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Traffic tickets, PERA, Colorado Springs Manifesto Project, and more 

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

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Talking tickets

How about a little common sense over whether Springs police are writing enough traffic tickets. I'm a retired cop (26 years total) and I was sorry to see Chief Pete Carey having to answer a reporter's questions about the number of tickets written. More likely, this is a sergeant's or patrol commander's responsibility.

I was especially amused when officers complained about meeting an annual "quota" of 140 tickets. Chief Carey says there are no quotas, but let's assume for the moment there is an unofficial goal of 140 tickets per year. That is somewhere around one ticket every two working days. My old patrol captain used to say there was no way we could spend eight hours on the streets and not see at least one writable violation. His goal was 250 tickets per officer per year.

But technology has changed. Officers write more reports, and computer screens keep police eyes inside patrol cars more. I favor directed patrol efforts where several officers are sent out to monitor problem-prone areas. If time allows, other police can "write 'em as they see 'em."

Still, a ticket every two days seems achievable. If it's not, then maybe the Springs does need more police. This, then, is a matter for the chief to conclude and the mayor and city council to decide.

— Jere Joiner

Colorado Springs

Sic traffic bots on 'em

Hey, El Paso County! I've got a great idea for you that will cut costs and bring in capital. The Waldo Canyon section of Highway 24 is absolutely swarming with speeders going 15 mph or more over the limit. Why don't we put in some photo ticket machines and start raking in all those potential tickets?

It's difficult for our police officers to enforce the speed limit through the canyon due to its geography. And man, do people know it! So let's cut down on spending by replacing officers with an extremely reliable and highly effective alternative, and start bringing some cash into our county.

Law-abiding citizens like myself would sure appreciate the chance to catch miscreants going 60 in a 45 through a dangerous canyon.

— Monterey Hall

Green Mountain Falls

PERA pays everybody

Colorado PERA is our state's best economic investment. The retirement fund is an economic engine for Colorado Springs, pumping millions of dollars into our local economy as hard-working public employees enter into retirement.

By continuing to fight what PERA is owed from the decision to lease Memorial Hospital is exactly the opposite — an economic drain that hurts PERA members, retirees, and taxpayers in our community.

The City of Colorado Springs officials need to recognize this fact, and stop wasting money on a costly, losing legal battle and meet their obligations to pay what they owe to PERA.

— Gloria Henderson

Colorado Springs

The good fight

The Colorado Springs Manifesto Project (CSMP) is deeply saddened to learn about our demise from the Independent ("Remember our change agents?" Local View, Jan. 29). We thought the businesses we are launching, nonprofit organizations we are leading, ideas we are spreading, and risks we are taking were enough for now.

As stated in our response to Ms. Eurich, who wrote to us explaining that she is "Writing a column about the groups I see forming and trying to get to the heart of why people are joining forces and what the goals are," we explained that the original goal of the project was to ignite people into ownership and action. If you read the manifesto and like it, then do something (or continue) to make this city even greater.

We created a manifesto that spoke to us and then we let it spread organically. There was never any intention to do anything more than to release it to the public and get the conversation started.

We were absolutely delighted by the response of the project, which we define much more broadly than liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter, or buying a poster. Success to us is community engagement, which, by definition, involves individuals building ongoing relationships for the purpose of applying a collective vision for the benefit of a community. The manifesto is a vision and one we collectively subscribe to because we weren't aware of another one.

CSMP is alive and well, so don't count us out as a community engagement strategy just yet. Rather than publicly shaming incredible efforts that aim to improve this community, let's change our tone so that more people are likely to take risks without fear of failure in the public eye. And it isn't a coincidence that iColoradoSprings was anonymous too — we are positive Ms. Eurich didn't reach out to them to learn that it evolved into CSMP.

— Colorado Springs Manifesto Project

Drone warfare

I've got drones on my mind. Not the kind that are flying around in our bee sanctuary during the warmer months, but the kind that are currently flying assassination missions in our names, the kind that will soon be buzzing around the skies over Fort Carson.

Twelve Gray Eagle predator drones with the price tag of $12 million to $15 million each will be stationed at Fort Carson within the next year. While it's becoming easier to educate oneself about the direct connections between food production and dangerous climate change, it's a much more daunting task to think about the connections between food justice and violent military interventions around the world. I certainly can't articulate those connections, but I know it weighs heavy on my mind and heart.

As the military flight activity increases over Venetucci Farm, I am forced to think about what that means for farmers and mothers across the globe struggling to provide food for their communities and families. Some students of nonviolence are preparing to bring a panel of experts to Colorado College to discuss the legal and ethical implications of drone warfare. It will be an opportunity to educate ourselves about the drones, particularly the ones soon to be parked in our backyard.

So while you're thinking about making the subversive move to join a CSA in an attempt to support local food production, consider joining those who are trying to understand the impact of military intervention on the lives of poor people in countries targeted by drones. Check out this article to learn more about why this haunts me: tiny.cc/0zcnbx.

— Susan Gordon, Venetucci Farm

Colorado Springs

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