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'Objective journalism' and the Gazette, the USOC, highway safety, and more 

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

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Anti-pot blowback

I agree with Ralph Routon ("Gazette: Concerns beyond pot," Between the Lines, April 1): The Gazette did an excellent job of compiling all their old anti-pot editorials and repackaging them as objective journalism. Of course they neglected to analyze the effect on the pot experiment of the city councils and county commissions who gave voters the raspberry and sabotaged the experiment by banning retail recreational pot shops from opening.

By their actions they ensured that a black market would continue to exist, tax revenue would be less than expected, and safety and oversight programs for the pot industry would lack necessary funding.

— Bill Schaffner

Colorado Springs

Kinder, gentler

Driving home from a family gathering, I saw an electronic sign on I-25 that said "Are you watching your speed? We are. CSP" (Colorado State Patrol).

Frankly, I find the message disturbing. According to their website, the mission of CSP is "to ensure a safe and secure environment for all persons by utilizing the strengths of our members to provide professional law enforcement services that reflect our Core Values of Honor, Duty and Respect."

Heads up, CSP — telling us you are "watching" smacks of "Big Brother" and does not sound like "respect." At a time when the headlines are blasting daily stories about police brutality, your freeway message can be interpreted as threatening and certainly does not help to create a positive image of law enforcement. My 17-year-old suggested you might say something like "Are you watching your speed? We care about your safety. CSP." I think he might be on to something.

— Ahriana Platten

Colorado Springs

'Corruptive' money

Let's see if I have this right.

On Tuesday, April 14, an Atlanta judge ignored the recommendations of the district attorneys who had successfully prosecuted their case and sentenced three Atlanta schoolteachers to 20 years in prison for falsifying test answers on students' achievement tests in order to gain bonuses for improving students' scores. The teachers will serve seven years, but the judge rejected the prosecutors' leniency — they asked for five years, three of which would have been served in prison — as the teachers had done irreparable harm to thousands of students in their charge.

Meanwhile, on Wall Street, the slime balls who made $14 trillion of wealth evaporate selling junk derivatives are scot-free today: no perp walks, no prosecutions, no self-righteous claims of judges rejecting leniency, and one crucial difference — hundreds, if not thousands of these thieves received bonuses funded in part by taxpayer bailouts. No judge is screaming about the millions of mortgage-holders who were victimized by predatory loans and lost their houses. The hypocrisy is sickening.

And every day, Big Money has politicians from both sides of the aisle decrying the overreach of regulators attempting to rein in too-big-to-fail operators, politicians defending the greed-heads and their "right" to bonuses too obscene to comprehend. Some, like the CEO of CitiCorp, Jamie Dimon, taunt Sen. Elizabeth Warren with, "Well, I guess I'll be paying a big fine, won't I?"

This is not even about equality. It's about scapegoats and lobbyists and let's-treat-schools-like-a-business gone-wild. In his book, Drive, Daniel Pink says that money is an awful incentive, corruptive at every turn. It is hard to disagree.

— Steve Schriener

Colorado Springs

It's personal

I recently had my license plates stolen. While filling out the online police report, I, as the person reporting the crime, was required to declare my race as either white, black or Hispanic. There was no other choice, including the choice not to reveal my race, or even "other." The report would not be accepted until I made a choice. Why is this important? Why aren't other races listed? Why do I have to reveal this information at all?

— Mark S. Young

Colorado Springs

Thankless task

If the price of being the world leader is to have multitudes of adversaries trying to violently destroy said leader, then why do our candidates try to encourage us to be the world leader?

— Brien Whisman

Colorado Springs

Is it worth it?

What has the USOC brought to Colorado Springs in economic growth after the town ponied up $53 million? Has it been $53 million? Does anyone have the real numbers?

Now they want to build a museum with other people's money to the tune of $70 million. Will this USOC museum bring in $70 million in economic growth plus the $53 million already given to it? That's $123 million, boys and girls. The USOC's investment? Zero! Will the USOC even be here to see $123M worth of economic activity generated by this museum?

But, who's going to pay for the infrastructure (bridges, roads, parking garage, CSU infrastructure, etc.) required to provide access to the USOC museum? TIF? Bonds through urban renewal? Anybody got the numbers on that cost? Will enough tourism dollars be generated to pay for this?

When the USOC begins talking about moving in the future, Colorado Springs should take a page out of Boston's playbook and show the USOC the door.

If Atlanta can muster the courage to tell the Atlanta Braves to take a hike and tear down Turner Field, then Colorado Springs can do the same thing with the USOC. By the way, there are other USOC museums in this country — this one will not be the first.

— Gary Casimir

Colorado Springs

Corrections

• Last week's Long Story Short inaccurately stated that the Missouri Synod is one of three predecessor church bodies to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Actually, as explained by reader Laurance Moe, "the ELCA was started with a merger of American Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church in America, and Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. The AELC was a break-away church group from the Missouri Synod, but the Missouri Synod itself did not participate in the merger."

• Dede Laugesen says she was not speaking to Douglas Bruce before he reached for her camera while she filmed him and City Councilor Helen Collins in the hallway of the courthouse in Denver on April 10 ("Surreality show," News, April 15). She says her questions were directed toward Collins.

• In the Spring 2015 ReLeaf, inserted into last week's issue, we gave the wrong day of the week for Studio A64's open mic night. It happens each Thursday.

We regret the errors.

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