Pioneer's top 20 Westside stories of 2016: numbers 15-20 & honorable mentionEditor's note: The article about story numbers 1-7 can be found at this link and the article about story numbers 8-14 at this link.
16. Leadership changes. Moving away in 2016 were Jocelyne Sansing, manager of the Old Colorado City Library since 2008 (to a similar post in her home state of Wisconsin); and Jamie Bequette, supervisor of the Bear Creek
17. In memoriam, 2016.
April 19: Bonnie Frum, 70, the operations director at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center from 1997 to her retirement in 2012.
May 12: Ron Buchanan, 68, a volunteer who led major upgrades to the Bear Creek Dog Park as president of its friends group from 2004 to 2015.
July 23: Ventura Ruiz, who co-owned Henri's restaurant in Old Colorado City through the latter half of the 20th century. It was nine days after her 106th birthday.
Aug. 18: Donna Scheeter, 70, who led the
18. General election. Democrat Pete Lee won a fourth term as the District 18 representative, while Republican Stan VanderWerf was elected to replace Westsider Sallie Clark (term-limited after 12 years) as District 3 county commissioner. School District 11 lost
19. Broadway bump-outs. Over a decade after the city agreed with residents about slowing Broadway Avenue traffic, a state Safe Routes to Schools grant paid most of the $243,000 cost to improve two intersections (including the addition of a stopsign at 25th Street) and repair sidewalks along Broadway near Midland Elementary. Each intersection (at Calvert Avenue and at 25th) now features “bump-outs” which cut the former 50-foot Broadway crossing distance in half, according to the Safe Routes grant request. From 2006 to 2016, city-installed temporary yellow markers had defined the bump-out zone at Calvert - remnants
20. Business notables.
Junior Achievement of Southern Colorado (JA) - Separate donations of $500,000 and $250,000 moved JA close to its $3.9 million fundraising goal in 2016. Located in Old Colorado City since 2015, the nonprofit that gives young people an interactive understanding of private enterprise plans to have its eighth-grade-focused Finance Park built by this fall, according to Carrie McKee, president and CEO.
Buffalo Lodge - With new ownership, the venerable Buffalo Lodge on El Paso Boulevard is being rebranded as a “bicycle resort.” This work includes upgrading the property, remodeling units, promoting the location to the growing trend of bicycle tourism and brainstorming ways to make it a go-to site year-round.
Parking Exempt District - Colorado Springs City Council approved expanding Old Colorado City's parking exempt overlay district a block to the west.
MMJ store seeks to fit in - Moving into a storefront with floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows, the JP Wellness medical marijuana ownership sought to give its façade a compatibly historical look and feel, with old bicycles and other collectibles. The idea was to “keep the flavor of Old Colorado City,” co-owner Dustin Divitto said.
Dairy Queen closure/Pizza Hut relocation - Between them, they had 83 years on the old Westside. See the Westside Pioneer's Dairy Queen article at this link and Pizza Hut article at this link.
Honorable mention. A movie (“Our Souls at Night”) starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda was shot in Colorado Springs, including the use for about a month of two historic houses on West Pikes Peak Avenue…
The annual Coronado High School Homecoming Parade in Old Colorado City came close to sharing the fate of the Good Times Car Show (see Story #4), but Principal Darin Smith hopes that a new fundraising effort will cover increasing costs…
No trial date has been scheduled yet for Robert L. Dear, who is charged with murder in the November 2015 mass shooting at the Planned Parenthood building on Centennial Boulevard that left three dead and eight injured. Dear remains in custody but has not been deemed mentally competent to stand trial…
The Old Colorado City Foundation (OCCF) again raised money for Bancroft Park with its fourth annual Taste of OCC in May. City Parks is seeking money (in addition to the OCCF's roughly $30,000) to cover the rest of the estimated $180,000 cost for new public restrooms there, a Parks spokesperson said…
Creative detours were needed when 19th Street between King Street and Mesa Road closed to traffic in both directions for several weeks last summer. Colorado Springs Utilities needed the street to replace an aged water main so it would be done before a contractor under the city's 2C program came in and paved the uphill segment later in the year.
Westside Pioneer article