Recent letters to the editor by Gazette readers:
A movement, not a man
The Gazette's editorial on the Donald Trump v. Hillary Clinton race missed the mark (re., "Our Hope for the White House," Oct. 24).
This is a binary election decision, period. Specifically, this isn't about the man. It's about the movement.
Each day, tens of millions of Americans get up with a burning desire to see their country taken back and moved in a decidedly different direction.
Americans want secure borders, better jobs and choice regarding their children's educations.
Most Americans strongly desire to have more choices in their health care, with ability to select providers.
Almost all Americans want to see government waste and inefficiency attacked and importantly the permanent political class power structure reduced.
A majority of Americans want the Constitution protected. They want Supreme Court appointees who respect the rule of law. They want appointees who will protect the Second Amendment.
Americans have had enough cronyism and people getting elected and reelected with no skills other than that of being elected officials. Americans are tired of agencies so inefficient they allow the dead to vote, graft to accelerate and cost overruns to get rewarded with bonuses. There is a swelling movement that wants it to stop.
Most Americans like the idea of term limits and banning senior politicos from lobbying.
Finally, Americans are increasingly frustrated by not being as important on the world stage or respected globally and seeing a diminished military.
They want veterans treated with dignity and, in the end, American exceptionalism reestablished.
I have had my phone calls with many on the editorial board of The Gazette, several whom I consider friends and respect deeply. This time, the board failed to stand strong when circumstances and times demanded it.
Do you agree with the frustration? Do you agree with the movement? Do you see a chance for America?
As someone who has taught leaders and leadership around the world for over a quarter-century, sometimes it is difficult to be a leader. Sometimes it's uncomfortable to be a leader, and sometimes it's just downright painful.
Leadership is hard. Perhaps we should look for someone who bravely walks against the wind, stands tall when attacks fly, is fearless and almost cavalier when dealing with the media and wants to see America be Great Again.
Robert Blaha - Colorado Springs
Raising public health concerns
Nearly every day, while at work and driving to and from, I am subjected to the nauseating, headache-causing fumes from marijuana (production or consumption) in the vicinity.
I find the fumes terribly disturbing and get severe headaches pretty much instantly. I am concerned there may be health detriments to me and that these symptoms are negatively affecting my ability to work and drive.
I believe it is unfair and wrong for the pleasures of some people to negatively affect the freedoms of others.
Those that do not want anything to do with marijuana should not be subjected to its presence in public. Our air is polluted by fumes from grow houses and smoke from homes, cars, etc. Our right/freedom to breath air that is not polluted with marijuana fumes has been compromised. I am very unhappy about this.
While I know recreational marijuana use was legalized, I am concerned for my and other citizens' health.
William Clark - Colorado Springs
Another Utilities rate increase
Can't wait to replace our City Council who works for Colorado Springs Utilities and not the citizens of the city. Last week, it approved rate increases on electricity of 4.2 percent or $3.18 per month and 7.4 percent or $2.68 per month for gas. Now Utilities wants to increase the base rate of utilities, and I am sure we will see a request to increase the water rates very soon.
If memory serves right, I think the Neumann scrubbers started out at $73.5 million and as of today are somewhere around $111.8 million, so all Utilities has to do is ask the council for rate increases.
The question I would ask: Are the rate increases necessary or are they needed for salary increases and bonuses for Utilities employees?
John Thordsen - Colorado Springs
Embassy attacks not unusual
A number of letter writers, and TV ads produced by the Republican Party, have pointed out the deaths in Benghazi and have laid this tragedy at the door of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. However, they have failed to examine similar events in the Middle East that occurred under other administrations. For instance:
During the Bush presidency, there were 13 embassy attacks, with 66 deaths, including three American diplomats killed along with 22 other embassy employees. Number of investigations: zero.
During the Reagan administration, there were 10 embassy attacks, with 318 deaths, including one U.S. ambassador killed, along with 18 CIA officers, and 254 Marines. Number of investigations: one.
During the current administration, there have been two embassy attacks, with four American deaths. Number of investigations: 13. Cost to taxpayers so far: $14 million.
Doesn't appear to be a level playing field.
Bob Armintor - Colorado Springs
And the beat goes on
After reading Gazette editorials for years and years espousing freedom of choice, personal responsibility, liberty and keeping Big Brother out of our personal lives, I read the editorial where The Gazette recommended support for the ballot measure to increase taxes on tobacco.
I am not a smoker, but that line of thinking will eventually lead to similar taxes and fees on alcohol, fast food, Big Gulps, the sedentary, helmet-less bicycle and motorcycle riders . and the beat goes on.
Don Powers - Colorado Springs