So-called accessibility in the city
After reading "Disabled vet sues over equal access" Gazette, Feb. 26, I am compelled to add my two cents to this issue.
First off, I have been in my chair since age 16 - I am now 66! I am very independent and try to go about everyday life as anyone would, including having a successful career for 43 years, prior to retirement. So, please, no haters, I have paid my dues and am not a complainer - just a well-adjusted person with a disability going through life.
Recently we relocated to the Springs from Phoenix. Back in the early mid 1970s, Phoenix was pretty accessible even prior to ADA, (Americans with Disabilities Act). The accessibility, or so-called accessibility, in the Springs and surrounding communities is absolutely appalling and the government officials should be ashamed. To enumerate a minor few: Asphalt ramps added to existing sidewalks and curbs only to have the asphalt shrink and leave a 2-3 inch drop; accessible parking spots in very long or corner strip malls not placed periodically but all bunched in one area leaving long distances to businesses; accessible parking spots placed on downward inclines! Ever have your chair quickly disappear when getting out of your vehicle because of the downward incline? I have.
I recently shopped at a brand new shopping area still being built out. The sidewalk ramp to the store was so steep, my chair slid down the ramp even holding my wheels tightly and then there was a rounded bump at the end for my front wheels to catch on. I was so disappointed this happened in front of one of my favorite stores that I literally stopped and got the name of the project builder on the signage and emailed them about this accident waiting to happen. You guessed it, their response was: It is built to code!
There are so many accessibility traps that I have encountered since moving here but there is not enough room in this paper to list them all. I will venture to say that if shopping centers, grocery stores, sports venues, concert arenas, churches, medical facilities, and on and on, were not accessible to "able-bodied" people, there would be hell to pay in no short order and the issue fixed. After all, we are talking dollars and cents, aren't we, in building facilities for the many but leaving out the few.
I so empathize with Chris Sweeney, and others enduring this issue in the Springs. He literally has an uphill row to hoe.
We need regulations, inspections
While it is easy to say "We don't need no stinking regulations," particularly from the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is clear from this vet's situation (Disabled Vet's Lawsuit, Feb. 26) that we not only need regulations, we need inspectors to make sure they are followed. The article only briefly touched on the core problem: the builder did not follow his approved construction plans. The plans for this Stetson Hills neighborhood did show the correct dimensions for the driveways that are now barriers for anyone using the sidewalks.
The city did check the plans and approved them. But, the builder, who I understand is now bankrupt, did not follow his own plans and, evidently, no one at the city saw that violation. No red flags showed up. It didn't have to be this way.
I submit that we need developers and builders who are going to follow their construction plans and since it is apparent that some people cut corners when not watched, we now need inspectors to inspect the outside of homes and neighborhoods while under construction. New homes are inspected on the inside for all sorts of things (i.e., electrical, plumbing, fire safety). How about inspecting for grading, sidewalks and accessible exterior paths of travel?
Given the shortcut that this builder took on the driveways, it makes me wonder what other shortcuts were taken in the construction of those homes that we can't see. Still think we don't need regulations and inspections?
Patricia Yeager, The independence Center
Support this powerful change
I was moved to tears this morning in support of Dick's Sporting Goods President Edward Stack ending the sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines. They are also ending the sale of firearms to anyone under 21. These are bold moves in America and will create immediate change while we wait for Congress and the State Legislature to act to end school shootings.
I encourage other sporting goods stores and gun stores to do the same. And I encourage the good people of Colorado Springs to shop at Dick's which will help negate the backlash towards Dick's Sporting Goods that will come from the NRA. I intend to shop at Dick's at every opportunity in support of this powerful change. Thank you Edward Stack.
No to arming school teachers
In response to the article, Gazette, Feb. 24: Trump: Armed teachers offer better protection Security guard 'doesn't love the children,' he says.
I taught elementary school children for 35 years, and yes, I love children. You've got that right, Mr. Trump.
But here are some additional facts about me. I am 5 feet tall and weigh 110 pounds. Neither my father, or anyone in my family, ever hunted. I've never lived in a residence that had a gun. In fact, I've never actually touched a gun in my entire life.
I have voted against the death penalty whenever I had the opportunity to do so. When I see a spider in my house, I do not step on it. I relocate it outside. In other words, taking a life is not my strong suit.
Me with a gun facing a determined person with an assault rifle would most likely not result in Trump's claim. Quote: "The teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened."
Parents, Congress people, you don't want me defending the life of your child in this situation.
I am confident I speak for the majority of teachers who every morning welcome those five, six, seven and eight-year-olds into an atmosphere of encouragement and learning, not fear.