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Marching on Maketa
I had sent an email recently announcing my plans to mount a citizens' protest to put more pressure on Terry Maketa to resign his position as sheriff of El Paso County. I realize that all allegations are still under investigation, but it is clear from the evidence that has surfaced that great abuses and violations of workplace policies have been committed on a widespread basis.
However, because he is an elected official, the only way to legally remove him from office is mount a successful recall campaign. I feel this would be too little, too late, so I am organizing a protest to show Maketa that the citizens no longer have confidence or trust in his abilities to continue performing his duties effectively and with integrity.
I have a created a Facebook page titled "Citizen's Protest Against Terry Maketa" that includes more information about this citizens' action set for Thursday, June 12. Although I am a registered Republican, I am pushing forward with this protest as a private individual not affiliated with any political parties or organizations.
Mostly, I feel that those who elected Mr. Maketa to office need to have their voices heard in asking him to step down and deal with the investigations as a private individual. I am also asking for Tiffany Huntz and Dorene Cardarelle to be relieved of their posts. Basically, I am contacting anybody and everybody I can think of to show support so that we can move on from the black mark put on our community by a narcissistic tyrant. Thank you.
— Rebecca Duran
Lovin' 'No Man's Land'
During the public scandal currently embroiling the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, "No Man's Land" seems very unprotected at the moment. The area between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs is probably even further down the list of priorities for Terry Maketa.
But wait ... No Man's Land is also between two of the most unique and beautiful places on Earth! You've got world-famous Garden of the Gods to the north, and lovely Red Rock Canyon to the south, with every conceivable amenity contained within its borders!
This could be the most attractive tourist destination within 100 miles with very few upgrades. A small hydroelectric generator on Fountain Creek, a two-man police force that is required to live in town (à la Andy and Barney) that interacts with, and knows, the residents personally. No more "No Man," now it could be "Newman, Colorado."
— Kenton Lloyd
Come one, come all! The future is here ... a new library in Colorado Springs opens on June 21 ("PPLD names, previews ambitious Library 21c," March 3, IndyBlog). It is called Library 21c and sounds soooo 21st century. I am thrilled to learn about 3D printers, six teleconferencing rooms, portable video story books and so many technology gadgets for small children.
Unfortunately, for those of us who live downtown or in areas of low income, it will not be very accessible. Located at 1175 Chapel Hills Drive, the Pikes Peak Library District's new facility is so spacious and blends technology with traditional library resources. That sounds great! Hopefully, those who take public transportation can use the facilities without taking a one-hour ride from the downtown bus terminal.
The Business and Entrepreneurial Center is part of the new Pikes Peak Library District called Library 21c. What a concept! People who are corporate-oriented can utilize their business skills within Library 21c's doors.
Libraries are institutions for everybody. Let us hope that all the citizens of Colorado Springs — whether they are low-income, middle-class or well-to-do — will be able to access the district's newest addition.
— Janice S. Moglen
Fresh election choices
As so often is the case, the upcoming election offers no choice among candidates for local offices. Historically, the GOP caucus has decided who will be elected to a local office. This means that 100 individuals make the decision for about 15,000 registered voters in Teller County. This situation is, by all means, not unique to Teller County. In El Paso County, around 1,000 delegates decide who will be elected for a local office representing over 411,000 registered voters.
But, there is a way to enable all voters to vote on several candidates in the local general election, and we're seeing it develop in Teller County.
Mark Manriquez is running as an unaffiliated candidate for the office of sheriff. This is the first time in a long time all of us voters may have a chance to choose who our next sheriff is, regardless of party affiliation.
Also, Mark's candidacy might have long-lasting impact on politics in the Pikes Peak region and Colorado in general. This is because unaffiliated candidates petition directly onto the general election ballot. Anyone can sign this petition, regardless of party affiliation. This means that every voter can decide whether a candidate should be on the ballot, so that all of us can decide who will be elected to a local office.
Once politicians figure this process out, we voters will hopefully see contested races all over the Pikes Peak region, ensuring that all voters are involved in who wins a political office.
As a voter in Teller County, you can help lead the change toward a more democratic election experience across Colorado. Please sign Mark's petition.
As a politician in El Paso County, you might want to consider Mark's approach for both the 2014 and 2016 elections.
— Gunnar Tapper
Food stamp realities
To Len Bentley ("Food stamp abuse," Letters, May 21): I am 67 years old and I have worked all my life till these last few years. I raised five boys and one girl by myself. I had no help from anybody. I am not in good health and I only get $35 a month in food stamps and I spend them at the grocery store.
How much food do you think I can get with $35?
I am not abusing or committing fraud. I do not like to have to use food stamps, but if I buy beans and macaroni and that's all I can buy with $35 a month, it doesn't even get me through the month.
When you have children and can't find work or have a low-paying job, they need food stamps to feed their children. The children shouldn't have to suffer just because they were born.
God says help the young and old and the crippled and the widows.
— Dove Hilton
In "Blowing money" (News, June 4), the highway approaching Calhan should have been identified as Highway 24. Also, Colorado and El Paso County exempt renewable energy components from sales and use taxes, so the county will not receive money from NextEra's purchases of turbine components, as the story reported. We regret the errors.