Let me first say that I live in Mtn Shadows and know the subdivisions and the terrain intimately. I completely agree that the city could, and should, of handled the evacuations better and that it should of happened much sooner than it did. As for the argument that the city should have done more and brought in more help sooner in fighting the fire and that would of saved hundreds of houses - not so much. Had the city brought in more help sooner, built more fire breaks, etc a few dozen more homes might have been saved but that would of been it. There were 200 ft flames that Tuesday and fire lines would of been easily jumped. The key problem was the lack of common sense in the early 90s when developers went to the city with their plans for subdivisions in the area. Houses in certain subdivisions were way too close to each other and that led to firefighters not being able to stop the spread of the fire because they had maybe 10 ft between houses and 100 ft flames. A little investigation will show that some Mtn Shadows subdivisions were destroyed almost 100%. That is the fault of the Pike Peak Building Department and City Council in the early 1990s, not the current city government.
Colorado Springs City Council, acting as the Utilities Board on 7/18/2012, voted 7-2 to go ahead with the NeuStream scrubber as planned at the Drake Power Plant. Council member Tim Leigh said he was convinced of the efficacy of NeuStream and voted with the majority to install the NeuStream scrubber. See the full story at http://www.gazette.com/articles/drake-1418…
Lisa, though it has not been mentioned, I can't help but wonder about your home. I know you were neighbors to friends of mine who lost their home in the Waldo Canyon fire. I sure hope not, but I can see how the fire (losing or not losing your home) would have affected your life tremendously, hence, your decision to leave as our FAVORITE anchor. Just know you have impacted this entire community, and we can only HOPE that we run into you at the local markets with no makeup on! Thank you for your many years of service. Colorado Springs loves you!
This family will be a great addition to the community - and kudos to them for not being scared away by the fire damage! And wanting to be part of the re-building when they are not even from here!
You're an inspiration yourselves, Hug family, and I wish you much success in attaining that Miracle House in the Springs!
Vote out Lamborn and Clark!
Mr Routon, most likely you are correct that: “this primary is already forgotten.”
For many of us who see the 9.4% unemployment rate (30,000 people), it has not and will not be forgotten. So much of this is a result of the national recession. Perhaps 60%. The other 40% ? Is it due to the fact that our county commissioners, going back for years, have been ‘anti-business’ and that the elimination of the business property tax that was going to drive people in droves to the region did not?
Reno/Lake Tahoe, under the guidance of Mike Kazmierski, just announced having landed a major company (Apple) to their area creating 400 very high paying jobs. They are on-track to see 2000 new jobs for this year. For 2011, 1810 jobs moved OUT out of the Springs.
The one major bright spot for jobs was the Walmart Data Center. No big deal with 40 jobs. But a big deal in the signal it could send to other major firms needing to host their data operations.
But maybe not. Sallie Clark almost torpedoed the Walmart deal coming close to sending it to Charlotte. Over the last weekend before this deal came to the county for approval of the tax incentive - - with approval by the city, the school district involved, the business community, the Chamber and the EDC, that very organization – in a last minute frenzy, had to spend an additional $4,000 to have Summit Economics prepare a special last minute report on the economic benefit to the region - - all to convince Sallie Clark to change her mind and approve the incentive package.
If you have already made up your mind we need new real vision and leadership and want to see this Board of Commissioners moved out to pasture - - and need a home with others working to defeat Sallie Clark, and Amy Lathen in the next election – log on and volunteer.
Our recent surveys indicated Mrs. Clark would take the primary by 57% to 43%. She won: 59%. The same surveys indicated that if subject to a county-wide vote, not just those from district 3, Mrs. Clark would lose 47% to 53%. She can be beat.
When nobody does anything, Nothing Happens! This is time to do something.
As a community, facing a serious budget crisis – exacerbated by the need to pay for the Waldo Canyon fire, voters have turned down 24 of the last 26 tax measures – and often, “lack of trust in local elected officials” has been stated as the reason.
When lack of trust comes to mind, what comes first: The Term Limit Trio?
And second? The fact civic leaders chose to exclude county officials during the Presidential visit on Friday. See companion letter in this edition of the Independent entitled: “Fire’s Missing Piece”. Could this be due to the comments by Amy Lathen in her “open letter to El Paso County Republicans” where she states: “Marxism or Liberty – Fascism or Liberty – Obama or Liberty” The government keeps track of who is who before the President arrives in a community - Did the Secret Service keep county commissioners from the man we elected to be our President - or was it the wisdom of local civic leaders?
Either way, is this the inter-agency cooperation, civility and regional cooperation that will move the region forward or it the kind of petty politics creating discord and creating gridlock?
One can have opposing differing political views and keep it civil. Only if we unseat the uncivil.
Well said! I moved here in 1980, and Lisa has always been the go-to anchor in my house to get the straight truth...not to mention her professionalism, positive, caring attitude, etc. We will SO miss you, Lisa!
Sad, but there is hope. There is a retired City Utilities Employee, aka the wealthy retired or WR, who gets $190,000 a year in retirement pay from PERA. (I am not making this up.) Said WR also gets $90,000 from the PERA check from expired Spouse, who was also a City Utilities retiree. Yep.
You can do the math. Said WR gets $280,000 a year for retirement. If I remember correctly, Bach gets about $100,000 for working. Utilities WR gets $280,000 for not working. Hm. Well, maybe Bach is overpaid, but what do I know? The real question is "HOW MANY UTILITIES WR GET SIMILAR CHECKS?" Fix that and you will have plenty of money for the disadvantaged.
While I can't quite bring myself to register as a Repub, it's rather silly to be a registered Dem in El Paso County. I just received my primary election ballot which gives me a grand choice of one candidate for each of three offices. Is this really a good use of tax dollars?
Wow, Ralph, What a shocker. The always 'fair and balanced' Indy cannot, in good conscience, endorse anyone that leans conservative. Who woulda thought?
davecooper928: You are correct. Change my "stages" to "chooses," please.
In looking at the photos (slides) Ms. Gunnoe used in her testimony before the subcommittee (http://www.slideshare.net/MGunnoe/truth-fr…), one can see why she did not object to excluding the photo in question; many of the other photos are (in my opinion) quite impactful, too.
The conditions in the region ARE tragic, and I do not blame residents for doing whatever they can to call attention to the human toll of mountaintop-removal coal mining.
It's a pity that this one photo and the unconscionable way Ms.Gunnoe was treated by the Capitol Police diverted the spotlight from the condemnable conditions in which those in the coal-mining region are living.
What is also wrong, however, is the way Rep. Lamborn has been censured by those who simply disagree with his (uber-conservative) political views. From all appearances, he is a decent man. He has integrity; he treats people respectfully and civilly (at least until their words or actions show such courtesy is no longer justified). An article about the incident in the city's daily paper stated: "Lamborn said he didn’t ask Capitol Police to question Gunnoe, and didn’t suggest that the picture was child pornography. He said he didn’t know who had spoken to Capitol Police." (I believe it was subsequently discovered to have been a staff member, perhaps the same one who had deemed the photo "inappropriate.") A Denver Post article the next day stated, "Gunnoe said she would welcome the opportunity to go back to members of Congress to talk again. Lamborn, too, said he would invite Gunnoe again to hear her voice on mountaintop-removal mining."
There are two victims here; two people were wrongly accused. I will not castigate Lamborn for accepting the opinion of a staffer. Those accountable for the way Ms. Gunnoe was treated are the staff member who contacted the police and the police themselves.
(To Willie: Sorry if facts annoy/antagonize you. I find your knee-jerk condemnation of Lamborn "vile.")
Im from Kentucky and Maria Gunnoe did not stage the photo - she wasnt there when the photo was taken 3-4 years ago. The photo was taken in Grapevine, Pike County KY (Maria lives in WV) by an independent photographer Katie Falkenberg. The Urias family has to use this well water because they are way out in the mountains and dont have city water.
We in Kentucky are trying to get the point across to our legislators that the polluted runoff from mountaintop removal coal mining is impacting people's health. We have lots of photos of orange water in people's sinks and toilets but those photos dont convey how people are getting sick and dying from the poison in the water. It was a good photo and I encouraged people going to Washington to show it to Congress.
As far as Maria, she lives below a gigantic mountaintop removal mine - the barren earth on the mine site has no trees, so it doesnt hold back the rainwater. We live in an eastern rainforest. Marias home has been flooded repeatedly and a big chunk of her land has washed away. She has spoken out against mountaintop removal and because she wont back down, she has been subjected to repeated threats and harassment by coal company employees. She has borne all this pretty well but the charge of child pornography by your Congressman is really shameful. He needs to apologize to Maria.
What??? Po', 'po, pitiful Maria Gunnoe! She STAGES a picture (there was no need to scrounge up a child to place in the tub; the water would have looked the same, would it not, without her in it?) Typical liberal tactic--trying to appeal to EMOTION instead of trusting the facts to be enough. See? YOU just tried it, too: "He should feel the pain she is feeling." Oh, bullpoop! This entire story has been blown WAY out of proportion. Lamborn never saw the photo in question; he relied on the word/opinion of staffers. Who knows how they described it to him? I'm guessing one said that in his/her opinion, it was in questionable taste, that there was no need to have a nude young girl in the tub. I'm also guessing that the story snowballed from there, perhaps intentionally (on Ms. Gunnoe's part). Maria Gunnoe is one of environmentalists' "greatest heroes and resources"? I see. Is she on par with Rachel Carson, whose _Silent_Spring_ is responsible for the deaths of thousands from mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria?
@Willie - Amen, brother. It's clear that any hope of getting rid of the coal burning monster in town will never happen until we get rid of Lameborn.
When lowlife politicians like Doug Lamborn call each other names that's expected and OK by me, but Lamborn's treatment of Ms. Gunnoe is inhumane and dastardly. He should be brought before the House ethics committee TODAY. He should feel the pain the she is feeling. The newspapers and constituents of his district should be bombarded with letters expressing our disgust for him and the people who would elect such a vile person. He should be thrown out of office and put in jail.
Re: "Young's mishandling of election-related issues in 2011 created embarrassment for the city and hastened her departure last summer; it was obvious she wouldn't fit into Bach's regime."
Kathryn Young retired of her own free will, unlike most others who have retired from city service since Bach took over. I asked Young if Bach had requested her retirement, and she said quite the opposite was true and gave me detailed information to show that she was not asked to retire. In fact, Mayor Bach urged her to stay and asked what it would take for her to stay. When that did not work, Mayor Bach asked his wife to speak with Young in an effort to get her to stay. The three of them had a lengthy lunch in order to discuss options that might get Young to change her mind and stay. Bach expressed disappointment to me about Young's decision and said she would be hard to replace. Young told me she could afford to retire and had decided to spend time with a grandchild while the girls was still little. She is about the only senior city employee who Bach wanted to keep. Bach blamed all of the 2011 election issues on City Attorney Pat Kelly, who he was anxious to fire. He said Kelly consistently gave Young bad legal advice and he hoped that the prospect of getting rid of Kelly would help Young decide to stay. In fact, I remember Bach defended Young after I published a Gazette editorial that wrongly blamed her for the election snafus.
"Soon, Johnson's staff must re-draw the City Council district maps, turning the city from four to six districts for the April 2013 election. County Clerk Wayne Williams had offered his office's services to do that, and even to oversee the municipal election, which would save the city a lot of money."
'scuse me, Ralph, but no amount of savings could possibly offset the potential for shenanigans, political maneuveriung, and blatant corruption that would have come with Wayne Williams' re-drawing the City Council district maps. What then? Unilaterally canceling future city elections that might have candidates running unopposed to save the city even more bucks? Ralph, you have to know that any savings Williams might have realized would have been a wash after he approached mayor Bach about giving him a nice fat bonus for his selfless efforts, right?
My uncle Tom--a gifted pianist, still a great showman, and always a great soul.
I for one agree with the above comment. I hope they don't remove the professional business staff that was at the new CSBJ. I thought it was making great strides to be a very credible source for local business news after losing it awhile from the last publisher. Time will tell. I cant see the Military dealing with the INDY staff at all. Being retired Military here. Time will tell.
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