photo - A Coast Guard rescue team evacuates people from a neighborhood inundated by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston, Texas. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A Coast Guard rescue team evacuates people from a neighborhood inundated by floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston, Texas. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) 

For this moment in time

For a long moment in our short time in life, everybody in the United States who are affected by the terrible events in Florida, and in Texas, no matter- rich or poor, the color of their skin, the religious beliefs or nonbeliefs they follow - is the same!

There have been many people who have put aside their biases and risked their lives to venture into the waters full of danger to get black, brown, white, yellow and red people to safety. Watching people help other people to escape danger warmed my heart, for this moment in time (which may not last long) hate did not show itself.

A video showed a black man on his boat helping a white man with his family to get to safety. The man needing help would not leave without his confederate flag, and used it to help get into the boat. The boat captain did not care one bit that the flag was used as a tool for lifesaving. There was no hate on that boat, there was gratefulness, thankfulness, relief and the man with the flag said thank you to the captain. It would be nice to see those men get together after this and make peace.

There are so many examples of help that is happening at this moment, these people may never return to where they spent their lives, they have nothing but the clothing on their backs. So many people's lives have changed.

If we do not come together as humans, our lives are going to enter a time of chaos. When people are hungry and desperate, they will do anything to survive or die. As Americans we see the tragic events happening to people in other parts of the world who are hungry and homeless. America has been immune for a long time, now the shoe is on our foot.

We must think about our future, if there is division among us during this time like it has been we are not going to heal. This division of hate that has infected America for decades is like a depression a person carries with them and that cloud that follows them through life, without help, that person carries a life of sadness.

Two doors stand in front of us today, which one will we enter?

America Wake up! We are not immune to what Mother Earth is giving us, it happens elsewhere not here. Guess what? It is happening here.

David Herrera

Colorado Springs

In need of community action angels

Teen suicide is the second leading cause of death for 10-24 year olds. The rate of suicide in El Paso County is 49 times higher than the national average. Colorado Springs was identified last year as the nation's "suicide capital." Academy School District 20 has the highest teen suicide rate in Colorado Springs experiencing 13 suicides in 2016, five of them in a single semester and three within two weeks of each other.

As a family counselor, I have sat with far too many a mother grieving the unspeakable loss of her child to suicide. Just a week ago, I sat with a high school counselor grieving the loss of a student who completed suicide at her school.

We are in need of community action angels and a message of inclusivity and love.

In the November article, Gazette reporter Debbie Kelly quoted a local pastor: "the church has played a central role in helping parents cope with these difficult issues." Admirable, but it doesn't reach everyone, in fact many of my clients feel alienated by church. Might we find, or better create a message for teens that fall through the cracks?

It's called BARE, the Musical.

BARE is a timely message shining light on the dark issues teens face today - loneliness, bullying, harassment, academic pressure, substance abuse, sexual abuse and sexual orientation. It offers teens an opportunity to work together within creative curriculum to tackle teen suicide. It opens conversations needed in our community.

What do we do in darkness? We turn on the light. BARE, the musical is that light. It's for high school teens, their families, and our community. If you are an angel, a concerned citizen, or if you belong to a group interested in this endeavor please contact me for information.

Vanessa Graf

Colorado Springs

Calling 911 a waste of time

For the second time this year, I have dialed 911 to report what I considered to be an emergency that I believed required the immediate attention of the Colorado Springs Police Department. Unfortunately, in both instances I found out how misinformed I was, as a tax-paying and law-abiding citizen of Colorado Springs.

The first 911 call was during one of my daily walks around the neighborhood when I routinely take cellphone pictures of numerous vehicles violating the traffic laws. In one such instance, a driver who must have noticed my picture taking activity drove around the block to confront me with a menacing, threatening attitude. My immediate response to the threat to my person was a call to 911. It was a waste of time. Nobody answered. Several minutes later, after the threatening person had left the scene, I received a call back that was useless. How could I remember a license number when my only thought was my survival?

The second 911 call was just this afternoon when a loud bang got my attention while I was watching TV in the living room of my townhome. I immediately went outside my front door onto my patio and noticed a broken watermelon lying on the sidewalk in front of my unit. As I walked out of that patio onto the sidewalk around the corner, I noticed that a sidewalk lamp had been virtually destroyed by a large rock. Further down the sidewalk more watermelon parts were strewn.

A group of four or five teenagers, not residents of our townhome community, were in the area of our small children's playground. It was clear to me that these juvenile (delinquents) were the perpetrators of the vandalism and damage just done to our community. I dialed 911 and was promptly told that unless a life was in peril I should call the 'nonemergency' number. So these teenagers simply walked away from all the damage they had done because CSPD couldn't be bothered with such a minor crime?

What is most disturbing about this event is that I have numerous digital pictures of CSPD patrol vehicles in parking lots, behind businesses and parked along roadways doing absolutely nothing related to law enforcement.

Donald Laughlin

Colorado Springs