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A lone survivor, no need for death, stormwater taxes, and more 

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

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Can't cure that

At the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to combat breast cancer, Sept. 7: Ten minutes after sunrise, crowds in pink stream in, then shuffle blank-faced around the grounds before getting in one of the various long lines to dutifully collect bags of stuff and trinkets and baubles covered with marketing logos of the sponsors.

From the surrounding neighborhoods, people stream in after finding a place to park, most of the pink-clad people walking in groups of teams or families, some wearing "Survivor" tags, some wearing "In memory of ..." tags. But an older gentleman walks alone, dignified in his crisp, new pink-and-white T-shirt. He arrives alone. He will leave alone, his solitary participation eloquent testimony to the cost of the disease this event seeks to combat.

The droning speaker whom no one hears, the volunteers filling the bags of baubles provided by sponsors, they are all beautiful in their worldly attempt to address a cause of suffering ... but it all must ring a bit hollow to the dignified older gentleman in pink and white, who more than festival and frivolous costumes, could surely use a hug and that missing familiar hand in his.

— Don Ray

Colorado Springs

Seeing is bereaving

I am amazed at the about-face of the NFL and Baltimore Ravens concerning Ray Rice. Rice admitted he hit his girlfriend (now wife) in the elevator. The video released simply confirms what Ray Rice stated. There is no new evidence here. What changed? How did it go from a two-game suspension to banned from the league and cut from the Ravens?

It is simple. We saw what he did. It horrified us. We have to see it to believe it and/or accept the reality.

The same is true with abortion. We need to see it to understand just how horrifying it is. As long as we do not see abortion, it is a political football.

— Fr. Bill Carmody

Respect Life Director, Diocese of Colorado Springs

A sales tax instead

We are being told we need around $800 million to meet our stormwater infrastructure requirements. The Pikes Peak Stormwater Task Force, a group of like-minded citizens and consultants, has created a proposal to fund and manage this work. City councilors and county commissioners support their proposal, and the ballot question will go before voters in November.

Will the voters approve it? I seriously doubt it.

The Task Force has proposed that funding come from a complex methodology focusing on "impervious surface" amounts. It is unknown why road users are exempt; why we'll collect fees from local governments, which will get 100 percent of their payments returned to them; and why schools and nonprofits — underfunded and vital to our community — are subject to this fee.

This impervious surface methodology was wrong when the city tried it a decade ago, and it continues to be wrong!

To manage collected revenue, the Task Force came up the Pikes Peak Regional Drainage Authority. There are some checks and balances in the proposed PPRDA, but they are not nearly as restrictive as those in the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority. And it would be one more organization formed based on voters' "distrust of elected officials," not on it being a more efficient way of performing the business of government.

Although our regional sales and use taxes are relatively high, I propose that our elected officials drop both the proposed stormwater fee and PPRDA and present a regional sales tax to fund our stormwater needs. I would propose a much lower percentage, but a maximum 0.5 percent county-wide sales and use tax would bring in revenue close to $40 million annually, exactly the amount the PPRDA proponents were hoping to obtain.

— Vince Rusinak

Colorado Springs

For the home folks

I just attended my last balloon launch with the Colorado Balloon Classic. This has been a tradition in our city for 38 years, but our city officials cannot make it possible to maintain. This comes from a mayor and his cronies that are pushing City for Champions and say they want to promote business and tourism.

Let's be clear ... we need to fix our roads and other infrastructure to promote our city, not to mention the quality of life for those of us who choose to live here.

Moving on to our stormwater issue: At least this process currently appears to be more transparent compared to the "tax" that our leaders snuck in a few years ago. I will gladly pay the extra $7 a month if the city can guarantee my neighborhood will get some attention. That is, the "bowl" area just west of The Citadel mall.

Our neighborhood deserves just as much attention as the more elite areas of town. Do not forget us!

City Council thinks they know what is best for us, and chose to eliminate revenue from marijuana taxation in our little village: This revenue would provide the resources for Bach's much- beloved C4C. Let Phil Anschutz pick up the tab! Add to all of this our city's reputation after Terry Maketa finishes with us. Why would tourists want to come?

— Maureen Miller

Colorado Springs

Death-penalty ills

The NAACP State Conference applauds Gov. John Hickenlooper for telling the world he now opposes use of the Colorado death penalty. The governor's journey is a kind of template for the way abolitionists hope more in our state will come to feel about the death penalty and its egregious ills.

Gov. Hickenlooper courageously set out to educate himself. He reviewed reports, documenting the staggering cost alone: 10 to 15 times more than pursuing life without the possibility of parole. And he talked to surviving family members of murder victims to get their take on justice. He was told that forgiveness is critical to the journey, but it takes time. Executions, he heard, deny victims' family members the time they need.

The governor truly listened and now has joined the ranks of Coloradans — conservative and progressive, victims' family members and law enforcement, black, white, Latino, other — who oppose the death penalty. Good for Gov. Hickenlooper! The death penalty is broken beyond repair. It's just not policy we want on the books in Colorado.

— Rosemary Harris Lytle

NAACP state president and board chair, Murder Victims Families

for Reconciliation

Corrections

• In last week's Fall Arts Preview listings, we wrote that Tracy and Sushe Felix are a mother-and-daughter pair showing their work at the Tracy Miller Gallery. They are husband and wife.

• In the caption for Slice of Life (Aug. 27), the move performed by skateboarder Josh Corbin should have been described as a mute handplant.

We regret the errors.

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