Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content LETTERS: City going deeper into a hole; no shortage of teachers

Letters Published: April 16, 2014

Being driven deeper into a hole

We and others believe City for Champions is a brilliant plan to bring the most visible elements of Colorado Springs together - Air Force Academy, UCCS, sports and medicine, art - to fill in the gaps and make the city into a coherent piece, like a beautiful, hand-crafted quilt. A piece where everyone is welcome, encouraged and involved, functioning at the level of their personal best and becoming part of the ever-evolving fabric of the city.

Everybody needs to get behind the CforC initiative and make it happen. So far, certain members of City Council have seemed to want to scuttle - single handedly - the whole idea. While they are accountable to their voters, they are also required to provide leadership to improve our community as more or less the "legislative" branch of city government. We do have a mayor who was elected to head up that process. The council needs to cooperate with him as well as with the Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Regional Business Alliance, which have spearheaded this initiative and many others who support it.

Have they not noticed the dire straits Colorado Springs has fallen into? Take a drive and notice the numerous potholes and commercial vacancies. That's the least of it. By their refusing to take action, we're being driven deeper into a hole. We must be bold and optimistic.

One would think our City Council would be honored to be a part of a city that is in a position to provide leadership and inspiration to this entire region. Solutions require all parties working together.

On March 29, we attended the Queen concert at the Pikes Peak Center. That the concert closed out with the epic, "We are the Champions," was timely for Colorado Springs. When it began, the audience rose to its feet, waving their arms and singing at the top of their lungs. The sense of exuberance was thrilling. The people of Colorado Springs are ready for action - to move this city forward.

We like to paraphrase John Kennedy, "Ask not what your city can do for you; ask what you can do for your city." Why shouldn't everyone be encouraged to be a champion? Every citizen should have the opportunity to achieve their personal best in whatever endeavor they choose.

This enhances the quality of life in the city and creates a population that is invested in the community. Even better, we like to quote President Kennedy saying, in reference to the Space Race, "We do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard." Putting a man on the moon was a challenge. Mayor Steve Bach is challenging the citizens of Colorado Springs to take on the CforC initiative - the City for Champions. It is by accepting and accomplishing a challenge that we grow.

When Colorado Springs accepts the challenge, which we can - and succeeds, which we must - we will have earned the right to call ourselves the "City for Champions." And we can sing it.

Janet Sawyer and Walter Gerber, Colorado Springs

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Sending the city a bill

I have been dodging potholes since I returned from Mississippi. These potholes have the potential to throw vehicle alignment out and damage bicycle wheels. People who are watching the potholes have a tendency to forget about other things on the road. City Council has not considered the effect the disrepair of the roads has on the populace and future tourism.

I am going to send City Council the bill for the re-alignment of my vehicle when the issue happens.

Kirk Myer, Colorado Springs

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No shortage of people to fill vacancy

I saw on the news that some teacher published a written notice of her resignation from District 20 on the Internet. A disenchanted teacher creates a spectacle over her decision to quit. That's right, she's a quitter! She thinks she's hot stuff; maybe the best teacher ever, but she's underpaid and wants the world to know it.

Not only that, but she doesn't like to have her work examined (standardized testing). So that, if there were no testing done, the money spent on testing could be used to pay teachers more (I noticed she didn't want free breakfast, lunch, and dinner canceled to pay for her raise).

Well, she's wrong, in my estimation. Teachers are paid a market clearing wage, with generous benefits, that is public knowledge and agreed to willingly by employees when they accept the contract. She's certainly free to quit when she feels put upon, but she should realize that there are 92 million Americans who don't have jobs now, and 200,000 new teachers graduating every year. There is no shortage of willing people to fill her vacancy, but that has nothing to do with getting noticed, which is why I think she went public. Did she say she's writing a book?

Her criticism of the curriculum was interesting, since it's almost entirely a result of top down centralized government and the teacher's union who actually run most school boards.

Ironically, teachers, indirectly, have created the monster they now abhor. And, to my mind, there needs to be some sort of objective, standardized testing to evaluate how well students have learned from their teachers. For if there is no accountability, we might as well just hire one teacher and a videographer to record all lessons and send the students a copy at home. That would save some money, huh?

James Davis, Colorado Springs

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