Published: April 18, 2014
Let's focus on our home
In response to "Mind-baffling pot decision," it should not be so mind-baffling that the vast majority of counties and municipalities throughout the state have chosen to reject recreational marijuana sales. While there would certainly be some positive economic impacts from recreational marijuana sales, the overall impact for many of the communities would be negative.
Let's focus on our home, the Pikes Peak region. A recent study by the Regional Business Alliance shows the economic impact of military installations in the Pikes Peak region to be between $8-9 billion per year, $5.3 billion directly from the installations, and another $3-4 billion from supporting private companies (Lockheed, Northrup Grumman, Boeing, etc.). The military is in the middle of a drawdown, the Army will shrink from 522,000 active-duty soldiers to 440,000 within the next five years, and many installations will lose soldiers. The cuts will not be even across the board to all installations, some will see large cuts, some might not see cuts at all. The communities in which the bases are will have a large impact on the decisions of those at the Pentagon
Possession of marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, and its use is against regulations for our military personnel. Easy access to marijuana will undoubtedly have a negative impact on how the military views our community. Should the Pentagon choose to make a large cut to Fort Carson, i.e. cut a brigade from Fort Carson, the region would lose 4,400 soldiers, and an estimated $450 million in economic impact. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, look at the bigger picture, and make smart decisions for our community.
Jared May, Colorado Springs
How about a horticulture dome?
As a long-term resident of Colorado Springs, I think that building a stadium downtown just moves what we already have.
Instead of recreating or just moving an existing attraction, I think it would be far better to add another!
We have lots of things that tourists can do in the summer months when the weather is nice; but why not add an attraction that continues to bring people into our city, any season?
Since we have America the Beautiful Park downtown, how about adding a horticulture dome!
It would give Colorado Springs an indoor attraction that would generate not only "another different site" of interest for tourists, but also another place for residents to go within the city to enjoy during every season. It could also double as a beautiful venue to rent for weddings and receptions, and other events with a separate place for dining. The possibilities are many. A reasonable admission charge plus a rental fee for special events with beautiful plants and flowers and an ever inviting environment would make it a very popular place; and bring a refreshing time for everyone to enjoy this new addition to our city!
I don't think we really need expensive outsiders to come to our city to tell us how to make it better - ask the people who already live and work here. Ask them what they would like - to see our city get, to improve their lives.
Do we really need to just upgrade what we already have? How does that bring anyone else to our city? Let's think outside of what we have and make the money we spend really count for something that will bring more income and fun to our city.
Carolyn Wigglesworth, Colorado Springs
Prejudice against the overweight
Re: "Schools increasingly check students for obesity..." Well bravo to the Chula Vista California school system for exercising the last acceptable form of discrimination. At what cost to the taxpayers is this Nazi-inspired, surveillance? At what cost to the self-esteem of our children is this type of humiliation? (I know well the cost, as I was made to weigh myself everyday in front of the school nurse in fifth grade ... all because I had a more "womanly" figure than the rest of those who had yet to reach puberty.)
How much more prejudice will be instilled and inflicted upon the overweight? Who is authorizing this "fat patrol" to use valuable school time to weigh, measure and forward "fat letters" to families and doctors and are they even qualified to make a proper medical assessment?
Medical issues including and especially obesity problems, often the result of other physical abnormalities, should be privileged information between a doctor and a child with his/her family. Anything otherwise is a gross invasion of privacy. This program is sponsored by the CDC and good ole usa.gov. How much invasion into our personal lives can we tolerate before we become our own "Aryan nation"?
Do not misunderstand me ... I fully support schools addressing these important concerns through nutrition classes and options for increased physical activity ... but this type of medical intrusion and potential labeling of our children is an insidious breach of the right to medical privacy and opens up the floodgates to increased prejudice and bullying.
The motivation certainly must be to spare our children from future diseases .... well, here are some interesting statistics:
Seventy-five percent of our children are involved in a greater, yet less acted on, epidemic of substance abuse with at least 1-in-5 students actually meeting the criteria for medical addiction. Compare this to 30 percent of our children who are considered overweight, some of which may develop future medical problems. Compare again the estimated medical cost of substance abuse in the United States at a whopping $520 billion, to the estimated medical cost for obesity - $147 billion!
There are certainly better and more acceptable ways to confront this problem. Since the obesity epidemic seems to also be pervading third world nations who benefit from our food donations, maybe we should pay more attention (and tax dollars) on scrutinizing the additives and processing of the stuff we eat. Then, start simply, by encouraging our precious children to get out and play.
Melissa Sisa, Colorado Springs