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Safety in numbers

This is in response to the June 2 letter to the editor from Lauren Goulding. Ms. Goulding says the Gay-Straight Alliance at Palmer High School poses a safety issue to D-11 in that members from other types of student clubs are not beaten up.

It needs to be added that if anyone knows about being a safety issue and/or being beaten, it is the GLBT student and GSA supporter. The GSA was formed to create understanding and thereby lessen the safety issue.

If because of safety, people were to leave their courage at the door, we would not have the Declaration of Independence, French Resistance of WWII, Civil Rights Movement or Tiananmen Square.

All people who desire respectful treatment and do not receive it are acutely aware of their safety. Their mere existence poses a threat to their personhood.

If it were not for the courageous few stepping out from their safety nets, we as a planet would still be in the cave, eating raw meat and afraid of fire.

Way to go, GSA, for picking up your courage as you step through the door.

-- Debra K. Taft

Colorado Springs

Act of war

In last week's book review of Jane Fonda's autobiography, you characterized her worst act as posing on an anti-aircraft gun for a North Vietnamese Army photographer. However, as almost every Viet vet knows, her worst act was perpetrated at a Prisoner of War camp she visited on that same trip.

As she examined the camp, a POW slipped her a list of the seven men in his compound, hoping she would give it to the American military so they could notify their families that they were alive. Ms. Fonda looked at the slip, then walked to the camp commander and handed it to him, turning to smirk at the man. After she left, the seven men were beaten savagely by the camp goons, killing two of the Americans and permanently debilitating the other five. That is why she is so roundly hated by vets.

As for me, I accept Ms. Fonda's apology in the same spirit it is given. If she is truly repentant, I welcome her admission of guilt and forgive her.

However, if it is meant as a mea culpa intended to resurrect her place in popular culture, she can go straight to hell.

-- Jon R. Horton

Colorado Springs

One less Texan

Just a few replies to your present issues in last week's Letters to the Editor section:

1. Reference Governor Bill Owens' actions and plans: What are Coloradans expecting from a Texan? They still think our state is part of theirs. Hopefully at election time it will change. I know I will do my part to try. I have lived here for over 40 years, and one less Texan in Colorado will not bother me or my forests and mountains -- those mountains that they haven't already bought, or are about to destroy in Dumbya's oil drilling ventures. I am sorry if any Texans take offense. If so, please go north, east, south or west on one of our many highways and allow the few native Coloradans that are left here to enjoy our state.

Just in case you're curious, my ancestors arrived here in 1858 with William Greene "Greenberry" Russell, and I have the license plates to prove that fact, along with the genealogy.

2. George W. Bush. I would highly recommend the one book your reviewers missed last week: What We've Lost by Graydon Carter. I am halfway through and scared to death, knowing that George W. is selling our country to the bidders that pay him the most legal tender. I doubt there is much left from here on out. Reference our Social Security program -- it is secure until at least 2042. George W.'s $60 million of political backers to "fix" it surely are having some influence upon our and our children's retirement.

3. Rich Tosches. His articles aren't that bad -- though the truth that he always includes in his informational black-and-white reviews is. (I would hate to piss him off.) He really does prove his worth with his outdoor humor in other magazines, though.

4. Last but not least ... well, maybe both, as stated. Tosches 2008?

-- K. Hudgens

Colorado Springs

Lack of progress

Good show, Mr. Hazlehurst! Your most recent column, "The Messy Reality of Life" (June 9), is an excellent collection of thoughtful observations. We are all wired into a difficult daily struggle -- welcome to life. Your sage words about the "politics of illusion" are a cogent articulation of the unreality that generic suburbia breeds. Among other things, suburban blankness allows otherwise good people an opportunity to disconnect from the emotions, dreams and disappointments of fellow citizens.

My wife and I frequently travel to Colorado Springs, where we lived for 10 years, and we are routinely saddened by the stark lack of social progress since we moved to Denver five years ago. Colorado Springs needs a tidal wave of community-minded voices. Keep using your amplified voice to stir people's passions. In the words of Jesse Jackson, "Keep hope alive ... " Keep fighting for a better Colorado Springs.

John, I'd love to hook you up with a pair of Rolling Stones tickets for the Thanksgiving Pepsi Center show and a bottle of Chivas Regal, but my aborted -- thank the stars -- law school odyssey was really expensive!

Thanks again, and keep the strong words flowing.

-- Hascy Tarbox


Day of the living

If Independent columnist John Hazlehurst has a desire to bring me flowers before I die, I would gladly and graciously accept.

My mate and I recently delivered potted flowers to my "best" friend (78) and closest relative (83) in a visit to them in Iowa. Sort of a high moment/touch of divine to each involved.

Day of the dead? I'm interested in our days of living. Hopefully abundantly. Each time I visit our Pioneers Museum, I feel an "Evergreen" moment.

I believe in life after birth, none after death. My bones, mind, soul active now. "Bones" after death to the university.

-- Howard W. Johnson

Lake George

Space to escape

I was raised in Wyoming, where "the deer and the antelope play." I have been a resident of rural Teller County, which is cougar county, for the past 12 years.

I also work at Checks Unlimited, and was outside on the grounds when last week's mountain lion alert to stay inside the building was sent. There were many employees outside, and the lion made no attempt to attack anyone.

I would like to applaud the Colorado Springs Police Department for their actions in the situation. They alerted the public and, in a case like this, you obviously don't let your pets or children outside, nor do you try to confront the lion. The lion ventured into a populated area, and it appears that he was afraid and confused.

The police department tried to do the humane thing by having him tranquilized and moved to another location. Unfortunately, the Division of Wildlife botched the whole incident. What type of training or education do these people have, let alone common sense? Even a domesticated animal would not have submitted to such coercion tactics as yelling and throwing rocks. That lion had to have been terrified as he sought shelter behind the bushes.

Hadn't the DOW realized that shooting the lion with rubber bullets could have created the same "running into the street" scenario as a tranquilizer gun would have? If they were able to shoot him with the rubber bullets, why couldn't they have used a tranquilizer gun? Instead, they chose to injure and then kill him. Better yet, since the public was already notified, why didn't they give the lion some space to escape? They still could have monitored the situation at a distance. When darkness set in, that lion would have headed for Dodge without looking back.

Another DOW debacle.

-- Susan Albert


Concrete blockheads

I see three things happening here:

a) The marksmanship skills demonstrated here are the reason Palestinians throw rocks.

b) The Old West buffalo hunters used the big, expensive .45-70 rifles and 8-gauge shotguns with four-ounce slugs for a reason, and it wasn't because they looked macho ...

c) People tend to shoot for the head ... the problem is that a bison's skull is about 3 inches thick. A head shot with a .38 or 9mm is only slightly more effective against a charging bison than a knife. You might as well be shooting at concrete.

-- James Brown

via e-mail

No free ride

Springspree is always a terrific and fun event. This year was no exception. Many thanks to volunteers and sponsors for a great day.

I do, however, have one small complaint regarding the Springspree publication's information on Springs Transit's "free transportation to the event from all over town throughout the day."

What did that mean? Were there special shuttles? Where was the pick up and drop off? I called Springs Transit on Saturday morning to find out. There was no answer at 385-RIDE. I ride the bus every weekday; there was nothing posted on my routes (Nos. 1 and 3). There are bus schedules posted at only a few bus stops, and they don't include weekend schedules, so there were no special postings for Springspree.

I passed a half dozen groups on North Tejon Street, standing at bus stops, wondering how the "free transportation" worked. They were expecting that there might be the Downtown Shuttle, which was operating; there was just no way to know the schedule.

The volunteers at the Springspree booth, including Springspree Director David Jenkins, did not have any clue as to how to access the "free transportation to the event from all over town throughout the day." Mr. Jenkins dismissed my complaint on the lack of details with a shrug of the shoulders and the comment, "People figure it out."

-- Joanne Peterson

Colorado Springs

NPR under attack

Last week a House subcommittee voted to cut funding for public broadcasting, aiming to radically change programming on National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

The proposed cuts include $23.4 million in federal funds for children's educational shows, such as Sesame Street, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Arthur. The loss of these shows would deprive millions of American children of valuable educational programming.

The subcommittee also voted to "zero out," or eliminate within two years, all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). That loss would be about 15 percent of public broadcasting's total revenues.

Small stations serving rural communities and minority audiences would be particularly hard hit by these cuts because they operate on very tight budgets and, in many cases, are one of the only stations serving the community.

Please write and call your reps in Congress and support public broadcasting. Like the Indy, they are our last venues for free speech and real education.

-- Richard and Barbara Rhodes

Colorado Springs

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