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Christo's impact

Gail Nelson's letter ("Backing Christo," Feb. 9) states that there will be "only minimal, temporary impacts" from this project that will suspend shiny fabric panels over 5.9 miles of the Arkansas River.

Drilling 9,000 nine-foot industrial bolts into the river's banks with heavy equipment for 28 months for a two-week display cannot help but have lasting consequences for the bighorn sheep herd, the nesting bald eagles, the peregrine falcons, bats and endangered plants that live in this Bureau of Land Management-designated "area of critical environmental concern."

Not to mention the people who live in Fremont and Chaffee counties who will be adversely affected, 80 percent of whom voted "no" against allowing the project to proceed in a recent Cañon City Daily Record newspaper poll.

Short-term economic gains cannot be allowed to overshadow the long-term damage that this ill-advised project will cause.

— Peg Rooney

Penrose

Feeling cross

Do you think there's a lot of noise over the contraception issue right now? On the other side of the controversy, I suggest the administration offer to make it illegal for any Catholic woman to receive any contraceptive product, and then step back to watch the furor.

Talk about citizens getting involved over an issue! It would look like Carrie Nation and her gang were back in the streets all over again.

— Tom Rich

Colorado Springs

Billion-dollar promise

While on a trip to Ireland, I heard a radio interview about possible fracking there.

A big concern is the potential of polluting the water. The industry representative said they don't use any chemicals in the fracking process, so there wouldn't be a problem with water pollution. When asked about U.S. companies using chemicals, he didn't know why U.S. companies use chemicals because it isn't necessary to use them.

If chemicals aren't necessary, why is Ultra Petroleum using chemicals that could possibly pollute our water system? We are spending a billion dollars on our water system with the Southern Delivery System, and we shouldn't take a company's word that it won't pollute our water.

If Ultra promises not to pollute our water, it should be willing to post a $1 billion performance bond to protect our investment.

— Michael O'Halloran

Colorado Springs

 

Analyzing Obama

The old saying that "no good deed goes unpunished" is especially applicable to President Obama now. He has completed three years of a brilliantly constructive presidency, but many are bitterly criticizing and faulting him. Like every president, he has made terrible mistakes. But look again:

He has stopped an economic free-fall and started it crawling back up. He passed the first health-care coverage law in recent memory, in spite of fierce and relentless obstructions from Republicans. He passed the first law regulating banks since the 1930s, again despite that Republican blockade. He made it possible for gays to serve openly in the military. He lifted the ban on stem-cell research. He ended the ban on doctors giving their patients advice about abortions in U.S. military installations around the world. He appointed two brilliant women to the Supreme Court. He renegotiated the Start Treaty, reducing nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Russia. He took care of Osama bin Laden. He advocated a nuclear-free planet. He stopped the Iraq war. He won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Can I hear a bit of applause, please? Yet he gets critiqued and insulted.

The criticism reminds me of the young man passing a frozen pond one winter day, seeing a young boy breaking through the ice and starting to drown. He miraculously rescues the boy, dragging him to the shore where a congratulatory crowd gathers. Suddenly a screaming woman runs up and grabs the boy. She asks the young man, "Are you the one who saved my boy from drowning?" The man modestly says he is. Then she shouts, "Where's his mittens?!"

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Dream to reality

Kudos to Ralph Routon ("Circular thinking on rebirth," Between the Lines, Feb. 2) for resurrecting the compelling idea of an Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum as the city's Next Big Thing. To the mind's eye readily comes a vision of a Hall housed in a building of unique architecture, the colorful Olympic rings glowing atop one-of-a-kind cylinders. Brought to fruition, this idea could surely produce an iconic structure comparable to the Cadet Chapel, Seattle's Space Needle or Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

A good idea is timeless. Fine in one generation, it may be superlative in the next.

It is fair to say there is residual discontent among many citizen taxpayers over the "done deal" foisted on them in 2009 to keep the U.S. Olympic Committee in town. The smoldering that remains is primarily due to the manner in which the transaction went down. Taxpayers became obligated to 30 years of substantial payments without giving us an opportunity to vote on the proposition. Nor have people forgotten that this deal became a fait accompli at the very time our economy went into recession.

Proponents of "whatever it takes" told us Colorado Springs was competing with other cities luring USOC and like them, we should consider USOC an economic engine. Perhaps an Olympic Hall of Fame could fulfill that promise.

How should the project be funded? Absolutely no public subsidies. The USOC and the Olympic movement should call upon their many corporate sponsors and private donors to build it. Perhaps the Hall could serve a dual purpose: USOC "giving back" and saying thank you to Colorado Springs, and providing the economic engine for which we've been patiently hoping.

— John A. Daly

Colorado Springs

Sharing the blame

Re: "Signs of the times," News, Feb. 9: Thieves are thieves and always will be, but thieves need one thing: a market for their stolen goods. So am I supposed to believe that when a thief shows up at a scrap yard with rolls of copper wire or, worse, a bronze plaque, the scrap yard owner "doesn't know" these are stolen goods?

Give me a break! And just what the hell is law enforcement doing, if anything, about scrap dealers buying stolen goods? This is not some new development, and I believe it's about time scrap dealers were held accountable.

— Mike Minnillo

Colorado Springs

Drilling disaster

Yet again certain members of Congress say they want to "save money," but their poorly thought-out transportation bill (HR 7) would not only cause permanent damage to the environment, it would also be a cash cow to oil and gas industries at the expense of the average citizen.

If big business has their wish, they'll be doing in Arctic coastal waters what BP did a couple of years ago in the Gulf of Mexico — with the same potential risks of disaster, except this time to the fragile, irreplaceable home of polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.

The Congressional Budget Office says it "expects no significant royalty payments would be made until 2022" from Arctic Refuge drilling. Nonetheless, proponents are trying to sell the bill as a means of dealing with today's transportation problems. Today's problems? It's obvious this plan is too little, too late to fix what's going on now on our congested highways.

America's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful, pristine wilderness that polar bears, Arctic foxes and walruses call their home — and is also the nesting ground of hundreds of thousands of migratory birds. Do we really want to throw it away, making it just a memory that our grandchildren will only read about in history books? Even the Competitive Enterprise Institute goes as far as to label this irresponsible plan "myopic political gimmickry."

I can only hope Rep. Doug Lamborn realizes the truth about this irresponsible plan, and votes NO on HR 7.

— Eris Brianna Caver

Westminster

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Lamborn's laundry

Scott D. Myers' comments regarding Ralph Routon's article on Lamborn boycotting the State of the Union speech ("Ripping Routon," Letters, Feb. 9) need a little more information for the citizenry of Colorado's Fifth Congressional District.

From his record we find that he's sponsored 34 bills since Jan. 4, 2007, of which 28 haven't made it out of committee and none were successfully enacted.

We have paid Lamborn $748,000 over a four-year period for what? That works out to $22,000 per bill, with none enacted. HR 1076, to prohibit Federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of federal funds to acquire radio content, which he introduced, passed the House but he had no co-sponsors. Isn't it funny that he cannot get the members of his own party to co-sponsor this piece of legislation? Maybe they know something he doesn't and are remiss in telling him?

Oil, gas and mining are Lamborn's largest contributors, and that includes the Koch brothers followed by real estate, finance and defense. Lamborn sponsored or co-sponsored six earmarks totaling $16.02 million in fiscal year 2010. Some of the earmarks went to Wright-Paterson Air Force Base; Patuxent River in Maryland, and no-name cities in Utah, Mississippi and Connecticut. None of these recipients are in Colorado. His top vendors are Citizens for Fair & Legal elections, $25,000; Jean Lamborn, $12,570; Chalice Roy, $11,728.

There's more information at opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00028133.

— Gary Casimir

Colorado Springs

Dial-a-Doug

An open letter to Congressman Doug Lamborn:

It's your pal Tom writing again. You know, that guy you blocked from your Facebook page for disagreeing with you about the Keystone XL Pipeline. I just wanted to let you know that I recently purchased this magical device that allows you to speak directly to people by pushing a sequence of numbered buttons.

It's called a telephone. It's really an amazing thing. Does your office have one? If so, I think I'll just go ahead and start voicing my opinions to you that way.

You may take my Facebook, but you will never take my freedom!

— Tom Nelson

Colorado Springs

Mitt's folly

So Mitt Romney is on TV saying that this country should not be borrowing money to pay for expenses we cannot afford due to lack of revenue. Oh really, he has just come to realize what Democrats have been saying since 2002? Where has he been — on the moon with Newt? Those of us who are antiwar were screaming about this while his party, the Republicans, were in office spending up a storm while lowering taxes on the top 1 percent!

Come on, Mitt, you can't believe we are all so stupid as to think what you are saying now is a new idea. The budget was balanced under Clinton, and then Bush started not one but two unnecessary wars while decreasing our country's income. He then borrowed money from China to pay for his ridiculous wars, and we are now in horrible debt. Then all of the conservative right acts like it's President Obama's fault we are in this mess.

Get a clue, Mitt. You are just espousing what we lefties have been saying since Bush sent this country down the toilet. These are not your ideas; they are the Democratic Party's ideas. And you are not the only person who is appalled that we borrowed money from one of W's members of the Axis of Evil.

Give us a break! Take your B.S. elsewhere, where ignorant people might believe your nonsense.

— Jane Madden

Colorado Springs

Calling them out

Before Colorado's Republican caucuses, my phone was inundated with recorded messages for a week, telling me how to vote.

Simultaneously, Republicans view themselves as strong, self-reliant, fiercely independent patriots who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

If they all have these wonderful characteristics, please tell me why these expensive messages are needed to hound me?

A paradox!

— Dr. Dale L. Kemmerer

Colorado Springs

Analyzing Obama

The old saying that "no good deed goes unpunished" is especially applicable to President Obama now. He has completed three years of a brilliantly constructive presidency, but many are bitterly criticizing and faulting him. Like every president, he has made terrible mistakes. But look again:

He has stopped an economic free-fall and started it crawling back up. He passed the first health-care coverage law in recent memory, in spite of fierce and relentless obstructions from Republicans. He passed the first law regulating banks since the 1930s, again despite that Republican blockade. He made it possible for gays to serve openly in the military. He lifted the ban on stem-cell research. He ended the ban on doctors giving their patients advice about abortions in U.S. military installations around the world. He appointed two brilliant women to the Supreme Court. He renegotiated the Start Treaty, reducing nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Russia. He took care of Osama bin Laden. He advocated a nuclear-free planet. He stopped the Iraq war. He won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Can I hear a bit of applause, please? Yet he gets critiqued and insulted.

The criticism reminds me of the young man passing a frozen pond one winter day, seeing a young boy breaking through the ice and starting to drown. He miraculously rescues the boy, dragging him the shore where a congratulatory crowd gathers. Suddenly a screaming woman runs up and grabs the boy. She asks the young man, "Are you the one who saved my boy from drowning?" The man modestly says he is. Then she shouts, "Where's his mittens?!"

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

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