The God of I
To the Editor:
Wow, some letters last week (July 13) were real doozies. Three have messages in common. First, individual rights totally eclipse any impact on society. Second, to be politically correct we must worship their particular version of god.
Mr. Bryan Mullinax ("Liberty and SUVs for all") worships the SUV god. His right to drive one supercedes all others, no matter how many people are killed due to vehicle size mismatch and environmental impact. No problem there. (Oh, I almost forgot, as public transportation is in a death spiral relative to the sacred auto, where is that "altar of public transportation"? Some of us would like to see it before it's too late.)
Dr. Ronald Bruce ("Gun showdown") worships the gun god ... naturally. Of course reasonable gun regulation offends this god, so that's a no-no. If the Columbine guns would still have been sold with background checks, how would they impede anyone's right to purchase a gun? Oh yes, a three-day wait ... what a nuisance to prepare for that hunting trip or to protect yourself or to kill someone three days in advance. But there are some things I don't understand. If gun control laws, which have been around for years, are unconstitutional, why hasn't the Supreme Court declared them so? Is it that the gun lobby won't challenge them on the basis of the Second Amendment because they'd lose? And what part of "well regulated Militia" don't they understand?
Mr. Les Gruen worships the god of growth ("The challenge of affordable housing"). When given evidence that a developer doesn't tell the truth about what's in their traffic report and makes errors that effectively falsify the report -- no problem, no corruption there. It's OK that development externalizes costs onto the public -- we'll ignore that intractable, more than half-billion dollar, infrastructure backlog. We should all do our civic duty to pay taxes to subsidize development. (By the way, that's called socialism.) But talk about a public policy to supply affordable housing, now that's an "intractable challenge."
The problem of affordable housing is "intractable" because that would interfere with the god of the free market (never mind prior Fed interference). It would be a no-no for society to subsidize housing to make it affordable, to partially counteract Fed policy impacts. For those who work for a wage so low they can't afford a place to live, let's substitute "sympathetic comments" and charity for equitable economic and social policy.
These days it seems the only politically correct stance is to worship the god of individual rights -- to hell with everyone else. Amen.
Bottle bill would take care of recyclables
To the Editor:
I can sympathize with Sandra Chesrown's frustration over the absence of curbside recycling in the Springs ("Front Range waste goes unrecycled," Letters, July 13). You don't have to be an Earth Biscuit or a hard-core environmental activist to see the problem. I have, however, seen some evidence of other types of recycling here, but mostly for profit (yard sales, antique shops, classified sales).
One woman's junk is another's treasure. We should adopt this attitude toward glass, plastic, cardboard, aluminum and paper. It only takes seconds a day to sort these items. When you do this, you find that your big plastic garbage bags will last several months rather than several weeks.
I have seen glimpses of progressive attitudes in the Springs, but not where the recycling issue is concerned. I have lived in much smaller and far less progressive cities (namely in the Southeast), and even they had curbside recycling programs.
Here's an idea: If the city's waste management department does not want to become involved in offering these services via taxpayer dollars, how about mandating property owners to furnish recycling pickup for their tenants at no extra charge? Broken recyclables are hazardous. Multitudes of beer and soda bottles will eventually puncture even the strongest trash bags. The glass will wind up broken in the driveway and on the sidewalks; then when the landlord visits his property to make necessary repairs (hopefully), he/she just may puncture his recyclable rubber tires.
Perhaps this state needs to revisit the possibility of enacting the bottle bill. If recyclables are worth money, people will be rushing to redeem them.
And they call this defense?
A plus for SUVs
To the Editor:
I enjoyed your article about the pros and cons of SUVs ("Sporting Chance," July 6), although it was mostly cons. However, you have missed mentioning a big plus for SUVs.
We had a Mercury Grand Marquis but it was difficult for my husband, an 80-year-old disabled World War II veteran, to get into and out of that car as it was so low. Twice he fell getting out of the car, the second fall resulting in a stroke caused by falling backward and banging his head on the pavement. We then bought a Chevrolet Blazer. He could back up to the front seat and I could put his feet in the car and put his walker in back. Upon arrival at our destination, he opened the front door, swung out his feet and stood up while I brought his walker.
A friend bought a Ford Explorer for a similar reason. Her husband, also disabled, also a World War II veteran, was in a wheelchair. The explorer was ideal for him.
My son-in-law has been driving a Blazer for 16 years, my husband had two Blazers before we bought the Mercury, and neither had any problems or accidents. But they were not speeders or road-raged drivers. The last Blazer enabled my husband to go out without danger of falling. For that we have been very grateful.
-- Eva B. Monnett
To the Editor:
A few days ago I was waiting to make a left turn from westbound Pikes Peak Avenue onto Nevada. From this position, you can truly see the value of the Art on the Streets program. Our new statue of Spencer Penrose, now shed of its pre-unveiling KKK garb (I'm sure you remember the sheet) is lined up with the new mobile-like sculpture entitled "Pisces in Crises." The angle is so perfect, it seems almost intentional. Perhaps they wanted the towering aluminum mushroom bloom of fish and dollar signs to sprout from the head of Penrose, like a cross-dressing Vegas showgirl or an unskilled drag queen.
I would like to know exactly what, if any, purpose "Pisces in Crises" serves, besides to draw drivers' eyes away from the road. I know that you cannot judge art, yadda yadda, but in my opinion, it is a monstrosity. I am not clear where the funding for this thing came from, but I am fairly sure it is placed on public land. Did the public have a say in it? Had they had a say, would the public have chosen to place an ugly, childish, raccoon-attracting, Starr Kempf--imitating (poorly so) collection of tin in the middle of a major downtown artery? Why has the public not spoken up? Where are the people so repulsed on the morning of its installment? The Museum of Misinformation, to whom the sculpture is attributed, should stop trying to be artistes and spend more time learning to create art. In the meantime, "Pisces" should be removed and recycled.
What do travelers think, when they drive through downtown Colorado Springs for the first time? On Pikes Peak alone, there is an obnoxious giant cowboy, a buffalo, Mr. Penrose, two small bronzes of an ice skater and Atlas (the only two of any true beauty), a metal paper airplane, a rearing grizzly, space age eagles, and some kind of terrier. Does the Art on the Streets Committee actually think that this motley collection of second-rate art makes us urban and sophisticated? If anything, it simply reveals what backward, uncultured podunks our civic leaders truly are, and what idle, doe-eyed, complacent citizens the people of Colorado Springs can be.
-- Eugene Calaveras