Supporting survivors in community
A recent column in The Gazette, "'Boys just being boys' left damaging memory", added yet another story to the #metoo social media campaign that has been raising awareness on sexual assault and sexual harassment. Although some might see sexual harassment as a lesser form of sexual assault, it is important to know that both are rooted in the belief that one person is less than another.
According to the U.S. EEOC, (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), there were over 12,800 sex-based harassment allegations in the workplace for 2016, of which, over 80 percent were filed by women. Although this seems like a large number of instances, it does not surprise me that the number of charges filed over the past six years have all been over 12,000. Sexual harassment, specifically towards women, is not a new issue. Sexual assault is not a new issue either. Every 98 seconds, a person in the U.S. is sexually assaulted (RAINN 2016).
It is reassuring to hear the many voices of those who have been contributing to the #metoo campaign. Each story is important and valid and can have lasting effects. For survivors, simply knowing that you are not alone can be a valuable piece of healing.
Thankfully, many people in our community are ready and willing to support survivors along their healing journey, including an organization that I have worked with for six years.
Finding Our Voices (FOV) is a 501 c(3) nonprofit organization in Colorado Springs that empowers survivors of sexual abuse by providing creative activities and healing events, and advocating in our community. FOV offers monthly art workshops, an annual healing retreat, and an April Art Show for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For more information on getting involved with FOV, follow us on Facebook at Finding Our Voices: Healing Art Activities for Survivors of Sexual Abuse, or visit our website at www.FindingOurVoicesCS.org.
Turning lemons into lemonade
To Kathy Loo's excellent, timely letter Nov. 2 regarding better stewardship of our water resources, I would add that the city has recently completed a comprehensive master plan for the revitalization of the Shooks Run corridor. Its recommendations include flood mitigation, greatly improved and safer trails, new parks, upgraded infrastructure, new bridges, and revitalized business and residential communities - all in the central part of our city, along a water course that needs a lot of help.
Yes, as Loo says, it is time "for Colorado Springs to turn the lemons into lemonade."
The complete master plan is posted online; just Google "Envision Shooks Run Corridor."
Changes needed in immigration
As written about in a Gazette editorial, we need to change our immigration policies and sooner rather than later. The days of opening our doors to any and all should be over. We no longer need the massed manual laborers that were the builders of this country. We need to scrap the point system that favors nationalities over skills. We need tradesmen, machinists, plumbers, electricians and the like. We need doctors and nurses and technicians. We don't need Uber drivers or people to hold down our street corners. I checked with the folks under the bridge, and they assured me that the street corners were covered and not a one had gone missing.
We need to stop what the president calls "chain immigration," where one family member gets in and brings the rest of an extended family along.
To make this happen, we probably need to address the cause, which is "social engineering" which has never worked but is supported by lifetime appointees in the Supreme Court and career politicians. I would limit Supreme Court appointees to a 10-year term and any that have exceeded that should look to retirement at their next anniversary. I would also like to see Congress term-limited and prohibited from taking anything larger than a coffee from lobbyists. They could be provided government quarters like the military to offset the need to get stuff while serving.
This change is necessary to mitigate the instances of "institutionalizing," where the inhabitants of Washington begin to believe that their view of the world is the only one that counts.
Michael S. Welsh
Looking at convoluted thinking
Perhaps Energy Secretary Rick Perry was home sick the day his class learned about wind power and solar power. With his convoluted thinking that fossil fuels generate "light that shines the righteousness" that, in turn, prevents sexual assault, one can only extrapolate. Latex prevents birth defects: latex goes into making condoms, condoms prevent births, no births means no birth defects. Conversely, the sun causes lung cancer: the sun helps tobacco grow, tobacco is the main ingredient in cigarettes, cigarettes cause lung cancer.
Perry and the lawmakers who are working hard to protect and advance the interests of corporate America should keep in mind that nature does not discriminate. As nature tires of putting up with all the destruction we humans are doing to the safeguards that were put into place to protect our planet, it doesn't ask what tax bracket you are in. Ignorance, denial and rationalization are too often the tools utilized to promote greed over the safety and well-being of our planet.
Kudos to The Gazette
I was in your city recently for 10 days and had the opportunity to read your newspaper. You do a good job. I like your layout. I thought your news coverage was fair and balanced. Keep up the good work.
The state of the nation
Fires. Floods. Hurricanes. Rampant sexual assaults. Terrorist attacks. Opioid crisis. Homeless vets. Russian interference in America's presidential election.
A Congress that wants to destroy environmental protection, take away people's health care and allow the rich to pay hardly any taxes.
This used to be a pretty good country.
David J. Baker