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Panhandling, dropouts and weed-delivery bust 


Panhandling ban not dead

Earlier this month, Mayor Steve Bach declared dead the city's legally challenged downtown panhandling ban. But it appears the mayor spoke out of turn.

City Council President Pro Tem Jan Martin says City Attorney Chris Melcher hasn't brought the case to Council for further consideration since a district judge agreed that the law should not go into effect. The American Civil Liberties Union called the law unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds, and the judge agreed that was likely the case.

The city could still take the case to trial if Council wished to pursue the issue further.

Martin says sitting Councilors should decide whether the case should move forward, since they approved the ordinance in the first place. — J. Adrian Stanley

Council pay on April ballot

Though backers of boosting City Council pay from $6,250 per year to $48,000 considered withdrawing the measure, they didn't, and on Feb. 12 it was referred to the April 2 ballot.

OK'ing the move were Council President Scott Hente, President Pro Tem Jan Martin and Councilors Lisa Czelatdko, Brandy Williams and Val Snider. — Pam Zubeck

Cash flowing in city races

Candidates seeking six Colorado Springs City Council seats have raised more than $114,000, according to campaign finance reports filed by the Feb. 15 deadline.

Candidates have six weeks to go before the April 2 election, which will be decided by mail, with ballots going out starting March 8. Judging by money alone, the contenders appear to be:

District 1: Don Knight, $1,510; Tim Leigh, $1,200.

District 2: Angela Dougan, $15,963; Bill Murray, $5,500 (all from the candidate); Joel Miller, $4,625.

District 3: Keith King, $18,829; Jim Bensberg, $11,535; Brandy Williams, $7,176; Tom Gallagher, $3,450.

District 4: Helen Collins, $6,681 (most a loan from the candidate); Deborah Hendrix, $5,860.

District 5: Jill Gaebler, $9,585; Bernie Herpin, $5,702; Al Loma, $3,436.

District 6: Ed Bircham, $5,000 (from the candidate); David Moore, $4,879. — Pam Zubeck

Weed-delivery folks arrested

Billygoatgreen MMJ, the local cannabis-delivery service that purported to offer free marijuana in exchange for a research-and-cultivation "donation" ("Rolling joints," News, Jan. 30), has been squelched. Company owners were arrested by the Colorado Springs Police Department recently, and alleged to possess more than an ounce of marijuana.

In response to inquiries from the Indy, an unidentified company rep writes, "They took everything they could but left all the [marijuana] because our grow is 100 percent legal."

Pritchard Garrett, age 31; Shilo Campbell, 27; and Matthew Alther, 29, have been charged with distribution. — Bryce Crawford

D-2 leader will hit streets

New Harrison School District 2 Superintendent Andre Spencer and administrators and volunteers plan to go door-to-door Saturday, Feb. 23, in an effort to bring dropouts back to school, following the lead of other large districts across the nation.

The outreach, which aims to re-enroll 100 kids, will also target some who've been expelled. To help, call 579-2550. — J. Adrian Stanley

Gun laws winding through

Four pieces of legislation regulating and limiting gun ownership have passed through the Democrat-controlled state House.

If they pass in the Senate and the governor signs them into law, Coloradans will be banned from carrying weapons on a public college campus. Further, the sale, transfer or possession of a "large-capacity magazine" will be prohibited. The cost of background checks will be the burden of the prospective gun owner. And the requirement for a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm will be extended beyond transactions with licensed gun dealers — with the only exception granted to gifts given by immediate family members. — Chet Hardin

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