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Just for CC

However veiled, the proposed changes to Cascade Avenue are only to benefit Colorado College students temporary guests in this city at the cost of everlasting inconvenience to people who live and pay taxes here. Many CC students do indeed look before they cross and some even acknowledge the motorists who stop, but many do not, and that clearly sends the message that CC students believe they are above the commoners dwelling in this little burg.

The undesirable and potentially dangerous interaction between students and vehicles could be solved without additional burden to Springs motorists with the construction of pedestrian overpasses or underpass structures. Actually, local grade-school students once crossed under Nevada Avenue in such structures for many years.

This is a simple example of special interests utilizing public money for private gain. At the very least, this possible change in our traffic flow as well as the expenditure of public money should be decided as a ballot question.

Ken P. Chalfant

Colorado Springs

Prophets in our midst

It was an honor to attend the events last week with Rev. Richard Cizik and Jim Hightower ("Thou shalt go green," cover story, Sept. 11). Both displayed courage and wisdom in attempting to convince those brave few evangelical and secular folks who came out to consider joining forces in a common cause to save our cities and world.

What a powerful message to take to the "belly of the beast" in Colorado Springs. I could feel the tension pass through the room as Cizik chastised the congregation at Vanguard Church over the powerful religious constituents' inability to see beyond their fears in reaching out and educating themselves about the real environmental impacts that will touch all our children's lives.

Both nights were a call to action, to realize this beautiful opportunity to find one thing in this not right/left election, but top/down battle for intellectual and corporate power. This is real; the message is vital. It is time to come together and pay attention to the city's needs without our typical bias and intolerance.

Cizik and Hightower were prophets, and the Indy their boat.

Valerie Acosta

Colorado Springs

Sex-crime issues

I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for Anthony Lane and his article ("Some things can't wait," News, Sept. 18) on the growing statistics of rape and continued difficulties victims face on their roads to recovery. The woman he referenced is a local hero for insisting on formal recognition and attempts for justice on behalf of her daughter.

There is an alarming trend in the growing number of rapists getting away with their offenses. I have worked with convicted juvenile sex offenders in rehab for over a year. I asked a particularly difficult client why he thought he was entitled to rob someone of her quality of life. If he was going to end up in jail, why not commit a crime that didn't shatter the future of another human being? His response has haunted me: "I didn't think I'd get caught. I figured I'd go to jail for stealing a car long before I'd go for rape."

When a person of any age reports an act of sexual violence, the law is required to respond appropriately. Police departments, last I checked, do not have authority to prioritize the same crime because of the victim's age. This is grounds for age discrimination. Put yourself in the shoes of an adult woman recently victimized by sexual violence. Already traumatized, how would you feel if your case was pushed to the back burner? Victim psychology would have you blame yourself for the offense in the first place. I strongly urge all police to go about solving sex crimes on a first-come, first-served basis.

When women are raped in areas of conflict around the world, the act is called a crime against humanity. When it happens in our own community, justice is put on hold.

Catherine Morrisey

Denver

Limit recruiters

As a former high school teacher, I understand the rationale for having military recruiters inside educational institutions ("Irresistible force?" News, Sept. 18). Recruiters from the business and sports world are allowed access. However, I find it far too intrusive to permit enlisted personnel to ply their trade inside a classroom. Teachers are paid to use classroom time to instruct students.

No recruiters should be permitted to talk to minors without parents' signed consent. Nor should a teacher passively submit to a request from the guidance office and allow a student to leave an academic class and talk to any recruiter, military or otherwise.

In the not-so-distant future, the draft will probably be reinstalled, both males and females the next time. Somebody has to serve as cannon fodder for the perpetual state of warfare this country is bound to wage.

Any teenager unwilling to join the military has a simple solution to the quandary. An adamant declaration of homosexuality will cause the recruitment effort to end in an instant.

Joseph F. Pennock

Florence

Why not debate?

Rep. Doug Lamborn, why hide from your constituents? Are you afraid to face the voters? You make it hard to understand why we should vote for you.

Where does that leave you? You definitely do not have what it takes to be a David and take on Goliath, and I don't think voters want someone who is going to hide until he has enough time in the House to get his retirement.

We, as a district, deserve better. We need someone who will protect us, and right now you're not that person. We'd be better off without any representation than to have you there being ineffectual.

Where do you stand on the $700 billion bailout of financial institutions? If you had to choose between family, church, party, country or the Constitution, which would you choose? What are your thoughts on the economy? Has it been a smart move from a producer economy to a consumer economy? How would you propose to reduce the deficit? Should the federal government bail out homeowners?

The Federal Reserve has forecast more foreclosures during the last half of 2010, through 2011 and 2012. What should the government do to prevent this new tsunami? Should the government bail out financial institutions during that time frame?

Let's hear your thoughts, Mr. Lamborn, in a public forum moderated by a neutral party, taking live (or e-mailed) questions that aren't screened, massaged or sanitized. We are entitled to it!

Gary Casimir

Colorado Springs

Fountain Creek success

I've been privileged to serve alongside dedicated, talented citizens from all over southeastern Colorado to outline a regional vision and implementation strategy for turning Fountain Creek into an amenity. It is a goal that Colorado Springs is absolutely committed to.

I had an opportunity to attend a meeting recently with U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, local officials and the Fountain Creek Vision Task Force. I want to commend Salazar for his leadership and unwavering commitment to regional collaboration.

Over the past two years, most participants have realized regional collaboration is the only way to find solutions for the 927-square-mile Fountain Creek watershed. It has taken all of us on the task force cities, counties, water providers, local elected officials, federal representatives, ranchers, farmers, land owners, environmental groups, military installations and local health departments to create a vision built upon tangible solutions.

We must be a good neighbor to those who share Fountain Creek with us. That's why Colorado Springs partnered with the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District to fund a master plan for the vision effort; why we've contributed hundreds of hours of staff time and expertise; and why our community has made significant investments in stormwater management and wastewater spill prevention.

Stormwater management is critical to the future. If we don't effectively manage storm flows in the watershed, we put more than $100 million of wastewater infrastructure investments at risk and jeopardize the watershed's environmental health. That would be unfortunate, considering these investments have significantly reduced our risk for accidental wastewater spills. Our spills per 100 miles of pipe are now among the lowest in the nation.

Larry Small

Vice Mayor, Colorado Springs

Republicans for Nader

Are you serious, GOP? Palin vs. Putin. I'm gonna bet a dollar on Putin. My mother and I (lifelong Republicans) will write in the same candidate we did four years ago: Ralph Nader. Don't even get me started on a hockey mom sitting down for tea with Kim Jong Il.

Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

Women for Obama

I have never been more excited to be a woman voter. The decision of who the next president will be is up to us. Let's use this opportunity to vote for a candidate who cares about issues that affect women, like education, equal pay and health care.

Overwhelmingly, health care is a women's issue. Currently more than 700,000 Coloradans are uninsured. Sen. Barack Obama has a plan to provide more Coloradans with quality, affordable health care; Sen. John McCain does not. In fact, under McCain's plan even fewer families would have insurance than now. Currently, most Americans who have health coverage get it through their employers, but McCain's plan would penalize businesses that provide health coverage by removing tax incentives.

This would cause more women to have to get insurance for their families as individuals without group-rate benefits. Paying a lot of money for a few benefits is not health coverage.

Under McCain's plan, women who suffer from breast cancer, uterine cancer or chronic diseases like diabetes could be denied coverage. Same with maternity care. This not only affects women, but the health of our children.

Women, let's not be forced to choose between our health and the health of our families. I want to make my vote a positive change in the health care of this country.

Cora Best

Colorado Springs

Being responsible

It's nice to know Bernadette Young is looking out for the easily duped among us ("Like Lennon said," Letters, Sept. 18). She suggests those persuasive pin-stripers in "big business" are conspiring to tempt us, but last I checked, freedom of choice was in full effect, and consumers could simply choose to scale back their spending/debt.

Recent financial disasters aside, capitalism works, and if an "apathetic voter" is that easily "seduced" out of their money, then they have no one to blame but themselves. Accepting personal fiscal responsibility, living within your means and not over-extending your credit; what's so elusively cerebral about that?

Jeff Faltz

Colorado Springs

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