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Gazette Premium Content LETTERS: Maybe it's not the criminal; Black Forest fire report

Letters Published: March 28, 2014

Maybe it's not the criminal

Most like a good chase, because when the reward is received, it means more. Criminals on the other hand find joy in getting away. Ryan Stone, the 28-year-old who was arrested for leading police officers on a chase from Longmont to Lone Tree, is a classic example of this. While leading police on a chase is not recommended, there is a bigger problem that lies beneath.

This was not Ryan's first criminal action, in fact, this is just something to be added to his 11-page criminal record. That's right, Ryan has been in the Criminal Justice system since 2003. He has been released and readmitted on several occasions. But why? Does his criminal record have to be a 100 pages for someone to realize that he has issues? What is the limit?

Obviously, something isn't working. Obviously, the punishment he is receiving is not changing his behavior, because he still continues to participate in illegal activities. Once he is released he just goes back to his old habits. The even harder truth is that Ryan is not the only criminal who continues to commit crimes after being released. In fact, a study done by The Bureau of Justice in 2011 says, "Younger prisoners and those with longer records were more likely to be rearrested." Maybe it's not the criminal, so much as the system. Criminals should not be returning to jail but instead should be fully treated before returning to civilian life. Not only would fully treating criminals the first time save the government tons of money. It also would save many lives and many families the grief of losing a loved one. As well as sparing law enforcement a chase.

Sammy Folgmann, Colorado Springs

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Something worse than fiscal debt

As the parent of a child with autism, a disorder now diagnosed in 1 in 88 children, I cannot rejoice with Greeley over their "improved lives". There is now research strongly supporting the conclusion that pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, which is a big culprit from natural gas production, along with genetic susceptibility can cause autism. The incidence of autism continues to grow, causing untold pain and staggering costs to families, schools and our health care system. And autism is just one health symptom of our rush to fix problems with ill-advised short-term solutions that pump toxins into our air, water and earth.

We cannot measure improvements in lives with a jobs number. More money flowing into our economy is only one predictor of a better life. A solution is only a solution if it doesn't cause another major problem and fracking is leaving our children with a legacy of something worse than fiscal debt. It is leaving them with an earth full of toxins that will affect their's and their children's health.

Nancy Lawrence, Colorado Springs

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Behavior certainly very disappointing

The recently released report on the Black Forest fire prepared by an independent investigator hired by the Black Forest Fire District reported that men and equipment were ordered to protect the home and property of El Paso County Sheriff Department's Cmdr. Robert McDonald on June 11, the day the fire started. Apparently these firemen were ordered to stay at McDonald's home for an extended period and to not fight the fire elsewhere, allowing six houses in the Sylvan Meadows development to burn.

Although Sheriff Maketa has denied that this order was given, the fire chiefs of Black Forest and Falcon have confirmed that this order was given by the incident commander who was an employee of the Sheriff's Department. This behavior is certainly very disappointing and inappropriate. Rather than calling the whole thing a lie, Sheriff Maketa would be better served by asking for an independent investigation and if this investigation found inappropriate behavior then disciplinary action should be taken against those members of the Sheriff's Department who acted out of order.

As a neighbor of Cmdr. McDonald, I would like to understand what really happened and I am sure that those people who lost their homes while men and equipment sat idle deserve a real explanation of those events.

Larry Stanley, Black Forest

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Just live and let live

In The Gazette's viewpoint "Humanists indulge heartless intolerance of Christian mom", the first few sentences in the first two paragraphs say a lot. With a few minor changes they say even more. For example:

"Most atheists are decent people who lack a belief in God. They obey the law and instill morality in their kids." Now change a couple of words and it says "Most Christians are decent people who believe in God. They obey the law and instill morality in their kids." In the second paragraph you state "A minority of atheists misuse their philosophy as a weapon against those who do not share their belief in an absence of God."

Again, change a couple of words and you have "A minority of Christians misuse their philosophy as a weapon against those who do not share their belief of God." What I'm trying to say is that whatever Side A says, Side B can say the same thing.

This can be seen in Susan Blaha's letter "Shame on the Air force Academy." Basically, she states that non-Christians don't have a right to voice their opinions, but the Christians do. She states ".those weak and offended cadets should go home and sulk in the privacy of their own rooms." That could also be said about the Christian cadets. Then she resorts to name calling by saying "Weinstein is a bossy, bully." Well, Mrs. Blaha, it seems that you are the bossy bully on the Christian side.

Just live and let live, but avoid extremes, indulgence and complacency.

Larry Green, Colorado Springs

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