Stopping D-11 'reformists,' the street tax, the quality of reporting, and more 


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

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Stop the D-11 takeover

Great schools are critical to our community's economic health. Important to economic development and to every parent in Colorado Springs. Our largest school district, D-11, is under threat from a slate of candidates calling themselves "reformists" and expressing their candidacy as a takeover. Similar "reform teams" are causing massive dysfunction in Jefferson and Douglas counties.

We had our own experience of a "reform team" in 2003. It was a disaster and resulted in an expensive recall election of the "reform" board members. We can't let this happen to our kids again. We just solved the bickering and dysfunctional City Council problem. We don't need that dysfunction on the D-11 board.

Serving its 28,000 students, speaking at least 56 languages, D-11 is highly innovative in serving all its students. They offer many great opportunities, including Coronado's robotics program, Mitchell's biochemistry program, Palmer's International Baccalaureate program, and the Wasson campus providing 11 unique programs including Career Pathways, emphasizing the trades.

All high schools offer concurrent enrollment enabling students to earn college credits while in high school. Our dropout rate is declining. Our graduation rate is up. Innovation is alive and well in D-11. The notion that D-11 is static is false. D-11 is dynamic and forward-thinking. We don't need "reform."

We know from experience that this brand of "reform" leads to dysfunction and massive turnover in school personnel. A word of caution, you can decide the future of our district. Please pay attention to this election and to the candidates. We were fooled once by a "reform team." Let's not be fooled again.

— Mary Ellen McNally, former D-11 school board member; Jan Martin, graduate, D-11; Mary Lou Makepeace, parent, D-11 student

Colorado Springs

No new street tax

Here's why we don't need another sales tax for street improvements. We recently approved millions and millions of dollars for PPRTA taxes for street repairs and improvements; we've always had street repair funds in our city budget; and Colorado DOT is responsible for state highways that crisscross our city. We already have sources of revenue, tens of millions, to repair our streets.

Furthermore, the regular asphalt we use is substandard for our climate. Look at the rubberized asphalt tested and used on Union Boulevard, still holding up after almost 10 years of 30,000 cars and trucks per day. Rubberized asphalt makes for a long-lasting improvement. However, because we are using the regular asphalt, our streets, despite the millions we pour into them, will fall apart again in five years and the city will be crying for more money.

There's tens of millions available for street repairs without another tax; that's why we must vote NO on new taxes for street improvements.

— James Ciletti

Colorado Springs

Reporting critique

The City Council meeting that I attended last Tuesday [Oct. 6] on the proposed sit-lie ordinance is shamefully NOT the same meeting that is being reported on by our local news outlets.

The Gazette reports that the big news is: "Attendance drops at hearing for pared down Colorado Springs 'sit-lie' ordinance." KRDO failed to report the facts and the true tenor of the meeting. KKTV is no better, stating that "at the third meeting, a majority of people who spoke were against the proposal. Still, many say we need it."

Who are these nameless many? Why were THEY not in attendance? Is this lousy reporting or trying to hide facts and promote this ordinance at the behest of those who line Councilors' pockets?

Even more lacking in these so-called "news stories" is the fact that in all three public hearings the VAST majority were vociferously anti-ordinance, often taking quotations from the Bible. Specific were the teachings of Jesus regarding the duties of all humans toward the poor, the hungry, the marginalized.

The ordinance, if passed in its present form, will subject Colorado Springs, yet again, to countrywide scorn for its cowtown puritanical and hypocritical behavior.

Perhaps the reason our city has a problem attracting and retaining businesses is NOT crumbling infrastructure but because of its inhumanity and un-Christianity toward its own citizens. Council won't have to worry about the millions the city will lose in lawsuits to come, businesses we will lose, have lost and will lose.

This ordinance is anti-Christian in every respect and any Councilor who claims to be a Christian and passes this abomination is most certainly not.

— Tim Hewitt

Colorado Springs

Downtown seating

Those "comfy" planters at Busy Corner intersection downtown have been infamous before. They came to be as part of a grand project Council OK'd to re-do that stretch of Pikes Peak Avenue. Looked good on paper but there were delays, complications, and the whole thing took way longer than it was supposed to. Also cost a heap more than planned, all for some fancy-shmancy flower beds.

Those were the good old days when all Council had to do was tap the gavel at City Hall and — voila! — new taxes out of thin air! But stinging editorials and coverage of the fiasco by the libertarian (back then) Gazette along the way fomented general public outrage over playing fast and loose with the taxpayer purse, that public clearly remembering Council's earlier lunatic — and costly — adventure running the Broadmoor ski hill.

It all played into the hands of a stingy, ornery lawyer, lately arrived from California. Douglas Bruce. You know the rest.

— John Molony

Colorado Springs

Down on the pastor

Pam Zubeck dipped below journalistic standards with her "Pastor blaster" (Sept. 30) piece on Gordon Klingenschmitt. He is much maligned and certainly controversial, but deserves fairness in reporting.

In this case Zubeck has displayed a bent of mind. She references a Sept. 21 complaint filed with the secretary of state. The very allegations in that complaint by DeDe Laugesen of Colorado Government Watch, quoted by Zubeck, are in language that is clearly speculative and lacking any specificity whatsoever.

Zubeck goes on to mention that Luis Toro of Colorado Ethics Watch believes that Laugesen "might be on to something." Wow, that is damning! According to Toro, his organization's parent organization, CREW, has been blowing the whistle on Klingenschmitt's group as early as 2010. That seems to relate to a complaint filed with the IRS in 2010. As to those efforts there are no results mentioned by Toro, but Zubeck threw that in anyway.

Some time ago I called the Independent to inquire about the lamentable departure of Rich Tosches. In that conversation I heaped high praise on Pam Zubeck, and added that I'd give my left nut to have her down here in Pueblo (still would), because the Chieftain is so "go along/get along." Come on Pam, you've always done so much better.

— John Anderson


Message to Davis

To Kim Davis, et al: There are no haters in Heaven.

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

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