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Land swap, bullies like Springsteen, nukes, clean energy, and more 

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Broadmoor's motives

I am a concerned, 60-plus-years resident of Colorado Springs. This is my own private conspiracy theory and has no basis in economic research or higher education. This is just what I fear will happen.

At first, as Philip Anschutz started buying up The Broadmoor, the Gazette and local tourist attractions, I was happy. He's saving attractions and investing in Colorado Springs, I thought. What a boon for us. I've enjoyed the time I've spent at The Broadmoor's facilities and appreciated having them here.

Then I realized, guests will never need to leave The Broadmoor or its facilities once he controls everything. They'll eat there, see movies there, stay at its fishing camp, ride horses, play golf, take the train up Pikes Peak, etc., etc. This money will go to The Broadmoor, not other businesses. Yes, it will employ people and we'll get lodging taxes, but that's not the same or as much. Is it really a good idea for The Broadmoor/Anschutz to own so much of what's great about Colorado Springs? It might be time to stand up to The Broadmoor. Anschutz is a shrewd businessman. We would be wise to remember that. He didn't get where he is without knowing exactly what he's doing and the desired end result.

I ask City Council, as stewards of what's good for the city, to oppose the land swap. We don't know enough about this deal, and it may hurt ordinary citizens of Colorado Springs in the long run. There's a hidden agenda somewhere. In the end, who will profit the most? Plus, why does everything have to be about the Incline? Thank you, Richard Skorman, for trying to shed some light on this deal.

— Mary Jo Piccin

Colorado Springs

Leave it be

Following a contentious meeting last week, a resident committee in the Old North End continues to fight against the planned "safety narrowing" of the neighborhood's main avenues. The proposed changes in the roadways represent yet another effort to alter the look of this historic area. The residents group wants to prevent shrinking the major north-south arteries from four to two lanes. They feel that there is an ill-conceived plan being put forth under the pretense of safety. A May 3 meeting at City Auditorium beginning at 5 p.m. will consider bringing roadway changes before City Council. This has been a continuing discussion to decide what is best for all concerned. Any input would be appreciated. (safercc.com)

— Sharon Swint

Colorado Springs

New bullies

By definition: 1. bully — use superior strength or influence to intimidate [someone], typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

Sounds like what the entertainment industry is doing to states that have passed laws they do not agree with. These bullies — Springsteen, Adams, Moore and Starr — they do not know much about the legal process. There is a process for any law to be created and the people of these states have the ability to stop or repeal these laws. And here is a concept: majority rule. The current hot PC issue of LGBT rights comes after furor over the Confederate battle flag has lost its buzz status.

To these bullies: Pedal your eco-friendly bikes to Canada, eat your Ben & Jerry's or roll up your sleeves and bring about change by working with the system that allowed you to become famous.

— David Bell

Colorado Springs

Nuclear direction

Five Coloradans have been in Washington working with the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability to educate Congress about the folly of committing $1 trillion over 30 years to "modernizing" our nuclear weapons research and development complex. Opening this pipeline is in direct opposition to America's stated goal and commitment to eliminate nuclear weapons from the planet.

The ANA makes clear that this modernization plan involves development of new nuclear weapons and delivery systems. In fact, along with nuclear-armed NATO's belligerent moves up to the Russian borders and the U.S.-supported coup in Ukraine, the plan sends a non-verbal signal that we really don't mean it when we say we want a world free of nukes.

John Kerry's visit to Hiroshima clarified for him the horror of war in all of its modern technology. Perhaps all world leaders, especially the nuclear-armed powers, should make the same visit. Abstract theories of national security and nuclear deterrence have been stubbornly followed for more than 70 years while willfully turning a blind eye to the very real catastrophic consequences. These theories led to an arms race leaving the world awash in nukes.

The commendable quantitative reductions in the past 30 years lose their meaning when the remaining nuclear weapons are made more "usable" and equipped with new military capabilities. This development will spur a new nuclear arms race and further proliferation among non-nuclear nations.

— Robert Kinsey

Co-chair, Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Colorado Springs

Clean living

We cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels, which threaten public health and the environment, to power our lives. This is especially true since we have the renewable energy alternatives to meet 100 percent of our electricity demands.

With our 300 days of sunshine a year, Colorado has virtually limitless access to a virtually limitless resource. But our policies around solar power are outdated, and while cost is one barrier, equally as critical is lack of public education around financing options. Local governments can and should play a role in defending policies to accelerate the development of solar power and in educating constituents about solar investment options.

Communities have implemented group purchase programs that allow discounts on installing solar projects and purchasing an electric vehicle. These programs are modeled after successful solar power group purchase programs, pioneered in Portland, Oregon, in 2010.

In 2015, a joint solar and electric vehicle incentive program kicked off in Boulder/Denver. The programs have been remarkably successful. Boulder has more than 140 people installing nearly 750 kilowatts of solar power on their homes. This incentive works so well because the private sector provides the financial incentives, so the cost to local governments or agencies that administer the programs is very low.

Over the past few months, I have met with city leaders across the state to advocate for bold, ambitious goals around renewable energy and solar power. Cities like Lafayette, Golden and Colorado Springs are developing strong renewable energy goals, implementing creative incentive programs and considering new strategies for measuring progress toward carbon emission reduction and bringing more clean energy online annually.

These are steps in the right direction, but it's time for our city and state leaders to prioritize renewable energy and lead the way toward a clean energy future.

— Katie Otterbeck

Solar Energy Organizer

Environment Colorado

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