The park's toxic neighbor and renewable rural energy 


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Tell us the truth

Dear Mayor Bach and Council members: It is with urgency and grave concern that I write to you concerning the little I know about the toxic site opposite America the Beautiful Park and the Trestle Building ("Chemical reactions," cover story, April 24).

My concern is primarily twofold: first, that the public has not been at all well informed about the extent of the contamination at the site and the probable contamination around the park and Trestle Building areas, and secondly, the public health issues that are at stake here.

I urge you, Mayor Bach and Council members, to commit to an open, transparent investigation and public airing of this "clean-up" situation, so that all concerned have a clearer and more factual picture of what has happened and is going on at the site.

If children's and others' health is at risk, all of us who play at that park, and who attend events at Smokebrush and other venues in the Depot Arts District, need to know what is in the dirt and what is in the air, and what the City is doing to protect its citizens' health as a result.

I thank you in advance for bringing your collective concern, intelligence, and energies to this issue and I look forward to hearing from each of you about what is being done to protect those of us who want to be able to enjoy our outings in the areas affected, without endangering our health and well-being.

— Robin Izer

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: For the latest on this site, go here.

Part of the solution

I am writing to bring attention to Senate Bill 252, which will increase the renewable energy standard for rural cooperatives with at least 100,000 meters from 10 percent to 20 percent by 2020 and has a 2-percent-limit rate increase to minimize impacts on customers.

Please consider the following facts:

• In the last week we've achieved an average of 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, fueling climate disruption throughout the world.

• In Colorado, we've routinely experienced record high or low temperatures over the last few months, which has been shown to be related to altering of the jet stream as attributed to sea-ice loss in the Arctic.

We're feeling the heat, and Gov. Hickenlooper can reduce Colorado's carbon pollution by signing SB 252 into law. Developing renewable energy will create new regional investments by creating jobs, promoting innovation, and eventually lowering electricity prices.

In a 2012 State of the Rockies Conservation in the West poll by Lori Weigel and Dave Metz, 71 percent of respondents agreed we should replace coal with other energy sources like wind and solar.

— Andrea Storrs


Governor Gessler?

So Secretary of State Scott Gessler is considering a run for governorship of Colorado? Let's review his qualifications:

• He is under investigation for malfeasance, misappropriation and personal use of state funds.

• He spent state funds on a biased and imprudent voter registration effort (using a dated and flawed database) — ferreting out about 35 illegitimate voters(!) — and he wants to do it again.

• He expects to intimidate and disenfranchise as many non-white voters as possible, but, has most egregiously, stated — "my goal as Secretary of State is not to encourage voters or to conduct fair elections and maintain accurate incorporation records, but to further the conservative viewpoint." So this will be Gessler's gubernatorial platform?

— James M. Hesser

Colorado Springs

The dangers of Plan B

The FDA has approved Plan B, the morning-after pill, for girls 15 and older. This is a very powerful drug, and if used at all it should be under the authority of a licensed physician.

A girl cannot drive legally in this State until she is 16. Yet she can take this powerful drug without the supervision of a doctor. You cannot drink until you are 21 and yet you can take this drug at 15.

What is really scary is that older boys could buy the drug for their girlfriends and force them into unwanted intercourse and state they are being responsible because they have the morning-after pill.

This does nothing to prevent STDs. It will not curb the pregnancy rate; more girls will become sexually active, feeling invincible from pregnancy.

Federal law states a girl can buy Plan B without a prescription and without a parent's knowledge. What will law-abiding citizens do? Hopefully we will ignore federal law like we do with marijuana, and protect minor girls, and not allow Plan B to be sold in Colorado without a doctor's prescription and parental notification.

— Fr. Bill Carmody

Respect Life Director

Diocese of Colorado Springs

Turn off the noise

I will never forget the first time I visited Manitou Springs. It was in 2009. I was visiting as a native New Yorker, and thought that Manitou was the greatest little town I'd ever visited. When I moved out here, it was the town I canvassed with my waitress résumé.

I'd heard rumblings from some residents as to how Manitou, despite all its awesomeness, was for all intents and purposes, a whore. See, there are stakeholders, rich people who sit figuratively and sometimes literally on top of Manitou's hills and make the decisions. They do not prize the bars and the restaurants because they want Manitou to be some glamorous tourist trap, filled with shops.

This year, my boyfriend and I moved from our Ruxton apartment after a year of living with weird architecture and unforgiving acoustics that led to a lot of noise. Things happen. People have schedules. And though we loved our upstairs neighbors, we had to move.

Our move meant asking our future landlord if it was relatively peaceful, yet not "GET OFF MY LAWN," quiet. She said yes.

Imagine her surprise, and ours, when discovering that we were going to be subjected to an indefinite cacophony that could rival NYC in terms of noise pollution.

Because that's what we're getting on Manitou Avenue.

While I appreciate the "betterment" of this great town and for sure the workers themselves, the cacophony of the construction and lack of communication from The Powers That Be lead me to believe that Manitou residents are not taken into account, when Manitou sells itself as a tourist town.

I get that tourists are our bread and butter. But there is acknowledgement of that, and then there is blatant whoring. I think Manitou has done the latter.

— Judith Posch

Manitou Springs

Recall workers scorned

A person carrying a Sen. John Morse recall petition came to my door yesterday. The young man was handicapped and was being paid for each signature he received. This guy was trying to earn some money in a bad economy.

I started thinking about the commercials Morse supporters were running, saying not to sign the petition because the people coming to get your signature are perverts, criminals, etc. This poor guy probably had people thinking he was some bad person when he was just a young disabled man trying to make it in a tough economy. I guess the Morse commercials couldn't tell people not to sign the petition because of the good things he has done while in office so they just attacked the average guy trying to make a buck. I truly felt sorry for this poor young man and it actually choked me up.

— Jill Coleman

Colorado Springs

Morse's good service

I'm a 30-year resident of the west side and I also worked for Harrison School District 2. I've known Sen. John Morse for many years. John served Colorado Springs on the Colorado Springs Police Department as officer, detective and sergeant, as the former Fountain Police Chief, and as the CEO of Silver Key Senior Services, a Colorado Springs-based nonprofit.

Sen. Morse has passed laws that reflect his long-standing commitment to our community. His bills support public safety and his constituents by encouraging more accurate criminal convictions through the use of DNA, supporting safer learning environments for our D-2, D-11 and D-14 students, allowing cities to set up pension funds for volunteer firefighters, increasing services for veterans, and funding efforts to support domestic violence survivors.

I don't agree with Sen. Morse on every issue but I know he cares about our community and passes laws that make sense. Petition circulators are being paid by outside interest groups to force a recall election for Sen. Morse that would cost county residents hundreds of thousands of dollars. If someone approaches you to sign this recall petition, please decline to sign.

— Mike Maday

Colorado Springs


In last week's "Light music," the Independent incorrectly titled one concert series as "Grace and St. Stephens Episcopal Church concert series." Its correct name is Jazz in the Garden. We regret the error.

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