Ducking the real issues
Citizens of Colorado Springs aren’t the simpletons this election cycle’s candidates seem to think we are. Instead of discussing real, deep issues that are contentious and need real leadership, we get group consensus on issues where there is little divisiveness. More police and fire, more military support, better infrastructure, reform utilities rules. These are the same bland responses we’ve had for so many elections and lead to cookie-cutter candidates with little discernible differences.
How about we have some tough conversations that may ruffle some feathers, but lead to the possibility of real change and progress for Colorado Springs?
Let’s have real conversations about transportation and how building more roads without thought leads to induced demand, creating more drivers, traffic, disconnected communities and higher costs of living.
Let’s talk about city-created mandates to dictate what you can and can’t do with our properties, restricting the types of homes that can be built, requiring arbitrary car parking mandates, and planning rules that shut out all but the wealthiest of developers.
Let’s talk about how the Parks Department and Mountain Metro Transit can’t properly do their jobs due to perpetual underfunding year after year. Let’s talk about record-breaking traffic deaths and CSPD’s misguided pleas that personal responsibility is what’s lacking instead of tackling the fact that most of our city is built to prioritize reckless speeding over neighborhoods and pedestrian safety. Let’s talk about creating spaces for communities and people instead of the same cut-and-paste six lane roads and strip malls to rob us of our unique identities.
If the candidates can’t have real, engaging conversations with us now, why should we select them to represent and lead us in the coming years? We need fresh ideas and real leadership, not another cookie cutter placeholder to spout the same sound bites we’ve heard before. If a candidate won’t speak to your issues, they don’t deserve your vote.
ASC Thrift Shop will close
The Academy Spouses’ Club (ASC) Thrift Shop at the Air Force Academy is slated to close forever on March 31. The ASC Thrift Shop is a successful nonprofit resale and consignment shop that has been serving the AFA community for over 50 years. On Feb. 22, the 10th Air Base Wing commander, in coordination with select members of the Academy Spouses’ Club Executive Board, decided to close the shop with no prior warning, no reasons as to why, and with no input from the AFA community.
The 10th ABW’s sudden decision to shutter the ASC Thrift Shop is robbing the AFA community of a long-standing asset, a place to volunteer, a place to consign items, a place to shop for reasonable priced items in a difficult economic time of high inflation, and a place to donate unwanted household goods. Community members who donated to the shop were thankful to contribute locally and support the ASC’s primary mission of awarding annual college scholarships. In addition to AFA support, the shop also aided Colorado Springs by donating unsold items to Partners in Housing.
The ASC Thrift Shop raised approximately $20,000 per year to fund the club’s annual dependent scholarship awards and to provide welfare grants to organizations, including the AFA Fire Department, Douglas Valley Elementary School, Operation Homefront and many others.
The closure of the ASC Thrift Shop was decided by a few people who did not consider the multiple impacts on their fellow community members.
Doing nothing is no solution
In response to George Brauchler’s column on gun laws proposed by Democrats:
I am so tired of reading this kind of BS from Republicans. Their idea of a solution to gun violence is to do nothing. Nothing is not a solution. It’s a complete fallacy that Democrats want to rid every one of their guns. I know many who hunt and have personal protection weapons. I am a gun owner, but I am thoroughly trained, target practice and know how to store that gun safely, so it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
When it’s 100 times more difficult to get a driver’s license than an AR-15, we have a problem. When there is no training, licensing or insurance required to buy an AR-15, we have a problem with guns. When you can purchase not just one AR-15 but two, yet not be old enough to buy a beer to make targets out of a bunch of fourth graders in Uvalde, Texas, we have a problem with guns.
Doing nothing is not a solution.
No details on this issueThursday’s paper had yet another article about the closure of restrooms in our public libraries due to the disgusting presence of meth in the restrooms. None of these articles faces the facts nor do they attribute a source of the meth or how the library district is going to prevent this from happening. I think we all surmise the source is the homeless population. Why do these articles not discuss this issue in detail?
No student loan forgiveness
I think it’s a mistake to forgive student loans. It’s not fair to the millions of persons who have struggled to pay their college debt, for which they have signed contracts. Why should today’s students be let off the hook from a legal obligation?
To say to today’s students, forget the contract, it means nothing, is to tell them that it’s OK to do whatever they want and be responsible for nothing. Young persons need to learn to fulfill their obligations and not to depend on society to rescue them when they can’t uphold their part of the deal. Certainly, paying off student loans is hard. Kids needs to plan for the future and budget accordingly. Others have done it.
I question the law that says student loans can’t be forgiven in bankruptcy.
Savings, work, GI Bill, are some ways of affording college (admittedly costs are way out of control) other than loans. Plan carefully how to finance a college education before you matriculate.
David J. Baker