As always, thank you Pam Zubeck and the Independent. You have our gratitude for your commitment to the story of Strawberry Fields. It's not over yet!
Incredible article Nat Stein!!! Thank you for reporting on this.
there are 1000's of them here a few beds isn't even a bandaid
The warmth and character of my fellow citizens of Colorado Springs never ceases to amaze me. Faith doesnt matter, we are all citizens of the human race. Im proud to call this city home.
Nospincs get your facts straight !!!! I'm fact section 8 recipients have to go through stringent background and criminal checks. Not everyone on section 8 are bad people. Like under any circumstances there are good and bad people everywhere. It is not because they have a section 8 voucher you moron.
Jim Davies, think you started it: "How can Pam Zubeck still get the details of the exchange wrong? Incredible...", and then proceeded to make a case. The Incline is not mentioned on the petition as the opponents are opposed to commercializing historic parkland. If the City wants to take on that behemoth of a liability, they are free to do so. Clearly, the Bmoor is willing to unload it. Who wouldn't be, from a business cost/benefit analysis? It is undevelopable land which brings great liability risk with it and generates no income....actually, all the animals featured in the change.org petition are, in fact, in Strawberry Fields. Just saw a bear munching on tree ivy a few days ago. It is teeming with wildlife -- it is a corridor which abuts National forest and nearby water sources. Don't recall hearing Muscoco being covered in trash, but Strawberry is NOT as was asserted. The appraisals, which I think is what you call assessments, required 4 open records requests to get, and even the Mayor ended up publicly suggesting the Council focus on total acreage as opposed to value. What? Or, how about the fact that one cannot get a bank loan on Restricted Appraisals -- so much for soundness of that methodology. Let's move on and let the people decide. It is our land.
There's no point in rehashing all of the dishonest statements that have been made by the opponents. Just as one example, look at the change.org petition: I would wager that every one of the "Strawberry Fields" wildlife pictures on that page could be found somewhere on the internet, and have nothing to do with this parcel. The word "Incline" doesn't appear on the petition, although "Anschutz" appears several times. There's a consistent pattern of overstating the conservation value of Strawberry Fields, and ignoring the totality of what's being swapped - typically, it's stated that it's being traded straight-up for the Muscoco parcel. Conservation easements are worthless, but trail easements on the Incline and Barr are worth their weight in gold. Muscoco is covered in trash, but Strawberry Fields is pristine. etc., etc., etc. And of course, the assessments must be wrong, because you don't like the result. The distortions never end. The ends justifies the means.
The city also asserts the land swap is of "purely local concern,"
..... with media coverage in both the Denver Post (circulation 626,875 daily print) which Mr. Anschutz has already made a bid for ... and was rebuffed .... this time, and the Wall Street Journal (national circulation of 2.3 million!)?
Really? That's laughable.
Jim Davies: The Independent did not erroneously insinuate that apparaisals had been completed by the City in the beginning of the Broadmoor Land Swap. In fact, they clarified that baffling issue which required 4 open records requests to get. The Independent did not take a poll which was taken down when it showed 85% of the city opposed the land swap. Regarding the Incline, the Independent DID question the wisdom of taking on a liability which has cost the City about $5 MILLION dollars over the last 3 years and which has no cost/benefit analysis not to mention an engineering report and which will be an ongoing liability in perpetuity due to the Laws of Physics and Mother Nature. The Independent DID report that the Barr Trail easement was already included in the Crag Land Exchange Act and the Land Swap both. Odd. Surely, you are not opposed to the people having a vote on the fate of their parkland? Denver has had this provision in their City Charter for 61 years...with much more restrictive, general language with no exceptions. Time for Colorado Springs to catch up. Let the people decide.
I'm on the other side of this and support the swap. I'm not writing about that though. I want to say the very idea of Pam Zubeck doing anything but seeking out true facts, and reporting them is unkind and untrue.
The same goes for Richard Skorman. I hope his side loses because I welcome the fire mitigation the swap provides, and the opening of the Chamberlin Trail. But I must attack any idea that claims he has not been open and forthright in stating his position and claims.
Jim Davies: It's one thing to disagree and it's OK to pick nits. My very limited experience with Pam Zubeck and Richard Skorman is that they are anything but dishonest. I also believe that if people feel strongly enough to ante up thousands of dollars to fight a corporation with millions of dollars, they deserve to be heard politely. It's not about Strawberry Fields, if it ever was. It's about a perceived attempt at an end run around the public interest.
I'd suggest if you have data of dishonesty that you make an appointment with Zubeck, Skorman and the Indy publisher and bring it to their attention. Who knows? You may furnish Ms. Zubeck with material for an important story. If they don't run the story, try The Gazette or the Denver Post. It would be newsworthy.
I hope city council does the right thing and refers this for a citizens vote. Colorado Springs citizens voted to buy part of this land over 100 years ago and we should have the same right to vote on it today.
Robert, she describes the Barr Trail portion of the exchange as "trail easements", while it's a transfer of ownership. She also conveniently forgets to mention that the city would get ownership of over a third of the Incline as part of that parcel. I consider this to be deliberate dishonesty in reporting, and is consistent with the way supporters have acted throughout this process - dishonestly.
The City and Trader Mayor John (pronounced - Traitor) are in a mad dash to complete the task of their masters. This matter has shown the "Strong Mayor" to be a puppet of Anschutz. Like a Banana Republic dictatorship, the entire city staff is controlled by the whims of Saddam Suthers.
What part of the reporting by Ms. Zubeck is incorrect?
How can Pam Zubeck still get the details of the exchange wrong? Incredible...
Thank you once again Pam Zubeck and the Independent, for your unfailingly timely and thorough coverage of this increasingly complicated story. It would have been much easier on everyone if the Parks department had simply had the courage and foresight demonstrated by the Colorado Mines Land Reclamation Board just last week when it voted against Transit Mix's bid to commercialize the historic Hitch Rack Ranch lands and turn it into a quarry operation.
That board, in stark contrast to our Parks department and City Council, specifically cited the adverse effects upon "wildlife" and the "environment" in making it's decision. Those two words which were never spoken in all the hollow rhetoric of Broadmoor representative Jack Damioli nor that of Parks director Karen Palus. The CMLRB board, again in stark contrast to 6 of 9 of our City Council persons, heard the citizenry out and then acted in accordance.
I would like to encourage our City Council members to act as true public servants on November 7th, when given a second chance to reflect the wishes of the citizens who put them into office. If a general vote were held tomorrow, .
there is absolutely no doubt but that the citizens of Colorado Springs would support keeping that part of North Cheyenne Canon Park known as Strawberry Fields in public ownership.
I know Andi Van Gogh personally and she is a responsible and compassionate person who would never attack anyone. I don't know any of the other people in this story, but it sounds to me like maybe our police AREN'T "very capable of sorting through information and evidence" to make the right decisions if they didn't take proper statements from the women.This case definitely needs to be looked at in depth.
For some families this kind of toxic exposure could have meant congenital birth defects in their children--this needs to be looked at as well. There is a birth defects registry at http://www.birthdefects.org/national-birth-defect-registry/ where parents can enter for the record any pre-natal or pre-conceptual exposures. The data is used to correlate cause and effect with environmental factors. Any affected families, please consider doing this.
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