PANHANDLING (copy)

Community is supporting vagrancy

A couple of letters to the editor and a recent article in the Gazette pointed out issues this City has surrounding “the homeless”.

None of these mentioned that there is a serious difference within the population we label as “homeless”. The majority are people who have suffered job loss, eviction, domestic violence, abuse at the hands of some corporation or simply bad choices and decisions. Virtually all of this group are not hanging out in our Downtown, panhandling, camping in the parks, or even being highly visible. Just about all are working with our many charities, trying to find some sort of housing. Then we have our vagrants, highly visible, and taking up the time and energy of law enforcement. The handouts provided by our burgeoning “homeless industry”, while they help the truly homeless, are enabling our vagrant populations to “stay homeless”. Some are mentally ill, every effort must be made to get them into treatment. The fact that our City is considered a “good place to be homeless” makes it more difficult to persuade the mentally ill to seek treatment. This undesirable status was reported to our CSPD HOT team at a Police Conference a few years ago. It is OK to “ask questions” as the handouts are dispensed.

The fact of these two very different populations is not taken into account by the major players in our local homeless industry, in their programming. They are not all “our precious neighbors”. Most are but a sizeable minority are not. Our community’s response to these two group ought to be different. By handing out various freebies with zero conversation, our community is supporting vagrancy as an unintended consequence of our generosity. Some communities and a number of homeless-serving agencies, Salvation Army and Rescue Mission shelters have taken this awareness into their program development, attempting to minimize this enabling of vagrancy. My involvement with this effort spans a couple of decades and I continue to research how other communities try to deal with the problems of homelessness and vagrancy. — two very different issues, requiring two very different responses. It would be very nice if this community could have some discussion on this issue. Perhaps once the pandemic has subsided, this could happen.

Matthew Parkhouse

Colorado Springs

A great addition to our city

The new Olympic/Paralympic Museum is truly spectacular. I became a member the week it opened. I have taken family and visitors twice, so far, to rave reviews. There’s too much to see and do in one visit. The use of technology is extraordinary throughout.

What fun to see your name appear on many of the exhibits and inter-active opportunities! The staff is knowledgeable, helpful, and available on all three levels.

What a great addition to our beautiful city, especially during this stay-at-home pandemic. Make a reservation today and enjoy the safe, healthy environment provided by the museum.

Helene Knapp

Colorado Springs

Questioning the governor’s ratio

In the Saturday, Nov. 14 front page article of The Gazette, Gov. Jared Polis warns us about playing Russian Roulette with our lives and the lives of others by ignoring the virus threat. Polis goes on to say that one in 20 individuals who contract the virus will die. Now, that probably puts the fear of God into you, as he no doubt intended. As I track the Colorado COVID https://covid19.colorado.gov website daily, here is what I see:

2,504 total deaths in 2020 divided by 5,600,000 Coloradans equals a death rate of .00044714.

Maybe I’m a dummy, but where does the 1-20 ratio come from? If the statistics were so dire, wouldn’t the state be trying everything available to combat this virus? From my understanding, every governor has the power to grant doctors in their state approval to prescribe Hydroxchloroquine to their COVID-19 patients. Nine states have now approved HCQ to be available to physicians. It is a safe generic drug that has been FDA approved for 65 years to treat malaria. If you go to the World Health Organization coronavirus dashboard and look at Africa, you will see the deaths are incredibly low. Why? Because the citizens are given HCQ for malaria treatment and it acts as a prophylactic for COVID-19.

Please, Gov. Polis, approve this lifesaving medication to be used for COVID-19.

Sharon Kortrey

Colorado Springs

What environmentalists really want

Jon Caldera, in “Environmentalists don’t really believe themselves,” builds a thorough case that environmentalists show no real seriousness about climate change, what with their opposition to the obvious imperative to replace phased-out fossil fuels with nuclear and hydro power — unless we want to give up today’s standard of living.

Too bad he fails to take a few more lines to draw the obvious conclusions — that (1) the real value of “climate change” has nothing to do with climate, and everything to do with the enormous leverage the “climate change” trope brings to expansion of government power, and (2) environmentalists really do want us to substantially degrade our standard of living.

Eric Nickerson

Colorado Springs

‘Enviros’ really do know what works

Responding to Jon Caldara’s column in Sunday’s paper (Environmentalists don’t really believe themselves), I’d like to make a couple of points in rebuttal. Caldara seems to think that the only way to respond to an existential threat is through military action — attack the Chinese if they won’t stop building coal-fired power plants! Boy, that’ll show ’em how serious we are! This shows a really limited view of how one does respond to truly existential threats.

Here’s a more credible approach to the real existential threat of climate change: reduce emissions sharply. Now. Move to lesser-polluting energy production (and, yes, I include nuclear power on that list). Now. These are actions we already know will work. There are already solid numbers to show how well and how fast they will work.

And no one has to go to war.

So what to do with nations that don’t want to cooperate? China? India? The US? Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. Just like we did for clear arms reduction. And stay with the resulting agreements. We already know this works — see SALT, SALT II, and START.

We “enviros” really do know what works. What we need is the Mr. Caldaras to stand with us to actually make it work. Now.

Timothy K. Roberts

Falcon

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