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Save the Springs

As a followup to Ralph Routon's "Trying to save Academy Boulevard" (Between the Lines, July 26), the city should be prodded beyond to a major question confronting planners: What is being done to save Colorado Springs?

From my limited residency in the Springs, I noticed one huge, overwhelming issue:Current politics and policy are aimed at growth at all costs. Costs are infrastructure, schools, neighborhood retail districts, police and fire response times, employment churn and (notably) almost no public involvement in planning or governance at any level.

When people ask what I think about Colorado Springs, I can truly say it has the world's best weather and a terrific library system. It also epitomizes the evolution of sprawl and the decline of recently healthy neighborhoods, insensitivity to social needs of middle-income and fixed-income residents, inaccurate perceptions about what it takes to keep a school district healthy, and public policies that follow politics to the right of Attila the Hun (enough to make this conservative Republican blush).

I am unwilling to make my permanent home in a community where civic leadership has set aside social responsibility as a fundamental tenet of good government.

Colorado Springs: Take a realistic look at yourself. Pikes Peak's purple mountain majesty is becoming a little tawdry at its edges with strip development, flashing signs, traffic gridlock, declining CSAP scores, rising domestic violence and murder rates, and sanctimonious religi-business substituting for service to the poor and disfranchised.

Those who escape to McMansions pride themselves on having more stuff than caring about the stuff that signifies true civic pride and citizenship.

I know there are many wonderful residents of Colorado Springs, but the eternal question they raise in the midst of their middle-class lives is to say: What, me? Involved? What can I do?

Joan Miller
Yorktown, Va.

ONE step

It's fantastic news that ONE Freedom, Inc. is providing cognitive behavioral training to veterans ("Training down," News, Aug. 2) to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Studies at the University of Stockholm, Dartmouth, NIMH and other places have shown a significant benefit from exposure,desensitization, relaxation, visualization, anxiety management andthe whole list of CBT training.

It's a great approach to train people in a skill anyone can learn to deal with the almost universal effects of trauma.

These are skills every soldier will need, and should be part of the training regimen of the military instead of hiding the problem, abusing those who seek therapy, falsely claiming pre-existing conditions, and the symptom-masking with pharmaceuticals that is so prevalent now.

It's a shame it takes a nonprofit organization of veterans to get this going, but maybe they can teach the military, Veterans' Affairs, Evans Hospital and the Pentagon something they should have been doing already.

I can only imagine how resistant the military will be.

Mark Lewis
Colorado Springs

Tired of PC

As a reader who put up with the street-gutter language used a few issues ago, I find that the mini-article, "Think before you push "Send'" (News, Aug. 2), was bowing to the PC police.

As a Christian who keeps hearing how we have to make allowances for Muslim/Islamics to get preferential religious treatments, while Christians have to endure assaults on their public displays of religious nature, I don't give a proverbial rat's backside about PC.

Christians were forced to swallow a multitude of offenses against our religion over the years, such as "art" displays of a crucifix in a bottle called "Piss Christ" and the Virgin Mary composed of manure, just to name a couple.

Outrage was expressed, but little was done to cease those displays.

The Religion of Peace is trying to force anyone not of their particular beliefs to submit to their perspective or face their wrath in its many forms, including torture and death. That includes other Muslim/Islamics.

While the rest of the world may not stand up for itself, in this country we have the Constitution with its nice little phrase, "Amendment One: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

No religion over another, no special protections for one and not another, no inhibiting one over another.

I will not be PC and take hearing one religious profession of faith and suppress my own. The reason Christians don't all go violent over insults is that our supreme leader commanded LOVE and peace to guide us. Show me that in the tenets of that other religion.

While I may be afraid of Muslim/Islamics (the correct definition of Islamo-phobia), I would not be a party to Islamic discrimination as long as that religion is practiced as peacefully as is Christianity.

Debbie Brown
Colorado Springs

Press on, UCCS

I think that Ralph Routon has an excellent point ("UCCS can still win the war, Between the Lines, Aug. 2). There is no reason to give up on making an area to highlight the college life here in Colorado Springs.

With the number of higher-education sites that Colorado Springs has, I am surprised that something like this has not already been in the process.

I agree that another "big box" is not really going to help Colorado Springs in the long run. By making a place for UCCS students to congregate near the university, it will be a huge drawing point for future students and even future residents.

Colorado Springs really needs to look at other successful small cities to see what makes them work and thrive. Big-box stores and strip malls are great, but building new stores on empty sites, and closing old stores in the older areas and leaving the buildings to rot, is not the answer.

I just hope that the university thinks of the future in more than one way. To grow, you have to look at the big picture.

April Remedies
Colorado Springs

Cuts and collapse

With the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minnesota, we are witnessing the Republican plan for the nation's infrastructure come to fruition. Since the time of Reagan, the policy has been that government is the problem and that any sort of tax increase is completely evil. County Commissioner Doug Bruce is a shining example of this philosophy.

By following these ideals, the amount of inspections for bridges (as well as everything in the public-safety arena) has been cut back to almost nonexistent. Hundreds of bridges in the state and national highway systems are in the same shape or worse than the I-35W bridge, but are ignored because those responsible don't have or don't want to spend the money to maintain them.

We have our own example in Colorado Springs: the Cimarron Bridge, which is now limited due to being so dangerous that it was on the verge of total collapse. The problem was noted years ago and a few cosmetic fixes were done, but the repairs that were really needed were not in the budget. Nor were the funds figured in the next year's budget.

Why, you ask? Because the powers that be knew if they asked for the funds, people like Bruce would come out from under their rocks and start screaming that it was unnecessary. We probably would have seen another one of his infamous lawsuits.

So I put it on the shoulders of tax-cut Republicans like Bruce to take responsibility for the shape the infrastructure is in, and I request a plan on just how they are going to remedy this situation before it becomes even more tragic. Or are you just going to ignore it, like you have for so many years now?

Arval Becker
Colorado Springs

Defending Doug

I would like to answer Michael Markarian's nasty remarks concerning Rep. Doug Lamborn ("Vote for the dogs?" Letters, Aug. 2).

You will have to forgive Lamborn for voting against the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act.

This is his first year in Congress, and he surely made the mistake of reading the bill before he voted on it. After reading that piece of junk, he could not in good conscience vote for it. Maybe after he is in Congress a few more years, he will learn to vote without knowing what he is voting on.

Mr. Markarian, you don't know about our Doug, so if you don't know who you are talking about, you should just keep your mouth shut.

Really, your idea that our Doug supports dogfighting is about as farfetched an idea as has ever been presented. Those of us in Doug's congressional district do not appreciate your nasty letter about him. You sure didn't make any points for your organization, the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Grady N. Coker
Colorado Springs

Hidden message

As a conservative, I came dangerously close to admiring Cara DeGette's coverage of Mitt Romney's visit to The Broadmoor (Public Eye, July 26).

But what was on the whole witty, unbiased reporting made her single sarcastic lapse all the more remarkable.

DeGette tells us that the Rev. Don Armstrong delivered the opening prayer, and then proceeds to mock him for "beseeching the Lord God to truly, and impartially, administer justice."

"Perhaps he was speaking generally," she quips, playing off liberals' readiness to condemn the "homophobe" of embezzlement and tax evasion.

But for Pete's sake, people! Aren't you ashamed to convict a man before prosecutors even feel comfortable indicting him?

The Reverend's real crime is distancing himself from the sexual licentiousness of the Episcopalian Church. If Armstrong, out of that massive sea of Republicans, was the most deserving of this newspaper's scorn, then Colorado's GOP is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Daniel Cole
Colorado Springs


You are a few years late in calling out Bishop Peter Akinola (Grace Church coverage in the Independent). Here at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City, we were all set to protest his being "honored" by Bishop Mark Sean Sisk a couple of years ago, and we got co-opted by our bishops, who actually seated this monster in a chair reserved for such "purple shirts."

Our reward was his quote of advocating "putting a millstone around "their' necks and drowning them in the river." You know who "their" was. So much for his baptismal techniques.

Oh, it is so Episcopalian to play Lord Chamberlain to his Hitler. "Peace in our time, with these people?"

Wake up and smell the incense.

Hal Weiner
Convenor, St. Saviour Chapter
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
New York

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