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LETTERS: Here we go again; didn't learn from history

By: Gazette readers
May 30, 2018 Updated: May 30, 2018 at 8:19 am
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The Democrat candidates' for governor talk on a panel at an annual Colorado Civic Barbecue at the Garden Pavilion at Penrose House on Saturday May 19, 2018 in Colorado Springs. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

Here we go begging again

Thank you for hosting last weekend's governor debates. While I appreciated the questions submitted, one major question that I have asked over and over is; 'Where is all the marijuana tax money?' No one has answered that question clearly. I just get some 'run-around' answer saying it goes into a 'general fund' ... no accountability! Yet when 2C was being voted on, every person I talked to (and I actually have a 2C brochure) stated the two top places that marijuana money would go toward would be: Education and infrastructure ... especially our roads.

Here we go again. Begging for more taxes for education and roads.

Steven R. Shapiro

Manitou Springs

   

Didn't learn from history

British historian Arnold Toynbee once remarked: "The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn anything from history." I think the recent decision to add a tree and grass-watering fee to utility bills illustrates that principle.

Years ago, the taxpayers and voters of Colorado tired of government bodies who ran out of tax money before running out of expenses. Governments usually resorted either to increasing taxes or initiating fees to generate more income. The result was Tabor. Tabor told Colorado governments to quit reaching into the wallets of taxpayers/voters without their permission.

Several years ago, Colorado Springs imposed a stormwater fee on utility bills to increase income for improvements in city storm water systems. While the goal was worthwhile, the method of imposing the fee was struck down by the courts as a violation of Tabor since no voter approval was obtained.

City Council has now approved a new fee on utility bills for more money to water grass and trees in city parks. While this, too, is a worthwhile goal, those of us who are going to have to pay the increase were not asked for our input. Please explain to me and the rest of the voters/ratepayers (before you have to explain to a judge) what the difference is between this new fee and the one previously declared illegal.

Raymond Milberg

Colorado Springs

   

Do something positive

Cordelia Hecker has presented a false choice when she suggests that we should ". let (NFL) players do as they wish or stop playing the anthem" at NFL games. There are many other choices than those.

The real problem is that the players have made the wrong choice of targets for their protest. No one that I know of who has an opinion on this subject questions the players' right to free speech or disagrees that the players might have a legitimate grievance. But these same friends are deeply offended that the players have chosen to denigrate our national ensign or anthem. The majority of us have served our nation in the armed forces for much of our adult lives, as I did for 35 years. Whether or not the players and their union say, "it's nothing against the flag", to us the players' actions are the equivalent of a direct attack on our families who have had nothing to do with their perceived wrongs, and we resent that. If they truly want to make a change, they should take part of their many millions in salaries and start investing in their local communities. Do something positive rather than insulting a good many of us Americans.

R.J. Toner, BGen USAF (Ret)

Colorado Springs

   

Decreasing the number of abortions

Regarding Marc Thiessen's column of May 26. His conclusion that President Trump's proposed rule to stop taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood shows "Trump is doing everything in his power" to stop abortions is wrong. Either Thiessen is an ideologue, and simply ignoring facts, or incredibly naive. Two points:

1. Abortion is not going away. The state can pass whatever laws it wants making it more difficult, or even illegal, but the effect is only to harass people and force them into more desperate activities. (One example: in Latin America and the Caribbean - where 97 percent of the people live in countries where abortion is outlawed or severely restricted (e.g., only legal to save the life of the woman), from 2010-2014 there were 6.5 million abortions a year - up from 4.4 million 20 years ago. Source: the Guttmacher Institute.)

2. What does decrease the number of abortions (in many cases dramatically) is making contraceptives more easily available to women. (One example close to home: from 2009 to 2016 - after Warren Buffet helped fund free contraceptives in low-income health clinics in Colorado - the teenage abortion rate decreased 64 percent. Source: Colorado Dept. of Health.)

If Trump's proposed rule goes into effect, and reduces funding for family planning health services, the number of abortions will likely increase. If Thiessen really thinks abortion is morally wrong, rather than presenting "pro-life" opinions I suggest he propose actions that actually would reduce their number.

Jeff Hale

Colorado Springs

    

Letter's all inclusive statements

Some opinions cry for a response more than others. The letter of Jac Roberson is too much.

It says get rid of guns. No one needs a gun. On page A7 is a column regarding a shooter who enters a restaurant and shoots two women. A man carrying a gun ends the shooting. I suspect every one in the restaurant will disagree with Roberson. I suspect every law officer and every military member will say "we need a gun". Roberson's all inclusive statements are made without thinking.

More to Roberson's point, our neighboring state of Utah has taken school safety seriously. They arm their teachers (Roberson says that is ridiculous). Ridiculous or not, Utah has had no school shootings.

J. Curtis Coombs

Colorado Springs

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