Time to look ahead, with the election over, and it's not a pretty prospect.
Like many campaigns, the mayoral runoff was exceptionally strange. One recent poll reported that a hefty majority supported Richard Skorman's ideas and plans, but at the same moment, they were voting for the other guy. Go ahead; blink your eyes.
As in other campaigns locally and nationally, candidates actually bragged about being utterly inexperienced, not ever having been a politician before. This is something like going into surgery and the anesthetist telling you in the operating room, "You'll be glad to know I've never done this before, and I'm not a doctor, I'm a businessman." The only thing worse would be the surgeon being home-schooled.
So now we have "amateur night" in local government, since many new Council members are neophytes with no experience. They will all be easy prey for the folks at the Chamber of Commerce, Broadmoor, and the developers to manipulate like puppeteers.
If you liked Mayor Rivera, you'll love Mayor Bach. Same conservatism, same antipathy to gays, same business values, same service-cutting plans, more deterioration of the city, and no new taxes to support 20 percent new population. It's a bleak prospect.
If you think you can attract new businesses to a city with insufficient taxes to run the city properly, and offer a superior quality of life, forget it.
— Larimore Nicholl
Dear Mr. Mayor: Congratulations! Good luck making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
There's a difference between development and slapdash, cheap construction caused by land rapists. Planned development makes for beautiful cities and towns. Wanton, cheap construction of tomorrow's slums is what distinguishes our city's developers.
I must mention the single-family homes on South Academy Boulevard, by Sierra High School. It's a mess that defies description, houses a few feet from each other with no landscaping because there's not enough room for a tree to fit between houses. Residents can smell car exhaust, and people caught in traffic can listen to homeowners flush their toilets. This development is one of the ugliest I've seen outside of Mexico City.
Don't get me started on the Circle/Hancock jughandle, already graffitied, with no attempt at removal. Here's another example of homes built so that if you trip, you slide into traffic.
Residents may not recall that the book and movie, Fast Food Nation, were inspired by the way this town was being developed: mile after mile of cheaply constructed mini-malls, now each housing some flaky ministry. These goofy ministries need to be investigated by the IRS, because so many seem to be a new form of home business, like Amway, and I think it is against the law for churches and/or ministries to put signs on public roadways. These Jesus stores add to the general tackiness.
Will this town continue to be uglified by the rapist developers?
Oh yeah, the 7-Eleven on Tejon and Pikes Peak really speaks volumes about the downtown...
— Bernadette Young
With Douglas Bruce and his minions reduced to irrelevance, you should be thankful that Steve Bach won the election because you now have a new target for your biased commentary. Keep up the entertaining work!
— Frank Walton
Restless over Young
I do believe City Clerk Kathryn Young has run smack-dab into the Peter Principle — she has risen to her level of incompetency. She is the first person who needs to be released from the city after the new mayor takes over. She has done nothing but muddy the waters for the city and mayoral elections. Another smudge on Colorado Springs' reputation over the past few years.
— Mary Jo Piccin
What was John Hazlehurst's real purpose for including City Clerk Kathryn Young's race in his "New mayor's challenge" column (City Sage, May 12)?
John, are you really concerned Kathryn Young's firing by a new mayor would alienate her fans and supporters? Or are you implying that Steve Bach is a racist, or that Richard Skorman could be accused of being a racist?
And why mention her race at all?
Or was your intent to take a swipe at Mike Makinney's letter to the editor (same edition, p. 8)? Did Mike's comparison of his personal experiences with Ms. Kathryn Young and with you put you in a defensive position?
Did Mike have it correct when he wrote, knowing something about both of you, "Kathryn Young has, in her two middle fingers, more integrity than John Hazlehurst has in his entire heart ..."?
John, which middle finger was Mike referring to and whose? The who doesn't matter. The middle finger was pointing at you, John, and, apparently, deservedly so.
— Charles Andrew Wood
Editor's note: John Hazlehurst does not see letters to the editor before they are published in any issue of the Indy. Also, as a former City Councilor, Hazlehurst has additional perspective on Young's job performance; he was a member of Council when Young first became city clerk in the 1990s.
No jobs yet
Politicians are out of touch with citizens. With Democrats holding onto Medicare and Medicaid like their reputation depends on their positions, and Republicans holding on to the idea of reducing income taxes even further for the wealthy, what are taxpayers to do as they feel the destructive proposed budget effects of both?
Many are unemployed or underemployed; many have no health insurance; many can afford no car in their household. Our society isn't a wonderful place like it was 30 years ago. Many have seen their good jobs exported for a quarter of their earnings, and there is no new job to replace those earnings.
Is anyone surprised that consumers have curtailed their purchases? The alleged economic rebound is ethereal. Both parties must compromise much more than they have. The tax cuts for the wealthy have not produced jobs for wage earners.
— Ray Krueger
After reading the May 12 Indy, I must comment.
First, "Trail etiquette, please" in Letters: The whole dog-shit thing is an outrage! I hate dog shit on trails. I hate it tied up and I hate it raw. Shit from carnivores is toxic. Dog owners should be severely penalized for leaving these offensive bundles on trails and in parks.
Next, in Street Smarts, "Fuming over fueling": Angelo Cordova says, "I'm seriously thinking about just going to public transportation, and using my car as minimal transportation." That's what I call using your head. If we all supported public transportation, think how much safer and cleaner our city would be. Then, Eric Anderson talks about rudeness to bike riders: "Many times I've had people literally try to push me off the road ... yelling out their window." Me, too. It is plumb scary to ride a bike in this town. But if more of us tried riding bikes, think how much safer and cleaner our city would be. Same with using the bus.
Lastly, "Power play" and "Good morning, Afghanistan" (News) together bring up an important point. Dave Grossman says a good utility can help attract jobs by providing "reliable service at reasonable rates." Lou Mellini says he "saw solar-powered streetlights that our forces installed where there had never been any before." Why can't we install solar-powered streetlights? And hire our "forces," when they finally come home, to do it? Solar lights would be cleaner and pay for themselves in the long run.
Who will take care of the dog shit? Who will fund public transportation? What can we do to ensure safety of bike riders? How can we keep the air cleaner? How will we begin to wean ourselves from non-sustainable resources? We all have to take care of our own shit!
— Linda Day
Factory farm reality
Free press advocates have been outraged recently by bills in Florida, Iowa, and Minnesota legislatures to prohibit possession and display of videos of factory farming. Yet, for the meat, dairy and egg industries that push for these bills, the prohibition makes perfect sense.
A year ago, undercover investigators exposed E6 Cattle Co. in Texas chaining dairy calves in tiny wood crates and bludgeoning their skulls with pickaxes. Last June, Cal-Cruz Hatcheries in California was found to grind up and suffocate live chicks.
In August, Iowa's Hillandale Farms and Wright County Eggs were forced to recall 550 million eggs for salmonella contamination. If I were running one of those operations, I certainly wouldn't want people with cameras anywhere near my facilities.
Filthy conditions and cruel practices are likely to remain legal and commonplace on U.S. factory farms, and their operators will continue to avoid public exposure.
Our only option, as consumers, is to stop subsidizing these conditions and practices at the checkout counter by shifting to wholesome, cruelty-free vegetables, fruits and grains, as well as grain- and nut-based meat and dairy substitutes available in every supermarket.
— Carl Silverman
Sit it out, GOP
After the last couple of weeks, the GOP should pass on the next election. Skip a turn, like in Scrabble. They need to fall back and regroup. They're split, like most religions, into a tiny clown car full of arguing denominations.
Obama, by contrast, is kicking butt. The economy is responding to the current administration. It's not 100 percent yet, but the last GOP in the White House created the problems and then attacked them like an episode of the Keystone Cops. So there's no guarantee that the GOP would have done, or will do, any better. Seriously, Sarah Palin?
That's not a Navy SEAL Team, it's a USO show: Jerque du Soleil.
— Steve Suhre
Right is wrong
You've got to be kidding. Colorado Springs, ruled by "conservatives" for decades, has enormous infrastructure backlogs and dust bowls as parks. But somehow we're in a financial mess because liberals have been in charge?
Steve Bach's real estate connections will lead him to promote growth interests that will continue to shift the costs of growth onto the public. That's why infrastructure backlogs grow. And that's the idea: Have a "strong mayor" promote developer interests more strongly.
Do people move here because they thought, "Boy, that place has low taxes"? Or have they thought, "That's a nice place"? The latter, of course. Even so, now that "conservatives" have just about killed the quality-of-life goose, they still think more of the same dysfunction is the answer?
Horrible, liberal Boulder has lost 38 percent of its manufacturing and information technology jobs since 2001, but Colorado Springs has lost lots more: 52 percent. Quick! Which is better?
But never mind, voters have evidently been swayed by ads painting Bach as a conservative and Richard Skorman as a liberal.
Colorado Springs, are you nuts? Yes.
Continuing learn-nothing "conservative" rule dooms us as a region and as a nation.
— Bob Powell