Published: April 2, 2014
There is a better answer
I don't believe these words are coming out of my fingers! As a country in serious decline on so many levels it is difficult to identify a sector of our society that has inflicted more damage on us than the labor unions, at least in my lifetime. However, my experience as a parent of a collegiate scholarship athlete has given me new insight. Shock!
When college athletic departments award scholarships only to use them as leverage points to manipulate and abuse our best and brightest, while at the same time disallowing any avenue of recourse, then the least onerous option could well be to guarantee the right of collective bargaining. It isn't like we are talking about a free market here. Within current NCAA rules, and considering the logistical and other life issues in play, student athletes are not free to move to the next team or quit when they encounter insufferable circumstances that are unnecessarily imposed upon them. (Let me tell you; they are out there.) It's the colleges that have allowed student athletics to become what it is, and as such should be forced to sleep in the bed they have made.
There is a better answer, if our colleges could possibly muster the wisdom and fortitude to pull it off, and that would be a return of the system to what it was intended: athletics that is an adjunct to the academic experience and to the personal development that is what our institutions of higher learning are supposed to be about, and not the big business and the end unto itself that it is. Don't hold your breath. After all, in most instances here we are talking about extensions of the government, and perhaps labor unions only rival in their destructiveness to our culture.
Tom Jennings, Colorado Springs
Get our population under control
I completely disagree with Ruben Navarrette's column telling Americans that we should embrace Hispanic immigrants. There are immigrants from all countries of the world here, but the largest number of those here illegally are Hispanic immigrants.
To my knowledge our immigration laws were designed to protect this country from criminals entering as well as ensuring those who do enter have had all the proper vaccinations to prevent spreading disease from third world countries. There are hundreds of thousands of criminals here illegally and once-eradicated diseases are returning. INS is also supposed to control the numbers of people flooding in. Today, our population is like a runaway train completely out of control.
I don't care if these people are coming here to have a "better life" or the "American dream." The question I have to ask is, are they making my life better by being here? No, they are not. In taking jobs from Americans and driving up prices of food, fuel, water and natural resources, they are competing for all our needs, including health care and education costing Americans much more to support them. We must get our population under control or lose the American dream for all Americans. People wake up! Deport illegal immigrants!
Richard Chapman, Colorado Springs
Sheriff thrown under the bus
Tim Christiansen defines the expression of a "Monday morning quarterback" regarding Sheriff Terry Maketa's career.
The last line of his supercilious letter - "do your job" - is especially an affront that can't be accepted by anyone who has closely followed Maketa's career. His dedication to this county's welfare, to his deputies and the office he was elected to is exemplary. He tries to stand above the political fray while refusing to let other's errors and omissions get swept under the rug.
No manager can be held accountable for every minute and every decision his subordinates undertake, but he does a far better job than most. His deputy, Mark Pfoff, hit the nail on the head when he expressed his frustration about Sheriff Maketa being thrown under the bus after a fine career.
I know Maketa struggled with the decision to run again this past election, and I, for one, was delighted that he did (and won), but I can't help but think that he must now have regrets for that decision. There is another sheriff I much admire, in Arizona, for his forthright leadership, but I would rather have a man like Sheriff Maketa whose blend of intelligence and humanity has strongly influenced his work ethic in service to El Paso County. Whatever he decides to do with his future will be very interesting to watch.
Carol Bishop, Colorado Springs
Review policies, procedures
I don't think we need a "forensic audit" of the sheriff's department because the county does financial audits in accordance with accepted practices. However, I think we need a complete review of policies and actual procedures throughout the Sheriff's Office.
I say this because the whole access to Internal Affairs files and keys scandal shows that a very basic internal physical security system is either not in place or not being followed.
Where can "Best Practices," standards (Standard Operating Procedures) in excellent law enforcement be found? Perhaps we can find them in our law enforcement classes, FBI, offices that have won awards. I liked reading that the FBI was investigating. Hopefully they can give some tips on increasing the sheriff's department internal security. I also hope that county and law enforcement leaders take the initiative to rewrite policy if needed and definitely retrain office personnel.
Theresa Null, Colorado Springs