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An irritating bug

As a bystander, reading articles associated with D-11 and its board of education, I am continuously amazed -- really simply baffled -- how/why the district continues to allow Eric Christen to continue to serve on the board

I also often see him on the D-11 channel, and I honestly watch only because he gives me a good laugh. He is a bad joke that you have to laugh at, because it is just so bad. He is typically seen as griping, whining, complaining, pouting, etc. about one thing or other, and I view his shameful ways as a disgrace to the district.

Eric Christen is like an irritating bug -- one that you want to banish before it starts to spread and infest itself! I feel for those individuals who are subject to the downfalls of what Mr. Christen precipitates. Where did he come from?

I would certainly hope that those who elected him now realize with most certainty the errors in their judgment. My goodness, to call Sandy Shakes a "buffoon" is unfathomable, but it proves to all what an egotistical S.O.B. he really is (Son of a Buffoon -- that is!); after all, it takes one to know one.

-- Tammy Wuerth

Colorado Springs

Shoot to miss

I was horrified to read about the five buffalo gunned down on Colorado Avenue last week. The way they died was indeed animal cruelty. I am disgusted with the police department's overzealous use of force. They fired approximately 24 shots into each buffalo. As with people, the officers -- if they had to use their guns -- should have aimed to wound and subdue, not kill.

However, since an incident like this had previously occurred, the police department should have known where to obtain tranquilizers. It's hard to believe they couldn't, with all the connections and resources available to them.

In addition to the police, I am disgusted with G&C Packing Co. One hundred years ago, buffalo were on the brink of extinction. We must have forgotten that, seeing how little respect we have for them today.

-- Kelly Cremer

Fort Collins

Escaped fair and square

I read with much interest the story about the shooting of the bison. So they were hungry and eating some grass. Anybody old enough to know better knows an animal is going to get rather miffed at being interrupted if he or she is eating. Knowing this and having seen the video several times, I do not see how any police were in danger, and I most assuredly do not understand why other means of capturing these buffalo were not done.

This is the second time now that this packing company has had this experience. Now wouldn't you think that after the first time precautions would have been taken to sedate these beasts if it ever happened again and take them to some type of sanctuary? Wouldn't some type of agency or wildlife preserve be contacted way back when for advice? The bottom line is this: Those bison escaped fair and square, and Colorado Springs' finest rewarded them for their brainpower. And that, quite frankly, is disgusting.

I'm sure the zoo could have used the free publicity that would have been generated had the buffalo went there to live even for a short time before better quarters could have been found. An ideal situation was handed on a silver platter to Colorado Springs to display exemplary leadership. Instead, the low road was taken. The packing company doesn't know any better but the leaders of your fair city should, and that includes the police department.

-- Kimberly Spears

Dayton, Ohio

The beauty of Omaha

Comparing Colorado Springs to Omaha is offensive -- to Nebraskans.

Obviously, the Harper's magazine writer has never been to Omaha. Had he visited, he would know that Omaha is a very lovely city with a cobblestone pedestrian downtown shopping district, where horse-drawn carriages carry passengers past swank restaurants, opulent nightclubs, friendly bars, art galleries, locally owned bookstores and charming shops.

The city retains its century-old brick warehouse buildings next to the ultramodern, multipurpose Qwest Center. A relaxing greenway with a swan and duck-filled river runs through the center of town, flanked by sculpture gardens and open-air theater spaces for public performances. Omaha also has a world-class zoo with an amazing indoor aviary. Even the huge corporate headquarters of the big agribusiness firms have landscaped parkways and tasteful, even stately, architecture.

Replacing Colorado Springs -- with its bloated sprawl, its decrepit infrastructure, its big-box "architecture," its auto-congested downtown and its stingy cultural institutions -- would make this a truly world-class city. Sadly, our breathtaking mountains are all we have over Omaha.

-- Gavin Ehringer

Colorado Springs

No joke

If it hadn't been May 13 when I picked up the Independent and read about the redevelopment project slated for North Nevada Avenue and the possible threat to the existence of Seor Manuel's, I'd have thought it was just an April Fool's edition of the paper.

Not many places in the Springs create "a more unique sense of place" than Seor Manuel's. We have been going there at least two to three times per month for almost 13 years -- and we live in Monument. When we have out-of-town guests we take them to Seor Manuel's. They can go to the likes of Lowe's, Costco or the chain restaurants in their own towns. We avoid the boring humdrum chains on Academy Boulevard like the plague. Boring food, boring dcor -- the antithesis of unique.

Seor Manuel's may not be the most attractive of establishments, but what it lacks in dcor, it more than makes up for in atmosphere, service, food quality and consistency, and loyalty to the community. Many of the wait staff have been there since (and probably before) we started going there. Many a Friday night we see the same clientele at the same table, probably enjoying the same margarita and meal they order each time they visit.

I shake my head in wonder at the lack of planning that goes on in this city. From the sprawl on, and beyond, Powers Boulevard to the bulldozing of the beautiful "ranchettes" and trees that lined North Academy, it seems the goal of the city "planners" is to create a monotonous, asphalt-covered ghetto from which people seeking a sense of community and uniqueness will flee. Tourists won't need, or want, to come to Colorado Springs, as they can stay home and eat at the same restaurants in their own towns and avoid the horrific congestion on Powers and North Academy Boulevard.

I hope Seor Manuel's and the other unique businesses on Nevada are able to survive somehow. We love the "quirkiness" of that area. I guess one man's "blight" is another man's "uniqueness."

-- Kathleen Coblar


Ponder this

As a resident of our fair city for over 25 years and seeing enterprises (some very good ones) come and go, Mika Hernandez, Lina Biondi and their respective families in particular should be applauded for delivering to this community a very rare "real" commodity: longevity, commitment and consistency, the qualities of a truly successful business that reflects what little character this town has left to offer.

As pointed out in last week's cover story, the city and its planner Jim Rees wasted their $47,000 on the so-called "experts" of the Leland Consulting Group. The money would have been better spent on one of Seor Manuel's Mega-Margaritas while contemplating what is most important about our lives.

Expansion for the sake of revenue is understandable, but should we not think in terms of enhancing what little treasure we already have?

Granted, my bias is geared toward my two favorite places to dine, and to see them in jeopardy after being here longer than some of these people were even born is laughable and gives me one more reason to consider getting out of Dodge.

Has anyone asked Mr. Rees what residents "really" think of Academy Boulevard?

Oh, and it is chili rellenos, not chicken rellenos. That had to be a typo.

-- Alan Joseph

Colorado Springs

Unequal opportunity

It is obvious that those attempting to cross the Mexican border into the United States do not qualify for legal visas. This was one perspective not discussed in the May 5 cover package. Trying to understand the Immigration and Naturalization Service's policies on allowing visas requires the assistance of a lawyer with this specialty, and it seems that one day's answer may not be the same the next day.

My South American husband entered the United States illegally 25 years ago. Why illegally? Several attempts to obtain a visa were turned down, with the only answer being that his father did not have the financial assets needed. Yet at that same time, open lotteries were held in Ireland to award visas, and drug traffickers were also (unknowingly?) allowed legally into the U.S., presumably because there were those assets. Why did my husband want to come to the United States? It is the same answer that the majority of those on the street answered: opportunity. The INS provides that opportunity more readily to those with white skin. I'm sure statistics would prove this.

Twenty-five years later, my husband is a U.S. citizen. He did work jobs that other North Americans would not accept. We paid for his education, and he found his American dream through perseverance and hard work -- just like a lot of my white relatives did a few decades ago.

-- Arlene Rush

Colorado Springs

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