The Martin Drake Power Plant

The Martin Drake Power Plant just southwest of downtown Colorado Springs.

Next steps in our energy future

I applaud the Colorado Springs Utilities Board’s vote to adopt Portfolio 17; this is a victory for our city, country, and planet. This decision is a result of dedicated staff and community members working tirelessly over the last year to develop options for our energy future. Colorado Springs Utilities will close the Martin Drake Coal Plant in 2023 and Ray Nixon by 2030 and replace fossil fuels with a diverse mix of renewables and demand-side management.

This is a huge leap forward for our national security, and the end result will be reliable, affordable energy for ratepayers and clean air for future generations!

Next step: require all new construction to include infrastructure to supply at least 75% of its energy needs through on-site solar panels and battery storage. This reduces the demand on the grid and encourages conservation by consumers. We have the technology, the community clearly values clean energy, and state law requires a 90% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. Your turn, El Paso County Commissioners.

Jillian Freeland

Colorado Springs

What the real world is like

Since the Advisory Committee was formed by the City Council, I have one requirement of all future committee members since I do not believe that the committee will be made up of open-minded people. They will all come with some bias, agenda, or preconceived notion about our police force.

Therefore the one requirement I would make is that the members ride with a police officer or officers for one night, preferably a Friday or Saturday night so that they might “walk in the police person’s shoes for a mile” to understand what they face on a regular basis.

This, hopefully, will give them a new or fresh perspective of the “Serve and Protect” nature of their job.

Wake up America and get educated about what the real world is like out there and not from ignorance and biased ideology. Many of those wanting change don’t have a clue as to what the problems are for our police force. Mostly good, kind, hard working underpaid people. Gov. Jared Polis and the Democratic-controlled House and Senate don’t know or they would have gotten insight from police and sheriff personnel and/or their superiors before crafting a bill to control the policing of our communities. Maybe we should take away their implied immunity and see how many would run for House, Senate and governor. I know that they love their unfettered and unanswerable immunity to do whatever they please or what pleases their left-wing agenda.

Cliff Johnson

Colorado Springs

Students need an accessible outlet

The role of a school counselor is important, perhaps now more than ever.

With everything going on in the world today, young people need someone they can trust as they navigate times of personal and social transition.

The school counselor can be that person. We provide students with support during a time in their lives when it’s greatly needed. As a counselor at the career-focused Colorado Destinations Career Academy — an online public school — I’ve formed strong relationships with my students. Despite what many people think, our online sessions allow me to connect with and support my students, even more than I was able to in my previous brick-and-mortar school setting. I work with my students to set education goals, make college decisions, and discuss their social and emotional concerns.

Just because a student is enrolled at an online school doesn’t mean they won’t get the support and advice they need from their teachers and counselors. We have virtual, one-on-one sessions as well as larger group sessions where they can form relationships with their peers. In the past, I’ve taken my students to colleges across Colorado for in-person tours.

It’s important for students to have an accessible outlet — especially at school — for support and information. I hope all schools are providing guidance for students during this time. It is something that can and should be done no matter the school environment, whether we are in-person in the fall or continue learning online. The future of our students demands it.

Renee Breur

Castle Rock

Let’s all try something new

I have to put my five cents worth into that never-ending controversy about kneeling to protest peacefully. Don’t worry about the flag, think what kneeling is trying to accomplish. The flag is the symbol of our nation. In my almost 62 year in the USA I have seen the flag burned to ashes, mistreated, worn as clothing (shirts, scarves). She is a tough old lady and will survive.

Personally I would rather see them kneel to get rights and privileges long overdue rather than destroy and burn down establishments. Most demonstrators (praise them) are out there to accomplish what players are trying to by kneeling. Colin Kaepernick I admire so much for his peaceful attempt to change things for a better future for society. It has cost you your career but not your dignity.

So people, have things worked for you? By any chance if not, let’s try something new. Let’s all of us pitch in peacefully with our old lady, the flag and all the Kaepernicks.

Hermine Wise

Colorado Springs

Start working toward herd immunityGet real about COVID-19 risks! One of my statistics course professors gave us students the warning: “Figures don’t lie — but — liars do figure.” and I’ve never forgotten it. A validation of that warning is the way COVID-19 “risks” are being distorted by politicians and the press. Recently the CDC website showed that of the 108,000 U.S. COVID-19 “related” (not “caused”) deaths, a total of 160 were younger than 25. (To put that in perspective, there were more murders in that age group in Chicago last week) But, what do we hear from our politicians and main stream press? “New COVID-19 virus cases are “spiking” — and many of the new cases are among “younger people.” The question you should pose is: “So what?”

In fighting any virus, herd immunity is the goal. The only two ways to achieve that goal are:

1) get vaccinated or 2) get the disease. Even when a vaccine is found, it will “logically” be given first to the people most at risk of dying. Since 93% of all COVID19-related (not “caused”) deaths have been above the age of 55, those below the age of 25 will rightly be the last to get the vaccine. So, why not start working toward herd immunity now? Protect the 93% who are most at-risk (55 years old and older and all ages with pre-existing conditions) with social distancing and masks — but fully open our economy and put the rest of the population back to work — now.

Thomas Toole

Castle Rock

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