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Parking spaces

LETTERS: Unused parking spaces; the commission’s good faith effort | Opinion

Wasted parking spaces

It was disappointing to drive by America the Beautiful Park and see the new signs that say ‘no parking Nov 1-April 30’.

There have always been over 100 free parking spaces throughout the year.

To the average citizen, this might feel like the city is banning these parking spots to force motorists to pay for paid parking downtown.

Rick Sheridan

colorado springs

The Commission’s good faith effort

Once again, political scientists Tom Cronin and Bob Loevy complain that the Colorado Legislature has been manipulated to the detriment of Republicans (The Gazette, March 20). They imply that the legislative boundaries should have been drawn one way or another with political parties in mind, using their usual definition of competitiveness. This is disappointing because such misinterpretations erode voter confidence in our electoral framework.

The Independent Colorado Legislative Redistricting Commission, on which I served as an unaffiliated voter, followed the Colorado constitution and prioritized voters over politicians. The Colorado constitution prohibits the creation of legislative districts that protect any political party. Therefore, any plans to create convoluted ridings to achieve partisan parity would likely not have faced judicial scrutiny.

The commission was to understand the geopolitical makeup of the state and draw maps that reflect shared political interests such as urban, rural, industrial, agricultural, water, education, transportation, public health and many other demonstrable issues that matter to voters at local and regional levels. The state constitution also required that we preserve the integrity of counties and cities and ensure that cohesive minority groups are authentically represented.

The commission made a good faith effort to maximize the number of politically competitive ridings by using an evidence-based statistical model to measure partisan balance. Competitive constituencies, or more precisely reactive constituencies, were drawn only after satisfying higher priority redistricting criteria. To learn more about the logic behind their design, visit the commission’s website at https://redistricting.colorado.gov/

Carlos Perez

colorado springs

Looking for childcare

Early childhood is the most important period of life. Ninety percent of brain development occurs before age 5, and we know that early childhood experiences can have long-lasting impacts on academic and life outcomes.

Despite the importance of the early years, many children in El Paso County are deprived of valuable childcare and learning opportunities. For 22 years I ran a home daycare in Colorado Springs. Every day, on average, I receive 5 to 20 calls from parents looking for babysitting. Unfortunately, the waiting list for my center is one to two years long. I cannot serve all the children who need care.

Across El Paso County, families are looking for child care, but we don’t have enough child care spaces to meet the demand. In fact, over 50% of Coloradans live in childcare deserts. Fortunately, Colorado has made progress, with the creation of the new Department of Early Childhood. This ministry will consolidate several early childhood programs and services under one system to make it easier for children and families to access the care and services they need. Right now, state legislators can build on that foundation by voting “yes” on Bill 22-1295, which guarantees: A high-quality early childhood system for all programs and services. Join me in calling on Colorado state legislators to vote yes on Bill 22-1295 and create better beginnings for all Colorado children.

Kelly Fugate

colorado springs

Don’t shelter today’s youth

I would like to respond to Lorena Wilder’s concern about summer time and students having to get up an hour earlier.

Let me put it into perspective. I was born in Germany before World War II. When the war ended in 1945, we were refugees and internally displaced persons and found ourselves in a small village in the Land of Hesse. We were lucky because there was a middle school and a high school in another town. But we had to take two trains to get there and then walk more than a kilometer. The first train left the village at 5:45 a.m., yes, 5:45 a.m. and we had to get up at 5 a.m., summer and winter, in the cold and at night, six days a week. Yes, we had school also on Saturday.

When we got off the first train, we had to wait on the cold, dark platform for the next train, which often arrived late.

My siblings and classmates did this until I was 19. Yes, we spent 13 years in school and graduated at 19. We survived these hardships even during the years of famine that followed the war. We graduated, studied, and became successful, contributing adults, and now, in our 80s, most of us are still alive.

I don’t think young people today are less capable and need to be “protected” from getting up early because of summer time! Set your expectations of young people higher. Most will rise to the occasion and do well.

Erika’s Shadow

colorado springs

Cause of unnecessary accidents

Governor Jared Polis:

I implore you to veto HB:1028. Cyclists are members of the Highway Transportation System (HTS). As such, they are required to obey all traffic signs and laws. We have already laid them out with designated cycle paths. However, they are not required to possess a driver’s license, registration, or license plate/tag to have the privilege of operating this vehicle on the HTS.

Now HB 1028 will grant them another privilege that drivers of vehicles do not have. As a former Colorado State Driver’s License Examiner, I know this law will cause unnecessary accidents, possible injuries and fatalities.

Ernest Przybyla

colorado springs

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins