Published: May 9, 2014
Pollution comes with very real costs
Re: "Release of toxic chemicals" appearing on the "Viewpoint" page April 30. The author expresses dissatisfaction with the EPA and our federal government for gathering data (picked up by The Gazette) that 92,788 pounds of potentially toxic chemicals had been released, the Drake Power Plant accounting for 79 percent of it. He chides the EPA for wasting tax dollars collecting and releasing information that is "absolutely meaningless to the community and is another example of wasteful spending of our federal tax dollars." Indeed, data are meaningless when reported without context or interpretation. That is neither the fault of the EPA nor the federal government.
The collection of data and making it available to the public is necessary to determine if harm is being done and if laws are being violated by those releasing the toxic chemicals. Yes, as a community we have accepted the release of toxins as the price for cheap power; but might it be of interest to know what price we are actually paying and who is paying it? As we have seen so many times in the past, the price of pollution, once it is understood, has often been found to be unacceptable; and hence we have environmental laws and an EPA to monitor and enforce them. Must we again go through a time when rivers were so polluted they caught fire, the air was so unclean we could not drive (witness Beijing?), physical and mental development were retarded by the presence of lead in our bodies?
We who are lucky enough to live in El Paso County live in one of the most beautiful natural environments in the world. Our identity as a place rests on the magical natural wonders just beyond our doorstep. We take these for granted at our peril. Pollution comes with very real economic costs borne in degraded health, visibly dirty air and water and social relations reduced to short-sighted and simplistic economic calculations. We've been there. Let's not go back.
Dan Gaskill, Colorado Springs
Break out the wallets
Let me see if I understand this. The Drake Power Plant is an 80-year-old dinosaur, a downtown eyesore, a coal-fired polluter that is too expensive to maintain and we need to retire, dismantle and shut it down . Oh, wait! It is shut down now, due to the fire. Now we are told that it supplies a third of the city's power and the citizenry may face an increase in utility rates because the city now has to purchase electricity from the grid! Hmm. Maybe shutting down the Drake Power Plant needs to be rethought. Or we break out your wallets.
Chuck Kelly, Colorado Springs
Why all the fuss about a vote?
I'm baffled by the full page advertisement for City for Champions in the May 4 paper. This ad lists names of people who apparently support C4C.
I have to wonder, if C4C has the kind of public support that yesterday's ad tries to project, then why all the fuss about bringing C4C up for a vote or referendum?
It seems to me that if C4C came to a vote, whether it passes or fails, much of the rancor over C4C would come to an end. Wouldn't this be a good thing?
Charles Rollman, Colorado Springs
About leadership, not likability
I like Doug Lamborn.
Doug Lamborn is a good, honest, hard-working, dedicated, patriotic, God-fearing, conservative family man.
I like Doug Lamborn.
But this election is not about "likability" - it's about "leadership." Unfortunately, during the past seven years in Washington, D.C., Doug Lamborn has not provided the leadership the 5th District and this country need.
Bentley Rayburn (a retired Air Force general and fighter pilot) has shown the leadership qualities - literally under fire - that we need.
Charles M. Prignano, Colorado Springs
Questions that need to be addressed
There are several things that I read in The Gazette that need to be addressed. First, those teachers who can't control a classroom shouldn't be teaching. I have observed that during a lunch period that was held in the classroom. Don't these schools have a place where all students eat? The teacher just sat there when a student was having trouble with a computer not responding to a game he wanted to play, after lunch. Also, where is the "professionalism" in the dress code? The teachers I observed looked like they were going on a Saturday picnic, but the students were in uniform.
Second, about the traffic accidents in the area, although they were broken down into types, i.e., inexperience, texting, etc., can't something be figured out to maybe warn the drivers that these areas are more likely to have accidents? On some streets there is a yellow caution sign that blinks when the light is about to change. It seems to help me, to start to slow down and prepare to stop.
Third, Mayor Steve Bach's delusions of grandeur about the City for Champions is not realistic. The people whose names were in the full-page ad in the paper were just a few. The rest of the population is against it. There are just too many other important things to fix here in the city - maintenance of the bridges, roads, transportation, etc., to name a few. One doesn't go out and buy a new anything unless one has too much to fix at home.
I have stopped watching Channel 11 news. Breaking news indeed! Nothing but murder, robberies; besides, keeping track of how many have been killed is really dumb. It is like we are on a quota. Oh, my, only 12 murders now, and last year there were 15 at the same time. Do we really have to keep count? Why? Guess I have unloaded enough for now; hope someone reads this.
Anita K. Hanson, Colorado Springs