Bike lanes
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Are bike lanes really that important?

I love our downtown. It’s a beautiful, thriving place. So are the residential neighborhoods that surround it. I’ve never been in a traffic jam because of too many people on what are now one-lane streets, sharing new bike lanes.

Bike lane controversy? Really? I see pictures in the news of mothers with children in diapers tear gassed at our country’s border. I read reports, by experts, who say our planet is in danger of climate change disasters, and a president who says “I don’t believe it.” People on the streets of Colorado Springs cannot afford a place to live. Neighbors have inadequate access to affordable health care. One in six children in El Paso County goes to bed hungry every night.

We as a country aren’t outraged by the murder of a journalist, and we stand quietly by because of economic engagement with the country that murdered him. And yet I continue to read angry articles about bike lanes. Bike lanes? Are bike lanes the most important items of the day?

My councilwoman, Jill Gaebler, and all of our City Council members, should receive gratitude for the thankless job they do for this city every day. To those who don’t like the way things are going, with so many bike lane complaints, maybe you should run for thankless public office jobs, make tremendously difficult decisions, and earn less than $7,000 a year for doing so. Otherwise, I say, get on your bike and ride Colorado Springs.

Stacy Poore

Colorado Springs

   

Potential in every child

In response to Brigitte Wolfe’s letter “A need for special needs programs:” We handpicked my daughter’s school because of its inclusiveness, and that inclusiveness has nothing to do with a lack of funding for special education.

My daughter might never tutor your child in math or help them with their homework, but she will absolutely teach them things that no textbook will such as acceptance, compassion, empathy, perseverance and the importance of inclusion.

She can even teach your kids to appreciate their own strengths and abilities, which I believe will only help those struggling with their own “self-esteem” issues.

Of course, I worry about my daughter’s self-esteem and if the other kids are nice to her every day when I drop her off at school. However, then I see how genuinely happy her classmates are to see her by the amount of hugs and excitement she is greeted with when she walks in, and my mind is instantly calmed and my heart is full.

Would these kids even have the courage to approach her if she was kept in her special classroom all day?

I am now more thankful than ever for choicing my daughter into a school/district whose educators see potential in every child, and children of all abilities are never excluded for being different but celebrated because of their differences.

After all, my child might be the reason yours grows up to be a doctor, physical therapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, educator, etc.

Lisa Brodnax

Colorado Springs

   

We are a nation of laws

There is a very real threat to our national security on our southern border by the steady advance of several thousand foreigners. Their avowed intent is to force their way into our country by sheer weight numbers. Mob action should not be allowed to make a mockery out of our immigration laws.

There is a great deal of confusion and lack of reality-based information on this vexing topic. No, this is not a matter of humanitarian compassion or our celebrated national tradition of kindness. Let’s remember that we are a nation of laws. We have immigration laws that provide for the legal procedures by which foreigners are allowed to enter our country.

Legal immigration for people who want to become Americans usually involves a long waiting period. A shorter path is asylum — which grants legal residency for specific cases of political persecution. There are no provisions for asylum based on economic hardships. Admitting thousands of illegal aliens and/or having “open borders” for humanitarian reasons would be sheer insanity.

Unfortunately, our immigration laws are complex and convoluted. It usually takes many months before illegals can be brought before an Immigration Court and even longer for an actual deportation hearing. We need to fast-track gate-crashers and replace the current “catch & release” program with a quick and effective “catch & repatriate” policy for known criminals and those who don’t qualify for asylum. Effectively securing & protecting our borders is a definite must.

Robert Vegvary

Colorado Springs

   

Young people must stay engaged

In the aftermath of the 2018 midterm elections, at least one thing was made clear: younger voters are no longer willing to sit on the sidelines while our future is jeopardized by inaction on climate change. Nationally, youth turnout was the highest in 25 years. Young Coloradans in particular turned out at some of the highest levels in the entire country.

As an intern with the student-led climate action group Defend Our Future, I saw the urgency surrounding this topic from students of all political backgrounds.

The fact of the matter is that young people realize that we’re going to feel the most longterm impacts of decisions made today. Pair that with our awareness of the current anti-environment policies coming out of D.C. recently, and it’s clear why young people are making their voices heard.

We turned out in droves to vote for candidates who pledged to take action on climate, but just because the elections are over doesn’t mean the work is stopping. As young people we have to stay engaged with what is happening in our country and communities. We must hold our newly elected officials who campaigned on addressing and fighting climate change accountable to their commitments. We have the responsibility to continue to highlight the urgency and need for climate action.

Sarah Winebrenner

Denver

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