The week of July 17, 1996, Palmer Park apparently was a hedonistic playground for male seekers of sex — and had been for quite some time.
From "Community: Patrols aim to stop public sex in Palmer Park," by Cara DeGette:
Since the beginning of the year, Colorado Springs police officers involved in a sting operation have arrested 98 men in Palmer Park — some more than once — who were engaging in sexual activities with each other, including masturbation and oral sex. A total of 157 arrests for public indecency have been made in the park since 1993.
Colorado Springs Police Sgt. Philip Lebeau said the majority of the men do not classify themselves as being homosexual when they are arrested, and many reportedly have wives or girlfriends at home.
"Seventy percent of these men are closeted substance abusers, or have family or other problems," said John Sakowitz of the Southern Colorado AIDS Project. "This is not a gay problem, this is a public health problem."
Developers and the state were offing prairie dogs, despite them being food for a host of other animals.
From "Environment: Prairie-dog killings continue; other species threatened," by Cate Terwilliger:
Local housing developers continue to exterminate black-tailed prairie-dog colonies, although wildlife specialists say the dogs' decline is bound to hurt dozens of other species. ... Ferrets, burrowing owls and more than 150 other species rely on the prairie dogs as food, says veteran technician Carolyn Kinsey.
A prairie-dog town at the 220-home Broadmoor Bluffs development near Highway 115 and Academy Boulevard was poisoned and then landfilled last month by Gates Land Company. ... The Colorado Department of Agriculture has for years helped ranchers exterminate the animals, creating "very, very large losses" that dwarf those caused by developers, according to Colorado Division of Wildlife biologist Mark Elkins.
Local activists talked about their February protest, on Peterson Air Force Base, of an incursion into space by the military.
From "Space Patrol: Who's watching America's warriors in space??????" by Malcolm Howard:
"My Christian faith calls me to challenge the secrecy and violence that's being perpetrated by the Space Command," says activist Susan Gordon, who was six months pregnant at the time. "The secrecy allows the violence to take place and continue unquestioned and unchallenged."
Though such statements are rare for Colorado Springs, Citizens for Peace in Space joins a small but growing movement that question the U.S. military's heavenward move in the post-Cold War era.
The whole issue is being propelled into the limelight as Congress, the Clinton administration and candidate Dole attempt to outhawk each other's plans to revamp Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars," into high-tech "theater missile dense" or "ballistic missile defense" schemes. ...
Colorado has always been a magnet for America's outer-space arsenal. The state's land-buffered location, its high altitude and clear skies were just some of the reasons Pentagon strategists chose it as a key command post for missile defense and satellite tracking. ... The crown of the U.S. space-intelligence system rests at Peterson Field in Colorado Springs.
And the Indy was gearing up for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta by running a column bemoaning the crass sponsorship of the Games.
From "You Can Never Have Too Much Olympics," by Mad Dog:
The Olympic Torch Relay — or the 500 meter crawl — was sponsored by Coca Cola, the official caramel colored paint remover of the Olympics. It's a fact that most Olympic athletes drink caseloads of Coke during training. They also eat lots of cake, which is why Betty Crocker ("The Official Fictitious Housewife and Martha Stewart Wannabe of the Olympics") came out with her SuperMoist Team USA99 Cake Mix.