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LETTERS: City should pursue housing solutions; address fraternity hazing

By: Gazette readers
April 13, 2018 Updated: April 13, 2018 at 8:10 am
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Campers pack up their belongings at a homeless tent city on Springs Rescue Mission's campus Wednesday, October 12, 2016. Residents of the camp have been told to leave by 3pm Wednesday. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

City should pursue housing solutions

Several times, I have heard Mayor John Suthers say that "the city is not in the housing business." If by that the Mayor means the city doesn't build houses, I have no argument. But this statement sounds like the city doesn't have much, if any, power and responsibility in regards to housing. The city has many ways it is in the housing business, like tax incentives as happened in the luxury downtown condos, fees levied when building, oversight of zoning and even funding for the homeless shelters.

Our city is increasingly unaffordable. As much as we are concerned for all of our citizens, we have a growing concern for those working near minimum wage. An increasing number of employed citizens are ending up on the streets. They are needed and productive members of our businesses and society, but can't afford to be here.

We believe the city's goal should be that every citizen has a safe, affordable place to live while maintaining our vibrant and diverse nature.

How about our city leadership saying that we are "a city committed to housing solutions for all its citizens?" Promoting such a vision would greatly help in shifting away from what we can't do to what we can through federal pass-through funding, tax incentives, building fees and zoning - especially for its less affluent citizens.

Let's work to solve the affordable housing crisis, not distance ourselves from it.

Pastor Dan Holt

Colorado Springs Faith Table

   

End of professional baseball

Thanks for David Ramsey's thoughtful article in The Gazette about the final Triple-A season for the Sky Sox. I have to agree with everything he said.

I still believe that Colorado Springs is being punished for not building a downtown baseball stadium.

I grew up in Great Falls in the 1950s and 60s. We had Class C baseball in the Pioneer League at that time. Great Falls was at a population of about 50,000. I believe it's not much bigger now, maybe 60,000.

Great Falls will be one of the Sky Sox opponents in the Pioneer League. It's a long bus ride to Montana and Idaho.

So next year Colorado Springs will get to watch professional baseball that is just a slightly higher step above high school baseball, instead of professional baseball that is just a slightly lower step below Major League Baseball.

If they thought attendance was bad before, wait and see how few go to watch rookie league games ... the most minor of Minor Leagues.

Unlike smalltown Montana and Idaho where the Pioneer League is the only game in town, just an hour up the road from Colorado Springs is Major League Baseball.

I think this season is not only the beginning of the end of Triple-A baseball in Colorado Springs. It is the beginning of the end of professional baseball in Colorado Springs.

Marge Baker

Colorado Springs

   

Addressing fraternity hazing

As we as a society wrestle with the concept and consequences of hazing in our higher learning facilities across the country these days I can't help but wonder as a whole if our egotistic justifications of boys-will be-boys mentality that has been passed down from one generation to the next has lead to the demise of our moral compass and our empathy for victims of hazing atrocities and missteps?

Defining hazing is a complex and multi-emotional topic that seems to have reached its pinnacle of arrogance and an inherent desire by some to downplay its significance because of the cultural popularity and longevity of fraternities on university campuses, a long-standing tradition with deep political and financial backing locally and nationally for some frat organizations.

It's hard to encompass a tradition dating back to the colonial days when soldiers returning from our civil war brought these antics into college campuses as a way to continue bonding with fellow war comrades as something going away anytime soon. The debate needs to shift more to a atmosphere of recognition and emotional understanding of where the limits and acceptabilities of hazing should be shifted and regulated.

A good starting point on the topic can start with families sitting around the table discussing the pros and cons of fraternities.

A unified discussion from universities and current and incoming students as well as faculty, that provides more of a safe, anonymous platform for reporting incidents as well as discussions on alternative activities or groups around campus that offer more of universal acceptance without demerits or hazing possibilities is needed.

Since new federal and state laws have been implemented bringing to light harsh penalties and consequences for hazing at fraternities, universities are beginning to recognize the need to police campuses more effectively.

Progress can be slow but the wheels of common sense and democracy are starting to shape a brighter and safer future for colleges and universities all across this country.

Mark Protsman

Colorado Springs

   

Teachers get many benefits

In response to "Pay teachers what they are worth":

I agree teachers these days do have a tough job. Every six months or so there is a letter in The Gazette from a teacher complaining how little they make and they can't afford their bills. Maybe they need some more education in financial matters on how to live on $50K a year.

Why would you spend so much money in an education when you know teachers don't make equivalent pay, as to their counterparts with compatible degrees?

You say every teacher you know loves what they do and wouldn't change it, then why complain that you don't make enough money? You are living your dream job!

I don't think going to Target would be your answer. First you wouldn't get your summers off. Nor would you get every holiday and so many four day weekends. Plus most Target employees are not full time, so no medical benefits for you.

And the big one, you would miss out on State PERA pensions. So when you look at all your benefits and your amount of time working (8-9 months a year) your $50K is really worth much more!

Tom Guyder

Colorado Springs

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