NIMBY mentality in ‘bedroom’ towns
       As the publisher/editor of the S'Peaker newsletter and a native son of the Westside, I read with interest each issue of the Pioneer. The Pioneer's Kenyon Jordan really got it right with his column, “Mountain Lifestyle? Vroom!”
       Colorado Springs used to be the little sleepy town, at the foot of Pikes Peak and was referred to as “Little London.” Well... we've left that image behind. The Westside of Colorado Springs at one time was a thriving business community. It had all of the mom- and-pop businesses associated with enjoying common living with neighbors. Now, we have an explosion of bedroom communities surrounding us and they all want to be left alone with their NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard ) attitudes.
       Many Westside businesses have disappeared entirely, in fact, Best and Ace Hardware stores are the latest victims. But a person can always go to Wal-Mart if they have to. Wal-Mart is where the point of contention comes in.
       It is time that the so-called bedroom communities woke up and understood that their towns should shoulder the responsibilities of their own growth. They depend upon the services that Colorado Springs offers them for employment, travel, and recreation. They use our highways and roads to get there, and those go through our neighborhoods.
       In fact, 31st Street has become a virtual freeway for those living west of the city, as they leave the neighborhood to return to the quiet, laid-back adventure of the mountains. Speed bumps have even been discussed to slow the traffic on this residential street.
       US Highway 24 is another story. This might be the “Gateway to the West” and a valuable way to shop at the Westside Wal-Mart, but come on now - just what the heck is the matter with keeping the money made through employment in Colorado Springs in Woodland Park? Make it here, spend it there... basic economics. This might even ease our road repair and neighborhood congestion. It would certainly allow Woodland Park to upgrade from “bedroom community” to a real town with real shopping experiences, and it might alleviate the hassle of risking life and limb in order to trek down the pass to shop.
       Wal-Mart for Woodland Park is a fine idea whose time has come... It might even save lives by lowering the volume of traffic coming down Ute Pass. Who knows? You might just wake up and smell the pines again. This might even be beneficial to the family, because the citizens of Woodland Park would be able to stay closer to home and spend more time devoted to “mountain living.”

Ron Wright

‘Highest standards of journalism’
       Thanks for the great article on the Midland modular in the April 7 Pioneer. Over the years I have dealt with the media many times. Unfortunately, I have often seen many stories go for promoted agendas and “selling the news” rather than just telling the real story clearly and unbiased. Your approach reflected the highest standards of journalism as I understand them - honest, balanced and focused on keeping the public informed. It is my hope to live up to the same standard.

Frank Bernhard, Executive Director
District 11 Facilities, Operations & Transportation