The March 10 letter from Winstorm Smith made me laugh. Why get so worked up about such an innocuous topic? I think that having a pregnant mother's parking area is an extremely kind gesture on the part of K-Mart.
As a man I will never fully appreciate that delicate condition, but I do know enough to know that pregnancy can be quite a challenge. Aside from the physical exhaustion that comes with the additional weight, countless women struggle to bring their pregnancies to full term and need to be particularly careful regarding their exertion levels.
I agree that walking is good exercise, but lugging a shopping cart across a snowy parking lot is difficult for the fittest of us. I say congratulations to K-Mart for being thoughtful enough to provide welcome relief to our city's expecting mothers. It is unfortunate that Mr. Smith can't see the intent with which the parking spaces were allotted.
-- Eric Cole
You can't say jack
You can't say jack
In reference to Winstorm Smith's letter, as a mother of two young children I am highly offended by his thoughts. I assume that this letter is from a man but an ignorant one at that. Yes, pregnancy is a right; and no, pregnancy is not equal to being handicapped. My mother has polio and needs the closer handicap spots in order to walk from the parking lot into the store with a smaller amount of pain than usual.
I also don't think that parking lots should be required to host "expectant mother" spots. But until you've been nine-plus months pregnant trying to work and run errands for the rest of the family, you can't say jack. Waddling isn't just an extra perk of pregnancy -- it hurts to move even when you exercise and eat right for your children. So as a treat in maybe two stores (K-Mart and Babies R' Us) in the entire area, pregnant ladies might get to waddle a little less. What a travesty!
Look beyond K-Mart Mr. Smith: Most families in our awfully straight-arrow middle-class community can afford their children. Let's hope they exercise their option to "breed" and possibly better the world by not becoming society's cookie cutters living in ticky-tacky houses with open doors and closed minds. Not everyone who lives in this part of Colorado is a Bible-thumping conservative.
Maybe Mr. Smith should stop loitering at K-Mart,m bashing pregnant women who are bringing the future generations into this world, and find something better to do with his time, like volunteer for the March of Dimes.
-- Lisa Reid
The peanut gallery
Hi and thanks for your March 3 article on four Colorado Springs artists. I am a 51-year-old contemporary expressionist ( la Nathan Oliveira, Fritz Scholder, etc.), and just moved here in September. It's great to see that there is some vital art being made here. Now all we need is a great community gallery.
In Long Beach, Calif., we circumvented all the stalled arts organizations and created a very successful grass-roots studio/gallery where we shared spaces and had four to six group exhibits a year, featuring artists we met and scouted from all over the Southern California area. I am hoping to see the same thing created here. Hats off to these artists, and in particular to Floyd Tunson for his magnificent exhibit!
P.S. I want to publicly thank Gerry Riggs of the Contemporary Gallery at UCCS for being so accommodating and supportive.
-- Lance Green
Good will prevail
A thousand thanks to John Hazlehurst for writing the column last week on the protestors outside of Palmer High School. As a student of Palmer, I was so happy, relieved and filled with confidence when I saw how many counter-protestors had shown up outside my school last Friday morning to support not only their beliefs, but the beliefs of our school as well.
The people of Westboro Baptist Church have absolutely no right in coming to our peaceful town and making little kids no older than 7 hold signs that say, "God hates you." On March 11, we not only got support from citizens but also from many, many students who knew what Westboro was saying was wrong.
Thanks to Hazlehurst for asking the citizens of Colorado Springs to support us. This is proof to everyone who has heard about the protest that good will prevail, and evil (and the liars from WBC) will go to hell, not the people who can't control whom they love.
-- Sophie Verhaeghe
Thank you, Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church. Never have so many diverse and oftentimes opposed elements of our community come together in a unified show of support ... against you, your followers, and the hatred you spew.
Who would've thought we'd see the day Citizens Project, Focus on the Family, The Pikes Peak Gay & Lesbian Community Center, City Council, Inside-Out Youth Services, and a massive gathering of students of various schools and ages (to name but a few of the many who came together) all united against you? Just goes to show that good really can come out of a bad thing.
Keep up the good work! We just love how you're bringing all the rest of us together ...
-- Mark R. Moore
District 11 has a zero-tolerance policy for dealing with bullies and harassment. Shouldn't this apply to the school board also? If any of our students acted as some of our school board members do, they would be suspended, if not expelled. Certain members of the District 11 School Board are not setting good examples. What's worse is that we as parents are letting them get away with it.
-- G.K. Warnke
Rampart has no problem
After reading the March 17 news article entitled "Black History is History," I would like to thank you. I am a senior at Rampart High School, and for three years I had never realized that we have a problem with Black History Month.
Reporter Michael deYoanna is correct. We do have a problem. However, the problem is not a lack of celebrating Black History Month. The problem is that when a reporter comments, he chooses to either ignore research or not report accurately. Throughout the article, deYoanna paints a dark (pardon the pun) picture of a school using its power to thwart the accomplishments of African-Americans.
This could not be further from the truth. The reporter, rather than accepting the word of three sources with questionable credibility at best, could have explored more fully the "mostly white and affluent" Rampart High School. First, the reporter probably would have seen the giant Black History Month tribute in front of the library. Next, they may have heard poetry by black authors being read in the announcements. Upon entering classrooms, deYoanna would most likely see projects about Black History Month assigned, as a large majority of English and social studies teachers are doing just that.
If that isn't enough Black History Month material for Mr. Reynolds, Ms. Bell, and Ms. Morgan, they could have attended the Multicultural Show. However, the sources quoted don't seem to think the Multicultural Show is enough. They would like to see their own show, a "separate but equal" show. Not only is this ironic, but in my opinion it should not matter if one does their Black History Month act after Irish step dancing, or African step dancing.
In all fairness, however, I can honestly say I am glad this article was published. It was truly eye-opening. It shows how inaccurate a piece of work can be, and it shows how much controversy can be created when a newspaper decides to blur the lines between news and editorial! Once again I'd like to thank you for attempting to educate me about a problem within the institution I am part of. Hopefully, I've done the same for you.
-- Jordan Lewis
It is not surprising to me to see such a response as David R. Perl's March 10 letter to the editor in response to my letter of March 3. Apparently, Mr. Perl deems himself an educated man. Unfortunately, he does not know the first thing about intelligently responding to a logical argument.
My statement was simple, but let me repeat myself in even simpler terms: Bicyclists can cause accidents on the roads and not be held accountable for their actions because they are not required to register and insure their bikes.
Being that you weren't able to respond to that statement, that leaves with two reasons as to why: Either you couldn't pose reasonable counterpoints to dispute my argument or you simply are not as smart as you think. You also try to spice up your response with bathroom humor, another sign of an intelligent man. Lastly, I own bikes and ride them from time to time, but I never try to pretend I am in a car when doing so. I am done with this issue ... for there are other hills to die on!
-- Mark Ratikan
You have no choice
Mr. Ratikan: It is fortunate for all cyclists that many roads in this region are explicitly marked with the unmistakable "Bike Route" pictogram. Your frustration understood, I recommend that you sincerely examine your power within the democratic process in determining more inclusive ways in which your tax obligations may be allocated. Depending on the degree of basic tolerance you feel deficient in, I respectfully also recommend that you visit the Netherlands or perhaps China, to name only two. Luckily, even in this land that I temporarily share with you, you have no choice in the matter, short of impulsive vehicular assault. Meanwhile, please remember: "Spoiled brats" are those who persistently refuse to share.
-- Magnus von Thiel
Speeding up to stop
I'd like to respond to Mark Ratikan's letter about bicyclists getting in his way on the road. Mr. Ratikan makes two inaccurate assertions. Number one, he claims that "roads were designed for automobiles." Actually, the first roads paved in this country were done so by bicycle clubs, and roads were designed for them. Roads that came later could have been more sensitive to bicycle traffic, but city planners chose not to design them that way.
Universities were designed for men only, and as they converted to co-ed institutions, adaptations were made to include women. Would Mr. Ratikan suggest that no females should attend any major institutions of higher learning because when the buildings were created, women were not included? Would he say that any public building not planned with handicap access should remain so because the original designer did not concern himself with wheelchaired citizens?
Number two: Mr. Ratikan claims that motor vehicle drivers have paid certain taxes to give them the right of the road instead of cyclists. Actually, statistics show us that nearly every single bicyclist in this town is also a motor vehicle owner, myself included. So, I would like to officially designate some of the road and bridge taxes paid out of my homeowners tax and some of the gasoline and registration taxes I pay for both of my motor vehicles to be applied to marking bicycle lanes on major throughways throughout El Paso County.
By state law, bicyclists have all the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. They should be ticketed as such and should freely use the streets as such. There's no reason to be in such a hurry on a city street with traffic lights, stop signs and speed limits. How quickly does Mr. Ratikan have to get to that next red light?
-- Barb Yaschik