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One of the many apartment complexes being built in the Colorado Springs area.

A start to solving a problem

Another 850 new apartments. None to be affordable housing. Tuesday’s article said we have built over 5,100 apartments since 2017. There have been other news stories lately about additional new units to be built. My guess is we will have built over 7,000 new apartments by the end of 2021. Why do we continue to allow all these new units to be built without a requirement that at least 5% of them must be designated affordable housing? Just think, 5% of 7,000 is 350. We could have had an additional 350 affordable housing units by the end of this year if our leaders would put in place just such an ordinance. It would be a start to solving a problem.

Are our leaders just plain stupid or so afraid of the developers that they do nothing? Isn’t it time that the multifamily developers are forced to do something good for the community, not just take the money and run. Mr. Mayor and City Council, take some action and pass this type of ordinance suggested now.

Jerry Ludke

Colorado Springs

Coexisting with bears harmoniously

As a former member of the Bearsmart Task Force, I I thought it would be prudent to remind our Colorado Springs citizens and businesses of an ordinance that went into effect on March 1, 2020. This ordinance is meant to protect citizens from interactions with our bear population. Bears are very hungry upon emerging from hibernation and look for easy and tasty sources of food. Our trash is extremely attractive to bears. Since most of our bears live west of I-25, residents and businesses west of I-25 are required to contain their trash until 5 a.m. the morning of trash pickup. This can be done by keeping trash in a shed, garage, enclosed space around a dumpster, or a certified bear-resistant trash can.

Failure to do so can result in more bears being put down, potentially dangerous interactions between humans and bears, and warnings and fines be issued to violators. Let’s work together as a community to do all we can to keep our citizens and bears safe. It’s possible for us to coexist harmoniously.

Suzanne Kemp

Colorado Springs

System favors the rich

Let’s encourage recidivism, crime, and poverty! This must be what Sheriff Lt. Christopher Rogers was thinking — see “Jail halts paper mail to inmates” by Lance Benzel on April 25. Most people say letters, photos, and encouraging words from family and friends are their most treasured possessions — how much more so for inmates! And he must also have thought, “Inmates and their families are predominantly poor and the poor can’t fight back so let’s get inmate families to fund essential jail services! (Did you know a 15-minute local phone call with an inmate costs $6.50)

The Geneva Convention states mail to POWs “must not be delayed or detained.” Also, POWs and their families aren’t required to fund their essential services. Our inmates — many who are awaiting trial and have not been convicted — are treated worse than POWs!

In fairness, this is our fault. We Americans have decided to endorse a justice system that significantly favors the rich, oppresses the poor, and discourages rehabilitation. This is just one more example.

Let’s fix this. Let’s reform our justice system so it works for all. All will benefit from reduction in crime, poverty and the cost of law enforcement and jails. You can start by objecting to this new policy. Contact the El Paso County sheriff, your El Paso County representatives, your Colorado State representatives, and making your voice heard through your conversations and in online forums.

“Nobody’s free unless everybody’s free” — Martin Luther King (quoting Fannie Lou Hamer).

Patrick Condon

Colorado Springs

Legislation for basic protection

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the very real fact that farmworkers lack basic rights and protections.

We depend on these folks to keep food on the table and should give them not just our thanks, but real protections and a wage that can help to keep their families out of poverty.

Agricultural workers have not had access to protective equipment, have suffered from nonenforcement of social distancing protocols and other health guidelines.

We cannot be silent as people work so hard often in unsafe or unsanitary housing conditions to do work that is beyond essential are denied the most basic of protections. Senate Bill 87 is a very important first step.

This legislation would provide protections to agricultural workers to improve wages, ensure breaks and offer the possibility of overtime pay. People have been risking their lives to keep the nation fed. The least we can do is to provide them with basic protections. Join me in reaching to your legislators to urge support for this important legislation.

Karla Gonzales Garcia

Denver

A new dawn of racial justice

Re: John Kene (A foregone conclusion) blames Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict on the judge, the jury, the BLM movement, antifa and even Maxine Waters.

Is it so inconceivable to him that a white police officer could be convicted of murdering a black man due to the officer’s actions? Apparently so.

Despite numerous expert witness testimonies that placed blame on Chauvin and a wrenching video of 9½ minutes of George Floyd pleading for his life, Kene still refuses to acknowledge where the blame really lies.

I applaud this verdict and the American values that brought us to this conclusion. Let us hope that this is just the beginning of a new dawn of racial justice in this country.

Kathleen Eichinger

Colorado Springs

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