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Toons owner vows to keep anti-war site open

click to enlarge Colorado College vice president of business and finance - Tom Nycum showed up unexpectedly at a press - conference last week to tell Toons Music and Film owner - Eric Verlo that he was not going to be evicted over his - anti-war camp. - MICHAEL DE YOANNA
  • Michael de Yoanna
  • Colorado College vice president of business and finance Tom Nycum showed up unexpectedly at a press conference last week to tell Toons Music and Film owner Eric Verlo that he was not going to be evicted over his anti-war camp.

Eric Verlo said the resolve to keep the anti-war banners wafting and white information tent open in the parking lot of Toons Music and Film came last week, when he was threatened with eviction.

"Camp Casey was just about ready to come down," he says.

But last Wednesday, Rick Davidson of Griffis/Blessing Inc., which manages the property for Colorado College, told Verlo to shut Camp Casey down and to prepare to be evicted.

"He just kind of went ballistic and said, 'This is against your lease, and there are too many complaints coming from college administrators and I want you out,'" says Verlo, who owns Toons.

In early September, Verlo and a number of supporters built an anti-war camp in the parking lot of the business at 802 N. Nevada Ave. in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq and who drew international attention when she set up Camp Casey outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Late last week, Dave Lord, a Colorado College administrator who oversees the college's properties, said that Verlo misunderstood the property manager and that Toons will not be evicted.

While complaints from neighbors raised questions about the site, Lord said the college's primary concern is whether the camp violates city rules.

Although city inspectors have not investigated the site, the college contacted them and was told that an "outdoor display" permit probably was needed, Lord said.

Several Colorado College officials attended a press conference orchestrated by Verlo and supporters last Thursday. Verlo at that time agreed to seek a permit.

However, if the city denies him one, he says he won't dismantle Camp Casey. He sees the issue of the camp as one of freedom of speech.

"Why should you need a permit to disagree with government policies?" he asks.

-- Michael de Yoanna

  • Toons owner vows to keep anti-war site open

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