The right choice, Vol. 1
The sorry state of the District 11 school board is known throughout the city. As the adults fight it out, I am left to presume that it's the students who are taking the real beating.
Greg Garcia is a candidate for the D-11 board. I urge all those reading this letter to take a look at Greg. He is a leader that will help D-11 focus on ensuring that the students get the education they deserve. I know Greg well. He is hardworking, dedicated and truly will put the interests of educating the kids ahead of politics. Please join me in supporting Greg for this important position.
Craig A. Anderson
The right choice, Vol. 2
On his way out the door, Eric Christen has reminded us, yet again, that he just doesn't begin to understand what School District 11 needs. He's got some company in his confusion, however: fellow board members Sandy Shakes, Craig Cox and Willie Breazell and, apparently, the editorial staff of the Gazette.
Reading his list of accomplishments while on the Board of Education, it was somewhat surprising that Christen didn't also take credit for the capture and conviction of Saddam Hussein. What's that, you say? Christen had nothing to do with that event? That's OK he didn't have a lot to do with all the other things he listed as his accomplishments, either.
It is simply the height of arrogance for any layperson to come onto a school board and assume they know better than anybody else what a school district needs. We don't need any more school board members who come to the table with their own personal agendas.
We need thoughtful, caring, concerned citizens who will listen to input from the educational professionals that are employed by the district, and then make their decisions. Listening, not speaking, is the most important skill possessed by most effective board members, but that simple fact has always eluded Christen.
And please remember, voters, Eric Christen has not resigned. He may have promised to resign, but he's sung that song before, and he's never followed through. Don't assume he'll keep his promise this time. Vote to recall Eric Christen and Sandy Shakes, and vote to replace them with the people District 11 sorely needs on its school board, Charlie Bobbitt and Jan Tanner. They come to listen, not to pontificate.
The right choice, Vol. 3
District 11 voters:
If you are satisfied with approximately half of our non-white students not graduating; if you are pleased with single-digit proficiencies in math and reading for our less affluent students; if you believe our funds are being appropriately allocated and safeguarded ... then vote for the chaos-igniter-backed candidates.
If you are not pleased with our academic achievements; if you have concerns about how your hard-earned tax dollars are being spent (golden parachutes?) ... then you must vote for Greg Garcia and Don Schley, even if you oppose the recall itself.
This recall is not about how the targets have or have not addressed student needs, but about who is controlling and where the money ends up. We have to break the cycle of good old boys and girls getting filthy rich and calling themselves public servants.
Please support conservatives Greg Garcia and Don Schley and keep reform alive.
Toby J. Norton
Not the answer
I try to read the Indy from front to back and felt compelled to respond to "Shades of gray" (News, Nov. 16). Boo-hoo to Marquis Malcolm, the pugilist who can't mind his own business. Sorry, pal, but you shot yourself in the foot, as the saying goes. Instead of trying to fix the situation, you decided to escalate it further.
Granted, I don't know the details behind your justification for throwing down, but there were two others involved. Take your lumps, wait until January to go back to school, learn from your mistakes, don't whine about the fate of others, and don't waste resources like paper and ink in trying to gain support for something you could have prevented.
If this doesn't suit you, run down to the local recruitment center they're always looking for guys like you who like to stick their noses into situations they don't belong. You're a junior now at a respectable college. Learn to pick your battles.
Regarding Esther L. Kisamore's letter ("Pep and circumstance") in the Nov. 23 edition of the Indy: While I agree there are many infrastructure issues that must be addressed and resolved around the growth of a military base, I find her rant against the military insulting.
As a veteran and a military spouse, I'm part of this community. Ms. Kisamore has a "those people" sound to her comments. "Those people" are vets, reservists, retirees and active-duty personnel who are teachers, parents, business people, doctors, lawyers and volunteers in this community. Wow, sounds like a pretty good cross-section.
We sacrifice so others have the right to complain about us. Think about it those who have to fight the war (and potentially lose a loved one) want diplomacy to work the most! But we train hard and go when our country calls.
Ms. Kisamore should do a little research and see just how great the military's humanitarian mission is; note the Coast Guard any day of the month, remember Katrina, remember the 2005 tidal wave in Indonesia, remember the earthquakes in India. Every day, the military is building schools, hospitals, homes, providing food, shelter, medical care and safe haven to those in need all over the world, as well as at home.
Our all-volunteer military provides work, education, job training, medical benefits, a place to raise and provide for our families, and a place for many to go in times of need.
We just gave back so all of us could speak freely and live the life of our choice. "Sold our soul," baloney! Much of this community wouldn't be here but for the military, and I would submit this community is much more diverse and balanced because of us.
Trisha R. Rush
Long time reader, blah blah blah. I do like your rag. However, the music reviews read like something out of a high school newspaper ... seriously third-rate.
After glancing through your online archives, I just can't help but feel that your reviewers aren't music-buff enough.
It is important that music can be viewed both in and out of context. In context would be the history of the band, the style of music, similarity to other great works, etc. Out of context would be how the band actually sounds: the quality of the recording, the quality of the songs, the mixing of the album, etc.
Yet the albums you review are often misclassified. (Killswitch Engage is not a hardcore band, it's metalcore ... hardcore would be Black Flag, etc.) For instance, reviewing (+44) without mentioning other bands or the whole New Wave schtick the project is nodding towards that is rank amateurism!
Similarly, praising the delay-pedal-soaked Angels and Airwaves (how close to U2 can we get?) is equally horrendous. Every album you reviewed pales in comparison to the reviews from AMG or even, God forbid, Rolling Stone.
What about reviewing something that is unique and current? TV on the Radio's new album? Test Icicles, the newest Black Keys, etc., etc.? If I wanted to read reviews of the same old junk, I would buy some crappy magazine, like Spin.
Cursive released an album blasting fundamentalism, and we live in Colorado Springs; if that isn't an album that people should listen to, I don't know what is. (Even the lackluster Blood Brothers' Young Machetes is more interesting than some of the other crap you review.)
Just trying to get you all to write some vibrant, interesting reviews, from some people who know music.
Thanks. Keep up the otherwise good work!
I've just read your article about the Jake Loggins Band (Playing around, Nov. 23) and I can vouch for what Scott Harrison so eloquently said: This kid kicks ass!
But the more important thing besides the amazing feel for a guitar he's only been playing for six years, or his disenfranchised, Texas-backporch-speakeasy vocals is the way he entertains. When he gets revved up, so does the audience. When he laughs or approaches a song with his usual childlike quality, it reminds you that music is, above all, fun.
I saw him at the end of an outdoor metal concert jam, and I wondered aloud, "How will this kid pull off the blues with a heavy, thrash metal group of spectators already spinning from eight hours of garage rock?" Well, let me tell you, he had everybody dancing.
Another thing you might want to know is how genuine he is. I recently walked over 3,000 miles for charity, where I was having my e-mails read to me over nine months. Jake wrote these little blues snippets to me periodically to remind me that when this odyssey was over, I had something great to look forward to ... a "Jake Loggins Band" night out!
Kith and kin
To Gail Vaught ("A lifestyle choice," Letters, Nov. 23) and other supporters of their outdated, "quaint" (to use a Rumsfeldian term) bigotry on marriage: How un-Christian you are! On Thanksgiving, do you give thanks for your hypocrisy? I would hope not!
Marriage is not about procreation. If it were, then sterile couples could not get or stay married, and neither could menopausal women or couples that just choose to not have children.
Marriage is not about one man and one woman procreating. Marriage is (supposed to be) about love and commitment. Two people who commit themselves to each other through thick and thin because they love each other is what it's all about, and let the chips fall where they may. Don't deny them equal rights for equal love and equal commitment.
Marriage is (supposed to be) about family and what you make of it. That family can be a couple without kids, or with kids by adoption, surrogacy, artificial insemination or natural means. That family can have loving parents of the same sex. That family can have parents who are grandparents, aunts, uncles or stepparents. It can have kith as well as kin. The common denomination is not who they relate to but how they relate.
So rather than spreading the falsehoods claiming "truths" about what marriage is really not, why not instead do the right thing and take the moral high road and spread the real truth about how to make marriage better reducing the divorce rate, opening up the option for all couples, without gender discrimination, and helping the family unit grow strong and succeed? In other words, do the real Jesus thing and love thy neighbor.
It's the love, stupid!
Not a disease
Ted Haggard's activities that were recently brought into the spotlight confirm what people around the world have been saying in regards to homosexuality. It's not curable; homosexuality isn't a disease or any other curable malady.
In your article in the Nov. 9 issue, you quoted Haggard's letter to his congregation saying, "There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life." If homosexuality is "curable," as many evangelical leaders claim it to be, than Haggard would not have needed to "war against it."
While I am not a homosexual myself, I support equal rights for the gay community and I think that it is time people realize that homosexuals are not going away.
They aren't just going to fade into the woodwork. It's time we started treating gays like people, too.