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The commishs did not change overnight.

The people got what they voted for, or deserve what they voted for.

-- Nick Werle

Colorado Springs

Dunce cap

Yes, we are idiots.

All fall The Gazette's opinion page editors have waged a verbal assault against our town's visionary citizens who value the preservation of natural beauty.

The paper calls that vision shortsighted, and that's one of the nicer insults. The truth is voters have wisely chosen natural beauty and wildlife habitat over increased traffic and pollution, added water consumption, more rapists roaming the streets, and longer lines at the driver's license bureau.

By approving the TOPS tax, we demonstrated we're willing to put our money where our mouths are. This apparently infuriates the daily paper. After all, a park doesn't place ads or subscribe to newspapers; it just improves the long-term quality of life in the community.

The Gazette would have us permanently pass up any chance at preserving remaining open space because, according to that paper, we need the money.

However, studies by American Farmland Trust, Southern New England Forest Consortium, Trust for Public Land, the Center for Governmental Research, and University of Georgia -- to name a few -- consistently show it is cheaper to buy and preserve open space than it is to support residential development! (Check out links to these studies at

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nomoregrowth/)

Many in town prefer this be kept a secret. They have a cushy deal wherein taxpayers blindly subsidize growth, and therefore their industry.

If growth did pay its own way, the record growth of the past decade would have resulted in unprecedented levels of service and infrastructure improvements. Instead we face service cuts and a never-ending onslaught of tax and bond measures from our city, county and school districts.

To The Gazette: We are not idiots because we support open space. We are idiots because we continue to embrace and subsidize growth. The truth is growth does not solve any of our problems. It only creates or worsens problems. I am proud to support open space. It's one step in the right direction!

-- Dave Gardner

Colorado Springs

Get priorities straight

Visit many of Europe's great cities and you will encounter a roundabout -- annoying structures built for no other purpose than encumbering the flow of traffic.

Roundabouts are usually located in or near the heart of a city, for all to loathe and swear at, monuments to the slavish worship of monarchical splendor.

Visit Colorado Springs and you will encounter roundabouts -- but only in the neighborhoods of the well-heeled elite. There's a couple of 'em in the Broadmoor and now one is being fabricated between the exclusive (i.e., gated) communities on Mesa Drive.

Not exactly arteries of cross-town traffic, there's little chance that our roundabouts will screw with traffic flow. And in the U.S. we don't worship our royals (we indulge them with sham elections) but rather worship the dollar and them that have a lot. We in the Springs could teach those godless Europeans a thing or two.

Yep, those godless Europeans need to get their priorities straight. The moral compass here in the Springs can't be bothered with tax dollars spent on grandiose street projects in ritzy neighborhoods (they could be spending it on -- gasp! -- low-income housing, improved mass-transportation, or education!) when our misguided City Council is pissing away funds on benefits for same-sex partners.

After all, we the god-fearing citizens of Colorado Springs are aware that Jesus was not so much known for his compassion for the poor as he was for hating homosexuals.

When my tax dollars go to build a roundabout in Pikes Peak Park (in the middle a big crucifix engraved with the words, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God,") then maybe I could take the spineless sycophants on City Council seriously.

When members of Focus on the Family rally 'round one of the roundabouts in the Broadmoor chanting "No Justice, No Peace," perhaps I will give those worthless hypocrites a second thought.

-- Jim McQuiggin

Colorado Springs

The whole wild world

Our President George Bush is spending billions and billions of tax payers' dollars on wars; on homeland security (loaded with pork and corporate welfare); on underwriting insurance claims for terrorist attacks; and on special-interest projects.

Then he and Congress have the gall to propose a tax break for all of us. Well, where-oh-where do you think all those yokels will get the billions upon billions of dollars? They will eventually get them from this generation and all future generations.

It comes down to these choices:

A.) Raise taxes (oh, no, that would be political suicide)

B.) Steal money from the peoples' trust funds (that is what they are now doing and will continue to do as long as the people remain silent).

C.) Continue to increase the national debt (this will put a great financial burden on us and all future generations (this will be robbing Peter to pay Paul, which will eventually create economic disaster).

D.) They might risk devaluing the dollar (that would cause chaos).

Therefore, any one of them, or any combination of them, will create a lose/win situation -- lose for We the People and a temporary win for the federal government. Then it will eventually become a lose/lose for the whole, wild world.

If the people really want to stop this horrendous rip-off by the federal government, we must demand changes now, or eventually endure a huge fiscal disaster.

-- Bob Bock

Colorado Springs

Voter with an attitude

Recently Gov. Bill Owens told the Rocky Mountain News and the Washington Times that the DIA would bounce back from the United bankruptcy.

Well, if you count this incident, the recent arrest of many DIA illegals, and the uncounted Coloradans in the U.S. 2000 Census ... I'd say Colorado is definitely a backwater pit of the worst kind.

And since Owens likes to take credit for what happens, take this credit. You deserve it, and when Coloradans get smart, really smart, they'll kick you out of office. You deserve that, too!

Maybe then the Colorado Springs Council and greedy county bureaucrats will get the message and stop trying to live beyond their means at the expense of their citizens.

-- Stella Wells

Colorado Springs

Doom and gloom

Norman Solomon's "Media Time Capsule: Looking Backward at 2002" [Your Turn, Nov. 28-Dec. 4] was headed in the right direction, but didn't go far enough.

My version would be dated 2008 and read as follows:

War scars in a few "developing" countries are starkly visible in the aftermath of the Bush administration's crusade to nullify other nations' sovereignty. The Bush government wonders at their ingratitude.

The dipping national treasury and rising national debt have precluded our assuaging poverty, unemployment, and poor health of a sizable portion of the American citizenry, but defense contractors have experienced a tremendous upsurge in business including national missile defense.

Civil liberties lawyers along with the ACLU have gone out of business as appeal has become pointless. Church and school have merged, and the mere mention of abortion has become grounds for indefinite detention.

The most dramatic change has involved the environment. The end of the George Bush dictatorship has left the U.S. a wasteland except for a few hunting and vacationing preserves for the wealthiest.

We can credit the Republicans for privatizing the national parks and forests, the Bureau of Land Management property, monuments, and wildlife refuges. The timber, oil, gas, coal and other mining industries are now free to exploit at their leisure.

With the petroleum and automotive empires acting as surrogates for the federal government, pollution is approaching a solid state, knocking off vegetation as well as toxifying the nation's waters along with fish, crustaceans, etc.

Wildlife has become a thing of the past, except in a few natural history museums.

Who would have thought that a simple war or two to firmly guarantee Republican policies on into the future, ensure oil supplies for decades to some, bolster the profits of the defense industry, and fill to overflowing the coffers of the extractive industries would have wreaked such a transformation?

-- Anita Brown

Colorado Springs

Man with a plan

People from around the world flock to Colorado to enjoy its breathtaking landscapes.

Incredibly, many of these places are being targeted for natural gas drilling at an unprecedented rate. The Bush administration's Energy Plan now calls for drilling in one of our most dramatic landscapes, the Roan Plateau, located north of Interstate 70 near Rifle.

The proposed drilling would permanently scar an area that now provides habitat for Colorado's big game herds and large blocks of wilderness-quality public lands for backcountry recreation.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering options that will determine the fate of the Roan Plateau. One specific plan drafted by the BLM, Alternative F, outlines several measures that would protect the wild character of this natural treasure. The plan specifically calls to:

1. Limit drilling to the base of the plateau and prohibit drilling on the cliffs and the uplands.

2. Preserve important values on the plateau, such as riparian areas, rare plant, fish and wildlife habitat, and scenic and cultural resources.

3. Control motorized use with a designated route system under a "closed unless posted open" policy.

Alternative F would still allow energy development to proceed at a reasonable level. Industry will be allowed to access gas resources through directional drilling or other environmentally preferred techniques in areas already developed at the base of the Plateau. This will leave the uplands unspoiled by new industrial development.

This land is so important to us and our children and their children, and something must be done.

-- Graham Howard

Centennial

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