Tuesday, February 12, 2013

UPDATE: Scenes from the 2013 Glass Slipper Ball

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Laura Stamp says exact fundraising numbers are not yet available, but that "it's safe to say the event raised over $20,000 (net!) for the three beneficiaries we highlighted this year.

"Needless to say, I am thrilled with this outcome."

The 2014 Glass Slipper Ball date has already been set, again hosted by the Crowne Plaza Hotel: January 25.


... we sold out and filled the room with over 400 people. The Live Auction sold twice as many items as last year. And we increased the number of awards to our chefs from two to three. We are looking into the option of adding a couple more foodie awards next year with celebrity judges. We are sooo excited with the results of this event that we are thinking only the sky is the limit on what we can do next time to raise more funds for local women's causes.

That's Laura Stamp, co-organizer of this past weekend's seventh annual Glass Slipper Ball, providing a little insight into the success of this year's event, ahead of fundraising totals yet to be calculated and released.

The 2013 festivities moved from the Crowne Plaza Hotel to the Double Tree by Hilton, still benefiting The Zonta Club of the Pikes Peak Area but also The Cinderella House by Restore Innocence and Trampled Rose.

For my part each year, I attempt to concisely document the generous contributions of the participating eateries and drink houses competing for awards.

The fantastic flavors on display, including a multitude of wines organized by The Wine Seller, are the main draw, making the $85-to-$100 tickets quite fair considering the great fundraising cause and musical entertainment (Gentle Rain) that runs through midnight.

Here's a rundown of this year's contributors and their creations:


View my slideshow (again, just a small tease of the whole affair) by clicking here or on the photo below:

Glass Slipper Ball
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Chef Ott Mathias of Jake and Telly's claims the prize for best appetizer.

Among those pictured in that slideshow are: chef Nathan Dirnberger (pink coat) of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo; Amy Sufak of Red Energy with chef Greg Soukup of Blue Sage Catering; Michelle Marx of Coquette's Bistro and Bakery and her daughter Turu (last photo); chef Robert Brunet of The House Chef and his staff; artist Douglas Rouse, who did an awesome speed-painting using culinary equipment as his brush, for auction; chef Jay Gust of TAPAteria with his fiancee Dora Cole and restaurant owner Dave Brackett; Tracy and Steve Carlson of The Melting Pot; and Samantha Bruner and Karen Kelley of Colorado Springs Food Tours(the best expression).

Lastly, a big congrats to the winners of the People's Choice Awards:

• Best Appetizer: Ott Mathias and Jake Topakas of Jake and Telly's.

• Best Dessert: Joshua Pallardy of Aragon Dining at Peterson Air Force Base.

• Best Overall: Carl and Alaine Nolt of Serranos Coffee Company.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

UPDATE: A little mudslinging in Mountain Shadows

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 5:15 PM

UPDATE: Springs police provided the following information about Mrs. Armstrong's trespassing issue.

Call was received on 01/24/2013 at 4:34 pm as a Trespass in Progress
Screen says:
RP {Reporting Party}{Ms. L. Armstrong} is screaming.
RPS home burned down in Waldo Fire
Suspects work for Concrete & Plumbing Co
RP screaming ***Very Upset

RP owns a vacant dirt lot where her house used to be. The lot has no border, fence or any other dividing lines, there is nothing to indicate where one lot begins or ends.
There are no signs posted anywhere on or near lot. The home next to the RP's lot is in the early stages of reconstruction. A worker arrived today to pour concrete footers on the lot next to the RP's.

The area is very tight with little room to maneuver. The concrete driver unknowingly backed his truck on to the RP's lot and began to work.
The RP observed this and became very upset, the RP screamed at the worker who immediately moved his truck.

The RP was angry that the worker backed onto her dirt lot. Officer explained to the RP that it was accidental and that the driver moved immediately when asked.
Officer advised RP that if she doesn't want the workers using her lot for access she should post "No Trespassing" Signs around all sides, in plain view, in both English and Spanish. Also advised to contact HOA regarding the issue. No PC [probable cause].

———-ORIGINAL POST, THURSDAY, JAN. 31, 1:03 P.M.————

Drywallers, bricklayers, excavators — they're all busy in the Mountain Shadows area rebuilding houses destroyed June 26 by the Waldo Canyon Fire.

But not all is sunshine and rainbows as families try to reconstruct their lives and their homes. In one instance, a construction crew borrowed the use of a neighboring property to stage equipment and dirt without permission, says property owner Loretta Armstrong.

The builder gives a different story, and we'll get to that later.

Mrs. Armstrong says when she and her husband, John, took a prospective builder to their lot at 2515 Hot Springs Court several days ago, they found this:

Waldo Canyon Fire Mountain Shadows
  • John and Loretta Armstrong

"We went there with a prospective builder, and we couldn't do one thing," she says, since the lot was covered with construction equipment and materials. "Everything was messed up. Huge big piles of dirt. We could not even walk around the property."

Owner of the lot next door, 2517, is Pannunzio Inc., also known as Premier Homes. Workers there told them they had permission, but Mrs. Armstrong says that's simply not true. She's particularly upset because her driveway is cracked, and she thinks the construction crew did it.

Mrs. Armstrong says she called the city, which advised her she'd have to seek damages — she says the driveway problem will cost $1,700 to repair — in small claims court. She also called the Colorado Springs Police Department wanting to file a complaint for trespassing, but says police told her she would have to have a house on the property in order for it to be trespassing. (We've asked the CSPD for comment, and will update this post with anything we get.)

Finally, Mrs. ARmstrong contacted the owner of one of the trucks being used by the neighboring contractor — "Someone is responsible for their truck being on our property" — and was told the truck owner would check into the firm's insurance coverage.

Since then, the dirt and heavy equipment has been removed from her lot.

Scott Baughman with Premier Homes says a subcontractor digging a foundation placed an "extremely small amount" of dirt onto the Armstrong property, and one of its pieces of heavy equipment encroached by only a few feet.

But he understands the Armstrongs' frustration and he ordered it moved immediately. Baughman says Mr. Armstrong called Premier demanding $10,000 in damages. Premier wants to see some kind of validation of that figure, Baughman says, and if there's a desire to go to court, the company's preference would be mediation, which is cheaper and faster.

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Bonnaroo plans event to announce 2013 lineup

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Bonnaroo logo
First the Grammys started doing it, now Bonnaroo’s following suit.

In recent years, the music award show has replaced the press conference in which it's traditionally announced nominees with a star-studded “Grammy Nomination Concert” live telecast.

And today, Bonnaroo festival organizers revealed that they will be hosting their own three-hour live event, during which they'll reveal the lineup for the four-day festival held each June on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tenn.

Granted, this is a more modest affair than the Grammys event, given that it’ll just be streamed on the Bonnaroo 365 YouTube channel. But promoters are promising “classic Bonnaroo performances, live in-studio appearances and performances, audience participation, surprises, giveaways, and hilarity!”

That last bit will ostensibly be provided by host “Weird Al” Yankovic. You can learn more — albeit not much more — by scrolling down to watch the comedian in a promotional clip that Bonnaroo just uploaded this morning. Oddly, the actual date of the announcement has yet to be announced, but you can subscribe to the channel to find out.

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Give! 2012 report to the community

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Give campaign numbers colorado springs

With your help, the 58 mostly very small, local nonprofits participating in the 2012 Give! campaign raised more than $980,000 via 8,000 individual donations and 183 matching and challenge grants in just 60 days.

Thanks to everyone’s effort, we smashed what we thought would be an ambitious goal to break $800,000!

Totals raised by individual groups were released in the Wednesday, Jan. 30 issue of the Independent and then celebrated that evening at an applause- and laughter-filled check ceremony at Penrose House's El Pomar Pavilion. Pictures of the event are courtesy of Cayton Photography.

We are grateful to the 22 outstanding media outlets that partnered with Give! to allow our Class of 2012 to reap the benefits of appearing in more than 250 TV, radio and print stories during November and December 2012.

All small nonprofits serving the Pikes Peak Region are encouraged to apply to participate in Give! 2013. Application information will be published in the Indy in early March.

For complete numbers, pictures, and things to celebrate, download the four-page Give! 2012 report to the community here!

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County advised on how to deny birth control

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Duncan Bremer
  • Duncan Bremer

Former El Paso County commissioner, hard-core conservative and lawyer Duncan Bremer gave a presentation to the current commissioners today advising them that they may be able to deny their employees access to birth control.

Access is guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, but has been opposed by religious groups and conservative businesses, notably the Catholic Church and Hobby Lobby.

Bremer noted that when he was in office, the county banned using county insurance to pay for elective abortion. Bremer — making the same arguments that "Personhood" proponents have used to advocate full citizenship for fertilized eggs — said that birth control was comparable to abortion.

"There have been in those intervening circles around the sun, some new technology that has developed and become available — drugs, procedures, chemicals, whatever — that have the ability to take a fertilized egg and prevent its implantation or perhaps kill it by other means," he told the Commissioners. "There's obviously a debate about whether that constitutes an elective abortion or not. That's really for you to decide as it applies to your particular policy."

Bremer said Obamacare "mandated the use" of such procedures and chemicals. (Though, actually, it only mandates coverage for birth control.)

Bremer said that assuming the commissioners wanted to avoid covering birth control, they have three options. First, since the county self-insures, he said, it falls under special regulations that could present a loophole. Second, grandfather provisions could protect the county's existing ban. Third, he said, since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act "as a tax," it's possible that the state couldn't be forced to pay penalties for noncompliance because the state cannot be forced to pay a tax to the federal government.

Commissioner Dennis Hisey, smiling widely, called Bremer's presentation "very interesting."

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Study: Poorest Coloradans pay the most taxes

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Sorry buddy, thats not happening in Colorado.
  • Michael Fleshman
  • Sorry buddy, that's not happening in Colorado.

The poor and middle class shoulder most of Colorado's tax burden, a new report shows.

Conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the study shows that the poor in Colorado pay an 8.9 percent tax rate, while the richest 1 percent pay at a rate about half that — 4.6 percent.

The middle class do only slightly better than the poor, paying at a rate of 8.3 percent.

Read on:

New Study Shows Poor and Middle-Income Colorado Families Pay More of their Earnings in Taxes than the Rich

DENVER — Colorado takes a much larger share from middle- and low-income families than from wealthy families, according to the fourth edition of “Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States,” released today by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). The study is attached.

Combining all of the state and local income, property, sales and excise taxes Colorado residents pay, the average overall effective tax rates by income group are:

Bottom 20 percent in income: 8.9 percent tax rate in Colorado, 11.1 percent nationally
Middle 20 percent in income: 8.3 percent tax rate in Colorado, 9.4 percent nationally
Top one percent in income: 4.6 percent tax rate in Colorado, 5.6 percent nationally

“Asking the poorest Coloradans to pay more of their income in taxes than the richest, those making half a million dollars or more, violates our sense of fairness,” said Ali Mickelson, Tax Policy Attorney at Colorado Fiscal Institute. “Colorado needs to change the tax structure so that the richest among us are taking on their fair share of tax responsibility.”

Having low taxes does not guarantee fair taxes. Colorado ranks 5th lowest in state and local taxes per $1000 of income yet low income taxpayers pay almost twice as much of their earning in taxes as rich taxpayers do.

“When you hear people brag about their low tax state, you have to ask them, low tax for who?" said Matthew Gardner, Executive Director of ITEP and an author of the study.

It is often the structure of taxes that result in the inequity. The data in Who Pays?” also demonstrates that states commended as “low tax” are often high tax states for low- and middle- income families because they have no income tax or use flat income tax rate across all income groups. Colorado income tax uses a flat rate structure for all income levels.

“The fourth edition of “Who Pays?” measures the state and local taxes paid by different income groups in 2013 (at 2010 income levels including the impact of tax changes enacted through January 2, 2013) as shares of income for every state and the District of Columbia. The report is available online at www.whopays.org.


Colorado Fiscal Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides credible, independent and accessible information and analysis of fiscal and economic issues facing Colorado in order to inform policy debates and sound decisions that improve the well-being of individuals, communities and the state. http://www.coloradofiscal.org

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan research organization that works on federal, state, and local tax policy issues to ensure that elected officials, the media, and the general public have access to accurate, timely, and straightforward information that allows them to understand the effects of current and proposed tax policies. www.itep.org.

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Downtown Partnership not bankrolling Alleyscapes

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Centers of attention inspire an artistic awakening

It was brought to our attention Wednesday that an item in this week's cover story was not correct.

We referenced a Colorado Springs Business Journal story that alluded to the Downtown Partnership allocating $500,000 for the fledgling Alleyscapes project. That's an initiative to create a mixed-use arts alley district in the alleyway between Cascade Avenue and Tejon Street, stretching from East Platte Avenue to East Kiowa Street. But the Journal had erroneous information.

For one thing, the Downtown Partnership is not involved in providing Alleyscapes funds. We spoke with Nick Kittle, manager of administrative services and innovation with the city, who told us that money going toward the alley (1) will come from the Parking Enterprise; (2) is intended to improve safety and (3) won't amount to the figure quoted.

To begin, the Parking Enterprise, which Kittle manages, will have money allocated for several projects this year, alley improvements being one. However, there are two other projects that take priority: one to install streetlights or re-lamp existing ones between Boulder and Cache la Poudre streets, more effectively linking downtown and Colorado College. The other is to build some streetscape improvements on South Tejon Street near SouthSide Johnny's.

At this point, the city is still working on the cost for the Boulder-Cache lighting project. Once that's known, it will be able to figure how much it will be left over for the other initiatives.

Also, Kittle reiterates, the alley project has safety in mind. Should more lighting and even ground help a concept like the Arts Alley District, then that's even better.

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UPDATE: To serve and promote?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Krithika Prashant, city senior communications specialist, sends us this explanation for Brown's and Carey's attendance at the cheerleader recognition event:

Fire Chief Rich Brown and Police Chief Pete Carey attended the Spirit of the Springs award presentation at Air Academy High School at the request of Mayor Bach. Goals for Spirit of the Springs include cultivating future city leadership, celebrating and connecting community, and encouraging citizen involvement. This was and will continue to be an opportunity for people in our community to see and meet City leaders.

——————————-ORIGINAL POST: WEDNESDAY, JAN. 30, 1:33 P.M.————————————-

Mayor Steve Bach Spirit of the Springs

It's 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Do you know where your top public safety officers are?

Perhaps Police Chief Pete Carey is actively overseeing a double-homicide investigation? Maybe Fire Chief Rich Brown is working on the after-action assessment of the city's Waldo Canyon Fire response?

Actually, on this Wednesday, both are mugging for the camera in a photo shoot of the 23-member cheerleading squad of Air Academy High, which was being recognized by Mayor Steve Bach for one of his frequent "Spirit of the Springs" awards.

Carey, back row left, and Brown, back row right, were joined on campus by Donna Nelson, right, who works in Bach's economic vitality department.

Granted, such appearances aren't all that unusual. For instance, Brown is also in almost every photo of the Friday event at which Bach handed out money raised by his golf tournament.

But what do the police and fire chiefs have to do with cheerleading? (Hey, come to think of it ...)

Not to downplay the accomplishments of the award recipients. The award Wednesday was given to Diane Shuck, Air Academy's athletic director, who won a National Citation from the National Federation of High School Associations. The cheerleaders won the 2012 4A All-Girl State Cheerleading Championship.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

O, yes: Bingo World starts recycling

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Consider this an open letter of appreciation and acknowledgment to Bingo World.

Last August, in my exploration into local bingo halls, I criticized Bingo World and the Knights of Columbus bingo hall for not recycling the mass of paper and vending items (cans, plastic bottles, etc.) their businesses generate daily.

Being a greenie, I was personally upset to watch cans of recyclables headed to Dumpsters post-game in a very wasteful manner.

Donna Barney, whose husband Brad owns Bingo World, apparently took note of my poke, and emailed earlier this week to let us know that they'd just started a recycling program.

In an email, she said she expects to divert "well over half our trash" via her provider, Waste Connections — everything but food scraps and foam plates and the like.

So cheers to them, and let's hope other bingo halls in the area and all over follow suit, if they aren't already thinking green.

Bingo World
  • Matthew Schniper
  • A good eco-friendly action deserves a friendly wink. Notice the large plastic tub of paper that formerly was headed to a landfill?

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Rep. Lee's economic gardening bill makes headway

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Rep. Lee
  • Lee: ready to do some 'gardening.'

State Rep. Pete Lee tried to get his economic gardening bill through the Republican-controlled state House last year to no avail.

This session, with his colleagues in the Democratic Party in charge of the Legislature, the Springs Democrat appears to be having better luck. Yesterday, the bill passed out of the House Business, Labor & Economic & Workforce Development Committee and it's way to the Appropriations Committee.

The bill would create

an economic gardening pilot project in the Colorado office of economic development (office). Through the pilot project, staff members of the office and small business development centers (SBDCs) who have been trained and certified in economic gardening principles and practices provide 12 months of strategic assistance to at least 20 Colorado-headquartered second-stage companies and SBDC clients selected by the state director of SBDCs in the office. The state director reports annually on the results of the pilot project to the general assembly, and the pilot project terminates in 2016.

According to the bill, this pilot project would assist business owners of "companies that are beyond the start-up stage but have not yet fully matured, with innovative products or services that satisfy market needs" by providing them with "specialized business assistance to refine core strategies and from access to in-depth market research, competitor analyses, geographic information systems, search engine optimization, and other strategic information, as well as from relationships with mentors and advisers."

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Amendment 64 task force continues to draw heat

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Mark Slaugh

Back in December, we talked to local marijuana advocate Mark Slaugh about concerns he had with a member of Gov. John Hickenlooper's task force that was created to implement Amendment 64. Tamra Ward, the CEO of business-advocacy group Colorado Concern, signed a letter to the federal government asking them to move against Colorado's new law by enforcing the Controlled Substances Act. (The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance also signed this letter, and never responded to multiple requests from the Indy for comment.)

Well, another task-force member has drawn the marijuana industry's focus: Dr. Christian Thurstone.

"Sworn to not conflict the Will of the People by debating the merits of marijuana legalization; it is a shock to see one member of the Task Force blatantly disregard this principle," wrote Slaugh on Tuesday in an e-mail to a variety of state officials, as well as to media statewide. "It is clear that Dr. Christian Thurstone cannot set aside his differences prior to the election in opposing Amendment 64. In stark contrast, he has joined the board for Project SAM — this 'newly imaged' prohibitionist group has formed since the history votes in Colorado and Washington to attempt a dialogue at any answer to marijuana use EXCEPT legalization and regulation.

"Project SAM clearly states they do not believe marijuana legalization is a feasible answer and in taking this position Dr. Thurstone is directly debating the merits of Amendment 64 in public."

Jack Finlaw, chief legal counsel for the governor, quickly fired back.

"Let me remind you that the task force charge is to identify the legal and policy issues that need to be resolved, and to offer suggestions and proposals for legislative, regulatory and executive actions to be taken, to implement Amendment 64," wrote Finlaw just hours later.

"All task force members have agreed that, in their capacity as a task force member, they will work to find practical and pragmatic ways to implement Amendment 64 and to not engage in a debate about the merits of the new law. I know you have attended the task force meetings and thus you know that we have followed this directive in our meetings. Task force members are of course free to express their views on any issue outside of their task force participation.

"Again, I think this both/and approach will produce recommendations that are more valuable to the Governor, the General Assembly and the Attorney General than if the task force members were all of like mind."

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More from Ballet Folklorico's inauguration trip

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 3:31 PM

In today's paper, we wrote about Ballet Folklorico de la Raza's trip to perform at the inauguration parade in Washington, D.C. The Mexican folk dance group represented the entire state in the parade, at a great cost. Ballet founder Connie Benavidez says they needed to raise about $15,000 to go, and now she's still working to pay it back.

To help, the group will host a fundraiser with dancing, food and a silent auction Saturday, Feb. 16 starting at 6 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles club at 1830 N. Academy Blvd.

In the meantime though, the group is basking in the glory of the trip, despite their blisters from the lengthy parade route. Here are some shots of the group, as well as a video from C-SPAN:

Ballet Folklorico de la Raza

Ballet Folklorico de la Raza

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Homeless headcount today

Posted By on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Volunteers are combing the city today in an attempt to get an accurate count of the homeless population.

It's not an easy task, but the federal government requires the annual survey in order to determine the level of grants local nonprofits will receive. The Point in Time Survey, as it's known, is also an interesting measure of the social and economic health of a city — and it's more accurate than anecdotal evidence.

For instance, since outdoor camping on public lands was banned, it would appear that fewer homeless people call the city home. But 2012 survey results showed that they were probably just better hidden. Last year, the homeless population in Colorado Springs increased.

Results from this Point in Time won't be available for months.

The details, from Catholic Charities:


TODAY - Wednesday, January 30 — the annual Point in Time survey, measuring homelessness in the Colorado Springs area, will be conducted at various locations throughout the city. Volunteers as well as representatives from Homeward Pikes Peak, Pikes Peak United Way, and Catholic Charities’ Marian House, will be at the Marian House Soup Kitchen conducting surveys during the lunch time serving hours. Surveys will also be conducted at other locations.

The survey is conducted in compliance with requirements set by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The data is also used by homeless services provider to fine-tune services to better meet the needs of the community. The definition of homelessness is vast, but basically people are considered homeless if they do not have a permanent residence. This includes those living in emergency shelters, transitional housing such as a motel, couch surfers, those living in a place not meant for human habitation, campers, etc. Counts like these are being done all over the county this week and the numbers directly affect federal funding.

According to Bob Holmes, CEO of Homeward Pikes Peak, the Colorado Springs agency which coordinates homeless efforts in our region, last year about 2,500 to 3,000 people were homeless. Additionally, the number of tent campers has been reduced by about two thirds over the past several years to around 240 campers in El Paso county. He said, “Today’s homeless are different. Now we’re seeing small families, more men and women with kids, and they’ve got two $8 dollar per hour jobs, and one of them lost a job and they have opted to keep the car instead of the apartment.”

Families with children are among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population. At the Aztec Motel, a project of Homeward Pikes Peak, about 90 people are temporary residents, 44 of them are children. The Aztec is a stepping stone for many families, giving them temporary shelter while they get back on their feet.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Security alarm got no CSPD response before double homicide

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Flowers and a cross decorate the home of Butler and Dunlap.
  • Flowers and a cross decorate the home of Butler and Dunlap.

At approximately 11:10 a.m. on Jan. 14, a security alarm for the Bassett Drive home of Staff Sgt. David Dunlap and his wife Whitney Butler was triggered, the Colorado Springs Police Department has confirmed. An officer was not dispatched in response to the alarm.

Fifty minutes later, CSPD responded to the address for shots fired. Dunlap and Butler had been killed as they entered their home. Macyo January, a 17-year-old, has since been charged with the murders.

Sarah Cohn, a spokeswoman with ADT, says that when an alarm goes off, an ADT monitoring center is alerted. An ADT agent will contact the owner of the property as well as the first responders, which, in this instance, is the CSPD.

Barbara Miller, spokeswoman with CSPD, says the department is guided by a 2006 alarm-calls policy.

"In order to reduce the number of False Alarms our officers were responding to on a daily basis, a 'priority' based system was implemented," Miller writes in an e-mail. "This is standard for law enforcement agencies across the country."

According to Miller, here's how the system works:

• Priority One represents a life threatening situation requiring an immediate response by police, fire or medical personnel. Examples include: Panic Alarm, Bank Robbery or a Sexual Assault in progress.

• Priority Two includes in-progress felony calls with potentially dangerous circumstances but without an apparent life threat. (Theft in progress, Check on the Well Being)

• Priority Three is used for minor incidents requiring a response that is dispatched based on availability of patrol units. (Burglar Alarm)

• Priority Four is generally reserved for administrative purposes. A response may or may not be required but the call requires documentation.

Miller notes that from Jan. 11 to 15, there were 128 alarm calls. Four were panic alarms, or human-activated. A full 98 percent were false alarms.

In 2012, there were 7,853 alarm calls for service. CSPD responded 5,249 times, and 96.8 percent were false alarms.

In 2011, there were 7,757 alarm calls for service. CSPD responded 5,280 times, and the false alarm rate was 98.3 percent.

Again, from Miller:

The city ordinance requires the alarm company to provide a license and permit number for the location in order for officers to be sent on a burglar alarm. However, officers will respond to ANY activation when there is evidence a crime has been committed, regardless of the alarm company being able to provide a license or permit number. (i.e., a responsible party is on scene and has told the alarm company there is a broken window at the residence or business. Another example would be an alarm service indicates they have video surveillance inside of the business and they can see someone inside of the location).

... residents who decide to have an alarm system installed in their home need to ask some important questions to understand the responsibilities of the alarm company. They should not assume that if their alarm is set off, there will be an immediate response from law enforcement. Many times, the alarm company will notify the owner that their house alarm has been activated. If that person returns to his/her home to check on the alarm, they must be extremely cautious and vigilant. For instance, if they notice a front door that might be slightly opened or a broken window or see a suspicious vehicle parked outside their home; we would strongly recommend that they call 9-1-1 so an officer can check for a possible burglary in progress or burglary that just occurred.

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101 permits and counting in Waldo fire area

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Waldo Canyon Fire
  • Pam Zubeck
  • A home on Courtney Drive days after the fire struck the city.

If your only memory of the Waldo Canyon Fire burn area in Colorado Springs looks like the charred mess depicted above, you need to make another trip up that way.

Waldo Canyon Fire
  • Colorado Springs Together

Colorado Springs Together, a nonprofit formed to help residents deal with lost and damaged homes, announced today that the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department has issued 101 permits to rebuild homes lost to the Waldo Canyon Fire.

Waldo hit Colorado Springs June 26 and burned nearly 350 homes and damaged many others. In some places, such as Courtney Drive, entire blocks were wiped out.

Although many residents continue to have problems with insurance carriers, others are rebuilding, the Springs Together group reports in a news release.

Construction on dozens of homes is already well underway in the neighborhoods most affected by the fire, but the issuing of permits approaching one-third of the total homes lost represents a major milestone for Colorado Springs Together, the citizen led partnership of private, public and non-profit sectors along with neighbor representatives formed to facilitate and coordinate rebuilding and repair in Mountain Shadows.

“We have the utmost respect for the spirit and courage that those who lost homes have exhibited,” said Bob Cutter, president of Colorado Springs Together. A total of 347 homes were lost in the fire, and many more were damaged.

“Understandably the emotional impact of the losses has been significant, but we know that the insurance claims process, while slow for some property owners, is well underway, with most companies having settled the majority of their claims,” said Cutter. “Not that there aren’t claims remaining to be settled, because there certainly are, but one look at the building activity and we can see the rebuilding process is moving forward.”

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