like all wars, on people, which happens to be excused by constantly yelling the supposedly talismanic word "drugs."
-- Patrick L. Lilly
Keep up the good fight
To the Editor:
I am living outside Seattle, but my parents are in the Springs. When I go back, I look forward to picking up a copy of the Independent. Colorado Springs has become so conservative, I get the willies when I come in near the Air Force Academy and see the Focus on the Family sign. I was back the first week of April and was sad to see your paper fighting censors.
Good luck -- old fashioned liberals are becoming an endangered species it seems. Keep fighting!
-- Theresa McInnis
Over the Internet
Doctors should warn about brown stain
To the Editor:
Mothers of Manitou Springs beware! As reported in the Independent, ("Wound up about fluoride," May 11), excess fluoride lurks in your water tap. My 8-year-old daughter is a victim of Colorado Brown Stain. When she was an infant I used boiled tap water to mix her formula. When she was a toddler I said, "Don't drink soda or juice, they're just sugar. Drink water instead."
She received regular well-baby visits and her doctor never once mentioned excess fluoride. When her permanent teeth erupted, her dentist noticed the mottling and asked where we lived. When I told him, he announced, "That's why!"
Water in Manitou Springs has twice the amount of naturally occurring fluoride than the water in Colorado Springs. In years to come I will be shelling out thousands of dollars for porcelain veneers. I think I would have rather had the cavities from soda and juice!
Local obstetricians and pediatricians need to warn mothers about this costly problem. Perhaps your excellent article will provide the wake-up call the medical profession needs!
-- Jacqueline K. Smith
To the Editor:
How must the poor Gazette reporter have felt, recently, covering the visit of a Czar who has presided over the catastrophic War on Drugs?
In a demoralizing misguided effort to lessen abuse of drugs, a program has come to abuse literally hundreds of thousands of people. They are fed into a penal system whose continued, unlimited growth is clear enough evidence of its failure.
Barry McCaffery has ended a top-notch military career by falling on his face in the drug mess. The G reporter could only report that, yes, the Emperor was dressed beautifully and that he felt that "meth use was alarming."
-- Peter Weiss
Portland, here we come
To the Editor:
I'm from Portland, Oregon. My husband and I moved to the Springs in January. If this town ends up being a "Portland In The Rockies" (Outsider, May 4) it will be a heck of a lot better than it is now.
Who planned this town -- drunks? The roads make no sense, residential developments all look the same, commerical areas are charmless and accessable only by car. Parks and open spaces are rare and the downtown is a shell. Not only are the roads congested -- local drivers are homicidal.
In Portland, a freeway was removed and replaced with a riverfront walkway, shops, outdoor dining. Portland has the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. It is located near the International Rose Test Garden, a delightful area for visitors and locals. A Chinese garden is under construction. The downtown has brick sidewalks, trees, flower plantings, fountains, art work. Besides large anchor stores, there are charming smaller shops and eateries and a thriving arts community.
Light rail provides service to the east and west sides of the city. A light rail extension line is being built to the airport. A trolley line is being built to circle the uptown and downtown areas. Bus service is free in the downtown area. Neighborhood shuttle buses provide transportation to light rail lines.
In Portland, there are neighborhoods, not developments. Each has its own name and character. While individual lot sizes might be smaller in new developments, there are planned common areas and walking trails. An urban growth boundary preserves farm land and open space.
There is one other difference. Guns are objects, not deities, in Portland, Oregon.
-- Sue Jennaro
Indy should abandon position on gun control
To the Editor:
I am writing to protest your newspaper's consistent editorial support for "progressive" gun control legislation. The attack on the constitutional right of the people to keep and bear arms, which claimed the lives of the Waco victims, is spearheaded by William Jefferson Clinton, who in 1992 became the first Democratic Party candidate endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police since Grover Cleveland, an endorsement that was repeated four years later. It goes hand in hand with the other policies pursued by his administration -- from putting thousands more cops on the streets with federal funding, to suspending the right of habeas corpus for aliens alleged to be terrorists who are in prison on "secret evidence," to expanding the number of federal capital crimes from one to 60.
The best way to practically reduce violent crimes, most of which occur in our city's ghettoes, is to expand welfare, affirmative action, and social services, including treatment (not prosecution) for drug addicts. Clinton, who brags of "ending welfare as we know it" by eliminating federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children, prefers to pursue the policies that have given the United States an all-time world record incarceration rate.
The target of gun control is not crime, but democracy. The increased respectability and power in bourgeois politics of the fascist elements represented by Patrick Buchanan and Betty Beedy make Leon Trotsky's pamphlet "Fascism -- What It Is and How to Fight It" worthwhile reading for anyone who is disturbed by fascism. As Trotsky points out, even if arms are controlled by the state, fascist shock troops, who have historically recruited many of their cadres from the police forces, will not have trouble arming themselves illegally. If fascism continues to become more aggressive, the left will also want arms to defend picket lines, union headquarters, abortion clinics, black churches, gay bars, independent newspapers and other targets of fascist attacks if the government led by the Democratic and Republican Parties proves itself unwilling or unable to do so. For this reason, if no other, I urge you to rethink your position on gun control.
-- Loren A. Meyer