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Cover the costs

Regarding last week's cover story, "Sour Note," I believe that the problem is that the symphony is simply not being run as a business.

It has a product (concerts) that consistently loses money, according to the article. A for-profit organization would soon go out of business. A nonprofit would too if donations or a foundation do not cover the losses. And that is where the symphony is today.

The concerts must at least break even. If this means moving to a cheaper location, reducing the number of musicians, reducing the size of the staff and not paying the executive director $92,000 a year, then do it. Unfortunately, a nonprofit organization tends to have a "not-for-profit" mentality.

Additional funding obtained through fund-raising by the board and executive director could be used to provide free concerts for special audiences, children's programs, special performing artists, etc.

It is time for all parties to wake up and realize that the concerts must cover all of the costs.

-- Lee Johnson

Colorado Springs

Bring back Susan

I would like to commend Noel Black for last week's article about the demise of the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra ("Sour Note," Feb. 6). It was nice to finally see some detailed work about the mess of the last year.

It is regrettable, however, that when I was interviewed as a "person on the street" a few years ago, there was no one to write a longer article on the topic. Then, I was asked what the most unreported local news of the year was and I responded that it was Susan Greene and her great job with the symphony.

Perhaps if she and the symphony had gotten more attention back then, more people would have been interested in the health and well-being of this long-standing arts contributor to the, as my East Coast parents so poignantly put it, "cultural wasteland of Colorado Springs."

As a former member of the board for the Star Bar Players and frequent volunteer for as many local drama productions and arts organizations as I could be, I know how tough it is to generate interest about art here in the Springs.

Hearing about the lousy board of directors will not really help the symphony's fund-raising efforts, as many people will likely only contribute when they are gone. Hey, now there's an idea! Get rid of those guys and bring Susan back so that she can get the organization back on track! I would bet she'd do it for less than $250,000! I'd certainly buy tickets for the first new season.

I, by the way, do not support my parents' perception of the Springs. We do not live in a cultural wasteland, just in a town that either takes for granted or ruins most of the things that make it appealing.

-- Melissa Hafter

Colorado Springs

Take back the cops

Wow! Do I have to keep repeating myself, or what?! I open up last week's Independent, and what do I read? In the news story "Excessive Force" a cop brutally assaults a helpless and confused 15-year-old, the kid gets told that he's a criminal and is imprisoned, and the cop is lionized by his superiors for being "effective."

Something wrong with this picture? You bet!

So, once again, here it is:

1) Thanks to the Independent. Big time.

2) We must de-militarize, and retake control of, the police. It's not optional; it's a bottom-line necessity for preventing the total destruction of the Republic.

3) To accomplish #2, elect Libertarians.

This is your country. [Show Bill of Rights.] This is your country on fascism. [Show Officer Huston assaulting people and/or committing perjury.] Any questions?

-- Patrick L. Lilly

Occupied Cheyenne Caon

near Colorado Springs s

Can Officer Huston

As a concerned resident of this overall great city I would like to express my outrage at such behavior by our Colorado Springs Police Department.

I would also like to challenge other concerned citizens to write in and express our displeasure over such infractions against our mentally ill youth. It has occurred to me that since Internal Affairs has adopted a policy of CYOA (cover your own butt) that nothing will change unless we as citizens bring attention to this problem.

After all, we are a government for the people, by the people, and the real power to affect change lies in the hands of its citizens. I find that there can be no excuses to this kind of excessive force as our officers are trained to evaluate situations taking into account the size, state and potential threat of any offender and to use their best judgment in applied force.

If this officer is incapable of using such judgment appropriately he should be removed from the force.

-- Laura Lisle

Colorado Springs

At the fuel pump

In reference to Allan Burns comments (Your Turn, "Wrong for them, wrong for us," Feb. 6), I would like to say, "Bravo!!!"

Regardless of one's position on the matter, I believe that Mr. Burns has brought to light the realization of war and the true fears that we all face. It all smells of oil.

I don't want to see my neighbor, best friend and all of the other courageous military personnel lose their lives because of arbitration at a fuel pump. Is this truly about weapons of mass destruction? If so, why haven't we opened up a can of "whoop-ass" on North Korea? Probably because we know that they'll open up that can on any of their neighbors, right here, right now.

It is unfortunate that the United States must (or feels it must) play policeman for the entire world; the United Nations appears to be very skeptical, and this may be truly warranted. Obviously, the threat of warfare, weapons of mass destruction, and genocide are not matters to be taken lightly.

My concern is for my countrymen on the front lines. We live in the greatest country in the world, where our servicemen know what it means to get it done, and will do so without reservation. I pray that they will not have to take this next step.

-- Eric Cipcic

Colorado Springs

The phantom menace

In response to Gary Dean and his letter to the editor of last week, "Locked in an iron box":

I'm not sure if you are aware of the fact that the border of Iraq is as porous, to certain factions, as is our border with Canada. So anything Hussein wishes to allow out of the country, will certainly get out.

Now I don't know about you, but during the Cold War, Uncle Sam trained us in what those chemical weapons would do to you, and I am not in the mood to have Colorado Springs become a ghost town. Denver maybe, but not here, and there are no cures for some of that stuff.

Now, if you think that Hussein is in a locked box and nothing will get out fine, but I hope you have on hand one of those 1950s do-it-yourself bomb shelters. I think you can find blueprints for one in a back issue of Popular Mechanics, circa 1955.

-- Dave Johnston

Colorado Springs

The heavens opened up

Numerous individuals have expressed to me in recent days their interest in the campaign to recall County Commissioners Tom Huffman and Chuck Brown. Some of the issues that are mentioned by these nonpartisan individuals include:

The jail and courthouse issue

The failure by the county sheriff to disclose the National Institute for Crime report suggesting that the new jail might not be needed

The Milam Road/Property Condemnation issue

The Baptist Road Transportation Authority issue

The waiver of the 300-year water requirement

The "golden parachute" for top county administrator

The county vehicle policy

The cuts in services to roads, parks, etc.

"Attitude" toward those who question

Procurement policies and lack of competitive bidding

Board of Health issues

It seems interesting that the county commissioners were often unwilling to answer citizen questions prior to the recall campaign. Suddenly, they find the need for Town Hall meetings.

-- Gary Schinderle

Black Forest

Democracy or not?

Party faithful are being urged by the Republican Party of El Paso County to rescind signatures they may have placed on recall petitions seeking the ouster of Commissioners Brown and Huffman. Do we still live in a democracy?

Perhaps we should forego the unnecessary expense of any further elections and just allow the El Paso Republican Party to choose our representatives and the level of indebtedness the citizens can afford to assume. This appears to be the logic behind the Republican Party's paternalistic appeal to loyalists.

I voted yes on the jail measures and accepted the fact that the majority of voters did not. It was an affront to democracy that the commissioners overrode the voter's rejection of the measures.

Commissioners, the majority of voters said no. In a democracy, the majority rules. We are either people of principle or party loyalists. Our choice. One is democratic, and the other is decidedly not.

-- Patricia Poos

Colorado Springs

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