Wondering about getting home
This has been a challenging summer with the mudslides and flooding on Highway 24. Up until Aug. 9, those of us who live west of Colorado Springs usually felt pretty confident that we could get home every day. It was a horrible tragedy when John Collins died during the flooding of Aug. 9. The challenge has turned into a lot of frustration. On Aug. 22 when we had the heavy rain my husband was unable to get home with the 6 hour closure that produced no flooding on Highway 24. First he ended up at a bar in Manitou with a TV but couldn't stay there very long and didn't want to consume alcohol. He tried to pull up to the road block to wait and was told by the police that he couldn't stay there. There was a shelter in Manitou but once drivers left Manitou they were not allowed back in. He finally was able to find a hotel room at the price of $90. He had none of his critical medications and no clean clothes.
Every time the clouds build or it starts to rain we wonder if we will be able to get home.
I strongly suggest that when the highway is closed a temporary shelter be set up at both ends of the road closure so that commuters have a safe dry place to wait out the closure. I am sure we are not the only commuters who live paycheck to paycheck and can not afford to get a hotel room when the road closes. Many of us need to get home to family members - like children - and pets and many of us have pets who are also on medications that they must get every day.
While I understand that there will be an expense to set up shelters I must say that if the state of Colorado can pay CDOT employees to sit in their trucks along the highway 24/7 even when the weather is warm and dry they should be able to set up temporary shelters for all the commuters who need to get home every night. I forwarded this suggestion to CDOT but got no response.
Is it going to take a commuter getting into an accident after waiting out the closure at bar or getting robbed waiting in their car before a suitable solution is found?
Sharon Ferguson, Woodland Park
Not a one-time occurrence
This is an additional comment to Bill Vogrin's column of Sept. 11 referencing traffic on Templeton Gap near Horace Mann Middle School.
The police could put some focus on the area of Van Buren next to Stratton Elementary School just around the corner from Templeton Gap. The speed limit is 20 mph all day long, with a light-controlled crosswalk for parents and students. Unfortunately, the parents think nothing of parking on the opposite side of Van Buren from the school and then jaywalking with their young kids in the middle of the block instead of going 50 feet to the crosswalk.
If I as a driver am penalized for not observing the school zone rules, shouldn't the parents be penalized for not observing safe practices as well? Plus they're teaching their children it's okay to break the law and cross the street wherever they want. This is not a one-time occurrence this year. It happens most days.
I went into the school office to comment and maybe ask if they could post a teacher or school administrator outside in the morning to discourage the parents from jaywalking, maybe put something in the school newsletter to parents explaining what's acceptable. The answer I got was that I needed to know who the parent was jaywalking so they could deal with it.
I guess the school is okay with passing up a great teachable moment. I'm trying to be a good neighbor to the school; I expect the same in return.
Mary Jo Piccin, Colorado Springs
Nation of instant gratification
I am so very ashamed of Colorado. A precedent is now set, using an obscure 100 year old law which had never been used and probably never intended for such a purpose (read: loophole) to totally change the democratic process. Senators have been removed over a vote. Now across the country all legislative and executive government officials may be afraid to do anything for fear of recall. Don't like a tax vote? Start a recall petition. Don't like a vote pro-choice or pro-life? Start a recall petition. We have become the nation and generation of instant gratification. Who needs to wait for a general election?
These recalls in Colorado cost over a quarter of a million dollars which will have to be taken from somewhere in the budget. What will be cut to cover the cost? Police? Firefighters? School funding? Because it is sure that the corporate entities, out of state to boot, who poured millions into this recall, won't step in and help pay. Now additional recalls are threatened. We cannot afford this!
And what was gained? If you think you were voting for your Second Amendment rights, consider this. Corporations exist to make money and to do so they need power and influence. They push the limits of the law and the Constitution to maximize their power and profit. The NRA is a powerful corporation. I can assure you they only care about the Second Amendment for how it can maintain or increase their power. Gun manufacturers are powerful corporations. They exist to sell weapons. Peace and harmony are bad for business. Fear and hatred are good for business. And when I think of the loophole in the never used 100 year old law I am very suspicious. Who is good at finding such loopholes?
Corporations have quietly assumed control of the government and the running of this country and most of us are too blind to see. This used to be cattle country but is now overrun with sheep. As a populace we are so easily controlled and manipulated. We care about the here and now. We have no attention span but jump to the next tripe we are fed. The propaganda machine is in place. If you believe in the propaganda about a left wing media, remember that most media outlets are corporate owned and rely heavily on corporate sponsorship. Individual journalists may have liberal views but they have to be very careful whose toes they step on.
William Stoddard, Colorado Springs