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C4C, PERA, Utilities, going green, and more 

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

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Go, green

Regarding "Operation Free says the military's investment in clean energy will keep America safe" ("Red, white and green," Feature, Feb. 19):

While I was at first shocked that the military was voicing support for renewable energy, Army Captain Brett Hunt's narratives made military support for renewable energy actually seem like common sense. Hunt's punchy comment, "... we would never go on a mission without redundancies. You've always got extra batteries for your radio; you always have extra ammunition for your weapon ... but we're single-threaded on oil," neatly ties up his overall argument: Renewable energy is a matter of being prepared.

I was pleasantly surprised by the local bases' efforts to conserve energy and pursue renewable power. Meanwhile, I was disappointed to see that the USAFA base, where I attended high school and which boasts a solar array, shrugged off a commitment to going net zero because it was cost-prohibitive.

Overall, I am happy to read about the military's efforts to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

I would also like to see them come out in support of strong standards for carbon pollution from power plants, which is part of the president's Climate Action Plan.

— Becca Barad

Environment Colorado intern

Colorado Springs

Play by the rules

I was relieved to see a ruling in the lawsuit regarding Memorial Hospital that sided with hard-working medical staff and others who earned and paid for their retirements. It would have been unfair for the city to pass along those costs to other cities and governments.

Many years ago the city entered into this agreement with PERA; the rules were clearly stated, so the city was well aware of the costs of exiting that agreement when they decided this was the best course of action. When each of us makes decisions to change our minds on contractual agreements, there is generally a cost associated with that change. It is no different with PERA, the city or my phone carrier.

Now it will be up to the mayor and the city to decide whether to continue this costly legal battle or save our tax dollars for more important matters. I hope they do the right thing.

— Sharon Jamison

Colorado Springs

No free lunch for city

As a one-time Colorado Springs resident, with municipal law experience, I was about 70 percent certain that the judge was going to grant summary judgment to PERA in the Memorial Hospital lawsuit. As a retiree I don't have access to the latest legal research, but I could not make sense out of your city's argument that it did not have to follow the clear statutory requirements governing a municipality's departure from PERA.

PERA has been around since the 1930s. If it were that easy to leave the program and the associated financial responsibility, some cynical politician would have done so long ago.

In my opinion, the judge's decision also affects your city's reported efforts to privatize aspects of city operations, with associated layoffs of city workers. All questions of appropriateness and legality of such layoffs and of the wisdom and legality of discretionary privatization aside (and Colorado courts have expressed their suspicions of privatization), I believe that it clearly follows the decision that, at a minimum, your city would be required to pay PERA an appropriate sum for the future pension expense of any vested employee laid off to privatize that employee's function.

Please understand that I am not giving legal advice; I am merely offering my own personal opinions. But I do believe that there is an ideological agenda in your city's current administration that may ultimately prove expensive and distracting to the people of Colorado Springs.

— Norm Bangeman

Pueblo

One outta four

When the tourists come to the "City of America's Mountain" (Pikes Peak), they want to go to the top, then to the AFA (they already have a visitor center), now to the Garden of the Gods, perhaps to the Olympic Training Center (they also have different museums, and they will not help pay for a downtown museum), next maybe Manitou Springs, on down the road to the Royal Gorge.

If a sports and event center is built, will the World Arena and Pikes Peak Center be closed? Bet so! This event center would have to have "famous" people, because tourists aren't going to [pay to] see some "local yokel."

Only project that makes sense out of the City for Champions is the sports medicine center for UCCS.

Watch out, taxpayers. They'll get you sooner or later. Let's raise a ruckus and vote on this C4C.

Our city needs so many more real important things done. Let's not waste millions of dollars!

— B.D. Bryan

Colorado Springs

This is awkward

Our city has had a study done to show how much money we would make if we built a downtown stadium; it looks great!

Only problem is, studies can be biased, and I don't see how that one could avoid it; there just aren't many cities in our situation to compare to.

In regard to City for Champions, other cities that build downtown stadiums either don't have stadiums, or have old, inadequate, unsafe ones, and they place the new ones where people can get to them without gridlock and remote parking. The financial gain from that would be much bigger than for our proposed switch.

We have a good, modern baseball stadium just minutes from downtown, with plenty of parking, and the roads to it are adequate.

Downtown, the streets are already congested — will we knock down half the businesses to widen the streets? By the time visitors get through the game-day gridlock, park and get to the stadium, they won't have saved much time compared to the current location. The study that promises vast riches probably didn't take that into account.

City Council is desperate to bring people into our downtown without allowing any creativity or counter-culture, so that leaves sports.

Their investment of $53 million on the Olympic Committee headquarters probably hasn't paid back one dime of increased revenue, so instead of looking to arts and unique venues like other cities with prospering downtowns, they want more sports.

If it would revitalize the downtown, that would be fine, but I don't see a gain, just a switch that will make our embattled downtown even more awkward and unwelcoming.

— Beth Adams and Frank V. Pado

Colorado Springs

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