Grounded pride

I am a little fuzzy on the logic here. We just hit the all-time high in homicides in this city, and yet the solution our police chief presents is to ground the helicopters ("Some of Springs peers don't have police helicopters," Noted, Dec. 27)?

So now, when gang members start shooting at each other in front of our homes, instead of having a helicopter overhead a few minutes later to direct officers on the ground in arresting criminals, we can count on an officer showing up an hour or two later to waste our time with a police report.

Arresting violent people is inherently dangerous. If we want to attract good officers, we need to pay a respectable salary, provide excellent training and put eyes up in the sky to coordinate their efforts and warn them of potential danger.

My patience has run out with the incompetence of the Colorado Springs police. Last year, it was the goon squad beating up elderly citizens at a parade. A few years back, our finest unloaded over 140 rounds shooting up a neighborhood while taking down five buffalo. Before that, it was using tear gas on peaceful demonstrators because apparently our officers didn't grasp the concept of free speech.

Could we please get through just one year without our police force embarrassing this city at the national level?

The solution for a tight budget is not cutting corners; the solution is cutting incompetent personnel. We want a police force we can be proud of, effective in protecting our community.

David Esker
Colorado Springs

Eyes in the sky

Re: Grounding the police helicopter. Just wait, people soon we'll have the military "hand-me-down" drones that are circling Iraq and Afghanistan, hovering over your house. Or maybe they are up there right now!?

We'll just have to wait for Big Brother to neither confirm nor deny that a drone may or may not be observing, and even if it were, it's just collecting climate information.

Don't worry about it. Pretend it's not there. Trust us.

Pat Mullen
Colorado Springs

Strange message

Downtown businesses wondering why people sometimes prefer shopping elsewhere might look no further than one of the city's meter readers.

Last week, I grabbed a parking space in front of my favorite barbershop and went inside to get change. When I walked back outside to plug the meter, the officer was already writing me up. When I showed him the change in my hand, he began lecturing and telling me not to come downtown unless I had change in my pocket.

While I am grateful the fellow voided the ticket, he still said I was getting "one break only." However, it was his comment about staying away from downtown that bothered me most. Downtown businesses have a hard enough time without overzealous meter readers chasing people away.

Jere Joiner

Money suck No. 1

I would just like to put a light on the smoking ban in Cripple Creek. On Jan. 4, my last visit to Cripple Creek, there weren't as many people in the casinos as I've seen on past Friday nights.

I don't believe much of that had to do with the customers not being able to smoke in the casinos. I believe people are not playing as often because of the machines. Something is wrong with the system when you put cash in a nickel machine and can't get any money back in four hours of play.

The clubs say they expect a 10 percent drop in revenue because of the smoking ban, but loyal customers who have supported that town for a long time know better. It is the way the machines are fixed not to pay anything. But they'll blame it all on the smoking ban and lost revenue from not having cigarette machines, saying people aren't coming to gamble if they can't smoke. What a laugh.

I don't smoke, and on a TV story about the smoking ban in Cripple Creek, a spokesperson for a casino said they were looking for a younger, nonsmoking crowd since the smoking ban has taken effect.

You will probably think I am just a poor loser, but I am not. I just want the community to see how the casinos use the customers. It will be a long time before I return, and many, many people are feeling the same way as I.

Linda Jensen
Colorado Springs

Money suck No. 2

Thanks to Cara DeGette for "Anarchy: Wave of the Future?" (Public Eye, Jan. 3). I was unaware the DMV would be closed, but I actually received a citation.

The day after Christmas, the last valid day of my temporary registration, I headed to the DMV for my new license plates. Parking was abundant, and the meter had an hour's time. I proceeded to the tucked-away doors, where a large sign was posted: closed Christmas week and the following week, reopening after the New Year, closed again the following Friday.

I thought I would be all right, given the circumstances. When I was pulled over on Dec. 31 for expired temporary tags, I explained the situation. The sheriff's deputy said I would have to take that up with the DMV and the DA, and handed me a $43 citation!

I can't help but wonder if this wasn't some kind of government conspiracy to deal with money woes. Close the DMV, collect meter money from those who park before discovering the sign on the concealed door. (Why not post a banner out front?) Then write citations to those unable to obey the law because the office was closed.

The sheriff's office told me I should not have operated a motor vehicle without a current registration. Apparently my life and obligations, during this especially busy time, were supposed to take a two-week vacation as my only means of transport sat in my driveway. Where has common sense gone?

I fully intend to take Ms. DeGette's article to court when I fight this ticket. Hopefully there is still some shred of integrity left in our once-great community, and I will be absolved. I encourage others to write in if they had similar circumstances, as it will be harder to ignore a collective voice.

Michelle Pompeii
Manitou Springs

Empty heads

There are many troubling scenarios going on in reality these days. Lack of health coverage, lack of follow-up care for returning soldiers, on and on it goes. One person (or maybe even a few narrow-minded, intolerant people) can complain about Starbucks having the Independent, and Starbucks pulls them off the shelf. I wrote corporate headquarters saying I and many of my acquaintances will no longer be going to Starbucks until this is worked out equitably for all readers and patrons in this uptight town.

Another issue is this morbid amendment coming up on the Colorado November ballot in regard to a fertilized zygote being a citizen. I see commercials for healingafter.com, on some women feeling sorry for themselves because they had an abortion in the past.

We've got two foreign wars going on, a lying administration in the White House; we're allowing torture, locking people up without legal representation; people are being dumped on the streets, out of medical services for having no coverage to pay; there's a bounty of low-paying jobs with no health insurance or benefits, and we're catering to a few extremists' private agendas!

Don't you think we ought to be taking better care of the people already here on Earth rather than nosing in and controlling people's personal lives? Don't you think it's more important to stand vigilant against one or two citizens taking away everyone else's access to alternative information in a coffee shop?

Evidently not. Our collective minds are being emptied as we speak.

Valerie L. Etter
Cañon City

What is it good for?
Throughout civilization, people have fought. "We" fought for power, greed, land, religions, etc. "We" fought over differences to persuade or force others to adopt "our" ways.

We are all different, whether it be physical, mental, spiritual or cultural. We will never all be the same. So we fight and become judgmental, suspicious and find reasons to accuse each other of wrongdoings. We justify reasons to bicker and fight and go to war.

Really, does war change people? No, it does not! Some people have learned war rarely changes people's differences. It just forces people to begrudgingly comply and submit to more powerful forces. War is a power struggle with no permanent resolution. War creates a cycle of hatred, loss and fear that permeates through generations and centuries. It destroys civilizations!

Some people have learned war is not the way. Some have learned we are all different, and we must accept this as the truth and figure out how to get along together.

These are the people who should be our leaders: people who have a bigger and broader vision for the world as a whole; people who can lead by example. It is an evolution, in a way. An evolution that will save the world.

We must rise above war and find a way to unite on a local and global level if we want this planet to survive.

Many people say negotiations do not work, but honestly, does war work? War perpetuates war. Peace perpetuates peace.

People who believe in peace must stand up and be heard. Maybe we can learn from past mistakes. Maybe that is our purpose to evolve into something better and smarter.

Martha Slonim
Colorado Springs

Ulterior motives

Bill Sulzman ("City's addiction," Letters, Dec. 27) makes some good points in regard to Colorado Springs' and El Paso County's mindless support of further expansion at Fort Carson.

He could also have listed the local Chamber of Commerce and Colorado's two senators as participants in the thoughtless pursuit of Army dollars, with little or no regard for the long-term adverse implications of such growth.

It's funny, but I can remember when these types of actions were considered by some to border on war profiteering.

Philip S. Book
Colorado Springs


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