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Dogs at the market, the mayor's downtown dream, and more



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Downtown déjà vu

Thanks to Pam Zubeck for her reporting on "City for Champions" ("Talking a good game," July 3; "How to be a 'Champion,'" July 10, News).

Over a decade ago, then-Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace was gaining momentum for the same thing as now. As with the last effort, I also stand against this one. I'm domiciled just outside downtown to the east in Hillside. Does downtown need "help"? Maybe. This wasn't the answer then, and isn't the answer now. I've absolutely no use for downtown Colorado Springs having any resemblance to Denver, which was the cry the last time. The baseball stadium needs to stay right where it is. If need be, overhaul City Auditorium for the sake of a "convention center."

The political structure of this municipality has changed since the first effort, but hopefully the results will be the same, and logic and common sense will prevail once again.

— Gregory Alan Johnson

Colorado Springs

Ask us first

A group of Colorado Springs leaders has given its "glowing vision" of a tourism hub and details of their wish list for a vibrant downtown. Whether intentional or not, City Council was left out of the loop. Members had no input to the planning and grant-writing process, which seeks substantial funding to implement four projects.

Council now has earned the empathy of citizens who were twice denied their right to vote by previous Councils on vital issues: the USOC deal and the Neumann Systems Group contract.

Regarding Summit Economics' report: For a $40,000 fee, who among us could not compile a favorable array of statistics and enthusiastic opinions to buttress support for a foreordained result?

We hear loud and clear from advocates that a downtown stadium is a pièce de renaissance. Keep in mind that this idea for a downtown ballpark emanates from people downtown, not the Sky Sox organization.

From all we've heard, Mr. Elmore and his team have been happy and content here for 25 years. In cities that have no ballpark, the initiative to build one usually comes from the owner of the team franchise. Nothing like that applies here. In fact, Mr. Elmore has expended many millions to renovate and modernize the existing stadium facilities.

If this wish list item gets a green light, funding should come from developers, construction people, bar and restaurant owners, vendors who stand to profit. No public money should be involved. If that is even proposed, citizens absolutely must be allowed to vote on it.

— John A. Daly

Colorado Springs

No LoDo

Our mayor has big plans for downtown. He says we can be just like Denver if we have a downtown stadium. We can create a LoDo and get people to come from all around to see the Sky Sox and spend lots of money in the redesigned downtown Colorado Springs.

Why would we want to copy Denver? Colorado Springs is a wonderful city, with its own unique attractions. I first saw Colorado Springs in 1967 when I came here on summer vacation with my parents. I remember thinking that this city had some of the most amazing city parks in the country. This was from a girl who grew up in San Diego. I still feel that way. Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak are only the start of the wonders of our area.

We can better spend money supporting the attractions that are already here and spreading the word about the beauty that surrounds us. We also have a growing arts community that can provide entertainment for our visitors at night. We can provide support for that.

If the mayor wants to study something, maybe he can look into ways we can use the many empty buildings we have all over town. Perhaps we can help some of the unemployed start self-sustaining businesses here and provide some of those jobs the mayor has been promising.

— Beth Heinrich

Colorado Springs

The right priority

After reading the July 8 article in the Gazette about the Pikes Peak Summit House, I'm ashamed to say I live in the city of "America's Mountain."

Come on, City Council and city civilians — do not let Mayor Bach get money for "his wanted" stadium. (By the way, it would be a terrible location.) Get that money and build a new summit house (ASAP) and make America's Mountain proud.

— B.D. Bryan

Colorado Springs

Recall choices

Who will I vote for? I am sure that Bernie Herpin and John Morse would love to know the answer to that question.

What has Bernie Herpin done while on Colorado Springs City Council? In 2009 he voted to approve the extreme budget cuts, which as you can remember got international attention.

I of course posted numerous silly little cartoons on my YouTube Channel known as Pikes Peak Ocean. Bernie Herpin's reaction to those cartoons in an email dated May 29, 2010, sent at 8:33 a.m. was as follows: "Why don't you stop sitting around in your underwear in your mother's basement and get to work help [sic] those who are looking for solutions to the transit problem? Oh wait, that would mean you'd have to actually do some work."

Months later, Saturday transit service returned and it took an additional three years to return evening bus service that was lost.

This does not let John Morse off the hook either, as Morse has lived up to the negative stereotype of the Democratic Party with his knee-jerk reaction to the Sandy Hook Elementary School incident. I don't believe that proposing such legislation will make us any safer than we were before it was proposed.

All I have to say is that I hope that both Bernie Herpin and John Morse are nervous as they are reading this, and that both of them better pray to God that there is not an option on the ballot to write someone else in when the recall election takes place.

— Ed Billings

Colorado Springs

It's a gift

In the food review ("Artful harvest," Appetite, July 10) I found the name of the artist who did the mural on the Warehouse Restaurant — Douglas Rouse. I pass it on Cimarron Street and many times have pulled over just to admire it, front and back.

Anyone can write a book (I know because I have read some bad ones this week); anyone can do a beautiful flower arrangement (even I); anyone can bake a delicious cake; but to paint like Rouse is surely a God-given talent. I immediately looked him up on the Internet and he is multi-talented and his art takes him to many cities.

We should have every tourist organization recommend the Warehouse mural, as it rivals any of the downtown art.

— Colleene Johnson

Colorado Springs

Pooch-free produce

Why do dog owners think that a dog likes to be in a crowded space such as the farmers market?

I visited the farmers market at Bancroft Park on the west side last weekend. Lovely market on Saturday mornings; however, too many dogs! Yes, the dogs are on leashes, some even muzzled (for my protection or theirs?). But dogs do natural things, like make their mark by urinating on produce boxes, sniffing everything in site, and barking.

Please rethink that your dog loves to be among a crowd of humans buying produce.

— Chris Cousineau

Colorado Springs

Kick butts, take names

Every day, despite the warnings of extreme fire danger, we see cigarette smokers flicking their ashes and/or cigarettes out the window of their moving vehicles. It bugs me!

I have confronted them, much to the chagrin of my wife, and have heard the comments, "I'm in town, it's no big deal"; "It is none of your business." This, normally after a few expletives, too.

Well, if they are in the habit of doing this, more likely than not, they will do so no matter where they are. Protecting our state is paramount. So therefore it is my, and every other Colorado resident's, business to try to stop this nasty, dangerous habit.

Here is my proposal: Every time you see someone flicking their cigarette ashes and/or cigarettes out of their car window, call *CSP and report that action to the state. Once someone gets five reports, they should get a letter from the state, that such action has been noted by their fellow Colorado citizens and that such action is not only dangerous but illegal. And if the reports keep coming in, they should get a citation.

This number is used to report aggressive and/or drivers under the influence, and since flicking ashes and cigarettes out of a moving vehicle can cause as much and even more damage, these scofflaws should be stopped. To reduce the possibility of getting into a confrontation with one of these people, let's let the state work to stop this habit.

Starting today, report all cigarette smokers you see flicking their ashes and butts out of their car windows.

— Mark Stahl

Colorado Springs

Firing back

Jan Zeis' letter ("Just admit it," July 10) is a good example of why gun owners feel under siege. She does not even mention that the Supreme Court ruled in the 2008 Heller decision that the Second Amendment is not dependent on the militia and is an individual right, the same as the First Amendment.

Ms. Zeis thinks the government cannot confiscate or round up all of our guns. But they can restrict them so much you will be a criminal if caught in possession of a firearm — in fact, that is what has happened in many cities. She says we do not need weapons of war, but does not understand every gun we own today was once a weapon of war. Jan asks what is wrong with a background check but does not know many people are wrongfully turned down by the Colorado CBI check and have to spend thousands of dollars to restore their rights.

So I will "just admit it": People like Jan Zeis do not understand the issue but want to make laws regulating the right!

— Jill Coleman

Colorado Springs

Dead teen on trial

In Florida on the night of July 13, 2013, an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin, who was shot to death in February 2012, was put on trial. The shooter, George Zimmerman, was set free.

Even though the defense team and prosecutors seem to be OK with the not guilty verdict, both sides constantly stating that "It's not about race," the world watched and made the correct judgment. The question that remains unanswered is this: What if the shooter had been black?

All we have to do is remember a case in Florida three years ago of a young black mother of three, Marissa Alexander, who acted in self-defense, giving a warning shot at the ceiling as her abusive white husband came at her. No one was hurt, but she received a 20-year conviction. Within 12 minutes, the jury found her guilty of aggravated assault, even though her estranged, abusive husband admitted in his deposition that she had every right to do what she did.

Florida's laws are certainly discriminatory, but nobody wants to admit it. I hope America can get this right. Justice must be done.

— Sharlene White

Oceanside, Calif.

Feed the children

It is beyond the pale that with food stamps attached to the farm bill, it can't seem to go anywhere in Congress. At least 16 percent of American children (20 percent or more under the age of 6) live in poverty and go to bed hungry — how do these elected officials sleep at night?

The Republicans will go along with the farm bill as long as the "corporate farms" that produce GMO's get a big chunk of taxpayers' money. I really wonder how much toxic GMOs these Republican congressmen consume that has been proven to cause a whole host of ailments like autism and auto-immune diseases.

Even conservative columnist David Brooks commented that he just doesn't understand the mean spirited Republican congressmen — and El Paso County keeps on re-electing one of the meanest, Doug Lamborn. Forget the liberals turning this country into a "nanny state." How about just being civilized to our most needy?

— Elaine Brush

Colorado Springs

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