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.
"Both Sondermann and Dunn say that growth is likely caused by rifts in the Republican party, particularly on social issues. Dunn says the legalization of marijuana may have led some to the Libertarians, while Sondermann points out that as Republicans lose more elections some voters might see little reason not to align with a party that more closely reflects their views."
They would both be wrong. The growth is because millennials are increasingly disgusted with what they see as a dysfunctional government that does not meet their needs or wants, both socially and fiscally, so they are seeking alternatives, and that's the Libertarian Party. Legalization of cannabis, which the LP called for 45 years ago, is irrelevant, and so are GOP election losses, most of which are simply self-inflicted.
No, the real reason is that more and more people are realizing that the best way actually is minimal optimal government and maximal freedom, the generation shift is facilitating that realization, it's been going on and increasing since 2008, and the distrust of government and the DP/GOP duopoly is at record levels. The LP is growing because government, the DP, and the GOP all simply suck.
I'll cut to the chase. No, this development will not bring prosperity. Horizontal development never does b/c the math doesn't work. It relies on subsidies to survive over multiple life-cycles.
Here's what will happen:
Developers will pay to install all the first generation infrastructure.
The city will collect taxes for 25 years.
Those taxes won't come close to paying for the maintenance and replacement of all the infrastructure that was built in the first generation.
The city will borrow or (gasp) raise taxes to pay for the ongoing maintenance and/or replacement of all that infrastructure.
Colorado Springs already has a model of what works. It's downtown/the Westside/Manitou. It's dense, walkable, based around a grid, and is mixed use. It's adaptable and resilient. It's that way b/c it's based on the way we built places for thousands of years. Incrementally up and incrementally out. It builds individual and community wealth b/c it costs less to build initially and less to maintain over multiple life-cycles.
I think the CC Catalyst does a great job of being a newspaper catering to that university. I'd like to read a story about some normal people in COS- a pipe fitter- dry wall worker- maybe a CNA- Stein's columns are suffering from lack of scope. Sorry- can't really relate to this story- I would have loved to bike ride across the country after I paid for my own education but I had to get a job and live in the real world. This is becoming a column exemplifying white privileges
Pam Zubeck I think you're a hero of local reporting. My comment isn't so much directed into the look into MacDonalds tenure but rather your insistence in this article on the need to widen I-25.
Once again I Implore this city's leadership - please don't waste the time and our money on widening I-25. No offense meant- but you are all so old, and this is why you think a wider highway is a good idea. When you were young, cars were more a symbol of your freedom- you went out to the drag on Friday nights- went to the drive in movies and then pulled up to make-out mountain for your first kiss. We get it- but you need to get that a car is no longer a symbol of freedom. Our generations symbol of freedom is the wonderful Internet. We don't want to even drive- notice how when we drive we are actually looking at our high-data, web connected phones?
Our internet is so wonderful that soon we will have it driving our cars!!! We won't even have to do anything- and the incredible accuracy of the necessary systems to have a self-driving car has shown we won't need huge highways- self driving cars will wreck less- they won't get lost- no wrong turns, no incoherent speeds in the wrong lanes, etc.
And- also consider that we have awesome- high speed rails all around the world which connect metropolis' like the one we live in. We prefer those places and are actively moving to them. We like to sit on a train to get us to the city for work- during the ride we like to scan Twitter- then arriving at the train station we Uber a ride to work. This is how we do things. Soon the Ubers will drive themselves (it isn't just Sci-FI, it is predictable progress).
So Pam- you are my hero and I love your writing and I am so sorry I went so far off topic- but this widening of I-25 obsession is a trigger.
So once again- pleeeeease city of COS, the PPACG and all movers and shakers---
Please don't waste money on a project that superior technology has made obsolete decades ago. We are a different generation- you are leaving soon and we will be sad to see you go, so don't leave us an outdated infrastructure and tarnish our memory of you all-
Simply imagine for a moment a light rail of some fashion connecting the front range- knowing that you could reliably get to Denver in 45 minutes for work. How many people move to Denver for
Work because it is not practical to live in the Springs and make the drive! When I graduated from UCCS almost all my classmates had to move to Denver or other cities to find jobs in our field- they all would have stayed in the springs and worked in Denver if a light rail were in place.
I just drove I-25 today. A sign above the freeway exclaimed "485 traffic deaths this year". This absolutely has to stop. It is the responsibility of the PPACG and our area leadership to properly develop this place. I think they have been so far off the mark something must be seriously wrong, or corrupted, in these agencies.
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