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A plan to renovate the Colorado Springs City Auditorium would add windows to the outside façade. The work would also nearly triple the square footage of the building from about 31,000 to about 90,000.

Restore historic venue to greatness

No, No, No, No, No! The City Auditorium does not need to be turned into another performing arts venue that will not get used and need to be subsidized by foundations to keep the doors open! We have the Pikes Peak Center, the Fine Arts Center and the Ent Center for the Performing Arts. That is enough. How many times a month do they get used? Are they making money? No.

The City Auditorium is a multipurpose arena style auditorium designed to accommodate many kinds of events, not just performing arts. It does athletic events: basketball, volleyball, wrestling, boxing, roller derby and others. It does exhibitions, receptions, graduations, parties. It has a full stage that can present many performances. It is multipurpose. It needs to stay multipurpose.

It needs new seats, the HVAC system needs to be restored, it needs an interior face-lift (a three or four color paint job), and some electrical improvements. The $2.5 million that the city has designated for the building will do most if not all of that.

Most of all, it needs to be marketed and promoted for what it is. There are many users who will present events in this building if it is revitalized and rental rates remain reasonable. This is a historic venue that needs to be restored and respected. Spend the money to make the building great, again!

Don’t change it, restore it to its greatness!

Dave Weesner

Colorado Springs

Safety of the west-side citizens

On May 25, the City Council forgot about the most devastating wildland urban interface wildfire in the history of Colorado. But the people on the west side have not, as this month it will be nine years since that terrible ordeal that we all experienced.

The fire was so extreme that President Barack Obama visited Mountain Shadows on June 29, 2012, to survey the damage from the Waldo Canyon fire where the Flying W Ranch was destroyed, two people died, 346 homes were burned to the ground, countless homes were damaged from smoke and heat, and 32,000 plus residents were evacuated while they feared they would burn to death in their cars due to extreme traffic backups.

If the council approves the 2424 Garden of the Gods Road zoning change on Tuesday, after the second reading, and people die in the next fire, who will be held accountable to their surviving family members? The mayor has the ultimate authority and responsibility to remind City Council that their number one priority is to protect the citizens of this city.

Adding 420 high-density, residential units with the addition of 1,100-plus residents at this critical chokepoint for fire evacuation will have a detrimental impact on schoolchildren, families, and workers in this area during the next evacuation.

The CSFD Wildfire Risk Assessment continues to identify this area as “extreme risk.” The 2010 Colorado Springs Wildfire Evacuation Plan indicates all evacuation routes in this area are “Red” (red is 1.0 or full capacity).

In 2010, all roads in this area were reported to be 2.5 times full capacity during an evacuation. Since 2010, the population in the northwest part of town has steadily grown, which will exacerbate what was already a bad situation. How will the residents escape in the next wildland urban interface wildfire?

Please place the safety of the citizens of the west-side neighborhoods above the developer’s interest, and set an example and advise the council, before the second reading Tuesday, that their number one responsibility is to protect the citizens of this city.

Mountain Shadows Community Assn., and Bill Wysong

Colorado Springs

Cyclists back on rural roads

They’re back! Greetings from Black Forest — no I don’t mean the miller moths or the afternoon hailstorms or the ever increasing illegal Airbnbs on every street — I mean the bicyclists that because it is a little cooler out here, refuse to ride where bike paths are made for them — including the traffic jamming, overpriced paths in downtown Colorado Springs — we have two lane roads, stop interfering with our traffic — you are dangerous to yourselves and others.

Many of you follow traffic laws — many don’t — but heaven forbid one of you in your pretty outfits gets injured. I am certain the car driver will get the blame — go ride on Wahsatch or Cascade.

Bob Gillis

Black Forest

Forgoing the vaccine

Recent editorials have questioned why some choose to forgo the vaccine. We have been called “selfish,” “inconsiderate” and “apathetic.” To those who shame, are you aware that the COVID vaccine is an unapproved, unlicensed, experimental product for which we have no long-term testing to validate its safety? The COVID vaccines in the United States are not approved by the FDA, but are authorized under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

The FDA requires approximately 2 years of study before a vaccine will be approved. (Moderna requires 759 days of data, Pfizer, 742 days, and Janssen’s trial period is 24 months.) When these companies submitted applications for an EUA, they only had data from participants for an average of 6 to 8 weeks, less than 10% of the study period.

In fact, the CDC just announced that it will convene an emergency meeting on June 18 to discuss higher-than-expected reports of heart inflammation after doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

I (Kimberly) tested positive for COVID. My symptoms were a medium cold for 3 weeks. I have fully recovered, as will 99% of individuals under the age of 70 who do not have preexisting medical conditions. I am now part of herd immunity, a segment of the population that is not being measured by the vaccination goal of 70%.

We are glad that the vaccination is available for those who wish to receive it. However, shaming those who do not is inappropriate. What happened to “My body, my choice?”

Kimberly Lee and Becky Warmack

Colorado Springs

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