Starting over in Fort Lyon, the Gazette and Doug Lamborn, and more 


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

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Off the streets

Re: "Last resort" (cover story, Oct. 1), amazing story — allow people freedom and keep them safe, and they get stronger and in better health.

— Jim Simson

Colorado Springs

Good neighbor Tony

May I briefly describe my firsthand, personal experiences with Tony Exum, our state representative for House District 17? Throughout his first term, Rep. Exum regularly held town hall meetings at Sand Creek Public Library, providing important information about policy and budget issues pending in the Legislature, with lots of opportunity for Q&A. Each meeting focused on a particular public policy topic, and Rep. Exum frequently recruited a subject-matter expert to present with him.

Between town halls, Rep. Exum kept his constituents informed through thoughtful, substantive email. During the 2013 session, I sent an email to him about a particular bill, and he promptly responded. Last month, Rep. Exum visited every house in our neighborhood, engaging folks in one-on-one dialogue.

For Rep. Exum, "democracy" is not a platitude or sport; it is the process of self-government, a commitment to meaningful, respectful engagement, an activity at which he excels. Even if you disagree with Rep. Exum on a particular policy, we can all agree that he makes our city proud in the methods he uses to lead and govern. You can see him tackling complex challenges through inquiry and study, because he invites all of us to make the journey with him. I highly recommend Rep. Exum to my neighbors in HD 17.

— Di Graski

Colorado Springs

Good Doug

Kris Ellisor's experience ("Un-Dougged," Letters, Oct. 1) is the complete opposite of my wife's and mine.

We were victims of the flood last year. Despite unreturned calls from U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, Rep. Doug Lamborn's people, including district director Neal Schuerer, as well as Colorado Springs emergency management personnel and FEMA, were at our door the next day!

Our experience has been much better than that claimed by Ms. Ellisor.

— Gregory Chernushin

Colorado Springs

Institutional silence

The Gazette's editorial board should be ashamed of their silence regarding Doug Lamborn's conduct during this campaign. First, his cowardly refusal to debate Irv Halter, denying 5th Congressional voters the right to compare these two men and determine for themselves who is the most qualified candidate to represent our district in the halls of Congress.

Of course, Lamborn already knows who the best man is for the job, and it's not him.

But now, this man who has never worn the uniform of his country has the unmitigated gall to encourage high-ranking military officials to resign their commissions "in a blaze of glory" in protest of America's military policies?

I could say I can't fathom why the voters in this district keep sending this "water carrier" back to D.C., especially when he has had three worthy opponents — all retired military brass — who stand in stark contrast to his ignorance and ineffectiveness; however, the answer is all too easy.

He's a Republican, and in El Paso County, even a Republican who never served a day in uniform, who is unresponsive to his constituents, who is a constant embarrassment to the entire state of Colorado, is still somehow preferable to decorated, experienced, high-ranking retired military officers who served America on and off the battlefield but who happen to be members of the Democratic Party. What hypocrites.

There is plenty of shame to go around here. To the Gazette, I say, "Speak up." To the voters, for heaven's sake, take Lamborn's comfortable government job away from him. He does not deserve it — and you know it.

— Kay Jones-Hutchins

Colorado Springs

Only for the rich

Regarding "Up on the roof" (Letters, Sept. 24): The discussion of rooftop solar in your letters section so far hasn't addressed the issues of fundamental fairness regarding subsidies for these installations.

Under net metering, investor-owned utility companies in Colorado are forced to buy back at the full retail rate excess power generated by consumers' solar panels. This rate fails to account for the costs of maintaining the community's overall grid needed to distribute electricity. Furthermore, these costs of the shared network are then shifted to the rest of consumers, who essentially underwrite solar projects for others.

As Colorado Springs Utilities (a municipal utility that buys back consumers' excess power at its wholesale rate) notes on its website: "When we net meter the power back into our system, it definitely equates to less fuel for our generators — but does not reduce other costs of operating the system. As more and more renewable generation systems are attached to the system, we will be challenged on the best and fairest way to share the distribution system including the cost of maintaining it."

The solar leasing market is comprised of companies whose business model is built around the net metering subsidy as well as a large federal tax credit. Consumers typically surrender all of their tax benefits to the leasing company and remain locked into decades-long lease agreements, even as their panels become obsolete.

There is nothing wrong with solar energy as part of a utilities generation mix. But a scheme where a few, mostly wealthy homeowners receive subsidies from everyone else is bad public policy.

— Bill Ray, director,

Colorado Consumer Coalition

Follow the money

What's with this "stormwater" project? We paid monies into this in 2007 — what the hell happened to that money?

One last plea — get the "City for Champions" put on the ballot. Mayor Bach doesn't want to. He knows it would be voted down. Unless the stadium/event center is enclosed, probably only used six months out of the year (if even that). The proposed location "SUCKS."

I still think the Olympics should help pay for their "museum." How much money will the city get from that museum and the AFA Visitor Center? Not much! Would go to their organizations, right!

Come on, citizens. Think hard about the C4C project. Please!

— B.D. Bryan

Colorado Springs

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