Only some speech protected

The day before school started, I asked a school board member about mask mandates. “It won’t happen; our community won’t support it.” That evening, D-12 instituted a universal mask mandate. I asked board members personally and as a group for the data they used to make this decision. My question remains unanswered.

Later, D-12’s medical advisory board stated mandates were not due to mask efficacy but to health department quarantine rules. I asked school board members what our legal obligation was to follow unelected officials’ “guidance.” They assured me they would look into this. Again, I have received no answer. Why?

Recently, parents were arrested and students suspended for mandate protests. I asked why they received such punishment when protesters for other issues were not punished. Policy, they said.

Why is only some speech protected? Why were teachers encouraged to lead classrooms in meditation and requested students’ preferred pronouns but are forbidden from praying with them? Why are owners of NYC-based media companies influencing local school policy? Why can’t we get clear, honest answers to simple questions?

While board members have served faithfully, they are not fully transparent or responsive.

Parents give them their most valuable resource, and in return, they expect leaders to steward children with vigor, diligence, and respect for the religious, speech, health, and assembly rights of all families and students. I am voting for a change in leadership. I support Dr. Rae Ann Weber and Mrs. Mary Louise Fiddler for the D-12 school board.

Becky Warmack

Colorado Springs

All the attendant COVID drama

I am about 90% recovered from COVID. My wife is still very sick with COVID, still bedridden with the advertised symptoms.

Both of us were vaccinated and mindful of prescribed social distancing and mask protocols. But we still got the virus.

Having volunteered to participate in an international study on a new protein-based treatment, I learned from the researchers that vaccine breakthrough rates of the Delta variant hover around 50%.

Six months ago I could not name someone I knew who had Covid. Today I can rattle off a half dozen neighbors who have it presently.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to conclude that everyone gets COVID at some point. And maybe we are at the point we should let that happen, rather than continue the political theater around masking up (or not), vaccines (or not), contact tracing (never happened), boosters (or not), kids attending school (or not), and all the attendant drama.

When hundreds of local health professionals forfeit their jobs rather than obey an order to get vaccinated, it makes you wonder. We spent how much time and money trying to “bend the curve” so as to preserve hospital capacity, only to have nurses and others walk out?

I am unclear what positive effect our government has actually had on preventing the spread or mitigating the effects of Covid. While applauding the tireless and insightful efforts of thousands of clinicians, we may all be better served if government just got out of the way.

Matt Coleman

Colorado Springs

Such a large tax increase

I am a staunch supporter of our schools. I have never voted against a school bond issue. Manitou Springs schools are excellent and have a positive influence on our property. Having said that, I cannot support the current ballot issue requesting approval from the District 14 voters for a $43 million, 25-year payback bond issue (remember, this bond money goes for facilities upgrades, not teachers’ salaries or benefits). This is for two main reasons:

The district plans to spend the $43 million plus a $9 million state grant in the next 3 years. What happens if the master plan missed something that happens 10 years from now — how will we pay for that?

The board considered several levels of spending, starting with a basic plan that covered all deferred maintenance, upgrades to meet current ADD, safety and code standards, plus many of the modernization needs. A bond issue of $26.6 million would have covered these needs and qualified us for the state grant. This was the wise choice because it was more practical and needs focused.

Are the taxpayers going to be able to afford such a large tax increase to pay for this bond? A residential property valued at $400,000 will see a tax increase due to the bond of over $700 per year. The average commercial property in Manitou will go up 55% next year.

In this period of economic uncertainty, it is not a good idea to be placing another cost burden of this magnitude on the community.

Therefore, I would recommend voting no on 4C bond issue. Ask the school board to rethink the needs and offer a lower bond request next year.

Bill Tieman

Colorado Springs

Services Silver Key provides

My husband and I have been retired now for several years. Since we had lots of free time on our hands, we decided to look into volunteering for a non profit.

We have been helping out at Silver Key for six months in their food pantry. We are amazed at how many services Silver Key provides our community. It really does take a village to help make a difference in our neighborhoods.

We are so thankful to be a part of Silver Key’s volunteer impact program. They are always looking for additional volunteers. It will definately put a smile on your face!

For more information call 719-884-2300 or email

Jim and Joni Holligan

Colorado Springs


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