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Cheaper than the alternatives

To the Editor:

Just got finished reading Tristan Bebbington's diatribe about the post office having the audacity to charge 57 cents to mail in election ballots [Letters, Oct. 25]. FYI, Tristan, postage is 34 cents for the first ounce -- 23 cents for each ounce after that. Obviously, with all the ballot measures and elections, your ballot weighs over an ounce, so yeah, Tristan, it's going to cost you 57 cents to get yours across town. That same 57 cents is also going to get your Mom's birthday card with your kids' pictures enclosed to Michigan or wherever.

Perhaps we should blame City Council, Tristan, for putting all those SCIP measures on the ballot, or the school boards for having those darned elections. Maybe they should have condensed everything to finer print, but somehow, I think you'd whine about that, too -- can't read it, need my glasses.

Yes, Tristan, postage has gone up, along with everything else. Groceries, a phone call, gas, other courier prices, The Gazette.

Inefficient at times, the post office is imperfect also. However, it is still the cheapest post office in the world, giving universal service to every address in the country for 34 cents. Hunt around, buddy, and let me know if you find anyone willing to take your letter to Ottomwa, Iowa, for 34 cents, let alone up to Gleneagle.

Seems to me you get a pretty good deal, Tristan -- sit at home, make your choices, slap on some postage. No voter lines, no miles on your car and an extra 20 minutes in your life to find something else to complain about.

Yes, Tristan, I work at the post office, for 25 of my 44 years, and like 99 percent of the people I've worked with, we all do the best we can with what we have, take pride in our jobs, and try to give the best service possible.

-- Dave Park

Colorado Springs

Missed the boat

To the Editor:

Concerning the story "One Hell of a Business" [Oct. 25], I think Andrew Hood missed his boat. Instead of formulating an article that was anti-religion, he came off as pro-teenage drinking, pro-teenage pregnancy, and pro-teenage drug use.

-- Jim McCormack

Colorado Springs

License for mischief

To the Editor:

Not since the Gulf War have I witnessed so many hitherto lukewarm citizens trying to "out-patriot" each other.

I am amused by the number of my conservative friends who, prior to 9/11, said the government was a bunch of bloodsucking, tax-collecting tyrants. Now they are fawning all over Bush Light and his aging bevy of recycled former administration retreads with enough flags wrapped around them to make a bedspread for Paul Bunyan.

While we are killing camels and blowing up the occasional children's hospital in Afghanistan, we should also consider providing proof to the American people as to the guilt of the Afghanis we are attacking. Living in a nation of laws has spoiled me into believing in due process. I can't buy the "we have proof but we are not going to show you because it's classified" nonsense. What a license for mischief. I would like to fight the "Evildoers" too but, like our government, I don't know who or where they are.

Part of my skepticism is borne of knowledge that "collateral damage" is inevitable. So when our ordinance goes astray wiping out a school or residential area, we have to be morally certain that our information relative to the guilt, innocence and/or participation of those whom we are attacking is current, accurate and reliable.

As in the Gulf War, our faithful allies in the coalition against terrorism are right at our side; exactly where we paid them to be. Pakistan, which would normally cut our throats for a few rupees, has allied with us for about $500 million. A small price to pay for a loyal ally. I wonder why Mr. Blair was so all-fired complimentary about America. Our good friends the British would fight alongside us even without the promise of 50 new dual-purpose fighter-bombers. The list of other quid pro quo payments is shamefully long.

I love this country enough not to subscribe to "America, Right or Wrong." At least I will endeavor to find out if we are right. If we are, then you won't see a more dedicated patriot. If we are wrong, then you will not see a more vocal critic. I am not yet convinced our response is the right one. We seem to have forgotten that a nation with space-age weapons and the best fighting force on Earth was trounced not too long ago in Vietnam by a reticent government and a ragtag army of peasants with spears.

-- Richard Baker

Colorado Springs

Here they come

To the Editor:

"Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Ben Franklin

The Anti-Terror Bill signed last Friday, Oct. 26, is a step in the wrong direction. When the government has this type of legal power to monitor its citizens, you have to wonder what is done with all the information that turns out to be unrelated to terrorist activity. I can hear McCarthy and Roy Cohn coming up the hall; so keep on your toes.

-- B. Koleno

Colorado Springs

Jane Fonda no more

To the Editor:

In a previous letter to Ms. DeGette [Sept. 20], I made a reference to Jane Fonda and suggested that her article on the events of Sept. 11 made her seem like a Jane Fonda. While many of my colleagues agreed with my feelings, a few indicated that the Jane Fonda tag was a bit too harsh and not quite deserved for Ms. DeGette. One also suggested that Ms. DeGette may not even know what I was referring to with my mention of Jane Fonda.

While the Independent may not always print what I believe (or know) to be true, I applaud your efforts. Serving from here in Korea, it is nice to know what's going on back home and how the local community is seeing things. I have served many years overseas (nearly 15 years of the last 30), but this is the first I have truly worried about the safety of my family and friends back in "the States." Keep up the great work.

-- Tom Rice

Osan Air Base, Korea

Saddened by agenda

To the Editor:

I feel compelled to correct the inaccuracies in Mr. Norton's letter, "Big pink eraser" [Letters, Oct. 25]. He must have me confused with someone else because I have never been in Stratton Elementary cafeteria and never attended the event he referred to.

I have strongly supported Superintendent Norm Ridder from the beginning! As a matter of record there was unanimous support for hiring Dr. Ridder as our interim, then permanent superintendent, and just recently [there was] again unanimous support for renewing his annual contract.

I am a believer in the power of the First Amendment that protects the right to free speech but inaccuracies of this magnitude must be pointed out. Mr. Norton is the husband of Toby Norton, who is a supporter of one of the other candidates for School Board.

I am saddened to think that his passion for public education motivated him to make things up or that this candidate's leadership might have inspired that kind of behavior.

-- Karen Teja

Colorado Springs

Editor's Note: The author is running for a second term on the D-11 Board of Education.

We can do better

To the Editor:

Having lived in Maryland, Oregon and Florida, I initially laughed when I read your "Best Of" issue where Red Lobster, of all places, was named Best Seafood [Restaurant] in the Springs [Oct. 18]. Now I realize that Colorado is steak country and there isn't an ocean for thousands of miles, but then I thought of the recent businesses to open on our downtown stretch of Tejon. Most of the success stories are new concepts that are meaningfully different from the guy next door.

It made me wonder why downtown Colorado Springs can't support an upscale seafood restaurant. The logistics of getting fresh seafood to Colorado is obviously a bit more complicated than San Francisco, but other restaurants (such as McCormick & Schmick's) have found profitable ways to do it in places like Chicago, Denver and Kansas City. I'm no restaurateur, but here's hoping one steps up in the next year to knock Red Lobster down to a very distant second.

-- Chris Gallen

Colorado Springs

The YMCA is cool

To the Editor:

We were thrilled that the YMCA was voted the Best in Colorado Springs [Oct. 18], but two items were somewhat confusing. We have worked on the air conditioning. We recently added a lot of new exercise equipment downtown that required a new $570,000 air conditioning system. YMCA staff report that with the new system, temperatures are staying near the recommended 71 degrees.

The YMCA is also no longer affiliated with the USO as your title implied. The local YMCA has long helped families deal with the many pressures of serving in the military. Our new affiliation with the Armed Services YMCA will help us do even more at a critical time when the stresses of deployment make things more difficult on children and parents alike.

YMCA volunteers and staff would like to thank the many Independent readers who support the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region.

-- Rick Lynch

Communications Director

YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region

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