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Protecting pedalers, disgusting Drake, when dogs attack, and more 

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

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Protect the pedalers

I am a partially paralyzed rider who has benefited from the Colorado Springs trails, big-time. I ride a reverse recumbent bike, and sometimes visibility is a little more limited. (There will be more of us!) In the Feb. 18 issue of the Independent, about biking, the cover story ("Back in the saddle") referred to an existing budget.

Two crossings need to be addressed for safety's sake.

Midland Trail is a fun and safe trail except the crossing on 21st Street, where motorists largely have no clue it is a significant bike crossing. Second is the very dangerous and unmarked crossing at Ridge Road, crossing Colorado Avenue. This barely qualifies as a crossing.

I have had my close calls on both trails and seen several other near-death events. There is no excuse for such poor signage. Simple, low-cost signage in both cases is desperately needed and can't wait for more elaborate solutions.

Please!

— Dan Nicholson

Woodland Park

Disgust with Drake

OK readers, picture this scenario: You take your car in for a $20 oil-and-filter change.

You show up the next day but find out it won't be ready for seven weeks. Nevertheless, you are presented with a bill for $200, but that price includes only new filters, not new oil.

Crazy? Exactly!

Every citizen in Colorado Springs is being faced with just such a ludicrous scenario from Colorado Springs Utilities.

The Neumann Systems Group scrubbers being installed at the Martin Drake Power Plant were originally supposed to cost $20 million for sulfur dioxide (SOx) and nitrous oxide (NOx) pollution emissions controls. At least that's how they were originally sold to us.

Then in 2011 the price went up to $111.8 million, and the NOx part was dropped. Then last year the price tag went up again, to $130 million.

Yet last week, I heard Utilities announce that the current price tag is a whopping $170 million, and it's only for SOx removal! So far, that is — and it won't be finished until 2016 at the earliest. How much will the price tag be when it's all finished?

I've seen Utilities offer no explanation as to why the costs have exceeded budget by such a ridiculous amount. There is no transparency.

We citizens are being strung along for quite a ride for this experimental technology not used on any other power plant in the world. One thing we can be sure is we'll be paying for it for the long haul!

— Nicole Rosa

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Utilities disputes the $20 million figure, which has been reported previously in the media, but did not provide clarification by deadline.

Come on by

To J. Adrian Stanley, regarding a recent blog post ("The city didn't kill these. Now they're flourishing," Feb. 25):

On behalf of all of us at the city community centers, including staff, volunteers, participants, community partners and funders, I want to express my deepest gratitude for your continuous advocacy of these facilities.

While there is still so much to do and equally as much need to address, large strides have been made over these last five years to where what felt like a slippery slope now feels more like terra firma.

E pluribus unum (out of many, one) is our country's motto and is a very appropriate descriptor for the efforts taking place at Deerfield Hills, Hillside and Meadows Park community centers. You and all Independent readers are welcomed and encouraged to visit us anytime. We certainly hope that you will.

— Brian Kates

Facility director, Meadows Park Community Center

Tech for less

What is the value of all of our technological advancements and our improvements in communications if shootouts, riots and wars continue at such a feverish pace?

— Brien Whisman

Colorado Springs

In attack mode

Adrian Abineri ("Keep it holstered," Letters, Feb. 18) writes: "Shooting dogs (or humans) because of some perceived threat should not be viewed as an appropriate solution in any universe."

Well, how about if the threat is real and imminent? And by the way, let's leave out the false analogies, given humans (most) by virtue of a larger frontal cortex can exercise self-control, while dogs cannot — which is why we have leash laws. Allowing dogs to run wild without control, then, is sheer nuts and irresponsible.

Let me give two examples and ask what Adrian would do in similar situations.

Six years ago while bringing my trash can into the garage, I was immediately confronted by two good-sized, unleashed pit bulls bounding in off the street. All I could see was their snapping jaws, but managed to fend them off — using the trash can — until I could grab a machete on the (garden tool) shelf. I didn't stop and think, or whisper "Nice doggie!" but went right at them with the machete, nipping one on his ear. They went off howling, I presume with some indignation.

Would I have done it again? Damned straight! The dogs were unleashed, on my property and in an attack mode. Thus, I could also be.

Second example transpired when my brother (in Oklahoma City) took out his .44 and put a bullet into the head of his neighbor's pit bull. The beast had bounded over its fence and grabbed his wife's pet cat (resting on the porch) in its jaws. He didn't wait, make "Pretty please" pleas, but just blasted the animal in its cranium. The cops arrived and found no issues, given the gun was licensed and the act deemed justifiable. (He was protecting his "loved one.")

Now, what would Adrian have done?

— Phil Stahl

Colorado Springs

Correction

Last week's cover story ("Poetic justice") included the wrong date for the launch party of Critical Karaoke, a new show on KRCC featuring Idris Goodwin, Steven Hayward and Ryan Raul Bañagale. The party is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, at Colorado College's Packard Hall. We regret the error.

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