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Signs of the times

Could someone please explain to me the point in having a sign in your yard (or anywhere around town for that matter) with a politician's name on it?

Do people really think that makes a difference in the outcome of the election? Do people really go around town counting all the signs, and then decide they will vote for whichever is most popular? Do people really think they will get others to vote for the same politician, just because they advertise their own vote? Do people really look at a sign in someone's yard and say, "Hey, they're voting for him, so should I!"

I mean, we're not that fluoridated ... are we?!

On that note, think about how much money is spent on advertising in election campaigns. Think about how much of that money is wasted when one of the two politicians loses the election!

Now, think about how many people all that money could have helped around the world, term after term ... after term ... after term ...

— Jeff Welch

Colorado Springs

An anti-merger voice

As someone who loves OUR library I cannot in good conscience vote for the merger of the Manitou Springs Public Library and the Pikes Peak Library District. Here are my main reasons:

1. I believe that tax dollars from Manitou Springs residents should stay in Manitou Springs. This mill property tax increase is offset by the expiration of the parks tax — but this mill has no sunset. It is forever.

2. Should hard times hit PPLD (or the city of Manitou Springs) there is no guarantee that our library will be kept open. It is good that the wonderful Carnegie library building will always belong to Manitou Springs. We would have library privileges with PPLD, just maybe not in our town. And the mill property tax will continue.

3. I understand that some residents want/need services that MSPL cannot provide. And I agree that the building needs renovations to deal with increased use and needs of the 21st century as well as the need to bring the building up to current ADA requirements. But I also think there are other options available for residents who need more databases, (surely one could purchase these online) music downloads, etc. And as far as more books, we can get books today from PPLD with our Manitou Springs library card.

I respect the work that the Friends, Library Board of Trustees and the MSPL Task Force groups have done. I have read the pros and cons that have been presented by these groups and I just don't agree with the conclusions.

So I am voting NO. I would encourage Manitou residents to ask questions. I know that the MSPL Task Force is more than happy to answer them. Be an informed voter.

— Mary Snyder

Manitou Springs

Pete Lee's record

In response to Ron Pelton's letter to the Indy ("Jennifer and Gerald," Sept. 26): Mr. Pelton writes, "The incumbent Mr. Lee has given it his best shot as a big-government Democrat."

"Big-government Democrat" — those are fightin' words in these parts, Mr. Pelton, sure to inflame. Citizens should know the facts about Pete Lee and his accomplishments for our district — not rely on name-calling.

For example:

• Rep. Lee voted to eliminate hundreds of regulations burdening health care providers and businesses in Colorado.

• He sponsored a bill giving Coloradans a 3-percent advantage in state bids.

• He voted to balance the budget and fund schools, all in light of an increase in Colorado population and increase in student population — without new taxes.

• He voted for Republican Amy Stevens' bill for health care exchanges, a free-market solution to health care.

• He voted to close prisons to further ease costs.

These are not big-government votes by Pete Lee.

The hallmark of his first term is the restorative justice bill that he sponsored and was passed unanimously — no small feat in these difficult political times. By implementing restorative justice, which could reduce the inmate population, our state could save untold dollars, something all fiscal conservatives should note. To learn more, see youtu.be/rFMyHaGo49Q.

Citizens today are weary of the partisan fighting and stalemates. We want leadership. Lee has served our district well, and we would do well to re-elect him. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience that he brings to our great state, and offers real solutions to today's problems.

— Linda Dyer

Colorado Springs

A voice for education

I agree with Lisa Travis that "Education matters" (Letters, Sept. 26) but I disagree with her implied portrayal of Pete Lee as anything less than "pro education."

I had the pleasure of being the principal of the school from which Pete's children graduated. He served on the school's Accountability Committee as well as the District 11 Accountability Committee's sub-committee on budget and finance, on which I was honored to serve with him. It was also my pleasure to serve with him as a fellow director on the Governing Board of Directors for Community Prep School, a D-11 charter school.

These activities allowed Pete to help analyze the D-11 budget and make suggestions (through the committee) to the Board of Education, to participate in governing the oldest charter school in our community and to become familiar with programs available to our children, such as concurrent enrollment in schools of higher ed.

Pete is a champion of educational options and, consequently, legislation that assures that EVERY child has a chance at a quality education regardless of individual circumstances. The bills cited in Ms. Travis' letter on which Pete voted in the negative were much more complicated than the titles make them seem, and an examination of the entire bills would lead to the conclusion that to vote affirmative would NOT be in the best interest of public education in our state.

This says much about Pete's qualifications and ability to represent us in the House. It is indicative of his insatiable drive to examine and study each bill before him so he can come to a decision made out of contemplation and study and not out of emotion. Pete's commitment to public education is evident in the multitude of educators including teachers, principals, school board members and others in the education field who endorse him (peteleecolorado.com).

— Wayne Hutchison

Retired principal, Bijou School

Vice-chair, Community Prep School Governing Board of Directors


Saving Chimney Rock

I want to thank President Obama for using his authority under the Antiquities Act to establish Chimney Rock National Monument in southwest Colorado. This site is an important piece of natural and cultural history, and preserving it for future generations is essential to maintaining our country's shared past.

As a Coloradan, I encourage our elected officials to continue efforts to permanently protect other nationally significant lands. Like Chimney Rock, areas such as Browns Canyon on the Arkansas River deserve national recognition. There are few public lands left that offer this type of historical and cultural importance along with tremendous natural beauty and abundant opportunity for outdoor enjoyment.

Senators Udall and Bennet and the other members of the Colorado delegation showed great leadership and refreshing cooperation and collaboration in their work to protect Chimney Rock. Senator Udall has also been a champion for protecting Browns Canyon. He understands, as I do, that this area embodies what it means to live in Colorado. Browns Canyon provides our families and communities with opportunities for rafting, fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation. Permanently protecting this land will help support Chaffee County's economic future, and guarantee that our children will have the opportunity to enjoy this unique area.

— Keith Baker

Buena Vista

Mistaken identity?

Upon reading Chet Hardin's "Apostle" article in the Sept. 26 Indy, I could not help but reflect on an incident at work just a few weeks ago.

A retired Episcopal priest came into my store with a request for hardware (first time) and visited with several other employees before coming to me at the service desk. As the store was closing, we all began talking about him and just how amazingly peaceful it felt to be in the presence of a genuinely loving person. Each of us knew beyond all doubt that we had experienced an Apostle.

In reading the article, an old hymn drifted into my head with the words, "the peace that passes all understanding will rule in your heart today." That was just before I looked at the picture of the reverend Mr. Henderson on p. 25. I intend to spend time with that retired priest soon and bask in that feeling of peace. I have no inclination to go anywhere near anyone holding the rage that man in the picture is possessed by.

— Mike Neeley

Colorado Springs

Bootstrap time

Looking for leadership? Try a mirror. Political campaigns, the media and the more outspoken among our "average citizenry" bemoan the lack of leadership in the White House, Congress — the overall government. But we do not dare consider that the root of the leadership deficit problem is us: the citizenry of the Republic.

Nearly a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt asserted that in a democratic republic, it is the everyday lives of the citizenry that define the success or failure of the state, that each individual's private and public heroics integrate into the larger fabric of society to define a state of citizens who "dare greatly."

But today we do not question ourselves as citizens — we only question our leaders. We dissect the lives of our elected officials, but overlook the dishonesty in our lives; we express disgust at negative ads without questioning why they work. This is the opposite of how a citizenry behaves in a democratic republic, but akin to the behavior of a disgruntled serfdom.

Some may cry, "Our leaders are supposed to be better than us — that's why they're leaders!" But in a democratic republic, the leadership in government necessarily reflects our leadership as citizens. If we do not demand more of ourselves, then it is hypocritical to demand anything more of the people we choose to represent us. Thus, I echo Roosevelt's sentiments: The decay of leadership is a reflection of the decay in our citizenry.

We must become a "rugged" citizenry again, reclaiming the active citizenship that advanced civil rights, women's rights, and a general liberalization of society. We must demand accountability from ourselves, our family members, our friends so that we can hold our elected leaders accountable. We must listen to each other so that we can demand that our elected officials listen to us.

— Margaret "Mattie" Albert

Colorado Springs

It's official!

We have a governing body (the NFL), and private enterprise (the teams). While both entities are fully functional and know the rules, the whole thing falls apart without proper regulation (the refs).

It's purely coincidence that this happened in an election year when there are no subliminal political agendas here or anywhere else. But I do have a sudden urge to vacation vote in Iowa ...

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

Scalia scare

Today I saw quotes from Antonin Scalia about the potential of the U.S. Supreme Court handling cases on abortion and gay marriage. He tipped off his likely vote on these controversial and divisive issues dismissively exclaiming, "Abortion? Absolutely easy. ... Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state."

He sees himself as a "textualist." That is, he applies the words in the Constitution as he believes the original framers understood them, which we all know contain the immutable words of God.

Given the sodomy laws, it must be obvious that the founding fathers were all anti-homosexual. Two hundred years ago our society was patriarchal, and women were essentially the property of their fathers or husbands. While abortion was socially unacceptable it was also legal in most states. Perhaps not a slam dunk after all. Abortion should be legal, but only if the man decides!

Slavery was universally legal, and accepted, when the Constitution was written. Dueling was not uncommon, and not construed as murder. Apparently those practices would be condoned by Scalia, too.

I think he's a conservative ideologue, and rationalizes that it aligns with the founding fathers' intent. Further, I think that the founding fathers had just an ounce, or two, of wisdom, and produced a living document unlike, say, the Bible, or the Koran.

Gone to a good stoning lately?

But I digress. While we have men like Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, and in the majority at that, all citizens should be very afraid. The next U.S. president will likely nominate one, or more, justices to the court.

Vote this fall! It has never been more important.

— Dan Marvin

Colorado Springs

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