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Choosing a political party, Trump, clean power, and more



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Party pooper

In the midst of the rumpus and turmoil of the upcoming election, many folks are wondering if they should join a political party, and if so, which one. In the interest of public service, here's a handy guide.

You may be a Republican if:

• You don't want to vote to raise taxes on billionaires because you truly believe that someday soon you will become one.

• You have never personally met a Muslim or an Arab, but you fear and hate them, because Fox News told you to.

• You believe in a "war on Christmas."

• You think Dick Cheney served in the military, and Iraq had something to do with the 9/11 attacks.

• You think President Obama didn't deserve the Nobel Peace Prize though he outlawed torturous interrogations, negotiated a nuclear arms reduction agreement with Russia, pulled combat troops out of Iraq and is getting a deal with Iran to ban or delay nuclear weapons.

If you don't fit into any of the categories above, you might be a Democrat.

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Simple observation

I watched the GOP debate and now I can understand why Mr. Trump would be called a "carnival barker," for that's exactly what the debate was — a carnival!

— Brien Whisman

Colorado Springs

Path to the future

As a recent college graduate and newcomer to Colorado Springs, I am repeatedly astounded by the beauty surrounding this city. I hope to remain in Colorado for quite some time and continue to explore the outdoors.

That's why I was incredibly excited to see the Independent's Aug. 5 article on the newly finalized Clean Power Plan. Colorado is in a great place with the renewable energy sources available, and the amount of jobs that this sector provides is really exciting! I hope that this plan will allow Colorado Springs to move toward a cleaner and healthier future so we can all continue to enjoy the fresh air.

Call Sen. Michael Bennet to show him you support the Clean Power Plan, and that you appreciate his support as well.

— Taylor Billings

Colorado Springs

Not the right trail

Since 2011, many residents of Cascade/Chipita Park have suggested to deaf El Paso County ears that the route chosen for the Ute Pass Trail is extremely dangerous. The route is extremely dangerous and intrusive to our neighborhood because it mixes pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians with vehicles on narrow, ultra-busy streets and Highway 24.

Residents (in public meetings and submitted documents) have shown that multiple hazards abound for any who would use this trail route by picking their way through congested intersections, restaurant parking lots, driveways and the entrance to the Pikes Peak Highway. This portion certainly will not be an enjoyable hike next to cars whizzing by, where hikers will have to watch their every step.

Given that county leaders and planners are not stupid or callous, one has to ask: Why do they keep pushing this?

It is perhaps that we have been following the wrong trail. The money trail is the only remaining logical explanation.

Who are the employees who have worked for THK and now work for the county? Are they in a position to influence this project? Have former county employees found work with CDOT, and do they have influence on this project?

When helicopters lift supplies, when great blocks of concrete are purchased to hold back Fountain Creek, etc., contractors (competitive bidding?) do not work for free. Was THK awarded the consulting fee to design the trail in competitive bidding; and will they also be awarded the $3,429,993 to build this unwanted segment through our neighborhood?

Last question: Who profits from this dangerous and unwanted project? Not us!

— David Johnson


Ironic target

I saw the news footage of two young black women and one young black man bullying Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders off of his microphone at a rally in Seattle.

The rally was being held to address the issues of Social Security and Medicare. The two young women doing the threatening were Seattle "Black Lives Matter" activists. The young man joined them later in the incident.

The activists took the stage and demanded the microphone. They threatened to "shut down" the event if they didn't get it. They were very disrespectful and aggressive and pretty much took over the stage. Mr. Sanders stepped aside and never did regain the mic.

The young activists stood screaming at another man on the stage. I couldn't believe my eyes as I watched the man negotiating with two irate activists about how much time they wanted to speak. This while the crowd yelled, "Let Bernie speak!" Eventually Mr. Sanders left the stage.

The thought exploded in my mind; "Where the hell is security?" I'm used to seeing activists being throttled at political events for simply speaking up in the stands. But taking the microphone from the speaker by force? Where was security!

Then I wondered, are these imposter activists that are actually there to hurt the Black Lives Matter cause? Because if they are, I say they are succeeding. I think these three should pull the exact same stunt at Donald Trump's next public speaking event. The response may not be as passive.

Black Lives Matter. So do the actions of us all. Let Bernie speak!

— Scott Freeman

Manitou Springs

Questioning values

It is unfathomable that there are people in this community who value their dogs more than our children. I have invested my blood, sweat and tears into the children of Colorado Springs and I believe they are our greatest asset. Harvard research indicates that investing in children is the best way to prevent violence, addiction, crime, animal cruelty and myriad societal ills.

Our children and families deserve a beautiful, natural place to play freely with their dogs. But one contingent wants to ban children from the dog park so their dogs won't hurt somebody. They feel entitled to the space. They would rather blame children for their dogs' aggressive behavior than accept responsibility for their negligence.

Dogs who are so out of control they might hurt somebody are not allowed off their leashes, even at the dog park. Also, far too many working dogs have been purchased as domestic accessories, and their owners have neglected to exercise and train them. They need a place to let these neurotic dogs run wild. Bear Creek Dog Park is not that place. The park was created so people "would have a place where they could feel safe letting their dog run freely off a leash."

If you ever feel threatened by a dog or human, please call 911 first. If the threat is not imminent, the El Paso County Parks Department can be reached at 520-7529. You can also record the license plate number and report it to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region at 473-1741. They will follow up with an investigation.

Additionally, if you have a dog that you would like children to stay away from, a yellow ribbon tied to the collar is the appropriate indicator. Let's keep Bear Creek Dog Park safe for everyone.

— Emily Walker

Colorado Springs

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