Recent letters to the editor from Gazette readers.
Back with hat in hand in five years
In the recent debate on the proposed toll road between our fair hamlet and the Mile High City, and the recent endorsement by The Gazette of this venture, I suppose that I'm torn between what's fair and what's right. A toll road for the users of said road is certainly fair.but it's not right.
Outside Denver and its adjoining cities, the second and third most populous cities in Colorado (Colorado Springs, Pueblo) share the southern branch of I-25. CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) has admitted in a Gazette article a few years back that these cities do not receive their fair share of CDOT funding, but there were no plans to correct that situation. While we are left essentially begging for just one more lane, CDOT expanded I-25 to four lanes between Castle Rock (Number 17 in Colorado population) as well as adding lanes to Colorado 85 ... also between Castle Rock and Denver ... no toll roads.
El Paso County residents just voted to give millions of their hard money to help (on top of their state tax dollars) to get the project rolling. Want to guess how much Douglas County contributed to their four-lane expansion? Is there a toll road between Castle Rock and Denver? CDOT acts like they are doing us a favor by even considering a third lane.
Here's the cruel twist of this whole saga, we are already past the need for one extra lane - we need four. El Paso County is projected to be the largest population center in Colorado within three decades. Three lanes will barely meet today's needs, we'll be back with hat in hand in five years.
We should demand that CDOT give us these three lanes without conditions. If CDOT wants to add a fourth lane as a toll (express) lane, then do that. That's still not right, but compromise is not a bad way to go.
Going to court with this state agency to get what's right would only delay a project that should have been done years ago.
Some key points regarding drugs
Regarding your opinion piece, "More marijuana is not good for our kids," Dec. 29: I do agree in part with your opinion regarding surveys. You can find a survey to suit just about any taste these days. However, you seem to miss some critical points regarding drugs like marijuana and alcohol.
Those points are, first, that parents are accountable and responsible for their children. Those parents have a moral and ethical responsibility to educate their kids on the dangers of drugs and provide proper supervision. Parents must also model behavior and foster coping skills in their children. Second, the government has also taken responsibility in the form of laws regarding marijuana. It is illegal in the state of Colorado for minors (those under the age of 21) to have or use retail marijuana and it is illegal to give or sell marijuana to minors. Penalties can range from a fine to possible jail or prison sentences.
In addition schools (K-12 and universities) may have disciplinary or expulsion policies for students caught with retail marijuana on school property. Regarding this issue, I don't use marijuana so I don't have a personal bias here.
Neil L. Talbott
Ensure existing laws are enforced
The Gazette deserves our thanks for prioritizing the news of the suit against the Department of Defense for failure to sufficiently report those that the law requires be listed on federal registers for background checks. The city of Colorado Springs should join this suit. Granted, the Air Force is already taking excellent steps, but the offenses by the other armed services is severe and inexcusable. This should be a nonpartisan issue of enforcing existing law - something conservatives demand. By having Colorado Springs enter the case, the assertion that this is a Democratic Party ploy is removed, as it should be. Keep guns from those dishonorably discharged and those guilty of domestic violence. It is an incremental action that might save the lives of more innocents including your children - just by making sure existing laws are enforced.
David K. Wilcox
Perspectives on the homeless
Re: The Gazette's Viewpoint article "Let's all do our part on homelessness" and Barbara Delzer's letter "So sad for all involved" both dated Dec 24. The Gazette reminds people to do their part in supporting projects like the new multimillion-dollar shelter Springs Rescue Mission opened last year through the goodness of donations from the people of this community. Poverty and homeless come from the biblical times and will always be with us.
This brings us to Delzer's letter about having lunch with her family of eight at a popular west-side restaurant. The owner has fed the homeless for ages, free of charge; subject to available seating to warm up with free coffee and to gab with other homeless. Of course, when asked to leave to seat paying customers, this one homeless verbally abused Delzer and her party, which included children and elderly people. This tells me this homeless individual possesses no social skills, which I attribute to living with animal ways along the banks of our streams and wooded areas of this city.
Bless the inventors of the remote
I noticed that I am not alone in my quest to reduce the constant display of the lawyer commercials. Without naming just who the worst culprits are, they know who they are, and unfortunately they keep up the assault on our time.
Instead of taking offense to those ads, I have decided to just switch channels anytime one of those commercials appears on my TV screen. I just refuse to watch them and in a way I feel that I am performing a good deed.
By changing to another picture I feel as if I am vicariously casting a vote for sainthood for Robert Adler and Eugene Polley. These two gentlemen were the inventors of the TV remote. I am sure they have a special place in heaven. God bless them.