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Waller weighs AG run, inundation study released, more 

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Inundation study released

The first phase of the Preliminary Flash Flood Risk Analysis of the Waldo Canyon Burn Scar — better known as the "inundation study" — was scheduled to be presented Tuesday, just after the Independent's deadline.

The map, which is based on preliminary information, will show where water and debris will flow from the Waldo Canyon scar into urban areas in the event of a 10-year flash flood. It is expected to look very similar to the map that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had been using to show potential 100-year flooding before the fire.

A second phase of the study will give more details in the coming months.

Experts recommend citizens check the current maps, available at elpasoco.com and springsgov.com/floodinfo, to see if their home or business is at risk of flash flooding. — J. Adrian Stanley

City rejects 'diversity' ads

Speaking in April about Citizens Project's new public-awareness campaign, executive director Kristy Milligan used words like "controversial" and "provocative" to describe the nonprofit's message.

The comments were prescient, as the city of Colorado Springs has rejected the ads for bus shelters.

"We wrote the check for production, everything was fine on that end, and there was some delay. And our contact [at the contracted advertising agency] said that she had to run it by the city. And they ran it up to the city, and the city person ran it somewhere up the chain. ... And, lo and behold, it was declined."

Mountain Metropolitan Transit spokeswoman Vicki McCann confirmed the rejection, citing a fear the campaign "may be offensive to the public."

Each ad features one boldly centered word, like "Gays"; text above it might read, "Colorado Springs doesn't like," while text below it counters, "are welcome here." At the bottom of each ad is the message, "We've been there. We'll be there."

"I think it's almost sort of tragically ironic," Milligan says. "Here's this message that's designed to highlight the cultural evolution, to show that we are a community that is more accepting, more tolerant than we were 20 years ago. And so that the city would elect not to highlight that cultural evolution is a tad ironic, and a little unfortunate."

Asked how often ads are rejected, McCann said, "Very few." — Bryce Crawford

Waller may run for AG

With Colorado Attorney General John Suthers leaving office this November due to term limits, Colorado Springs Rep. Mark Waller says he is "exploring the possibility" of running for the seat.

But, Waller tells the Indy, "I have made no formal announcement."

The attorney is current House Minority Leader, and has spent some time prosecuting cases under 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May.

In February, the Denver Post reported that other potential Republican challengers were likely to include Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck. On the Democratic side, former Adams County District Attorney Don Quick has declared his candidacy. — Bryce Crawford

All OK at park, city says

As workers finish paving over a contaminated, city-owned site at 25 Cimino Drive to complete a demolition job, Colorado Springs officials insist that the park across the street is free of cancer-causing hydrocarbons and other substances. (See "Chemical reactions," cover story, April 24.)

Late last week, the city said in a statement that officials have "no reason to believe that use of America the Beautiful Park poses any public health risk to either adults or children." However, because residents have raised concerns, officials are reviewing the "record of environmental investigation" on the old gas-plant site, and also the work done in developing the park.

"While we do not anticipate finding any adverse information," the city says, "we will nevertheless report back to the public once this effort has concluded." — Pam Zubeck

No Rainbow this summer

Remember when Rainbow Falls was known as "Graffiti Falls"?

The waterfall just west of Manitou Springs, a big tourist attraction years ago, earned the title due to the spray paint that once covered its rocks and the U.S. Highway 24 bridge that hovers over it.

In recent years, however, citizens have worked with El Paso County to restore the falls, and to add amenities to draw tourists once again. It looked like a happy ending until a July 30 flood wiped out all the good work, carving a path of destruction from the waterfall to the stream below it.

The Colorado Department of Transportation announced recently that the falls will be closed all summer while work is done to protect the bridge and restore the landscape. It's likely to open again in September, at which point the county plans to work on improving the trail and amenities in the area. — J. Adrian Stanley

$3.2 million purchase OK'd

El Paso County Commissioners have approved a deal to buy warehouse facilities located at 3755, 3815, 3825 and 3845 N. Mark Dabling Blvd., for use as the El Paso County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management.

The $3.2 million purchase will be funded by the .0023 percent sales tax increase that voters approved for the sheriff's office last fall. — J. Adrian Stanley

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