Columns » Letters



The verdict is in

Several months ago I attended the Colorado Springs debate between Democratic U.S. Senate hopefuls Michael Bennet and Andrew Romanoff. I was quoted in the April 29, 2010, Independent as saying: "I think I'm going to end up voting for whomever has the best chance of winning [in November]."

I have been following the polls closely and with the mail-in ballot sitting on my kitchen table, it is time to get off the fence and decide. Romanoff is polling slightly stronger than Bennet against Republicans Jane Norton and Ken Buck. Anti-incumbent fever seems to be negatively affecting Bennet's chances in November.

Bennet has been a good senator, but I do believe that Romanoff can be a great U.S. senator! Thus, Andrew is getting my vote in the Aug. 10 Democratic primary.

Come Aug. 11, I will happily support the Democratic nominee whomever it is. I urge you to do the same.

— Lee Milner

Colorado Springs

Senate shenanigans

The political drama is heating up, folks. Andrew Romanoff calls out Sen. Michael Bennet for supporting corporate interests (noting that Bennet, the former investment banker, was not supporting the Brown-Kaufman amendment to bust up the mega-banks). Then Susan Daggett (Mrs. Bennet) e-mails thousands, whining — and could we send $5 to help combat this negativism (and make her feel better — sniff, sniff)?

But don't look for Bennet to contribute any money. In the nine years that he made $18-plus million, he only gave 0.5 percent to charity.

Anyway, I'm sure those nice GOP folks wouldn't exert any heat on her husband.

Then Bennet approves a swift-boat-sounding TV ad that lies about Romanoff taking corporate money during this campaign. (So much for refraining from negative campaigning.)

Now, regarding Jane Norton and Ken Buck, well, that's a whole other circus — tax breaks continued for the 2 percent of richest Americans to continue W's failed legacy and something about not wearing high heels making Buck more qualified than Norton.

— Micheale Duncan


ONE question

This election year, there are many issues on the minds of voters. One that may not be at the top of the list, but that deserves to be addressed and matters to millions around the world, is where congressional candidates stand in the fight against extreme poverty and global disease. To make sure these issues get heard this campaign season, the bipartisan, grassroots group is launching a new effort in Colorado and is inviting candidates and voters alike to join.


The "ONE Vote 2010" campaign aims to bring both sides together to save lives through affordable solutions that fight hunger, poverty and disease. To learn more, please check out ONE's website.

This effort connects us to the larger reality that still in 2010, clean water, availability of basic vaccines and medicines, education and food are not accessible for billions around the world. More than 1 billion people still live on less than $1.25 a day. Such deep poverty exacerbates instability and desperation in our world.

Do the homework on your candidate in this election year. Their stand on poverty issues is critical to our foreign policy. We should care that poverty is preventable, that we have solutions like bed nets to protect from malaria and effective medicine to save lives from AIDS, and that our voices and leadership can make a difference between life and death.

— Laurie Struck

Colorado Springs

Misery for ex-cons

Can a convicted felon find a decent job in this city? After relocating to the West Coast for 1 1/2 years, where I was a personal care provider for a private client and four young children, I returned to help care for a friend who is fully disabled and in terrible health. My remuneration was/is a roof over my head and the latitude to search for employment.

I discovered it makes no difference how far removed you are from conviction and/or discharge from parole. It makes no difference what you have done since then, what references you possess, what your prior employment record is. There is no network available through any agency in this city.

It is legalized discrimination, and no one cares except those suffering from it. I have yet to receive a callback. Because I have a forgery on my record, I am not allowed a position in health care. I went online to explore having that charge sealed, only to discover the only felony convictions that may be sealed are related to controlled substances.

What the hell is wrong here? So, due to mistakes in judgment I have made in the past (in excess of 14 years now) I not only have extreme difficulty obtaining a job, but I cannot get a degree in the health care profession. I do not drink alcohol in any form, nor use or abuse any type of drug.

I am not a sheep. I am a human. All I wish for is one opportunity to display my passion for work and my love of service. I doubt I will be granted that.

Welcome to the new United States of America: Pay your debt to society, and then be taxed interest for the rest of your miserable life. Prove me wrong.

— Christopher Lord Helton

Colorado Springs

Newsroom coup?

On July 10, the Gazette in its editorial discussed reasons to privatize the U.S. Postal Service. I had a great laugh when they quoted Tad DeHaven of the Cato Institute. He purportedly said, "Only with a government service would you increase prices and decrease customer service in the face of declining demand for your service."

Hello! This is exactly what the Gazette has been doing for some time. I have never heard of them being taken over by any form of government.

— Gary Ammarell

Manitou Springs

No Michelangelo

Any sane and reasonable man would take no for an answer. So how is it that Christo, for 18 years, can't accept no for his proposed "Over the River" project?

Well, the answer to this question is in his track record of past projects. Most people are not aware that it took Christo 24 years to obtain the permits to wrap the Reichstag building in Berlin, or that it took him 10 years to gain permission to wrap the oldest bridge in Paris, the Pont Neuf. Or that "The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005" is in reference to the time passed from the initial proposal (26 years) to the time that they were given the go-ahead. Just these four combined projects already represent a total of 78 years.

Christo could have already completed the "Over the River" project 18 years ago if he would have followed the same process he did for the "Valley Curtain," in Rifle Colorado, 1972. In that case, Christo rented the private property from Carol Wilson and her husband. The "Valley Curtain" took 28 months to complete and it lasted only 28 hours because of high winds.

Christo does not have the right to demand the use of our public spaces for his 1960ish artistic visions. For 18 years, off and on we have been subject to this Christo melodrama. His preposterous work tries to steal attention from the buildings and bridges and nature's masterpieces they wrap. He has wasted our time and the media's time. He is not a Michelangelo and he has not created the Sistine Ceiling and in the end all Christo has is some fabric and curtains.

So in how many languages and how many years ... what part of "no" don't you understand?

— Francisco Sotomayor

Green Mountain Falls

River runs through us

I oppose the Over the River project. I am a 70-year-old resident who has lived in Howard for 24 years. I believe it poses a serious threat to the well-being and safety of residents, and ecological risks. I love the river and our way of life, not money.

How ironic that Christo canceled June 24 lectures in Howard and Cañon City due to the wildfire near Parkdale "out of concern for the West-End Fremont County residents, law enforcement agencies, firefighters and others affected," stating that "many are working around the clock to get the fire under control, and my team and I do not want to be a distraction to their efforts." What kind of "distraction" would OTR pose during a wildfire or other disaster?

Furthermore, I oppose the system of government agencies saying to submit "comments" for their consideration. Why do we, residents who will be affected, ask the federal and state government to merely consider our opinions when it is we who should have the liberty to tell them what we will allow?

I advise those opposing OTR to approach this from another angle: Challenge the premise that you must be subject to government bureaucrats to decide your fate. The just resolution is for residents to decide whether to grant permission. Neither federal, state, nor local agencies should have the power to be the arbiter.

We shouldn't be submitting input. We should be deciding. Why validate a federal agency such as the Bureau of Land Management by submission to them, when the entire process is wrong and should be challenged?

Christo should use some of his money to fund placing his proposal on the voting ballot of only those living in the affected area. Then we will decide "yes" or "no."

— Richard Smith


(Un)zip it

We have had years now to imagine Christo's shrouds over the Arkansas River. He has enabled us to see it without delaying traffic, scaring sheep or setting one single steel anchor into the rocks above. Any artist able to share a vision with such clarity deserves respect and applause.

I grew up in Colorado and I remember how well his curtain across Rifle Gap went. Knowing how long the debate regarding his current plans has gone on, I find myself asking the question that has been asked by countless others while viewing so-called "great works of art": Why?

I don't pretend to know Christo's intent but it seems to me, now that we can all "see" what it's going to look like and know what the installation is going to involve, maybe we should just allow Christo to climb to the highest point he can find above the river and let him take in the view. Then, when he has had his fill and seen all he can see, he can just drop his drawers and piss on it. No traffic delays, no steel anchors or cables, and (hopefully) no long-lasting trauma to the sheep.

— Ken Hall

Weston, Vt.


Summer school, part 2

Bill Durland writes that "Americans, history's most educated population, remain grossly ignorant when it comes to participating in democratic constitutional government ... I believe a course in Political Science 101 should be a basic requirement" ("Public ignorance," Letters, July 29). Although I agree that American voters do not usually make wise decisions, Durland's assessment of unemployment and jobs is, itself, an example of public ignorance.

Durland accuses conservatives of worsening unemployment by opposing unemployment benefits. It seems Durland believes that government spending somehow creates jobs. But the only way jobs are created is if wealth increases, and government spending, including on unemployment benefits, certainly does no such thing. At best, it simply moves money from one place to another, perhaps improving one person's situation but simultaneously preventing the individual from whom the cash was taken from spending it on other uses — spending which may, because it's mutually beneficial, actually improve wealth and increase the number of jobs available.

Another thing Durland is missing is statistical evidence suggesting that extended/increased unemployment benefits actually cause workers to stay unemployed longer because of decreased incentive to go find a job. This leads to a glut of idle labor which, if it goes on too long, can result in a material loss of human capital for society at large. If anything, then, conservatives are preventing unemployment from worsening.

I highly doubt that most conservatives have any better understanding of these economic truths than does Durland, and their political posturings are probably not motivated by anything resembling economic logic. Perhaps, in order to remedy theirs as well as Durland's misunderstandings, a remedial course in Economics 101 is in order?

— Tim Canon

Colorado Springs

Homemade oil

A lot of people are talking about the energy crisis, citing wind, solar, biomass, drilling for methane gas, and clean coal as "the solution." I say that on an individual basis, none of these will work. We must pursue them all.

In fact, there is a clean energy source that is overlooked. It is called depolymerization, and it works, as there is a plant near the ConAgra turkey farm in Colorado. So we have an endless supply of oil from this process, especially if we turn every sewer treatment plant into one of these plants. We can even put them near, or in landfills. Heck, one could be put to work on the Parachute oil shale, thus freeing us from hostile Arabic nations.

Wouldn't it be a hoot if the U.S. became an oil exporter?

— Dwayne Schultz

Colorado Springs

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast