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Creative thinking

Last week's cover story, "Rise of the creative class," really compelled me. I didn't think of Colorado Springs as much as I thought of the potential for Manitou to lure and keep these amazing people. Having lived and met my husband in the town of Aspen, we were surrounded by the Creative Class. I love that there is a name for this group that I feel such a part of. I had never heard such a perfect description before.

When we moved to the Springs in '94, I didn't feel that it was "home." When we moved to Manitou Springs, I recognized the potential for our great little town and knew that I could settle here forever. I hope that our members of City Council read the article too and will recognize the jewel that we have in our town to lure this population.

Thanks for the good read.

-- Kathy Bell

Manitou Springs

The best and brightest

One would think it somewhat intuitive that the more tolerance, educational and cultural opportunities a community offers the easier it would be to nurture and attract the best and the brightest.

The Independent's article on Richard Florida and The Rise of the Creative Class underscores this point. Perhaps the broad based coalition that worked so well to pass Question 1A could build on its success by working to enhance those elements of our social infrastructure that do not currently measure up to those places found to be more desirable by the creative class.

-- Les Gruen

Colorado Springs

Reality check

Subject: Building a creative class in Colorado Springs

Ha! Good luck.

-- Tom McElroy

Colorado Springs

Churning butter

I was perusing the Oct. 14 "Best Of" issue (I know it's been out for a while ... I am slow) and was baffled at how national franchises wound up on the reader's top 10 lists.

I was of the impression that the wise Indy readers would almost never patronize such establishments. The one that churned my butter was "Best Pancakes." IHOP? Being a supporter of local business this was a surprise. I was equally amazed by the venerable Wal-Mart being permitted into these pages.

That is moderately ironic, given the Indy advertises their distribution locations are "around town, except for Wal-Mart." I fully realize these choices were picked by the readers (and in some cases the editors) so I am not upset. More along the lines of confused, I suppose. At any rate, I still enjoy the paper and always look forward to each week's edition.

-- Dan Walker

Colorado Springs

Investigate the bishops

Re: NAACP'S tax-exempt status being scrutinized by the Internal Revenue Service:

It isn't too appalling to read that the Bush administration wishes to punish and harass the NAACP because they refused to allow President Bush to speak at one of their meetings.

My question is: Why not investigate two of Colorado's Catholic bishops, Charles Chaput and Michael Sheridan for following the Republican leaders to their rallies and denouncing the Democrats?

These two bishops went throughout the state of Colorado and other states and joined both Bush and Cheney at their rallies to help bash the Democrats. They should be investigated to ensure "donated funds" to the Catholic churches have not been used for these two bishops to help sway the votes to favor the Republicans.

Have you noticed how Vice President Cheney hangs his head and looks at his feet when he makes a wild statement about Sens. Kerry and Edwards?

By the why Mr. Hazlehurst, using your reporter's credentials so you can hear and bash Gen. Wesley Clarke, and also you trying to explain small arms better than him with superior knowledge compared to yours is a sham [Outsider, Oct. 21].

If you can't report without bashing then maybe you should lose your credentials.

-- Ben Shepherd

Colorado Springs

Selling out

Way to go ... Just when I thought the Indy was a step above that "other" paper! Let me explain:

Over the years you have printed wonderful articles detailing the plight of unions and union workers, attempts by nonunion types to organize, big business' continued ploys to keep the union worker down, etc. I've always been so proud to read such stories.

Imagine my dismay when, while cruising your classifieds like I always do, I came across a huge ad from King Soopers advertising for "replacement workers" (read: scabs)!! You passed up a perfect opportunity to show some balls and just say no -- while sticking up for the union working woman or man instead of caving in to the corporate almighty dollar you are constantly railing against. You could have even made it the subject of an interesting story! Am I a union member? You bet! Am I biased? You bet! Do unions have a tough enough time in this town? You better believe it!

Well, do us one favor will you? Do some research (I have) into what the grocery stores are really offering their employees. They are not just asking employees "to pay a little more" -- it's a lot more.

Remember, the grocery workers are just the beginning now that W. is safe for four more years.

-- Mike Minnillo

Colorado Springs

Shout it loud

Unfortunately, "liberal" has been turned into a four-letter word, something to be ashamed and afraid of in recent months of "divide and conquer" tactics. Perhaps we need a reminder that the liberals have a long and proud standing in this nation.

The dictionary definition of liberal is "favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress and tolerant of the ideas and behaviors of others; broadminded." The definition of conservative: "A political party whose characteristic principle is in opposition to change in a country." Obviously at odds, but respectfully necessary for balance in this democratic society.

Without the "liberals" fighting for the underdog in our nation's history, women would not yet be "liberated" or have the vote. Both women and children would still be considered only the "property" of a man, (without educational and job opportunities). Children would still be working 12 hours in factories each day. African-Americans would still be slaves, without even the right to marry, and integrated marriages wouldn't exist. Many social programs that assist the needy wouldn't be in place. Schools, transportation and the military would still be segregated, and we wouldn't have Social Security.

These few examples reveal how liberals have consistently made the once unthinkable (at least to the right wing) "ordinary." It takes courage, insight, vision, wisdom and a tough skin to fight for the unpopular ... to champion the rights of ethnic minorities, women and yes, gays, when the status quo is a far easier route.

The liberals have ensured that our nation is something "greater and fairer" than it would have been had the conservatives prevailed. Liberal policy has led the world in social and political reforms. Be proud, not ashamed, of being a liberal! Our world is better for your courage.

-- Donna Arnink

Colorado Springs

Passing the buck

I was very hopeful for a John Kerry victory in the election so we could resume a positive direction in our country and not leave the country a mess for our kids.

The loss is terribly disappointing to me, but not so much as the apparent reasons for the loss. There are many reasons to be proud to be an American but this election is not one of them. We Americans had our simple and privileged way of life interrupted by terrorists on 9/11 and this has motivated many people to vote out of fear, despite the miniscule possibility of another terrorist attack on our soil.

As Osama bin Laden had reinforced in his recent video, the attack succeeded beyond his wildest dreams in disrupting our economy. The attack could not have worked better for Bush to promote his Iraq agenda, again capitalizing on our fear. It is very easy to provoke an enemy, which this war has done, while standing behind a bodyguard such as our military. Unfortunately, the soldiers are risking their lives to support an oil dependent way of life and little else. I hate to imagine the number of extremists on the bandwagon now.

As far as tax cuts go, does no one realize the long-term risk of piling up a deficit? This will eventually destabilize our economy, but we Americans seem content to pass the buck to our kids to figure out. That is wrong and unfair to future generations to leave a liability for our short-term gain.

Come on America, we can do better than to let our fears drive our decision and risk the tenets that our economy and society is based on. Unfortunately, we can't undo what we have done for another four years.

-- John Thayer

Colorado Springs

Reality will catch up

One should not be too quick in making parallels between 9/11 and the recent election. True, religious fanaticism played a role in both. But one was an attack from outside, while the other was self-inflicted.

And while it would give visceral satisfaction to many to see Bush's second inauguration disrupted, such actions are counterproductive. The administration will ferociously bring the full force of the Patriot Act to bear, stripping Americans of due process. Also such actions will further divide and harden the country.

Perhaps we should interpret the elections through a different lens: With Republicans dominating Congress, think how they would have crucified Kerry for every consequence of the mess created by Bush. But George W. will have no one to blame. The millstone will be around his neck.

Unfortunately we will still be paying a high price even after Bush has left office in four years with the huge debt, a tax burden further shouldered by the middle class, an unnecessary and tragic war, and a terrorist threat enhanced by his "leadership."

What do Bush supporters make of his endorsement by the "axis of evil" head of Iran's Security Council Hasan Rowhani, who in October said it was in Tehran's best interest to have Bush re-elected? Or that Egyptian president and long-term ally Hosni Mubarak, who has fought Islamic extremists over 20 years, predicted that the invasion of Iraq would create 100 bin Ladens?

For now, we must allow the times to ripen, keep the truth before us, and reach out to others. Democrats must also do some soul searching. The national leadership too long served up everything Bush wanted on a silver platter. Kerry let himself be defined by Bush early on and only found his voice late in the campaign.

We must take heart in our numbers and the depth of our convictions. Reality will catch up with Bush. Unfortunately the national suffering that began on 9/11 has picked up momentum and become personified not in Osama bin Laden, but in George W. Bush.

-- Richard Trussell


Sleeping zombies

Well, we asked for it -- more vanity, more myopia, more sanctimoniousness, more greed, etc. Apparently, the village idiot is staying in power -- the power to destroy and control based on fear and ignorance.

Here's hoping that the blind, religious zeal and greed doesn't totally corrupt and cripple the ship. My first reaction might be to suggest that for thinking people it is time to leave the sinking ship as it lists dangerously to the right, far out of balance, headed for self-destruction.

But, thinking people must stay to effect a concerted effort to counterbalance this extreme list to the right by the sleeping zombies, because, unfortunately, if this ship capsizes it impacts the whole world enormously and we would be detrimentally effected wherever we lived in the world.

Hopefully, the rest of the thinking world can weather this astonishing storm and the influence of this crusading and listing juggernaut. And hopefully, the impact and assault on the rest of the world will not be utterly catastrophic.

-- Wanda Beliz

Colorado Spring

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