Dear hearing set
Arrest and search warrant affidavits in the case of Robert L. Dear, 57, who's charged with 179 criminal counts in the Nov. 27 Planned Parenthood shooting that killed three people and wounded nine, will be released to the public.
District Judge Gilbert Martinez originally sealed the records but as of Monday had changed his mind in light of a significant amount of information being made available to the public in other ways. One of those was via media interviews with Dear himself.
KKTV reported Monday the affidavits would be available toward the end of the week.
Meantime, at a March 24 hearing, the District Attorney's Office asked for an additional hearing on Dear's mental state, along with documentation supporting the finding. Dear previously told reporters in interviews that the mental evaluation showed he was deemed not competent to stand trial.
The battle over the records involved a couple dozen media outlets, including the Independent, represented by media law expert Steve Zansberg of Denver. — PZ
Land swap values coming
The final public meeting on a proposed swap of city property with The Broadmoor resort before the deal navigates the decision process will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, at Gold Camp Elementary School, 1805 Preserve Drive.
Opposition to the swap, which would give 189-acre Strawberry Fields open space to The Broadmoor, has given rise to a "for sale" sign at North Cheyenne Cañon Park that says, "Call J. Suthers." Mayor John Suthers supports the swap.
For the record, Suthers received $500 in campaign contributions from each of two Broadmoor officials during his 2015 campaign for mayor, as well as an in-kind gift of $4,391 from the resort for a campaign fundraiser.
The Broadmoor plans a horse stable and pavilion for parties and weddings of up to 100 people for seven to nine acres, with the rest to be placed in a permanent conservation easement.
The city would receive land around Mount Muscoco, the Manitou Incline, Barr Trail and Bear Creek Regional Park.
The Springs Parks Department is expected at the public meeting to reveal appraised values of the land in question, after initially saying The Broadmoor's 371 acres are worth $3.3 million compared to Strawberry Fields' $1.6 million.
Open space advocate Kent Obee says county assessor's data show Strawberry Fields is worth $2.4 million, compared to $1.2 million for The Broadmoor's scattered parcels.
The land trade is expected to be taken up by the Parks Advisory Board on April 14 for a recommendation to be forwarded to City Council, which would take action in May. — PZ
From NAACP to SCLC
Henry Allen, former president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has announced his intention to establish a local branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Allen did not run for reelection last fall, when national NAACP officials came to the Springs to oversee a long-delayed election after bickering between Allen and others within the organization over rules. Allen still claimed that the election was unfair and contested it, though his complaint was dismissed by the national NAACP.
In a letter, Allen says that response, and other disagreements, soured him on the NAACP and led him to pursue starting a new organization.
"I am not convinced that this community will have an active viable, credible, committed civil rights organization," he stated in part. "And therefore, thousands of people in our community will not have a voice. I believe the SCLC can be that voice."
The SCLC has its roots in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The group supported nonviolent resistance during the civil rights movement and has gone on to support human rights around the world. Allen's chapter has a website at pikespeaksclc.org. — JAS
Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne?
Gov. John Hickenlooper has nominated Donna Lynne, the current executive vice president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, to replace Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia.
Garcia announced previously that he was leaving his role at the end of April to take the position of president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
The General Assembly will have a chance to approve Lynne, who spent the first half of her 40-year career in the public sector, serving in various roles for the New York City government. Early indications are that there will be no major opposition to her appointment, and her ties to the health care industry are viewed as a positive.
"Donna Lynne is uniquely qualified to take on this role," Hickenlooper stated in a press release. "Her background in successfully running large complex organizations — in both the private and public sector — and her wisdom and experience in operations, will enhance the lieutenant governor's role to make even more of an impact on programs across the state." — JAS