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After last week's City Council meeting on Jan. 26, it is clear the Council is determined to go forward with "sit/lie" despite consistent public opposition. Though carefully rebranded as the "Pedestrian Access Act" with penalties scaled down from outrageously unreasonable to just plain unreasonable, the heart of the ordinance remains the same.
The simple, peaceful acts of sitting or lying down will soon be considered crimes in downtown Colorado Springs and Old Colorado City. "Criminals" who partake in risky behaviors such as kneeling to tie shoelaces or sitting to speak with friends will be considered public health and safety dangers. Hundreds of dollars in fines, jail time, criminal records and court dates will ensue, imposing unfair burdens upon already marginalized and vulnerable populations.
Community members and organizations have articulated serious problems with the specifics of the ordinance at meetings and forums these past few months. Those concerns have gone largely unheard by a Council determined to restrict public rights to public spaces in the names of comfort and consumerism in commercial districts.
Sit/lie detracts precious energy and resources from fully realizing solutions to real dangers and systemic problems in our community. We should demand more of our city and ourselves.
— Ruth Markwardt
Can't have it all
I am a granddaughter to a Canadian-born woman, which leaves me with relatives in Canada. They often ask me why so much controversy over universal background checks on guns.
I don't object to a legally responsible person owning a handgun or a hunting rifle, as long as the hunting is for food and not sport. I fear, though, many of my fellow Americans haven't read the Second Amendment our forefathers wrote.
A well-regulated militia has a right to bear arms. Defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, "regulated" is to govern or direct according to rule, to bring under control of law or authority. Militia is a part of the organized armed forces liable to be called only in an emergency.
So, what that means to Mr. Doe next door is unless you are a member of a regulated militia, that doesn't include you. So to my fellow Americans, stop whining. You have your gun!
I must respond to Don McCullen's letter ("Counter-protester," Jan. 27). While I personally believe in the sanctity of life, to refer to women who are " proud" of their abortions as sluts and whores is shameful and disrespectful.
You change minds through dialogue and example; not insults. I don't know any woman who is "proud" of her abortion; I would assume it is a gut-wrenching decision, but it is a decision that is still legal in America. While I think there are far too many abortions in America annually, violence and insults will not change minds.
— Dave Naumann
Regarding to the Jan. 27 letter by Mr. McCullen in decrying the use of the term "nutter," I have never used that term. I prefer "forced birther," myself, because that is exactly what you are.
Terming yourself "pro-life" is the ultimate in hypocrisy. Where are your protests against the death penalty and the never-ending wars in which we find ourselves? Where are your efforts to make certain that, once born, children in low-income families have access to adequate medical care, adequate nutrition and needed daycare? Where are your petitions calling for access to contraceptive methods for all — the best way to reduce the number of abortions?
Rove v. Wade has nothing to do with making sure "we feel good and gratify ourselves." It is about a women's right to privacy and her right to control her own body.
You reference "the most vulnerable in our community." While a fetus has the potential to become a human being, it is not one. Many, if not most, abortions occur when the development of the fetus has progressed no further than a few cells attached to the uterine wall. I suggest you quit throwing stones, as the walls of your particular house are as clear as can be.
— Cyrus Campbell
Colorado citizens have spoken, and cannabis (marijuana) prohibition has been cleansed from our great state. We acknowledged, among other things, making our streets safer requires forcing government to regulate the relatively safe, extremely popular God-given plant, rather than allowing the black market to continue regulating cannabis.
It's sickening then, that a prohibitionist cartel inaccurately named the Safe Streets Alliance, with no other recourse than creative lawsuits, attempts to force its discredited minority prohibitionist policy upon resisting Colorado citizens.
Americans are expecting President Obama to end cannabis prohibition on the federal level, one way or another, before the end of his term. What will cannabis prohibitionists do then?
— Stan White
Opposing the swap
The Broadmoor and Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Karen Palus are causing tension in a community that agrees on at least one thing: Colorado's wildland should be free and open to the public.
Don't pit Colorado Springs communities against each other. An article in the Gazette (owned by the same man who owns The Broadmoor) states "the swap means The Broadmoor would get 189.5 acres of southwest North Cheyenne Canyon Park, known as Strawberry Fields, which the hotel would develop into a picnic area and stables." This acreage is currently free and open to the public and belongs to the people of Colorado Springs
This deal would charge money and the owner of The Broadmoor gets the profits ... not the city.
Bear Creek Park residents didn't want horse stables and development on the eight acres The Broadmoor already owns — the other side of the Colorado Springs community doesn't want public land, Strawberry Fields, to be given to The Broadmoor for horse stables and picnic areas either.
If The Broadmoor has land to sell to Colorado Springs to achieve the city's goals, put a price tag on it and let the Colorado Springs community support it. Why not run a Give! campaign for all things outdoors one year and have proceeds pay for those areas on the Chamberlain Trail and Cheyenne Mountain Heritage Trail that are part of the plan.
You can't give away public land without a vote! Especially to a for-profit organization!
You need to uphold the process of public meetings where people voice their opinions — good, bad and ugly — and then you put the proposals and changes to a vote by the people! Go to change.org to sign the petition "No to the Broadmoor landswap deal."
— Lara Rowell
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