SIDE STREETS: Blur of black and brown steel represents peace of mind
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Wildlife loves the suburbs

I must take issue with Dagmar Navratil of Peyton who decries the destruction of wildlife habitat from building of houses and businesses in Colorado Springs. She should visit northwest Colorado Springs (Rockrimmon) where I live.

Most every day, deer feed happily on my “towel-like” lawn and shrubs, often in large herds. And we have predators in abundance. Bears move in and must routinely be removed by animal control. A bobcat (possibly a family of them) lives in my neighbor’s backyard, comes and goes with impunity, and appears well-fed off the cornucopia of squirrels and rabbits infesting the neighborhood. I haven’t seen a coyote lately, but they’re here, too. A while ago, I saw five raccoons cavorting happily around a street gutter grate.

Besides the wild animals, we have plants everywhere here. Grasses, shrubs, and trees in enormous variety adorn the neighborhood. I’ve never heard of anyone having to spray a pine tree for beetles. Our floral profusion and abundance exceeds anything you can find in the unpopulated Front Range hills just west of here, or the prairie lands around Peyton. Open your eyes. Wildlife loves suburban development.

Eric Nickerson

Colorado Springs

Here’s to the good men

Enough. Enough vilifying and disparaging the men in our society. The tyrannical or idiot male narrative is destructive to our men and boys, and to our society at large. There are occasional bad men, but most of them are good men. Very good men.

So here’s to the good men. The men who build and maintain our electrical grid, our water and sewer structure, our gas and oil lines. The men who build and maintain our roads and bridges; and the cars, ships, and airplanes which transport our lives and interests. Here’s to the men who work the farms and ranches from which we eat with thoughtless gluttony daily; who build and repair our homes and buildings. Here’s to the men who build businesses, create unparalled works of art and music; and who challenge the boundaries of thought and space. Here’s to the men who protect the nations and heal their citizens. Here’s to the grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers and sons who bless the lives of their families each day.

History shows most men spend their lives and their labor for the benefit of women and children — our civilization is based on their contributions. Let’s not confuse fringe male tyranny with appropriate male striving and achievement. Acknowledging the achievements and importance of women should not erase the indispensable contributions of men. Let’s speak up and empower them to continue in their calling. To all you good men, this woman thanks you.

Holly Tripp

Colorado Springs

Gratitude for pursuit of excellence

On Sept 25, a crisp autumn morning here in the Springs, my life was forever changed. My trusted cardiologist, Dr. Joseph Lee, said it was time. I had two open heart surgeries that saved my life and rewrote my destiny.

Enter the kind, gentle stranger, who would become my heart surgeon, Dr. Peter Walinsky, head of cardiac surgery, Memorial Hospital. My first encounter was a warm smile, a tender handshake, and genuine assurance that they would take care of me. Dr. Walinsky, his incredible team and amazing nurses were just inspiring beyond words!

A stranger whose passion in life is to bring healing through his excellence in heart surgery intersected my life.

When pursuit of excellence meets attentive empathy, the human heart literally beats once again. Dr. Walinsky’s gifts would save my life, and his kindness would conquer my strangling fear.

I am humbled beyond words that God would use this man to give me new tomorrows.

I want to fill this new heart of mine with deep gratitude and encouragement for the brilliant goodness that overflows to me through these kind of people, who live in this city.... those who sacrificially give their very best, day after day.... and resurrect lives, hopes, and dreams of simple, grateful people like me. My new heart literally beats with profound gratitude. I am richly blessed, forever changed and inspired to know each of you.

With sincere thankfulness.

Lisa Wilson

Colorado Springs

Fracking’s harmful effects

People want to be healthy and safe where they live, work and play. Coloradans have grown tired of noise, pollution and safety hazards posed by fracking in neighborhoods, and that’s why Proposition 112 was put on the ballot. If passed, all oil and gas development will be at least 2,500 feet from occupied buildings, playgrounds and water sources.

Oil companies like to move in on communities and act like they own them. They don’t care that people suffer from the constant noise, heavy traffic, toxic emissions and falling property values. For them, only profit matters. Rather than locate their activities well away from people, it’s more profitable to buy politicians and propaganda to suppress citizen and community opposition.

Aside from outsized political influence, fracking plays a small part in the Colorado economy. Fracking accounts for 1 percent of the state’s employment.

Tourism and healthcare each generate 11 times more jobs. Dollar for dollar, investment in cleaner renewable energy creates more than twice as many jobs.

As we transition from destructive fossil fuels, communities must be protected from fracking’s immediate harmful impacts. That means keeping oil wells far from homes, schools and workplaces. The 2,500-foot setback is reasonable and necessary.

Ken Bonetti


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