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Stupid is, stupid does

Re: last week's Public Eye, it was only a matter of time, wasn't it?

Rich Tosches is simply too good, too honest, too funny, too forthright to columnize for the Gazette. Makes one wonder who got to them first? Focus on the Family? City Council? County commissioners? Deer-popping fools? The Pope?

If I didn't need to get the Gazette for business purposes, I would cancel my subscription right now. They're not even smart enough to realize that the guy sells newspapers for them. I found him a bright light in an otherwise dull, mis-prioritized pile of bulk and ink.

-- Gary Morse

Colorado Springs

Comfy bedfellows

Your news article, "Jumping ship, citing undue developer influence, city planner quits" (Oct. 2-8) couldn't be more on the mark.

Our neighborhood, Horseshoe Rancheros, is a prime example of developers getting their way with the majority approval of City Council. In the past two months, my neighbors and I discovered that our 5-acre lots are to be engulfed by Ridgeview and Pulte Homes development of up to 7.99 units per acre.

In spite of city government's stream overlay planning, two of the three stream overlays in the land surrounding us are being covered over. A wetlands directly to the east of our properties is now slotted for development.

Voicing our concerns at several City Council meetings, my neighbors and I were basically told "too bad, that is just the way it is; these plans have been in effect for over 12 years."

It is amazing that those of us who work hard all of our lives to own small properties can have our peaceful neighborhood destroyed by developers and city government for no reason except greed and padding the pockets of politicians. If a road needs to come through to connect these tacky housing projects, we are told to make the best deal for losing our property if it is in the way or have the land condemned.

Alece Otero (the city planner who recently resigned) is absolutely right in her assessment of how city planning, developers and City Council lie together. I applaud her for speaking out against this injustice.

My neighbors and I live in Horseshoe Rancheros so that we don't live in overcrowded subdivisions; we don't care if the local grocery store or hardware store is several miles away. We don't live here to listen to every word spoken by next-door neighbors and listen to their dogs barking; we live here to hear the sounds of coyotes, owls, falcons and hawks, and watch other wildlife going about its business.

Hopefully the media, environmental groups and neighborhoods facing the same dilemma will begin to loudly voice their opinions about the destruction of Colorado Springs' few and farther between areas where homeowners can live outside the reach of developers.

-- Hilary T. Wood


Front Range Equine Rescue

Psychiatric slavery

Thank you for bringing to Colorado Springs and to your remote readers on the Web the story of police officer Dale Huston's alleged assault on Nathan Roberts ("Springs cop sued again," Oct. 2-8).

The possibility that the lawsuit's claims are true, coupled with Huston's dismaying history, should lead us to question why Huston continues to be employed by the Colorado Springs Police Department.

The specifics of this case are hardly necessary to declare that it is outrageous that places like Cedar Springs -- places for the control of minds, the crushing of spirit, the choking of philosophical dissent -- continue to exist in the state of Colorado, enforced by the police. This is the chief outrage that must be swept away.

-- Daniel C. Boyer

Houghton, Mich.

In our dreams

Peter Dunn had a great idea in his Your Turn of Sept. 25, advocating the extension and expansion of Cimarron Street from I-25 to Powers Boulevard.

As a member of the East/West Mobility Study, I am surprised and not a little chagrined, that we, as a group, did not consider that approach. I suppose that the internal battle between the "Constitution Avenue is a Sacred Way" bunch and the rest of the world absorbed our attention. But, sensible or not, a Cimarron route will run into the same problem. That is, that we all want traffic relief but don't want the solution to go in our neighborhood. So nothing will ever get done.

This is no surprise. Consultant studies in 1912 and again in 1921 said that city streets lacked connectivity and that we would suffer traffic problems as a result. Mr. Dunn cites a 1956 consultant study that the city never listened to either.

Will we ever learn?

-- Robert B. Hoff

Colorado Springs

Life in Fundamental-ville

This is in response to Don Fahrenkrug's letter, "Separation of church and hate," which appeared in the Independent's Oct. 2-8. edition.

Mr. Fahrenkrug wonders what would happen if he and the rest of America's "fundamental, radical, Bible-thumping Christians" (his words) could separate from mainstream America and form a separate society. Here's what I think this Christian utopia would be like:

Mr. Fahrenkrug states that the schools there would "teach reading, writing, math, U.S. history, (and) civics." I noticed right away that "science" was not mentioned, and there's a good reason for this: Religious schools are terribly deficient in this area. Science requires one to look at things objectively and base one's conclusions on unbiased experiments and observations.

Since the results would often be at odds with scripture, most scientific subjects would be taught in an incomplete, distorted manner, if taught at all. After a couple of generations, the lack of scientifically trained people would lead to alarming shortages in industry, technology and medicine.

Abortion, sex education and family planning would be prohibited. While fundamentalist Christians believe that this would make teen sex and unwanted pregnancies disappear, quite the opposite would be true: Many, many women and girls, not in a position to support and care for additional children but with no sex education and no means of family planning at their disposal, would become pregnant and, since abortion would be out of the question and welfare would also be unavailable, these unwanted children would be at enormous risk.

Also at great risk would be the small percentage of folks unfortunate enough to be born homosexual. Shunned by their church, society and probably even their own families, they'd lead tortured and unhappy lives and many would resort to suicide.

This Christian utopia, with its inherent problems and deficiencies, seems to me a very unhappy place; I'll stay where I am. But if Mr. Fahrenkrug would enjoy living there -- bon voyage!

-- Fred Kormos

Colorado Springs

Mean streets

It has been two weeks since the photo series on homeless "youth" was published in the Independent. I have talked with a large number of people who've seen it and their reactions were almost universally negative. That was my reaction as well, for several reasons:

First off, these are mostly young adults, 19 and 20 years old, not "kids." I am far more concerned about the under-18s, who are far more vulnerable to the unhealthiness of street life. Where were the photos and stories about kids having to engage in "survival sex" to get by? Where were the photos and stories about kids being beaten up by the adults who resent their "trespassing" into their long-held territory in Monument Valley Park? How about something on the kids who are fleeing serious abuse, not just "I can't get along with my folks."

The photos and stories presented an exciting, counter-cultural scene that made me wish I was 19 again so I could hang out with those cool, interesting young adults, who have all that "style" and "that sense of fashion and intelligence." I don't support Urban Peak because they enable a lively counter-cultural street scene; I support them because they help kids escape the unhealthy life on the streets of our city.

Our city is gaining a reputation as a good place to "hang out and be homeless." Our Colorado Springs police officers, as they deal with homeless people, report hearing this with some regularity. Is this why we support our various homeless services? I would hope not. I would hope that the various providers, both for young and old, examine how they offer their help more under the lens of "what helps?" and "what enables?"

Adrian, who is now in Portland, Ore., really hit it on the head in his letter to the editor last week: "In Colorado Springs it is far easier to stay homeless than to become self-sufficient."

Wouldn't it be healthier for everyone if our "helping culture" were the reverse of that statement?

-- Matthew Parkhouse

Colorado Springs

Getting educated

Professor Bendik-Keymer's Oct. 2-8 Your Turn ("We cannot allow this") cannot be allowed to stand without response.

The professor's well-written piece contains cogent arguments, but also statements that seem to fly in the face of fact. His statement, "The Bush administration ... has abused American citizens and instilled a culture of oppression" is poorly grounded and ill conceived. The abuse and oppression are the result of the acts of 9/11 and those that hopefully are never to come.

His following statement, "... the universal right of all to enjoy a life free from violence and with a decent hope of happiness," might meet with some disagreement from those who tried to make sure the redcoats who sought to obliterate the early American colonists did not have a life "free from violence." See The Patriot if you have not.

Finally, what about his statement, "... the rule of law is justified only when it supports human and civil rights" -- whose civil rights are we supporting? If a man overtly tells me he is going to burn my house and kill my family (as Osama bin Laden has, so many times), do I not have the rule of law in my favor when I proactively prevent that event?

I believe our professor needs a bit of education in Political Science circa 2003.

--Brian McCarthy

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: In Jeremy Bendik-Keymer's piece, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was referenced as the North American Trade Organization. The fault was ours, not his, and we apologize for the embarrassing error.

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