LETTERS: El Paso Club caught in the past; City for Champions and more

Letters Published: January 17, 2014 | 12:00 am 0

Choosing to live in the past

The El Paso Club, at 30 E. Platte Ave., in downtown Colorado Springs, is an icon of early classic architecture. Historically, it was a place where our city's leaders gathered in a friendly social atmosphere to plan the city's future.

Today, the renovated red brick building stands, often dark, a symbol of the past because many community leaders cannot, or will not, join. Women cannot become equal members. The chancellor of UCCS, the superintendent of the Air Force Academy, the president of Colorado College, the past mayor of our city and the new owners of the Garden of the Gods Club, cannot join because all are women. Judges, politicians, educators, business people and young professionals do not join because of the discrimination against women.

After 40 years of membership, I resigned to follow my conscience. Some of my very good friends are past presidents and members of the club. They defend the status quo by arguing members should have the freedom to choose new members. They are correct. Yet, isn't the greater issue community leadership in a changing world?

Our daily media is full of gender discrimination news. Fortunately, the majority of our politicians and judges are committed to inclusivity. Eventually, financial necessity may force inclusivity. El Paso Club members may choose to live in the past, or lead the future of our great city. Time will tell.

Sandy F. Kraemer, Colorado Springs

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Questions on City for Champions

City for Champions and its supporters suffered a serious setback and fallout from a news account (Gazette, Jan. 11) detailing bond payment defaults on the Universal Village urban renewal project. Opened in 2009, the project in 2011 fell $50,000 short on a $7.5 million bond and in 2013 fell $308,000 short on the principal of a $47.1 million bond. The missed payments do not augur favorably the future viability for Tax Increment Financing. TIF is based on speculation and prediction of future activity. Champions advocates have identified TIF as its principal finance source.

It is important to state here that, under RTA rules, rebate grant money cannot be used to seed a project. For example, $4 million initially received from RTA may not be used to float a $49 million bond as startup seed.

Champions promoters may well be disappointed at the lack of community enthusiasm so far. But supporters have made no effort to vet the proposal in public forums. If it comes to tapping the general fund, citizens must absolutely demand to vote on that.

One other observation, for several years Colorado Springs has complained of losing young professionals due to a dearth of good, well-paying, career path jobs. What quality of jobs does Champions propose to create that will satisfy this need?

John A. Daly, Colorado Springs

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Complaints that are unfounded

In response to Donna Hartley's letter of Jan. 13 - she must be kidding.

To begin, your president, Barack Obama, a man who was duly elected two times, was and is a constitutional scholar and teacher of same. He certainly has more than a "passing introduction" to our Constitution.

Perhaps it's you who doesn't? You happen to live in a city where your beliefs and opinions rule. Look at your newspaper. There are few if any left-leaning outlets of any sort of media that originate in Colorado Springs.

Your belief that without the likes of Fox News, what would we know, is laughable. More than one independent study shows that the more one watches Fox News the less one knows. These "news" organizations and talk show hosts that you mention are in the business of catering to your fears and reinforcing your misguided ideas. Mike Rosen is a bright man who is primarily interested in winning any argument at any cost and is a bully. Rush Limbaugh is a buffoon in the entertainment industry. Glen Beck is a man who has written books seemingly without the luxury of having read one. The Chris Christie scandal is only making news because the man has shown an interest in running for president. Had this been some governor from North Dakota or Mississippi, you would never have heard the story, unlike the coverage about Benghazi and Obamacare "reported" ad nauseam on your favorite news outlets. It seems obvious to me that your complaints are unfounded.

Rusty Baker, Woodland Park

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Voters already made their choice

Re Steve Schuck's opinion piece on school "choice" (Jan. 16), Colorado voters made in very clear at the polls in 1992 and 1998 by wide percentages (67 to 33 and 60 to 40) that they do not want public funds diverted to private schools. Voters in 25 other state referendum elections from coast to coast between 1966 and 2012 showed 2-to-1 opposition to vouchers and similar plans.

Further, the Colorado Constitution (Article II, Section 4; Article V, Section 34; Article IX, Section 7) clearly forbids diversion of public funds to faith-based private schools. The vast majority of private schools in Colorado are pervasively religious institutions.

It is time to listen to the taxpayers tired of bankrolling private institutions that discriminate. If money is to be taken out of my pocket for a religious school, it had better be my religion. We made our choice at the polls.

Gary King, Colorado Springs

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