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Restorative justice, taxes, food criticism, global warming, and more 

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Kids aren't all right

So glad to see more school districts giving restorative justice a try ("A teachable moment," News, May 20). Maybe I'm just getting old, but it seems today's kids are becoming more and more rude. And I don't really think it is their fault.

With more children than ever being raised by single parents who just can't find the time to make common courtesy a top priority when teaching their children life lessons, and even when there are both parents in the home, it seems the basic courtesies and rules are no longer being taught — probably because the parents were never taught them either.

We are all born as pretty selfish little babies, thinking the world revolves around us, but somewhere along the line parents and even sometimes teachers of long ago taught us the basic courtesies necessary to make this world run smoother for all. Since many children no longer learn this at home and see far too many television shows and movies where rudeness is rewarded, it's good to know there is some attempt being made in the schools to teach empathy, courtesy and kindness.

I'm quite sure that restorative justice does a lot more good than just punishing the child — plus it also gets the parent(s) involved. Too many of our youth are serving prison sentences today, simply because they only learned by the examples before them to be the biggest badass in the room or how to take advantage of others.

Wouldn't it be great if they even took this sort of teaching into the jails and prisons? Rather than just incarcerating offenders and then releasing them back out into the environment that put them behind bars in the first place, maybe that time could be spent trying to teach courtesy and empathy for those around us.

— Linda Brooks

Colorado Springs

No more rah-rah

We are so tired of "tax-raising boosterism" editorials like John Hazlehurst's "Taking off the shackles" ("Taking off the shackles", May 20), giving us another worthless study purporting millions in benefits for more "infrastructure" spending to build a "beautiful" city.

It is rare to find a study from the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments that doesn't promise fabulous end-game benefits, only to deliver less than zero. The airport expansion is the prime example of a civic money-loser. The millions in benefits for all the money borrowed to keep the U.S. Olympic Committee? Downtown beautification?

It borders on the insane to give more money to an almost criminally dysfunctional city government that can't manage its basic charter responsibilities, i.e., potholes and roads. Raising taxes, the cure-all panacea of every civic dreamer, makes the Springs less competitive for move-in business that might end up raising the total tax income for local government.

Two decades of tax-raising threats and periodic "headline" financial crises, not surprisingly, keeps us off the most-consider list. Not to mention excessive property taxes on small business.

Hazlehurst asks, almost comically, "What kind of city are we, and what do we wish to become?" The brutal answer: We are largely federal government employees and government hangers-on, and the slightest hiccup in Treasury borrowing, refinancing of the $18 trillion debt or ever-increasing federal taxes will send the Springs into a recession like it has never seen before. Successful cities cited by Hazlehurst have real business infrastructure — aggressive banks, venture capital, high-tech leaders, low business taxes — and don't depend on sponging off the taxpayers.

It is Hazlehurst and the PPACG that should become "players" (addressing real problems) rather than "scammers" (pulling the wool over taxpayers' eyes yet again). If you want a first-rate city, get rid of the third-rate politicians and their boosters in the press.

— Michael Lowery

Colorado Springs

A new low

Bryce Crawford's restaurant reviews are pretentious, verbose and (now, with "Heaven by Jalisco," Appetite, May 20) disgustingly vulgar. The editors need to be more diligent.

— Larry Hutchins

Colorado Springs

Too hot to handle

Regardless of where you stand on the global warming debate, the fact remains that when nature strikes, the U.S. military will respond as part of our longstanding commitment to humanitarian operations around the globe. Six U.S. Marines died recently providing aid to earthquake survivors in Nepal, which is a tragic loss. Their sacrifice embodies the values of our nation, and our presence in disaster-affected regions does the same while providing safety and stability to others.

But a world with simultaneous humanitarian crises on a scale that we have not previously seen, exacerbated by a changing climate, could quickly eclipse the military's ability.

Weather extremes in many parts of the world threaten to strain infrastructure and accelerate instability as competition for limited food and water resources increases. As instability increases, some populations living under already weak governance structures may become even more vulnerable to the recruiting call of extremist groups, as those groups seek to fill the void as they have done many times in recent history.

The Department of Defense and the intelligence community have declared conclusively that climate change is already affecting communities around the world, and as a result, is forcing our national security infrastructure to adjust how it conducts operations. We need to put aside the political debate of global warming and work together as a nation to prepare for these global changes, mitigating the potential risks to our service members and planning for what we can do now to prepare for future scenarios.

At the end of the day, it will be our military men and women who will have to leave their homes and families to face these issues.

— Don Martinez

Colorado Springs

I'd prefer the Cheetos

While watching snippets of news between five minutes of commercials, mostly for drugs (or lawyers), the list of side effects of the drugs is longer than the list of benefits it's supposed to provide.

Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana side effects include: red eyes, cotton mouth and the munchies.

— Eric Schissler

Colorado Springs

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