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Equality, someday

Kudos to John Hazlehurst for an excellent column on marriage equality ("Going down with the ship," City Sage, May 30).

In the article, John mentions the 1967 Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia that overturned the national ban on marriages of interracial couples. What most people do not know is that, in a similar case decided by the Supreme Court of California in 1948, the ban had already been overturned!

In the case of Perez v. Sharp, the plaintiffs, Andrea D. Perez (Hispanic) and Sylvester S. Davis Jr. (African-American) had sued when they could not legally marry because they were of different races. The court ruled in a 4-3 decision that the plaintiffs "had a fundamental right to marry." Remember, this was 1948!

My question to those who oppose marriage equality is this: Since the ban on racial intermarriage was eventually overturned, how long will GLBTQ persons have to wait before they are considered full citizens of the United States, and the state of Colorado? Will it be 20, 40 or 100 years?

— Bob Armintor

Colorado Springs

Clark's conflicts

If you believe in the old adage that there's bad in the best of us and good in the worst of us, this also applies to Sallie Clark. She has done some good things for the community that everyone should recognize. She certainly has worked diligently for parks and open spaces. But to make a blanket statement that she puts community first ("Kudos to Clark," Letters, May 30), as L'Aura Montgomery Williams did, is hardly a true statement.

Is being a major supporter of duping the public in an orchestrated attempt to increase term limits for county commissioners from two terms to three — while calling it a limit — putting the community first?

Is taking advantage of that voter deception so you can seek a third term — that would have otherwise been denied to you — and further increasing your own personal income and future retirement benefits, putting the community first?

Is so inciting your own party members over voter trickery that you instill an urgency to be unseated within it, and cause them to protest from the onset, putting the community first?

What is sad is greed disguised as community dedication. What is more than sad is tarnishing a reputation for motives of personal gain.

It is fair to say Sallie has contributed good things to her community. What is truly unfortunate is her ill choice in betraying public trust, because this doesn't sit well with the community. The community needs to be able to trust a commissioner to be straight up. That is, putting the community first.

Parks and open spaces are important, but nothing trumps the treasure of constituents who a commissioner is supposed to represent and revere.

— Cathy Kleinsmith

Colorado Springs

A shot of empathy

Finally, I can relate to something Doug Bruce has said!

I am totally in concert with Dougie's stated kinship with King, Mandela and Gandhi (see here), for having been wrongfully imprisoned, and forever martyred.

Because I play guitar, sing and am over 60, I consider B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney to be my peers. I can write, so I count John Steinbeck, John Irving and J.D. Salinger among my closest friends (in the literary sense, of course). And, since I fish, I consider Moby Dick, The Little Mermaid and Rich Tosches to be my partners in casting.

People don't understand the Dougster. He is cute, kind, sincere, dedicated and lovable — kinda like Godzilla...

— Gary Morse

Colorado Springs

Job for others

While biking along the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail recently, I noticed some used doggy doo bags foolhardily tossed to the side of the trail. Later, on my way back into town, I passed a bunch of cadets from the Air Force Academy tasked with removing those poo bags and other petroleum-based products from the trail.

This isn't at all like what we expect the military to do in a larger context, is it?

— Mike Pipe

Colorado Springs

Feeling burned

It's ironic, given the three decades I've spent refreshing, repurposing and redeveloping neglected and eyesore west-side properties, that my inclusion in last week's Independent ("Ramshackle blues," News, May 30) would come in an article about a small home destroyed by an arson fire.

It's disappointing that the only request for comment came via voicemail in the midst of the recent long holiday weekend, less than a day before the print deadline.

It's also disappointing that the writer felt a need to drag a different and extraordinarily reputable west-sider, with no interest in the featured property, into the article, apparently for the sole purpose of being able to type a seven-figure number.

While the circumstances of the event which destroyed the building, the later action/inaction of the insuring company and the continuing property slump are contributing factors to the featured properties current state, I join the neighboring owners in looking forward to the day when that half-lot is cleared.

— Mark Cunningham

Colorado Springs


MMJ reality

In response to Gary Chisholm ("Help the sufferers," Letters, May 30), I wanted to let all the medical marijuana advocates know that they have gotten their way.

After proposing a law that would allow those who are suffering and are not getting relief from any other form of painkiller to use marijuana, and assuring the potential voters that the use would be carefully regulated by physicians, we now have "wellness for all."

I recently observed a young man coming out of a medical marijuana facility with a big smile on his face and a bag in his hand. He proceeded to get in a car where three individuals younger than he were waiting. He handed out the contents of his bag and the three younger ones immediately filled smoking paraphernalia and began smoking.

Assuming that the young man who brought out the bag got just what he needed to manage his pain, his selfless sharing with other "sufferers" warmed my heart. He was obviously willing to endure a measure of pain on behalf of the other three in the car.

Now that anyone can easily get a permit and this kind of activity is commonplace, there is no obligation for those who originally proposed MMJ to prevent abuse. That is left for the authorities who will no doubt be criticized for whatever action they might choose to take.

So there will be limitless other opportunities for the kind of activity I witnessed to occur. There will no doubt be lots more carloads of young teenagers "getting well" together.

Congratulations, everyone. Check back with the voters in a few years about how we all ought to vote for programs for those with addiction problems. Remember, we all know smoking is bad, but smoking marijuana promotes wellness.

— Anthony W. Gensic

Colorado Springs

Possible progress

Thanks for the article in the Indy on the City Council and FREX ("Riders' block," News, May 23). Yours was the first I had heard about what had happened when the PPRTA staff reported out to Council.

I was hopeful, after the town hall meeting in Monument, that the staff was being honest when they said they'd give Council the comments and information that was presented, along with the signatures from the Web petition. It's now up to nearly 1,000 and we're still working on it.

The PPRTA folks were quite a bit more forthcoming and willing to listen than I thought they'd be, and apparently when they said they'd give our comments and opinions to Council honestly, they were telling the truth. Your story, along with a note I received from Councilor Brandy Williams, gives me at least a bit of hope that FREX will survive.

— Jon Rogers

Colorado Springs

Accent marked

The few times we have visited Jorge's restaurant, our family has been very disappointed.

Having taught Spanish for 35 years, I am constantly checking for accuracy in spelling and vocabulary authenticity. I have mentioned to staff/owners/managers of several restaurants (including Jorge's and Crystal Park Cantina) that they have outrageous spelling and/or linguistic errors. Neither has been willing to correct them!

Even the Independent misses the boat on editing and correcting spelling errors. Just for the record, in your article you write Camarones à la Diabla, but there is NO (à) in Spanish ... it should simply read Camarones a la Diabla. Even the chile de árbol maintains a written accent. FYI, there are no apostrophes in Spanish. Jorge's should be spelled de Jorge and Amanda's Fonda, La Fonda de Amanda. Kindly share these thoughts with your colleagues.

Let me know if you ever want me to help proof some of the Spanish spelling in future work!

— Tim Davis

Manitou Springs

Editor's note: While we admire Tim Davis' passion, when we write about a restaurant's dishes (or, for that matter, mention its name), we convey the spellings that customers will see upon making a visit.

Today's America

I want to show everyone a picture of modern America. It is neither Republican nor Democrat. It is extremely ugly. It is the finest example in the world of thieves, liars, hypocrites and con men legally dominating and controlling the lower classes of society — under the guise of politics, government, banks, corporations, religious institutions and organizations.

These entities oppressively throw the weight upon the hard-working shoulders of their own citizens, then illegally and systematically go into other parts of the world to destroy any real culture and way of life, to promote the most vile and corrupt form of government. They accomplish this with the stealth of their military-industrial complex, using politicians and jackals to deceive and overthrow any primitive or powerless nation.

It is a place where babies are killed every day with the excuse of "birth control," by a young population that has lost all direction, and carelessly procreate in order to fill the hole of emptiness which their parents have allowed modern pop-culture to dig. It is a picture of a hardworking and unlucky person who has legitimately tried to make progress, and has lost hope because of a nonexistent job, or a termination notice for not fitting into the "cookie cutter."

It's a place where people's mistakes and lack of skill and education can be held against them forever, no matter their repentance and desire to better themselves, because of a government playing god who stamps their name with "DAMNED" in a computer file.

The majority accepts things the way they are, so they may continue to plug their brains into a matrix of media, mind-rot and brainwashing. The few who want things to change or end up doing something about it, are living in fear of scorn, arrest, imprisonment and extreme measures for survival, or have already been forced into one or all.

— J.D. Shaffer

Colorado Springs

Dump Council

About City Council, I say fire the lot of them except for Angela Dougan! Put her on the mayor's staff. They don't watch Memorial Hospital.

We need potholes filled, bridges redone, money to hold our city together. I say vote them all out! Fire them now! Join me! Get angry like I am.

Take away their perks and their waste of money! Don't they understand it is our money they are spending, not theirs?

— Montana Smith

Colorado Springs

What would King do?

First, there will always be prejudice in our country. But we will never get rid of most of it if we can't forget the past. I don't mean to bring it up one special day to not let us forget. Those in the new generation are the ones that have to get rid of the main bias.

The young boy who came to school dressed as Martin Luther King and was told to take the makeup off his face ("Child was right," Letters, May 30) must have wondered what he did wrong. He probably knows absolutely nothing about old days, and probably none of the other students do, either.

I assume some adult made a complaint and the school handled it wrong. He was told to come to school in costume, he came as King, so how could he come with a white face? If the school had left him alone, he wouldn't have caused a problem and might have won Best Costume if they voted for that.

I am positive he admired King, or he would've chosen Washington or another great white person. The school should ask itself how would King have handled it. I also think that if the child hadn't been so young, he would have explained it to them. Let's all of us grow up and forget the past and improve the future for our children.

— Rodney E. Hammond

Colorado Springs

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