EDITORíS DESK: A hook could hit a horse

       It's billed as a public meeting, a chance for the proponents of a 9-hole golf course in Bear Creek Regional Park to explain their concept to local citizens. But based on the scuttlebutt coming my way, that April 11 get-together may be more like the proverbial Christians facing the lions.
       Already, numerous people are speaking out against the idea - some of whom are at times on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Open-space advocates decry the potential intrusion on, as one put it, "an oasis of serenity in the middle of town." And, a leader in the horse community questioned how safe it would be to ride past a golf course with the potential for small, hard, flying dimpled balls that could damage rider or steed. (Note: The latter is no far-fetched scenario. The proposed course would be neighbors to the Norris-Penrose Events Center, which has several horse-related events a year, crowned by the national-level Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.)
       There's also the question of fiscal prudence. When El Paso County essentially gave the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation the Penrose Equestrian Center (now called Norris-Penrose), it was with the belief that the enterprise ought to succeed for the betterment of the community, and that it might indeed do so in the hands of a motivated volunteer entity. But to give the same kind of deal for a new golf course...?
       OK, enough for the lions. On the other side are two upstanding citizens - Judy Bell, former U.S. Golf Association president, and Carl Donner, a retired banker - who see in this project an opportunity to make golf affordable to low-income youngsters. The two aren't looking to get rich off the deal. How could they, when the kids, the chief target customers, would only be paying a buck apiece for green fees?
       My expectation is that the idea is a lost cause, but at least I want to keep an open mind going into the meeting. And, to help in that regard, I'll have dinner first.

- K.J.