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LETTERS: Thanks for school choice; No to 'live it up!'; A stand-up guy; and more

By: ltr
November 23, 2011

Thankful for school choice

It’s that time of year where we sit back and give thanks for the blessings in our life. As a parent, I’m very thankful for school choice.

My son, J.D., is now a freshman in his 7th year with Colorado Connections Academy, an online public school that has met his learning needs in ways that his previous school couldn’t. He is able to work at his own pace, in an environment that is conducive to his learning style. Attending a cyber-school has allowed him the time he needs to master skills he’s struggling with, and the flexibility to move ahead in areas in which he excels. As a parent and learning coach, I work every day with J.D.’s teachers to help him be the best student he can be. We are in constant communication with his teachers and know they are never more than a phone call, email, or online class away.

I’m also very thankful because learning isn’t confined to the borders of a school building or school district. Our family has moved and travelled extensively over the years due to my husband’s service in the Air Force, and then his civilian career. Virtual schooling has allowed our son to continue his education without skipping a beat … he can log into his classes anytime and anywhere. He is getting a very well-rounded education in the school that is the best fit for him. I’m so grateful for Connections Academy and the blessing it has been to our family.

Tillie Elvrum

Colorado Springs


Seems nobody is buying it

I don’t think it was “branding agencies” that made New York known as the “city that never sleeps,” Pittsburgh as the “steel city,” Chicago as the “windy city,” New Orleans as “the big easy,” Las Vegas as the location of a strip of gambling establishments, or San Francisco as “the city by the bay.”

Cities come to be known for their major industries, surrounding natural attractions, weather, politics, the demeanor of their people, and their cultural and social attractions. Something like a personality or identity all its own.

Sometimes this gives rise to a slogan, nickname, or catch phase.

But the whole concept of “branding” is inimical to even having one’s own identity, since it amounts to paying someone else to tell you who you are. And I am glad to know that in the case of our fair city, it seems nobody is buying it.

Kurt Foster

Colorado Springs


People who stand up and do

I wish to publicly congratulate and thank Mason Gaffney for his part in fighting local crime. I agree with his opinions in the Nov. 20 article, “His pursuit of justice.”

I laughed at police comments about investigating every case. An 11 to 12 percent solve rate is so sad you have to laugh or you’ll cry. The comment has no credibility.

Personally, my business has been robbed four times — and the police have done precious little beyond taking a report. Like Gaffney, I was told to butt out — however, after the fourth time, the criminals were found because I pursued it.

To The Gazette: The article could be more upbeat toward Gaffney.

Slurs inferring “vigilante” are just wrong. He cared enough to do something. The police won’t, so he did. I applaud his efforts.

The officers, on the other hand, would do better to apologize for the abysmal effort than to justify. They are failing the public, our city, they are sworn to protect.

At this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for people like Gaffney who stand up and do!

Eldon Goates

Colorado Springs


Police can’t be everywhere

After reading the story about Mason Gaffney, the Fort Carson soldier who tracked down the burglar who broke into his home, I thought, wow, here’s a guy who takes initiative. I can’t believe the local police are using words like “vigilante.”

Being an experienced soldier, I am sure Gaffney carefully weighed the risks. With the police having an 11 percent success rate arresting or identifying burglars, I am sure others might consider similar tactics. I know I would.

Let’s be real, the police cannot be everywhere at once. Mason Gaffney deserves a citation from the CSPD — not criticism.

It appears we have some clever, brave folks in the Springs who can help the cops catch the bad guys, and I am all for it.

Bob Canfield

Colorado Springs


Not much has changed

It seems not much has changed over the years with regard to the law enforcement’s indifference in pursuing leads to burglaries (“His pursuit of justice”, Nov. 20.)

In the late 1970s, my family was out of town for the weekend. When we came home, we found that someone had broken in through a window and stole stereo equipment, music, jewelry ... even clothing. The police were called, and the first thing they asked when they arrived was, “Do you have insurance?” After looking through the house for a few minutes, they left, saying not to get our hopes up about catching the burglars.

It was a muddy weekend. It didn’t take much for us to follow the muddy footsteps in the house, down the alley to a house about two blocks away.

And there, sitting in a lawn chair was a man wearing my husband’s ball cap and jacket!

The police refused to pursue a search warrant. We went so far as to make an appointment with the D.A. (Robert Russell at that time.)

“No ... sorry. But your insurance will cover it.”

Hmm ... wonder why insurance is so expensive?

The personal items could not be replaced with any amount of money.

I know that there is not enough money in the coffers to run down every little burglary. But if the work is done for them and the evidence is there, it is disappointing that the police won’t follow through.

Holly Mervis

Colorado Springs

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