July 11, 2013 Updated: July 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm
We do what we gotta do
After having had 18 homes from California to Virginia, and Louisiana to upper Michigan, as well as three-year assignments in both Japan and England, we thoroughly enjoyed having our dream home built here on a 17,500-square-foot quiet, flag lot. My husband was stationed at the Air Force Academy, and we lived on base for 18 months. He had to be within 10 minutes of his office, so we were thrilled to find Golden Hills in Rockrimmon and the renowned and highly acclaimed builder, Sil Scalabrini.
All of our family had a part in selecting trees and shrubs and even "planting" all 154 of them. Some have shorter life spans than others. Being surrounded with their beauty and nurturing them into maturity has been a delightful pleasure, along with the nine raised gardens. But time marches on and trees, just like people, tend to age and become limited in their life span. Watering trees may prolong them but does not change the facts of their eventual and nearing demise of certain very popular fast-growing varieties.
Our home is in the migratory path of deer, bears, bobcats and the occasional mountain lion. We only have a small area of grass and have to replace it every three or four years because of "our animals." Actually, I luv 'em all. We did have to put bars on the windows, since it was a bit disconcerting to have the bears always trying to get in an open window. Our watering is primarily for the trees, shrubs and gardens. We have raised and enjoyed our own veggies.
I have spent way too much time in the last week trying to call Utilities and have left messages, but there was no response. Several have told me, "No one wants to use 'their' name," and lots have said, "Ya can't win with Utilities. They'll raise your prices anyway."
So, we do what we have to do. We have already had one tree removed, and are in the process of having six other trees and seven huge shrubs removed, and - whatever else is necessary. It sho as hell ain't easy - but, we do what we gotta do, and then . . . just cry ourselves to sleep.
Marylou Vaughn, Colorado Springs
Tiered system is not a fair one
I was shocked when I opened my Colorado Springs Utilities bill today. $170 more than last month and my regular bill is around $260. I must protest and make my voice heard on this issue. The tiered system is not a fair one, it seems it was put in place to raise money, even if you are conserving the amount that CSU has asked you to, you are extorted. If the system was fair, those who are conserving the amount projected for them to save, would and should not have to pay the penalty.
I see money wasted every day by the monopoly, nonprofit, we call the Colorado Springs Utilities. Did I question the million-dollar-plus renovation of the Plaza of the Rockies space a few years back? Why renovate a space you lease when you own a number of your own buildings? Did I question the raises and bonuses that employees get each year when some workers have not had raises in years? Did I question the no bid "scrubber contract" that CSU entered into that will make some inventor rich, when the method has yet to be proven? Why have all the advertising and a public relations staff of more than 20, when you are a nonprofit monopoly? Should I go on?
It seems to me that everyone is cutting and CSU is spending at the expense of the shareholders, and/or ratepayers. I invite you to come see my lawn. Most if it has turned to dirt and the rest soon will. I can not afford to continue to pay for CSU's expenditures. Who is holding them accountable? No one.
James Murphy, Colorado Springs
What were council, Utilities thinking?
There have been many complaints from people about the size of their lawn or property to be watered. Curiously, nobody has addressed the consumption of water according to people in the household. How is it fair, that a household of one or two people has the same allowance as a household of six or more people?
A lawn can be cut back for less watering but can you evict family members from the house because more people use more water?
Our household has six people. That means, of course, six times the amount of showers, more toilet flushes, more washing loads, more dis washer loads, more drinking water and so on.
We have no lawn but we water our bushes, trees and flowerbeds when necessary, just to keep them alive. We have timers on the showers for five minutes, dual flush and low flow toilets, as well a front loader washing machine that uses little water. And yet, we can not meet the maximum of 1,999 cb feet of water and have to pay the very much higher rate. How is that fair?
What were council and utility people thinking when they thoughtlessly put every household, regardless of number of family members, in just one category?
Irmgard Von der Gathen, Colorado Springs
Asay's work will be sorely missed
Southern Colorado was indeed blessed with the presence and power of Chuck Asay, recently retired political cartoonist. He was not only a talented artist but a gifted writer, a winning combination for anyone who desires to communicate a wealth of information in a small amount of space and time. Asay was able with a simple brush stroke able to convey a political, social, or religious concept that would take any other reporter several columns of text. What would take an average newspaper reader several minutes to peruse and contemplate, Asay was able to do for us in a matter of seconds. "A picture," they say, "is worth a thousand words."
Not only was Asay a talented illustrator and commentator, he had a civil and spiritual worldview that was rare if not nonexistent among other political cartoonists.
Mr. Asay, your work will be sorely missed among conservative Christians. I dare say there is none other who can fill your shoes, or: a better metaphor, your drawing table. Please enjoy your retirement but I hope you can find the time to occasionally help educate us on the perils that face our country and culture.
Ron Doak, Colorado Springs