photo - A cyclist rides along Tejon Street through downtown Colorado Springs Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The city's downtown development plan includes better bike routes through downtown to connect regional trails and parks. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
A cyclist rides along Tejon Street through downtown Colorado Springs Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The city's downtown development plan includes better bike routes through downtown to connect regional trails and parks. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

Once the door is open

The open container idea will not help the vision of downtown as a place to live, work and play. I have lived downtown for over 12 years right at Tejon and Kiowa. Myself and others have lived through The Vue disaster and countless weekends when Tejon had to be barricaded off to keep traffic from hitting drunken pedestrians, not to mention fights and vandalism.

We are not Greeley (100K pop.), San Antonio (completely different history), and don't want to be the French Quarter (Google crime in French Quarter). Once the door is open to open containers for events, it will be hard to deny permanent entertainment zones. If the vision for downtown Colorado Springs is Bourbon Street, then approve open container.

Tim O'Donnell

Colorado Springs


Use police to end robberies

How many more armed robberies of stores open late or all night before our local Police Force, CSPD, does something about this scourge? Will something be done when a second murder occurs, or will it take three or four murders of the clerks or owners of these stores before some real action will be taken? We can only hope.

It is hard to believe that the CSPD administration has not taken action to exacerbate this string of violent robberies! Here's a thought: Why not reassign the five officers assigned to the homeless where these officers do nothing to enforce laws (homeless 'camps' strewn with trash, defecation and urination in full view of the public, shoplifting rampant, illegal fires, etc.) to work, in plain clothes, as overnight 'clerks' at randomly selected stores? Their unmarked (personal?) cars would not be parked in the store's parking lot, but in a nearby, concealed location. Only one clerk would be visible from the store's parking lot at any given time. With five officers available a wide net of five stores could be set on any given evening. No intervention during the actual robbery would occur to protect the 'health' of the store clerk. The officer could easily exit the store's back door during the robbery and be waiting for the robber to exit the front door.

With five officers manning five stores chosen at random on any given night it will take only one or two arrests before these lowlife dregs of our society 'get the message' and choose some other nefarious act to support their despicable lives, and the ones that are arrested because they didn't 'get the message' can enjoy a lengthy stay at one of our several penal institutions. The five officers could then be reassigned to street patrol where they could write citations for the innumerable number of violations that occur on those streets every day!

Donald Laughlin

Colorado Springs


Protesters: Plant more elm trees

It was very sad for me to read of the recent cutting down of some great elm trees in Manitou Springs on Wednesday, but for those who seemed emotionally distraught over this - cheer up, dear ones, and go plant another one! One that won't develop Dutch elm disease.

My father, Dr. Eugene Smalley, a professor of plant pathology, grew up under the great American elm and saw them die as well. I, however, was fortunate to grow up under all of his Dutch elm disease resistant hybrids on what he fondly called Smalley Mountain. I witnessed them flourishing beautifully.

For over 35 years, my father and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin Madison researched and were instrumental in creating disease-resistant elm trees that are planted all around the world today. My dad is known worldwide for his efforts to develop an elm tree resistant to Dutch elm disease. You can see his trees across the U.S. and Europe, including one in the ground of Windsor Castle, planted by Prince Philip as my dad stood nearby.

So to all you who stood by to watch the death of a few great elms, go grab a shovel and plant another one.

Sara (Smalley) Rainey

Colorado Springs


Act of firing reeks of old fish

What particular sand dune does Fred Nelson have his head buried in? This administration has the worst 100-day record of any elected president. He has praised Putin, called North Korea's Kim Jong-un a very smart man, has alienated every single Allied country from Germany to Australia and by his firing of James Comey committed possibly an impeachable offense. The same head of the FBI. whom he castigated for not taking the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails further and possibly giving her prison time, now that the FBI is investigating Trump and his administration's ties to Russia, the hacking of the electoral process by the same officials, he fires Comey - an extremely coincidental act that reeks of old fish.

The reason given is because of the FBI's inept handling of the Clinton emails, the same emails that Trump wanted further action taken on. There is an old saying, if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and looks like a duck, then it's a duck and hopefully Trump will be recognized as one.

Gail Calloway

Colorado Springs


Stop peddling false speculation

The left needs to stop accusing Donald Trump of hacking the election and move on. On Tuesday, President Trump dismissed FBI director James Comey; Trump said that the reason for the dismissal was because he believed that Comey was incapable of running the FBI. Despite the fact that President Trump clearly stated his reasons for firing Comey, the left saw this action as Trump trying to cover up "evidence" of the alleged "Russian election hacking" that allowed him to win the election.

The irony of the situation is that the Democrats blamed Comey for Hillary's loss, one would think that the left would support his dismissal, yet they continue to search for any reason to accuse Trump of hacking the election. Despite the clear lack of evidence supporting Russian intervention, the left continues to argue that the Russians interfered with the election, supporting their claim with phony speculation based off of the actions of Trump in office. The bottom line of the matter is that the left needs to stop accusing Trump of hacking the election; admit that he won the election fair and square, and until you find hard evidence that supports your claim, stop peddling this false speculation.

Kaleb Neal

Colorado Springs