060821-news-palmer-park-green (copy)

Put parks funding into perspective

In her disappointment with the result of the vote on 2C, Ms. Nancy Henjum asked, “How have we not really connected with the voters on engaging in decisions that matter, that are really critical to the quality of life in this city?”

The answer is that someone is “not really connected”, but it most certainly isn’t the voters, who engaged in a decision that matters by saying no to doubling a tax to buy something that is not in short supply. Clearly she doesn’t believe this, but just as clearly the voters told us otherwise. I imagine some of her opponents in the last election think her voters were not really connected, but those results also showed otherwise. This is the same thing.

It’s time for City Council to get to it. I’m not opposed to park funding but I am opposed to having a dedicated tax beyond the discretion of the Council’s budgeting process. Taking to heart the proponent view that “it’s only pennies” it’s hard to imagine in our booming economy that the Council can’t find some pennies to prioritize parks in the city budget to the level which they deem appropriate. This must include a bare minimum of parkland acquisition until we can pay (i.e., budget) to maintain what we already have. I would fully support a tax increase of 0.1% to replace the TOPS tax that would keep $10 million per year flowing that may be used for parks but doesn’t exclude causes of comparable or greater worth. That’s exactly what the Council is elected to decide.

I’m under no illusion we’ve heard the last from the TOSC. After all they’ll still get to spend another $40 million or so before they (hopefully) expire, with plenty of time to ask again. It’s important for the council to heed the voters choice and sieze the opportunity to put parks funding in the proper perspective, starting now, by acting like that day will actually come.

Bill Gross

Colorado Springs

Military vaccination list is long

Congressman Doug Lamborn, joined by 47 colleagues, sent out an email on November 2, 2021 expressing his “grave concern that a heavy-handed federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate will be detrimental to our military readiness and both the short and long term.” As the ranking member of the Armed Services Subcommittee, his lack of knowledge is appalling. For the record, according to the website U.S. Army Basic (usarmybasic.com), recruits all get the following vaccinations: adenovirus types 4 and 7, influenza, measles, meningococcal, mumps, polio, rubella and tetanus-diphtheria. Routine booster shots include influenza and tetanus-diphtheria, and for the Navy and Marine Corp yellow fever. If one deploys to a high-risk area the following additional shots are required: hepatitis A, Japanese B encephalitis, meningococcal and typhoid. If deemed necessary, a cholera vaccination may also be administered. For high-risk occupations add hepatitis B, measles, mumps, plague, rabies and varicella. Finally, when a biological threat exists, add smallpox and anthrax to the list.

This misguided campaign further politicizes the COVID-19 vaccine and needlessly polarizes the military. His efforts appear to undermine good order and discipline. This is the worst kind of political grandstanding and demonstrates his profound ignorance of military service.

Mary J. Talbott

Colorado Springs

People who rely on their convictions

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said of those who don’t fear COVID-19 he has “no qualm if they have a death wish...”

When those in charge can’t stand the choices people make they use “psychopolitics” to apply pressure. Polis is targeting people who rely on their own convictions and power, instead of his.

Pyschopoliticians prey upon The People by putting their fangs in the soft spots and pushing them to move this way or that. Psychopaths are unable to walk in anyone else’s shoes but their own. Self-willed people frustrate them. Then out comes the threats. When The People disobey, psychopoliticians berate from the podium and look for new ways to tighten the reins. It’s unmistakable behavior and is a real cause of mass mental illness because it is itself a disturbing mental illness.

Remain strong and they remove their fangs, for they can’t draw any blood. Laugh when they apply pressure and take control of your world. Show indifference and they are powerless against you. They can only direct your life if you allow it. Remember, the most famous vampire could only enter a victim’s chamber IF he was invited in.

A true leader guides The People. He is collected and relaxed, like a lion watching over his pride. A vampire offers The People a “death wish”. Vampires work in disguise, but once exposed you can’t help but notice their fangs, and they lose re-election.

David Pico

Colorado Springs

Conflating liberty and freedom

Regarding The Gazette article “Vaccine Mandate Looms” published on Nov. 5 and Rep. Doug Lamborn’s Guest Column “Mandate is the latest overstep by the federal government” published on Nov.3: the news report was a thorough piece of journalism that laid out the facts surrounding the vaccine mandate and a spectrum of the differing opinions on the mandate; Rep. Lamborn’s op-ed piece criticizing the vaccine mandate was an exercise in political fealty to a common conservative mantra that conflates the meanings of the terms “freedom” and “license”.

Freedom refers to the ability to take responsibility for one’s own life provided it is compatible with the common good. License, by contrast, is choice without restraint. I think that those working in the overwhelmed healthcare system in Colorado would agree that no one has license to infect others with a potentially debilitating or deadly virus resulting in shortages of critical care resources and personnel burnout.

At a time when the terms liberty and freedom are used excessively and carelessly, it would be good to heed the warning offered by historian Will Durant, “when liberty becomes license, dictatorship is near.”

Ray Zielinski

Colorado Springs

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