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Comment Archives: stories: News: Cover Story: Last 30 Days

Re: “Jim Clark Wider talks style, persistence and bad neighbors

I enjoyed seeing what my former classmate has been doing!

Posted by rhonda.vanpelt on 12/08/2017 at 8:40 AM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

What happened to the appraisals for the Jenkins land swaps? Did that story die? They seemed really smelly too!

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by leloupe on 12/01/2017 at 10:20 AM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

Thank you for the superb article, Pam. Truly Pulitzer Prize quality. This is exactly the kind of scrutiny this crooked deal deserves.

And, I totally agree with the previous comment. Given the crookedness of the deal and lack of public input, I believe the deal should be undone.

l

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ruth Obee on 11/30/2017 at 6:50 PM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

Don Knight's comments show the total duplicity of his views when it comes to different appraisals done by the City and the Broadmoor. When referencing the 189 acre Strawberry plot (valued at 1.6M) he states that, "the land was staying park land. That's why I didn't object that the values weren't 10 times more". The Bear Creek parcel appraisal however was accepted with an extremely high value (1.4 M for only 9 acres) despite the fact that it will remain park land as well. "The Bear Creek parcel, zoned for single family homes, was appraised as residential lots. The city, however, has no plans to build on the land and will maintain it as a park." Hello Don Knight... don't wring your hands and say there is nothing yo
u can do. It was fraud, pure and simple. And ghost writing an amicus brief? Unethical.
Thank you Pam for a very thorough and well researched piece. Too bad that the council rushed this decision through despite so many unanswered important questions that they themselves brought up during the process. The public is threatened not only with losing a historic piece of parkland, but is clearly on the losing end of the monetary swap as well.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by katm on 11/30/2017 at 5:48 PM

Re: “Protest songs from alt weeklies around the country, (dis)honoring a year of Trump's presidency

Without a doubt The Independent has hit new lows in every department. I am compelled to pick up a copy every week and cringe while doing so but one needs to know what crap is being fabricated and reported as "news".

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bob Wyman on 11/30/2017 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

The purchase of the property was made with a vote of the people in 1885 (I believe). The decision last year should have been made with a vote of the people. Hopefully, that is what the Court of Appeals will decide. Simple!

20 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by What's the Word? on 11/29/2017 at 9:26 PM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

Also, thank you Pam Zubeck for your excellent journalism! Your thoroughness and objectivity are rare and truly appreciated! Keep up the outstanding work!

22 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by John C. Spengler on 11/29/2017 at 2:05 PM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

"I think some of the public probably will lose some trust in us," Knight says, "and they have the right to lose some trust in us. I hope they realize we as Council were putting our trust in other people, ourselves assuming all the data we were looking at was accurate data."

No, Mr. Knight, it is "YOU" we no longer trust (along with Tom Strand, Merv Bennett, Andy Pico, Keith King and Larry Bagley), not "Us". Fortunately, Mr. King and Mr. Bagley are now gone. No, Mr. Knight, you and those who voted "yes" on the Strawberry Fields "land grab" had the same facts we had, and we smelled a rat from the very beginning! These new revelations only bolster our position.

We do, however, trust Jill Gaebler and Bill Murray (and Helen Collins, now gone) who saw this travesty for what it was and voted "no"! They are to be commended! You, on the other hand, should be ashamed of yourselves...

24 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by John C. Spengler on 11/29/2017 at 1:50 PM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

This is progress, a step in the right direction, but what about the appraisal of the land taken from the Cog Railway? I still want to know if the cost of the needed repairs on that section of the Barr Trail were figured into that appraisal. The drainage work, the repair of the erosion damage, the study's needed for those tasks, the removal of rocks in the trail and, the replacement of the fence. I will again allege that this land's value is exaggerated by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Would you pay full price for a car that needed a new engine?

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Carl Strow on 11/29/2017 at 1:42 PM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

Every council person that voted YES did so knowing that the appraisal was inaccurate.
Even before knowing the appraiser was crooked. We all knew the valuation was BS. They voted yes anyway!
Now vote them out!!

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by TruB on 11/29/2017 at 12:00 PM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

In this article Councilman Don Knight is quoted as follows:

Knight now says that action, while it might call into question the open space's true value, isn't enough to scotch the deal. "Council does not have the right to go back in and reopen this," he says.

I wonder if Mr. Knight knows that in addition to revelations of misconduct coming directly from the Broadmoor which are revealed in this article, the following is also true:

One of the written requirements of the resolution which was approved by city council on May 24th of 2016 (The Broadmoor Land Exchange) was completely trashed by both the Broadmoor and the Palmer Land Trust in the course of executing the (also required) conservation easement on Strawberry Fields. The resolution clearly states that the building envelope (that is the area to be commercialized by the hotel and barred to the public) as defined in the resolution itself NOT BE CHANGED. In fact, not only was the building envelope changed, but in the last few weeks markers and surveyors' ground pins have newly appeared which clearly define the boundaries of that altered building envelope. This is in direct defiance of the resolution voted upon and passed by city council.

The stranglehold which the Broadmoor Hotel and Philip Anschutz have upon the leadership of Colorado Springs is intolerable. Regardless of the outcome of the Strawberry Fields court case, I believe that it is time for City Council and the citizens of Colorado Springs to come together in a concerted effort to disentangle our city from what has become an unhealthy and wholly detrimental relationship. While once it may have been so, the Broadmoor is no longer a good neighbor.

I urge each and every one of you to contact your city council person today. Tell him/her that in light of the now proven corruption which underlies the Broadmoor Land Swap, you wish them to take all firm and decisive actions available to them as soon as possible. This is imperative if council hopes to regain the trust of the betrayed citizenry of Colorado Springs.

24 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Donna Strom on 11/29/2017 at 11:01 AM

Re: “Strawberry Fields' appraiser faces penalties for his work on the city's land exchange

Given this latest news, this "public-private partnership" is arguably the biggest heist in Colorado Springs' history which has national ramifications for parkland across the United States. Ms. Gaebler, once again, illustrates her astute leadership by honing in on one of the most salient problems with this deal when she voices concerns about the will of the people being thwarted. Though she, Councilman Murray and Councilwoman Collins voted correctly and opposed the deal, Don Knight, Tom Strand, Merv Bennett, Andy Pico and Larry Bagley were not moved by the facts that, in 4 different surveys, one hosted by the Anschutz' owned Gazette itself, 70-85% of the public, CITY WIDE, opposed this deal. These new revelations add insult to injury. When leaders make mistakes, they should seek to correct them. In addition to the will of the people being ignored, what example does it set for our children and the future leaders of the world if we do not hold ourselves to the highest standards and right wrongs when we see them? The council should correct this if in name only. Write city council, allcouncil@springsgov.com, and ask them to pass a resolution stating they would now not pass this deal. Ask them to sue Mayor John Suthers and his Parks Department which he controls for ordering a Restricted Appraisal (cannot even get bank financing with those) and refusing to ask and provide details of the work files, that both Councilman Murray and Knight asked for and were denied, which would have corroborated the facts the public already knew and repeatedly communicated to council - that Strawberry Fields was grossly under valued -- coming in UNDER tax assessor values which is highly unusual, and, more importantly, that our historic parklands are not for sale. Donate to the legal defense and tell your friends across the country to as this case matters to everyone: www.savecheyenne.org If there is any dignity left in politics and big business, what should happen here is that the Broadmoor and the City voluntarily undoes this deal. Now, that would be truly heroic and speak volumes to the character of these powerful organizations and their commitment to honoring the will of the people and respecting their ownership rights of such historic public land.

30 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Dana Duggan on 11/29/2017 at 10:37 AM

Re: “Poor people keep going to jail on non-jailable offenses. How do we break the cycle?

https://www.coloradosprings.gov/payticket

The number one fine homeless get is 9.6.110 Now I am fine with taking a small nap in the park but I don't want them to live there or set up camp. I want to go have a picnic with my family without being asked for change.. I don't like feeding the bears. Community Service is not slavery it is paying back your debt... and FYI they can do Community service at a soup kitchen which if your homeless you just might be at anyway. Talk about two birds one stone. I have seen first hand the judges waving everything for homeless. Did anyone see what we the tax payers pay for the homeless just about $1,000 per case. I Hope she at least took advantage of a hot shower and liked the three free meals a day while she was locked up.

Posted by Rob Griggs on 11/27/2017 at 2:03 PM

Re: “Poor people keep going to jail on non-jailable offenses. How do we break the cycle?

It is peculiar to me that "community service" is a punishment. It says a lot about where we are in how we see the world and each other. We are going backward.
Considering the insanity and cruelty of The War on Drugs (which really is a war on the poor) staged by an out-of-control agency called the DEA and the money spent (over 20 trillion dollars since Nixon) we clearly do not want to help our fellow man. That money could buy houses and pay medical bills instead of imprisoning people and torturing doctors with laws and insurance costs. Subsidies paid to insurance companies and monthly premiums mandated by law sicken people with stress not to mention ticketing homeless folks added to the equation is just a pile-on, kick them when their down end-zone grandstanding by bullies. Public safety? Who is "public". There, but for the grace of God go I...
We have to stop abusing drug users and stop abusing the homeless and the disable. Stop penalizing everyone who must suffer through the bullshit our governments create and the very thought of ticketing someone who has nowhere to go for the crime of having nowhere to go is something only a sick sociopath could do.
FYI, all the things you have been told by government and the media about drugs and drug use does not contain one scintilla of fact. Before you attack my statement do some real fact checking and that excludes the CDC first of all. Plus it is a fact that not one person has been harmed by "second hand smoke". Find out how much money tobacco companies pays to the state of Colorado every year as awarded by the lawsuit 18 years ago. It is more than enough to buy houses for the homeless. Trust me though, Hickenlooper pisses it away.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Bob Wyman on 11/24/2017 at 7:36 PM

Re: “Poor people keep going to jail on non-jailable offenses. How do we break the cycle?

Does the municipal corporations CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS and COUNTY OF EL PASO enjoy the pillaging and economic raping of those who can least pay it? The wealthy of this area want the poor gone by whatever means necessary, and have put their agents to the effort in place to accomplish this mission. These actions clearly show the system of housing "inmates" to be a debtor's prison. It also shows slavery. This is done by the "rule of contract", not the rule of law, because there is no law. There's only statutes/codes/ordinances as corporate policy, with agents of those corporations enforcing those policies regardless of authority. Please check the term "person" in a law dictionary, and see if you qualify. I know I don't.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by gregaj7 on 11/24/2017 at 11:04 AM

Re: “Tyler Durden returns

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Posted by Rose Wendy on 11/17/2017 at 10:02 PM

Re: “The left's answer to emboldened white supremacists? A militia of their own.

takeaway is that left has guns too, the moronic right thinks they can defend against Trumps military with ar15

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by apathetic on 11/15/2017 at 12:08 PM

Re: “Former El Paso County Sheriff’s Office notary says top officials ordered falsifying of hundreds of oath affidavits

The affidavits don't have to be notarized. Good night, find another fake news story Indy! PLEASE move your Liberal agenda to Boulder! You are not welcome in Conservative Colorado Springs!

3 likes, 26 dislikes
Posted by Holmes on 11/12/2017 at 5:51 PM

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