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LETTERS: Littering is an epidemic; get real about homeless issue

By: Gazette readers
May 15, 2018 Updated: May 15, 2018 at 6:35 am
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People pack up their belongings after a homeless camp is forced to move from Springs Rescue Mission on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette

Littering is an epidemic

Strewn garbage can be found in every city in America whether it is a cigarette butt, or a free flying grocery bag, and Colorado Springs and our home national park is no exception. Littering is an epidemic in the U.S. and if Coloradans want to preserve our beautiful, colorful state, strides must be taken to clean up our mess before the damage is irreparable.

We are all guilty of littering in one way or another. A small piece of garbage might seem insignificant, but over time, it can add up. According to Adopt a Highway, 40 percent of trash littered is tobacco products, and a majority of garbage is small and hard to clean up like cigarette butts. The mindset that one piece won't matter is the very same mindset that has snowballed out of control in the U.S. and in Colorado Springs.

Garden of the Gods has suffered the most, and studies show the U.S. spends $11.5 million a year to clean up our national parks. If the government didn't put so much money towards cleaning up the parks, imagine what the parks would look like. Garden of the Gods would have to be renamed to Garden of the Garbage.

The millions we spend on cleaning garbage could be better spent in schools and police stations, working toward a better future for future generations.

Every Colorado Springs resident can make a change. Picking up even one piece a day or a week, everyday citizens can make a difference in the community. Volunteering on the weekends with the Parks Department can save taxpayer dollars and keep the Springs beautiful, keeping tourists coming to Colorado. With some effort, litter can be abolished and a thing of the past. It starts with one person picking up a receipt to spark something bigger.

Moira Grady

Colorado Springs

   

A time and a place for everything

My comments are regarding the "Principal defends dress code" article: I'm all for expressing yourself. However, for children, going to school is one of the places where you gain practical knowledge and learn how to live in this world.

I was told that my job was going to school and that I had to behave the same way I would on a job.

That meant following the rules when I am on their time, while also learning how to conduct myself. At 3:31, I was free to wear, act, and say what I wanted, but between 7:00 and 3:30 there were certain norms to follow. By the time you were old enough to enter the job market, you were somewhat prepared.

Your job may even require you to wear a uniform, and it will certainly require you to follow a dress code.

School is one of the places you should start learning how to do this. There is no place on this planet where you can do everything you want.

There is a time and a place for everything, and parents need to make sure that they and their children understand its application. It's what keeps us civilized.

Constance Jones

Colorado Springs

   

Unnecessary standardized testing

Every year, schools utilize standardized testing to measure not only the student's academic ability but to measure their own success. This success enables the schools to reap financial rewards and tout their academic prowess. But studies have shown that standardized testing actually does more harm than good, not only for the students but the teachers as well.

A student's role in society is to go to school in hopes of being taught the lessons in life that will make them successful and resilient to what life throws at them. If we continue to uphold this "need" for standardized testing, students will miss out on what teachers really have in their teaching arsenal: life experiences. I believe it is time to finally put a stop to this unnecessary task, which serves no true value to our children.

Madison McBreairty

Colorado Springs

   

Get real about homeless issue

The accepted answer to the homeless issue appears to be "affordable housing." I ask you to take a look at the problem - people camping out by our waterways and hiking paths and lounging on the sidewalks and begging on the street corners. Do any of those people look like they can afford any kind of housing? Apparently, they have no assets other than what is given to them in terms of food, clothing, or shelter.

If by some miracle of manufacturing a house could be available for a few hundred dollars a month, do any of those "homeless" look like they could pay it? Of course not; so let's get real about proposing solutions to the homeless issue in Colorado Springs and stop wasting money and effort on nonattainable efforts like affordable housing. That cannot be done.

Housing cannot be made affordable enough for the majority of our problem people under any circumstances acceptable to the American vision of living.

Michael S. Welsh

Colorado Springs

   

Promotion instead of pink slip

The White House employee retaining a job after denigrating John McCain should come as no surprise. After all, Trump was able to rise to the White House in spite of mocking McCain after our bone spur warrior-in-chief had dodged the draft five times and bragged about his sexual exploits at home while brave men sacrificed in Vietnam.

Based on this context, I would assume this staffer will get a promotion rather than a pink slip.

Todd Nelson

Colorado Springs

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