Aggressive drivers define city
Yes, bring back the red-light cameras. Traffic enforcement in our city has taken a back seat to other priorities. This is not the fault of our heroes in blue. According to FBI statistics, the national average number of police officers for cities our size is 19 officers per 10,000 residents. Colorado Springs has 14 officers per 10K. The next closest cities are Atlanta (38 per 10K), and Raleigh, N.C. (17 per 10K). The next populous city in Colorado, Denver, has 21 officers per 10,000 residents, uses red light cameras, and has an air unit. We force our police to use four generations of police cruisers, some with peeling paint. These units are not only a reflection of civic pride (or lack thereof), but I have to think this affects the pride of our dedicated officers. How much more do we think we can ask of our officers and police chief?
We won't staff our Police Department to adequate levels, but we continue to deny them the tools to do their jobs by other means. The paranoia by some that these cameras are just another example of "big brother watching" is nothing more than fear mongering. In this age of cellphones, YouTube, and Facebook..everyone is watching!
As a professional driver, I have watched school zones become increasingly ignored, speeders increase, and red light runners become more plentiful in our fair town. Despite its greater amount of traffic, I find it safer to drive in Denver. If our city fathers don't have the courage to support the use of red-light cameras, put the question to our citizens. The vast majority of drivers in our town are actually good and responsible motorists. Defensive driving is the only reason our accident rates are not higher. We continue to let the aggressive drivers define us as a city.
Return cameras for safety
The evidence clearly shows that red-light cameras reduce the incidence of red-light running. I would be surprised if most of your readers have not observed at least one red-light runner during the last 12 months. What is also clear from the city's brief experience with the cameras is they reduced the number of fatalities and injuries and the amount of fines should have paid for the system.
What most city residents don't know is that the city imposes 0.4 per cent Public Safety Sales and Use Tax (PSST) and the January 2017 Sales and Use Tax Revenue Report showed that the tax generated $3,310,389 during the month. What's more, this was typical during the year that I served on the PSST oversight committee several years ago. This revenue is for police and fire department operations. Why can't some of this money be used to pay for a few positions to monitor and report on red-light running? How much is a life worth? Finally, I could care less what the state Legislature thinks of the matter. Ours is a home rule city and we don't need to follow the state when it ignores public safety.
Pay attention to substance on Trump
In a recent issue of The Gazette, two political scientists, one nationally known, wrote about the first days of the Trump administration. They spoke about his success in getting appointees confirmed, about his contacts with foreign leaders and about his ability to make news.
Unfortunately, the article emphasized process not substance. The writers failed to mention the nature and quality of the appointees, as though filling the jobs was all that was important. As an example, they did not mention that the new appointee to head the Environmental Protection Agency is opposed to the mission of the agency or that the woman appointed to be Secretary of Education is not a friend of public education. The two political scientists said Trump persuaded a number of corporations to stay in the United States, although very few employees were affected. They did not mention how Trump has alarmed our allies by off-the-cuff pronouncements. There was no mention about what observers have called the chaos and disorganization in his entourage.
The article did not mention how Trump has distorted facts again and again in public statements; for example, about illegal voters in the presidential election, and the number of immigrants entering the country. The writers did not mention Trump's misleading statements about crime rates, which are falling not rising.
We do not think Trump's record can be discussed without considering the substance of his statements and actions. We hope when people consider the new president's record, they will look beyond process and pay attention to the substance and significance of what he says and does.
Nancy and Bill Hochman
Right to print the news
There's two institutions guaranteed under our wonderful Constitution: free speech and the postal service. I've heard a lot of comments about "doing away with the press" and the fake media is the enemy of the American people.
I would ordinarily join in sniping at the press because it was fun to pick on them but all of these tantrums about 'fake press' being the enemy of the people has been one step across that beautiful line of freedom.
Without our press, none of us would have freedom of speech. Eventually, they would burn our books, ala 1930s Germany. The tantrum throwers would determine our religious beliefs.
Is that what you voted for? I don't think so. I may not always agree with The Gazette, but I will sure fight for their right to print the news.
Russia should be warned
I am writing in regards to "U.S. official: Russia deployed missile in violation of treaty" by Robert Burns. It is clear that Russia violated the INF treaty by deploying a missile, and by doing so, threatened the United States. The Obama administration took a more laid-back approach in the past, and it is expected that the Trump administration will be more confrontational with Russia.
By deploying the missile, Russia not only threatened the U.S., but also its NATO allies. It would be wise for the U.S. to build up military forces in Europe, but not yet to withdraw from the INF treaty. This treaty was monumental in creating peace and a balance of power in the post-Cold War era; however, Russia should be warned that continuing to violate the treaty will lead to the withdraw of the U.S. in the treaty. This will create tensions between not only President, Donald Trump, but also Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.
Tensions between the U.S. and Russia might lead to another competition for power, especially if Russia continues to violate the treaty.