Ivory sale is not the solution; a whole new beginning

Letters Published: December 14, 2013 | 12:00 am 0

Ivory sale is not the solution

In response to Lawrence Reisinger's letter concerning the Ivory Crush, which occurred Nov. 14 by the U.S. - his solution to save the elephants is to flood the market with ivory via a public sale. He states that more funds will thus be provided for fighting the poachers and will reduce the cost of ivory and the demand.

Perhaps he is unaware that, after CITES (Convention on International Trade for Endangered Species) implemented the ban on ivory trade in 1990 it worked. Ivory prices instantly collapsed, and the population of elephants slowly increased. However in 1999, CITES allowed Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa to sell 50 tons of stockpiles of ivory to Japan.

Then China wanted in. In 2008, CITES let China bid on 102 tons of ivory from the four countries, another "one-time sale". The killing surged and the floodgates were opened to slaughtering elephants and laundering illegal tusks.

I was at the Ivory Crush, and the CEO of African Wildlife Foundation said "The only way to staunch the movement of illegal ivory is to wipe out the demand, and that begins with destroying stockpiles and stopping trade."

The United States, Kenya, the Philippines, and Gabon has made that statement so far. It sends a strong message worldwide that the world's addiction to ivory has to end and that ivory belongs to elephants.

Barbara von Hoffmann, Colorado Springs

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Improve our public transit system

Recently, Colorado Springs was identified in a study as being on the leading edge of hip trendsetting cities; this time for public transit.

The December 6 Gazette editorial called our city "transit friendly!" I think that qualifies as a "whopper" of an exaggeration. Since 2008, the city has defunded and trimmed its public transit system to just about nothing. When I moved here in 2011, the talk was that the bus system would be completely stopped in another year or two.

Any number of power brokers in town spoke about the deep disinterest in paying taxes for transit. In fact, one such power broker allowed that perhaps one really did need to own a car to live here; if individuals didn't have a car, well too bad. For seniors, people with disabilities and youth who don't drive, public transit appeared to be going down a black hole only to be replaced with door-to-door transit for doctors' appointments and grocery shopping.

It's as if a social life or shopping was not needed by folks who didn't or couldn't drive.

I hope this study and the conversation around needing to diversify our workforce with young professionals, keeping our air quality up and traffic congestion down, as well as recognizing that we need good public transit to attract employers gives the mayor, City Council and the local power brokers the push needed to continue to improve our public transit system. We need one that actually connects all of Colorado Springs and the outlying county to one another. This goal will be easier if the city also adopts a housing plan that focuses on infill homes and not more urban sprawl.

This is such a wonderful place to live and work that good, forward-thinking public policy around public transit and housing will serve us well as we accommodate an inevitably growing population.

Mr. Mayor, City Council, and Pikes Peak Council of Governments, let's keep increasing our investment in being transit friendly to truly be on the leading edge of a trend that is good for everyone and the future.

Patricia Yeager, The Independence Center, Colorado Springs

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A whole new beginning

I am over 90 years old. My husband passed away 10 years ago. I was very depressed. Someone mentioned Colorado Springs Senior Center on Hancock. I dreaded to try it. Well, it has been a whole new beginning for me.

Mendy Putnam, the director, has made this a new enlightening experience.

There are so many things to do here. First of all, the clubs and groups: Poets, bands, mountain hiking, metaphysical drop-in group, retirement groups, square dancers, and at least five kinds of exercise classes. There are 49 different clubs you can get involved in. To me it is a blessing.

We also have home support groups, widowed persons group and DSC stroke group. We have a weekly dance on Thursdays with a different dance band and it is usually packed.

Also we have a hot lunch every single day. Mendy sees to it that we all enjoy ourselves. This is like my second home. We also have hot drinks and occasionally cookies and cake, that is passed around so that everyone can enjoy themselves. I have been eating with the same group of women for six years. We are personal friends now. We all call each other and have small birthday parties. I have had two proposals of marriage.

I feel like I've had a new life here.

I am a subscriber to The Gazette and would be lost without your newspaper. You are excellent.

Jo Stanberry, Colorado Springs

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Parents must be very proud

What an outstanding letter to the editor by Gabriel Perry on Dec. 9, Good work young man, your parents must be very proud of you.

I also agree with Karen J Leitz. Merry Christmas and God Bless America!

Martha Fabian, Calhan

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