Pride Center goes political
The Colorado Springs Pride board of directors, which oversees the local Pride Center, Pride Business Network, and Pride Fest, has given its approval to create a separate 501(c)4 organization to advocate on political issues and candidates. It has also agreed to move the Pride Center to a more visible location.
Charles Irwin, executive director, says Pride has been seeking feedback from groups for months and has reviewed two years of user data to see what services the LGBT community wants. Data showed a thirst for more information on political issues, candidate endorsements and political activism.
Pride has attorneys working to set up the 501(c)4, but it will likely take eight months or more to establish the political nonprofit. In the meantime, Pride plans to set up a for-profit advocacy organization that will answer questions and give advice in advance of the April city election.
"Part of the urgency now is to make sure we have something in place for LGBT voices to be heard before the election," Irwin says.
Additionally, Irwin says the Pride Center will move from 2508 E. Bijou St., possibly to downtown, as early as the beginning of the new year. If the space is smaller, some amenities, like the library may be forgone. But walk-ins will still be welcome, and personalized service available. — J. Adrian Stanley
Sheriff gets new pad
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa's office was to begin moving Wednesday into the remodeled County Administration Building, 27 E. Vermijo Ave.
Services from various locations will move into the building following a roughly $5 million remodel, part of a county initiative that included acquisition of the Citizens Service Center at 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road.
Maketa's office will head to the CAB, as well as patrol, investigations, sex offender management, victim assistance, communications, training, internal affairs, finance, records, human resources, concealed handgun program and research and development.
The records section, human resources and internal affairs, now at 210 S. Tejon St., will close from noon Thursday until 8 a.m. Monday to facilitate the process. — Pam Zubeck
Council candidates announce
Two sitting City Councilors and several newbies have announced plans to run for Council seats in the April municipal election.
Angela Dougan will seek a second term in her northern District 2. At-large City Councilor Tim Leigh will also seek re-election, but as a Councilor in District 1, in the northwestern part of the county. Both have allied with Mayor Steve Bach on major issues, including opposition to installing NeuStream pollution-control technology upgrades to the Martin Drake Power Plant.
Others planning to run for Council include Greccio Housing development director Jill Gaebler (District 5, central), Colorado Springs School District 11 Board Director Al Loma (District 5), and retired postal service worker and church pastor David Moore (District 6, northeast). — J. Adrian Stanley
Recovery funds wanted
Today's natural disaster is tomorrow's old news, and Colorado's congressional delegation doesn't want to be forgotten in Washington.
As first reported by Environment & Energy Publishing, six members of Colorado's congressional delegation have sent letters to leadership, as well as the president, asking the decision-makers not to forget Colorado — and the ravages of the state's 2012 wildfires — when doling out relief money.
Specifically, the lawmakers, including Colorado Springs-area Rep. Doug Lamborn, are asking that money from Hurricane Sandy relief be directed to the Department of Agriculture's Emergency Watershed Program. — Chet Hardin
Failing on LGBT rights
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, has given Colorado Springs 45 out of 100 points for protecting LGBT rights.
The scorecard is part of an inaugural study of 137 U.S. cities called the Municipal Equality Index.
Only one other Colorado city was scored; Denver received 97 points. (While the Springs' 45 is fairly ugly, it could be worse. Cheyenne, Wyo., for instance, received a 2, and a couple others couldn't muster a single point.)
The scores were based largely on the presence of LGBT-friendly laws and policies — for instance, whether the local police department had an LGBT liaison, whether there was a nondiscrimination policy for city employment, and the presence of a Human Rights Commission. — J. Adrian Stanley
Colorado Springs, are you feeling a little restless in your old-school Abrahamic religious traditions?
If so, you are in luck. The Church of Scientology has arrived.
According to Derek Murphy, executive director of the newly opened Church of Scientology Mission of Colorado Springs, this is the church's first footprint in Springs.
Open at 5150 N. Union Blvd. Monday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 7 to 9:30, and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays, the new mission reflects growing local interest, says Murphy. — Chet Hardin