Colorado Springs could sparkle

Re: "Blight to Bright may help reduce Colorado Springs' condemned, abandoned homes."

I would like to propose a plan that would change the face and property values of neighborhoods in our beautiful community - mandate that houses that are in bad/deteriorated/abandoned condition be addressed by the city.

I understand that the hold up to addressing this problem is property rights. I consider that enabling rights, "who cares about anyone but me" rights. Perhaps shifting the municipal mind-set from property rights to community rights a la "Blight to Bright" would be akin to a seismic shift in thinking, but really, how well is the property rights mentality and ordinance working? Kick the deadbeats to the curb. Don't tolerate bad behavior and watch this town start to sparkle.

Barbara Edwards

Colorado Springs

Time to put up your cash

Regarding "Consumer Needs Not Met, As Electric Vehicle Report Shows," April 14.

I agree with the assessment that all-electric vehicles are expensive and lack adequate range for the average American driver. However, the answer to this problem is already in the dealers' lots (and in my garage). Affordable, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) such as the Ford CMax Energi have electric-only range enough for most commutes, and if you run out of juice, a very nice, gasoline-powered, hybrid engine kicks in as far as you want to go. I purchased mine in November 2013, use it daily and am only halfway thru my third tank. It recharges in 2 to 7 hours depending on whether you use 110 or 240. Oh, and it is more fun to drive than any other SUV I've ever had.

Don't like Ford? Toyota, Chevy and Honda are all in current production. Don't like 2-wheel drive? Volvo's lovely XC90 will have a PHEV, all-wheel model in 2015 with a range of 30 miles. So, all you Colorado Springs green types, time to put your cash where your mouth is. Get rid of those Subarus for a PHEV.

Douglas Hammerstrom

Colorado Springs

Hands off our petition rights

Once again some legislators seek to chip away at our constitutional rights. Apparently, the political elite in the General Assembly can't stand the limits on their power in Article V, Section I of the Colorado Constitution which states: "the people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and amendments to the constitution and to enact or reject the same at the polls independent of the general assembly."

Democrat and Republican sponsors of HCR1002 would double the number of signatures required for citizens to qualify a constitutional amendment on the ballot and arbitrarily impose new distribution requirements for those signatures. That's no problem if you're a rich person or big corporation; they can afford millions to lobby or pay petition circulators. However, if you're an ordinary citizen or public interest group that relies on citizens' donations and volunteers, HCR1002 strikes a deadly blow to your petition rights.

How many issues do the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, the Independence Institute, Colorado Common Cause and the Humane Society agree upon? Not many - but they are united in opposition to HCR1002.

Contact your state representative and senator; tell them to keep their hands off your constitutional petition rights!

Anne Campbell


Rayburn doesn't offer a solution

Bentley Rayburn is new to politics, but already exhibits an unappealing trait of a politician. In his guest opinion (Gazette, April 20), he begins with an unfactual statement about Doug Lamborn's letter to the secretary of the Air Force regarding freedom of religious expression at the AFA. He states Lamborn was motivated "in the face of pressure to do something." He conveniently ignores the fact that the letter also was signed by 22 other congressional leaders. What motivated them? Rayburn goes on to provide some good perspective, but does not say what, if anything, he has done to foster a solution, or what he would do as a congressman.

John DeFrancesco


Compassion during time of stress

I want to express by gratitude and admiration to the firefighters of Station 17 who recently came to the assistance of my wife and I.

My wife was in the terminal stages of leukemia and had to be moved to a hospital bed in the afternoon. The firefighters came to my home and moved her. Later, in the very early morning hours of the following day, she fell out of the bed and they returned, picked her up, put her back in bed and devised a simple system to prevent falls again.

The kindness, compassion and humanity and professionalism these men displayed at a time of severe stress for my wife and I can not truly be described in mere words. All I can say to them is thank you for the service you rendered so graciously. It was an honor to meet you.

Harry Levy

Colorado Springs

Sell the city's potholes

Mayor Steve Bach's idea of emailing pothole locations to the city seems to have fallen flat. I thought we might try something new. Why not let citizens "adopt" a pothole? For a small fee - say, $10 or so - the city would fix the pothole, photograph it and send the donor the picture and an undefined deed to it. That way residents would have an ownership interest in the pothole and a smoother street too.

I know we shouldn't have to pay extra to fix potholes, but the $2 million the city wants to borrow from the reserve fund is our money too. I wouldn't mind chipping in a little extra if it meant getting one or two of my favorite potholes fixed sooner.

Jere Joiner

Colorado Springs