When the Independent launched its first issue in the fall of 1993, Bob Isaac was mayor and Colorado for Family Values and anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce were the local media's darling. There have been plenty of changes over the past decade, but one thing has stayed constant: Developers still run this town.
Randall Ray Kohuetk
What does the Indy do best? It provides an independent, more liberal view of Colorado Springs and our news than the Gazette.
What does it need to do better? Sometimes I think that they take some of their particular vents a little bit too far. They tend to bash the president a little too much for my taste. I'm a pretty conservative guy. Sometimes they pick a particular issue and they harp it for a whole magazine-full. It's a little irritating sometimes.
What's your favorite feature? I would probably say the readers' opinions: when you get people to write in. You get the whole gamut, from people who are obviously not too smart to people who are obviously very intelligent, who have well thought-out opinions.
What will Colorado Springs be like in 10 years? I'm afraid that Colorado Springs is going to be a huge, sprawling city that wants to be Denver so bad and never will be, because of the overwhelming religious influence here. I think it's a shame.
Actor/ acting coach
What does the Indy do best? Communicates. It's great -- that's what a paper does.
What's your favorite feature? This [IQ] is my favorite feature. You never know when it might be someone you know.
What will Colorado Springs be like in 10 years? Too much like Denver.
What does the Independent do best? It keeps me informed about local events, music in particular.
What is its biggest weakness? It goes out of its way to be liberal. It leans to the left sometimes to the point of foolishness and loss of objectivity.
What will Colorado Springs be like 10 years from now? Hopefully smaller. If growth isn't restricted, we're going to be one continuous strip mall.
How can the Indy improve? It needs to give more column space to local artists, especially music.
What's your all-time favorite story? The coverage of TOPS and the recent stories about Red Rock Canyon. Also, the medieval use of restraints in our jails.
How do you envision this town in 10 years? A lot bigger, with more urban sprawl and right-wing politics. We're becoming just another big city.
Old Colorado City
What's your favorite Indy feature? The letters to the editor and the opinion columns by John Hazlehurst and Cara DeGette. We need people willing to call a spade a spade.
Is there a particular blockbuster story you remember? The one about six months ago where the peace march got gassed. I was listening to the car radio while driving home from California at the time, and we were the lead story on CNN radio. There were peace rallies all over the country that day and we were the only one that got tear-gassed!
How do you see Colorado Springs in 10 years? Way bigger than it already is. Water will be a huge problem. We're getting more and more like Denver.
Works with troubled teens
Do you have a favorite Indy story? I've only lived here for a year, but I enjoyed your coverage of local politics in the last election.
What will Colorado Springs be like in ten years? I hope Colorado Springs will do more to regulate growth. I was shocked by the way this town handled the Starr Kemp sculpture garden. I'd heard about his sculptures before I relocated here from California. It was world-class treasure. This and the loss of the Colorado Springs Symphony don't bode well for the cultural future of this town.
What does the Independent do best? Provide an alternative viewpoint to the Gazette. It's hard to imagine this town without the Independent.
What's your favorite feature? John Hazlehurst's column. He truly knows how this city works. I learn a lot from reading his column.
Describe Colorado Springs 10 years from now. Way too crowded.
What does the Independent do best? It runs stories the Gazette won't touch. The Independent delves deeper and digs up things that need digging up.
What's your favorite feature? "The Outsider." Hazlehurst has a sense of humor I like, though not everyone thinks it's funny. But it's fascinating reading.
What's it going to be like here in 10 years? No matter how big we eventually get, we'll always be a big small town.
Middle school history teacher
What does the Indy do best? It offers Colorado Springs a much-needed alternative voice that challenges the status quo. Colorado Springs needs a kick in the rear, and the Independent is at its best when it's done that.
What does it need to do better? It's very good on the news, and Hazlehurst is good, as is DeGette in "Public Eye." I think it's become a better paper in the past two years.
Do you have an all-time favorite story? The story on Johnny Smith was fantastic. There have been some great stories on the religious right, too.
Describe Colorado Springs 10 years from now. The new city council is a setback. I've been here since it was a town of 80,000, and most of the things of quality were already in place then. We've gotten a lot bigger since then, but not better.
High school math teacher
What does the Independent do best? It lets us know there's more to Colorado Springs than conservative politics and Focus on the Family.
What should it do better? The restaurant critiques lack expertise all too often. It looks like you let almost anyone do them. Also, coverage of the local music scene has improved, but there's probably room for improvement there, too.
Do you have a favorite story? The one about the black history of Colorado Springs. I also love your annual Best Of issue. I actually save it and consult it throughout the year.
What will it be like here in 10 years? Sprawl and more sprawl. Packed with houses all the way from Monument to Pueblo. I'm not so sure I want to be here then.