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Not perfect, but best
For those saying the proposed alignment of the Ute Pass Trail isn't perfect, you're right!
It would be more pleasant to have the final stretch of trail meander through the woods, on Forest Service property or because a gracious landowner has provided an easement for the trail.
But those options aren't available. What is feasible and affordable is a trail near Highway 24 that uses public right-of-way and provides a safe passage for bicyclists, hikers and even schoolchildren. The priority is to complete the trail stretching from Manitou Springs and the Teller County border, allowing hikers, bicyclists and equestrians to use the pass just as Native People did 10,000 years ago.
In a similar fashion, the Pikes Peak Greenway was strongly opposed by some neighbors before it was built. Those same neighbors have found that a nearby trail generally increases residential property value and offers new business opportunities. It's no accident that a popular bicycle shop abuts the Greenway.
Tell El Paso County officials: It's time to finish the five-mile gap and complete the Ute Regional Trail.
— Susan Davies
Trails and Open Space Coalition
Mayor John Suthers and City Council: I understand your dilemma regarding the issue of people displaying themselves in what you have deemed as inappropriate places and in an inappropriate manner.
It saddens me to see our beautiful city streets filled with poverty and homelessness. No one in our nation or the world should be living in such a manner! We the people have been lazy. Look at our voting records and the state of so much disease in the world, and you see how little involvement citizens have taken in governing ourselves better.
It is everyone's job, not just yours, to find positive and long-term solutions to homelessness and poverty. We are not alone. Our entire nation struggles with this scourge. Our city has an incredible opportunity to become a beacon if we all put our heads together and take time.
I believe you could postpone acting on Ordinance 8-24-15 and give citizens, businesses and organizations an opportunity and time to assist you in finding better solutions. I have a few ideas:
Let's get our businesses (Home Depot, for instance) and people who have graciously contributed to Habitat for Humanity to rise to this emergency by creating more housing for the homeless.
Let's begin a city work program which many of the homeless could fill, using our tax dollars to give people pride and encouragement. Goodwill goes a long way to keeping peace and justice! Much more than jail and fines.
— Gail Black
I don't care to pay extra taxes, of course, but I am not totally averse to this "temporary" tax increase if roads really are repaired. Mayor Suthers' assertion that the roads should last 10 years, and hence the goal to resurface 10 percent per year, makes sense on the surface. My concern is the quality of work done.
Roads are not lasting anywhere near 10 years. Case in point: I frequently drive Cascade Avenue between Fillmore and Uintah. That road was resurfaced a couple years ago but in the two lanes on each side of the median, at the seam where the different lanes were laid, there has been significant erosion of the roadway, a constant stretch of potholes. I have seen this in other parts of town that have been resurfaced in the past four to five years — serious deterioration at the seam.
Is there a plan to monitor the work done, a warranty if you will, to decrease the substandard work?
— Bill Stoddard
Advice not needed
When will you ditch your current Advice "Goddess" in favor of a sincere, concise columnist who cares about people? Amy Alkon is far too snarky and self-promoting to actually give a f*ck about your readers and their issues!
To add insult to injury, her responses (I can't call it advice) are unbearably lengthy, taking up unnecessary space and wasting the readers' time! Her responses are nonsensical and at times rude.
I believe in "shooting from the hip" but it seems to me the Indy has shot itself "in the foot" by hiring and keeping such an insensitive employee. Please replace Amy and her sarcasm with someone with heart! Try me: I've never written a column but I sold a poem to Current and have won several Valentine contests in the Gazette. I am humorous, straightforward and passionate about helping folks.
We live in a tough world. Why offend readers who are reaching out for help?
— Judy Johnson
Behind the times
I have not read Amy Alkon's column before, but I found myself with some time and did. In "Hat Crime" (Advice Goddess, Aug. 12), she responded to the gal who asked how to introduce her shower cap to her boyfriend for fear that it would turn him off like this — Easy: "Hi, meet the end of your erections."
My response would have been different, more along the lines of: "Of COURSE I would not wear a shower cap if the boyfriend considers it a turn-off, just like I assume he would not engage in activities or wear things that turn me off. Some examples: farting, chewing with mouth open, wearing muscle shirts while drinking beer in front of the TV, scratching crotch, burping, etc., etc. I have several pages."
Silly me, I had thought that it was the '60s when the human race discovered that sexual response was not exclusively the responsibility of the woman. And I had really thought that men accepted that they have some responsibility there as well.
Come on, Indy, did you even read the column? And it was OK with you?
— Lucy Shick
A closer look
In "Defending Planned Parenthood" (Your Turn, Aug. 26), state Sen. Michael Merrifield misses an important point in explaining the controversy surrounding fetal tissue research and acquisition.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, admitted in a letter to Congress that "adjustments that facilitate fetal tissue donations rarely occur at our few clinics that offer women this service." In short, Planned Parenthood charges companies in exchange for fetal tissue but not a significant amount. The fees that Planned Parenthood charges for private companies I've seen range from $45 to $100.
So what do those private companies charge as middlemen to universities and other companies who highly value the stem cells in fetal tissue for research? It can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
This system is ripe for corruption and the sale of fetal tissue was called a "gray zone" by The New York Times. I cannot agree more. To proselytize the good that Planned Parenthood does for communities while ignoring the obvious need for improvement in this area does a disservice to the issue. We should not ignore the fact that there are close and murky connections between Planned Parenthood and companies profiting from fetal tissue.
— Andrew Slama