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Missed opportunity

To the Editor:

I always enjoy your Colorado Springs Best Of issue (Oct. 19-25) every year. However, there is an error on page 71, where the captions should show Magellan Street as the Most Pressing Local issue, and Malcolm Howard as Best Lawn Ornament.

-- Robert B. Hoff
Colorado Springs

Smacking sounds

To the Editor:

I am and will always be a loyal fan of the Independent. That said, what is with the restaurant section of the Best Of issue this year? I realize that it is a reader's poll and that the Indy only tabulates the results. But c'mon! Jack Quinn's -- which does have an inventive menu, is kid friendly, and has what no one else in town has (authentic, trust me, Irish cuisine) -- is mentioned nowhere. There isn't another Jack Quinn's in town, and I know Indy readers hate anything that smacks of the word "chain." For Pete's sake, the Golden Corral made it in! What gives?

-- Kate Crawford
Colorado Springs

Titillated reader

To the Editor:

I had to laugh out loud when I read your "Best Gun Hugger" article. The claim that the Independent presents the gun issue factually was just too funny. The "facts" presented in your gun issue stories are often, at best, only half the story, and at worst, distortions of the actual facts. Also, just what exactly is factual about the negative characterizations of gun owners that are typically included in the articles? If similar characterizations were used in writing about minorities, the writer would be in a heap of trouble. No, I'm sorry, but after reading many, many pro and con articles on the gun issue from a variety of sources, I have to say that the Independent's articles invariably come off as one-sided, biased and disdainful of gun rights supporters. As such the word "factual" is definitely not one I would use to describe the articles. But, on the bright side, they do provide me with a good laugh now and then.

-- Paul Weissler
Colorado Springs

Gore rocks

To the Editor:

We're sorry, Mr. Mahaney (Letters, Oct. 19). But if the environment is an important issue to anyone in the Green Party, a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush.

Here is why a vote for Gore is the best vote for the environment:

1) Cheney promises that he will work to undo the National Monument status for those areas recently designated by the President. Bush promises to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration. These guys do not support the environment.

2) Although Nader does support the environment, he can't win.

3) Gore, who does have a chance to win if the environmental vote is not split, has shown consistent good support for the environment over the past eight years. And he has said that he will not allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Granted, Gore doesn't have a perfect record. But we believe his record for the environment shows that he will continue his support for environmental causes, especially the preservation of public lands.

Preservation of public lands is the fight before us that is real and is winnable.

You are right, Mr. Mahaney. Our consciences must guide our choice for President. The issue of public land preservation is an issue with immediacy that can't be ignored. The environment can't afford to wait four more years for the political system to change, as you would have it.

Maybe next time we'll vote Green. This time, we're voting green on our wild lands. We're voting Gore!

-- Daniel Brendle, Mike Rupert, Lorraine Streckfus
Pueblo, Colorado Springs

It used to be beautiful

To the Editor:

I moved here over 20 years ago because, back then, Colorado was perfect for me. Even though at the time our largest city, Denver, was only considered a "Cow Town," it was large enough to have some big-city amenities and close enough to the mountains for that feeling of wilderness. But these days, I don't want to go up to the mountains on weekends because of all the traffic. And it seems to get worse all the time. Everywhere you look and at all hours of the day, there is a new mountain -- a mountain of traffic.

I was fortunate to be able to find a nice home about 10 years ago in Evergreen. I moved there because I wanted a friendly, small town with a country atmosphere. But, that's all going away. Everywhere you turn they're putting up a new mansion or strip mall. Some are done well and some, not so well. Quality of life means many things to many people. But why are we allowing the developers to turn our country setting into the city? Does anyone remember being able to walk into their backyard at night and look up and see the stars? If you still can, then cherish this moment in time, because the stars are beginning to fade.

Now, I'm all for progress. After all, I'm in the technology business. And I believe that people have a right to do what they want with their property and earn a profit if they can. But not at someone else's expense. Up on the hill above my home where I used to watch elk graze, some developer is now building several of the biggest and tallest of homes. It used to be a beautiful view, but not now.

My neighbors are not very happy about this new view either, but unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it. Shouldn't we as members of our community have some say in matters such as these? Shouldn't we have some rights to what we came here for in the first place? Shouldn't we have the right to say, "Enough is enough!"?

The last straw for me was this latest ad against Amendment 24. They make it seem like citizens shouldn't be concerned about their own future. They try to paint the picture that planning for the future is just too bothersome. That as citizens we just don't have the time for all this paperwork, making decisions on every little zoning issue.

But communities are all about the people who live in them. And the people that live in these communities are the ones who should take an interest in how they are developed, not big out-of-state developers.

Amendment 24 is the best way for individuals and communities to have a say in their quality of life. I have faith in the people of Colorado to take the time to study the issues regarding their communities and make responsible decisions. Therefore, I hope that Amendment 24 passes. I plan to vote yes on Amendment 24 and I urge all Coloradans to as well.

-- Richard L. P. Solosky

Enough is enough

To the Editor:

When I was a growing up I used to ride horses in the fields where now stands Highlands Ranch. As a teen I used to ride my bike to Genessee and camp for the weekend. I used to enjoy a quiet afternoon at Daniels Park where now I get to look down on one of the most perverse trophy properties ever "developed." No more, the earthmovers cameth. Enough is enough!

"Build it and they will come"? Don't doubt it for a minute! It's no mere coincidence that the Koebel company has a "NO on 24" sign on their Denver Tech Center property. It's clear that they are defiantly committed to adding more zeros to their bank balances at our expense. The population of Colorado has, time and again, said that they want to protect our shared quality of life and, time and again, have been contemptuously disregarded. What part of "no" don't they understand? Enough is enough!

It's been said, "You can never go home again." Have you ever felt what that feels like? It's a heartbreaking feeling. Truth is, "home" can also be ripped right out from underneath you. You don't even have to leave and it's happening all around us. Enough is enough!

Vote yes on 24.

-- Thatch VandenBergh

A little riddle

To the Editor:

When did an initiative that sets up an open, measured and deliberate procedure for planned growth become smeared as a "no growth" measure or as "too extreme"?

I think it happened when developers and realtors poured record-breaking millions into a campaign to continue the hidden subsides that taxpayers now pay to support unsustainable urban sprawl. Why else would the development of local growth plans, developed by local governments and validated by the local people, be so threatening?

The public should know and does care about the costs of urban sprawl in our communities. I know I would be anxious to participate in a growth management planning effort if protecting the quality of my community was at stake. Look around the state of Colorado. The quality of many communities is at stake.

Isn't YOUR community and quality of life worth protecting? Vote yes on 24 for smarter growth.

-- Mark Tabor

Will never again be the same

To the Editor:

I have been a native of Colorado Springs for 42 years and a resident of the Mill Street neighborhood for six years. I have been a member of the task force concerning the Montgomery Community Center, and I could write a full page of reasons why I oppose the project. But instead, I would only like to make two points.

One, even if this development was a hospital, clinic or 24-hour market, it still would not work. Any facility that would bring 500 to 1,000 or more people down our narrow streets, 24 hours a day, seven days a week would not meet the City of Colorado Springs Development Criteria. The focus has been taken off the actual bulk, scale and compatibility of the project in relation to the neighborhood. This has been made into a controversy over homelessness, and this neighborhood is being made out to be homeless haters. This concept could not be further from the truth.

Secondly, although this process has been a strain on the people in the neighborhood, it has brought us closer together. It has been something unspoken in this neighborhood that we have always looked out for one another's property and each other's children. If the Montgomery Community Center is approved, many families with children have decided to move. The question is, where can they afford to move with the median housing prices skyrocketing? I am afraid that neighbors will no longer be close. I am afraid that this neighborhood will become one in which no one goes outside and visits over the fence. People will stay inside their homes, lock the doors and pull the shades. I am hoping this doesn't happen. But regardless of the outcome of the decision concerning the Montgomery Community Center, the Mill Street neighborhood will never be the same.

-- Gloria J. Tafoya
Colorado Springs

Schultheis thinks we're stupid

To the Editor:

As a concerned citizen, I am deeply offended by the "stealth candidate" David C. Schultheis, the Republican candidate running against Democrat Michael Merrifield for term-limited Marcy Morrison's seat in House District 22.

Mr. Schultheis has declined every invitation to meet with the public in candidate forums, has refused to debate Mr. Merrifield and declined to answer questions submitted to all candidates by the press. This is offensively arrogant and insulting behavior by any candidate seeking the electorates' support.

I have supported Marcy Morrison (R) throughout her legislative career and I am now supporting Michael Merrifield (D) in his bid for her seat. It is appalling that any candidate for political office would refuse to answer questions regarding his positions on issues and to cloak himself in stereotypical rhetoric. Mr. Schultheis claims that "Mike is for bigger government and more centralized control over our lives and less money in our pockets" and that he is "for less government more competition and more money for citizens to spend as they see fit." This inflammatory characterization is designed to appeal to knee-jerk party affiliation politics. It is precisely the type of mud slinging that has disaffected voters staying away from the political process.

The stealth candidate must believe that the electorate is too stupid to wonder what his actual politics are. Wrapping himself in the cloak of a Republican and spouting sound bites designed to appeal to those who identify with the ideals of their party does not tell us anything about who he is or what he stands for. I'm supporting the candidate who is willing to talk to his constituency, Michael Merrifield.

--Patricia A. Poos
Colorado Springs

The devil and Charlie Duke

To the Editor:

When I moved from New York to Colorado a few years ago during the ascendancy of Charlie Duke, I was quite taken with his brain effusions. Then God spoke to him, and he was spun off into a different dimension. Now we have Doug Bruce who speaks to the devil. His goal seems to be anarchy, one definition of which is "political disorder and confusion." If Amendment 21 passes, he will surely achieve it and can then openly don horns and a tail.

-- Barbara Martin
Manitou Springs

Not going to take it anymore

To the Editor:

Another fine Monday morning, another unbearable editorials page in The Gazette.

Today we have a piece deploring a raise in the minimum wage, followed by yet another addition to what seems to be a daily crusade for tax cuts of any possible kind. But today's absolute highlight has to be the tired, preaching pen of Mr. Chuck Asay. First the cartoonist asserts that America's flimsy gun laws are infringing on our rights and privacy, then he proceeds to portray a doctor about to perform an abortion as a smiling, bloodthirsty sadist.

The baseness and ignorance of such commentary leaves me hollow.

I'm tired of The Gazette's unwavering attack on anything legislative. I'm tired of the selfish, anti-societal, militia-minded, gun-loving attitude that prevails in this state. I'm tired of tax cuts.

I like paying taxes. I want to pay taxes. I want to help fund my public schools. I want to pay for the highways on which I drive everyday. I want to help pay for the police force that protects and serves me. I want a strong, powerful local government that has sufficient money to spend on improvements they have deemed necessary. I do not want to have to vote every time my city wants to fix a bridge.

I am leaving. We are leaving. Within 18 months, my family and I are moving "Back East" to the promised land of villages, communities and progressive thinking. To The Gazette and all of its armed, money-hoarding, anti-establishment readers, I say farewell. I'll be sure to send a postcard from civilization.

-- George Migash
Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The writer is a former Independent art director.

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