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Noted: City pools face closure


Operator couldn't make profit on pools

Three city pools that were kept open in 2010 through a private-public partnership may face closure in January.

The pools are the Aquatic Center at Memorial Park (also known as the Colorado Springs Recreation Center), Wilson Ranch Pool and Portal Pool. The pools have been run by Swim Colorado Inc., owned by Kevin and Tina Dessart. The deal, apparently, was not profitable for the company, which will stop managing the pools Dec. 30.

"The city is looking at what it may be able to do in terms of looking for other partnerships, sponsorships, [and] possibly an RFP process to see who else may be out there who would be interested in operating our pools," Kim King, the city's manager of parks administration, says.

Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center will not be affected.— JAS

County GOP still divided

Tuesday, the El Paso County Republican executive committee will have its monthly meeting, with a notable agenda item: an executive session. According to vice-chair David Williams, the topic likely will be his future with the party.

Williams ran afoul of party chair Eli Bremer and many on the executive committee last summer, when he joined former party secretary Sarah Anderson in publicly airing concerns about the direction of the county and state levels of the party.

Anderson eventually left her position after a three-hour executive session that she compares to waterboarding. Heading into Tuesday's meeting, Williams suspects party leaders could censure him as they did Anderson, or have him removed from his leadership position. "I want to cooperate with these people, but there doesn't seem like a willingness on their end," he says. "I am not doing this anymore." — CH

'Personhood' language OK

They're baa-ack. Despite lopsided failures in two Colorado elections, pro-lifers behind the latest personhood initiative have cleared the state's Ballot Title Setting Board for the November 2012 ballot as Initiative 46.

The new version would ban forms of birth control and fertility treatments that could potentially kill a zygote — described by advocates as "an innocent person." The language says women cannot be prosecuted for seeking treatment for life-threatening illnesses or for spontaneous miscarriages.

If passed, the law would outlaw abortion and put women at risk of prosecution if they get treatment for a non-life-threatening illness that harms a zygote or fetus. Victims of rape or incest, including adolescents, would be forced to give birth no matter their age or mental and physical capacity. — JAS

Manitou gets new leaders

Manitou Springs Councilor Aimee Cox didn't run for re-election this fall because she felt her elected position conflicted with her new job as Colorado Springs City Council liaison. Cox exits the Manitou Council on Jan. 3, along with Ed Klingman and Rick Barry.

In their place for at-large seats will be newcomers Randy Hodges and Gary Smith, as well as former Councilor Donna Ford, who will serve despite earlier doubts that she was eligible to return under term-limit laws. Coreen Toll retains her Ward 2 seat. The other two Councilors are Michael Gerbig and Matt Carpenter, whose terms expire in January 2014. — JAS

Briargate developer dies

Longtime local businessman Lew Christensen, best known for helping develop Briargate and Peregrine, passed away on Christmas Eve after a long illness. He was 75.

Christensen and partner John Venezia began work on Briargate in the 1970s, and Christensen stayed with it until the mid-'90s. Christensen was a two-time chairman of the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp., which he helped establish in the 1970s, and a former president of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. — JAS

Calling all Democrats

If you want to become a Democrat in time to participate in that party's March caucus, the deadline to do so is nearing. According to a notice from El Paso County Dems at, Jan. 6 is the last day to join and secure your seat at the caucus, as participants must be affiliated with the party of their choice two months before the caucus.

Peak Dems detail the options: Registration forms are available online at or at the county clerk and recorder's four locations. You can mail your registration form to El Paso County Election Dept., Box 2007, Colorado Springs 80901, or go to — CH

Compiled by Chet Hardin and J. Adrian Stanley.

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