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Visitors explore the collection of Olympic torches from the Crawford Family U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Archives, at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

Disappointed in new museum

I visited The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum on Veterans Day and was not impressed. I would shut the whole thing down and start over! About 3/4 mile of walking, spiraling down three stories of sparse displays, even less inspiring than that at the Olympic Training Center.

I think it could be improved by more smaller exhibits covering more sports. I would like to see more comparison between historical equipment and the newest stuff that helps our athletes perform. It would help if the electronic displays could cue up athletes performing in their sports over history, there are over 2,000 so not enough room for hard copy.

The animatronics in the gift shop are well done but would actually work better with more and some in the sport exhibitions. The staff was very helpful and responsive and appeared knowledgeable. If the museum is going to charge visitors $25 apiece, they should be prepared to give $25 worth of value because the visitor will also have to pay to park.

Michael S. Welsh

Colorado Springs

Small businesses are the backbone

Small businesses have long been the backbone of our society and our country. Driving 44% of economic activity in 2019, they are responsible for two-thirds of job growth.

It was these small businesses that had got us to where we are and continued growth by reducing tax burdens and red tape is hopefully the long lasting trademark of the Trump administration.

But government overreach with the new COVID restrictions is once again threatening businesses like mine, many of whom will not survive another shutdown.

Several businesses have made it known they will not shut their doors again or reduce capacity. If faced with the choice of following the governments arbitrary rules or losing their livelihood, businesses are stepping up to say we will not comply and hopefully more will choose to do the same.

Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and are the ones disproportionately affected by these mandates. You don’t see the big box stores shutting down or hurting. The schools continue to see their revenue come in from the state and government and will continue to fund unnecessary projects and departments.

So this begs the question: Small businesses have gotten us where we are today. Will small businesses be the backbone required to stop government overreach and be the voice of reason in returning to normal. If we, the people, give the government an inch, they will take a mile all in the name of public health and safety.

Jason Lupo

Monument

Put a face on the problem

I am writing in response to the letter written by Juliette Kidd (“Solutions for the homeless”).

First off, I applaud your initiative for writing, you look to be a caring and thoughtful young woman.

With regards to the homeless, I recommend you contact local organizations such as the Marian House, Salvation Army and Springs Rescue Mission. While not perfect, these are some of the largest organizations in Colorado Springs focused on solving the homeless crisis. You also might be interested in The Place – whose primary mission is to eliminate youth homelessness.

We must first put a face on the problem. People become homeless for a variety of reasons, which has only been compounded by the pandemic. These organizations are also trying to add wrap-around services to try and address the other aspects of homelessness you mentioned which could be lack of job skills, mental illness, or addiction. Sadly, many in the homeless community don’t have families or perhaps they’ve not respected the boundaries set by those families.

Like you, I also don’t think we should give up on these people. However, I disagree that it is “almost guaranteed” that they will trash a housing complex. True, some will not respect the property but I believe most will. In fact, the Springs Rescue Mission recently opened a 65-unit apartment complex including a sober living program.

To achieve self-actualization, people must first have their basic survival needs met like food, shelter, and safety. Only from there can additional needs be built like relationships, self-esteem and purpose. Again, I commend you for taking the initiative to write, and I challenge you to learn more from these local organizations to create an even more informed opinion. I also recommend watching the documentary “Skid Row Marathon” — it is about a Los Angeles judge who starts a running program in one of the country’s biggest homeless encampments. As you state, the problem is complex. While we might not be able to eliminate the problem, I am optimistic we can make a dent in it especially if our younger generation like you are asking excellent questions and taking action. Best of luck on your journey.

Caren Johnson

Colorado Springs

A Depression-era solution

I am writing in response to the letter “Solutions for the homeless” by Juliette Kidd published in the Gazette on Nov. 12.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s. I was a young child living on the West Coast of Washington State. The U.S. government had two programs that employed the homeless (hobos?,) those on welfare, and physically fit men and women. My father was employed by the Work Administration, and my older siblings were employed the Civilian Conservation Corpse. The WPA built and maintained government properties such as schools, bridges, roads other properties in need of repair. The CCC worked in our forests, food production centers, and other community agencies that needed help. Drug users and alcoholics were almost unheard of then.

My younger sister and I were too young to enter those programs so we stayed home with my mother and helped her in her vegetable garden that was produced and given to the three military installations in our area and to the WPA, CCC and families of those agencies. Hobos often stopped by and helped in the garden and were given a meal for their work.

Similar programs today would require partisan cooperation, but let’s give it a try!

Gordon E. Hyde

Penrose

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