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An open letter to Colorado Springs Utilities Board (i.e. City Council):
In light of recent events published by The Gazette confirming that CSU is hiding air quality information from the public, I would like to know why you, the Utilities Board members, are doing nothing to stop this activity. You have been elected to the position of public servant, and I ask that you provide this data to your constituents and the very Utilities' customers whose rates paid essentially funded the air quality studies.
Instead of serving in your roles as City Council members and demanding honesty and transparency for your constituents, you seem to have instead opted to help CSU continue to hide information that directly impacts their health and safety, rather than ensuring the information is available to the residents it affects.
Now that we have confirmation that the air quality studies Utilities conducted do indeed show egregious violations of air quality standards, will you do what is in the best interests of your constituents?! To continue to try to hide this data only furthers the extreme distrust that the citizens of Colorado Springs have for their utility.
Since this information that you were not willing in the past to ensure was disclosed to the public has now come out through other channels, I implore you one more time to help release this important air quality information to the public.
At the very least, please tell us why this data is being kept from us, now that we know the client privilege excuse has been thoroughly debunked.
— Nicole Rosa
Save the Constitution
I am a disabled veteran who served just shy of 12 years in the Air Force as a uniformed service member and another four years as a civil servant. I joined in April 1999 to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
By threatening to strip citizenship from people who protest his regime by burning American flags, Donald Trump has revealed himself as an enemy of the Constitution.
It is the duty of all veterans now, both in and out of uniform, to remember our first loyalty. We must use all legal means within our power to block Trump's attempts to stifle dissent.
— Don Branum
I am puzzled by Ryan Carrigan's vote for Trump but even more so by his logic ("Not a 'deplorable,'" Letters, Nov. 30). I agree with him completely that Clinton should not have called any human being "deplorable" (though how Mr. Carrigan can't see Trump's racism, sexism, Islamophobia and xenophobia as "divisive tactics" aimed at wooing white men in particular is beyond me).
Trump specifically mocked Hispanics and veterans, two groups to which Mr. Carrigan belongs. If Mr. Carrigan is socially liberal, how does he find Trump's (and, even worse, Pence's) policies acceptable? Did Mr. Carrigan compare the two candidates' policy websites, which showed clearly that Clinton had extensive plans to develop jobs and Trump had essentially none, or did he rely on the media (which never compared the candidates' policies in any responsible way)?
It saddens me beyond belief that Mr. Carrigan saw progressives, but not conservatives, relying on "tactics of divide, sub-divide, and subdue" when the latter claimed that they would "make America great again" by taking it back from racial minorities, gay people and women. And regarding Trump offering something different: I can't argue there. He offers a politically ignorant and incompetent approach to the presidency that has never been seen in the country's history.
If Mr. Carrigan would not get on a plane with a pilot who has never flown before, I'm amazed that he would vote for a commander-in-chief with no political experience.
I'm sure Mr. Carrigan is a decent person, but I fear he will be surprised when Trump uses the presidency to enrich his pocketbook and demonstrates (as his economic plan already shows — read it, Mr. Carrigan, if you haven't — that he doesn't care a whit about working people.
— Amanda Udis-Kessler
Let's behave better
I just returned from two weeks of celebrating our 60th anniversary with family in Maryland, the bluest of blue states. As expected, none of the newspaper articles had anything positive to say about the recent election of President-elect Trump.
Even worse were some of the letters to the editor in those papers. Vile and slanderous comments were a normal routine, even in USA Today. After returning, I picked up a copy of the Independent and to my dismay, there were many negative and downright ugly malicious letters against Trump winning the election.
During the previous two elections, I don't recall that same reaction after President Obama's election. I really expected better behavior by Colorado voters, and especially from those of us who live in predominantly red El Paso County. Yes, we have become a blue state, much to my chagrin. However, that doesn't mean we should become rude in our behavior and verbiage.
Come on people, let's try to act and speak like intelligent human beings.
— Duane C. Slocum
Burning religious texts and nations' flags are indeed a form of free speech/expression, but they're still pandering to lowly mentalities. I don't agree with the Bible being the "Word of God," but I don't go burning them or stomping them into the ground. I don't agree with idolizing symbols or nationalistic pride, but I don't go burning flags or stomping them into the ground. I do agree with the right to protest and speak out against violence and corruption, but I won't participate in destruction of property or violence against the government.
It's more about compassion and empathy, knowing we're all part of a single human family co-evolving with the only planet we have. It's about finding more effective, efficient and proactive ways to protest, and not so much about defending free speech, creating "safe zones" or worrying about offending people by censoring emotive truths or practices.
We all need to both grow up in our own unique ways, and recognize the value of humility and the turntable timing of practicable and proactive placement of our protests.
— Jeff Welch
Mikey Weinstein is wrong again on his interpretation of the First Amendment as well as his interpretation of AFI 1-1 ("AFA cadet wears uniform for Christian testimonial," IndyBlog, Nov. 30). I regret that the Air Force Academy pulled the video.
This cadet has every right to express his faith and what motivates him to be an officer in the United States Air Force.
— Dr. Ron Crews
CH (COL) USAR Retired
Executive Director, Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty