The writing is on the wall; tie education funding to the pupils

By: Letters
September 30, 2013 Updated: October 4, 2013 at 7:52 am
photo - The new surveillance cameras for downtown are up and operating. This camera is at Tejon St. and Bijou St. and gives a 360 degree view of the area that corner.(The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett)
The new surveillance cameras for downtown are up and operating. This camera is at Tejon St. and Bijou St. and gives a 360 degree view of the area that corner.(The Gazette/Jerilee Bennett) 

The writing is on the wall

A few days ago, The Gazette published a commentary by former state Sen. Dave Schultheis nitpicking at the bold vision of our community's City For Champions proposal ("Mayor's vision for the Springs disregards free enterprise," Sept. 22). It was followed a day later by a news report about how Colorado Springs' economy lags behind Denver's and that of the northern Front Range ("A look ahead: No 1990s-style recovery in the cards for Colorado Springs, experts say," Sept. 23). The decision to publish both pieces was probably coincidental, but the timing couldn't have been better.

It appears that Schultheis is being short-sighted and closed-minded with his vision for Colorado Springs. Most of us don't want a roll up the sidewalks at sundown, keep your kids quiet and off my lawn, let's slam the door on any new development kind of city. That's an easy enough position to take, of course, for someone whose well-being doesn't depend on the local economy.

For most of us, however, Schultheis is advocating the kind of stagnation that is lethal to our neighborhoods, our businesses, our families and our future. He so much as admits it. He readily acknowledges that the economic boost from City For Champions would mean that, "Businesses would benefit greatly from an additional 500,000 to a million new tourists each year." Incredibly, he then asks how that would benefit anybody else.

He admonishes those who support City For Champions to "examine your motives" and charges that, "it's about your pocketbook, not our enjoyment of this wonderful city." How nice it must be for Schultheis to enjoy "this wonderful city," evidently, without having to worry about holding onto his job or keeping a small business afloat. As The Gazette's news report makes clear, however, Colorado Springs' economy is by and large stuck in neutral and is likely to stay there without decisive action.

Folks, the writing is on the wall. We need the kind of economic lift that a dynamic vision like City For Champions will provide. Let's stop being so negative and divisive and take the opportunity to do something positive for our community.

Tony Rose, Colorado


If you love your animals

In response to "Residents protest dog treatment, Sept. 11." It is important for all residents under police protection to remember that the police are serving and protecting everyone and safety is their highest priority. They cannot ensure safety if they themselves are under attack. Dogs are unable to be reasoned with or warned. Certain breeds are especially dangerous and prone to vicious attacks. It is the responsibility of the dog owners to keep their dogs under control and they are responsible under the law to keep them from attacking.

As I read the article and saw that a bullet ricocheted off the ground and hit the Burches' house I was more sympathetic to the police who were put in the position of having to so drastically defend themselves.

If you love your animals as I do, then keep them under control and you won't have to face this type of tragedy.

RaChelle Bole, Colorado Springs


Tie education funding to the pupils

There is absolutely no reason to raise the income tax and even less to open the gates to progressive taxing.

Nationally, the rate of inflation for education has been several times the broad rate of inflation, and yet, despite increasing costs by several times in inflation-adjusted dollars, it has but yielded effectively zero results. Test scores have not risen at all.

The real issues are linked: a lack of real competition in this vital service industry, and a bloated monopoly-based budgeting approach that only encourages waste.

If we really want to do something that makes a difference, then we need to move away from monopolies and tie funding to the pupil. Education is just like any other commodity and will respond to market mechanics the same way. The model being applied, one of throwing ever more money at the monopoly is broken.

The questions we should be asking ourselves are: How do we work to increase choice, competition and innovation? How best to use this and to let the parents, and not the politically connected, make the decisions choose. In the long run our educational system would thrive, as would our students.

Michael Selden, Woodland Park


Nation has lost its moral compass

In response to your editorial, following the recent recall election, that it's an indication that "the system works," I must succinctly disagree.

Once again, special interests have hijacked the implementation of due process. The fear mongering, prejudiced and self-righteous right, continues to astonish, with their delusional and romanticized vision, and interpretation of what they think our Founding Forefathers meant, during the drafting of our Constitution! Their anti-progressivism of clinging to a form of free market capitalism, which hasn't existed in this country in more than 50 years, under the expanding corporate oligarchy, is scary. This is the 21st century and our society has changed drastically since the vigilante justice days of the Old West. The latent hypocrisy of wanting smaller government, but having no problem with the money the government spends on them, or legislating what a woman should do with her body, and regulating the marijuana industry (but almost nothing else) is further testament to a nation that has lost its moral compass.

The research and statistics simply do not support much of what these Americans believe As a former Republican, I can attest that they are being lied to, given their twisted priorities. Families and people are more important than profits and guns, because you must first have a community structure in place, before you can even begin to build a nation, in which to defend its basic freedoms. I desire freedom from violence and exploitation, too.

Robert Heintze, Ca?n City

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