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Burgers or death

When my doctor told me that if I ate fewer cheeseburgers I would live longer, I had to ask why I would want to without them. I revere cheeseburgers, so it is my sworn duty to add to your cheeseburger feature. When I visit L.A., my priorities are two: Mel's Diner and In-N-Out. The family can decide everything else. I only mention this to demonstrate my qualifications.

I loved your cover photo. I'll now have to try The Famous cheeseburger, but somehow the $13.91 just seems wrong. The cover made me salivate, but I think you missed out on several key players in the burger world.

First and foremost, Drifter's should surely be included. It is as close to an In-N-Out as I can find in Colorado. Its novelty alone should have included it in your survey, especially with its surfing theme here in Ski Country.

Red Robin deserves to be included as well. I could see you skipping my favorite, the Banzai Burger, because it includes pineapple, but they certainly know their way around cheeseburgers of many flavors. And they make their bountiful shakes out of real ice cream and by hand.

Although Red Top is not my favorite place, seems a little pricey for what you get, it always gets raves from out-of-town guests. (I always suggest Red Top when I know someone else will be buying.) Too bad that its milkshakes come out of a machine.

Also thought you were a little harsh on the Short Stop. We always stop and get a cheeseburger there when we are on that side of town. Yes, it is very reminiscent of the 25-cent, five-for-a-dollar sacks of my misspent youth, but it is truly comfort food.

— Tim Haley

Colorado Springs

Vote for Walter's

My current gold standard in the Springs is the Kobe burger at Walter's Bistro. It's served with excellent quality cheddar and bacon, and their seasoned fries are great.

It has so much more flavor than any other burger I've had anywhere else in town, and it's thick enough that they can cook it as you like it and it's right on the money every time.

— Stephen Bowlby

Colorado Springs

Phantom gourmet

OK, I can stay silent no longer! Over the last few years the Indy has "reported" on the best burger in town, through your annual Best Of and now last week ("Burgers be beefin'," cover story, March 17). You have totally missed the mark and I'm writing to set you straight.

The best burger in this town, hands down, is available at Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. It's interesting to me that you've never explored them as a possibility, considering they advertise in the Indy every week!

Bun: Lightly toasted, fresh and very yummy.

Burger: You pick, beef or bison; my husband and I like ours medium rare and that's how it arrives, every time! Oh, and the cheese is very real — Swiss is our choice.

Fixins: Romaine lettuce, tomato, onion (no thanks on raw for me, but sautéed, along with sautéed mushrooms is delicious) with a crunchy dill wedge too; plus, you can get guacamole and they have a wonderful bar mustard and BBQ sauce as condiments. (Hold the Heinz and French's crap, thank you very much!)

Fries: Again, you pick, steak fries or sweet potato fries, and they completely get the concept of "Extra crispy, please!"

Bonus: Their most awesome Phantom Brew root beer (we aren't beer drinkers).

Value: $8.50 for beef and $11.50 for bison, and worth every cent! Compared to your declared winner of The Famous, with criticism of the "bottled badness" (Heinz, etc.) and the disappointing fries, why would I pay over $13?

In this reader's opinion: You need to go check out Phantom Canyon this week and add an addendum in the paper. You need to reconsider who serves the city's No. 1 cheeseburger!

— Joan Peterson

Colorado Springs

Our own Grouch

I have written about U.S. Rep. Dougie Lamborn not knowing how to share or cooperate because he never watched Sesame Street. I don't think you ever published those letters. And now he wants to kill Elmo and Bert and Ernie! That proves he never watched. How shameful. He is yet another national embarrassment from Colorado Springs, right up there with turning off streetlights and taking bus service away from the handicapped.

Now the tragedy in Japan. For starters, I am sick of those who say they don't want government interfering in their lives. Enough already, the rules and regulations mandated by the Japanese government may have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands. Yet our citizens complain when laws are passed to protect the public as it might inconvenience some. Too bad.

Texas removed its regulations on pollution control from industries, asking them to regulate themselves. Pollution doubled, national parks were damaged, and asthma rates in children increased.

Laws can protect people and should. So get off the government's back. Those who don't want government regulations seem to want them only in other people's bedrooms and a woman's body!

Nuclear reactors ... come on! How many deaths would be caused by solar panels being in an earthquake or a flood? How many people would die or be afflicted with cancer if wind turbines are shaken or their feet get wet? We have seen the threats and we need to learn the lessons. Coal pollutes, nuclear can kill; but the sun and the wind can give us energy that will not harm us.

Our grandchildren should not be asking years from now why we were too ignorant to protect their generation. The time to act is now.

Long live the Grouch!

— Jane Madden

Colorado Springs

Battle vs. Bruce

Thanks for your Between the Lines article ("Challenge to city voters," March 17). Your warning to us, your readers, and also citizens of this city, and your exposing of what Doug Bruce's Reform Team is all about, is much needed today as we prepare for the very important upcoming election.

Their campaign material appears to portray this Gang of Five as resolving all the problems we have faced in this city. Calling for our votes, this so-called reform team makes it appear that if they are elected, then all our problems will be resolved in this city, now troubled by a lack of funding and the recent recession we have experienced across the country.

One needs only to remember what Doug Bruce has been about in the past two decades of his tenure with us to know that he and his ilk have not been concerned to resolve city problems. He is an embarrassment to our city. Doug Bruce is what he does, and what he does is to stir up trouble, chaos and strife and to make it difficult, if not impossible, for responsible leadership to deal with the genuine problems of governing wisely and economically.

Thanks for your article and your repudiation of Doug Bruce's efforts to be in control of things here in our once-beautiful and desirable city, close to being brought to ruin by the possibility of these five misguided persons voted in and dominating our City Council. I intend to vote, and not a single one of them will have my vote.

— Robert Hamilton

Colorado Springs


Go to the source

There has been a lot of talk about the Constitution and whether it condones or disallows gay marriage. Unfortunately, it does not address the issue at all.

However, there is a national document that does. The Declaration of Independence says that all men (and women) have the right to pursue their happiness. It is all-inclusive and without excluding anyone for any reason.

— Dwayne Schultz

Colorado Springs

Numbers game

I knew it was coming as soon as I saw the Gazette story online about the exceptionally high unemployment rate in Colorado Springs. Time for Fred Crowley and company to "cook the books" again.

Just a couple of weeks ago, he and the Chamber of Commerce folks put out a formula to show how military spending made us better off than everybody else in the country. Then the jobs data started coming in. First the Springs' unemployment rate was listed as a point higher than the state average. Now it has been found to be more than a point higher than the national average.

Caught in apparent contradiction, Crowley restates his theory and ignores the facts. By dammit, the models he espouses can't be wrong. The facts have to be wrong because they don't square with the theory.

It reminds me of Alan Greenspan ignoring the impending doom of the debt crisis. Economic theory, whatever that is, has a way of providing one with a very effective set of blinders when things don't go according to your theory.

Economists engage in a lot of voodoo as they ply their craft.

— Bill Sulzman

Colorado Springs

Empower women

Several weeks ago, I had the humbling experience of being in the room with the finest, most outstanding women in Colorado Springs. The event was the celebration of International Women's Day.

The women in the audience represented groups like Zonta, Soroptimist International, the United Nations Association of the United States, and Head Start, to name a few. The message was clear: Empower women, give women equal rights and fair treatment, and all of humanity thrives!

In the past, when I would hear politicians wanting to redefine rape, do away with Planned Parenthood, and (in a broad sense) diminish women's rights, I would think they were just stupid, ignorant old men.

Now I think of them as terrorists.

If any of these politicians would look into the fine work Planned Parenthood does, I would hope their brain cells would be restored.

Not one of the women at the event had the attitude of "I've got mine, so screw you." These women care about their families and what kind of world we are leaving for humanity to survive.

Whatever political side of the fence you are on, if you don't turn your back on efforts that suppress women for speaking out and demanding justice, shame on you!

— Elaine Brush

Colorado Springs

Bring it on

We forget that the poor in this country pay taxes. If they use a phone, car, TV, buy services or utilities, if they buy gas and diapers — they are paying a high portion of their budget in taxes that add to the coffers and employ people. They deserve credit for that. Big money, I mean, the Republicans, are putting out a lot of misinformation to create powerless "enemies." Don't let them dumb you down!

Republicans have pledged never to raise taxes. But we citizens can end all subsidies, stop foreign aid to wealthy countries that make fools of us, demand our oil and gas royalties finally be paid (and back royalties), collect rents on our federal lands, get a tough and equitable trade situation going, force state and local lawmakers to stop giving away our public assets to cronies for a song, block all tax havens for the richest and bloated citizens and corporations, cancel big giveaways to companies that export our jobs, reform our banking system and demand audits, force the Department of Defense to keep a set of books and demand that audits cut waste and pork, and get out of two wars no one wants or can afford.

Oh yeah, let's give support only to small businesses (under 500 workers) who can help us build an energy system that will end our dependence on foreign oil and homegrown robber barons. It will benefit our environment and create jobs! No taxes raised. Budget solved! But we can only do this if we can vote big money out of our system!

— Janet Chappell

Colorado Springs

Solitude as torture

Colorado's Senate Judiciary committee will vote soon on a bill that would limit the use of solitary confinement in our state's prisons, especially for inmates with mental illness or developmental disabilities. This bill is a call to our community's conscience, and we honor God when we courageously speak out against actions such as solitary confinement that harm the soul and safety of our community.

As religious leaders, we stand with Colorado Interfaith Voices for Justice and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture in believing that prolonged solitary confinement is immoral. It denies the innate human need for social interaction, and it works against the correctional system's end goal of rehabilitation by undermining the mental health of the prisoners.

We grieve knowing that when we hold prisoners in solitary confinement we inflict injustice and undue suffering on another human being. Our God created all people with dignity and worth. When we subject another human to such cruel punishment, we strip them of these God-given qualities.

Solitary confinement is not the answer. That is why the Colorado Legislature is considering a bill, introduced by Sen. Carroll and Rep. Levy, which would limit the use of solitary confinement and would require that all inmates in solitary confinement be reintegrated into the general prison population six months before release.

According to the state Department of Corrections, 41 percent of prisoners released from solitary confinement go directly into the community with no preparation for re-entry into society, and two-thirds of those return to prison within three years. This reality no doubt puts our communities in unnecessary danger.

We must commit ourselves to healing the soul of our community by supporting legislation that creates safer outcomes for prisoners, prison staff and our communities by addressing the mental health needs of the prisoners.

— The Rev. Dr. F.W. Rick Meyers

Rector, Christ's Episcopal Church, Castle Rock

The Rev. Benjamin Broadbent

Lead Minister,

First Congregational Church

Colorado Springs


In "Groupthinking" (News, March 10), we should have reported that City Council candidate Douglas Bruce didn't just loan his "Reform Team" political committee $10,000; he also gave it $10,000, which he cannot recoup after the election concludes. The Independent regrets the error.

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