Build a new trail for descenders
In response to Matt Cavanaugh's guest opinion July 11 in The Gazette:
As a resident of this area since 1969, one of my favorite hiking trails was Barr Trail. I made many a trek up and down Barr Trail, a few times to the summit of Pikes Peak. The opening of the Incline trail has robbed many people of the pleasure of hiking up and down Barr Trail. The volume of people descending Barr Trail after their ascent is overwhelming. Many act like it is "their" trail only. Some are running at high speed disregarding the folks trying to walk up at a leisurely pace. What about the safety and enjoyment of people wanting an enjoyable hike up Barr Trail?
I have read about a new trail being built for the Incline descenders. It should be built ASAP. The heavy use of the Incline caused numerous parking and traffic problems in Manitou Springs for a long time. Many of those problems have been addressed with the shuttle and high parking fees near the base of the Incline. It is time to separate the heavy down hill traffic away from Barr Trail.
A different take on the city
After reading your Sunday editorial about running the city as a business I just had to comment.
I was amazed at your opinion of what happened during our (Turn off the lights) depression of a few years ago. I have lived here 50 years and a few items were missing from the event I would like to mention.
The voters didn't approve of a rate hike and the city retaliated. The city manager wasn't the culprit, it was the Mayor and City Council. I know it's easy to blame someone not here any more but City Managers only do the bidding of the city government and that's where the blame belongs. Their actions were punitive and spineless. The city deserved all the bad press they got and you forgot to mention they stopped the pick up of trash in the parks, stopped bus travel on nights and Sundays, left the handicapped (mentally and physically) to find other transportation, forced many city employees to retire, closed our pools and other public venues. They made a real mess and betrayed the trust of us all.
In closing I would just like to remind you that if you consider the city a business, that means its main purpose is to please its customers. I do not feel that this is its purpose at all. What has happened to our ability to vote on large projects we will be paying for and sticking us with non-profit organizations that don't pay their share.
I guess you forgot all that info while you were chastising the citizens and telling us we have to be more businesslike, while the city goes on spending to make us like Denver.
A mean-spirited hypocrisy
"The Gazette's Monday paper had such an informative and contemporary stance that it was like a punch in the stomach to read the paper's "reductio ad absurdum" lead editorial: "Magic cannot help our working poor."
By global comparison income inequality in the United States is shameful. "Magic cannot help our working poor" is a mean-spirited distortion and a mockery of facts and of the working poor.
Republican and "conservative" attacks on what Social Security and "The Affordable Care Act" are, their aims and what they have achieved, espouse a similar view and, in my mind, they border on hate speech. For what it is worth, it's blatant Christian hypocrisy.
Also what these Americans are calling for and what they think that they want is economically short-sighted.
Energy for millions of years
In reply to Monday's letter apparently doubting hydroelectric power, "dams on rivers", was renewable energy, I would ask how it could be otherwise. Hydroelectric power is taken from the energy of descending masses of water (like old-fashioned waterwheels). That water was lifted up and deposited above the dam by solar energy and the cycle repeats constantly. Along with wind and biomass sources, it's a means of indirectly capturing solar energy. Solar energy is the most nearly renewable of all. It won't run out for millions of years.
H. Wayne Hall
Putting stormwater on the ballot
I would like to respond to the article in the July 12 Gazette "Council OKs spot on ballot for fee." This is in reference to the council's decision to place on the Nov. 7 election a ballot for a proposed stormwater fee.
I find their intentions confusing as it quotes "The fee would raise an estimated $17 million annually for the first few years, which would be spent updating the city's aging vehicle fleet and hiring more police officers, among other needs". Isn't the fee suppose to specifically go toward repairing and updating the city's stormwater issues?
Is the intent to put into place a stormwater fee so that they can free up money from budget obligations designated for stormwater repairs? I like almost everyone else, would expect this proposed fee to be in addition to the city's budget obligations toward stormwater repairs and improvements. Police and vehicle fleet upgrades are separate issues which should be properly funded and managed from the general fund or their respective department budgets not at the expense of stormwater obligations. The citizens of Colorado Springs are well informed and savvy to this "bait and switch" tactic.
This proposed ballot issue would garner great support if created like Mayor John Suthers did on Measure 2C in 2015; no new hires would be added and the money would be specifically designated, separate from the city general fund, with oversight by a group of private and public persons. Additionally call it what is, a tax not a fee, which possibly could be subject to interpretation later which could lead to additionally requested tax increases on the city's citizens.