Here are some recent letters to the editor from Gazette readers:
Red light cameras a safety tool
When I read the recent Gazette article regarding our state legislators voting to ban red light cameras, it left me dumbfounded - in particular, the quote from Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton. Supposedly, he stated that, "The use of red light cameras violates people's civil liberties and personal privacy." What!? Is it a civil liberty to run a red traffic light and put other people's lives at risk? How is "personal privacy" violated by a camera in a very public venue? If we follow that line of "reasoning," then every security camera in every public place and every business establishment must be a violation of personal privacy and civil liberties.
And how about the police officer with a radar speed gun at a school zone? Is he/she violating our civil liberty to speed through a school zone?
It's more than a bit worrisome that someone like Lebsock, who seems to have a very poor grasp of logical and reasonable thought, is representing the public in the state Legislature. And that goes for all the other legislators who voted in support of HB16-1231. Personally, I want to see law enforcement have every tool necessary to keep our roads and highways as safe as possible.
- Charles Loeffler, Monument
Real estate is about location
We wanted to express our concerns about "grows" in mixed use commercial zoned areas. We are opposed to such businesses opening in these areas. Garden Budz, 3178 W. Colorado Ave., opened for business on 4/20. Their property backs up to West Pikes Peak Avenue, which is residential. Our residence is less than a block away from this facility. We have not been able to open our windows or sit out on our deck in the beautiful Colorado weather because of the MMJ "stink" from Garden Budz. Mothballs smell better.
We ask that the council realize that this is not good for day to day living for people who live in mixed use commercial areas. We moved into this area because of the convenience of shopping. Residents on West Pikes Peak were never informed that an MMJ dispensary and "grow" would be moving into their area. We would like council to support the task force's recommendation that these types of "grows" be limited to operation in industrial zoned areas. We feel that "home grows" should also be licensed so that when looking at property to buy and live in, a person would be aware of what is next door to them and have an opportunity to say no.
Homeowner property values will decline with "grows" having no regulation. Real estate is all about "location, location, location" - not only the growers,' but ours!
Please consider the rights of all residents and not just the MMJ industry. There is only limited street parking on Colorado Avenue and Pikes Peak Avenue.
- Tom and Mary Gallivan, Colorado Springs
Horse owners should scoop
It is time for horse owners to "pony up" and clean up after their mounts on city and county property.
Now that dog owners have been mostly trained to clean up after their pets, it is time for horse owners to start doing the same. Surely if your trusty mount can haul the rider and saddle around it could carry a plastic garbage bag to scoop up whatever it expels along the way.
The rest us trail users are sick and tired of walking/riding around your mess in the middle of the trails. Your byproduct: 1) is ugly, 2) stinks, 3) attracts flies, 4) spreads noxious and invasive weeds and 5) is still ugly.
I know horse owners will say, "Oh horses are livestock and not pets. " Well, 99.9 percent of these horses never do any ranching work and are just big pets.
- Jim Scholan, Black Forest
Cost always paid by consumers
The article "Boulder officials eye tax on sugary drinks," in the April 23 Gazette, says it "... would require distributors of soda to pay a tax of up to 2 cents per ounce on beverages with at least 5 grams of sugar. Consumers would not pay the proposed tax." That is absolutely false!
No matter where in the supply system you put the tax, or other regulatory burden, the cost will always be paid by the end user. In fact, I'm sure the intended purpose of this proposal is to increase the cost of these drinks to the consumer, thereby reducing demand for these products. If all goes according to plan, though, the producers and distributors will suffer a loss in the form of reduced sales.
- Mike Heiny, Colorado Springs
Open primaries can be disastrous
Duh! You join a political party to hopefully have a say in the primary. If you don't belong to that party you shouldn't be able to have a voice in their primary! It's simple to understand. Why would anyone belong to any political party if everyone has a say in that party's politics? In another state that had closed primaries they switched one year to open primaries and it was a disaster - the folks from other political parties voted to just slant the vote so their candidate will have better chance of winning in the general election.
The general election is for everyone; the primary election is for a political party to choose their candidate - you don't belong, you don't vote!
- Paul Garcia, Colorado Springs
We have data on marijuana use
Robert Wheeler thinks that if we revoke marijuana legalization, only criminals and children will have it. I'm not sure how Wheeler came to his assertion, but his logic is flawed. We have data on marijuana use both before and now after legalization.
Marijuana use (like cigarette smoking) was actually trending down until "medical" marijuana dispensaries opened, and now with so-called recreational marijuana legal, use rates have soared.
The state of Colorado has the dubious honor of having the highest marijuana use rates in the nation across all age categories, including 12-year-olds. To put it in the simplest terms possible: Before legalization, less children used; after legalization, more children use. Not just have marijuana, actually use it. Cozy indeed.
- Kari Kilroy, Manitou Springs