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Not too tuff

A couple weeks ago, you put out a special issue describing all of the bars in town ("Drink," Feb. 23). I recognized the write-up of our pub as a duplicate. Several months ago, I let the write-up go by as the stupidity of the person that reviewed our pub. I certainly never thought it would be repeated.

While we appreciate the work you do to promote the bar scene in town, I wish to voice a complaint.

Your reporter, who I assume spent, at the most, 15 minutes in our pub, has misrepresented our establishment. This person did not introduce herself to anyone in our pub. And while we welcome all persons to our pub, your representative indicated that we are a biker bar. Absurd. We have the most diverse clientele in our area. And although we welcome everyone, including bikers who, by the way, are terrific customers we are certainly not a biker bar, nordo we only cater to our biker friends.

We also have a family restaurant here and don't appreciate the indication in the Independent that people should feel uneasy about bringing their children here to eat breakfast or lunch.

We have all walks of life come in to our establishment. And we appreciate every single one of them. And no matter who they are, when they come here, they are always made welcome and comfortable.

Next time a representative from the Independent comes to our pub and grill, they should talk to our customers or staff, and not publish an article that could hinder business for the establishment, not knowing what they are talking about.

We are a neighborhood pub and grill. Come and see us. You'll find you don't need to be too tuff to come here.

Jonell E. Gillis, owner

Walkabout Pub & Grill

In the clouds

This is in response to Mr. Dave Pickrell's March 9 letter, "Puffers unite!"

What matters is that lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer, killing more people each year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

What matters is that 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer cases are found in current or past smokers.

What matters is that 3,000 people die each year from secondhand smoke exposure.

Mr. Pickrell can continue to live in his own cloud of smoke, or he can keep his mouth shut and take his lethal, disgusting habit to his own home. I would rather not be infected by his smoking or his false claims of "benefits" from exposure.

Kelly Phillips

Colorado Springs

Toxic toxicology

I am writing to express opposition to a smoking ban in privately owned establishments. As a non-smoker, I rarely visit establishments where smoking is allowed. I have no concern for secondhand smoke (SHS). Instead, I dislike smelling like an ashtray. My aversion to smoking, though, is far outweighed by my support for private property rights.

Before we engage the law, we should ask ourselves if a solution exists that can satisfy all parties without affecting property rights. The answer is an obvious yes; simply open more privately owned, non-smoking establishments. The fact that it may require those who desire these facilities to invest some time, energy and money is beside the point. Changing the law, especially private property law, should be a last resort.

On the issue of SHS, some studies show a link between SHS and disease. The majority, however, do not. Of the reports I have read, the results of Littlefield and Fennell (Independent Public and Health Policy Research, Austin, Texas) captured my attention. This pair undertook to review many published analyses of the link (or lack thereof) between SHS and disease. In their report, they state, "Association is not causation. The relative risks of environmental tobacco smoke [ETS] and lung cancer vary from extremely weak to non-existent." In "Toxic Toxicology," they offer this comparison, "Indeed, the cancer risk of ETS to a non-smoker appears to be roughly equal to the risk of becoming addicted to heroin from eating poppy seed bagels."

I urge my fellow citizens to set aside any self-interest and oppose a smoking ban. Property rights, while not very glamorous, are much more important than our temporaryor avoidable exposure to secondhand smoke.

Steve Adams

Colorado Springs

Credit due

"Sparked!" by John Hazlehurst (ArtBreak, March 9), did a great job covering the exhibits at the Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center. The exhibits do deserve a visit.

But credit needs to be given to Bessemer Historical Society (BHS), the owner of the Boris Artzybasheff prints and Colorado Fuel and Iron-related photographs. One hundred and twenty years of CF&I archives, including 100,000 photographs, 30,000 maps and drawings, and millions of other records, including these prints, were donated to BHS by Rocky Mountain Steel Mills. Jay Trask, BHS archivist, and Victoria Miller, curator, helped with the display of the prints, artifacts and labeling of the CF&I-related pictures. The BHS staff and volunteers have been processing the archives for several years and have spent endless hours organizing and preserving the industrial history of the West.

BHS is in the process of renovating the historic 1901 CF&I office complex into a Steelworks Museum of Industry and Culture and CF&I Archival Research Center in Pueblo. The first phase of the museum will open in November, and the archives are open for research by appointment.

Corinne Koehler, president

Maria Sanchez-Kenney, executive director Bessemer Historical Society

Pueblo

What a kidder

The two-part feature by Cara DeGette on Mikey Weinstein and his cohorts was fascinating. Most jaw-dropping was the part revealing that the Air Force Academy newspaper on Dec. 12, 2003 carried an ad listing names of officers saying, "We believe that Jesus Christ is the only real hope for the world. If you would like to discuss Jesus, feel free to contact one of us!"

Can we imagine any such discussion in the context of a military-training school? Would they discuss whether Jesus would make a great bombardier? Would they speculate that if Jesus returned to Earth and visited the AFA, he might give a guest lecture on military strategies? Would they agree that Jesus didn't really mean it when he said, "Do not kill"? Would they think Jesus was just kidding when he said, "Love your enemies"? Or Jesus was just joshing when he said, "Turn the other cheek"?

That Jesus what a kidder.

Weinstein and his colleagues have discovered that the only thing that will work in removing religious disruptions from a public school is lawsuits. They tried to "make nice" with persuasion. They were brushed off. Now it's lawsuits. Bring "em on.

Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Calling on Christians

I read "Mikey's mission" in the March 2 Independent. This letter is my response to what I read and a criticism of our country's religious climate as exemplified by many of those in office and other positions of influence, and a significant portion of the Christian community. If you cannot deal with criticism, do not read it.

I look at our community and am saddened by the judgmental attitudes that divide our country. I am a person who believes that Christ died to save me from my sin, and it is by God's grace and faith alone that I am a member of God's family.

That being said, at times I almost feel embarrassed to call myself a Christian, because of the poor name so many of my brothers and sisters give it by behaving in unloving ways. I believe that as a Christian, I have a duty to spread the Gospel. I do this by following Christ's example of love. I respect others. I try to live my life in a way that reflects God's glory and makes others want what I have. I pray for those I hope to reach and I serve in my church and my community.

Christ's disciples followed him by choice. When Christians verbally attack and harass others who are of a different faith, and try to force them to follow Him, they deny the very heart of that choice. Time and time again, I see people that God loves being driven away from Christ by the well-meaning but more forceful and less loving of my brothers and sisters.

I call on Christians to ask themselves these questions: Am I using my right of free speech and my right of believing what I wish, with an eye on my duty as a Christian to spread the Gospel, in a loving way? Or am I using it in a way that disrespects those same rights for someone else? Am I using personal power or position to force a choice instead of calling on God?

I also ask that you look at Christ. He forced none to follow Him, but relied upon the Father to place them in His hand.

Leann Hornaday

via e-mail

Stomping on the IRS

Could you please let Mikey Weinstein know he's missing a major weapon in his war: the IRS. The so-called religious organizations have clearly broken or stomped on the regulations that allow them tax-exempt status, and without all that money and power, their lobby falls on deaf ears.

Phyllis Walls

Colorado Springs

Raising Arizona

I saw Transamerica at the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival and again at the International Film Festival in Denver. I am glad that your writer enjoyed the film ("The schlong goodbye," Film, March 9), but I must point out that the character Bree did not grow up in Colorado, but in Arizona, as seen in the film.

Paul Forsett

Colorado Springs

Peeved

The March 9 letter from a Texas conservative with pet peeves ("Going Brokeback," Letters) requires a bit of a rebuttal. He mentions the book on the 300 freedoms we have lost since World War II.Let me remind him that all the freedoms we have lost are the result of right-wing conservative legislation, deceit of the gullible masses, fear tactics, blatant dishonesty,unabashed corruption and administrative loopholes.

Schoolgirls wear jeans because they are comfortable and spare the young ladies the embarrassment of exposure when seated in the classroom. The letter writer failed to state the true problem of lax dress codes, allowing girls to attend school dressed like sluts, hookers and floozies. These teenyboppers and the way they dress are the best argument for academic uniforms.

Boys, too, go to school dressed inappropriately. Since when must an institution of higher learning allow gang-banger clothing? Certain youngsters wear their baggy trousers so low that only their diminutive genitalia prevent the pants from dropping to the floor. What's next? Total nudity?

As for homosexuality in the media, Mr. Texas Conservative, gays are here to stay. They are not going to disappear just because you and your ilk don't approve of them. What would you propose regarding this situation? Is it your desire to relocate them to prison camps?

Why not address truly pressing problems, like the huge national deficit, the unfair tax laws, the unjustified wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the reasons why the entire world hates us, the disgusting TV sitcoms, the pollution of the air and water, the destruction of natural environments, the obesity epidemic, the price gouging and profiteering of the oil companies, the blatant rudeness of cell-phone users, the spying by our government on U.S. citizens, and the abundance of meth labs, to name a few?

The Texan ends his letter by wondering what the country will be like when his grandchildren are grown. Hopefully, once the bigots of his generation are all dead, the new generation will be one of tolerance, acceptance and dignity.

Joseph F. Pennock

Victor

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