A rendering of the proposed visitor center at the United States Air Force Academy.
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A rendering of the proposed visitor center at the United States Air Force Academy.

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Don’t build on pristine location

The natural beauty of over 18,000 acres of pristine forested land at the foot of the Rockies was one of the primary reasons that drew the Air Force Academy search committee to choose the Colorado Springs site back in the 1950s. Now, in the rush to fund and build a new visitors center, leaders and developers are failing to honor one of the major reasons why the Air Force Academy was sited here in the first place.

A new visitor center is important; but surely there is Air Force Academy acreage on the east side of I-25 that would be suitable without so much impact to the natural beauty. For example, how about building on academy land southeast of I-25 by the South Gate?

Larry Reisinger

Colorado Springs

Air Force Academy visitor center wins designation as urban renewal area

Pothole-avoidance timeline

ML Cavanaugh has once again waxed strategic on a road issue. This time it’s road pimples. Last time it was property near an intersection on the west side of Colorado Springs.

When I read that he counted potholes on the way to and from work, averaging 60 each way, I began to understand how he could write a doctoral thesis on supreme command. Counting, in my experience, was very important to military officers in high command during the Vietnam War and since.

He seems highly threatened by big potholes, the “vicious” ones, the only ones he counted, the ones that required “zig-zagging.” He writes he “averaged nearly three potholes a minute.”

Counting his time for each zig and zag, plus his time seeing/finding each pothole, I estimate he used nearly 10% of his driving time on pothole recognition and avoidance. To be objective, which experts of his education and experience seem to brag about, I believe he must have kept a journal of pothole observances, recorded by his estimate of the size of each pot hole. This must have taken at least five seconds per pot hole, even if he just kept a digital voice record on his hand-held device. This reduces his time of active driving another 5-10%. Any strategic analyst worth his pay would quickly surmise that his active driving time was not more than 55%, even allowing for his time engaged in smart phone glancing for butt-dialed, time-counting calls.

I strongly recommend Lt. Col. Cavanaugh add his pothole-avoidance-time-hack-journal to his other arguments when he presents his case for increased pothole repair funding to both CDOT and the city of Colorado Springs.

Charles Andrew Wood

Colorado Springs

DeVos’ schools of choice

Thanks for your article about Secretary Betsy DeVos’ visit to Colorado Springs to try and drum up support for her “education overhaul plan”. I appreciated that you noted in your article that her event was an Invitation Only event, it wasn’t surprising given how unpopular her policies are with those who are actually in the educational world in a real way.

I have the unique perspective of having grown up in Michigan and I have seen what her policies do when they are exercised. Her idea of School Choice is just school for the wealthy and everyone else is on their own.

Those who have means (the know how and transportation) to get their kids into her schools of choice, leave the public school and public school enrollment goes down. What no one seems to connect is that when enrollment in the schools goes down, even by a few percentage points, then the funds that those schools need to keep their programs running leave also.

And make no mistake, these schools of choice are for-profit institutions. These policies directly contributed to the continuing slide of the public schools in urban area such as Flint, Grand Rapids and Detroit.

I actually grew up in Detroit and went to Detroit Public Schools. I’ve seen firsthand how the loss of a school can destroy the community of a neighborhood; and when you lose students because of funding or “choice” issues, you will eventually have to close schools.

As a former Detroit Public School student I was also disgusted and appalled when Secretary DeVos couldn’t bring herself to set foot in a public school when she was in Detroit. She’d gone to the city to talk to people about the conditions of the school buildings, teacher shortages, problems with supplies, etc. You want to tell me how in the world you are going to say you understand what the children in the cities are living with day in and day out if you can’t even lower your self for 20 minutes to walk through one of them?

It was nothing but a slap in the face to all the parents and sent a clear message to all of the educators that she did not care. In her proposed budget cuts for the Department of Education, the $7.1 billion that she says she can cut, an inordinate amount of that comes from Special Education programs.

As the mother of two special needs kids, that makes my blood boil. Without the help of amazing and caring social workers, speech therapist, physical therapists and educational counselors I know that most teachers would not be able to do their jobs for the rest of the kids in their classrooms; not to mention the kids like mine who need those therapies.

Kari M. Anton

Chicago

What the flag stands for

Thanks to Robert Vegvary for speaking out about the flag. We fully agree on what is happening today.

We were the only home in our neighborhood that always had a flag flying when it should be, and with a light on it so it could fly all night as well.

We have that house for sale now and we are leaving the flag, and the bracket on the house for the buyers.

But a side note is the very new Senior Living facility where we just moved has put up a new flag that was flying on the Fourth. Many of us that live here are retired military vets who thank all of those like Vegvary for standing strong on the U.S. flag and what the flag stands for to grateful Americans.

Don Wohlers

Monument

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