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Monday, November 6, 2006-photo by Jerilee Bennett-A utility worker stands atop a new transformer at the Martin Drake Power Plant. Scheduled maintenance is being done at the Martin Drake Power Plant in Colorado Springs. As a part of the maintenance, a new transformer is being installed.

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Utilities Board seeks input

Colorado Springs is fortunate to operate its community-owned utility. This means that our customers have a say in how their utility operates and plans to provide service in the future.

Our Colorado Springs Utilities Board and CEO Aram Benyamin are updating the utility’s strategic plan. We are reaching out to the public, asking for your insight, suggestions and ideas on this important utility roadmap to improving utility performance and meeting the expectations of our customers.

The plan focuses on many areas directly impacting utility services, rates, reliability and our local environment, from electric transmission projects and renewable energy development to regional water projects and the modernization of utility infrastructure.

Every component of the strategic plan has the potential to reshape how utility services are delivered to you. That’s something our entire community can get excited about.

The Utilities Board and Utilities would like your input on the draft strategic plan. Please read the plan and provide comments at CSU.ORG. Our board will discuss the draft at the Dec. 17 board meeting and consider adopting the plan at our Jan. 16 board meeting.

Thank you for your involvement.

Tom Strand

Colorado Springs Utilities Board

City needs bus lanes

Colorado Springs doesn’t need more bike lanes. What we really need are bus lanes.

There are few things in life more annoying than being one or five or eight or 10 cars behind a stopped bus, sometimes even back as far as into the intersection behind them. The drivers in the left lane won’t let the bus out, and they won’t let the queued cars out.

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Drivers coming from behind see the backup and change lanes so thry don’t get stuck, too. But that only aggrevates the situation, with more drivers in the left lane not letting the bus out and not letting the backed up cars out.

There are a lot more buses on the streets than bicycles, and the buses are on the streets in all seasons and in all weather conditions and at all times of the day. They also don’t have dedicated lanes but are mixed in with the other vehicles.

How about it, traffic engineer office? Let’s have bus lanes that don’t impede traffic.

Marge Baker

Colorado Springs

Traff i c woes made more woeful

As I am sure you all know, Pikes Peak Avenue has been closed almost two years for all kinds of repair and road construction. It is set to be reopened in 2019. Instead of four lanes as it was before, it is now going to be two lanes in each direction with — wait for it — two lanes in each direction for bikes.

I would like everyone to send thank-your cards to the city traffic engineers for making our traffic woes even more woeful!

Lastly, an award should be given to the bike rider who was using the cones in a cone zone area as an obstacle course, weaving in and out of traffic as he was riding through the area. Another award to the driver who passed the traffic on Cascade Avenue in the bike lanes. Seems you just can’t fix stupid!

Mable Mays

Colorado Springs

Veterans’ housing stipend issue

I am writing to express my outrage over the way the VA is handling the housing stipend issues.

Veterans put their lives on hold, sacrificing time at home with their families, are placed in situations that leave them physically and mentally scarred. Then they come home and try and reintegrate in to society and better themselves by getting an education, something promised them when they enlist.

Now they’re being placed in financial hardship because of bureaucratic nonsense. I have a friend who suffers from severe PTSD and depression who has managed to get his life together and is in grad school.

He hasn’t been paid his housing stipend in months. He has expended his savings, waiting on the VA to honor its contract with him.

He’s received nothing but excuses and now cannot afford his rent and is facing being homeless.

And we wonder why 22 veterans a day commit suicide.

I served in the Air Force for 30 years. It saddens me to see the treatment these heroes are receiving.

Michael Bobbitt

Peyton

Dealing with phone scammers

After reading the article in the Nov. 30 Gazette about phone scammers impersonating CSPD Lt. Howard Black, I offer this possible solution:

I let all my incoming calls to my cellphone go to voice mail unless the person is on my contacts list. If it is a new person, then my voice mail asks them to leave a message. The same is true for my home phone where I have a $20 answering machine.

If everyone would do that, then the scammers wouldn’t be able to operate. I say don’t be a slave to the phone.

Richard Gandolf

Colorado Springs

Eliminate bad ballot issues

The Gazette Editorial Board’s Tuesday Nov 27 editorial talked about ballot measures as a “playground for bad ideas”.

It described the problems of allowing ballot issues to amend our state Constitution.

In three paragraphs beginning at the bottom of the first column, they also laid out the most effective way to properly scrutinize, debate, torture-test, analyze, seek/get input, affect, write, rewrite, amend and compromise that ends with a legal offering by all the elements of representative government and presumably citizens for voter approval, as opposed to a ballot proposal of unknown source/funding origins that “typically receive almost no due diligence”.

Everybody talks about it, but no citizen, business nor government people get to fixing it.

I recently drove along the East Coast and was bombarded with small bright red signs along the road that said: “Protect our NC Constitution. VOTE AGAINST Every Amendment.”

What we Coloradans need is to put together a bipartisan commission to eliminate this insane provision of our Constitution. Who is gonna step up to the task?

Joe David Schaefer

Colorado Springs

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