Recent letters to the editor from Gazette readers:
When will it be enough?
When I paid our property taxes in June, I did some calculations. Approximately 78 percent of our payment goes to District 20, 6 percent to the city of Colorado Springs, 10 percent to El Paso County, 1 percent to roads and bridges, 2 percent to water conservancy and 2 percent to Pikes Peak libraries. It appears District 20 receives the lion's share of our property taxes. I agree with a recent letter submitted by Chris Colvin concerning Measure 3A. I know Eagleview Middle School in the last year or so installed an artificial turf field that was ridiculously expensive (think $$$,$$$.00). After it was installed, no one from the surrounding community is allowed on it. You cannot even use the track around the turf. Access is locked unless you have a rental agreement with the school.
I think more than enough of our money goes to District 20 now. How soon will 80+ percent of our property tax bill be designated for District 20? When will it be enough?
- Carol Beans, Colorado Springs
Small businesses struggle to comply
When federal bureaucrats create rules and regulations, they often forget about small-business owners. They think that every company has the resources to handle more paperwork, fees, and fines. But that's just not reality. The Department of Labor's latest move to implement its onerous overtime rule by Dec. 1 is a perfect example. Small businesses are scrambling to comply with the arbitrary deadline that the department has set.
The reality is that a small-business owner usually has to handle the compliance. The National Federation of Independent Business, on behalf of its members and all small-business owners, has called on the DOL, the judicial system, and Congress to delay the rule to help ensure that we are in compliance and don't face heavy penalties. The House of Representatives passed a bill to delay the rule, giving small businesses much-needed time to comply. Now the Senate must act.
Small businesses in Colorado are relying on Sen. Michael Bennet to protect us from potentially ruinous fines by voting to delay the implementation of the overtime regulations. This is a simple compromise that would be helpful to many thousands of small-business owners in our state and across the country.
- Michael Scandrett, Colorado Springs
Beware of tempting shiny objects
I once heard about a surefire technique for catching monkeys. Monkeys, by nature, are curious and are drawn to shiny objects, so the technique merely exploited that fact. Small cages containing bright, shiny, gold balls were strategically placed in the rain forest. It didn't take too long before attention of the little mammals was drawn to those cages. Up close, they discovered their slender hands were just the right size for reaching through the wire. Eureka, they could grab a beautiful golden ball, feel rich, and clever; enough to monkey-boast back at their troop. One catch. Once they held the golden ball in their hand, their fist was too big to extract back through the cage. Only their unwavering determination to keep this fortuitous gift and their instinctive, blind belief that it truly was a treasure, there for their taking, caused them to relentlessly hang on. But in so doing, as the cages were, one by one, picked up with clinging monkey attached, the little monkeys became willing collaborators in their own captivity.
As a single mom living in a low-income neighborhood in upstate New York, my mom answered a knock at the door one day. Greeted by a smiling campaign worker, she was promised, and indeed received, gifts at Christmas and Easter if she voted Democrat. The handshake lined with a $5 bill sealed the deal. As the 2016 elections approach, a good question to ask ourselves might be, what flashy promises are being dangled before us, is our vote being bought and at what price?
- Helen P. Murphy, Colorado Springs
A troubling, flawed experiment in Colorado Springs
With respect to Cory Sutela's guest opinion "Bike transportation system a positive step" I believe like others who have written to the editor and been published that the only positive result of the bike lanes on Research Parkway is an increase in congestion and a decrease in safety for motorists.
Using the philosophy "if you build it they will come" does not justify the reduction in motor vehicle safety and increased congestion. Please ensure you market these results when you're asking tourists to visit Colorado Springs "Come join our congestion and enjoy the decreased highway safety" could be a good headline for your marketing brochure. As for results, I'm uncertain as to what objective traffic data is being collected. I find the online survey troubling as my perception is that the survey was designed not to capture the negative but to accentuate the positive.
For the hundreds to thousands of cars a day that travel Research Parkway I have not noted any corresponding increase in bicyclists. I agree that there should be bike paths but not at the expense of traffic safety nor carving out a bike path on Research Parkway. I ask the citizens of Colorado Springs to stand tall and make your thoughts known regarding this experiment. My hypothesis is that it will be pedaled down our throats!
- Roger L. Baty, Colorado Springs
FBI has lost all credibility
Hillary Clinton should be congratulated. She has done what Al Capone could not do: intimidate, buy and infiltrate the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Al Capone could not get to Elliot Ness and "The Untouchables," but Hillary Clinton got to director James Comey and "The Very Touchables." Shame on Comey, and shame on every FBI agent for not arresting him! Comey has besmirched and sullied the motto of The FBI: "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity." These were words every agent held dear (words for which many gave their very lives!) for more than a century (having been founded in 1908 - the same year the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series!). The FBI - once respected worldwide as the elite of crime fighting organizations - with a history of protecting and defending the American people, has lost credibility and has been reduced to an arm of the Clinton crime family!
Charles Joseph Bonaparte, Theodore Roosevelt, and J. Edgar Hoover (respected founders of the bureau) must be turning in their graves. If there is an FBI agent out there with any sense of duty and responsibility, I call upon him or her to arrest Comey and restore the dignity and reputation of the FBI.
- Charles M. Prignano, Colorado Springs