Kudos to TSA/American Airlines
In spite of the many negative comments that the Transport Security Administration and airlines have undergone in the recent past, I wanted to offer a shout out of thanks to those workers at our local Colorado Springs Airport.
My husband, Jimmie, had an early morning flight to Dallas-Fort Worth yesterday and when he showed his military ID to the TSA agent, his driver's license slipped out of his wallet at the same time. Unbeknownst to him, he boarded his flight and arrived in DFW to await his ongoing one, while having an hour-and-a-half layover.
Suddenly, the intercom called out his name, and lo and behold at the information desk he was handed his precious driver's license. American Airlines had sent his ID on the next available flight from COS to DFW.
We were amazed with this very kind and thoughtful gesture and would like to thank all of the employees both with the TSA and American Airlines. You turned what could have been a stressful trip into a happy and relaxing one.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and keep up the great Karma!
Ann Doolan-Fox, Colorado Springs
Better responses to Culpepper case
The firing of George Culpepper was very unprofessional, shameful, inexcusable and nearly incomprehensible.
Let's see: a researcher gets fired, without warning, for . doing the requested research? A new employee gets fired for . doing something in a common-sense way that turned out to be against a counter-intuitive policy?
Other possible responses:
1) Thank Culpepper for the info he got.
2) Explain that he needs to gather info differently next time.
3) If it really does make sense that a city researcher can't ask questions without clearing every question with his "superiors," fire whoever was supposed to train this new employee.
4) Change the "policy" so that professional researchers can act professionally and do their jobs!
Joyce Cheney, Colorado Springs
Need to play to our strengths
On Sunday, Jan. 19, another article appeared in The Gazette extolling the virtues of the downtown redevelopment called "City for Champions." This article referenced Oklahoma City, Chattanooga, Memphis, Buffalo, and Birmingham. These cities have major sports teams associated with them. Colorado Springs does not. Praising the way these cities have turned around their economy by building downtown stadiums is probably not very realistic.
A lot of praise was given to Oklahoma City for the MAPS project. Lets take a look at the dynamics of Oklahoma City to see if there are any similarities to the Springs. First, there is a large university (the University of Oklahoma) located in a suburb. Second, it is the state capital. Third, it is bisected by two major interstate highways (I-35 and I-40). Fourth it is in the middle of the wheat belt. Fifth, ranching is to the west. Sixth, it supports an NBA franchise. In other words, OKC played to its strengths instead of trying to manufacture strengths.
How can the "City for Champions" succeed? We have to play to our strengths. First, the Olympics training venues. Second, the military bases. Third, the mountains, hiking, parks and Pikes Peak, and fourth, the medical school and sports medicine facility being built at UCCS.
These are the big dogs in our basket.
Let's look at some of what is envisioned. First, the convention center. Every Tom, Dick and Harry city has a convention center. There are only so many conventions to go around. To get a convention, the costs would have to be cut to where there would be no money to be made if in fact there wouldn't be a loss. So forget the convention center.
As far as the indoor arena, we already have a world-class arena which is underutilized. Lets get more use out of that. Get an arena director who can think outside the box.
An Air Force Academy visitor center where there is no need for the visitors to enter the Academy might not be a good idea. Locating the visitor center near one of the Academy gates would be better. The visitor center will need interactive displays to go with static aircraft displays. What about animation and some simulation "rides" for kids or even adults?
The Olympic Hall of Fame and training venues will attract people, but will need something to keep the people interested. People probably would like to experience all sorts of different Olympic-type activities, different sports both winter and summer.
Going right along with the Olympics is the medical training facility being built at UCCS. This could be a world-class sports medicine complex which could support the Olympics and the outdoor stadium.
The best thing should be the outdoor stadium.
This stadium should be designed to hold a lot of different sports: soccer, cricket, Australian Rules Football, rugby, lacrosse, horse jumping, track and field and possibly a bigger rodeo. Maybe include some dorms or hotels for the teams to stay at.
Again, think outside the box when trying to get more tourists.
For the City for Champions to generate the kind of sustainable jobs that are envisioned, we have to play to our strengths. People have to want to stay and look at the attractions around here: Fort Carson, the Air Force Academy, Pikes Peak, hike the trails and have some thing for the kids to do.
Look at what some other smaller cities have done to increase their tourism and keep families busy.
Dale Spoehr, Colorado Springs