Library is safe for all

Our PPLD (Pikes Peak Library District) has made a Herculean effort to keep our libraries safe for all. I know because I shelve books at PPLD.

Everything is different now — changing schedules, distancing, masks, cleaning, more sharing of tasks, more sharing of ideas to ever improve and provide for our community.

John Spears, the head of our PPLD, is perfect for the job. he’s inspiring, open to new ideas, encouraging us.

I grew-up in the 1950s. Life was so simple and so am I! It’s astounding to me what people can do with a computer.

A salute to my fellow workers. Please be safe for all.

Jan Chappell

Colorado Springs

Nothing could be more patriotic

April Arellano’s brave stance in opening C&C Coffee and Kitchen inspired me to write this letter. It isn’t often that an individual is willing to put her life and livelihood on the line in this way for the preservation of such basic American freedoms as outlined by the Constitution, particularly as legal precedent indicates a strong support for extreme public health actions in a state of emergency, such as those Gov. Jared Polis has enacted. Given her strenuous objections to the state’s constitution, I eagerly anticipate Ms. Arellano’s high visibility, financial support for, and activity in future movements to change said constitution in such a way that a governor is unable to take similar actions in the future. I hope that she and her politically motivated customers are already forming such a movement.

Given the rapid removal of the Arellanos’ license, Ms. Arellano and other responsible parties have at least a month in which to accrue fines and go to jail, which will garner more support for their cause. In fact, their customer base is already keeping the couple afloat through a GoFundMe account, which can provide money for legal fees, as well.

I suggest that the Arellanos continue to defy the unconstitutional restraints upon their business by ignoring their closure by the health department, opening and serving customers just as they did on Mother’s Day, and continuing to take a stand. The basic principles involved are the same, and nothing is more important than defending the Constitution.

I am reminded of Nathan Hale’s (alleged) proud words: “I regret only that I have but one life to give for my country.” These owners, employees, and customers are also willing to risk their lives, as well as the lives of those with whom they share any space or contact. Nothing could be more patriotic.

Rhonda Mabrey

Black Forest

When can businesses reopen?

An open letter to Gov. Polis and El Paso County commissioners: While you are fiddling, businesses are burning. I own two small businesses, both gyms. March 17, we were ordered to close for public safety. We have had $0 in revenue since that time.

We have 6 full time and 13 part time employees (25 hours/week). We were able to secure $68,000 and $50,000 in PPP funds, and are very thankful for that.

Monthly bills for both locations: rent $42,000, payroll $46,000, and $9,000 for utilities, insurance, and other expenses. Our expenses since March 17 have been $217,000. We will have burned through all $118,000 in PPP funds and another $99,000 in savings. This doesn’t include half of our March rent when we weren’t open — another $21,000 lost.

We want to be good employers and have kept paying our employees. Employees have rent, car payments, utilities, and other life expenses. Their credit shouldn’t be negatively affected by this event. Full-time employees have continued to receive health insurance. None of our employees have filed for Colorado unemployment, so no cost to the state. Also, we have an employee couple purchasing their first home. An interruption in their payroll would have disqualified them for that purchase.

I’ve been a good American/Coloradan through this health crisis, following all of the rules and paying my employees. We have had no revenue for the past two months and have spent $100,000 of retirement savings, so far.

When can I open my business?

Duane Johnston

Colorado Springs

Changing a neighborhood’s character

During this CDC pandemic time, yesterday during a Zoom meeting, Manitou Springs City Planning Commission voted 5-1 approving, a Vacation Rental/Airbnb for a new owner (real estate broker and owner himself), in a 2,454 square foot single family home, with 4 bedrooms and 2½ baths. This permits 8 guests, 5 car parking in an old established residential community, despite 38 signed opposition petitions on this same street, numerous individual emails, phone calls, and complaints from parents with young children.

Most importantly, this application does not comply with the Manitou Springs Code of Ordinance 18.89.010 which states “The intent and purpose of this Chapter is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public, including the residents and visitors of the community”, which also states that such rentals should not adversely impact surrounding and encroach upon traditional neighborhood character. Does the Manitou Springs Planning Commission not see the 38 residents on the same street opposing this application as an adversely negative impact and destruction of the character of our traditional neighborhood?

If we don’t stand up and stop Manitou Planning Commission’s “Abuse of Power”, the value and quality of the neighborhood surroundings will be substantially injured forever.

Hong Yu Preiss and 37 opposing petitioners

Manitou Springs

Most dangerous and infectious virus The most dangerous and infectious virus is and has always been hatred. All the necessary research to defeat it already has been done and infinite supplies of the vaccine are available and have widely been distributed. But, the infected ones will not take it.

Daniel Schnee

Colorado Springs

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