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LETTERS: Dangers from coal-fired plants; enforce state traffic laws

By: Gazette readers
November 3, 2017 Updated: November 3, 2017 at 9:26 am
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The Martin Drake Plant in downtown Colorado Springs emits steam in 2014. It's emissions have been questioned by a Monument attorney and clean-air advocate. (The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)

Dangers of all coal-fired plants

The emissions from the Martin Drake power plant have been shown to far exceed the arbitrarily chosen "safe" levels for one hour exposure to the residents and workers in central Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. That is why the 2010 limits were enacted. The truth is, there are no completely safe levels of coal-fired toxins such as mercury and sulfur. The levels chosen are a compromise among several competing interests, including individual health costs, premature deaths, societal health costs, plant operating costs, utility investors profits, etc.

The plan to weaken the rules for SO2 emissions from Martin Drake by computing the hourly levels from a month's worth of data would merely hide the more dangerous spikes amid the noise of nonproductive down times. This would be dishonest and a disservice to human beings who live and work in Colorado Springs.

Thinking further ahead, if one integrates the information from the just-released U.N. report on the probable 3 degree Celsius rise in world temperatures by 2100 and the just-published Lancet report on the ill effects on human health by a warming globe, not only Martin Drake, but all coal-fired plants, should be retrofitted with scrubbers, converted to natural gas and decommissioned as rapidly as possible, with replacement by renewable sources.

David Schroeder, M.D.

New Castle

   

Think while driving the roads

In the 60-plus years I've been driving, I've learned a thing or two. One: If a person flashes their headlights at you it is probably because you have a driving light out and with daylight saving time coming to an end, it is ever more necessary to have all lights working.

Two: You can never go faster than the vehicle two cars ahead of you. Don't tailgate.

And three: If you are speeding, trying to get ahead of the car in front of you and you pass several cars in a hurry to get to your destination, if you'd left your home one minute earlier you would now be ahead of 60 cars on the road.

Joe Peoples

Colorado Springs

   

Enforce state traffic laws

Does anyone know the state traffic laws? Maybe they need to be printed for all. Back in February, Colorado passed a law to yield to buses pulling out from a stop. However, this law is not enforced. According to the Police Department, it does not have enough police officers to enforce this law.

Why not have an police officer follow a route around for one week. Make violators pay a fine of $100 for each time that they violate this? Within one month, this would generate enough money to pay for additional police officers.

Helen Shelton

Colorado Springs

   

What the government is hiding

The Gazette article discussing the JFK release of documents ("More JFK documents," Oct. 31) Is a very well written article defining major points of the evidence presented to us (the reader) in the documents that were released. President Donald Trump has only released some but not all of the documents due to security officials stating it's a bad idea. However, with this being said don't you think this gives us (the American people) more reason to believe this was a great cover-up.

There was always a conspiracy about whether the CIA was involved in the plans to assassinate foreign leaders. The documents released prove they were correct with that thinking. So, the question I ask is why are we (reporters) not trying to ask what the government is hiding by not releasing all documents. Are the conspiracies actually true about the Soviet Union being involved?

After doing some research, I found that Karlyn Bowman of American Enterprise Institute through various polls find that almost 60 percent of Americans believe that there were more than just Lee Harvey Oswald involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This also leads us to wonder what other conspiracy theories the government has covered up. That poses another question as to what else is President Trump (the leader of the free world) willing to release to the American people.

Anthony Laird

Peyton

   

Puerto Rico suffering from bad decision

As it has become national news, we have found that Whitefish Electrical has canceled its contract with Puerto Rico. As addressed in a Gazette article, 70 percent of Puerto Rico has been without power for a month. What is not being addressed is that Texas, Florida and Louisiana are well underway to being recovered at a plausible rate in less than 50 days from the initial disaster.

Puerto Rico is facing issues with electricity, clean water and proper medical care. According to fema.gov, 84 percent of wastewater treatment plants are operating on generators. Furthermore, 37.9 percent of San Juan has their electricity back. That is approximately 9 percent of the population in Puerto Rico. While 95 percent of the hospitals are open, we have to ask ourselves what constitutes a hospital to be viable in this situation. Regardless of the questionable practicality of the use of these hospitals, it should be acknowledged that only 250 hospital beds were brought on by the U.S.S. Hospital along with 500 medical personnel.

While Hurricane Harvey brought approximately 2,000 federal personnel from the Coast Guard alone, Puerto Rico has 15,000 personnel there to assist. These numbers may seem of great magnitude, but when compared to the total population, they are not an adequate amount to assist with purpose. With that being said, the loss of the contract is detrimental to the recovery of Puerto Rico. While I realize that Whitefish had very limited resources to use to assist sufficiently; it must be questioned why Gov. Ricardo Rossello felt the need to pull away from the contract. I don't believe it is possible the government was not aware of the resources available to Whitefish before approving the contract.

So while our government is busy fighting over how to satisfy the needs of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico is suffering the consequences of a natural disaster and an irresponsible decision.

Nykole Denton

Colorado Springs

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