Bruce's battle continues
Last week, District Court Judge Barbara Hughes dismissed a lawsuit by Douglas Bruce seeking to eliminate "arguments for" the city's proposed sales tax increase from the Nov. 3 municipal ballot. Bruce then drove to Denver on Monday and filed an appeal with the Colorado Supreme Court, asking for an "emergency hearing."
At issue is a 273-word explanation of the tax hike that Bruce says constitutes an argument in favor, not a "text," of the measure. A text of a measure enumerates whatever legislative or constitutional change will be achieved with a "yes" vote. The city's measure does not change the city charter or code.
If allowed to stand, the anti-tax activist alleges, it would be the first time in Colorado history that illegal language has been printed on the ballot. "Talk about corruption," Bruce says. He sued County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman to prevent the language from being printed. Broerman is handling the election for all entities within the county. — PZ
Stadium study a 'go'
Mayor John Suthers has raised "private funds" to pay for an "in-depth study" of whether a downtown sports and events center — part of City for Champions — is financially viable. Asked for the source of the funds and who would do the study, Mayor John Suthers responded, "All undetermined."
"That study will help us identify whether this is even a viable project," Council President Merv Bennett said, not only from a governmental perspective but also if it's privately funded.
If the project advances, it won't happen until the end of the five-year period allowed by the Regional Tourism Act under which the city has been pledged $120.5 million in state sales tax money, Bennett said. The state allocation rests on whether projects have made substantial progress within five years of the December 2013 approval.
The $97 million downtown stadium project, which likely requires local tax money to be built, has drawn sharp criticism from residents and some elected leaders. As the Independent reported Aug. 27, the city received its first state C4C payment for $760,632 in June, with $163,445 earmarked for the stadium. — PZ
Cable deal to be extended
Renewal of Comcast's cable franchise for 10 years — rather than extending the current 15-year deal — will be shelved until more information can be provided to City Council, with a vote expected in coming weeks. Council members expressed support on Monday for giving the media giant a temporary extension of its franchise until June 30, 2016. The current deal expires in November. — PZ
DEA wants your drugs
Assuming you aren't hawking your pain pills on the black market, dealing with unused prescription drugs is a puzzle. Flushing them pollutes waterways, but keeping them or throwing them away can be risky. What's a law-abiding citizen to do?
Give your drugs to the cops. In an effort to promote safe disposal, the Drug Enforcement Administration is hosting a prescription take-back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 26. Bring your tablets and capsules, but don't bring needles, sharps, mercury (thermometers), oxygen containers, chemotherapy/radioactive substances, pressurized cannisters or illicit drugs.
Local sites include: Colorado Springs Police Operations Center, 705 S. Nevada Ave.; UCCS' public safety building, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy.; Manitou Springs Police Department, 606 Manitou Ave.; Security Fire Station #1, 400 Security Blvd.; the county's Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 3255 Akers Drive; Memorial Hospital North, 4105 Briargate Pkwy.; Falcon Fire Station #3, 7030 Old Meridian Road; and Ellicott Fire Department, 23650 Colorado Highway 94.
Fort Carson will collect drugs from 10 to 2 that day at Iron Horse Fitness Center and the Fort Carson Exchange. The Air Force Academy Commissary, 5126 Community Center Drive, will have a collection at the same time. — JAS
Take our fish... please
The folks at Colorado Parks and Wildlife want you to go fishing at Green Mountain Falls Lake. The lake will be drained starting Sept. 26 to remove sediment, leaving fish without a home. Anyone with a Colorado fishing license can fish through legal means during daylight hours, with bag and possession limits suspended at the lake.
CPW also is attempting to remove fish from the lake and is giving them to anglers and those in need. Once the lake is drained and cleaned, it will be refilled, though fish will not be restocked until spring at the earliest. Contact CPW with questions at 227-5224. — JAS