Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Smoking in public parks; vets treated unfairly

Letters Published: July 13, 2013

Let personal choices alone

Oh, spare me! After you take care of this all- encompassing problem, what's next? Why not concentrate on making the parks usable, like opening the restrooms, turning water on for drinking fountains, cleaning up the dog crap, teaching bicyclists on the rules of the park, etc. No, stop smoking. Other than smokers, we can still discriminate against Catholics and fat people. Get a life.

For a volunteer musical group to play a free concert that seems to be enjoyed by all in the vicinity even if they smoke, the volunteer group must pay an amount close to $250 or get a release by signing a waiver. I belong to a volunteer band that used to play at Bancroft Park every Wednesday in June. We do not play there anymore because we are a volunteer band with no money. When approached, the parks department said we must pay for the upkeep of restrooms (which I personally would not use - I use the portapotty), security, something about emergency medical coverage, etc. We cannot pay that so we don't play there anymore.

This is nonsense. Just take care of the parks and let personal choices alone. It seems to be the popular thing today to bash certain choices and not others. The whole world is becoming a nation of protecting someone or something from someone else's choice. Disgusting.

Mary Goulet, Colorado Springs

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Butts are the least of our concerns

How does city parks director Karen Palus propose to stop people from smoking in the parks when the city can't seem to enforce the laws making dog owners pick up after their pets? I agree that cigarette butts are very unsightly, but dog excrement is much worse. My husband and I walk in Memorial Park almost daily and cigarette butts are the least of our concerns.

Barbara Turley, Colorado Springs

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It's all about the money

Having read numerous letters in The Gazette about watering restrictions and higher utility bills I thought of the old saying "follow the money."

If you'll recall from the last time we were restricted to two days of watering, there were concerns that the Colorado Springs community did so well conserving water that Colorado Springs Utilities was concerned about their decreased cash flow.

After those two-day-a-week restrictions were lifted, I recall reading that Colorado Springs water usage increased but remained below the average amount used in the pre-restriction period.

So, someone had a brilliant idea of how to save water and keep cash flows up. "We'll set an arbitrary one size fits all water ration and penalized 'em!"

If the city was really concerned about saving water, we wouldn't see all these ridiculous installations of sod in public areas such as in the medians.

One example observed even during last summer's hot, dry weather was the new area on north Nevada in front of the new University Shopping Center. Who in their right mind would approve installing all that bluegrass and sprinkler system in the middle of the street? Not to mention we now have to spend money to mow it.

Another example is on Voyager Parkway - thousands of square feet of grass and irrigation in the middle of the street where there should be nothing but landscape rock. And, it is routine to see the sprinklers running in the middle of a rainstorm. That's only two examples of many.

You tell me to xeriscape? Practice what you preach.

I'm not advocating killing the grass in public parks or ball fields that we all enjoy, but there are plenty of areas that have no need of sod. It might be more palatable for the citizens of Colorado Springs to deal with the restrictions if the city took some common-sense steps to save water as well.

Edward Hoden, Colorado Springs

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Something is very wrong

I, too, am a disabled veteran, but not as severely as Rep. Tammy Duckworth. When I read the viewpoint in the paper (We need more great Americans to stand for truth in era of government fraud, June 30) I was appalled that Braulio Castillo was a disabled veteran - much less a veteran at all.

Good for Rep. Duckworth and her condemnation of Castillo. He is a disgrace to the system.

What is amazing is that he got disabled status when injured at a prep school while our true vets are waiting an exorbitant amount of time, in my case four years, to get our disability. Something is very wrong.

You even have cases like several of my friends who served in Vietnam and were stationed where they kept Agent Orange, being denied disability status.

Hopefully, at some point the system will be fixed and at least those returning from Afghanistan and Iraq will be treated fairly.

LeRoy Gray, Larkspur

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