Published: June 18, 2013
When we have a top-notch sheriff
In El Paso County we are extremely fortunate to have a super top-level sheriff in Terry Maketa. Unfortunately, when this term ends, he must leave office because of term limits. I and many others are sad to see this. The sheriff has shown what a great job he does throughout the Black Forest fire mess. Term limits for many [most?] politicians is a very good idea. However, the Sheriff's Office - while not without politics - is not totally political like others, and in my and others' opinion should be removed from the term limits situation. If there is a bad one, we can unelect him/her. But when we have a top-notch sheriff like we do right now, he/she should not be forced from office!
Kudos to the MAFFS operators
Hurrah for the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) being deployed against the Black Forest fire! I'd rename it the Rapid-Reloading Airborne Inferno Neutralizer (RAIN), but that's another matter. . So kudos to the MAFFS operators, firefighters, police, military personnel, support staff and volunteers, as well as the individuals, families and organizations who are aiding victims and evacuees! We are truly blessed to have all these heroes in our community.
Doug Eberhart, Colorado Springs
We had better figure out a way
The reality of our environment has changed from high desert to dry high desert in my lifetime. I recall the Dust Bowl in the 1950s, my parents' recollections of the dust bowl in the '30s, and now we have the Dust Bowl of the early 21st century. As stated in The Gazette's editorial, we should be prepared to endure the fires of summer, from now on. In the '30s and '50s there were no high end huge housing developments built up into the forests of the mountain ranges to the west, no high end huge housing developments built up into and integrated within the Black Forest. Now there are. In the '30s and in the '50s, the general drought in eastern and southeastern Colorado was not accompanied by record high temperatures across the southern and central U.S., and now the general drought is only part of a dry and heat cycle that has drawn down water supplies across a vast area. Water fights fire, by rain and by man made pumps that deliver water. We are short of both. The rain has become a precious and infrequent visitor, but that was true in the '30s and '50s. What is new is that just when we need water the most, to help us fight the fires and to recover from the devastation caused by the fires, we find our water depleted by more and more houses and businesses and installations. The aquifers are depleted, and so many cities draw on the mountain watershed, so many farms, so many businesses, that we are in a serious bind just for daily use, let alone be able to quickly recover from a blow like the Black Forest fire.
What I think we have to do is plan for a future that includes realistic thinking about the risk of fire and the scarcity of water. Who cares if it is global warming? Who cares if man is causing it? What matters is that we have this problem with the combined heat and loss of water, and we had better figure out a way to maintain our community under those conditions. Any other approach is based on magical thinking. We will have to tax ourselves and spend our money on the stormwater system, so that we can develop and maintain the Southern Delivery System, regulate water carefully, change our gardens to xeric gardens and the same for lawns, and re-adapt. We can do this. Let's get started.
David Griffith, Colorado Springs
In the 'Good Old Days'
Re: "Something is very wrong," letter to the editor, June 13:
The solution to changing what one does not like about our government is to vote for people who will represent that person's (or persons') interests in the fashion they prefer. As we all know, in a republic, the people elect representatives to make and enforce laws. I found the following dogma that was presented quite interesting: " . [voting] doesn't seem to work, basically because so many uninformed people vote." I infer from that unsupported belief that if a person has a different opinion about leaders or potential leaders, the writer thinks they must be "uninformed."
As an independent, I have voted at various times for candidates of both major parties, including George H.W. Bush. Furthermore, I voted for the current president and I certainly am not uninformed, nor are any of my contemporaries, at least as far as I know. I was graduated with honors from a four-year university and read extensively from multiple sources, both conservative and liberal.
I am not pleased with many of the actions of our president. I am even less pleased with the do-nothing Congress and their unwillingness to work together (both parties).
In past decades, "The Good Old Days," life seemed to be simpler and there was a sense of community. People were seemingly innocent and less suspicious of neighbors and others. However, during much of that time, racial segregation was prevalent, McCarthyism existed, the lynching of minorities occurred, and women did not have equal opportunities. Not everything about the good old days was good.
Ron Green, Colorado Springs