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Dark smoke issues from the Martin Drake Power Plant while a fire burns on the property in 2014.

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Springs air quality not a priority

The recent article on federal ozone limits possibly being exceeded in our area is very disappointing. While our local government officials within the Pikes Peak Region have been promoting development and economic growth, they have failed to put the necessary resources and planning in place to address the negative outcome of poor air quality. As stated in the article, the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments Air Quality Technical Committee stopped meeting in late 2017 when the Environmental Program Manager responsible for coordinating regional air quality planning stepped down and was not replaced. So basically, elected officials in their short sighted thinking determined that our air quality and the need to ensure we meet health based federal standards was no longer a priority to the citizens of the Pikes Peak region.

So don’t blame population growth or the Martin Drake Power Plant or temperatures for poor air quality. Instead, blame those that were and continue to be responsible for ensuring that adequate resources are in place to monitor, plan and implement programs to ensure all health based standards are met within our community. Having been a former PPACG Environmental Program Manager back in the late 1980s and early ‘90s; and a member of the Air Quality Technical Committee responsible for putting programs and practices in place to bring our region into compliance, I find it truly disheartening to see that our elected officials decided it just was not a priority anymore. Well folks, time to wake up and take action.

Alan Goins

Colorado Springs


Better, cleaner, cheaper alternatives

Re: “Colorado Springs area risks violating federal ozone standards”, Page 1, Jan. 7. Thank you so much for your article about the risk of violating federal ozone standards that could cost Colorado Springs a huge amount to fix if smog isn’t kept in check this summer.

Those of us who moved to Colorado for the clean air and healthy environment feel there is no excuse for keeping the Drake plant burning coal in downtown Colorado Springs. We have better, cleaner, and cheaper alternatives to power our region.

Susan Permut



Historic property was a godsend

Green Book, which won the Golden Globes Award for best comedy film, is named for a tourist guidebook that has connections to a historic black community in Colorado Springs.

The Negro Motorist Green Book, (its full title,) was the idea of Victor Green, a black New York City postal employee in 1936. It listed hotels, boarding houses, restaurants, barbershops and various other services that would save black travelers from “as many difficulties and embarrassments as possible.” Throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s, the Green Book was a godsend to black travelers.

George and Mayme Roberts’ tourist home at 418 East Cucharras Street was listed in The Green Book and many weary travelers found shelter in its well-kept rooms and welcoming atmosphere. Dottie Spann, whose grandfather, Jesse Bass, trained horses for the city’s founder, General William Palmer, told columnist Bill Vogrin (Gazette, 2013) that her parents stayed at the Roberts Tourist Home, after celebrating their wedding, because no hotels would take them.

Five years ago on Thanksgiving weekend, 2013, fire gutted the 125-year-old house that had been vacant since the last family owner died in 1996. George and Mayme Roberts and their children have passed away, but the memory of what they did to uphold the welfare and dignity of many people, will live on. The Green Book and its creator, Victor Green, connected people and their destinations for decades, and made “traveling while black” a positive experience.

Lucille Bell

Colorado Springs


Time to end this temper tantrum

I don’t usually watch FOX News, as I consider it a waste of time, but I happened to catch part of Sarah Sander’s interview with Chris Wallace while at the gym yesterday.

When Sanders claimed that over 4,000 known or suspected terrorists are pouring into our country via our southern border, Wallace pointed out that he had fact checked that statistic in advance and learned that the majority of terrorists are caught at airports.

He also stated that the state department noted that there haven’t been any terrorists coming across our southern border.

If Trump and his Republican backers were truly concerned with national security, they would end the shutdown which, in reality, is actually putting our country at greater risk, due to lack of funding to the TSA and the Coast Guard.

How long will hundreds of thousands of people have to suffer because of our president’s ‘my way or the highway’ attitude when his way is fueled by lies, threats and self-interest? It’s time to end this temper tantrum and let our government get back to the business of serving and protecting its people.

Kathleen Eichinger

Colorado Springs


Border wall security questions

I’m trying to get this straight in my mind. President Donald Trump had two years with a Republican majority in the House and Senate. He could have easily gotten his funding for a border wall, however it was never an issue. Apparently border security was not a priority for Republicans until November. But, somehow we are to blame Democrats for being soft on border security.

I can only assume President Trump never really wanted a border wall and is only using it now for political grandstanding (or to avert attention from something else?). And if border security is so pressing, why do we never hear about how badly we need a wall on the northern border?

Yancy Johnson

Colorado Springs

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