Conejos neighborhood (copy)

A photo of children playing on the “dragon” slide in the South Conejos Street Neighborhood, which shuttered in the early 2000s.

A victim of eminent domain

Re: “New Exhibit ... Hispanic neighborhood” by Amanda Hancock, Feb 20.

If I were a layperson reading Ms. Hancock’s well-written article, I would get the impression that the Conejos district was a close-knit neighborhood for many years and then everyone moved away. My family was part of a big migration of Mexican-American families who left northern New Mexico in the 1940s and lived in the Conejos neighborhood through the mid-1960s, so I am not a layperson as I have vivid recollections of that area in those years.

Sentence after sentence in the article, I kept waiting to see the “d” word (displacement) and it never appeared. Therefore, it is important to clarify that the Conejos area was targeted by the urban renewal program (referred by many of us back then as “urban removal”) in the mid-1960s, and the residents (including my Fernandez family) were offered low sums of money for their respective properties to move away pursuant to the governmental eminent domain process.

Although the article used the word “tiny” to describe Conejos, the neighborhood spread from the Colorado Avenue bridge down Conejos Street for nine blocks (not the four-block length in the article) and encompassed the streets past Costilla Street to include the streets of Cimarron, Moreno, Rio Grande downward to Mill Street. Bound on the west by the creek (called “el rio” by us) and the railroad tracks on the east, Conejos was definitely a big (not tiny) neighborhood district in those years.

D. Butch Martinez


Headquarters is a political pawn

Sorry to say this Colorado Springs, but we can kiss the Space Command headquarters goodbye. If it was going to happen, it would have during the recent visit of President Dondald Trump. We know now that the award for the headquarters is a political pawn. Even with all of the logic as to the wisdom of having the headquarters in Colorado as undoubtedly presented by Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet, Doug Lamborn, Jared Polis, John Suthers and many others inside and outside the military, it won’t happen here.

As we know, our president is not a particularly logical person. He is a political animal in the extreme who rewards his friends, deservedly or undeservedly, and punishes his enemies, deservedly or undeservedly. The award of the command center for the Space Force will, in all likelihood, be made in November after the elections. Colorado will probably go blue. There is a good chance that Texas, Arkansas, or Florida will go red. If Trump is reelected, where would that put Colorado in the rewards hierarchy? We know the answer to that one.

Even if not reelected a lame duck president can still reward his friends. A glimmer of hope in this case would be that a succeeding president could change the order. Sorry Colorado. That is what we are stuck with.

Robert Foley

Colorado Springs

Still not listening to the people

After reading the Saturday Gazette article on the downtown and Old Colorado City parking meters change, it is apparent that the City Council actually reads the Gazette’s letter’s to the editor about the travesty of their parking meter plans but they are also fully intent on not listening to the will of the people they were elected to represent. They are, however, encouraging free overnight parking for the people who do not pay taxes or support the downtown businesses in our city.

I hope the taxpaying voters are paying attention and planning to vote in November against those who are up for election. I’m still upset about all the unused bike lanes downtown that they installed with our tax money.

Robert Koelbl

Colorado Springs

Visitors’ fi

rst impression

America the Beautiful. Really?

As I drive on I-25 I am sad and upset to see all the garbage along the highway. We have a new museum opening soon and this awful mess will be the visitor’s first impression of our city. I have seen it being cleaned up, but it does not take long for it to be covered in garbage again.

It is a big stain on this city and needs to be aggressively addressed. I know there are groups that “adopt a mile” to clean a few times a year. Kudos to them. The city seems to have an abundance of funds available for all the improvements. Hopefully our City Council can come up with a creative way to permanently keep this city clean and make a good impression.

Barbara Buckley

Colorado Springs

Not a good showing for Colorado

If Colorado Springs is not chosen for Space Command, we might owe a big thank you to our governor. Why would an official of our state approach President Donald Trump dressed like he didn’t own any “dress” or appropriate clothing? But then, he always looks like “I don’t care.” Not a good showing for Colorado.

Whenever he is seen in public; an expression from the Grumpy Old Men movies comes to mind — “putz.”

And another question: Why is the Air Force Academy taking such a hit regarding the hockey game? Wasn’t that an NHL event? Weren’t they responsible for anything?

Joan Neugebauer

Colorado Springs

Use the money for something else

Democrats seem to be wasting our time in choosing a candidate to run against the president. Instead of cutting each other down, they should just do a cut of the cards, and the winner gets their name on the ballot.

It’s hard to believe there are very many voters in America who haven’t already made up their mind which party’s candidate they will be voting for come November. You are either voting for President Donald Trump, or you’re voting against him.

I can’t imagine there is anyone sitting on the fence thinking, “I don’t really want to vote for the president, but I just can’t find myself voting for Elizabeth, or Bernie, or Amy, or Pete, or…”

Why not put all the money that’s been raised and, instead of throwing it away needlessly, use it to help shelter the homeless, repair our infrastructure, or anything that’s more productive. Perhaps President Trump would be willing to do the same?

Mike Murphy

Colorado Spring.s

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