Friday, December 29, 2017

Socialists' "outrageous police conduct" argument rejected

Posted By on Fri, Dec 29, 2017 at 10:24 AM

featurebrief.jpg

The judge presiding over the case of four Socialists cited after protesting in the streets has rejected their motion to dismiss based on “outrageous police conduct.”


The defendants participated in a “March Against Imperialism” in late March during which they, and some 15 to 20 others, walked, chanting with banners in hand, on downtown streets for several blocks before gathering at the steps of City Hall. There, police cited them for obstructing traffic and failure to disperse. As the Independent first reported, body camera footage disclosed during discovery revealed the presence of two undercover officers in the protesters’ midst.


At a Dec. 6 evidentiary hearing, the two undercovers and their supervisor, Colorado Springs Police Lt. Mark Comte, told the court their monitoring of the Socialists began in January. Media reports about heated clashes in other cities outside speeches by the right-wing provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos,  inclined Comte to send the undercovers to a planning meeting organized by the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists. None of the defendants in this case were present, but Comte says that an unheeded proposal to unplug the sound system at Yiannopoulos’ January speech at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs led him to monitor left-wing groups in general. The UCCS protest was peaceful.

The Socialists maintain they're separate and distinct from the anti-fascists, though they do sometimes attend the same public events.

David Lane, the civil rights attorney representing the Socialists, argued, among other things, that the cops didn’t have reasonable suspicion that his clients have a history or tendency to commit violence or other criminal conduct, as is required when infiltrating an activist group. Wearing black to a protest, he continued, is protected speech, not a sign of criminal intent.

Now that Judge Kristen Hoffecker has rejected this argument, the case heads to trial. No date has been scheduled yet.


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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Police chief's son among four CSPD recruits to wash out after driving test

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 3:36 PM

Chief Carey - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Chief Carey
One of the four members of the Colorado Springs Police Department recruit class who washed out due to the driving test is the police chief's son.

Daniel Carey was among the four eliminated after the test, which imposes such strict requirements that even nudging a single cone of out hundreds can bring failure — and ouster from the recruit class.

The Independent wrote about another recruit class last year that saw eight of the 44-member class wash out after the driving test in the 16th week of the 24-week training.

The CSPD responded with a statement justifying the strict rules. But as our story reported, the CSPD's driving test is more stringent than other agencies and what's required by the Colorado Peace Officer Standards Training requirements.

Five of those recruits who were booted later filed a lawsuit alleging they were unfairly dismissed from the class after striking one cone or, in one case, nudging a cone. The case was recently settled with the city paying each recruit $1,000 and their law firm, $15,000.

Now we learn that those strict guidelines tripped up Chief Pete Carey's son. In this case, however, the recruits — split into three groups because the class of 62 was larger than some classes — took the driving portion of their training during week 4, week 7 and week 9. That's much earlier in the process than the recruit class we wrote about. (One recruit from last year's class told the Indy that it didn't make sense to give the driving test so late in the process when recruits had been on the payroll so long.)

Asked if the driving test was administered sooner this time as a result of the previous class's situation, CSPD spokesman Lt. Howard Black says, "I believe so," but said he wasn't sure.

Chief Carey declined to comment, but Black tells the Indy in an interview, "All our recruits are treated equally. The chief's son was treated like every other recruit or officer we have in our academy. Whenever somebody doesn't make it through the academy field training, it's a loss for all of us. Our goal is we want to see every person be successful."

Graduation for the latest recruit class of 54 will be held at 3 p.m. Jan. 12 at Village Seven Presbyterian Church, 4050 Nonchalant Circle South.

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Fountain Urban Renewal nets grocery store

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 3:18 PM

If you live in Colorado Springs, urban renewal might conjure the idea of large swaths of land cleared and giving birth to new uses.

But the Fountain Urban Renewal Authority is taking what seem to be baby steps acquiring a few tracts of land at a time in areas not necessarily adjacent to each other. One set of lots, though, has been assembled that will provide space for a grocery store for this city of 32,000 people where the nearest supermarket is miles to the north.

Started in 2008, the authority didn't do much during the recession but in recent years has come into its own by acquiring land and setting the stage for converting blight into green space or viable business uses.

Kimberly Bailey, Fountain's economic development manager, wants to attract private reciprocal investment. - PHOTOS BY PAM ZUBECK
  • Photos by Pam Zubeck
  • Kimberly Bailey, Fountain's economic development manager, wants to attract private reciprocal investment.
One project has caused a bit of controversy, but some ill feelings are starting to smooth over.

"It takes a village. That's my motto," says Kimberly Bailey, Fountain's economic development manager who oversees the URA. "One person can never, ever do it alone. It's all about timing and economics."

In Colorado Springs, several urban renewal projects have stretched over large parcels. A classic example is University Village on North Nevada Avenue where old motels and rundown buildings gave way to a shopping district west of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with Lowe's, Kohl's, CostCo, Stein Mart, Starbucks and Trader Joe's. Another is roughly 100 acres southwest of downtown where the Olympic Museum is under construction just east of America the Beautiful Park and where apartments, retail and office space is planned where old warehouses now sit.

Not all of Colorado Springs' URA projects are large. There's Ivywild School, a former elementary converted to a brewery and other businesses, and the City Auditorium block southwest of Kiowa and Weber streets where not much has happened yet.

After Fountain set up its URA in 2008, the chief accomplishment was establishing its boundaries, which cover a stretch of Highway 85 through town and some older areas, including City Hall and its surroundings. From 2012 to 2014, the URA worked on helping a property owner clear an apartment building property behind the 7-Eleven store just off the south entrance to Fountain from Interstate 25. The building was an eyesore and magnet for idle youth and crime, Bailey says. The building was razed.

Another project involves acquiring a strip of land that borders the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks from Aga Park south several blocks to Illinois Avenue to create a green space named "Blast Park." Funny name, but chosen due to this being the location of the historic 1888 explosion caused by a runaway train loaded with dynamite that killed four people and left a crater 30 feet wide.

The URA also purchased land with a storage building at 212 W. Illinois for $275,000 about a year ago. The building will be used by the city's parks department for storage or could host events, Bailey says. Illinois will be closed from the railroad tracks east to Main Street next year, pushing through traffic to Indiana Avenue to the south; a traffic signal will be installed at Indiana and Santa Fe Avenue, she says.

A key project of late for the Fountain URA is bringing a grocery store to what Bailey says is a "food desert" in Fountain. The closest market is Safeway at Mesa Ridge several miles north and WalMart, also north, on Highway 85.
The block where a new grocery store will be built next year.
  • The block where a new grocery store will be built next year.
Funded with taxes collected in the URA area, the authority paid $765,000 for three properties on the west side of Santa Fe, which is also Highway 85, and south of Missouri Avenue. Bailey wouldn't divulge which grocery company will build on the site but said the existing buildings will be razed in February and construction is expected to start on a 15,420-square-foot store a few months later.

The project was undertaken in partnership with the Colorado Housing Finance Authority, she says, which provides help in bringing services, such as food stores, to underserved areas.

"We're there to get the legs under the project by investing in the land," Bailey says.

In a deal inked about a year ago but not yet finalized, the URA placed a 1904 brick building immediately north of City Hall under contract for $450,000. The building contains God's Pantry and several apartments.
A 113-year-old building north of City Hall in Fountain will be the Urban Renewal Authority's newest purchase.
  • A 113-year-old building north of City Hall in Fountain will be the Urban Renewal Authority's newest purchase.

The purchase speaks to the URA's mission of preserving historic buildings, and Bailey says there aren't many left.

"It's got really good bones," Bailey says of the building. Noting the existing leases will be honored on the apartments, Bailey says URA doesn't have "an immediate intent of use" for the property and that URA officials "want to have a bigger community conversation about that."

The building's owner Carey Adams runs God's Pantry and, in retrospect, says she wouldn't do the deal if given a second chance.

"I do feel like I was duped," she tells the Independent. "I would have never sold my building if I'd known there wasn't a place for me to go."
Carey Adams, left, with a God's Pantry volunteer Robin Allison.
  • Carey Adams, left, with a God's Pantry volunteer Robin Allison.
Adams says she understood the URA to say it would help her find another location for God's Pantry, which gives away clothes and food and also sells second-hand goods. But she admits that provision was not in the contract she signed. It took her awhile, she says, but she's found a location for her store on Widefield Boulevard three miles away.

"I feel good about keeping my ministry going. I want people to know I've got God in my heart and he's watching out for God's Pantry," she says.

Adams hopes the URA can direct some energy to the other problems facing Fountain. "We've got a huge housing crisis and homeless population. People are coming to me to feed them because their rent just doubled," she says. "They [URA] keep buying stuff up and tearing stuff down."

Thus far, according to its website, the URA has contributed $46.3 million to its mission of revitalizing the community's underserved areas through partnership programs and cultivating a "sense of place" to encourage new business development, and, ultimately, improve property values.

"If we show we're investing in our community over a period of time, that's going to bring us the private reciprocal investment," Bailey says.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I-25 expansion project shouldn't require tolls, county commissioners say

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 5:04 PM

SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Shutterstock.com
El Paso County commissioners don't like the idea of adding lanes to the Interstate 25 gap between Monument and Castle Rock only to have them be toll lanes for which motorists have to pay.

Even though the toll option was discussed prior to the Nov. 7 election during which voters approved two local ballot measures that will supply mechanisms for adding money for the widening, commissioners recently have protested that idea.

On Dec. 14, the commission is expected to adopt a resolution saying they oppose the use of tolls. Here's the news release issued by the county late Dec. 19, followed by the resolution due for consideration:
The Board of El Paso County Commissioners wants to send a clear message to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). Through a Board Resolution, which was introduced for discussion today and is expected to receive final approval on Thursday, the Commissioners reminded CDOT that the 17-mile, two-lane section of I-25 from Monument to Castle Rock was a factor in thousands of vehicle crashes resulting in nearly 1300 injuries and 13 fatalities from 2011 through 2015.

The Resolution notes that CDOT is in the process of assessing the impacts of three possible options for the 17-mile I-25 Gap, “including the impact of doing nothing, the impact of adding a third lane to match the current configuration before and after the gap and the impact of adding a toll managed express lane (in each direction).” It further notes that under federal highway funding requirements CDOT is required to consider the impact of managed express lanes in connection with any major expansion project” and that “acknowledgement of this requirement was included in the documentation prepared by El Paso County staff for the application to receive a federal infrastructure grant to help fund the I-25 expansion.”

But the County Resolution makes it clear that recognition of the required assessment of a managed toll option in the federal grant application “does not in any way constitute an endorsement of the third lane managed toll configuration for this project.” It calls on CDOT and its representatives, “to recognize that configuring the planned third lane expansion of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock is inconsistent with the configuration at both ends of the gap and would constitute a form of double taxation for El Paso County residents who have already agreed to help pay for the project.”

The Resolution notes that, “El Paso County has willingly taken a leadership role in regional efforts to assure that this serious public safety problem is solved as quickly as possible” and affirms the County’s, “willingness to work with CDOT and others throughout the region and the state to complete this important project.”

Each of the Commissioners expressed support for the Resolution after it was presented during Tuesday’s meeting. Formal approval is expected during the Commissioners’ regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, Dec. 21.

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Great Outdoors Colorado grant to benefit Memorial Park

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 11:50 AM

Memorial Park east of downtown offers activities from skateboarding to cycling. - COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy city of Colorado Springs
  • Memorial Park east of downtown offers activities from skateboarding to cycling.

The city has landed a nearly $1.4 million grant from Great Outdoors Colorado that will be pumped into improvements at Prospect Lake in Memorial Park and in Fountain Park, which sits next to the Hillside Community Center.

Here's the city's news release:
The Great Outdoors Colorado board awarded a $1,393,955.50 grant to the City of Colorado Springs and its Out the Door! Pikes Peak coalition for the group’s work to get youth outdoors. The grant is part of GOCO’s Inspire Initiative, which aims to connect families with the great outdoors. Out the Door! Pikes Peak is one of several coalitions in Colorado working to address specific community barriers keeping youth from getting outside.

“Out the Door! Pikes Peak coalition has been developing plans for the past two years to serve residents in the Hillside neighborhood and help youth and their families enjoy the outdoors. This grant will help us put those plans into action.” said Tilah Larson, senior grants analyst for the City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. Out the Door! has identified the community’s primary barriers to getting outside as lack of time, gear and familiarity with outdoor spaces and programs, as well as transportation.

Approximately half of the GOCO Inspire funds will be used to make improvements to Prospect Lake Nature District at Memorial Park. The Prospect Lake Beach House will be renovated to serve as a launching area for outdoor activities and include an information center and gear library. At Fountain Park, a bike park will be built to include a paved skills course and bike demonstration area. Outdoor education will be integrated into School District 11 and the Prospect Lake Beach House and Hillside Community Center will serve as programming hubs. Out the Door! Pikes Peak plans to create 30 youth and community job opportunities and impact more than 3,800 youth through these improvements and programming plans.

The Out the Door! Pikes Peak coalition includes the City of Colorado Springs, School District 11, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Mile High Youth Corps, Kids on Bikes, Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Catamount Institute, Fountain Creek Watershed District, North Cheyenne Canon and Garden of the Gods Interpretive Programming, UpaDowna, and YMCA/LiveWell Colorado Springs, along with several community-based partners.

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) invests a portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance Colorado’s parks, trails, open spaces, rivers and wildlife. The GOCO board announced a total investment of $20 million in 40 projects in 28 counties following its meeting on Dec. 15. To date, GOCO has invested $51.6 million in El Paso County projects and conserved more than 8,000 acres of land. GOCO funding has supported Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Ute Valley Park, the Incline reconstruction and other projects.
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Drake deadline doesn't move, but Utilities board takes steps toward early closure

Posted By on Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 10:54 AM

FILE PHOTO
  • file photo
On Monday, the Colorado Springs Utilities Board, whom you may recognize as City Council, made a move on the Martin Drake Power Plant that's sure to bring mixed reactions. They didn't move the plant's current closure date — no later than 2035 — any earlier, but they did direct Utilities staff to continue, and in some cases hasten, the groundwork for early closure possible.

Pick up a copy of the Indy tomorrow for a more complete look at the history, context and impact of the Drake debate, but for now, here's the short version.

The board set the 2035 date in 2015, the same year new technology, costing $178 million dollars, began removing sulfur dioxide from the plant's emissions. Utilities says those scrubbers work really well, but environmentalists and other concerned citizens believe the byproducts of coal burning, including emissions and waste, are harmful to public health.

Then, in April 2017, municipal elections brought in new city councilors/board directors, including Richard Skorman of District 3 and Yolanda Avila of District 4, who are interested in an earlier retirement. As soon as possible is their preference. (David Geislinger, of District 2, is also interested but less avid about that earlier date.)

In addition to shifting electoral sands, the pace of downtown development — particularly the urban renewal in the southwest — puts pressure on the board to clear the way for redevelopment of the Drake site, which sits at the desirable confluence of Interstate 25, Highway 24 and Fountain Creek.

In May, Utilities staff presented the board with potential timelines for decommissioning Drake and scenarios for how to replace its generation. Both 2030 and 2025 emerged as candidates for the deadline, though anytime between 2025 and 2035 is feasible. As for life after Drake, the possibilities boiled down to: Power from inside the city; power from outside the city; or some combination of the two.

Debate about what to do brought immense public participation. (Yes, 200 town hall attendees and about 300 emails counts as immense in Colorado Springs.) Various perspectives were aired, but to summarize: Those who want Drake closed cited health, environment, downtown aesthetics, economic development and image/reputation, while those who want Drake open cited low rates, minimal pollution and consistency.

"We are a split city," Geislinger commented at Monday's marathon meeting.

Utilities staff recommended the board go a route that includes distributed generation (small, high-efficiency natural gas generators and/or on-site solar panels throughout the city) and imported electricity from a regional transmission group (RTO), which is a multi-state power grid that provides transmission to member utilities. That means no new generation at Drake and the closing of Birdsall Power Plant, an inefficient gas-fired plant off North Nevada Avenue that's only used during peak demand. Staff didn't recommend a date, saying anytime 2025 or later is doable.

The board didn't need much convincing to take that route.

"We can always adjust with [this scenario]," director Don Knight noted. "It keeps all the options open."

There was no motion to set a deadline, as all the directors were more or less on the same page that they needed more information before making a final decision. Although some directors, like Knight, Andy Pico and Merv Bennett, would be content sticking with 2035, they're open to expediting if it makes good fiscal sense. Others, like Skorman, Avila and Geislinger, want their colleagues to look at costs other than just fuel, capital and operations.

"We should be careful not to be too pennywise and pound foolish on this," Skorman advised.

Variables the board would like to better understand:
• What exactly would be available through the RTO;
• how will technology and market demand change the math on renewables;
• how polluted is the Drake site;
• what's the value of the land Drake sits on;
• what's the potential for economic development;
• and how could the 2020 election affect emissions regulations and energy subsidies?

To move the ball down the court, the board directed staff to accelerate the construction of a transmission line needed to keep downtown lights on when Drake turns off. With the help of a hired consultant, that should be done in 2023. It's estimated to cost $26 million, with an estimated .25 percent incremental rate impact spread over three years.

The board also gave a tentative thumbs up on the RTO, directing Utilities leadership to keep talking with the Mountain West Transmission Group about potentially joining in 2019. That membership isn't final, though.

Next, the board told staff to move ahead on an environmental assessment and appraisal to find the land's salvage value.

Lastly, the board directed staff to hasten the next Electric Integrated Resource Plan (EIRP) — a study of Utilities' future needs done every five years, as mandated by federal law. The EIRP is due in February 2022, but Utilities will aim to have it done by the end of 2020.

Approval of those motions was unanimous, though director Bill Murray was absent.

The board was also unanimous in their concern for rising rates. The exact cost of decommissioning Drake isn't known yet, but given coal is the cheapest fuel commodity out there and replacement generation is sure to necessitate some new infrastructure, it's going to hit ratepayers in the pocketbook. So, the board discussed increasing investment in demand side management — programs designed to shave demand for electricity — and instituting a tiered pricing scheme like Utilities already does for water, meaning some users would pay higher rates.

Pico noted a committee is already studying tiered pricing for electric. "I think it has some merit," he said.

Though the board took some appreciable steps toward decommissioning the downtown coal plant, many attendees left disappointed there was no new deadline.

"In 18 years [in 2035], I'll be almost 40," said Colorado College student, Rebecca Glaser. Originally from the Bay Area, she's grown to love Colorado Springs and wants to stay after graduation. "But I don't want to raise my future children in the shadow of that plant. ... Many [graduating students] like me will leave. We want to live in a city that looks to the future and strives to innovate."

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Monday, December 18, 2017

UPDATE: Garden of the Gods frame to be removed

Posted By on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 10:54 AM

The new 12-foot tall frame installed at Garden of the Gods without Parks Board of City Council approval. - COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy city of Colorado Springs
  • The new 12-foot tall frame installed at Garden of the Gods without Parks Board of City Council approval.
UPDATE:

Here are the city's answers to the questions we posed:
1. How will the rock the frame is bolted into be repaired, or will it?

The sign and footers have been fully removed by the Parks Department. I do not have details on exactly what they did to remove it.

2. Did this expose a weakness in the city’s regulations for Garden of the Gods Park? If so, what will be done to plug that hole, if anything? If not, can anyone install whatever they like in the garden and then respond only if there’s any public feedback?
The sign was installed after going through the process as directed by the Parks department, which asked that the proposed sign be presented to the Parks Advisory Board. This was done in February.

Any change to the city’s parks master plan would require a vote by the Parks Advisory Board.

3. Where will the frame be relocated to and when?

That is in discussion
———————————————
UPDATE:

This just in from the city's communications office:
The blue frame in Garden of the Gods Park was conceived by the marketing advisors on the Olympic City USA Taskforce as an effective way to drive millions of views of our Park by harnessing the power of social media. Based on successes in other cities, the task force put this forward with enthusiasm for sharing one of our most popular attractions worldwide. Our observations since the frame was installed confirmed the task force was correct in assessing its appeal to tourists.

However, we recognize that while one of our goals is driving tourism, the concept focused too heavily on visitors, and was not well-received by local residents who feel a great deal of ownership of the Park. That viewpoint is extremely important.

Olympic City USA is meant to be a unifying concept, and one that was created to enhance – rather than divide - our civic pride. We have received some very thoughtful citizen comments asking for its relocation and we thank those citizens who took the time for constructive communication. In recognition of public sentiment, we are in the process of removing the frame from its current location.

While the initial execution was flawed, we are excited about the opportunity to eventually relocate the frame to a spot where it can meet its original objectives and become an amenity for both our visitors and our local residents to enjoy.

We've asked the city the following questions and will report back if and when we hear something:
1. How will the rock to which the frame is bolted be repaired, or will it?

2. Did this expose a weakness in the city’s regulations for Garden of the Gods Park? If so, what will be done to plug that hole, if anything? If not, can anyone install whatever they like in the garden and then respond only if there’s any public feedback?

3. Where will the frame be relocated to and when?


———————-ORIGINAL POST 5:21 P.M. FRIDAY, DEC. 15, 2017————————-

"I think it's terrible." That's the word from City Councilor Jill Gaebler about a 12-foot-tall blue picture frame bolted into rocks at Garden of the Gods.

Gaebler, and many in the community she's heard from, are outraged that the frame was installed without prior approval of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board or City Council.

"It looks like to me it's the Olympic City USA Committee, which is led by Janet Suthers, and it appears they did exactly that, they put this in Garden of the Gods without anyone's approval," she said. Gaebler says she wrote on her Facebook page about the installation, saying "A thousand times no."

"I can't believe the response I'm getting from community members," she says. "They think it's a joke. I think they thought they could put something in Garden of the Gods park and no one would care. They underestimate residents who care deeply about their parks and open spaces.
There was no community conversation about it."

The Gazette reports the frame is located at High Point in the garden.

Says Gaebler, "I wrote the Parks Board today and asked them to do what they could to get it removed. I heard back that somebody came to a meeting and spoke during public comments but there was no ask. They were told this is what was going to happen."

She reports that feedback she's received is unanimous against the frame. She heard from former state Sen. Andy McElhaney, she says, who said, "What can we do to get rid of this thing?"

Gaebler says such a thing shouldn't disturb the natural landscape.

The city issued this statement:
The 8’ x 12’ frame in Garden of the Gods Park was erected as a whimsical and fun way for residents and tourists alike to share the beauty of Colorado Springs, Olympic City USA. By occupying a small corner of a South parking lot, we hope that many of the 4M annual visitors will share their memories and celebrate Colorado Springs as an iconic vacation destination. No rock formations were impacted by the installation of the frame, which is adjacent to the parking lot. The location and installation will be re-evaluated at the end of 2018. No tax dollars were spent on the frame, as it was donated.

As you can see from the attached photo, the frame now has decals that say "Colorado Springs, Olympic City USA" and offers visitors an opportunity to capture their visit in this framed photo.

The idea of installing the frame came from the Olympic City USA taskforce and the actual frame was donated by GE Johnson. 

Here's the letter Gaebler sent to the Parks Board:
Dear Honorable Park Board members,

After reading the below linked article, I now write to ask you to reconsider your position to allow this 12-foot, blue frame to be placed in Garden of the Gods Park. This frame is a monstrosity and has no place in our natural environment. I do not know the details of how it was approved, nor what group requested its placement, but I do know that our outdoor residents consider it an abomination to all that we hold dear, and that it will be forcibly removed by them, if you do not act to remove it.

This frame creates a terrible perception for city. A perception that tells visitors and residents that our natural beauty isn't enough, and that while we don't have funds to open bathrooms or have functional water fountains, we somehow manage to fund atrocious $12K picture frames.

http://gazette.com/article/1617252?TC_SC_REF

Thank you, and my best to each of you. 

Former Council President Pro Tem Jan Martin says the way the frame was handled demonstrates why it's important to get public input on such matters.

"It's a perfect example where they bypassed the citizen input part of that," she says. "Janet [Suthers] spoke during the citizen comment [during a Parks Board meeting], it was not even an agenda item, so they just completely skipped citizen participation, and this is a good example of why that's so important."

For her part, Martin, who serves on the Garden of the Gods Foundation, agrees with Gaebler. "We've worked for years to bring the garden back to the original state, and I think everybody has been happy with the work that's been done, and this just doesn't fit," she says. "It seems to commercialize the garden, which is against everything that I stand for and most people stand for."
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Friday, December 15, 2017

UPDATE: Sheriff's Office blocks reporter, Indy responds via attorney

Posted By on Fri, Dec 15, 2017 at 4:43 PM

Sheriff Bill Elder - FILE
  • FILE
  • Sheriff Bill Elder
UPDATE: In a Dec. 15 letter to Steve Zansberg, the attorney representing the Indy, Senior Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Kirkman says the sheriff has agreed to add my name (Pam Zubeck) to answers to questions I pose.

Specifically, Kirkman writes, "Sheriff Elder asserts that he has not denied the public information by providing answers to the requests via her editor. He is willing to add her name to the answers, but will continue to provide the editor's name, as a safeguard in dissemination of information."

Kirkman also says she disagrees that my rights were violated by the sheriff's refusal to respond directly to me in response to my questions and open-records requests.


—————-ORIGINAL POST 4:55 P.M. WEDNESDAY, DEC. 13, 2017———————-

After El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder conducted a bizarre news conference on Nov. 8 to hammer the Independent and its senior reporter, yours truly, his office cut off communications with me. Any requests I made, including for open public records made according to law, have since been answered to the Indy's editor, Matthew Schniper.

What triggered Elder's ire was this story.

But First Amendment attorney Steve Zansberg of Denver says the Sheriff's Office's response doesn't square with the law. Zansberg, on the Indy's behalf, wrote a letter delivered today, Dec. 13, to Elder saying his office "has denied Ms. Zubeck's rights, available to any other member of the public, in retaliation for her exercising her rights as a journalist."

Zansberg cites various authorities in making his point, and closes with:

I trust that upon review of the above authorities, and after consulting the County Attorney, you will immediately discontinue the practice of discriminating against Ms. Zubeck in retaliation for her editorial news coverage of your office, and will provide her equal access to your office's records as you provide to any other member of the public.
Read the letter in full here:
I have asked Elder's office for a comment and will update if and when I hear something.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Strawberry Fields appraisal needs fresh look, citizens say

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 3:41 PM

Opponents of the city's land exchange with The Broadmoor gathered outside City Hall today, Dec. 12, prior to a City Council meeting at which they asked Council to revisit the appraisal of Strawberry Fields, a 186-acre open space the city traded away. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Opponents of the city's land exchange with The Broadmoor gathered outside City Hall today, Dec. 12, prior to a City Council meeting at which they asked Council to revisit the appraisal of Strawberry Fields, a 186-acre open space the city traded away.

So many questions pervade the appraisal of Strawberry Fields open space, also called Strawberry Hill, that Colorado Springs City Council should revisit the land exchange that ceded the city's 186 acres to The Broadmoor, about a dozen people told Council at its meeting today, Dec. 12.

The exchange, approved by Council on a 6-3 vote on May 24, 2016, has come into question due to the Colorado Board of Real Estate Appraisers' action against the Strawberry Fields appraiser, Kyle Wigington, who was hired by the city.

The Independent reported the BOREA action in a story that also reported The Broadmoor's attorneys prepared amicus briefs for a Colorado Court of Appeals action involving the land and asked two nonprofits to submit them to the court. Neither agency — the Trails and Open Space Coalition, which backed the exchange, and the Palmer Land Trust, which holds the conservation easement on most of the property — agreed to do so. A legal expert consulted by the Indy said that asking the nonprofits to falsely claim authorship of the brief runs contrary to the spirit of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct.

The lawsuit that The Broadmoor is fighting was filed by the nonprofit Save Cheyenne, which formed amid the land exchange discussion in 2016 for the express purpose of opposing the swap. The case is on appeal from a District Court decision in the city's and Broadmoor's favor.

Douglas Greenberg was among the citizens who spoke. He called the trade "corrupt," "inappropriate" and "appalling," and added, citing the Indy story, "Now it's even more evident." Greenberg also said the idea that the city needed the seven scattered parcels given to the city by The Broadmoor in the land swap is "just crazy."

"This community is not going to just roll over," he said. "The community is going to continue to protest this thing."

Council President Richard Skorman, who was the leader of Save Cheyenne until he was elected to Council last April, said he wants Council to discuss the matter. He also said he wants another legal opinion besides that of City Attorney Wynetta Massey, who told Council at the Dec. 12 meeting that BOREA's action to fine Wigington and order him to complete 41 hours of education in various areas of appraisal work, including highest and best use, was not of concern.

She said there had been no "formal filing of violation or wrongdoing" and that BOREA only took issue with documentation, not the value, $1,581,000, Wigington assigned to the property. BOREA imposed the penalties at a Nov. 2 meeting. Wigington is entitled to appeal the action.

Regardless, she said, this Council, which contains three new members installed in April, can't reverse the action taken by the previous Council. The land transaction closed in December 2016.

Like Skorman, Councilor Bill Murray was game to revisit the matter, noting the City Attorney's Office was wrong initially when it said the property wasn't acquired as the result of a vote of the people in 1885 when, in fact, it had been.

Skorman said it defies logic that an 8.5-acre "building envelop" amid the 186-acre property, on which The Broadmoor will build a horse stable and picnic pavilion for its guests, is worth only $8,300 per acre. It's common sense that a large commercial space next door to The Broadmoor-owned Seven Falls would be worth more, he said.

Skorman also called for a fresh appraisal.

Councilor David Geislinger disagreed, saying if Council revisited past Council decisions, it would be deemed ineffective and unreliable. "We can't constantly be subjected to second-guessing," he said.

Save Cheyenne supporters spent an hour pleading for Council to take another look.

"My request to you is to examine it," Save Cheyenne's leader Kent Obee said. "The highest and best use certainly was not applied to the Strawberry Fields property. There were many problems with that appraisal."

Linda Hodges also questioned whether The Broadmoor's tax break in the form of a donation based on the difference between the value of the city's land and The Broadmoor's land (The Broadmoor's parcels were assigned a higher value in appraisals) might need a second look if Strawberry Fields is actually worth more.

Arguments in the case on appeal will be held Jan. 9.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Switchbacks FC up for USL goal of the year

Posted By on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 11:07 AM

COURTESY SWITCHBACKS FC
  • Courtesy Switchbacks FC
We recently noted how the Switchbacks FC gained a TV deal with Fox 21 for its 2018 home soccer matches.

Now, the club's made it to the final round of voting for the USL's goal of the year.

You can view the goal below and vote for player Masta Kacher at the above link.

Voting ends tomorrow at 8 a.m. mountain time, and as of this posting Kacher leads the contest with 62 percent of the vote.




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Colorado Springs settles lawsuit with CSPD recruits

Posted By on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 8:50 AM

JOHN ROMAN IMAGES / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • John Roman Images / Shutterstock.com
A group of Colorado Springs Police Department recruits who were bounced for failing the driver's test have settled for $1,000 each from the city in exchange for dropping their lawsuit.

Sadatur Khan, Kelly Robinson, Tyler Kelley, Jason Harsha and Bailey Carpenter were among eight canned in February 2017 for failing the driver test during recruit training.

From that story:
Seven of the eight knocked over just one cone during the test, which involves navigating hundreds of the orange obstacles. One got his pink slip after merely nudging one. The CSPD standards are higher than in other police departments, as is its failure rate. Notably, a neighboring police department reports it's dismissed about a half-dozen recruits for failing the driving test over a 21-year period.

CSPD's high failure rate costs taxpayers. For salaries alone, the city paid the eight recruits $150,000 for 18 weeks ($4,166 a month each). If equipment (uniforms, guns, tasers and body armor) is factored in, one recruit guessed the bill at about $200,000.

Within days of publication, they filed a federal lawsuit, seeking reinstatement and back pay.

In October, the city settled the case with a mere $5,000, although it also paid Cornish & Dell'Olio, the recruits' law firm, $15,000.

Outside of the payment to the lawyers, the settlement amounts could be considered nuisance payments — when someone pays less to settle a case than it would cost to litigate it.

We've asked the law firm for a comment and will update if and when we hear something.
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Thursday, December 7, 2017

UPDATE: Venetucci farmers laid off as contaminated water spoils finances

Posted By on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 4:51 PM

NAT STEIN
  • Nat Stein

UPDATE: We received official statements from both the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and the Gordon/Hamilton family regarding the latter's termination as managers of Venetucci Farm. Since they're written as public letters, we'll post them in their entirety below.

Here's the statement from the foundation:

Dear Friends of Venetucci Farm,

This past year has been an uncertain period for Venetucci Farm, but it is not without its successes. The PFC contamination that affects the Widefield Aquifer continues to challenge the farm’s operations. In 2017, we focused our efforts on the pumpkin giveaway and the farm’s education programs. Thanks to Susan, Patrick, and David, the farm hosted hundreds of school children and provided more than 10,000 pumpkins to the community.


As many of you know, the farm’s principle revenue source is a water rights lease with the Security and Widefield water districts. The administrators at these districts face a herculean task to provide safe drinking water for their communities. The Venetucci wells are part of the Widefield Aquifer, and it’s not clear that the water districts can use our water without treating it for consumption. For this reason, Security and Widefield asked to suspend payment of the water rights until a sufficient filtration system can be implemented for the wells.


Learning recently of this new information, we concluded that there are two options: We can challenge the suspended payment and consume resources that would otherwise be deployed to solve the community’s water problem, or we can join forces with the water districts. We recognize that the community’s priority is safe drinking water. We chose to be good and responsible neighbors by opting to come together with the districts.


We’ve agreed to an abeyance agreement that essentially suspends any payment or challenge until we have clarity on how to remediate the water contamination crisis.


There are consequences to this decision. Without our main revenue source, we must scale back our operations on the farm. We had to eliminate Susan, Patrick and David’s positions, and reduce our operations to a caretaking role. We are working on a management plan for the farm for this year, and beyond. We offered the opportunity to Susan and Patrick to stay on the farm as caretakers until the end of June to allow for a smooth transition.


One uncertainty we face is how long it will take for the wells to become operational. This reality has pushed us to work with community leaders to find other revenue sources for the farm. Our belief is that there are opportunities for a vibrant Venetucci in the future. We are pursuing them.


Once we have a better understanding of our options, I will be in communication with you all.

In the meantime, I want to recognize the diligent work of Susan, Patrick and David. They have been shepherds of the Venetucci legacy; they have fed, educated, and cared for our community. We also have great respect for Roy Heald and Steve Wilson, the managers of the Security and Widefield water districts. They are faced with a complex task to provide safe drinking water in a true crisis.


If you have questions about the farm’s future, please feel free to contact Sam Clark at PPCF: sclark@ppcf.org or 719.445.0605.


Sincerely,

Gary Butterworth

Chief Executive Officer

And here's the statement from Susan Gordon:


Public Statement re: the Termination of my employment with PPCF


Patrick, Sarah, Clare, and I were disappointed and saddened to abruptly receive the news that we would be forced to leave Venetucci Farm, which has been our home, work, and community for the past eleven years. Honored to be tasked with preserving the Venetucci legacy, we worked tirelessly to restore the farm to health and increase its financial, ecological, and social resiliency. Produce and pumpkin sales, educational programs, and events provided diverse revenue sources and opportunities for the community to engage with the farm. Using the farm as a classroom, our educational coordinator, David Rudin, engaged thousands of school children in the natural world. We couldn’t have done any of this without the many hands and hearts that helped us along the way.


It is unfortunate that the recent water contamination by the Air Force and the subsequent decisions have resulted in an uncertain future for the farm. Losing a productive farm that provides opportunity for people to connect with the land and each other is not something our community or our world can afford. While the loss of the water lease money presents a formidable challenge, it does not preclude the farm from operating as it historically did, supporting itself through diverse income streams.


Eleven years ago as we walked the farm with Bambi Venetucci, we were acutely aware of the responsibility we faced to care for the land and preserve it as a working farm. Nick and Bambi Venetucci provided an incredible gift to this community and we were honored to have been the farmers here for the past decade. We hope that our affection for and care of Venetucci Farm has honored that gift, and that those now responsible for the future of the farm will make decisions that continue to do so.


Susan Gordon



—— ORIGINAL POST: 4:51 P.M. DEC, 7, 2017 ——


It’s been bad news after bad news for Venetucci Farm over the past two years. Now there's another blow to the 200-acre working farm — farm managers Susan Gordon and Patrick Hamilton have been laid off. Production is on indefinite hold. 


Venetucci's problems began in May 2016, when the Environmental Protection Agency issued a health advisory lowering the level of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) considered safe for human consumption. Soon after, the groundwater under Venetucci tested above that level, prompting the farm’s longtime trustee, the Pikes Peak Community Foundation (PPCF), to suspend produce sales mid-season.


Quite new in his role at the time, PPCF CEO Gary Butterworth tried to exercise an abundance of caution in the decision to stop all sales, though many loyal customers felt denied the chance to make their own judgement. (Colorado’s Chief Epidemiologist Mike Van Dyke has since found that eating Venetucci's produce, even with the highest possible PFC uptake levels, likely isn’t dangerous.)


Meanwhile, the foundation underwent some reorganization: staff were laid off; headquarters relocated; and the fiscal sponsorship program ended. Butterworth also indicated a desire to move away from land ownership. He ordered an advisory committee to seek potential plans for offloading Venetucci in a way that honored the intent of its donors, Nick and Bambi Venetucci.


Production was kept on hold through the 2017 growing season. There were murmurings that Colorado College would take ownership of the land. Those negotiations have since stalled, a CC official confirms.


Now, the municipal well on the land, located off US-85 in Security, will no longer support Venetucci’s operations as it has for over a decade. The water isn’t used to irrigate crops. (There are other wells for that, drilled back when no one else was pulling from the Widefield aquifer.) Rather, the water from this particular well is leased to nearby Security Water and Sanitation District (SWSD), Widefield Water and Sanitation District and Fountain Water District, fetching about $250,000 a year. That revenue accounts for most of the farm’s annual operating budget.

Or, it used to.

This week, the water districts entered into an abeyance, meaning they’ve moved to suspend the lease since they can’t serve contaminated water to their customers. 

Butterworth confirmed the news, emphasizing it’s for the “greater good” of the wider Security, Widefield and Fountain communities, of which Venetucci Farm is a part.



Gordon, having just been notified that the foundation is terminating her employment, is distraught. The farm is more than her work — it’s her home and her passion. She was hoping her daughter, who just completed her first season farming her own land down in Pueblo, might one day take over for her at Venetucci.

“That kind of familial continuity, I think it’s integral to good farming,” she told the Indy Thursday. “Under this vision [Venetucci] isn’t a home, it isn’t a family, it isn’t a diverse ecological community. It’s just a spreadsheet. … Yeah, I’m worried about the future.”


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UPDATE: Ex-officer says he witnessed order to notarize deputy oaths

Posted By on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 4:19 PM

Borland: Denies giving an order to notarize signatures without witnessing them. - COURTESY EL PASO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy El Paso County Sheriff's Office
  • Borland: Denies giving an order to notarize signatures without witnessing them.
UPDATE:
CBI spokeswoman Susan Medina tells the Independent via email, After discussing your request with my team, it would not be appropriate for the CBI to make any comment at this time



—ORIGINAL POST 4:19 P.M. FRIDAY, DEC. 7, 2017—

A retired sheriff's officer says he witnessed El Paso County Sheriff's Administrator Larry Borland order two employees to notarize deputy oaths in violation of the state's notary laws.

The officer didn't want to be named for fear of retaliation against his friends still working for the department. For the purposes of this article, we'll refer to him as "Lt. Doe."

Lt. Doe said he worked on the same floor with notaries Rick Dietz and David Mejia and happened to be in their office on that spring day of 2016.

Lt. Doe's account substantiates Dietz's story that Borland ordered him and Mejia to notarize hundreds of deputy oaths of office, despite them not witnessing the signatures, most of which had been made more than a year before Borland's order.

The Indy reported the notary issue in a cover story published Nov. 8, 2017. We recapped the issue after Sheriff Bill Elder called a news conference in an attempt to discredit the report.

From the cover story:
Colorado law requires notary publics to witness the signature of a person signing a document, which is the whole point of a notary attesting to a signature and affixing their notary seal to a document. The law also requires every notary to keep a journal of each notarial act.

But most of the 1,016 affidavits in question — signed by the officers and Elder in 2015 (sheriff's officers must sign a new document with the entrance of a new sheriff) — were notarized in April 2016 without the notaries witnessing the signatures, according to Richard Dietz, a 13-year employee of the Sheriff's Office who left his county job in June 2017. Though he and another notary resisted orders to falsify the documents, Administrator Larry Borland ordered them to do so anyway, as quickly as possible, and notify Chief of Staff Janet Huffor when they were completed and ready to be filed with the Clerk and Recorder's Office, he says.

"It was just stamp, sign, stamp, sign, stamp, sign," he says in an interview. "It was complete BS."

Dietz also says neither he nor Dave Mejia, another notary in the department who notarized the documents, entered those notarial acts in a journal as required by law. Noting he and Mejia "were directed to get them done ASAP," Dietz says, "The journals were not utilized for the oaths in question as they required signatures by the signer being notarized."
Elder and Borland refused an interview prior to publication of our Nov. 8 cover story, but at the news conference that same day, Elder said there was nothing wrong with the process used, and Borland denied having ordered the notaries to notarize the documents.

Elder said at that time that Mejia and Dietz "took it upon themselves to notarize the documents" all at once in April 2016. "Nobody has ordered anybody to do anything," he said.

Borland said on Nov. 8: "I have never ordered anyone to notarize anything. I certainly have never ordered anyone to notarize something they didn’t witness. I would not do that. I did not do that. That did not happen."

Now, Lt. Doe tells the Indy in a phone interview what he observed first hand.

"Larry Borland came down one morning," he said. "He looked at Rick Dietz and said, 'Where are all the oath affidavits?' Rick said, 'Over there in those boxes.' Borland said, 'How many are there?' Rick said, 'hundreds.' Borland said, 'I want you to notarize them and use the dates on them and I'll send someone down to take them to county [Clerk and Recorder's Office].

"Rick Dietz was looking at Mejia," Lt. Doe said. "Then he looked at me and said, 'I think that’s against the law.'"

Lt. Doe said he told Dietz he wasn't familiar with notary law but that Borland's directive sounded like an order. He said he told Dietz, "It sounds like you better get that done."

"I took it as an order, and I wasn’t even involved in it," he says. "He ordered them, that was an order, to notarize them and use the dates on there and he’d send someone to take them to county. I witnessed that."

Asked about this newly surfaced account, Borland said in a phone call to the Indy: "Never in my career have I ever ordered anyone to notarize something they did not witness. I did not do that. I would not do that. If I gave a directive to somebody that they didn't think was right, that they didn't understand, it was upon them to ask me, but I assure you, I never told anybody to notarize something they did not witness. That is my comment."

He then hung up.

The Independent has received a tip that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation is investigating the notary issue. The CBI cannot confirm or deny an investigation, though a spokesperson said she'd be willing to tell the Independent if the CBI had been asked to investigate. We will update when and if we hear back. The Sheriff's Office did not respond to a request for comment on a possible investigation.
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Banning Lewis Ranch approvals in eight steps

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 10:52 AM

screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_3.48.09_pm.png
Today, we reported on the time schedule for approvals necessary to unlock development of the 18,500-acre Banning Lewis Ranch.

That meeting schedule looks like this:
Dec 11th— City Council Closed Session—Banning Lewis Ranch (BLR) Annexation Amendment and Restatement Negotiations

Jan 8th —City Council Work Session BLR Annexation Amendment and Restatement Presentation

Jan 11th—Parks Board—BLR Annexation Amendment and Restatement Presentation

Jan 11th—Informal Planning Commission Meeting—BLR Annexation Amendment and Restatement Presentation and Proposed Code Amendments

Jan 18th—Formal Planning Commission Meeting—BLR Annexation Amendment and Restatement Presentation and Proposed Code Amendments

Jan 22nd—City Council Work Session—BLR Annexation Amendment and Restatement Presentation and Proposed Code Amendments

Feb 13th —City Council Regular Meeting—Consideration and Reading of Resolution to Amend and Restate the BLR Annexation Agreement and First Reading of the Ordinance regarding the Proposed BLR Code Amendments

Feb 27th— City Council Regular Meeting—Second Reading of the Ordinance regarding the Proposed BLR Code Amendments 
There's been no details provided to the public so far about what codes need to be changed and how, exactly, the annexation agreement will be modified, but Council President Richard Skorman is upbeat about the prospect of the city gaining thousands of acres of green space in the bargain.

Annexed in 1988 under an agreement that requires $1 billion in infrastructure investment from developers, the land on the city's east side has remained largely dormant over the years. In 2014, Nor'wood Development Group, the region's biggest developer, acquired the land for $28 million and is surging ahead in getting the rules changed to make development more palatable for developers.

Skorman says he doesn't know details yet, but up to 6,000 acres, or maybe even more, of the ranch could be set aside for parkland and open space. He says city officials are mining for grants that might be used to acquire the property, although he says Nor'wood might simply donate some of the land. It's worth noting that developers are required to donate land for parks in new subdivisions, but thousands of acres would likely far exceed any city requirement.

"If you don't allow development in Banning Lewis Ranch," Skorman says, referring to the demands placed on developers in the annexation agreement, "then you allow development to go into the county." The county doesn't collect stormwater fees, for example, so the city often inherits problems from outside its borders.
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Monday, December 4, 2017

Needle exchange debate by El Paso County Board of Health ends with "no" vote

Posted By on Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 4:28 PM

Not only will there not be a needle exchange program in El Paso County soon, there probably won't be one for many years to come.

Today, Dec. 4, the El Paso County Board of Health decided not to schedule a vote on the program or hear further presentations. That means it's relegated to the trash can.
NATHAN FORGET
  • Nathan Forget

Although it was informal, the board took a straw vote in order to advise staff how to proceed.

Those expressing a desire to kill the needle exchange idea at the Dec. 4 meeting were County Commissioners Peggy Littleton and Longinos Gonzalez; retired U.S. Navy surgeon James Terbush; nurse Vicki Broerman and Doris Ralston, CEO of the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation.

Voting to keep consideration alive: Manitou Springs Mayor Pro Tem Coreen Toll; Colorado Springs City Council President Richard Skorman; Kari Kilroy, executive assistant to Memorial Hospital’s CEO, and County Coroner Robert Bux.

Toll's term ends this year, and given her support of the program, it's unlikely she'll be given another term by county commissioners, who appoint the board.

Why? Because the commission voted unanimously on Nov. 30 to oppose the program. Though nonbinding, the resolution adopted by commissioners said needle exchange programs “can be seen as facilitating dangerous and destructive drug abuse” and that “government sponsored syringe exchange programs [are] not in the best interest of Colorado citizens.”

That position, which also is embraced by Sheriff Bill Elder, runs contrary to the Centers for Disease Control’s stance that such programs comprise “an effective component of a comprehensive, integrated approach to HIV prevention....” They’ve also been linked to reduced risk for infection with hepatitis C virus, CDC says, and provide a bridge to critical services and treatment for a plethora of ailments, including sexual transmitted diseases and tuberculosis.

Commissioners’ resolution, proposed by Littleton, asserted that “better enforcement, outreach and education, intervention and treatment, and other preventative measures are needed to stop the alarming increase in drug related crimes, accidents and deaths” and that without referrals to treatment program, needle exchanges are ineffective.

Most other Front Range cities have needle exchange programs in an era in which hepatitis C is spreading and opioid use is skyrocketing.

"We're done," Kilroy told the Independent after the meeting. "There's an issue of rising disease of hepatitis C and there's an issue of needles being found in our community. The state maintains that health boards approve needle exchange programs. There's really no where else for us to go."

Nothing is likely to change for years, she says, given Toll’s expiring term.

"They have already made their wishes completely known," Kilroy says of commissioners, "so it's a good bet whoever they seat would not be in favor of it."

Kilroy said the Board of Health voted 6-2 in 2013 to postpone consideration of the needle exchange program, with she and Fountain City Council member Sharon Brown voting against postponement. Those voting for postponement were then-Commissioner Sallie Clark, Broerman, Bux, C.J. Moore, then-Colorado Springs Councilor Helen Collins and Terbush. Then-Commissioner Amy Lathen was absent.


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