Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

LETTERS: Drake and rate hike; right to practice one's religion

Letters Published: June 3, 2014

Taking too long to get plant running

I don't understand why the fire at the Drake power plant is blamed on human error. Why is this person still on payroll ? I understand that what he may have done was by error but this person was a longtime Springs Utilities mechanic. Not a person who changes tires a local tire store.

And I believe this person should carry a phone that connects him by phone to someone in the control room who could have shut down the oil when and if contacted. Why did he not call for the oil to be shut off when he found out he had caused a major oil spill. And why does it take the Colorado Springs Utilities a long time when the people in Colorado Springs are paying more for their mistake?

I suppose it's like our roads. The road division has $3 million left over from last year but doesn't want to fix the roads in our town unless you live around the director of the roads department, and leaves the job to our mayor to fix.

If a major company had a plant down due to fire do you think it would take them as long as it is taking this Utilities to get that plant back up and running and do you think that this big company would sit on its hands and let the plant be put on hold for a long time. I don't think this would ever happen and with the CEO and other mangers setting back, somebody would be looking for a new job.

Doug Evans, Colorado Springs

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Just give them all a raise!

It seems customary now for anyone working in a government job to get a raise even if they are failing at their responsibilities and especially those in a leadership position. We have been given the news this week that we the people in the community will pay for what has happened to one of our power plants through increased rates. My questions include:

1. Should routine maintenance of the systems have prevented the disaster?

2. Were there not early warning systems that would have minimized any damage in place?

3. Aren't there similar cases that would have guided preventive actions out there for the ones who profess to know what is going on in our Utilities?

4. Were there no other ways to cut costs in the Utilities except stick it to we who pay the bills?

I would expect that following in the footsteps of our current administration at the federal level, we will be outraged and a special investigation will follow.

R. Williams, Colorado Springs

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Small gestures, one at a time

In regard to Leonard Pitts essay on getting tired of hearing "Thanks for your service," some thoughts from a different perspective:

When I got home from war in June 1969, almost nobody cared and many, if not most, would have preferred I never returned. I was fortunate. I was pretty much ignored.

Many of my comrades in arms were physically and verbally assaulted. They were spat upon, they were called war criminals, murderers, rapists, baby killers, and worse, if there can be worse. In testimony before Congress and at the so-called Winter Soldier Hearings, our current Secretary of State John Kerry lied egregiously about his experiences in Vietnam and what others in Vietnam were doing.

When America resumed sending warriors into harm's way - Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan - I resolved that I would not miss an opportunity to extend my appreciation to any active-duty troops or veterans I encountered.

I determined that any chance I got I would ensure that today's military would not have to go through what my generation of warriors did, so long as I could help it.

Pitts' nephew hasn't any idea what a return from war was like, coming home from Vietnam. Instead, he's participated in a modern military (and for which I am very grateful), which has not had to endure the enmity, the vilification, the aggravated hostility, which we did.

So, I would say this: I don't have the ability to do anything about the neglect and purposeful mistreatment of veterans by the VA. I can, however, make my small gestures of appreciation, one at a time, reminiscent of the boy throwing starfish back into the ocean, one at a time.

Todd Dierdorff, Colorado Springs

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Right to practice one's religion

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission is more about enforcing political correctness then it is about protecting civil rights.

When baker Jack Phillips refuses to make a cake for a same-sex marriage celebration, it is the nature of same-sex marriage that is objected to, not the person. In most cases involving bakers and same-sex marriage, the baker is not opposed to selling cakes to the person and would be happy to sell a birthday cake.

The objection is to the participation in the celebration of the same-sex marriage. The failure of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to recognize this distinction, as well as in other states, only highlights that the goal of the commission is not about civil rights, but to force all people to think and act as they want you to.

It is past time for the commission to recognize the civil right to practice one's religion.

Religious freedom is not just about attending the house of worship of your choice; it includes the ability to live by your religious beliefs.

The extreme result of not recognizing religious beliefs and practices, as mentioned in the Gazette's May 31st editorial, is the Sudanese death penalty for the women refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

Charles Graham, Colorado Springs

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