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The Ranger's farewell, kids and guns, Ludlow, C4C, and more

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: letters@csindy.com

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Rich, come back!

Oh, how I hated to read Ralph Routon's article on Rich Tosches' decision to retire from writing his wonderful stories in my weekly Indy ("A farewell — unless Tosches changes his mind," Between the Lines, April 9). Every Wednesday for the past couple months now, my son brings in my Indy and sees the disappointed look on my face as I open it to the last page.

"Ranger Rich is not back yet, huh mom?" ... Sadly I'd say, "No, not yet."

I made several calls to your offices inquiring about Ranger Rich's column only to be told he was on personal leave and that it was not certain when he would return! Only during my last inquiry was I told that his dad had passed away. I sent a sympathy card and message to him and continued my wait for his articles to appear once again.

His stories brought not only many laughs, but also many tears. He is a very unique and diversified writer and can never be replaced!

I'll miss you very much, Rich, and hope you do reconsider retirement sometime up your future road. Our "village" just will not be the same without you!

— Rose Rospierski

Colorado Springs

Wrongly targeted

I couldn't agree less with LeAnna DeAngelo ("Children with guns," Letters, April 16). It is both logical and sensible for a local, private, K-12 school to offer an optional seminar course on "Firearm and Archery Safety."

The school offering the program may very well have an archery program as well as an air pistol/rifle program. I am not sure why the seminar title makes the author shudder, nor am I sure how a course in firearm/archery safety would lead to increased random gun violence.

Neither my husband or I participated in any of the shooting sports, nor did we ever buy a gun, until our daughter became a competitive sport shooter. She was introduced to sport shooting at age 14, through the United States Pony Club, in a sport called Tetrathlon, a modified form of Modern Pentathlon. One of the events in both sports is 10-metre air pistol.

There is a huge difference between sensible, educated and responsible pro-gun adults/children and reckless, uneducated pro-gun adults/children. It is time for people to understand that there is a huge difference between the responsible shooter and an unstable, mentally disturbed shooter, who might very well consider violating another person with a knife or a hammer.

I have known many, many shooters over the last 20 years. None of them are crazed or deranged, none of them have violated another soul by gun violence, none of them have violated themselves by gun violence. Shooting sports require the utmost discipline of participants. The best education a non-shooter can get is to go to the U.S. Olympic Training Center shooting range, or one of the other local, responsible ranges and watch. Watch the quiet, solemn routines each shooter follows so that you can truly understand what a Firearm/Archery Safety course teaches a prospective shooter in any shooting discipline.

— Daria Wilber

Calhan

It's education

It's difficult to know where to begin responding to Ms. DeAngelo (is the doctoral reference supposed to provide credibility?), but I shall do so nonetheless.

First, the seminar that makes you "shudder" and you find "scary" is an optional course, meaning that attendance is voluntary, not mandatory, and any student(s) wishing to opt out may do so. Yet that's still too invasive and deplorable for you?

Second, this is a "safety" course, implying that it is teaching participants how to properly respect, handle and discharge firearms. Would you suggest ignorance is a valid alternative?

Third, what is the inherent educational/moral/societal detriment of raising "pro-gun" children? And please demonstrate the correlation between offering a safety class and the assumption it will somehow lead to violence. I don't see how this seminar could be misconstrued as advocating irresponsible, criminal behavior, à la Sandy Hook, but again, perhaps you can elaborate.

Fourth, there is a reason why we don't allow driving (which is a privilege, not a right, as firearms ownership undoubtedly is) until a specific age, because motor-vehicle operation is infinitely more complex and prone to disaster statistically than handling a firearm. I was taught to shoot a rifle at 4, and the cornerstone of this education was to always, without question, handle weaponry in a safe, sensible manner.

Perhaps when addressing the "Members of the smartest segment of the population in Colorado Springs," you should consider the numerous beneficial aspects of such a program prior to suggesting this extracurricular offering is a by-product of a nonexistent "Good Old Boy system."

— Jeff Faltz

Colorado Springs

Where was Osgood?

In all I have read the real force behind the southern Colorado coal struggle is never referred to ("Blood for Coal," cover story, April 16). True, Rockefeller was involved as an ownership interest. John D. Jr. was involved behind the scenes, and I doubt had little involvement in the union/management/mine owner strife. John Cleveland Osgood was the real management/mine owner power. I refer you to his story From Redstone to Ludlow, authored by F. Darrell Munsell. This book outlines the Osgood involvement and places him as the real power fighting the UMW and miners. Why his name and power influence never surface is a real mystery. To quote, "Called the Fuel King of the West, Osgood was the leading coal baron in the western mountain region and the most prominent spokesperson for the coal industry for over three decades. During this time, his anti-union policies made him the UMW's most formidable foe in its effort to organize the Colorado coalfields."

— Ed Alyn

Colorado Springs

Blame the sprawl

In the Long Story Short (April 2), it says El Paso County is bigger than Denver County. Then why do we have such awful public transportation? Metro just discontinued my bus on Saturdays, yet added some Sunday routes.

I moved to this apartment because it had bus service. Where's our light rail or buses that at least run the service so people can work?

— Janelle Williams

Colorado Springs

Put Drake to sleep

At the March 19 Colorado Springs Utilities Board meeting, the majority of our City Councilors wanted to choose the longest-term option for keeping the Martin Drake Power Plant alive (20 to 30 years), but were concerned about the risks from federal regulations. (This ignores the Drake Decommissioning statement, p. 97, that the 20-30 year retirement dates are not practical or feasible in the context of forecast reliability and generation costs in the future.)

A couple weeks later, Robert Talley informed them that it would take until 2025 before future federal regulations could be finalized. He referred to this time period as long-term, although 11 years is the mid-term timeline on the Drake study.

If their decision is based only on federal mandates, they do not have to make a decision now. (Complicating the retirement debate is Colorado Springs Utilities' initial $73.5 million investment in an experimental emissions control — now up another $100 million?).

My opinion and fact: Colorado Springs needs to be planning aging Drake's retirement — before its reliability, upkeep and maintenance, and environment violations make CSU's among the most expensive electrical rates — both financially and in living costs. Eleven to 15 years max — sooner, better!

Acting to never retire Drake, or a Drake retirement around 2033 or 2043 ("highest financial return on investment"), is walking to the firing squad with blinders. Not good stewardship, City Council!

— Bonnie Ann Smith

Colorado Springs

C4C's 'ugly duckling'

It is understandable that City Council has not endorsed the City for Champions by ordinance. There are too many unanswered questions. Backers tell us three of the projects will be funded by philanthropists and private donors. No names or amounts have been given.

Mayor Bach's draft letter to RTA speaks of "public/private" partnership. That implies public funding. Citizens absolutely expect to vote on such an investment of general fund money.

Apparently, the ugly-duckling project is the event center stadium and parking garage. A reliable funding vehicle for each project is essential. Tax increment financing and urban renewal authority are problematic. In addition to attracting tourist dollars, proponents of C4C hope to lure and keep young professionals here. Even if fully built out, the projects offer a very limited number of well-paying career-path jobs.

To make the case for voter support requires transparency, full vetting in public forums, reasoned judgment and sound public process.

— John A. Daly

Colorado Springs

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