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When you spend enough years living somewhere, or working for a particular company, you inevitably develop attachments that never totally go away.

So it's best simply to accept the truth, not deny it.

Such is the case for me with Colorado Springs and the Gazette.

Having lived here from 1977 to 2001, leaving for five-plus years and then returning in 2007, I've seen a bustling mid-size city evolve into a sprawling metropolis with multiple bigger-city problems. Now those problems mean slashing basic governmental services, and it's sad to watch. This week, we'll resort to gallows humor, as "Ranger Rich" Tosches does better than anyone.

At the same time, having spent 24 years at the region's daily newspaper, I find it painful to see how the industry's deterioration has affected the Gazette. The company line remains upbeat, coming from new publisher Steve Pope. But those who remember the paper's better times, roughly 1985 to 1995, know how far it has fallen. And now we're not even sure about all of Pope's credentials that were trumpeted when he was first introduced in December.

I still have deep feelings for this city and respect for its daily paper. But at some point, we have to concede that they might never again be what they once were.

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