With over 150,000 people attending the 2011 TERRITORY DAYS event, Ms. Sampson's complaint about the "Drunk Fest" is the first of it's kind. In fact, we had no alcohol related arrests - or complaints from event goers or the surrounding neighborhood.
As for the Cops not doing their job: CSPD has an easy process for lodging such complaints, and folks like Mr. Scott will tell you that they are eager to listen and respond.
We regret that you will not be returning for the 2012 event.
Nice story John. Well done and very even handed. Kudos all around.
There are two sides to every story. I was simply trying to do what the author of the article failed to do and that is to show the flip side. Nothing personal.
"Yelling" at me on an email post is not necessary. Threatening me is not cool. If you have a personal beef, I suggest you get personal in person.
Kindly never again reference my Mother in such a negative tone, sir. Ever.
In response to the article "Insult to Injury" by J. Adrian Stanley published June 9, 2011:
Sir / Ma'am-
I am the "Man-in-Charge" of the annual Territory Days Event in Old Colorado City. I would first like to apologize to Mr. Scott for his negative experience at Colorado Springs oldest and largest Street Fair. We never like to hear about anyone who does not get to enjoy the events we work so hard to produce. Understand too that public safety and security are my company's number ONE concern.
Having said that, I would like to address the real issue here: Dogs at special events on City property:
First, "NO DOGS" is not a Territory Days policy, rather it is a city ordinance. All events on City property are clearly posted "NO DOGS", but it does not stop literally hundreds of people showing up with dogs. This issue has become our - and CSPD's - biggest problem at all of our events. Not drunks, not trash, not parking, not theft and not violence. DOGS. Dogs defecate and people step in it. Dogs urinate on the vendors property and on folks blankets in the park. In a crowd, folks trip over dogs on leashes and get hurt. The Dogs get hurt too. People come with dog aggressive dogs and they fight. Others come with people aggressive dogs and they become aggressive. Dogs overheat and burn their paws on the hot asphalt. We have seen dogs in seizure from dehydration and the heat. I could go on and on. Bottom line: There is no room and no reason for non-service dogs at special events. In fact, the Humane Society is beginning to provide staff and a truck on site at many Colorado Springs Special Events due to the large number of incidences of Canine mistreatment and neglect by those who insist on bringing their dogs to these events. If you truly love your Dog, leave it at home or stay at home with your dog.
As for service dogs: Both Pro Promotions and the Territory Days ownership, hand in hand with the City of Colorado Springs, support service dogs and their owners at special events. We work hard to provide sufficient handicapped parking, restroom facilities and easy access for our Handicapped patrons. We also keep trained Medical Staff on location at all times courtesy of CSFD. Our events consistently go way above and beyond all ADA requirements.
Mr. Scott suggests that the law states that Service Dogs are not required to be identified, nor are their owners required to carry identification for them. After reviewing the ADA rules, I concur. The laws are very vague at best. In speaking to sources at the ADA, and several service dog training companies, it is clear that the laws have not "caught up" to the times. While service dogs used to be just for the sight impaired, there are now allergy dogs, seizure dogs, hearing dogs and even "Emotional Wellness" dogs. CSPD is not to blame for a "Lack of training", as there is little clear information to train with.
As well, in speaking to legitimate service dog trainers, it is clear that the noise, crowds and confusion at a large special event like Territory Days greatly impairs the Service Dog's ability to perform, rendering many Dogs almost useless to detect seizures and allergies as they go on sensory overload. By all accounts, a Service Dog performs best in an controlled and calm environment. Special events are loud, chaotic and nerve racking.
While I am sympathetic to Mr. Scott's wishes for privacy concerning his disability, and his right not to have his dog wear a vest, I can't help but wonder why he would not want to carry some sort of documentation, especially at an event clearly posted "NO DOGS". The documentation is readily available from all legitimate trainers, and there is even a "Service Dog" collar which is very discrete, but does the trick. Any reasonable person can see that the Police - and my security staff - MUST ask for such proof of a service dog, otherwise, everyone with a dog could simply state "Mine is a service dog", and the floodgates open up. This is not a question of the law, it is a matter of courtesy and respect for the tens of thousands of folks who chose to attend the event, obey the rules and leave their dogs at home. It is also a show of respect to those who work hard to keep the event safe and in control, as well as a courtesy to fellow owners of legitimate and documented Service Dogs.
Finally, I must speak to the obvious irony here: Mr. Scott claims his privacy as his reason for refusing to identify his dog in any way as a service dog. Yet, he is quick to showcase himself, his dog and his case in the newspaper for the whole town to see.
My Father used to say "Sometimes, having the RIGHT to do something does not always make it the RIGHT thing to do."
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