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Bicycle thieves, retail pot in Manitou, summer safety tips, and more 

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: letters@csindy.com

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Hang 'em high

We should still hang bike thieves. In the Old West, the harshest penalties were reserved for crimes which could simply not be tolerated.

Modern bike thieves should receive the same penalties, in the public square after handbills are distributed to publicize the event.

Some of us rely on bikes because we cannot or will not drive. They remain easy to steal, and the parts are easy to sell online. Identification numbers are more difficult to see than an old-fashioned livestock brand, so thieves know they can display and peddle a stolen bike and stolen components without much fear of getting caught.

The need for expensive and inconvenient vigilance against thievery could be reduced if we heightened the level of social scorn for bicycle theft and activities which promote it.

First, we could require more familiarity with the history of a bike and its owners before we buy or sell. It could be anti-social behavior to purchase bikes or bike parts other than from a brick-and-mortar bike store or personal friend or acquaintance who can track the origin through reasonable diligence.

We could make it a regular practice to ask for the source documents whenever bikes or significant bicycle components change hands. We could scowl at anyone who cannot reasonably trace their bike and bike parts back to the manufacturer.

Second, we could promote more bikes to be available through a lend/lease program, throughout the centralized areas of town. Such a system would devalue stolen bikes to a small extent, and would allow commuting without exposing more bikes to theft.

We should consider creative ways to deter bike theft, including imposing the harsher penalties from the Old West, to minimize the risk of stepping out into the dark night to find you have lost your ride back home to the ranch.

— Lisa Tormoen Hickey

Colorado Springs

It's about the money

Fellow citizens! Before you cast your vote in November, consider whether it's been bought. I can get behind the idea of voting democratically for or against retail cannabis. Every voice should be heard. But why do those votes require so much money in the first place?

Last I heard, the campaign against RMJ in Manitou has run upwards of $6,000. Couldn't that truckload of money be used to better help the town of Manitou after the past couple of years?

November's a few months away, but when Election Day comes, I hope that Manitou's citizens will take a good long hard look at why they are voting.

If the petition against RMJ is really about having the people's voices heard, then that's awesome. But if there are thousands of dollars behind something, it's important to ask why. Our votes should not be up for sale to the highest bidder. In my opinion, Manitou residents should seriously consider who is telling us to vote No to an industry that could help the working class of this great town.

If it's really about hearing the voices of the people, there is no need for a $6,000 campaign — and if someone with that kind of cash flow is concerned about Manitou, why not donate it to flood mitigation?

Like most politics, the anti-RMJ campaign has never been about the children, but always about money. Let's be better than that, Manitou.

— Judith Posch

Manitou Springs

Words to live by

Motto for fire season:

Keep your butts inside your car. Use your ashtray and your seatbelt.

— John Wixson

Colorado Springs

Children with guns

A local, private K-12 school is intending to offer an optional seminar course to middle school students called the "Firearm and Archery Safety" seminar. Even the title of the course causes me to shudder. Scarier yet, when I spoke out about the wisdom of offering such a course to children, I was told that this course was consistent with the school's mission statement.

Colorado has an extremely high rate of suicide, and we certainly have a lot of high-profile shootings, in schools and other locales, that gain national attention. A learning organization should be cognizant of the fact that adults who are pro-gun are more likely to have pro-gun children.

Last year, after the Sandy Hook shootings, the school wisely decided not to offer the Firearms course. I figured they would get the notion that guns were detrimental to children and adults after that horrific event, and I hoped they and a lot of other people had learned a lesson.

To remind some people, the children who were killed in Newtown are still dead because of a man who was obsessed with guns.

We do not even let children drive until they are a minimum of 15½ because they are not emotionally or cognitively ready to drive. Yet it is fine for a child to shoot a gun when he or she is in sixth grade? This is a non sequitur.

Members of the smartest segment of the population in Colorado Springs, speak out against the Good Old Boy system to stop children from being exposed to guns.

— LeAnna DeAngelo, Ph.D.

Monument

Hungry predators

With the most recent decision to strike down aggregate limits on campaign spending, it seems the U.S. Supreme Court is either trying to apply the final nails into our democratic coffin or simply saying that if America wants to maintain a viable electoral system, then Congress will have to codify the terms within which we will manage elections. As a country we have to pick representatives who will work for campaign reform — otherwise we are complicit in allowing the loudest to dominate our political discussion.

If it were up to me I'd allow the same access to voters to all candidates in the form of a report found in all libraries, stating their platforms, voting records and their plans for the office they seek. We could also allow newspapers to print candidates' positions in an inclusive and formatted manner. That's it.

Maybe there's another way, but this decision by the Roberts court ignores the fact that these corporate and political entities are predators who will feed until they find some governmentally imposed limits. We already know that conservatives hate government because it is an extension of people and the only counterbalance to full-blown predation.

— Max Clow

Colorado Springs

The Stockton story

Janet Sawyer and Walter Gerber's ("No time for losers," Letters, April 9) mocking of leaders who want transparency and reliable numbers represent the kind of reckless attitude that got towns like Stockton, Calif., in serious trouble:

The dynamics of unrelated fiscal decisions (e.g., overly generous pension fund commitments just before the market crash of 2008) affected expensive investments that Stockton made reinvigorating its downtown, including the building of a stadium. When that makeover failed to produce the desired windfall, it compounded the city's already overburdened budget and forced it into a bankruptcy that will further burden its taxpaying citizens for decades.

My research indicates that far more of our fellow citizens want City for Champions than not (me included). But they want it after the promoters replace their current, clumsy presentation with one that removes unnecessary suspicion by providing clarity. "The best defense is a great offense."

Our promoters need to directly address and remove resentment over a simple fact: Someone has to build it! Clarity can neutralize needless skepticism. In the meantime my hat's off to Councilman King and his fellow Council members.

Action without thought and proper deliberation wastes taxpayer money at a time when our city is facing imminent bankruptcy.

— Gregory Olinyk

Colorado Springs

C4C gravy train

It is unconscionable that $360,000, whatever its source, should be expended to dress up the C4C application for presentation to the state Regional Tourism Authority board ("The $360,000 proposition," News, April 9). We know that at least $75,000 came from city public funds, probably more.

Two items stand out as particularly questionable: $50,000 to a Denver law firm (with a $100,000 "success fee" still to come and $25,000 for writing the resolution), and $51,000 to Champions Plaza Consulting, which surfaced about the time C4C was proposed. A cynic might view this as "Here comes the gravy train; better get aboard."

As for the heavy legal fees, don't we have a large competent city staff of attorneys? Surely there is expertise to research, prepare and write this application and resolution to the state here in town.

Many months ago we were told that Summit Economics would be paid $40,000 to poll Sky Sox fans and others about a downtown stadium. Apparently, stadium proponents neglected to ask team owner Mr. Elmore or club management about relocating, and the Sky Sox' thumbs-down morphed the stadium idea into the stadium/event center in C4C.

— John A. Daly

Colorado Springs

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