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Retail pot sales and tourism, City Council and the mayor, and more 

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Ringing registers

Gee, to think all you have to do to get tourists to come is to sell legal marijuana. I think that is what we voted for.

Denver and Pueblo didn't have to build any museums or stadiums. I read where the restaurants and motels are so appreciative of these people who are coming from far and wide. The cash registers are ringing, ringing.

— Colleene Johnson

Colorado Springs

Whiteclay Jr.?

Whiteclay is an unincorporated village of 14 people in northwest Nebraska bordering the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It has four beer stores selling the equivalent of 4.5 million 12-ounce cans of beer annually (about 12,500 cans per day). Pine Ridge has not allowed sales or possession of alcohol, but has incredible issues with alcohol abuse and no revenue to deal with those problems.

Colorado Springs, Fountain, El Paso County and others have decided not to allow the sale of recreational pot. This means that Pueblo or Denver will garner all of the sales and taxes. Manitou Springs has a wonderful opportunity here if they allow the sale of recreational pot when the moratorium ends in February.

Manitou can collect all the benefits of sales, especially the sales taxes, for a huge marketing area at a rather minimal cost. With only two outlets proposed, Manitou can post full-time officers in both locations and still enjoy a bonanza of taxes and revenue. Whether they choose to allow sales or not, they will enjoy all of the problems associated with marijuana, whether that dope comes from legal sales elsewhere or the current cartels and black markets.

Manitou might as well have the income to deal with marijuana problems, if some should arise. They certainly could use the extra income to deal with flood mitigation, if nothing else. Or they could be just like Pine Ridge Reservation and keep all the problems with no income to deal with them.

This just in: After all these years, the people of Pine Ridge voted in mid-August to permit alcohol sales on the reservation. They opted to use the profits for alcohol treatment programs and other needs, rather than seeing the money go to Whiteclay.

I'm sure that Denver and Pueblo would prefer Manitou not allow sales so that they could split up the huge Pikes Peak marketing area.

— Tim Haley

Colorado Springs

'Week-kneed newbies'

It has been interesting and sad to watch the two-ring circus develop within our wonderful Colorado Springs. What's even more interesting is that I agree with John Hazlehurst's recent column in the Indy ("Avoiding City War I," City Sage, Dec. 25). That almost never happens.

I think Keith King has been in politics way too long. His power urge doesn't fit into the idea of working and helping each other in the decision-making process. Worse yet, he has convinced some very weak-kneed newbies on Council to follow along his power-hungry quest.

Recently, Mr. King was on a local talk-show program. Outside of President Obama, I have never heard so much dancing around and never giving a straight answer. King always reverted back to his interpretation of the charter. It didn't matter what anyone else said or thought; he was right and the mayor is wrong.

City Council should devote their efforts toward tasks such as getting Utilities under control. King's assertion that Council is reviewing every department within Utilities rings very hollow. Who on Council has that kind of expertise? Give me three months and the authority, and many millions of dollars will be trimmed from their $1 billion budget.

Our badly sagging airport needs a complete makeover. Just those two departments or issues should keep Council very busy. Now Council wants to interject themselves into the City for Champions project, even though they have declined to support something so new and innovative.

I was excited for the new blood on Council. What did we get? Followers and pencil-pushers!

Where is the vision to provide direction and innovation? Nope, we have mostly people who are easily swayed by a career politician, who is only seeking power and glory.

Come on, Council. You are smarter than that!

— Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

Carbon calibration

Extreme weather events like the Black Forest Fire, the most destructive in Colorado history to date, were reminders that global warming is happening now. But thanks to people who took action in Colorado and across the country, it was also a year full of progress in the effort to cut the carbon pollution that's fueling the problem.

Solar, wind and energy-efficiency continued to make big gains here in state. And for the first time in history, America is growing the economy at the same time emissions are decreasing.

But we've still got the biggest challenges ahead of us. The question is, will our Sens. Udall and Bennet and Gov. Hickenlooper push for the strongest possible limits for carbon pollution this year? Time will tell, but if 2014 is anything like this last year, we've got reason to hope.

— Anneli Berube

Regional Field Organizer,

Environment Colorado

Denver

Lamborn vs. parks

At an Oct. 16 congressional hearing that took place during the federal government shutdown, Rep. Doug Lamborn lamented that the closure of national parks "was not good for the American people."

This is a sentiment that is felt by the vast majority of Colorado residents and one that was refreshing to hear come from Rep. Lamborn, as it is at odds with his previous actions concerning the National Park Service.

In the past, Rep. Lamborn has voted to cut funding from our national parks, which only use 1/15th of 1 percent of the federal budget and have an $11.5 billion maintenance backlog, and supported measures that would strip some of the protections our national parks enjoy that keep them as pristine as possible.

Now that Rep. Lamborn has so publicly expressed his appreciation for our parks, we expect him to work to increase funding for these iconic places and to make sure we avoid future government shutdowns, such as the recent one which damaged the state's economy and right here in the Fifth Congressional District prevented an estimated 2,700 visitors from visiting Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and robbed local businesses an estimated $132,000 of income.

— Bill Mead

Colorado Springs

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