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The wrong Paige

As longtime residents of the west side and downtown Colorado Springs, we are bitterly disappointed at the appointment of Sean Paige to replace Jerry Heimlicher on City Council representing District 3.

Just what was City Council thinking? District 3 has a history of supporting investment in our community, whether it be schools, libraries, transit, open space, or our fire station. We have a history of electing people such as Jerry Heimlicher, Sallie Clark and Leon Young. These are not anti-tax, anti-government crusaders, but people who believe that local government has a role to play in making this a better place to live.

You had an obligation to appoint a person who would represent our interests as Heimlicher did. Instead you appointed Paige, who is advocating the defeat of measure 2C. City Council has warned of drastic cuts to community services if 2C does not pass, yet you appoint someone who opposes it? At a time when the city needs strong leadership, you appoint a person who leads two anti-government organizations?

We find it hard to believe that among the many applicants, you could not find a person who would better represent our interests. We thank Mayor Lionel Rivera and Councilor Jan Martin for voting against him.

Sean Paige is the antithesis of what District 3 represents. Shame on you for forcing him on us.

— Meg Remple, Carl Temple, Nancy Strong, Michael Smith and Nicole Rosa

Colorado Springs

Suspect supporters

In the midst of people losing homes when unable to pay mortgage and taxes, you want to raise taxes!

Who does? Those retired who have a comfortable living, or those with houses paid off, or those who suck the taxpayer teat, or those getting taxpayer-funded retirement and another salary at the same time.

They don't care for those who become homeless over 2C.

— Nick Werle

Colorado Springs

Stop these dominoes

As a full-time college student and homeowner, it is hard to justify any expense other than straight necessities; it's making sure my tuition is paid and my mortgage is compensated, two endeavors my husband and I have worked incessantly hard for.

The past two years have been unforgiving for thousands in Colorado Springs. Trimming the fat in my household has meant many things; we see a movie rarely and prudent dinners at home are a regular feature. Justifying fun time is hard to do even during winter when cabin fever strikes; playing Jenga and dominoes is only engaging for so long.

Upon discovering the budget cuts for 2010, I was truly aghast. So many services I utilized as a kid, and many more that I take advantage of as an adult, would be cut, in addition to our highly valued public safety officials. As we've cut back so much, our main source of recreation has become biking our parks, hitting up the local museums, rediscovering various libraries, and people-watching in our vibrant and attractive downtown. (Love the artist sculptures, by the way.)

I'm gaining a stronger bond with my community and building a better sense of pride for our city. We all have to admit there are facets of this wonderful metropolis worth preserving, and voting YES on 2C will do precisely that. I'd be happy to pay the menial increase to preserve what I have grown to cherish. We've passed the point of no return; we need to do what's right for the majority, then deal with the minority once we have solid footing on this situation.

— Stephanie Canales

Colorado Springs

Green team for 2C

Colorado Springs-based environmental organizations are joining together to voice our support of 2C and opposition to 300. As active members of this community and fervent supporters of maintaining quality of life, we feel it is necessary to take this stand. Our organizations rely on the vibrancy and involvement of the city in accomplishing our missions. Without the passage of 2C and defeat of 300, we will see significant cuts in all city departments. Severe budget cuts will result in a significant degradation in the quality of our city's parks, transit, safety, community centers and other basic services.

Rocky Mountain Field Institute relies heavily on parks and rec in restoration at Garden of the Gods. Without the city's continued support, RMFI's Garden of the Gods program most likely will be discontinued.

The Trails and Open Space Coalition works closely with the parks department to improve the city's network of trails and greenways. If 2C fails, 107 positions will be eliminated. The planning necessary to create new trails and more trail connectivity will no longer be possible.

The Friends of Monument Valley Park know it is our responsibility to continue Gen. William Palmer's legacy to enrich the lives of current and future generations. A "yes" vote on 2C will expand on past accomplishments.

The Sierra Club is committed to protecting our parks, transit system and waterways. It is particularly concerned about 300's potential impact on the city's ability to operate and maintain our stormwater control infrastructure. The negative impacts to Fountain Creek and our neighbors to the south could be catastrophic.

Please join local partners in conservation and vote yes on 2C and against 300.

— Becky Reed, Rocky Mountain Field Institute

Susan Davies, Trails and Open Space Coalition

Ann Brock, Friends of Monument Valley Park Board

Jane Ard-Smith, Sierra Club

Winnebago reform

I don't have a Winnebago. I have never had a Winnebago. I'm not shopping for a Winnebago and I don't expect ever to do so.

Why? First, Winnebagos are just too expensive. I can't afford one. I have no budget for one. It would truly be irresponsible to allocate the necessary slice of my limited income to acquiring a Winnebago. It would have to come at the expense of food, and/or clothing, and/or shelter. Buying a Winnebago would make my family's already precarious situation, living from paycheck to paycheck, dramatically worse.

The second reason is even more fundamental. I just plain don't want a Winnebago. No matter how useful a Winnebago might be, it doesn't perform any function that I find necessary. So even if, somehow, the cost of a Winnebago were to be reduced, even by a lot, I would still not want one.

People who have Winnebagos, or want one, might be ticked at me. If I, and other louts who haven't yet bought Winnebagos, were to buy one, those who produce and sell them could (in theory) sell their product at a lower price. So those who actually do want Winnebagos would be able to buy one more easily. All the same, I don't feel sorry for them. I have no obligation to alter my lifestyle, or allocation of my limited income, to make it easier for those people to buy things they want. No one is altering his or her life to make what I want more affordable.

Reread this, substituting "health insurance policy" for "Winnebago." To me, the two commodities are exactly the same. But the government hasn't developed the hubris to tell me I have some legal obligation to buy a Winnebago.

— Patrick L. Lilly

Colorado Springs

Coquette response

I am co-owner of Coquette Creperie, and suffice to say I was disheartened by the narrow cast of Monika Mitchell Randall's review ("Why-HOP," Appetite, Oct. 22). Her taste buds seem to get easily confused by changes in gastronomical/global direction; hopefully they find their way home to a less complicated life. We know our location isn't New York or Los Angeles, but many are thrilled we've brought that perspective with us to this adventurous, bold community that we chose to settle in.

I wish Monika had reported on the enthusiasm expressed by those around her while dining, but I was told there was no room. It's been quite astounding. The acceptance we've gotten and "love" we've been shown since opening have been nothing short of blessed. It makes our efforts and risks worthwhile. Our sassy logo may have thrown Monika a curve, and I agree — our Coquette girl is as full of curves as life itself.

That said, in the short 2½ months we've been open, we continually strive to grow. Tune-ups are always at play, and we do take both positive and negative comments as seriously as we do our commitment. The Indy readership is one we truly value, and we'd like them to know us more. As they are independent readers, I know they are independent thinkers and will, hopefully, choose to come in and make up their own minds.

— Michelle Marx

Manitou Springs

Fine-tuning corruption

President Obama has announced his intent to limit executive pay for banks and other business groups who have received taxpayer funding. According to Obama, "They're doing what they always do — descending on Congress, using every bit of influence they have to maintain the status quo that has maximized their profits at the expense of American consumers, despite the fact that recently a whole bunch of those same American consumers bailed them out as a consequence of the bad decisions that they made."

While it is typical for Obama to stereotype and vilify any group who didn't help him get elected, it is sometimes startling how selective his righteous indignation can go. You may recall, it was not only the financial industry who made stupid and unethical decisions at the expense of taxpayers. Organized labor's greed, corruption and lavish compensation packages brought the world's leading automotive industry to its knees and cost American taxpayers billions in direct bailouts as well as indirect payoffs such as "Cash for Clunkers."

Oddly, during the same week Obama initially announced his intent to punish financial executives for their corruption, he decided to reward organized labor for theirs by issuing an executive order that non-union businesses competing for government jobs must still pay union dues.

Millions of lemmings swallow whatever Obama feeds them, but I would be much more likely to trust him if his actions didn't contradict his words on a daily basis. Obama is on the warpath against the evil people who evade taxes through Swiss bank accounts; yet tax evasion by Rep. Charlie Rangel (chair of House Ways and Means Committee) is apparently a perk of the job. It seems that Obama is not really trying to eliminate corruption, he is simply fine-tuning it to suit his needs.

— David Gardner

Colorado Springs

Take a deep breath

Now that the Obama administration has pulled the Drug Enforcement Administration off medical marijuana, I see this situation blossoming into a very successful business venture for some. Let us, as a community, get a handle on this before it gets out of control. I say tax it, maybe a special tax of 10 percent. This would generate a few hundred thousand dollars that could be used to revamp the city's greenhouses and rent a couple of the many vacant commercial buildings for a large-scale, indoor growing facility.

Far-fetched? Maybe, but I must remind the reader that medical marijuana is the law, it is a state Constitutional amendment passed by the voters of Colorado and is here to stay. Legitimate caregivers will welcome a consistent source for their patients, and the city/county could generate a multimillion-dollar revenue stream. This will happen somewhere in Colorado, so why not here ... $500 property taxes, anyone?

— Karl Knapstein

Colorado Springs


Too much solicitation

Has anyone else noticed that almost everywhere you go these days, merchants are asking you to donate to charity when you pay for your merchandise? Last week I was asked for donations at a grocery store, a pet supply store, a coffee shop and a natural food store. If I want to donate to charity (which I do) I am capable of arranging that myself. I do not appreciate being asked to pay more money on top of the cost of the items I am buying when I shop.

— Lydia West

Colorado Springs

Treasonous talk

I was astonished, but not surprised, to hear Rush Limbaugh's comment, "Something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about, and that is: He [Obama] doesn't deserve the award [Nobel Peace Prize] ... we all are on the same side as the Taliban."

As Republican numbers drop rapidly, Rush is helping to kill the party along with Beck, Dobbs, Hannity, O'Reilly, ideological members of Congress and the misinformed talking heads on FOX. But Limbaugh has gone too far with this statement, which is tantamount to treason.

— Sharlene White

Santa Fe, N.M.


• In our Oct. 15 Best Of issue, Hooked on Hookah's phone number should have been listed as 886-7107.

• In our Oct. 22 Best Of issue, Rick's Garden Center, at 1827 W. Uintah St., should have shared the Best Garden Supply/Nursery first-place award with Rick's Nursery. Also in this issue, the address for the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region should have been listed as 121 S. Tejon St., #111.

The Independent regrets the errors.

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