People try to get out of the evacuation area near Mountain Shadows along Centennial Boulevard as the the Waldo Canyon fire burns June 26, 2012.

Springs needs an evacuation plan

Vince Bzdek’s article in Sunday’s paper (“Firefighting policy relies too much on kindness”) was spot on. I hope that people read the full article, as it is critical that they get to the fifth column. Bzdek states that we need a statewide evacuation standard immediately.

We have been very lucky in the Waldo, Black Forest and the Marshall fires. Unfortunately, it looks like two people have been killed in each fire, where it could have been many more.

My one disappointment in the article is that he made no mention of the citizens group Westside Watch.org, which formally requested an evacuation ordinance by the City Council.

Westside Watch paid for three nationally recognized evacuation experts to testify in council chambers on Nov. 22, and then again on Dec. 13, both in chambers and via the Teams video conference to answer council members questions. The Westside Watch presented a draft ordinance in November’s council meeting that requests that clearance evacuation times among other issues are needed. Council President Tom Strand has noted that this issue will be brought up in the February work sessions.

Bzdek also mentions what happened in Paradise, Calif.’s fire. Eighty-five people died trying to evacuate due to limited evacuation routes. This same scenario faces the west side of Colorado Springs due to limited egress routes. In fact, the Paradise Fire Chief has told members of the Westside Watch that Colorado Springs has a lot in common with their community with regards to evacuation, due to the topology.

It should not be too much of a request of our elected city officials to ensure that evacuating out of the wildland urban interface is a priority, before continuing with the rapid rezoning, growth and infilling of large apartment complexes at major chokepoints within the limited evacuation routes we have.

Bill Wysong

Colorado Springs

What is the actual point?

The bold headline caught my eye “Too young for vaccines: Hospitalizations skyrocket in kids not old enough for COVID shots”.

As a grandma and a preschool teacher, this is terribly concerning, but your article left me scratching my head in disbelief. Hospitalizations have “surged to more than 4 in 100,000 children”? So one child in 25,000 is a surge? And those numbers include children hospitalized for other reasons but that also happened to test positive.

But wait, it gets even more crazy! The children only had to test positive within 14 days of hospitalization for any reason! A direct quote from your article “Most of the COVID+ kids in the hospital are actually not here for COVID-19 disease ... they are here for other reasons but happen to have tested positive.”

So what is the actual point of this article besides fearmongering?

Anna Smith

Colorado Springs

Let Focus do what it does

Remember when Jesus’ disciples, especially Judas, were certain that his mission on earth was to overthrow the tyrannical Roman rule? How’d that turn out?

I’m amazed at the backlash over Focus on the Family as it announces to employees that it will follow certain guidelines laid out by the regulatory OSHA administration. OSHA was established in 1970 under President Richard Nixon. It has recently authorized that companies of 100 or more employees comply with recording the vaccination status of their employees. They further require declared unvaccinated, or undeclared employees, to wear masks during work, and test for COVID weekly. So, who is requiring this? Focus or OSHA? OSHA is requiring this.

Failure for a company to comply will result in fines that begin Monday. I am amazed at the backlash because people are using the Bible, and their understanding of Jesus to say that Focus is some kind of beast.

Again, Focus didn’t mandate, only did what every employer is faced with doing. How are other larger companies responding? Is Focus the only one that is complying? Actually, by complying, Focus will now have standing when this regulation is litigated against in court (where the battle should be).

Let the courts do what they do, and let Focus do what it does: strengthen marriages and families, fight for the lives and hopes of children in the womb, listen to their constituents when they need a compassionate ear, provide resources for millions across the world, and so on.

John Ausmus


Noncitizens allowed to vote

I just don’t understand the reasoning of noncitizens being allowed to vote. There is no country that gives this privilege to noncitizens. Is this country going nuts?

Noncitizens shouldn’t get driver’s license or voting rights!

Let’s just let the world run our country if anyone can make decisions for our country.

Paul Garcia

Colorado Springs


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