A valuable lesson learned
Thanks to a very nice city policeman, I learned a valuable safety lesson this week:
Having grown up in a rural area, I learned early to respect school bus lights and signs. I thought I knew all the laws regarding bus/traffic safety. However, while taking my grandchildren to school this morning, I saw a bus stopped on the other side of the road (facing me) with its lights flashing. There were no children visible on my side of the street or on the other, and I was driving slowly, so I continued to the intersection where I was stopped by a concerned officer who asked why I had not stopped for a school bus with flashing lights and an extended stop sign. I had not noticed his sign, and I did not realize that the law extends to both sides of any undivided street.
Thanks to the officer's explanation, I will be a better and safer driver, and I suspect I'm not the only one who needs the instruction.
One more fact: Besides being dangerous and illegal to fail to obey bus/traffic laws, violators can be fined $150.
Roberta Hardy, Colorado Springs
Higher taxes on energy bad policy
As an elected official from El Paso County, I see more and more local governments charged with providing added services with less revenue. Unlike the federal government, we can't vote to raise our debt limit. We have to rely on tax revenue dollars doled out by the state. And since the energy industry has become an increasingly larger part of Colorado's economy, more of these revenue dollars come from oil and natural gas businesses.
But here's the rub - there are some in Congress who want to raise taxes on energy businesses, which would make fuel more expensive and U.S. energy companies less productive.
If the oil and gas sector pays more, you can be sure that we'll all pay more - at the gas pump as well as for consumer goods as business costs rise. Raising taxes on the energy industry is bad public policy in the making and we should let our elected representatives know.
Darryl Glenn, Colorado Springs
Increase speed limit on County Line
Rod Bernsen accurately described the situation on County Line Road. Douglas County is responsible for patrolling County Line east of I-25, and El Paso County has responsibility for the road west of I-25. Years ago, County Line was an unpaved, narrow road between Furrow Road on the west to points east past Highway 83. The speed limit then was what it still is today, 45 mph.
Douglas County widened, paved and vastly improved the dirt section of the road sometime in the past 15 years or so. Forty-five mph seemed reasonable when it was a rutted, dusty dirt road. With the improvements, 45 mph now seems like you're crawling through the countryside. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office knows this and takes advantage of the mostly El Paso County residents who travel the road. The Douglas County side is sparsely populated compared to the El Paso County side.
Just as I-25 though Colorado Springs had the speed limit increased from 55 to 65 mph after the highway was widened and improved, so should the speed limit on County Line be increased. The speed limit on the west side of I-25 is even more ridiculous, only 35 mph, but traffic enforcement is light. Thank you, Mr. Bernsen, for bringing this situation to light.
Michael A. Smith, Black Forest
Tuskegee Airmen's contribution
I was pleased to read where the El Paso County Commission honored the late Samuel C. Hunter, Jr., for service to country and community ("County honors late civic leader, Tuskegee Airmen," Feb. 19). However, I couldn't help but think of another Tuskegee Airman who also gave back to Colorado Springs.
Following his retirement, the late Lt. Col. Clarence Shivers and his wife, Peggy, inaugurated the Shivers African-American Historical and Cultural Collection in 1993 to provide scholarships to local young people interested in the study of classical performing and visual arts.
Under the auspices of the Pikes Peak Library District, Peggy Shivers held annual "Shedding Light" celebrations that present classical concerts to showcase grant and award recipients.
A former operatic soprano, she also dedicated herself toward preserving the Negro spiritual as an American art form. Not to be outdone, a statue commemorating the Tuskegee Airmen, sculpted by Lt. Col. Shivers himself, graces the Air Force Academy grounds today.
The Shivers family and all Tuskegee Airmen have given back far more than our country gave them during the early days of World War II, and America today is better because of what they did and are doing. All of Colorado Springs should salute these men and the women who supported them.
Jere Joiner, Colorado Springs
Story just keeps getting better
I loved, "Buddy lights up the world of our family." This essay was well-written and sweet beyond belief; it was a wonderful reminder about adopting pets, and senior pets at that! Now, I do have a bias that I must disclose, the author, Ross Meyer, is my dad, that's right, Buddy is my canine brother.
Now, one thing that wasn't mentioned in this story is that it won a cash gift. I was thrilled that my dad was being recognized for his writing, and when my mom asked me, "Do you know what your dad is planning to do with the money?" I replied, no. She then told me my dad was donating the money to the Pikes Peak Animal Shelter.
So, Buddy, and his pals at the shelter, are lucky pups, there's no denying that, but so are we to have such a great dad, right Buddy?
Marsha Alston, Castle Rock