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Better with time

I am sympathetic with Mr. John Hazlehurst's personal experience with bullying ("A bully at the pulpit," City Sage, May 16). He referenced his time in the 1950s at Fountain Valley School. As a 1969 graduate of the same school, I understand what he meant about the all-boy boarding school world of that day.

Today finds a very different climate at our school, now a co-ed, college preparatory institution. We go to great lengths to educate our students about bullying, and we are deliberate in creating a culture where this type of behavior is not tolerated. We also educate about cyber-bullying and regularly invite a nationally known presenter to speak to our students on the risks of social media and appropriate Internet use.

We are fortunate to be a small school with a residential program that engages all aspects of a student's growth, offering myriad opportunity to educate at many levels.

I invite Mr. Hazlehurst to come back to campus to see first-hand the responsible, respectful manner in which our community works and plays. This intentional environment is core to the Fountain Valley experience today.

— Craig W. Larimer Jr.

Headmaster, Fountain Valley School of Colorado

Shady tactics

Not considering the fact that the Colorado Legislature failed to pass the civil unions bill, is anyone else disturbed by the fact that one person, Speaker of the House Frank McNulty, singlehandedly sabotaged the democratic process?

Although it was legal to "kill" this bill at the last minute on the floor of the House, is anyone disturbed by the manner in which this was done?

Last week, in the special session of the Legislature, the civil unions bill was assigned to a committee that made sure it would never make it to the floor for debate. Speaker McNulty chose this committee solely because he knew the bill would be killed.

How is it that the majority of Coloradans approve of civil unions, yet there is not allowed to be debate in the Legislature?

Is this representation of the people? Speaker McNulty kept referring to this bill as the "gay marriage" bill. It was not a gay marriage bill; it was a civil unions bill. These two concepts are very different in the way that equal civil rights are afforded to gay and lesbian citizens.

Speaker McNulty merely ramped up his rhetoric to appease the right-wing Republican constituency.

It is indeed frightening that one person is able to abort the democratic process in a state Legislature. Aside from that, it is frightening that equal civil rights are once again not allowed for a segment of our citizens.

— Margaret Garrett

Colorado Springs

Unexpected empathy

I read with much interest Alex Hornaday's lament (Quote of the Week, May 16) on the killing of the Colorado civil-unions bill by the Colorado Republican Party.

He presented himself as the treasurer of the Denver County Republicans and vice president of Log Cabin Republicans, a gay group that affiliates itself with the Republican Party.

I would like to let you know that our group, "Jews for a kinder Nazi Germany," feels your pain over the unexpected denial of your rights that must have felt like it was out of left field.

Truly, who knew?!

— Philip Lightstone

Manitou Springs

Fighting for FREX

At a recent meeting with city transit leaders, there were many caring people voicing their concerns about the proposal to kill the Front Range Express (FREX).

These were people who are concerned about the environment and traffic congestion on Interstate 25.

So many people rely on FREX for transportation to and from Colorado Springs, Monument and Denver. Getting to jobs, schools, the VA hospital and meetings, touring, catching up with friends and expanding our world.

Comfortable transportation, using your computer, reading, napping, thinking, rather than dealing with road rage — what a great concept.

Listening to people who utilize FREX daily made me wonder: Why get rid of something that works for so many people?

Why now? A spokesperson for city transit stated that we have a new mayor, and so new ideas are here. The spokesperson went on to say that the money saved from FREX will help the local bus system, but not expand routes.

Funding is helped by the federal government. About 500 riders a day pay about $22 round-trip. Sometimes there is standing-room only, Monday through Friday.

FREX could be expanded to Pueblo and weekends added. Why not have FREX as a separate entity from the local bus system? Why not build on a great idea? CDOT may take over in a couple of years.

Where was marketing all this time? There are people who did not know such a system even existed.

Why not be an example, instead of tearing up the system we have and causing grief in so many people's lives?

— Molly Romano

Colorado Springs

Scorn and scones

Mr. Phil Kenny ("Writing critique," Letters, May 16), who did not like my letter of May 2 ("Personal challenge"), took two weeks to answer. What happened? Lose your thesaurus, Mr. Kenny? Some of your comments indicate you did not, or could not, understand the words written, which is not like you.

One of many points to ponder (I won't bother you with others now — one at a time is enough) is that if something can be misunderstood, it will be misunderstood, generally by willful interpretation. That means you want to misunderstand it, Mr. Kenny and all other "low-info folks" who write to the Indy.

And, Mr. Kenny, you already knew the Indy "accepts the tired and huddled masses who yearn to write free," as they have printed your letters many times. I may be overweight, but I hardly meet the definition of "masses," or did you mean everyone else who writes in?

For one to be offended by someone, one must respect the other person. You cannot offend me. Care to do breakfast sometime? Ralphster (Routon) can come if he wants to. On me.

— Roger Weed

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: For the record, Phil Kenny actually responded quickly, but sometimes we don't have room for all the letters we receive, and his had to wait a week.


Need for unity

It's good to see Chris Jenkins, a person of considerable influence in this community, make an honest effort to bring Colorado Springs into the 21st century ("Creating a pathway to the Springs' future," Between the Lines, May 16).

We need to abolish "semi-secret meetings making big plans ..." and instead "having all interested players at the table, young and old, visible or obscure, affluent and not, political friends and adversaries." We all know this does not happen here.

It doesn't help, though, when Amy Lathen, chair of the Board of County Commissioners, writes a guest column in the May 16 Gazette, throwing rocks at the process she attended, bringing negative issues about Portland into the conversation.

All communities have skeletons in the closet and I don't think Amy Lathen wants to air her dirty laundry regarding El Paso County to the citizens of Portland, Ore. (i.e., lack of affordable housing, with two families fighting for one affordable housing unit; highest child poverty rate in the state, etc.).

— Gary Casimir

Colorado Springs

Let's play pool

I am a pool player originally from San Antonio. When I moved to this town, the first place I looked for advice on where to go was the Indy's Best Of issues, which I've since found indispensable.

One of the things that I find is missing is the Best Place to Shoot Pool. Billiards happens to be one of my passions, and I can't seem to find a good crowd to be a part of. Antiques used to be my favorite place to go until the last time I stopped by. It had gone from this secret little hideaway with decent tables and a professional atmosphere, to a place that has to have a security officer stop by and check the IDs of all the people in the establishment. This is partly due to overflow from a hookah bar that opened up next door that attracts young, silly kids prone to making bad decisions.

I'm still looking for a new place to haunt with good shooters, a chilled-out and adult atmosphere, and most importantly, decent tables. However, I don't want to make rounds of the whole city to find it. Is there any chance that pocket billiards could get some love in the Indy? Also, I love your publication.

— Joseph Stewart

Colorado Springs

Potential redemption

Rick Wehner ("Who's at fault?" Letters, May 16) referenced Sallie Clark's decision to fully support — and to let stand — term-limitation ballot wording that actually amounted to a deceptive increase of terms to three rather than limiting the county commissioners' terms that had been two, and not unlimited at all.

Few voters knew that, which led the path to voter deception. Only two commissioners (neither of whom had been part of the original ballot measure) had principles to openly admit that and vote against it: Darryl Glenn and Peggy Littleton.

Good mention, Mr. Wehner.

This outcome (that angered voters on both sides of the aisle) has netted Clark a chance to seek a third term which, if won, would amount to a four-year salary totaling some $350,000 plus benefits, which include retirement. Not bad money, if you don't count selling your soul.

Voters' hands were tied on this. In November, though, they'll still remember that right is right and wrong is wrong, and will cross lines, if need be, to vote for John Morris, should Sallie win her primary against Karen Magistrelli.

This voters' opportunity to have their day of justice prevail also applies to Dennis Hisey's constituents, who can vote for his make-right opponent, Doskor Hanchett Jr.

— Micheale Duncan


No quick fix

In the May 9 letter, "Liberals at work," Cathy Gardino seems to want to put the blame for the failing economy on liberals. The actual failure of our economy is due to the inept, criminal actions of George W. Bush.

President Obama has been trying to fix the damages done by the Bush administration. Trickle-down economics did not work for Reagan or Bush Sr., and they certainly did not work for George W.

The damages the Obama administration has to fix can't be repaired overnight. It will take time, but it can be done.

— Dwayne Schultz

Colorado Springs

Basic instinct

To J.D. Shaffer ("No need to stay," Letters, May 9):

When I arrived in Colorado from California in 1993, it was apparent that California was Colorado's idea of hell. Signs in yards and on bumper stickers asked that those of us from that dastardly place not "Californicate" the paradise, Colorado.

Because I came here not by choice, but because of circumstances beyond my control, and because I left my home, my children, my grandchildren, my friends and my job, the move was extremely difficult.

Seeing the inhospitable attitude many seemed to have in this area made it more difficult. I have lived in other states and have never encountered this kind of attitude anywhere else.

You do not mention a single example of what we foreign devils have done to disrespect you, or to ruin your life as a native (big deal). And speaking of poor driving, OMG, running red lights and tailgating seem to be the norm in this state.

I like Colorado, and have made a home here. I have many great friends here, have had jobs I enjoyed, and am not aware of anything I have done to disrespect the people I know here.

Perhaps you have run into some rude Californians or Texans or Wisconsinites or whatever, or more likely, you're just a bitter, unhappy, unwelcoming person who needs a shot of good ol' California wine.

— Sally Alberts


Not worth it

So, now Richard Skorman and gang want to relocate the Drake Power Plant, at a possible cost of several thousand dollars per utility customer. These people bought properties cheap because of their proximity to the plant, and are now demanding the rest of us pay through the nose to improve their property values!

I have a much fairer solution: How about all those wanting to do this donate $10,000 each to the cause, and when they find enough people who want to pay for it, it will be done.

— Thomas McCullock

Colorado Springs

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