People enjoying local attractions
Promoting Colorado Springs, would be much easier if the various city-owned reservoirs were opened to the public. The Pikes Peak lakes should be linked by trails and opened to the public on a fee basis. The road to Rampart Reservoir needs to be kept graded or paved and the access across the dam and boat ramp opened up. Then people would be more inclined to buy boats and use them on our local waters. More tax revenue and more people enjoying local attractions. The current fear of access to the lakes is irrational and counterproductive.
The high boater user fee at Prospect Lake should be reconsidered. A small boat storage and rental business would help pay for improvements and help keep the swim beach open.
A better city for the residents
Most of us have been tourists some time in our lives. We have been confronted with many choices. Where should we go? How long should we stay? Then along comes financial constraints, national disasters, man-made disasters. We then decide to stay home.
How about making Colorado Springs a better city for the residents? The city cannot depend on tourists to fill our coffers. Only satisfied residents can do that.
Stop misreading between the lines
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., must stop misreading between the lines when referring to the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases to be heard by the Supreme Court this spring. Sen. Murray's statement about not having access to birth control measures is so wrong. Access to birth control is not the question. It is about who will pay for it.
The owners of these businesses are not forbidding their employees to go get the "health care" that they want. If the owners of these companies feel that it is violation of their freedom to practice their religion or in violation of their freedom to act in good conscience, they should not have to pay for the abortifacients required by the Affordable Health Care mandate.
As a business owner affected by and opposed to the mandate, it will cost my business over $225,000 per week in fines if we are not in compliance. Goodbye to many of the 350 jobs that we have provided. Consider what the total affect this mandate has. It is not fair.
Christine Newland Ketterhagen, Hercules Industries
There are other ways to get bad guys
The Air Force Academy published its response to allegations regarding a highly suspect use of cadet informants at the academy today. But is this simply a convenient press release to justify the result now that the case has seen the light of day?
The academy's official statement does not address what the real issue is. The real issue: Is the Office of Special Investigations (OSI, a criminal investigative agency) at the academy asking some cadets to do things that violate the principles of honor and integrity demanded of all cadets (including me) while at the academy? A simple "not true" from the academy is, unfortunately, not good enough for this graduate.
I know Skip Morgan (colonel Air Force retired, AFA '72, Eric Thomas' lawyer). Skip's words in the article were chilling. He is not flamboyant. His opinion was trusted enough by the Air Force to be part of the religious review panel a few years ago. Skip has great character and integrity.
The public needs to know what OSI did or did not do in this case. I believe this is too big to trust the academy leadership (which was not there, and had no responsibility for this investigation) to solve, particularly given that OSI is not in the superintendent's (Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson) direct chain of command. It is a public issue. If we have a rogue agency telling cadets what this young man alleges - even if it's only 10 percent of what he alleges - then we all need to be concerned. We don't need to use lies, threats, and cheating by cadets to trap bad guys. Many citizens in Colorado Springs have been cadets as well as cadet squadron commanders, coaches, academic instructors or flying instructors at the academy (I've been blessed to be all four). There are other ways to get bad guys . period. And that is what is what is so disturbing to me.
In short, I'm not looking to place blame. I simply want the truth. And the truth can be suspect if it originates only from the agency and folks with the biggest conflict of interest.
My alma mater is a national treasure. That's why this case is too big for just the Air Force to resolve in a black hole, without full disclosure.
John C. Buckley III (Lt.Col. USAFR, Ret., USAFA '77)
AFA scandal highlights two wrongs
The Cadet Eric Thomas scandal highlights two wrongs. First that the Air Force Academy would ask cadets to spy, and second that the AFA would dismiss their "mole" for doing so. This represents a broader decay in individual and institutional standards. Honor has become merely a word. The AFA website suggests that good moral character is essential for admission. But considering scandals, all that seems merely for show, or if not, an indication of a incompetence of those responsible for cadet candidate evaluation.
Perhaps we should place more emphasis on moral character than on football prowess, or on superficial appearance, or political connections, or "daddy's dollars". In a world of cheating in high school, grade inflation, and obligatory letters of recommendation, what looks good on paper "ain't" necessarily so. As bad as it sounds, maybe candidates should be given lie detector tests where they are asked if they have stolen anything, cheated, lied, went on drunken binges, used drugs, coerced girls into having sex, etc.
Not that a cadet should be perfect, for who among us has not made mistakes, but that the best of the best can be chosen, and encouraged and counseled to become even better. Leadership can be developed, calculus can be taught, flying can be learned, military history and strategy can be shown, but good moral character lies within.
We can do better.