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Shame on us

Dear Dependent Newspaper: I was out of town for a few weeks; upon my return I heard that you have sold the paper to the Gazette. This made us very upset. How could you? We always supported your paper as an independent and respectable voice of the community. If in fact this news is true, shame on you, publisher John Weiss.

-- Steven Javaherian

Colorado Springs

Light bulb kicks on

Glad to know that others were suckered by your April Fools' edition (Letters, April 7-13). As broad and exaggerated as your cover story was, I just kept saying, "this can't be," without catching on. Only after I'd sent the story to my two Colorado e-buddies for verification did the light bulb kick on. After reading the rest of the letters, the tide of my chagrin ebbed. Apparently I'm not the only one who didn't turn the page on the calendar.

On another note, the letter by former school board Director Bruce Doyle touched on one of my favorite themes. Here in California, school funds are spent to send new board members to a boardsmanship course conducted by a private organization, and the curriculum in these classes is not available to the general public. I've long wanted for those classes to be put on video and made available at least to the press. Since most voters (and too many in the press) have no clue what is needed to be an effective board member, they vote based on a picture of the family with their pet, church affiliation, warm/fuzzy campaign blurbs and very shallow media coverage.

Anyway, just wanted to bang on one of my favorite drums. Effective civic involvement starts and stops with reliable information. I'm not sure about your laws in Colorado, but even though we have some pretty good laws here, they are often circumvented by these bastions of ethics: school administrators and board members.

-- Barb Vickroy

Escondido, Calif.

All a dream

I was so relieved to find out that the article on "hunt to kill and eat" (Appetite, March 31) was an April Fools' spoof. FANTASTIC. Great job all around to your staff. It was very convincing. Now if only I could wake up one morning and find out that there's really no such thing as hunting and the idea of hunting animals has all been an April Fools' spoof on the public, that would be heaven. At least I can temporarily have that fantasy through the Independent. Congrats on a great issue.

-- Ginny Oman

Colorado Springs

All dried up

I just finished reading last week's Indy and as always I found it to be both enlightening and amusing. I loved the letters to the editor from the readers who were duped by the April Fools' edition. I needed a good chuckle! I too was thoroughly duped, but thankfully for only a few minutes.

However, the roadkill food review made me sad. Sad because I love living at the foot of the mountains and I know it's not going to last forever with the rate of growth our city has chosen to accept. I fear that in just a few short years, my family and I will move farther west to escape the congestion and the lack of water. The beauty of this area will be gone forever if something isn't done to stop the sprawl very soon.

It just amazes me that the five-year drought taught us nothing. You would think it would have been a wake-up call to the residents and our City Council. But, alas, as usual, (developer) money wins out. People talk about growth being good for the economy. That's very shortsighted. What happens when our water is gone? I, and many others like me, won't be here to find out.

-- Deb Asher

Colorado Springs

Escalating abuse

It is unfortunate that Coco the cat was so badly abused (News, April 7). It is wonderful that you have such a caring community and professional group in the Pikes Peak Humane Society. It is also unfortunate that some obviously uninformed person still harbors the myth that there is no proven link between violence against animals and violence against people. Sort of like interviewing a member of the Flat Earth Society when word came back about Christopher Columbus.

The Latham Foundation is an educational foundation that has been working in the field of teaching kindness toward animals to children for more than 87 years. Latham ( has produced many films and books on many subjects, including training material on the Cycles of Violence, the proven relationship between animal abuse, child abuse and neglect, and domestic violence.

It is not true to say that if someone abuses an animal that person will abuse a person. It is an early indicator of the person's tendency to abuse other life -- starting with the most weak. If they are successful at this stage, meaning they have little or no punishment and guidance for their actions, some go on to more serious abuse. There is another excellent site for facts on pet abuse, It has a searchable database of pet abuse cases, as well as many links to studies and facts about this serious problem. It lists 59 cases just in Colorado of pet abuse, including Coco's case.

I hope your community is able to locate and get the offender(s) into treatment.

-- Hugh Tebault


The Latham Foundation

Unsung heroes

I would like to thank Kathryn Eastburn for her excellent March 17 story on substance abuse treatment issues in our city. From my perspective as a psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist and educator in the field, it seemed a fair and accurate report. Nevertheless, I think there is a need to say something about the role of nurses in substance abuse treatment.

Demeaning behavior and remarks were attributed to a nurse by the substance abuser Alex in her account of her emergency department experience. I certainly don't dispute Alex's account, but I would like to point out that much of the direct care that people suffering from substance dependence receive is provided by nurses. The article mentioned all mental health professionals except nurses as being needed. I agree with Alex's plea that we need to "clean them [people suffering from substance dependence] up, feed them, get them back living in healthy environments," and I feel it is important to acknowledge that often it is a nurse doing the cleaning, feeding and other care necessary to get substance dependent people back on their feet.

Likewise, professional nurses are also the administrators and managers of many of the departments/ facilities that provide services. These nurses work behind the scenes to stretch the few resources we have as far as possible to provide the needed care. Without their unsung efforts, there would be even less treatment available to our citizens.

Thank you, again, for bringing this untenable state of affairs to the public notice in such a compelling way. I would also like to congratulate the art department for an excellent cover image.

-- Lea Gaydos


Colorado Springs

Laws don't kill people

I would like to submit the following in response to letters and articles on the subject of allowing the open carry of firearms in county buildings:

"The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question." -- Article 13, Section II, Colorado Constitution

This article from the Colorado Bill of Rights is very plain -- every person in Colorado has the right to keep and bear arms. This most fundamental and cherished right -- an unalienable right -- has been weakened over the years by legislation and judicial rulings. Through the use of "police" powers, governments can place limited restrictions on who, how and where arms may be carried. But the fundamental right to bear arms to protect yourself and your family remains a guiding principle of free people.

The ongoing discussion on the possibility of allowing the open carry of some firearms into some areas of county buildings was not begun by members of the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition, but rather by members of the El Paso County Commission -- all of whom recognize and support this basic right. It is refreshing to see elected officials upholding their oath to protect and defend the constitutions of the United States and Colorado.

Some non-board elected officials have questioned the need for a citizen to have the right to protect themselves while in their offices. They cite the need for maintaining a "safe and intimidation-free" work environment. If history, from Cain and Abel to Klebold and Harris, has shown us anything, it is the fact that those persons bent on committing an evil act will find a way to do it no matter how many laws we enact or signs we erect. It is only the lawful person who obeys laws.

-- Bernie Herpin

President Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition

Colorado Springs

Twisted morality

There is no doubt in my mind that morality is twisted in Colorado Springs.

Where else would you go to hear that sex out of wedlock is a sin, but it is acceptable to hate and judge others?

Here are a few verses that Christians should look for the next time they read their Bible.

1. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

2. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.

3. Judge not, lest ye be judged.

4. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I'm sorry I didn't reveal books, chapters or verse numbers as to where to find these quotes, but if these Christians pick up their Bible and look at it, they will eventually find them.

-- Ed Billings

Colorado Springs

Getting there

What kind of transportation is available to the handicapped after-hours? I write to provide one example. The week before Easter I wanted to attend church services on Thursday and Friday night. I have Multiple Sclerosis and am confined to a wheelchair. With Springs Mobility you need to first make a reservation; you can usually get a ride, but you can call no earlier than one week before. I called at 6 a.m., as soon as they opened, and was able to reserve a ride to my destination but couldn't get a return ride. I asked if I was to remain stranded all night and they replied that I could use Yellow Cab.

This is a new experience for me but I found out that Yellow Cab only has one van for the handicapped and you had better specify the van or you get a cab and that would not serve my case at all. I'm not able to transfer into a cab since I am unable to function from the waist down, due to my MS.

If I had not lived in a facility so close to the church I could not have afforded it, but my son and I decided to give it a try. If worse came to worse he could push me home except that would be a trial also, since all the sidewalks don't have curb cuts for wheelchair accessibility. The first night we waited half an hour for Yellow Cab. The second night they said they would be 15 minutes late and it was half an hour.

But who is really complaining? I got there and I got home after awhile, so what more could I ask for.


-- Iva Wolverton

Colorado Springs


In the April 7 news story "Few voters, no surprises," we incorrectly stated that the 2003 Trails and Open Space program extension misled voters because the ballot title was heavily edited to meet the word limitation. In fact, a district court judge ruled that the language in the proposal did violate the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights. In addition, the ballot title exceeded the 30-word limit. The Independent regrets the error.

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