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A line of tents sit on a ridge near Shooks Run in a homeless camp near Fountain Boulevard and Wahsatch Avenue in Colorado Springs in November.

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Simple, local solutions are the best

Homelessness has plagued Colorado Springs for many years. Its effects are in full view; there is no hiding this problem. Moreover, solutions seem to be in short supply, mostly because external interventions are easily rebuffed by the intended recipients.

However, this should not preclude government and citizens from continuing those interventions.

I believe in proposing solutions, not just complaining. As I drive east on Fillmore Avenue, a large building comes into my view. Built with a stone facade, wood columns, tile, and other high-end materials, it sits empty every night. This building is the Veterans Administration.

Why is this building not open to house homeless veterans? With the simple act of showing one’s ID, this Taj Mahal could house most of the homeless veterans in Colorado Springs, thus connecting those most at risk with the care they so desperately need.

Simple solutions, enacted locally, are usually best. Accountability is inherent in the process, the assistance is immediate, and this solution renews the purpose of a beleaguered and untrusted organization.

Matthew Dagostino

Woodland Park

Tax hurts small businesses

I want Sen. Cory Gardner to help small- business owners like me by delaying the Health Insurance Tax again for 2020. Cost-increasing expenses like the tax prevent me from providing my employees with health coverage. If the tax is not suspended again, more small businesses will be unable to provide their employees with health care in the future.

I have employees who are looking for health care, and I might lose them because I can’t provide it. That will probably lead to more costs for me in training and hiring new workers.

LETTERS: Veterans not getting the care they need; bike lanes in Colorado Springs

Before this session ends, Congress must work together to endure this tax is delayed again. After the delay, I would like to see the Health Insurance Tax permanently repealed.

Michael Whittemore

Cascade

A wall is not a viable solution

I am not naive enough to think that we do not need a gate keeping system when it comes to our national borders. We must do what is necessary to protect our way of life and make an effort to stop those who try to undermine that pursuit.

At the same time, we must realize that we all are the children of immigration and if not for the efforts of someone in our past, we would not be here.

This land of opportunity has always been a draw for those who wish to better themselves and many who choose that path go onto greatness.

Building a wall to keep people out does not seem to be a viable solution to the problem. History has shown us that those who build walls to keep people out often turn around and use them to keep people in. It seems that the vast amount of money needed for such a project might be better spent on perfecting a vetting process to determine who can come in and who can’t.

Let’s not let a system of exclusion, as has happened in the past, turn into a system of elimination.

Tom Shipp

Colorado Springs

Walking while black incident

I walk every morning at 4 a.m. and have been doing so for the last 19 years I have lived here.

However, last week I was stopped, questioned, and approached by the police three times for no other reason that I can tell, than the fact I am walking while black. You see, I wear a black hoodie to help keep me warm, and carry a stick to help support my aching back while I walk.

Unfortunately, the police see me as a black man that is a potential threat to the community and up to no good, even though I am simply walking down the street, minding my own business and bothering no one.

Not all black people are criminals, rapists, drug dealers, robbers, thieves, or up to no good, but negative thoughts about black people, especially black men, go through the minds of most white people, including the police who took an oath to protect everyone in our community regardless of race.

I have never been so humiliated in my entire life, and this is something that most black people have to deal with on a daily basis.

I believe that if I were white, they would not have stopped me. I guess walking down the street in a black hoodie at 4 in the morning is not a safe thing to do in Colorado Springs.

Curtis Hilyard

Colorado Springs

Putting a screen door on a submarine

Can someone please explain how carbon taxes can stop climate change. Sen. Jeff Flake just introduced a bill to impose a carbon tax on Americans.

FYI Jeff: Climate has changed throughout history — long before fossil fuels. The earth’s temperatures have been rising since the Little Ice Age, a long period of very cold weather that ended in the early 1800s. The current warm period we are most likely still in could last another 25 to 100 years possibly, and there’s nothing that carbon taxes can do to stop it.

Imposing carbon taxes to stop climate change is about as intelligent as putting a screen door on a submarine.

Stanley Easterwood

Fountain

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