Public Eye 

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During a recent interview, Harrison District 2 School Board President Henry W. Blackwell, Sr. wondered why the media always seems to concentrate on stories about the "real news," as he put it.

Why, for example, didn't anyone write a story about the time Blackwell proved he is a hero, Blackwell wondered.

Why not indeed! The Independent had no idea of Blackwell's heroism, so he sent over a press release that the school district prepared detailing how Blackwell received a Citizens Award from the Woodland Park Police Department after he found two lost boys several months ago.

Blackwell was not conducting district business at the time, rather he and his wife Delores were in the Woodland Park area testing out his new chainsaw. The press release, which reads like one of those urgent, just the fact's ma'am TV cop shows, can be read in full on our Web site at csindy.com.

"At approximately 1 p.m. on May 11, 2000, Dr. Blackwell and his wife, Delores, were on a day trip to the forested area around Woodland Park, gathering firewood. A series of unique events occurred that day to place Dr. Blackwell at this site at specifically 1 p.m. First, Dr. Blackwell and Delores decided to make the trip on the spur of the moment. Dr. Blackwell wanted to try out his new chainsaw; however, upon arrival, the new chainsaw would not start. Frustrated, Dr. Blackwell decided to abandon the wood gathering and instead drive to another wooded area. Upon reaching that area and parking, two young boys, ages 10 and 11, dressed only in shorts and tank tops, approached the Blackwell's van and asked for some help and some food, stating they had been lost for two hours having strayed from their grandmother's home."

Blackwell determined the boys were indeed lost, and not runaways, the report notes. So he and his wife gave them a couple of Diet Cokes and drove them into town. There, they spotted a state trooper, who escorted them to the police station, where the boys' grandmother was contacted.

Here's the clincher: When the Blackwell's got home the new chainsaw started on the first try!

"Had Dr. Blackwell not made an impromptu decision to go wood gathering, or had the new chainsaw operated properly, Dr. Blackwell would not had (sic) been in the area to rescue the two lost boys," said the report.

Upon learning this information -- and of Blackwell's heroism -- we too could not believe that The G and all three local TV news stations did not make this their lead story of the day.

* * * * * * * * * * The Colorado Springs Police Department swung into the spirit at last weekend's Gay Pride Festival and Parade, handing out recruitment balls that quickly became the must-have souvenir of the day.

The official police shield was stamped on one side, and on the other, side, the message was "Our men are well-equipped, and they wear leather!"

"I think it's groundbreaking, revolutionary," said an amused Gary Clark, who was able to snag one of the white rubber balls, "Of course they went very quickly -- they were the most popular items at the parade."

From their sponsored booth at PrideFest, police also handed out refrigerator magnets that read, "Have Trouble With Accessorizing? Join the Colorado Springs Police Department. We'll Put You In Leather!" along with the CSPD recruitment telephone number.

The Colorado Springs Utilities department, the fire department and paramedics, who displayed a rainbow-colored sign that read "We Recruit," all sponsored booths at the gay pride event.

Frank Whitworth, a longtime gay activist here in town said he believed the balls were hilarious. "It was in keeping with the day and in good fun," he said.

* * * * * * * * * * By now, many of us have heard about George W. Bush's four-star gaffathon as he delivered a $100-a-head speech to about 2,000 people in Des Moines on Monday, Aug. 21.

As Washington Post staff writer Mike Allen noted the next day, the Republican presidential nominee, already famous for delivering the kind of bloopers we haven't heard since the campaign days of former veep Dan Quayle, may have set a personal record for bloopers in one speech.

"In 15 minutes, [Bush] mistook 'terrors' (or was it 'terriers'?) for 'tariffs' and 'hostile' for 'hostage' (twice), and asserted that President Clinton has been in office for four -- not eight -- years," Allen noted.

But, what we really want to know is Shrub's position on quotas for Vulcans. And here it is, as initially quoted by Molly Ivins in the San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 21.

"What I am against is quotas. I am against hard quotas, quotas they basically delineate based upon whatever. However they delineate, quotas, I think vulcanize society. So I don't know how that fits into what everybody else is saying, their relative positions, but that's my position."

-- degette@csindy.com


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