Woodmen Road fatal 091118
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Crash scene photo courtesy KKTV.

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Will 2019 be any different?

I support Col. Matthew Packard’s, Colorado State Patrol battle call that we as citizens and our governmental leaders take proactive steps to prevent another 600 deaths on Colorado roads and 47 road deaths in Colorado Springs.

The cause of these deaths and collisions per Col. Packard, is due to “selfish driving,” including driving impaired, driving carelessly or not paying attention. This includes an epidemic of speeding and running red lights.

A review of 2018 legislative in-actions and opinion letters shows that our leaders, as well as citizens, often oppose proven traffic safety strategies such as:

Tougher anti-texting laws.

Tougher mandatory seat belt laws.

Red-light cameras.

Increased taxes to add more police officers.

Right sizing our streets to improve traffic flow and safety. The right sizing of Cascade and other streets has reduced speeding, increased pedestrian safety, removed cyclists from traffic lanes, increased the number of cyclists, and calmed traffic. The “restore our road” campaign seems to want to return Cascade to a high-speed thoroughfare.

Adding connected bike lanes on selected streets for children-adults. Studies validate that bike lanes reduce speeding and reduce collisions by 60 to 90 percent.

Increasing enforcement of speed limits; even though speeding in excess of 15-25 mph is often the norm and contributes to 1/3 of all collisions.

Everyone who drives, walks, and/or bikes must daily commit to obeying traffic laws, supporting traffic enforcement, traffic safety initiatives, and driving courteously. Let’s take action to prevent traffic collisions in 2019.

Gary Nesbit

Colorado Springs

   

Journalism vs. activism

Read Dave Olson’s letter in the Friday, Dec 28 Gazette and couldn’t agree more. Although I am sure there are journalists that take their responsibility to heart, they seem to be far outnumbered by those that have morphed into creating news instead of reporting it.

The Society of Professional Journalists has a website (spj.org) with a code of ethics. I wish the mainstream media would take a look, maybe join, maybe live the code. There are 18 items under the code heading “Seek Truth and Report It”. A couple that are broken daily by the mainstream media, both left and right, include... “Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.” And....” Support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”

Take a look for yourself on the website and then take a critical look at both the news sources you like to listen to and the ones you don’t, and determine for yourself what is journalism and what is activism.

Dan Spohn

Colorado Springs

   

By virtue of the luck of the draw

Immigration has been the catalyst for much pain and suffering. A nation’s borders have been the cause of many wars. What are borders? They are arbitrary lines drawn by winners of wars. The people that are affected by these borders are given hardly a thought. People are “citizens” of a country by virtue of where they, or their parents, were born. We can say that we in the United States are lucky by virtue of the draw.

The southern border of the U.S. has been fluid for many generations. The border has ebbed and flowed until the early 20th century. The agreed upon border separated many families who lived north for many generations. Until recently the border was easy to manage for trade, work and visits. Recently the border has become a weapon against the people who are searching for a better life. They are characterized as criminals and as less than human. How can that be? They are people just like our ancestors who came to the U.S. looking for a better life. Some of those ancestors were criminals but perhaps their children were not.

We need to fix our immigration laws to allow for the influx of people searching for a better life. The criminals need to be arrested and held accountable. Perhaps the drug trade that is dominant should be examined from both sides of the border.

Immigrants are people and we must treat all people with kindness and compassion. Isn’t that what our religions teach us?

Anna T. Lopez

Colorado Springs

   

Are we doing our part?

It is evident that many individuals, school districts, colleges, churches, etc. are going above and beyond to fight the climate change battle. Solar power is increasing. Electric and hybrid cars are more prevalent, etc.

But what are the city and county governments doing? I’m not suggesting they are doing nothing. However to get serious, we needed to get rid of coal yesterday. We are in a crisis. We have way to many cars on the road. Light rail is desperately needed.

I like to think that Colorado Springs is a patriotic community. In our world today, fighting against climate change is very patriotic not only for the U.S., but as citizens of Earth, we should be Earthly patriots as well.

It is time for our local government to follow the lead of others I mentioned and do their part.

Dwight Buel

Colorado Springs

   

This is the 21st century

OK. Now I understand. A recent letter in the Opinion section explained the function of the Electoral College, something that perplexed me for all these years.

Members of the EC work to “balance” the opinion of voters across the country. The opinions of rural voters apparently have more weight than my vote as a city dweller.

Never mind the “one man, one vote” rule. Never mind that Hillary Clinton won more than 3 million votes than Donald Trump in 2016. My vote as an urban dweller may be discarded, or even counted as negative, while a vote by someone living in Julesburg may be credited with several votes.

Perhaps the EC had a legitimate function 200 years ago, but c’mon, folks — this is the 21st century.

The purpose of today’s Electoral College is simply nation-wide, on-the-spot, gerrymandering at its extreme.

Susan Craig

Colorado Springs

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