LETTERS: Citizens without representation; The D-11 Education System | Opinion

Citizens without representation

I read with interest that the Senior Center downtown is being rebuilt for millions. It is a treat for the elderly who reside in this area. We are senior citizens residing in North Colorado Springs off of Northgate Blvd. We pay the same property taxes as those who live miles south of us. However, we cannot take advantage of this center for the elderly because we are, unfortunately, citizens without representation, except for the police, the firefighters and our electricity bill. No one on the city council is watching us.

We don’t have a senior center here – we couldn’t get there anyway, as we have a bad bus service. We don’t have city parks to picnic in, we don’t have walking paths. It’s time our elected officials realize that senior taxpayers residing in northern Colorado Springs are entitled to the same benefits that are given to citizens residing south of us.

Joseph Simkin

colorado springs

Improve the education system of D-11

I commend The Gazette editorial board for approving Michael Gaal for the next Superintendent of District 11, but there’s more to settle. District 11 ranks in the bottom 15% in the state of Colorado for academic proficiency, and the hiring of a new superintendent will be a small step to improving that stat.

The Colorado Public School Review provides information on academic skills in school districts. D-11 ranks 159th out of Colorado’s 183 districts, raising concerns about the curriculum and faculty engagement with students.

The school board should be more transparent with parents and guardians to improve the graduation rate and provide a harmonious atmosphere for future generations. Dr. Michael Thomas may not have had a fair chance due to the pandemic taking its toll on academic learning abilities, but his view of fairness shines a light on weaknesses in the education system.

I hope the next Superintendent of D-11 instills a vision based on pride in developing our young people academically and being able to contribute to society upon graduation. There are several resources available to the school district within the community that can help develop future generations, but they appear not to be utilized.

Hopefully more than an endorsement from Gaal to improve the D-11 education system. Outreach programs involving the business community can be ingenious channels to help D-11 and better serve our community.

Steven A. Olenick

colorado springs

crazy about gun violence

I understand that we are all mad about gun violence, but some of us have lost our minds in our haste to rant. Take Leonard Pitts for example (June 2). From a failure to rush and kill, he tries to make the case that “good guys with guns” don’t work. Well, no, it doesn’t when they don’t use their good guy weapon, but it doesn’t really matter when a good guy actually uses one. It also didn’t help that police were discouraged from acting quickly for fear of criticism from the armchair quarterback and legal retaliation for making the wrong call in crisis situations.

There is data that firearms are used for self-defense and the protection of others millions of times a year. In the process of protecting the unarmed innocents, we must be careful not to turn those millions into victims as well. I’m sure Pitts would be among the last to mention how the failure of the good guys at Uvalde to prevent deaths bolsters the argument that “when seconds count, the police are minutes away”… or hours away. .

While I’m at it, I’d like to address an oft-repeated assertion that no other nation in the world has our mass shooting problem. Our media reports our tragedies at length, but Worldpopulationreview.com has some interesting statistics with a broader view. For the United States and Europe alone, it shows the United States ranked 11th for the most public mass shootings per capita with less than one in 10 million people per year. This is behind countries like Norway, France, Switzerland, Finland and Belgium which had between one and 18 per 10 million. Globally, we are even further down the list. Yes, these are pro rata numbers and being a much larger nation, small percentages yield larger absolute numbers, but it does put some perspective on the claim.

If we have a problem with gun violence, maybe we shouldn’t just focus on the gun part, but also on violence and violent inclinations that find guns as a useful tool but in will find others when bloodlust demands it.

H. Wayne Hall

colorado springs

Remember and come back

Once again my heart was broken! I find it inconceivable that such a tragedy, like the one that happened in Uvalde, Texas, would happen again. It just devastates my soul! When will people’s madness end? As Americans, we are walking down a wrong and precarious path, and if we don’t stop and reverse, all hope for this country will come to an end.

Something must be done — and now! Our children should never be afraid to go to school. I myself taught for almost 30 years and we didn’t need a single policeman in the building.

The remedy for American society does not lie in stricter and tougher rules. It resides in kinder and more loving hearts! Stricter gun laws are good – but not the solution! Having safer schools, churches, malls is great. But that won’t be the cure either!

There are two things we all need to do to stop this evil. We must “remember” and “return”. Our country was founded on the whole principle that we were to be a nation under God! How far we have come from this premise!

Turn people. Let’s get back to God – to the one and only source of America’s salvation. “Love God” — “Love others”. These two commands were given to us.

If everyone follows them, we’ll never have to console another parent again for losing their child to a killer! “Remember” and “come back”.

Carol L. Schallock


Janice G. Ball