Only a short-term Band-Aid
I am writing in response to the very sad article about the closing of Lincoln and Bates elementary schools and Wasson High School in order to save money. I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania that did this same thing (closed two middle schools and an elementary school) all in the name of budget cuts. Ten years later, however, the school district had to deal with an increased student population by completely renovating and re-opening the two middle schools they closed for several million dollars and are now spending millions of taxpayer dollars to renovate the high school, significantly raising the taxes on the residents in my former community to pay for it all.
Closing these schools in the Springs is likely to be only a short-term Band-Aid that will likely need ripped off and millions of dollars spent to re-open them in the future once swelling class sizes and falling student performance clue the school boards into realizing this was a very bad idea in the first place. Apparently, all anyone is interested in these days is a quick fix at the expense of our students rather than long-term solutions that will stand the test of time. Mark my words, these budget savings will disappear in the future.
C. K. Hanson, Colorado Springs
Neither writer addressed these issues
Ref: "Community Conversations" May 12:
What is striking at first is that neither writer directly addresses youths' most pressing issue: availability of jobs with a future and potential for growing income - not only for college graduates, but for the less-skilled as well, including the long-term unemployed, minorities and immigrants. There is no clear and realistic policy prescription as how the economy is to be restarted and where better paid employment is to come from.
Second, both parties put the emphasis on the most generally divisive issues. These might please their more radical base. But they also prevent the formation of the broad practical consensus needed to solve our current national problems: growth, energy availability, health care, deficits, political gridlock, and the overwhelming influence of lobbyists and special interests in policy formulation. The conversation shows that our political parties still focus on partisan gains while pushing the country's broad interest into an undefined future.
Jacek Popiel, Colorado Springs
Understanding current events
Help an old man understand. The Justice Department is going to stop its illegal searches of The Associated Press long enough to investigate the IRS. The IRS will, in turn, stop harassing and punitively auditing Republicans and patriots to avoid more presidential scolding.
Continued warrantless searching of U.S. citizens by the Department of Homeland Security will still allow the Benghazi-plagued White House a free pass, along with 11 million illegals, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-un are going to do a good faith investigation of each other, too.
Other than the annoying sound of approaching jackboots, have I missed anything?
Ron Lupton, Colorado Springs
Very excited to see these advances
Today I read an article in The Gazette explaining how CSPD was using crime and traffic mapping data to place officers in certain areas in the hopes of stopping crime. Seems pretty neat! Fortunately this concise article (it's one of those where every single sentence is a new paragraph, so you don't really have to focus) doesn't require even a bit of a close reading.
The police commander says: "What we do is we engage in high-visibility enforcement, and the hopes are that when you overlay crime and traffic data, the percentage of running into people who may have been involved in criminal activity is higher."
So they really aren't doing anything to stop crime, they are just conducting more stops in high traffic areas, and assuming that by conducting more stops, they will come in contact with more people who have committed crimes.
They mentioned that they aren't finished analyzing the data, but that crime on Murray (where there was a special task force of motorcycle policemen) has gone down. Well, OK then!
In light of this excellent development in law enforcement science, I suggest that we follow in Lancaster, Cali.'s footsteps and form a jaywalking task force. By citing (and then searching) jaywalkers, officers are bound to come into contact with people who have broken the law in some way (they might even have drugs). The logic follows, of course, that the community will be safer.
I don't know about you, but I am very excited to see marked advances in the safety of our community due to more traffic stops, because we all know CSPD doesn't stop people enough.
Russell Pompea, Colorado Springs
Consulting the really smart people
Gov. John Hickenlooper told reporters ("Governor mulls SB252," The Gazette, May 15) "that there are an awful lot of really smart people who are convinced and have compelling evidence that climate is changing and carbon emissions are a part of it."
Maybe the really smart people could tell the rural ratepayers what they will get when they pay billions more in increased electricity rates.
If the ordinary rural folks knew that their increased rates will reduce the Earth's atmospheric temperature by .000000000000001 degrees by 2020 they would jump at the chance to pay more.
Dick Standaert, Colorado Springs