'One little blip'
Bear with me for a short while. Welcome to the world of people who don't have an automobile and are stuck with having to ride public transportation.
Driving around in an automobile, peering in bus windows, is not enough to decide the bus size needed ("Analyzing 2C," Letters, Nov. 19). If people could lower themselves to ride a bus with the lowly poor, elderly and disabled, that would be a better way to learn the needs for bus service. Route No. 5 (downtown to Citadel Mall) would be good to ride; the route is short and you wouldn't have to be among its riders for a long time.
Calling the community centers a waste is thoughtless. The one I attend serves meals to between 120 and 200 each day it is open. That is the only meal some of the people get for the day, but that's OK. Most are elderly and won't live long anyway. I doubt if you have been in a community center. With the buses gone, we need someone to give demonstrations on getting a power wheelchair into a taxi.
I was once on top of the world, and I paid a lot of taxes that I thought were a waste at the time. I had a nice house and two automobiles until one dark night when I had a severe stroke. My very good insurance was very nice for the first $100,000 — then dropped me like a hot potato. From that time on, the expense was a little over $1 million. Figure the co-pay on that. There went the house and the cars, $300,000 in savings and practically everything we owned.
It only takes one little blip in your life and you could ride the buses, too.
— Richard Folks
Lots of what-ifs
It was noted in the daily paper that there are 100 Christian ministries/organizations in Colorado Springs. What if they had urged their members to remember the Christian tenet of helping the less fortunate and vote yes on 2C? Then we would continue to have reliable public transportation for the poor or those unable to drive a car; centers for seniors and others to get a reasonably priced meal and educational opportunities; parks and free swimming pools for children.
What if Focus on the Family, which was given lots of money to come here, had taken the thousands and thousands of dollars they spent in Maine and California to ensure a ban on gay marriage, and instead used that money here for the community's good?
What do they do for us? They don't feed the poor each day, as does Catholic Charities, nor help the homeless.
And by the way, I too was ignorant of the use of long buses until a friend who has paralyzed legs and uses a motorized scooter told me that three scooter people take up half the bus.
— Colleen Johnson
Mayor Rivera and City Council members, I have difficulty with what I observe as placing such importance on keeping the U.S. Olympic Committee, committing many millions of dollars without regard to any taxpayer approval.
Please explain why you take great interest in the USOC and Olympic athletes, but you give the appearance of despising the physically disabled of this great city, by your plans to cut all of Saturday, Sunday and evening bus service. This borders on being criminal and may prove to be unlawful.
You lament that tax dollars will be lost if the USOC leaves. Will the USOC pay enough taxes to cover the lost revenue from over 11,000 daily city bus riders who will potentially face unemployment once the bus service is compromised?
The working poor also contribute hard-earned tax dollars to this city. Scores of bus riders lament looming job losses because they will not be able to get to work. I predict many hundreds, if not into the thousands, in job losses for the working poor, because of bus service cuts.
What will the working poor do for income? File unemployment? Become welfare recipients? Apply for food stamps? Even worse, become involved in crime to feed their families? Why is it that the USOC's prestige and fanfare are more important than the plight of the working poor?
You should never balance the budget on the backs of the working poor, elderly and disabled. We need to help them.
Do not turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to the disabled, but rather favor them much, much more than you do. And remember the elderly, as if it were your parents who had no other way of getting around than by our city buses.
— Chris W. Stark
Our money problems are over. Make Colorado Springs the ultimate destination for all Christians from all over the world.
Just like the Hajj to Mecca, make Colorado Springs the "once-in-a-lifetime must-see." Get Focus, New Life and other groups involved. They don't pay taxes anyway, so here's their chance to help out. I'm sure their marketing departments can create a fervor to come here to get reborn, blessed, saved or something.
Take the "s" out of Garden of the Gods and there is your venue. It will be win-win for all: the airport, hotels, transit system ... jobs ... sales tax galore. Just remember this was my idea, so I should get a cut.
— Patrick Conley
Sin of omission
I love the way journalists always leave out the fact that Memorial Health System does not receive any funds from the city of Colorado Springs by way of taxes! Why do you (journalists) always leave out this very important fact?
Memorial Hospital's ownership by the city allows our citizens to believe that the hospital is supported by their tax dollars. This is vital information that needs to be considered each and every time the sale of the hospital comes up. Colorado Springs has five military installations/bases, making our public very transient, and keeping the public informed of this fact needs to be ongoing.
— Joyce Roghair
Hard to be hopeful
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful, but not this year.
Unemployment in the Great Depression was 25 percent. Today the government says we are only at 10.5 percent, but that's only people who receive unemployment compensation. What about all the people who have gone off the rolls, who have been looking for jobs for years?
I know at least four people who have been actively looking for work for more than two years. I know many more who have given up. I have heard a conservative estimate of 18 percent unemployment. That's almost to the 20 percent at the Depression's official beginning.
The Depression started when banks went under. Isn't that what happened again? No, this time the government bailed out banks using our money. I would have much rather had the money come to me than a bank. So the government can lie to itself and say we aren't in a depression.
One significant thing about the Depression was agricultural prices plummeting by 60 percent. Wow, if that were the case, I might be able to buy some produce. What I wouldn't give for a fresh salad or some fruit. I used to buy a five-pound bag of potatoes for $1. Now that only buys me four potatoes.
The government will not give a cost-of-living Social Security increase this year. What's that based on? My rent went up. The cost of food doubled. Utilities just asked for another increase. I want to know where the cost of living didn't go up.
Just look around, see all the people out of work, see all the homeless, see all the hungry people, and you will know the truth. Maybe when people open their eyes and admit the truth, they can start doing something about the problem.
— Michelle Weisblat-Dane
The red-blue war
Why are we in this place? We are embedded in a war where the leaders battle with each other in an effort to gain and remain in power. A divided country where the leaders purposefully fuel the war by pitting their side against the other through disdainful rhetoric, and sadly, too many people fall blindly in line.
The divisiveness and disdain are not waning; the opposite is true, and the divide widens as the battles are intensifying.
Have the hateful rhetoric, disdain and divisiveness become so ingrained in this society that unity, peace and faith in leadership are futile?
Why are we in this place? We are being fed disdain, hateful rhetoric and divisiveness, and we are the ones who decide whether to consume it, be consumed by it or reject it. Perhaps it's time to end the war in our nation between blue and red states and, more importantly, within our own hearts.
— Brian Fowler
Night to remember
I was the lucky winner of the csindy.com passes to the Minus the Bear show at the Black Sheep. I am still in awe. I went, I saw and I was conquered! The three bands were outstanding, but As Tall as Lions and Minus the Bear were amazing.
The audience was overall very attentive but a bit stiff. I mean, there was some swaying but no real dancing, which was a pity because each band played extremely danceable music.
Now you have to understand I'm not a 20-something hipster. I'm almost 60 and I had a blast!
So thank you Indy for shaking me up and thanks for the tickets. It was a very special evening, which gave me yet another reason to be thankful on Thanksgiving.
— Pamela Koscumb
Too far away
Nice picture, cool-looking chick for the Slice of Life photo. I had to do a double-take on the cover of the Nov. 26 Independent to make sure I didn't mistakenly pick up Westword. Then I remembered that you can't get Westword, Denver's independent weekly rag, down here in Colorado Springs.
Now I am confused. Why in the world is there a local picture of a local chick in front of a local diner in my town's local weekly rag, but the photo was taken of a locale 80 miles due north?
Is my town lacking so much in current trends, culture, hipness, cute girls, style and diners that have big, "cool" signs from times past that your photographer had to snap a shot of a place that has nothing to do with Colorado Springs?
Ladies and sirs, I call foul! Shame on you and your paper, local paper my arse.
— Tyrone Arcila
Are we cowards?
A recent letter in the Gazette gave me an uncomfortable feeling about the future of this great republic. It suggested the decision to bring those allegedly responsible for the terrorist attacks on 9/11 in New York to trial in New York is somehow wrong, dangerous or both. The letter also suggests the president left the attorney general holding the bag while he somehow ducked for cover and slipped out of town. What rubbish.
Real leaders delegate the authority to make decisions to subordinates while retaining responsibility for those decisions. I believe it was the correct decision. When we, the American people, are so terrified that we shirk from our responsibility to bring those who commit crimes against us to justice, using our system of laws and judicial procedure, then I would suggest the terrorists have already won.
Since when, except in the company of fear-mongers and cowards, do Americans fear to do one of the very things that have sustained the republic these 220 years? When we run and hide out of fear of our personal safety, then our actions can only be judged as what they are — cowardly.
Let them rant and rave all they want. The real takeaway from any such trial is that once again the American people will be seen to have stood up for what they hold dear in the face of, and despite, adversity.
To those who think that the terrorists may come again and kill more of us, the answer is, possibly so. The real question, though, is: Will they scare us to death?
— Chuck Treese
The ancient Mayans predicted that the world would come to an end in 2012.
Amazing! How could they have known that Sarah Palin will win the next presidential election?
— Steve Suhre
A military defense
I'll tell Larimore Nicholl ("The American way," Letters, Nov. 12) where we would be without our bases around the world: We'd be speaking German or Japanese. While I'm no fan of the current situation, having no military would be foolish for us as a nation. America has its problems, if things are so rosy in Costa Rica, then why is Mr. Nicholl's fictional Juan in a tent city here in the United States?
Oh, and Canada has to manage a health care system with about 10 percent of our population. Government-run health care on the scale of a country our size will be a nightmare, as we will soon find out.
— Stefan Huddleston
I am deeply disappointed by President Obama's decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan for these reasons:
1. Supporting a corrupt government that was not freely elected. 2. Our almost ignorant comprehension of the culture, society and determination of the enemy. 3. Bringing democracy to a tribal nation whose understanding of a democratic government is limited. 4. Winning the hearts and minds of a people whose hearts and minds belong to Islam. If you want to win their hearts and minds, convert to Islam. 5. A complete disregard for Afghan history that includes defeating the British and Soviets. 6. Search and destroy. (We search and the enemy destroys.)
I have heard this rhetoric before. I have also heard the cry for "no more Vietnams." The last thing I want to hear is that our troops 'have not died in vain.' It is in the best interest of the United States to actively engage in peace and not war.
— Peter R. Brumlik